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Social Media Audits and Social Listening

Social Media Audits and Social Listening

Social media plays an integral part in contributing to your online reputation. It is often the first stop for consumers looking to learn more about a brand or individual. Your company and personal pages are therefore of utmost importance, and should be consistent in terms of their tone of voice, brand messaging and visual identity. It is also crucial to consider who your existing audience is, and what content resonates with them. Analysing these patterns and details is central to ensuring your social media channels are performing at their peak and are optimised for current trends and best practice.

Social Media Audit

Similarly, you may be concerned about your company’s share of voice. Maybe you’ve begun to optimise your channels and content already? Or you want to know how effective your content is, not just to engage with your followers, but in the wider world of social media, including comparisons with your competitors. Social Listening tools provide valuable insight allowing a brand to consider how they might increase their share of the market and grow both within their existing segment and into new demographics and groups. At PHA, we use our online monitoring tool, PHA Pulse, to do just this for you.

Our tools allow you to comprehensively measure both your channels individual success, and how your business measures up in the wider marketplace. This picture is built from a number of key metrics, such as share of voice, percentage of target audience engaged and overall reach.

 

Facebook Social Audit Fig.1: An example of a page’s demographic breakdown on Facebook.

 

Social audit

Audience: understanding your core audience is central to every brand and business. Understanding who follows you, likes or shares your posts on social media, , is an integral part of shaping conversation and increasing engagement and growth. Likewise, the demographic breakdown of your audience, and their interests, will inform the style and tone of your content.

A social audit provides detail informing when and what to post to your page, optimising for your audience. Once you understand your social insights, you can evaluate and adapt your strategy on an ongoing basis to keep you on top form.

Facebook Social Audit

Fig.2: The above is a demonstration of Facebook audience activity times and numbers, crucial information for informing content scheduling.

 

Content: the evaluation provided by a social audience helps shape your content strategy, developing content strands that speak to and engage your core audience. Developing content which works in harmony with your key follower’s requirements and interests can help increase engagement, whilst additional content strands and themes can target new segments to increase reach and share of voice in your industry.

Best practice: a good social audit will always provide a best practice guide for your brand’s individual channels and consumers. This will touch on everything from paid for campaigns, to emoji’s and hashtags. There are stark differences between each platform, so figuring out how to present your brand on each is of great importance.

Competitor analysis: keeping an eye on your competitors is always worthwhile, and the same process applies to social media. You may select certain pages to evaluate either due to recent appearance and growth in popularity, direct competition, or because of particular offerings they possess. The audit will analyse what techniques these competitors use, how their audience responds, and how it could be applied to your brand or business.

PHA Pulse

 Often, it can be easy to misinterpret the importance of social listening. Having refined your social media strategy with an audit, it is crucial that you possess the tools needed to monitor discussion around your brand in order to paint a picture of what content is working, strands that need to be refined, and overall perception of your company.

PHA Pulse, our in-house online monitoring platform, has the ability to monitor your brand across not just social media, but across the online spectrum, from news content through to blogs, forum discussions and video.

We analyse each entry to determine audience reach, sentiment and emotional rating, plus its impact, in the form of a visibility score.

Using the aforementioned metrics, we can track your online and social media performance alongside those of your biggest competitors and determine a share of voice. This unique metric drills deep into content, be it published press coverage or social media posts, and converts data into a digestible format.

What are the benefits of determining share of voice? Firstly, it lets you visualise your online influence in comparison to your rivals. Coupled with a social media audit, it allows us to track the performance of your rivals’ content, and monitor the topics, keywords and conversations that are most lucrative when it comes to generating audience interest and engagement. Moreover, by tracking share of voice over a prolonged period of time, we are able to determine what works best for your social channels, as well as charting the progress of your social influence growth.

