The Dos and Don’ts of Posting and Commenting on Social Media as a Business

Navigating social media as a business demands a different approach compared to personal use. It’s crucial to understand the dos and don’ts of posting and commenting to maintain a positive online presence. 

In this digital realm, every interaction can influence how your brand is perceived. By following specific guidelines, businesses can effectively engage with their audience while avoiding potential pitfalls that may harm their reputation.

1. Don’t Combine Your Personal Account & Your Business Account

Keeping your personal and business accounts separate is paramount in maintaining a professional appearance. Mixing them together can make your business look unprofessional and may cause your audience to lose trust.

When your personal life and professional endeavours are intertwined, it can be confusing for your followers to understand the purpose of your platform. This lack of clarity can harm your business’s credibility and make it harder to communicate your message effectively. 

By keeping your personal and business accounts distinct, you maintain a professional image and ensure that your audience receives consistent and relevant content.

2. Don’t Ignore Comments or Messages

Engagement is key on social media, and ignoring comments or messages from your audience can be detrimental to your brand. Whether it’s a question, feedback, or a complaint, make sure to respond promptly and professionally.

To manage bad reviews or comments online, you need to tackle them head on and show your audience that you’re willing to hear them out. Ignoring comments or messages can give the impression that you don’t value your audience’s input or that you’re indifferent to their concerns. 

This can lead to a negative perception of your brand and may result in followers disengaging or even unfollowing you. Take the time to acknowledge and address comments and messages, even if it’s just to thank someone for their feedback. Showing that you’re responsive and attentive can build trust and loyalty among your audience.

3. Don’t Comment on Controversial Topics or Engage in Debates

 

Controversial Topics

 

Avoid involving your business in controversial subjects or heated discussions on social media. While it’s crucial to express your values, delving into certain issues can isolate some of your audience members and harm your brand’s image. 

Before discussing sensitive topics, assess whether they align with your brand’s principles and relevance to your audience. When uncertain, it’s better to abstain from commenting or approach the matter with careful consideration and sensitivity.

4. Use Proper Grammar & Spelling

Using proper grammar and spelling is a standard rule when engaging on social media. It demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism while ensuring clear communication with your audience.

When you take the time to craft well-written comments that are free of errors, you convey respect for your audience and the topic being discussed. Mistakes in your grammar and spelling might give the impression that you don’t care about your work. 

Maintaining high standards of grammar and spelling reflects positively on your professionalism. It establishes you as a credible and trustworthy source of information, instilling confidence in your audience. 

5. Don’t Use Slang or Jargon Inappropriately

Using informal language or specialised terminology specific to certain groups or industries can hinder effective communication on social media platforms. 

Although such language may be familiar with audiences in certain industries, it can confuse individuals who lack familiarity with it. Hence, it is crucial to use clear and easily understandable language to ensure that your content resonates with a diverse audience.

6. Comment on Posts From Other Businesses

 

Comment on Others Posts

 

Engaging with posts from other businesses can be a valuable strategy for growing your social media presence and expanding your network within your industry or niche. While some businesses may hesitate to comment on content from their competitors or peers, doing so can offer numerous benefits. 

By actively participating in discussions and sharing insights on relevant topics, you demonstrate your expertise and establish yourself as a respected member of the community. Engaging on posts from other businesses also allows you to increase your visibility and reach new audiences. 

When you engage with content from related businesses, you introduce yourself to their followers, potentially attracting new followers and driving traffic to your own social media profiles and website. 

7. Don’t Neglect Social Listening

Social listening entails actively observing and examining online discussions regarding your brand, industry, competitors, and pertinent subjects. By closely monitoring social media platforms for user-generated content, you acquire valuable insights into consumer opinions and preferences.

Tracking discussions related to your brand enables you to remain in-tune to your audience’s perceptions and engagements with your business. 

Swiftly addressing concerns showcases responsiveness and dedication to customer satisfaction, thereby averting potential harm to your brand’s reputation and fostering customer loyalty.

Elevating Your Social Media Strategy

Mastering the dos and don’ts of posting and commenting on social media as a business is essential for maintaining a positive online presence and effectively engaging with your audience. 

