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First lets look at the negatives

We all hear the negatives of social media whether its potential hacking and scams or addiction and over use of screen time to possible health and insecurity issues.

We are constantly hearing about how bad social media is for us and how it is killing the art of communication.

However, what about the positive aspects of social media?

The sharing of information has to be a good thing as we are more connected with the outside world and plights of others than we ever were before and that information is instant the minute it happens as oppose to waiting days to hear about it. It also creates awareness of new technology and businesses as well as endless possibilities and opportunities.

Then we come to the art of communication and how its apparently killing how humans interact with each other. While I get this, I think it’s also important to point out just how it also helps to build communities with like minded people that have the same interests as yourself. It gives us the ability to discuss issues and beliefs with a wider audience, which surely has to be a good thing. We are also able to communicate with people sometimes quicker than we ever did before.

Social Media also keeps communication live with those that may be miles away and even overseas. The way in which we can all keep up to date with children, friends and grandchildren now is beyond anything that was around 15 years ago.

Personal experience

I experienced this myself recently late last year when I had to head back to the UK for my mother who was coming to the end of a 6-year battle with cancer. While I headed over the rest of the family stayed behind until they needed to come over. While I was there, I was able to keep in touch with everyone back here in NZ and keep up to date with everything that was going on, while also being able to keep up with work (despite the time difference).

When the inevitable happened and the funeral was organised back in my home town there was an obvious need to make people aware of the date and time as well as informing everyone of what had happened. The quickest and easiest way to do this was through social media. The ability to reach a large number of people in a short space of time was amazing as oppose to going through address books and scribbled down phone numbers. The posts were able to be shared as well giving people the opportunity to comment and come together and share their stories and condolences.

As I was heading to my home town for this and the wake was to be held in my old local pub it seemed only right to kill two birds with one stone and to get in touch with old friends and catch up while I was there. The best way to again get in touch with a large number of people in a short space of time and organise a get together had to be social media. The result was a great day of saying goodbye, stories, catch ups and obviously a few beers to top it off.

Lets keep it positive

So, in short, we hear the negatives, but do we look at and talk about the positives enough? Let’s be honest we all get an emotional kick out of the feel-good stories and videos that we see on a daily basis on our screens and we wouldn’t see them or know about a number of worldwide initiatives unless they were shown to us on our phones, tablets or desktop.

It’s not about the effect of social media, but about educating people and our children about how to use it, how to get a balance and how to use it responsibly. Social media is just another evolution in our technological journey the same as the TV and the Radio, so embrace it, use it, enjoy it and share and embrace the positives.

Want to know more on how to get the specialists in for your social media and marketing? Call our team at Live Wire Media today

– Contact Live Wire Media Today!

The post The Positive Side of Social Media appeared first on Live Wire Media.

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Are you spending your time on the right things?

We all know that the failure rate of new businesses is high not just in New Zealand, but worldwide. There are a number of reasons why businesses fail within the first one to two years such as no business plan, market changes, competition, financial reasons etc. However, one main reason for a new business to fail is that the owner is trying to do everything.

You’ve heard the term that you are the captain of the ship. The captain’s job is to steer the ship and ensure that it stays on course and gets to its destination. Picture this and imagine if the captain was also responsible for the maintenance of the ship as well as the fuel, mending holes, cleaning and feeding the crew. While the captain has been busy doing all these other jobs the ship has veered off course and is now heading towards an iceberg and it’s all too late.

To make sure that your business stays on course and gets to the destination that you originally set out to get to you need to focus on the important things and to do what you do well. The chances are that you started out the business as you have certain skills and are passionate about what you do or a product or service that you provide and you probably also wanted a work life balance that suited you.

Are you building the flat pack desk?

Most entrepreneurs never pictured themselves installing the new computer system or sitting there with the new flat pack desk instructions or doing the accounts through the night, but let’s be honest this happens. The problem arises when this becomes the norm and you spend most of your time putting out small fires and not focuses on what you do well and what you offer to your clients.