What’s more, social listening tools possess the ability to go deeper than in-house social media channels when it comes to audience insights. Where Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can provide location insights, gender and age breakdowns, social listening goes one step further: PHA Pulse can determine the social reach of individuals, as well as provide aggregated topic data on social media users. From determining a particular audience’s perception to your brand and wider industry, to gaining insight into the other pages they follow and discussions they immerse themselves in, this data can paint a very detailed picture of your audience.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about PHA Pulse and social media audits, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help enhance your business or brand.

How to grow instagram for your start-up

 

Frequently termed ‘The King of Social’, Instagram started as a simple picture sharing app, used mainly between close friends and some carefully-selected family, to display the ‘best’ snapshots of your life. It was a refreshing alternative to the swathes of imagery that confronted you on Facebook, each one only slightly different to the last. It’s single-picture format enforced a kind of self-control not seen elsewhere. Of course, this wouldn’t last forever. Years later we have video, galleries and stories, and Instagram has expanded far beyond your own social circle. It has, however, kept its highly-polished aesthetic and fetish for ‘authenticity’.

Photo by @argonautphoto (Aaron Huey). Spider Rock, Canyon de Chelly, #NavajoNation. Headed to #BearsEarsNationalMonument in Utah on assignment for the magazine. More photos from the region here and at @argonautphoto all this week!

A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

Now the app is one of the biggest Social Media sites in the world, with over 700 million users, 400 million of which are active daily! It’s impressive to say the least and the potential audience reach on this platform is ever growing. It took only four months to gain the last 100 million followers, whereas the previous took six months.

So, what makes it such a great platform? It’s seen as considerably cooler than Facebook, more interesting than Twitter, and more useful than Snapchat. Instagram has become incredibly sophisticated in storytelling, and doing so in an artistic manner. The ability to fluently and diversely communicate a brand or individual’s story has become indispensable. Authenticity is key to modern marketing, and Instagram is the platform that allows this ‘intimate’ insight into a brand. And what better brand to apply it to than a Start Up? A company that is rooted in individuality, ingenuity and passion. One that is already trying to tell its own story, and express its personality, unlike many conglomerates that churn out an all-encompassing ‘brand’ worldwide.

Engage your audience

So, we know Instagram has the audience and the tools to effectively tell your story, but what techniques can you employ to make Instagram work for you? As a Start Up, it’s important not only to put out great content, but to actively engage with your following, and users who you feel would be interested in your brand. This engagement, or ‘community managing’, is what will help you grow your channel, awareness, and ultimately your brand. It may seem like a lot of work, but just taking the time to reply to comments and reach out to users and brands can make all the difference.

Hashtag it

Building this community can be done several ways, but the most immediate is through hashtags. By putting up to 30 relevant hashtags underneath your post you can make yourself visible to the potentially millions of daily users who are engaging with account and brands like yours. Engaging with other users in these hashtags is the next step to generating conversation; and this is worth remembering. Social Media is not a one-way street, you need ask questions, respond authentically, get people interested and keep them talking with you and about you.

If you are local business, such as a restaurant, boutique or event, then you can utilise these hashtags to target a specific audience. Likewise, you may also use geo-tagging to involve the local community in a location-targeted campaign. These techniques allow you to build a community both offline and online.

Collaborate and listen

Many brands have taken to cross-posting and collaborations to bolster their online presence. This is a mutually beneficial process that sees both brands raise awareness, and is particularly applicable in a Start Up environment, where both have a chance to establish themselves in an industry. It’s not just other brands that you might consider this tactic with; featuring your customers is an increasingly valuable tool in promoting your brands merit. Not only will this provide potential customers with authentic, positive feedback for your brand, but it also rewards fans for being fans. In doing this, you encourage them to continue to share their interactions with your brand on Social Media. It’s a win win, they get to interact with the brands they love in an authentic way, and you get exposure and great content for your own channels. Just make sure you always credit them!