By following these guidelines, businesses can navigate the dynamic landscape of social media with confidence, ensuring that every interaction contributes positively to their brand’s reputation and growth.

Managing Bad Reviews: Strategies for Responding to Negative Feedback

No one likes getting bad reviews, but they are inevitable. As businesses grow and evolve, so do the expectations of their customers. This means that even if you think you’re doing a great job, there will be some customers who are unhappy with their experiences. And when this happens, it’s important to know how to handle these negative reviews in a way that is respectful and professional while still protecting your company’s reputation.

Understanding Your Audience

When it comes to dealing with bad reviews, it all starts with understanding your audience. Who are the people who have left negative feedback? Are they loyal customers or new visitors? Is it someone you know or a competitor you need to report to the review site?

Knowing this information can help you determine the best course of action for responding to them. For example, if the reviewer is a loyal customer, then you may want to take extra steps to try and make things right with them. On the other hand, if they’re a new visitor who has never been to your business before, then your approach may be different.

Responding Promptly & Professionally

The key to handling negative reviews is responding promptly and professionally. Make sure that you take the time to read the review thoroughly and understand what the customer is trying to say before responding. Once you have read their review carefully, craft an appropriate response that addresses their concerns while also maintaining a friendly and professional tone. If possible, offer a solution or apology as well; this will show them that you care about making things right with them and value their feedback.

Learning from Mistakes & Moving Forward

Finally, it’s important to remember that bad reviews can provide valuable insight into where your business could improve or what areas need more attention from management or staff members. Use these reviews as an opportunity for growth by taking note of any trends or patterns in customer feedback and addressing any issues head-on before they become bigger problems down the line. By learning from mistakes and using bad reviews as an opportunity for growth, businesses can ensure that future experiences are better for everyone involved, customers included!

Brand Reputation is Key

Bad reviews are something every business must learn how to manage in order to protect its reputation online and keep customers happy in the long run. Understanding your audience is essential when crafting an appropriate response; make sure that whatever response you give remains professional yet understanding of their concerns at all times.

Finally, use these experiences as opportunities for growth by taking note of any trends or patterns in customer feedback and addressing any issues head-on before they become bigger problems down the line. With patience, practice, and dedication companies can master both managing bad reviews as well as turning dissatisfied customers into happy ones.

6 Ways To Optimize Your Blogs For Better Ranking

Writing and uploading blogs to your site is one of the best ways to boost your ranking on Google. According to SEMRush, in 2021, 92% of content marketers used blog posts as part of their marketing strategy, showing just a significant amount of spreading the word that it is your brand or business. However, if you’re not adhering to best practices, your blog content creation efforts might be wasted. Take a look at these six ways you can optimise your blogs.

Make Sure Google Is Indexing Your Pages

Person typing on keyboardBy adding a blog to your website, you can increase traffic by up to 434%, according to Tech Client. Indexed pages are website pages that have been visited by Google, analysed and then added to their archived pages. Having only a small percentage of indexed pages will lower ranking and lose valuable traffic. You can check that your site has been indexed by searching for a page. If your page is nowhere to be seen, it hasn’t yet been indexed.

Learn how to index your blogs here.

Write Compelling Meta Descriptions.

Meta descriptions tell users what your blog is about, encouraging them to click and read the piece in full. Write a duff one, and Google won’t know what to do with it. By writing an accurate meta description, you’ll increase your organic traffic, resulting in more readers. Make sure you answer the question your blog is trying to resolve within the meta description and keep it to 160 characters.

Observe The Best Times To Post Your Content On Social Media Channels

Calendar and clock

Different social media channels have other optimum posting times, so make sure you’re aware of these before sharing your blog across your socials. Check out Sprout’s article on the best times to post here.

Add Alt Tags To Images.

You may have heard of alt tags, also referred to as alt text. When an image fails to load, written content displays in place of an image. Having alt tags in place helps describe the images to visually impaired readers and provides Google with more detailed information about the image, making for a higher ranking. Some the things to consider when writing your alt text include:
– Make sure you write your alt tags so that Google makes sense of how the image relates to a given blog post.
– Don’t go stuffing it with keywords – this will only lead to a penalty from Google.
– Keep your alt text to under 125 characters.