Your job is to grow the business and to work on the business and not always in the business. It’s a balancing act which can be made so much easier when you start looking at what you can farm out to service providers and yes obviously one of those things is your social media management.

What are you worth?

An exercise worth doing is to work out your own personal hourly rate in other words what is your time worth? Once you’ve done this its then easier to remind yourself each time you get stuck doing something that isn’t your forte what your rate is and whether what you are currently doing is helping you to hit your hourly rate. If the answer is no then you know that you should be getting someone else to do it for you.

So many people will sit for hours a day trying to figure things out for themselves, which is admirable, but also a waste of time when you are trying to run a business. Social Media is one of these areas that sees so many people giving it a go. Ultimately you have to ask as to how long do you give it s go before you hand it over to a specialist allowing you to steer the ship and avoid that iceberg meaning that you get to your destination and don’t add yourself to the list of statistics when people start talking about failing businesses.

Want to know more on how to get the specialists in for your social media and marketing? Call our team at Live Wire Media today

– Contact Live Wire Media Today!

The post Be the Captain of Your Ship appeared first on Live Wire Media.

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Social Media Trends, Google Updates and Forecasting – 2018 in review

Well, 6 months in, and 2018 has already thrown us a few social media trends and online marketing curve balls. Although nothing is ever a complete shock when it comes to online marketing trends (we can pretty much forecast a general pattern of online consumer behaviours, and the algorithms that follow suit), it does pay to keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground – so here’s what we’ve noticed over the past 6 months, and this is what we think it will mean for the next 6!

GOOGLE NEWS: Broad Core Algorithm Updates in 2018

As scary as they may sound, broad core algorithm updates are simply a regular part of the ‘fine tuning’ process which enables Google to refine their search result process. These broad core algorithm updates usually occur several times throughout the year, whereas the standard core updates can occur multiple times a day every day. So, you can see that tracking Google’s algorithms throughout the year is more a case of identifying a large change within the many, many smaller changes that are constantly being made. So far in 2018 (as of June, that is) we have identified 4 major broad core algorithm updates – if you’d like to know dates, names and effects of these algorithm changes, we suggest you read the excellent info contained in Moz’s Google Algorithm Change pages. [https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change]

One of these changes was the Mobile-First Index roll out in March, which we all knew was coming eventually. I mean, who doesn’t use their phone to find stuff these days? Although Google is rolling out the changes in a graduating sense, the end result will be the same for all online search marketers: your website needs to be optimised for primarily mobile use. There is a lot more going on under the surface, of course, including continuing penalties for those horrible backlinks we never liked, and of course nasty keyword stuffing (who even does that anymore? Please say you don’t. Please). Google is also starting to sit up and take notice of the redundant content that a lot of marketers are forcing onto ecommerce sites, usually at the foot end of an otherwise perfectly acceptable page. At the end of the day, we can take these algorithm changes and make some valid forecasting for the next 6 months; giving us a head start on ranking factors.

Remember: Google is learning from us: not the other way around… So, if it annoys you, and you click away, then you can be sure it will be reflected in an update soon.

Social Media Trends in 2018: Gen Z and Influencer Marketing

First of all: Generation Z are calling the social media shots now. It’s official: Millennials and Gen Z’s are the core target market, the main end users, and the highest grossing online purchasers in 2018. Why is this relevant? Because their online habits are driving all of the online changes we’re seeing (or about to see). For example: Gen Z are the first generation to purchase based on social influence over price point, according to RetailDive. [https://www.retaildive.com/] This has led to an influx of influencer marketing, with celebrities getting in behind brands and working their charm on social media. This has also directly influenced other platforms, with Instagram offering click-to-buy options, and Snapchat, WhatsApp, Messenger and WeChat becoming common communication tools for brands.

YouTube is fast becoming the online drug of choice for Millennials and Gen Z’s, with forecasters predicting as much as 80% of online traffic being YouTube focused by 2020. Augmented reality and ephemeral content (such as SnapChat) is gaining traction, while live streaming satisfies the human contact required by new age internet junkies.