 

For me?! @chapabouttown is ready to chow down on some Turkey and Duck Dinner! 🍗 #FuelledByCanagan

A post shared by Canagan (@canaganpetfood) on

Do what works for you

There’s a plethora of techniques to employ on this ever-expanding channel. To do it perfectly, you would be using a variation of careful curated daily posts and stories to provide the most artistic storytelling experience you can. You could run competitions, and cross-post and promote other brands. You could shout about your brand down every relevant avenue, and target it perfectly with paid posts and influencer marketing. This is a lot to take on, especially as a Start Up. It can seem overwhelming, but it is also wholly unnecessary to try to do all of them at once, and to sustain them. Our advice would be to cherry pick what works for your brand, and remember that creativity and authenticity are at the heart of successful Social Media marketing.

Get Creative

If you want to champion your brand on Instagram effectively, the main thing to consider in this whirlwind of possibilities, is creativity. Instagram is a platform that welcomes creativity more than any other. This is the point of difference needed to stop users endlessly scrolling through their feeds and focus on your post. This is the first point of engagement with a consumer, and one of the hardest things to engineer. You want to disrupt and simultaneously engage; having a creative edge here is key.

‪How to grow an avocado tree:‬ ‪1. Find an avocado stone‬ ‪2. Wash it‬ ‪3. Add some cocktail sticks‬ ‪4. Half submerge it in water‬ ‪5. Wait‬

A post shared by innocent (@innocent) on

Of course, this is perhaps easier said than done. But with a proper strategy, and some practise, you should quickly find yourself building your brands presence and identity online. Building and maintaining this presence is of huge value to brands and businesses, after all 32% of all internet users are on Instagram. That’s a big slice of the pie to be missing out on!

Think before you Tweet

Can we be held accountable for our social media musings?

Will Tait

On the day of the 2016 Presidential election, Twitter was the largest source of breaking news worldwide, with 40 million election-related tweets sent before 10pm ET. Its significance in the outcome of that day cannot be underestimated either. Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy, the relationship of Twitter and Trump has become almost interdependent in the march towards the top of their respective fields.

For Trump, the social networking service became the window by which his followers could tap into his inner-dialogue. It allowed him to bypass a media that he realised early on would be hostile to him by setting up a direct line to potential voters.

It might therefore not come as a surprise to know that in early March, the National Archives and Records administration informed the White House that POTUS’s tweets do actually fall under the remit of the Presidential Records Act.

As part of a letter sent to the White House Staff, it concluded: “Many of the messages sent from [President Trump’s twitter] accounts are likely to be presidential records and therefore must be preserved. It has been reported, however, that President Trump has deleted tweets, and if those tweets were not archived it could pose a violation of the Presidential Records Act.”

So, while Trump can no longer hide behind his delete button, his previous tweets have kindly been preserved by websites looking to remind him of some of his most outspoken remarks. This might be the place to start for Trump when looking to review the potential damage, knowing that they will soon sit alongside the Gettysburg Address, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence in the National Archives.

Some highlights include:

In the context of Twitter, Donald Trump is by far its greatest success story. Seemingly unfaillible in the eyes of his adoring audience meanwhile baffling the rest of the world as to how he gets away with it. He goes from accusing previous presidents of wire-tapping him to attacking popular celebrities, such as Arnold Schwarznegger, in one afternoon. Operating entirely with impunity. It catapulted him to the most powerful position in the world.

For others however, twitter has become the architect by which they manafacture their own self-destruction. One ill thought out tweet, permanently etched into the world wide web stratosphere, can carry serious consequences.

Twitter Trump The PHA Group

Take Justine Sacco. A PR Executive who probably should’ve known better. Before boarding an 11 hour flight to South Africa she tweeted what she thought would be a hilarious tweet. Upon landing, she had become an international media sensation. Not however for the reasons she hoped.sacco

Justine’s tweet was deliberately controversial. This was her humour and the tweet by no means an aberration in form. The joke itself is playing on white ignorance. But when Justine was called before Twitter court, the judgement was severe. From a few hundred followers Justine was now at the centre of a public shaming. It cost the 30 year old her dream job, and she claims it destroyed her life.

sacco tweets

Alfie Barker, a non-league footballer, tweeted during a football match to fellow professional Harry Arter an incredibly offensive ‘joke’ about his daughter Renee who had been born stillborn on December 10, 2015.