Have Someone Proof Your Work

2 people reading blogHaving a second pair of eyes read over a blog is a sensible step to lift you above your competition. Spelling and grammar mistakes risk damaging the credibility of your brand and convey a degree of laziness.

If you’re not able to have a physical set of eyes review your blogs, why not download a programme like Grammarly, Ginger or ProWritingAid? With Grammarly Premium, you can double-check that your blog isn’t plagiarising work already in Google, eliminating your possibility of incurring a penalty.

Use Keywords Correctly

Once you’ve identified the keywords and phrases you wish to target, include these strategically within your blog.
Some best practices to adhere to include:
– Add your keyword or phrase to your blog title, URL, first paragraph and meta description.
– Include your keywords or phrases a few times in the body of your text. Make sure your text reads like it’s meant for human eyes – Google hates content that’s been specifically engineered to please it rather than the user. This is known as Black Hat SEO, which should be avoided in the interests of the long-term success of your online marketing efforts.

If you don’t have the time to put the above into practice, why not get in touch with us here at Caliston. We’re veterans at creating compelling and SEO-rich blogs that generate leads for our clients and boost their brand identity and reputation.

Contact us to receive a no-obligation quote today.

The David and Goliath of Web Design

I have been talking about this subject to small and medium-sized clients for over 15 years. All these people I have spoken to, have the right to aim high. And sometimes this includes mimicking the marketing of large brand names. And it could as well work. But most times, it does not. Here is why.

Trust, Security & Authority

The great difference between a small and relatively unknown brand and a large household name, is trust. Even with a relatively bad reputation an established brand emanates more trust security and authority than any small or medium-size business? The reason why lies in the advertising exposure a large brand gets and all the other brand association factors of having ads on TV, radio and mainstream press.

“If they are that big, they must be doing something right” is what often people say when describing a large business. This automated attribution of trust and authority is something that small and medium-sized businesses rarely enjoy. And if they do, they often evolve into big brands eventually.

Trust

Trust is a key element in a business-client relationship. Without it, no relationship can ever form. Whilst large brand command trust because of years of promotion, exposure and awareness, smaller brands have to take extraordinary steps, to reach just a fraction of trust. In short, they have to work at it hard.

Web Design is key to ensure that the consumer is trusting the brand from a quick visit to the website. Speed is of the essence. Trust building online might mean 3-15 seconds to convince a consumer that the website is trustworthy. A large established brand does not need this. Most small to medium-size businesses are in great need of these elements.

Security

Security or the feeling of security might sound synonymous to trust, it does however contain a number of elements that are distinct and critical. Security is particularly important in E-commerce settings when a user is about to use a payment processing system. But it also applies to all other situations where the handing over of personal data takes place.

Authority

Authority is perhaps one of the hardest elements to define. It is also a highly desirable brand trait that only very few brands in the world enjoy. As such, it is also extremely tough to acquire and maintain. Authority is such a highly sought after trait and the reason why brands invest so much money and effort in authority building.

Conclusion

Big brands and small brands have different aspirations, separate goals and different characteristics. Trying to cure all patients with one drug rarely works. Similarly in marketing, designing a small business or big brand website, poses its own challenges with different characteristics, goals and methods to achieve the required result.

 

10 Branding Tips for a Stronger Brand

Luckily for you, we love to help, so we’ve compiled a list of our top branding tips!

Remember, 86% of consumers feel that authenticity is integral to their buying decisions, and branding makes your consumers realise how authentic you truly are.

What is branding?

Successful branding is more than just a combination of colours and logos. It’s about your overall appearance, voice, reputation, and impression you make on customers when they think of your brand.

Good branding will let your customers know your core values and what you offer them.

One of the keys to great branding is consistency. Spend a while developing a branding guideline and sharing it with your colleagues. Make sure they know how important it is to follow.

A Brand-Building Strategy

Building a brand strategy is something you need to realise is a long-term game. Essentially, it’s a blueprint that gives your brand a clear direction.

