Welcome to podcast #46! The world of online marketing is ever-changing so we’re going to take a look at the things you should be thinking about in terms of best practice. Things online change so fast that sometimes you need to go back and re-learn something you learnt just 6 months ago!
What Did Andrew and Heather Learn This Week?
Heather learnt that a lot of issues with web design seem to occur in Internet Explorer. This tends to be because many people are running old versions. She researched what versions of Internet Explorer we should be supporting with our websites and found that Internet Explorer 8 and above is the standard. Where people are using IE7 or below, this tends to not be supported anymore. This is good to keep in mind if people are telling you they have trouble with your website – ask them what browser they are using to view it and what version!
Andrew learnt more about the Facebook newsfeed; it filters more than 1500 possible stories when deciding what to display on your newsfeed. With the Facebook algorithm, only 20% of possible stories that could be shown on your newsfeed are actually shown. You especially will not see posts from friends who you have not interacted with on Facebook. Remember to engage with them, or favorite them (using the little star) to make sure you see the stories of those you want to see!
One of the best practices you will always here about is putting images in your posts to drive engagement. Because everyone is now doing it, you will find it is not as effective anymore. This means that you need to be very selective with the type of image you share. Do research to see what photos are engaged with or shared the most and post this type. The other thing people are having success with is photo collages. You should also make sure the image is self-explanatory – people shouldn’t need to read extra text to work out what it means.
If you have a great picture that is working and getting shared a lot, there is nothing wrong with sharing that across your other platforms. Use it in a blog post and on other social media accounts.
Group tagging – not cool! The only thing you are doing is driving them nuts and probably getting yourself blocked. Make sure you are tagging people in your pics for the right reasons (ie. they are actually in the photo or directly related to the post!).
Studies have suggested that posts with emoticons 😉 receive higher engagement than those without. Bear in mind that they should be used based on appropriateness for your brand image and audience. Would a Lawyer’s page use emoticons in a post?
Hashtags are also being used more now but make sure you use them properly. They need to be relevant to the topic and not over-used – 3 as a maximum in a post is probably the best practice! A recent report from Edgerank found that posts with no hashtags were more viral on Facebook. They are more commonly used in Twitter and Instagram. We tend to only use them in terms of research (e.g. searching #facebookdown if there is a problem we want to know about) or when we want to track a certain topic rather than using them a lot in posts. We think constant use of hashtags tends to scream #marketer! (or #teenager). What do you think? We would be interested to hear your comments…
With the use of LinkedIn, think about etiquette. Rather than blanket asking all of your contacts to recommend you, try going and recommending other people first, you will often find that they will reciprocate. Out of interest, when we receive these blanket requests we are going to reply and survey people as to how well people responded to their request.
Finally on social media, questions are still good to garner engagement, but make sure you put them at the end of the post rather than the start. This is leaving people with something to do rather than breaking the post up with a question then more information. People might have forgotten you asked a question at the start!
Sliders were all the trend for quite a while on websites, however because we are going to responsive, mobile friendly sites these are not so effective as they are very difficult to do well for mobile. The other thing is that suddenly everyone was using them so they lose their impact. People are now tending to scroll right past them. Think in terms of getting to the point fast with your website so people can see right away.
In terms of offering downloads on your website, you no longer need to have ‘download Adobe Acrobat’ for PDF documents. Most computers come out now with that already installed. You should also know that each browser deals with downloads differently. If you are inviting people to download from an email, you should direct them to a website rather than include the PDF etc in the email.
Cool Tool of The Week
We love BrowserStack.com as you can check out what your website looks like on different browsers. This is great to use if you’re having your website built by others too – make sure your website looks good in any browser!