The reaction to this tweet was understandably venemous. Barker received death threats. He was sacked from his club and his carpentry firm. The 18-year-old deleted the tweet and apologised but it was too late. He had ruined his life and everything he had worked for with one tweet. His career in football almost certainly over, he claims he is now too nervous to leave the house.

His apology too late to save his career or reputation.

Barker, for the record, suffers from  ADHD and autism. His parents claim he has always struggled to understand social constructs. He himself  stated  “I have no social skills. I have no filter between my mouth and my brain. I work every day and I have spent the whole day trying to understand why I did what I did.” Did Twitter stop to consider the roles these complex diseases might have played. That he had mixed his new medication with alcohol that evening while highly emotional. Barker’s parents who had long protected him could not save him from one lapse in judgement on Twitter. His sentence was exile.

At other times, it’s hard to have any sympathy. Corporations have struggled on Twitter ever since its inception. The reasons for this are complex. However, the reasons the Twitterverse was offended by Kenneth Cole’s tweet when protests in Egypt broke out certainly weren’t.

kenneth cole

kenneth cole2

Kenneth Cole has since removed the tweet and apologised. The damage to the brand will be irreversible however. Using a people’s struggle for freedom to promote a product isn’t good PR. Pepsi will tell you that better than anyone. Others persist however…

Lena Dunham, of Girls fame, is a proactive feminist. In the Twittersphere this makes you rather vulnerable to attacks. Frustratingly, these tweets, dug up from her timeline from years before, did the hard work for her detractors.

https://twitter.com/lenadunham/status/90660103879016448?lang=en

Dunham eventually left Twitter. “Jokes” like this damage a reputation that many feminists previously found inspirational. Racist undertones in a few tweets meant that a feminist position became increasingly weakened by the role of white privilege.

It just goes to show that if even media savvy celebrities or corporations with their PR departments and media lawyers can still make these mistakes, the potential for ordinary people to do so is vast. Amy Schumer too was vilified for a tweet defending Dunham.

amyschumer

Immediately deleted, but not forgotten. The fate of all of these tweets goes to show how pointless the exercise of archiving Trumps tweets will be. Twitter self-polices. Tweets are never really gone. Deleting tweets only serves as an admission of guilt and guilt attracts the Twitter court. People are more accountable for their tweets than they realise. With this in mind, those 140 characters are becoming increasingly dangerous, especially to the person using them.  Just ask Justine Sacco…

Twitter’s Pandora’s Box

 

This year’s big Twitter story revolved around actress Leslie Jones and conservative journalist Milo Yiannopoulos. After inciting his followers to direct hate and abuse towards Jones on the platform, twitter permanently deactivated self proclaimed troll Milo Yiannopoulos’ account, and barred him for life. This resulted in the #FreeMilo movement, with users outraged that this decision was an infringement of the controversial personality’s freedom of expression. Subsequently, CEO Jack Dorsey’s decision to remove the account has snowballed into a raging debate questioning the difference between an opinion and hate speech.

In observing this debate, it is important to understand Twitter’s historically hard lined stance on censorship, and that the debate of controversial speech is not a new one for the company.

Since its creation, Twitter has prided itself on being a vehicle of free speech, spreading news and opinions which might not be available elsewhere, and giving a voice to otherwise silenced or marginalised groups. Twitter has always been adamant that it is a means of communication that will not censor it’s content, but rather be used as a tool to deliver it, with Twitter executives allegedly preaching very early on that Twitter is the free speech wing of the free speech party

freedom of speech, twitter policy, #freemilo

Image courtesy of; Ester Vargas, flickr.com

One only has to look at twitter’s role during the Arab Spring, whereby the platform was used by civilians, journalists and activists to break through the highly censored media to spread truths and rally support to see the positive impact that the platform has had. Twitter was lauded as a revolutionary tool in a sea of oppressive and silencing governments.