Things to consider when creating a brand-building strategy:

  • Who are you? Make a statement about who you are – if you aren’t sure who you are as a brand, your branding will seem inconsistent and vague.
  • What makes you different? Make sure you recognise your uniqueness. Write down why customers should choose you instead of other brands.
  • Make a mission statement for your company. This is vital. Your mission statement tells you, and others, why your company exists – what is your end goal?
  • What are your brand values? Your values guide your internal strategy and how you connect with customers on the outside.
  • Who is your ideal customer? There is no point in a marketing strategy or branding if you don’t keep in mind who you want to attract.

Make your brand recognisable.

Many people believe that your brand is all about eye-catching images and great titles, but it’s really about creating a connection between the name of your business and the services/items you offer.

An excellent place to start is to establish a basic understanding of who you are and why you are offering what you’re offering.

Create Mission and Vision Statements for Your Brand

Mission statements are often overlooked when creating a brand. But it’s vital to consider your company’s objectives and how you’ll benefit your target market.

This is a fluid task, however, as companies often grow and change, and, often, with that comes a change in your mission statement.

Your vision statement will outline your long-term goals and objectives, outlining the direction you want your company to go in.

Know Your Audience

It’s essential to do your research on your audience. It’s worth the effort to invest in some proper audience analysis. It will help you understand the market situation and know how to avoid risk.

Your marketing success depends on knowing your customers and where/when to reach them.

Ask your customers questions

Knowing your target audience is vital to building a great brand, but it’s hard to do that without talking to them.

Much like an old-school focus group, ask your customers questions! Create a Google Form to use as a survey and ask them what the positive parts of your business are and where you can improve.

Consistency Is Key

We’ve spoken about this above, but it’s the most crucial step to a great brand. People won’t understand your brand or company if it looks different across different channels.

Consistent messaging and keeping your channels in sync are essential. This means your socials, websites and any other platforms you may use. Get working on that branding guideline today!

In conclusion

You could include many other aspects in your branding strategy, including your logo, fonts and colour palette, but the above steps are crucial to building a great and lasting brand!

Obviously, this takes time, so it’s worthwhile to call in an experienced marketing and branding agency that can do the work for you!

Contact us today to see how we can help lift your brand to new levels!

5 Important Steps For Perfect Local SEO

The points below are admitedly not enough alone to ensure stellar performance in local SEO. They should however give you a boost and the confidence to continue your optimisation efforts.

1 Optimise your Google My Business profile

You really need to spend enough time going through everything possible in the Google My Business interface until your profile is fully optimised. Then it has to be updated frequently. Ensure that there are enough images and the information is accurate. Doing some keyword research and applying what you found, will also help.

2 Create Business Listings

Creating Business Listings in the most important Business Directories is a lot harder than it sounds. This is because some directories could hurt your local SEO, whilst others do wonderful things to boost it. Create a list of valuable business directories and by updating them you can boost your local

3 Keep your address consistent across all profiles

This might seem trivial, but we assure you, it is not. Your business address should be consistent on all third-party websites. The more consistency you get, the better your local SEO results.

4 Manage your reputation

Many companies neglect their reviews until they catch up with them. Negative reviews can create a huge problem for a business that relies online for the majority of it’s revenue. So it is highly advisable to always keep an eye on your reviews. Replying, whether positive or negative is also highly recommended. A proactive strategy is always the best.

5 Create Landing Pages For Your Targeted Locations

Without this point, it will be hard to maximise the potential of your local traffic. Landing pages play an important part, in attracting the correct audience for your business. Try and make them as user-friendly as possible.

 

For the above and much more, get in touch with one of our experts to find out how we can help you perfect your local SEO.

 

Local SEO Tips

10 tips to drive better email marketing results 

When it comes to digital marketing, you will be hard-pressed to find a more efficient and impactful channel than email marketing. 

To that end, we will be looking at some lesser-known tips and tricks you can employ to drive better email marketing results and an increase in your Return On Investment (ROI).

DO NOT USE A ‘NO-REPLY’ SENDER ADDRESS

The main reason for not using a ‘no reply’ address is the detachment it creates. A user is more likely to open and be receptive to an email that comes from a name or an actual person. If they spot an email that looks like it came through an automation process, then they will automatically ignore it as well. 