Where’s it all heading? LWM forecasting for 2018-19

So where are all these threads leading to? We’ve got a few ideas:

  • Social media will be more about influencers and stories
  • Brands will be getting down to a more personal level with their customers
  • Video will be trumping all other online traffic
  • Voice queries will far outweigh typed commands
  • Mobile search will overrun desktop or tablet use
  • Live streaming and AR will continue to gain traction
  • Google will prioritise video results and mobile-optimised results
  • Organic results will ALWAYS outperform contrived SEO work

And there we have the mid-year 2018 social media and Google algorithm trend analysis – with a taste of our personal forecasting thrown in for good measure. Want to know how to ride the wave of online marketing in 2018 and beyond? Call our team at Live Wire Media today.

contact Live Wire Media today!

The post Social Media Trends & Forecasting: 2018 appeared first on Live Wire Media.

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Do you share images in your social media marketing? Do you use downloaded images for promoting your business on social media? Do you get your images from google search?

If you answered yes to the above then have you ever wondered if it’s OK to use the image for social media that you’re posting or if maybe you are violating copyright laws?

Let’s be honest It’s pretty hard when people are telling you that you should be spending at least an hour a day running your social media and posting on some platforms at least 6 times a day to then take time to grab your phone or camera to take the right shot or to start trawling through stock photos to get the right image.

Cue our good old friend Google. There you go a couple of clicks and a right click and save and you’ve got the perfect image to market your next event.

In a world of sharing content and the ease of which we can access images it is all to easy to just grab an image and to use it for your own marketing and promotions without thinking about who owns it or whether it has any copyright restrictions regarding rights and usage. There is a reason that some images you see have watermarks all over them (trust me we’ve seen these used, even with the watermark left on).

Copyright what’s that?

  • Copyright covers a variety of categories, including books, poetry, articles, music, lyrics, artwork, jewellery, photos, websites, blogs, movies, television, videos and photographs.
  • Copyright protection is automatic, meaning the work is presumed to be yours. Although many people use the copyright symbol © as a way of saying, “Hey, this stuff is all mine!”, the symbol is no longer legally required
  • This basically means that with this protection, you get certain rights. For example, no one else can use your work without permission.
  • The easiest way to think about copyright protection is to remember that If you didn’t create it, you may not be able to use it (even if you give the work’s creator credit).

All social media platforms have different terms as far as content is concerned and so its worth checking the terms for the platforms you are using. For example, it’s pretty much expected to share (retweet) someone’s tweet on Twitter and it is normally ok to re-pin on Pinterest (but not always) and as far as Instagram is concerned its terms are against reposting content, however obviously the nature of the platform means that most users want their images shared.

Well what if I give credit to the author or photographer surely that’s ok isn’t it?

Well in a word no it isn’t. Take it from me as my background is photography. Granted this will sometimes help and at least shows that you have good intentions, however unless you have actually gotten permission from the creator then you are still in violation of copyright and infringement especially if you are using something for commercial purposes. I’ve had it happen in the past and the culprits had no idea that they were in the wrong.

So how do I get around this?

The safest way is to obviously create your own content as that way you own it and can do what you wish with what you’ve produced. That however is not always possible and not all of us have the creative streak running through us to be able to produce stunning images that grab people’s attention.

So, then the next step is to look at using stock images. Now I know some of you may now be going well that’s it he’s lost it, why would I want an image of some plastic looking staged image that is obviously not mine and its cost me a fortune to use it. Well stock imagery has come a long way and there are a multitude of sites out there with easy to use search tools to find exactly what you want and need. One tip here though is to also ensure that you have made sure that you’ve selected the right usage licence for the image that you’ve chosen even on some royalty free stock sites. There are also a number of other online marketing tools out there that also give you access to various images for promotional material. You should also always use the advanced search options in Google to check for rights.