Twitter’s steadfast approach to allowing users to tweet whatever their opinions, not matter how controversial or unpopular, has rapidly and unsurprisingly spiralled into a seemingly uncontrollable wave of abuse for many of it’s users. Unlike Facebook and Instagram, twitter does not moderate user posts, resulting in an estimated 88% of internet trolls operate on the platform – that number alone tells us there’s a problem. The platform has become rife with death threats, threats of sexual violence, racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, extremism… the list goes on. It’s obvious that what was once a social media platform that allowed for users to post even sensitive content with the idea that news should not be censored, Twitter is fast becoming a hot bed of negative, hateful and sometimes criminal activity, and whether or not they wanted to, Twitter were backed into a corner.

freedom of speech, twitter, #freemilo

Image courtesy of: Newtown graffiti, flickr.com

After calls from many leading activist organisations and individuals for Twitter to being taking responsibility for the hateful and in many cases harmful vitriol, the platform has made amendments and steps from within to start fighting back against online abuse. In May 2016, Twitter, alongside Facebook, Microsoft and YouTube, agreed to a new code of conduct set out by the European Union in an attempt to clamp down on illegal hate speech and, in particular, terrorist propaganda. This move has come at the right time, with activists  and governments speaking up more and more prominently about their disappointment in Twitter’s lack of action in deactivating ISIS propaganda accounts. Moves are, however, being made on Twitter’s part to help eliminate the presence of this propaganda on their channel. Reports suggested that Twitter was swift in shutting down accounts celebrating the Bastille attack in Nice, to much praise from the media.

twitter policy, freedom of speech, #freemilo

Image courtesy: Craig Sunter, flickr.com

 

After the infamous memo leak from former CEO Dick Costolo in 2015 (“We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform, and we’ve sucked at it for years,”) Twitter have also set out their own tougher regulations in order to combat abuse, as well as making it easier for users to report abusing tweets and content. Whilst it appears that Twitter is moving in the right direction with it’s policies and actions, many are left wondering what it takes to have a troll taken down. On the surface, we have seen that twitter can actually be very quick to take action against accounts that it deems to be unacceptable, but there seems to be more and more erratic censorship from twitter. The lines in Twitter’s regulations are blurry, allowing for the company to pick and chose who and when an account gets suspended. Yiannopoulos is not the first prominent user to have been banned. Azealia Banks was banned after a series of racist tweets directed at Zayn Malik, however since old tweets made by country singer Blake Shelton resurfaced recently, containing misogynistic, homophobic and racist content, no action seems to have been taken. Many women have tried to report rape threats, death threats and more to twitter, to no avail, however a parody account of Vladimir Putin was shut down by the platform after the Russian government complained.

It is undoubtedly right for twitter to police its users posts, and remove hateful, violent, threatening vitriol, however it seems to have waded into a grey area from which it cannot win. Either it is perceived as being reluctant to take action, or it is overzealous in it’s attempts to silence ‘opinions’. Now that certain accounts have been shut down it has created a precedent from which it cannot backtrack, opening a Pandora’s Box of regulation and will have a difficult time trying to decipher free speech from hate speech.

The Walking Advert

The Rise of Influencer Advertising…

For the first time ever the FTC has personally reached out to influencers and celebrities to remind them of their duty to disclose their “material connection” with the brands of products promoted across their social media. So what does this mean for apps such as Instagram? 

***

“OMG loving the results of my brand new whitening toothpaste. I’ve been using it for weeks now and nothing works better. Get it here! #toothpaste #shopping #spon #ad”

Sound familiar?

There’s nothing new about brands using Instagram and their influencers to promote their products. Arguably, when done properly, it’s one of the most effective marketing tools in a brands arsenal.