SIGN OF WITH AN E-SIGNATURE

Every single email that your brand or service sends should come with an email signature at the end. Even if your mail content is a newsletter or a more holistic press release, it pays massive dividends to sign your email as an individual rather than a company. In fact, a 2019 study found that 41% of marketers include a signature for branding, visibility and easier engagement. Again, this links to the idea of making an email seem like it was sent by an actual person, rather than a faceless company. The signature is a marker for attention. 

MAX OF 3 FONT TYPES 

Research has shown that less cluttered emails and ones with a clean regimented look are far more likely to be opened, read through and clicked on. It is for this reason that we recommend only using a max of three different font types in the copy of your email and never using sizes before 10-point or above 12-point. By keeping your font types to a minimum and a size at a considered stage, you ensure that your email is readable for all readers across a range of devices. 

STRUCTURE: MAIN MESSAGE AND CTA ABOVE THE FOLD

When we refer to above the fold, we are referring to the email copy that a reader will see before they have to scroll down; essentially, it is the first information a visitor will see when they open your email. You need to include the main message of the email and a Call-to-Action (CTA) above the fold to ensure that your message and goal is achieved and can be achieved instantly. 

In fact, using eye-tracking data the Neilsen Norman Group found that despite a growing scrolling behaviour due to social networks such as Instagram and Twitter, consumers spend 57% of their time viewing above the fold content. Make sure your message and CTAs are the attention grabbers as soon as an email is opened. 

PERSONALISED GREETING

If you open an email and it starts with ‘Dear Customer’ or ‘Dear Member’, are you more or less likely to carry on reading than if it directly named you? Personalised content is one of the only ways of enhancing the engagement rate of emails. There are many automation systems that can convert a mailing list and sheet into a personalisation process for your email greetings. This isn’t as time consuming as it seems as the body of the email stays the same whilst an automated process uses your mailing list to plug in your customer’s names. 

DOWN TO THE PIXEL

We also recommend keeping your email within the size parameters of 500 to 650 pixels wide. This is because if your email template is bigger than 650 pixels wide, it will not show up properly leading to users having to scroll both horizontally and vertically to view your email. And, if it falls below 500 pixels wide, you will be sending an email template that looks extremely unprofessional, thus damaging the user experience. 

MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE YOUR LOGO 

Again, this may seem like we are stating the obvious but you need to make sure your brand/service’s logo is clearly visible at the top of your email. This is because the logo is key to engagement and brand recall – a major aspect of marketing. In fact, a 2020 study by Red Sift found that brand recall increases by 18% after a five-second exposure to a logo in an email. What’s even more telling is that the likelihood of purchase increases by 34% when a logo is in an email. So, remember, to always include your logo. 

YOUR OFFER IS YOUR SUBJECT 

Many marketers make the mistake of writing a generic subject line explaining what the email actually is. This is entirely the wrong thing to do. You need to make your offer in your subject line as in some cases this is the only thing a user will see, especially if they do not open your email. So, if you’re a salon offering a discount for Valentine’s Day, your subject should be ‘Find out how you can get amazing salon discounts this Valentine’s Day.’ However, you must make sure the subject line remains simple and casual without feeling like you are bombarding readers with more information than they can handle. 

DESIGN SYNERGY BETWEEN EMAIL AND LANDING PAGE

Your email template design and brand’s landing page need to have a synergy in their layout, tone and language. A user must not feel confused when they click through an email and come to your landing page. They must look like they work in tandem with each other or a user may think they’ve opened a spam email and block your address forever. By keeping your layout similar across your channels, you create customer trust and a stronger brand image.

TEST, TEST, TEST

This isn’t a brand-new tip or but testing needs to be a part of every single email marketer’s checklist. Even if it is a quick test where you send it to a friend or a colleague, you need to know how your email will look on a variety of platforms and devices. Also make sure to check your emails across different browsers as well. You don’t want to send an email that doesn’t display properly, as this only damages your brand’s image and reputation. 

Email Marketing in Digital Marketing

Even as new tools and features pop up week to week for marketers to fold into their campaigns, email marketing still remains the most engaging and impactful form of marketing. This tried, tested and reliable marketing tool can really help you and your company get the most out of your customer base and build a trustworthy brand image.

Caliston’s Digital Marketing team can help you devise an email marketing strategy to take your digital presence to the next level.