Conclusion:

Now I’m no lawyer, but next time you need to grab an image to post to social media to promote your next big thing then take a second and think about whether you have the rights to use that image. If you don’t then trust me it’s a lot easier to take a little more time to search for the right image that gives you the rights as well as paying a nominal fee for the rights than it is to be hit with a huge copyright infringement bill from someone’s lawyers. Remember as well that as you are (or should be) actively promoting your pages then the chances of being caught out increase each time.

Its tricky and even the law struggles to keep up with social media let alone the users, but if you stop and check first then you are more likely to be safe. Educate yourself about copyright and the terms of each platform and ask yourself if you would be happy with someone using one of your images to promote themselves and possibly even a competitor?

Looking for online marketing and social media advice you can really trust? Ask us anything: we’re passionate about helping businesses grow online.

contact Live Wire Media today!

The post Using images for social media appeared first on Live Wire Media.

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Have you placed all your eggs in one basket?

With the rise of social media, we see more and more businesses turning to Social Media to get their message out there and to increase their brand awareness, launch a new product or to just engage with their target market.

For this we applaud those that are looking to find new ways to engage and communicate and to involve their clients. However recently we are seeing more and more businesses relying on just Social Media to get their message out there. When this happens it’s a case of STOP as Social Media is not going to solve all your problems just on its own and show us your strategy and plan.

Marketing and Business Plan

Now don’t get me wrong Social Media obviously has its place and is one of the best ways to reach your target market and still one of the most cost effective, but where does it fit into your marketing plan?

Marketing plan you say, what’s that? You would be amazed at the amount of people that haven’t sat down and put together a media and marketing plan as part of their original business plan when they first look to start up the business. New Zealand has a high rate of new businesses failing in the first 12 months and a lot of this is down to failing to plan.

Many businesses haven’t even sat down and put together a business plan looking at their market, target market, competition, vision, marketing and advertising and revenue etc. If you are one of these as you sit reading this then do me a favour and stop everything and go and put a plan together of how you are going to achieve your business goals.

Starting a business is not a case of being Kevin Costner in Filed of Dreams where it’s a case of “build it and they will come” (I know I’m showing my age right there in that one statement).

Within your business plan needs to be a robust section on marketing and advertising and how you are going to take your message to market and what percentage of your profits you are going to need to put to one side to achieve this. If it doesn’t then you are going to end up like so many that turn to Social Media, start posting every now and again and then sit there in the hope that people will purchase and when they don’t then tell everyone that Social Media doesn’t work for their market.

So where do you start?

The first starting point is to understand your customer and to define your market, then research them carefully to learn what they value and what their habits are.

This is where your avatar should come in (no not some blue alien from another planet). Your avatar should be a clear picture of who your ideal customer is, give them a name if you want to and have a picture of them on your office wall showing that its Jo who is ex old with 2.4 kids and drives a blah, blah and likes to eat out as well as ……..

You may well end up with a couple of avatars for different areas of your business or for different packages or products which is fine.

Once you have this clear picture in your head and you’ve done your research, which should include doing research from those that are maybe already using you then you can start to put together a media mix based on what they listen to or read or watch etc. It will also give you a clear indication as to which Social Media platforms you should be on to reach your market. You can then start to look at the cost to advertise on the relevant platforms, which then means that you can start looking at your budget spend for your marketing and advertising.

So, what is the Mix?

The first mistake to avoid is what I call the blunder bust tactic, which is to basically take the scatter gun approach and place your message across just about every form of media you can. To give you an idea there are around 90+ different ways to advertise and get your message out there in the market place, so don’t go there. You need to go with the .22 approach, which is to hit your target right between the eyes with targeted and well-placed media messages on relevant platforms for your avatars.