I've been meaning to share these with you for ages as since I started taking them I've had so much more energy and been less lethargic so seems a good time when I'm recovering from my Disney half marathon! Their good seeds and fibre sachets are also incredible, I'm sprinkling them on all my salads! (To avoid confusion this is an #ad but for the record I genuinely having been using and trailing the products and mean what I say, plus I only work with brands I genuinely like. 😬) #thegoodguru

A post shared by Ashley James (@ashleylouisejames) on

Pick the right influencer with the perfect target audience and a brand can increase their sales exponentially; after all, what’s more powerful than someone you respect and trust not even just endorsing a product but emploring you to use it? It’s real time, you can see the ‘results’ and the implication is by using this product you can become more like your favourite actress/model/singer.

You’re just one protein shake/whitening toothpaste/detox tea away. Promise.

For the brands that were first on the scene this has been an incredibly successful tactic.

A study by TapInfluence found that social media influence marketing is 11 times more effective than banner ads. Add to that eMarketer’s findings that Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues are expected to close in on nearly $3 billion by 2017 and it’s easy to see how brands are on to a winner.

Read our guide on how to work with online influencers here! 

I am in love with this new @ellesseuk jacket and leggins from @jdwomen @jdsportsofficial its one of fave brands at the moment. The quality of all their clothing is amazing. The jacket is so warm and cosy for this change in weather #ellesse #spon

A post shared by Marnie. (@marniegshore) on

So far so good right?

Certain brands certainly seem to think so, jumping on the trend by giving influencers specialised discount codes to give to their followers, gifting them free product in return for a coveted space on their feed, and implementing Instagram takeovers. The sky’s the limit as far as this type of promotion goes and its fairly versatile too.

Even attempts by the FTC haven’t made much of an impact. The introduction of #spon and #ad tags as a call for more explicit disclosure from bloggers did little to dampen the enthusiasm for these brand – influencer relationships. More recently the FTC has reached out directly to influencers to remind them of their duty to clearly disclose their relationships to brands when promoting products on social media.

Whether this will do more to control unlabelled advertising remains to be seen. There is still no set way to label paid posts and it seems that this form of advertising has yet to reach its peak.

#ad ughhh girls I’ve been so slack with my @flattummytea the last few weeks and I was feeling so bloated! I’ve had a couple cups of @flattummytea the last few days and the bloat is going down so my tummy is starting to look better. When you stick to the rules you can give your tummy the best makeover, go get some from flattummytea.com while it’s 20% off give your tummies a makeover! #FlatTummyTea

A post shared by Kim Zolciak-Biermann (@kimzolciakbiermann) on

And yet, there’s a rumbling of discontent.

In all the excitement over rising sales and increased brand awareness something appears to have been overlooked. When you market directly to your customers, the reaction is pretty immediate too. And that reaction can change in an instant.

Tan and white teeth, the perfect combo. Thank you @BlanXUK for my new favourite White Shock toothpaste. I’ve used it for weeks now and it’s perfect for maintaining my white smile. Find the BlanX White Shock products in @BootsUK. #BlanXBella #WhiteSmile #Ad

A post shared by Louise Thompson (@louise.thompson) on

comments

Uhoh.

“You can never have too much of a good thing” so the saying goes, however the reactions above might well suggest otherwise.

Put it this way. Imagine your favourite health blogger endorses a spiralizer. They make an impassioned case for that piece of kitchen equipment. You also then see that same bit of equipment popping up in various posts as they continue to use it to create their recipes. Sure, you suspect they may have been given it for free but it seems like they’d have bought it anyway.

This feels genuine. You trust that blogger and you can see them using this product consistently. Furthermore, this is their area of expertise. It makes sense to buy it.

Now imagine the same blogger suddenly endorses a watch from a brand you haven’t heard of. Plus, they offer you a discount code. Interesting, perhaps? But then, what does this blogger know about watches? They’ve never expressed an interest before. You suspect they got this for free, but maybe that’s ok. It’s just the odd post in a sea of engaging content. After all, everyone likes a nice watch.