Look at what media works well together and compliments each other and pick 3 – 4 platforms that you can monitor and you know will get in front of your target market. Social Media should obviously be one of those that you pick, so a good example might be Social Media, Radio and Outdoor Media or Social Media, Radio, Digital and TV etc, etc.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

You’ve heard this saying plenty of times and it applies perfectly to advertising, Marketing and Media. You simply cannot place all of your time and dollars into one avenue and platform and expect results as there is no way that just one form of media will hit your target market, no matter who you are trying to reach. I cannot emphasize this enough and those that know me will tell you that it is something that I’ve been preaching for my whole career.

So, put simply, make a plan, research your target market, get a budget set in place and then take your message to market using the right platforms for your clients.

Want to know more on how to put a media mix together? Call our team at Live Wire Media today

contact Live Wire Media today!

The post The Media Mix appeared first on Live Wire Media.

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Are you still chasing likes and followers?

If you answered yes to the headline of this blog, then you need to stop what you are doing and keep reading.

First of all, some of you may be asking as to why I’m writing about this topic now when it’s been covered in the past? Well, the simple answer is that we still come across those that are obsessed by how many people like or follower their page etc.

Now I know how hard this trap of chasing likes and followers can be as it’s pleasurable when you see the number of people following you going up and it’s an easily quantifiable number that gives you instant gratification.

This, however, has to stop and stop now as you are focusing on the wrong thing and you are measuring the wrong numbers.

Do you really know what you like?

Let me ask you when was the last time that you had a look at the pages that you like in your own Facebook profile? I’d hazard a guess that if you headed over there now, then you’d probably scroll through most of them wondering when you even liked that page.

Before typing this, I did the very same exercise and would admit to not knowing or remembering half of the pages that I apparently like.

What does this tell us? Well it tells us that we are pretty click happy when it comes to the like button, but more importantly, it tells us that we aren’t actually engaged or engaging with half of the pages that we like, so those pages that think that they have a true fan in us are wrong. This isn’t just a Facebook thing either as we are the same across all platforms. How many times have you scrolled through Instagram and seen a post from someone or a company that you have (in your mind) never heard of? Their the one that you liked at 2am on Saturday morning.

So, if this is the case, and so far you are still with me, then we have to ask as you look at your business pages and profiles “how many of your followers and people that like your page are actually true believers” and how many of them are truly your target market or even in your market?

Its not all doom and gloom

Now before you slit your wrists it’s not all doom and gloom as obviously the more people that you have then the greater chance of organic reach, however as algorithms change (constantly) then it needs to be all about engagement, interactions and building trust with your end users and still the best way to do this is through good and engaging content. Once you earn a consumer’s trust, they are far more likely to do business with you, engage with your brand, help spread the word and recommend you to others.

So how do you build that trust? If you haven’t got a strategy, then that’s your first port of call then start looking at your content such as credible third-party articles and reviews as well as reviews from users and self-branded content. You need to be seen as a leader in your field of expertise and become the go to page for your target market to get the information that they need and require to make a decision.

Talk and have a conversation with those that engage. I cannot emphasize this enough in that you need to build a community around your page and be seen as a real person or at least real human beings that care. Remember that there are two words in social media, so be social, but also remember that it is part of your media strategy.

More importantly, have fun. If you aren’t having fun with your social media then you are doing it wrong

Want to know how to engage with your target audience and have fun along the way? Call our team at Live Wire Media today.

contact Live Wire Media today!

The post Stop Chasing Likes & Followers appeared first on Live Wire Media.

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Video for Social Media: when you’re scared to get in front of the camera

Wondering how you can reach more of your target market without paying through the nose? Video for social media is the answer. Your customers are demanding a more personal experience – and what better way to meet their needs than video marketing? Your target market gets to see a real slice of your brand personality, in less time than it takes to check the weather forecast. Think you’re not cut out to be a video star or scared of the camera? Check out the real criteria for successful video marketing: you might just be surprised at what it takes to push your brand on video!

Be real. Be different. Be imperfect!

Assuming we’re all Kiwi’s reading this (if your not then Google is about to be your friend), hands up who remembers the Michael Hill Jewelers advertisements? And the Mad Butcher advertisements? And the ‘Spray and Walk Away’ guys? Yes – that’s right, these stalwarts of homegrown NZ advertising were actually light-years ahead of their time. The concept of slightly annoying, personal advertising was yet to take center stage in NZ, but we’re here now – and if Sir Michael Hill had been in his hey-day now, you can be darn sure he would’ve been making personal Facebook videos. Why? Because he understood the value of personal connection in marketing. What made his advertising stand out? The terrible kiwi diction. The awful home-made feel. The obviously self-important center-staged videography. Are we judging? NO! We’re applauding! These are exactly the tactics that have made him a household name – being unafraid to flaunt his personality in front of the camera. Want to gain more traction with your social media advertising? Be you. Be real, be imperfect.

Real time video on Facebook

You might have noticed that Facebook has started veering away from business posts and paid advertising. Widespread panic has set in – however, the reality is actually much more benign, and much more in favour of the Kiwi mentality! Our natural attraction to local businesses, our underlying loyalty to the people we know, and our very ‘kiwi-ness’ gives our businesses a chance to shine with this medium. Get in there and show your clients and customers that you are a real person, with something important for them to know. Real time videos allow your clients to interact in a meaningful way, adding comments as you are recording. You are then able to respond while they are viewing: giving you a true edge in the marketing sphere.

A picture is worth 1000 words. Social media video? So much more!

The human psyche is set up to absorb as much information as possible from as many resources as possible. When we are shown a picture, we infer as much as we can from the surrounds, the colours, the people and the context. With video marketing, businesses are able to inject a massive amount of information into every screenshot; giving their customers what they really need: maximum info, in minimum time. Statistics show that mobile browsers need their advertising to be short, sharp and to the point. Time is all important: your marketing video needs to be under 46 seconds long to gain traction, especially with the mobile market. In fact, if you can’t get your key message across in the first 10 seconds, you need to rethink your strategy. Time is of the essence, and video offers you the best chance to get your message across: think fast, think target market, think target message!

Want to gain more traction with your brand in social media? We’re happy to help with your online video and social media marketing messages! Don’t be afraid to think outside of the square with your brand – contact Live Wire Media today!

The post Importance Of Video For Social Media appeared first on Live Wire Media.

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GDPR: will the new data collection rules affect your NZ business?

If you operate a business which currently relies on personal data collection from overseas, then the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will have a resounding effect on your business. Knowing what the GDPR is and understanding the 7 core GDPR principles involved could mean the difference between a hefty lawsuit and a thriving online business in 2019!

What is the GDPR?

Basically, the GDPR is legislature to assist with online privacy. We all know that privacy is pretty much a fluid these days, thanks largely to online data mining and algorithms used to track online behaviour. This is something that many millennials have simply accepted as par for the course: however, Generation Z isn’t taking it so well. The result? General Data Protection Regulation. With this new legislation – coming into effect throughout Europe – any personal data derived from the internet will need to be collected according to a very specific set of rules, using an ‘opt-in’ model for data collection. Gone are the days of tracking and analysing online movements; very soon, internet users (in Europe, at least) will be free from remarketing and targeted advertising UNLESS they opt-in.

GDPR & the California Consumer Privacy Act: it’s all coming together

The USA may be following suit, with the California Consumer Privacy Act to be decided by ballot in November 2018. While Google isn’t in favour of the Act, calling it ‘vague and unworkable, Facebook is not in opposition. Of course, after the Cambridge Analytica fiasco which saw data from millions of Facebook users being accessed without their consent, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise!

What does the GDPR mean for NZ businesses?

If you’re currently operating a business in NZ which requires the use of data collected from private or corporate internet users in the EU, then you’ll need to be completely up with the play on how the GDPR works. Basically, the GDPR sets out 7 core principles with regards to the collection of private data:

  • Lawfulness, fairness and transparency
  • Purpose limitation
  • Data minimisation
  • Accuracy
  • Storage limitation
  • Integrity and confidentiality (security)
  • Accountability

The data you collect will need to be proven to have been collected while following these principles: otherwise, you could face a fine of up to 20 million Euro, or 4% of your total worldwide annual turnover – whichever is higher. It really does pay to know your online privacy laws!