Finally imagine that this blogger suddenly endorses a watch, a detox tea and a whitening toothpaste all in the space of three days. Plus, they name drop a couple of clothing brands that they just ‘happen’ to be wearing. It seems quite obvious that these things have been given to them. There’s no passion behind the endorsement. You’ve never seen them use these things or wear these things before. It all feels a bit staged.Do you go out and buy those things? Probably not.

Do you remain an avid follower of an account that has become something akin to a shopping channel? Probably not.

😶

A post shared by elan gale (@theyearofelan) on

Herein lies the problem. Not just for brands but for Instagram in general.

“Instagram is the home for visual storytelling for everyone from celebrities, newsrooms and brands, to teens, musicians and anyone with a creative passion.”

Instagram – about us statement

If Instagram at its conception was intended as a hub of creativity and storytelling as its mission statement claims, they’d better be wary of the rise in this undercover advertising. If our feeds become crowded with influencers pushing out brands for the sake of a pay out, you can bet that their audience will lose interest pretty quickly.

Scrolling through a feed full of repetitive #spon and #ad posts is boring at best and highly irritating at worst. You need only examine the comments on the feeds of the worst offenders to see that their audience is wise to what they are doing and not particularly pleased. In fact, they’re pretty irritated.

Somethings got to give but who knows what the breaking point will be. What is clear at this point is that Instagram is running the risk of becoming a glorified string of adverts with influencers posts, at times, barely distinguishable from their paid promotion slots.

It’s overkill, death by promotion and I’m doubtful that it can continue.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have some whitening toothpaste to order. #spon

instagram

Using Fashion Week to Get Noticed

Spring/Summer fashion week and Autumn/Winter fashion week are two  of the biggest events in the fashion and beauty industry calendar. With a plethora of celebrities and press attending the shows and parties, it is the perfect time of year to boost your brand’s profile and get noticed.

A common misconception is you have to be ‘in it to win it’, but in actual fact you don’t need to have a collection at the shows to get your brand talked about.

Fashion Week presents numerous opportunities for brands to get involved either on a small or big scale, through partnerships, gifting, social media campaigns and out of show partnerships. So don’t believe the Fashion Week season is just for the major brands, utilise it and get your brand noticed using the following avenues next year:

  1. Official partnerships

Showcase brands and Fashion Week organisers are always keen to explore partnerships for backstage activity, whether that is in the form of food, drinks, or beauty products.

Getting your brand backstage and into the hands of designers, models and VIPs can be a great way to increase brand exposure and get people talking. In addition, VIP celebrities are often inclined to share anything fun or quirky on social media, which can act as additional exposure for your brand.

London Fashion Week Partnership

Pure Package @ LFW

Example: We arranged for The Pure Package to associate with London Fashion Week and supply food – both backstage and front-of-house – for an array of high profile shows at London Fashion Week such as Mulberry, Alice Temperley, Matthew Williamson, Julien Macdonald, Mark Fast and Mary Katrantzou. We also arranged for The Pure Package to submit material into the front-row goody bags which went out to VIPS and celebrities, providing an excellent opportunity for raising brand awareness and targeting a new audience. From this we secured coverage which appeared in publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, OK! and YOU Magazine.

  1. Gifting

Fashion Week is a magnet for all types of influencers, from journalists, to celebrities and bloggers. These influencers regularly publicise their experiences at Fashion Week using social media and across their blogs. Therefore being able to get your product into the hands of these influencers could be a hugely beneficial for your brand.

You can do this through numerous avenues, but an effective way for a fashion brand to get its products in the right hands is to work with its audience’s key influencers and journalists and gift them product from your collection to wear to the shows in exchange for an Instagram post. Influencers do what they say on the tin, ‘influence’, and therefore having your product on the right person can lead it to sell out within seconds.

Example: We gifted key journalists and bloggers an item of clothing from our fashion client, Hervia, to wear to London Fashion Week, in exchange for an Instagram post. This included Fashion Editor of Sunday Times Style, Flossie Saunders and popular blogger, Polishing Colours.

This led to Hervia being featured in The Sunday Times Style on numerous occasions, one of their key publications, in addition the top gifted to the journalist Flossie, sold out.