It’s our job at LWM to know what’s happening with online marketing:

For more information then check out the following articles

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/principles/

https://www.investopedia.com/news/google-not-facebook-collects-more-data-users/

contact Live Wire Media today!

The post GDPR and how it effects you appeared first on Live Wire Media.

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The importance of being mobile and active over the holidays. More people are using their mobile over the holiday period to search and access information and you need to make sure that you are there right in front of them.

Google expects most websites to be designed for mobile first in 2018; it’s smarter for your online business, smarter for your holiday customers, and smarter for your bottom line!

Ahhhh holidays. It’s time to kick back, relax, soak up the sun and get ready for a couple of weeks with no stress. Who wants to think about work during the holidays? Not you! You do, however, want to check out some local food delivery options – this little bach you’re in might have a full kitchen, but there’s no way you’re keen on cooking while on holiday! No worries, grab your phone and check out the options. Oh – only one food delivery service nearby? Oh well, that’ll have to do then…

The reality is, there are more takeaway and delivery options (in fact, there were 3 nearby) but the other food shops weren’t optimised correctly, and weren’t presented in a mobile first design context. What does this mean exactly? Let’s break it down.

Mobile-first web design: what does it really mean to have a ‘mobile first’ design?

As 99% of our readers will already know, mobile first is a term which describes the designing of a website for a mobile device FIRST, rather than a desktop screen. The difference with designing for a mobile device is – obviously – the size of the visible screen. This screen real estate is getting so small, that many designers are being forced to look at website design in a whole new way. And it’s not just the screen size that changes the browsing experience, but the way we navigate too – no mouse or pointer, but rather a finger-touch responsiveness. Mobile first design is all about simplifying the content into chunks that are easy to digest while on the go, and making relevant content easy to find.

When people use their cellphones or mobile devices to find information on the internet, they want the answers to be within one or two touches away. So, your mobile first web design needs to be clear, it needs to be fast, and it needs to have a very easily recognisable menu structure.

Having a mobile first website for the holiday season

Why are we talking about this concept now, of all times? Because it’s time to take a break. Many of your clients are stepping away from their day-to-day jobs, they’re heading off to the beach or they’re going to visit relatives in different cities. What browser will they have on hand, 24/7? Their phones, of course! If your website isn’t a joy to behold on a mobile screen, then it’s time to rethink your design. Most web developers now have a good handle on how to make mobile first websites – and yes, mobile first IS different from mobile responsive! Mobile responsive is a website design that is initially worked out for a desktop display, but is developed to respond well with mobile screens. They’re great – but they’re not the future. In fact, they’re not even the present. Right now, what we need to be seeing is a more mobile first approach – where a design is created for a mobile screen FIRST, and which then can be easily adapted for viewing on a desktop screen too. It’s a reversal of design ethos, and is taking many designers a fair amount of time to understand. It’s the way of the future however, and it won’t be long before Google starts including mobile first design as a weighting value in it’s algorithms (if it hasn’t already).

Looking for a mobile first design that will keep your holiday clients happy? Chat to our expert team at Live Wire Media – we stay ahead of the curve!

The post Mobile First: Get found Online for the Holiday Season! appeared first on Live Wire Media.

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We’re talking about your business and brand here, so don’t mess around and take shortcuts 

When you’re running your own business, there are often so many costs to think of that social media just takes a back seat. You’re stretched as it is, so do you really need to spend that extra money in getting in the experts for social media? It can’t be that hard, surely – I mean, you manage your own Facebook page, and you know your way around Twitter and Pinterest. What’s the difference?

Quite a lot, actually.

Now – before you jump to any conclusions, we’re not saying you can’t manage your own online business media. Of course, you can: you’re intelligent, you’ve got the ability and you’re certainly motivated enough! So, what’s the difference? Well, quite simply, social media and online marketing for business is a unique skill. Just like your own skillset within your business, the experts in this field know a tonne of tips and tricks, shortcuts and insights that will get you results much faster and gain you traction in a more targeted way.

We meet with new clients on a daily basis who don’t understand the value of expert online media management: this is what we tell them.

Social media management is business marketing

When you have a Facebook page for example for your own personal use, your friends and family will laugh at your posts and share your antics with their friends and relatives, they’ll find it funny when something goes wrong, because they already know you and like you. When you have a Facebook page for your business, your audience won’t be as kind. Facebook for business is a marketing outreach platform for your company: it’s not social sharing as much as it is brand building and trust generation. The marketing strategies you employ with your business Facebook page will impact greatly on how your brand is perceived by your target market: and will have a ripple effect across your online marketing as a whole. Remember someone’s perception is their reality.

Experts in Social Media for business will understand how to manage algorithm changes and will understand what your brand needs to do to remain consistent and relevant to your online social media market. It’s much more than posting shots of your latest products online, it’s about engagement metrics, algorithm management, diversity of content and market sectoring. Your brand management through Social needs to be consistent with the voice of your company: and this is what a true expert should know.

Expert photography, video and content for your business marketing

If we had a dollar for each time we’ve heard a client say ‘we’ll just take the photo’s ourselves’, we’d be very rich right now! Unfortunately, being handy with a camera often doesn’t translate well into marketing imagery: and while there have been a few cases where we’ve been genuinely impressed with a client’s artistic prowess, most of the time you can do more damage than good when using your own imagery online. It’s not an insult when we recommend a professional photographer or videographer to you, it’s an opportunity. Your clients will make snap decisions about your business based on the way you present yourself online – both visually and through your written content. The design work of your website, the imagery used to showcase your services, products and even staff members: it all conveys a message to your market. Are you sending the right signals?

While it’s great to give your target market that unique, personal experience, it’s still extremely important that you appear professional and able to meet their consumer needs. Expert photographers, videographers and content writers are professionals in their fields – they know how to present your best angles without compromising on that all-important personal touch, and often, professionals are better placed to recognise (and promote) the features that make your business stand out.

Continuity of brand, insight into online trends, and recognition of customer needs: this is what an expert will bring to your online marketing. Traction, engagement, and measurable impact can be achieved through hiring professionals who truly know what they’re doing. The question is: how can you tell if the company you’re working with are the real deal?

How to recognise a true online marketing expert

Knowing who to trust when it comes to online marketing and media can be tricky. While we know of many experienced, well-regarded professionals who excel in this industry, we also know of a few less reliable companies as well as people who think they know, but don’t – so how’s a business owner to know? We highly recommend taking the time to have a cup of coffee (or tea, or beer depending on your tastes!) with your prospective online team. Get a feel for them, see if they’re the right fit for your business. Ask for some examples of their work, and even ask for some of their existing clients if you’re feeling a little iffy: it never hurts to do your homework! If their current clients enjoy the service they’re receiving, then you’re onto a winner. Even if you feel out of your depth with marketing speak, the basics of business don’t change. Relationships, results, and reliability: these are the key factors in any good business arrangement. Feel free to also look up the individuals within the company and find out their background and expertise (you don’t want someone that is also new to the game). You should also check that they walk the talk, if their own social media isn’t up to scratch then you need to ask yourself if they can help you with yours. The other warning sign is introductory discounts. If a company is trying to entice you through discounting before you’ve even engaged with them then the question has to be “do they value their own offering?”

All you need to do is ask! Its better to get it right first time rather than paying for it again down the track.

Looking for online marketing advice you can really trust? Ask us anything: we’re passionate about helping businesses grow online.

contact Live Wire Media today!

The post Is it worth paying twice? Get it done right first time appeared first on Live Wire Media.

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