Final day of LFW. Thank you @smartcaruk for the 🚙 and @herviaofficial for the 👕#FlossieFashion

A post shared by FLOSSIE SAUNDERS (@flossiesaunders) on

Loving the movement in today's outfit. So much that I was actually praying for a bit of wind. London never disappoints. ❤️

A post shared by Denisia (@polishingcolors) on

 

  1. Instagram Takeovers

Instagram is such an important social media tool at Fashion Week, and as a brand you can take things to the next level by carrying out an Instagram takeover campaign. This can work particularly well if you are not attending the shows, as you can give your followers an exciting glimpse into the world of Fashion Week, alongside presenting yourself as a credible and engaging brand. By working with fashion journalists and bloggers and asking them to pre-promote the show on their personal channels, you can gain interest from their followers who may have not engaged with your brand before, alongside producing exciting and different content for your existing followers.

Example: We arranged for Hervia to carry out an ‘Instagram’ takeover with two key fashion journalists over the course of Fashion Week. We worked with YOU magazine and TEETH magazine to provide street style shots, front row action and top picks for the Hervia Instagram channel. The fashion editor of TEETH, Camilla Sverdrup-Thygeson’s posts received nearly 3000 likes and increased followers on the Hervia Instagram.

How great is this custom handpainted leather jacket 👌🏻 #Streetstyle #LFW #AW16 #HerviaxTEETH #Hervia #londonfashionweek 📸 @camillasverdrupthygeson

A post shared by Hervia.com (@herviaofficial) on

Layered up for a grey second day at #LFW ☔️ #LondonFashionWeek (📸 @SarahRoseGoes) #AW16 #lotd #ootd #tiw

A post shared by Hervia.com (@herviaofficial) on

 

  1. Outside of the shows

Partnerships at Fashion Week don’t have to remain backstage or at the shows themselves. The hub of London Fashion Week is now based in Soho Square and therefore the whole of Soho is buzzing with opportunities away from the catwalk. At Fashion Week you are guaranteed a high footfall of fashionistas, journalists and the general public who are out in force at Fashion Week, it therefore offers a perfect opportunity to engage these influencers with your brand. This can include sampling (a cold drink is gratefully received when rushing between shows), setting up a stand in Soho Square to hand out goodies, providing pop-up blow dry bars and offering rooms for VIP influencers to stay overnight.

Example:  Advertising opportunities are limited at Fashion Week, yet the footfall is massive. Therefore, what better way to get your brand visually out there, alongside providing a service, than branding a taxi?! Make-up brand MAC capitalised on the fact that beauty journalists need to get from show A to show B and they have little time to do it. As well as making the streets look stylish with their bright look, MAC taxis provided a VIP service chaffering the FROW members around.

MAC London Fashion Week

Credit: Verifone – MAC Taxi

  1. Social buzz

If you can’t get physically involved in Fashion Week, fear not, there are ample opportunities for you to tap into the buzz remotely on social. Re-gram street style, choose your top picks from the shows and explore competition opportunities.

Example: Snog Frozen yoghurt capitalised on Fashion Week by running a social media campaign competition playing on the commonly used hashtag #StreetStyle and changed it to #SnogStyle.  Snog encouraged entrants to snap their most stylish Snog pot with a chance of winning Snog vouchers and treats.

Snog London Fashion Week

Snog Facebook Competition

Why isn’t my website profitable?

Eight reasons why your website isn’t as profitable as it could be

After building hundreds of websites and sitting through thousand of meetings with a multitude of clients we thought it would be helpful to write this article which breaks down some of the reason why you might be having issue with your website conversions.

 

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1. Is your company or personal website fully mobile optimized?

These days a huge portion of websites are accessed through a mobile device. Statistics show that 33% of internet users would think to use their mobile device first over a desktop, and that figure is only growing with the introduction of low cost smart phones and faster wireless internet.

This means you need a home page that makes the most of the mobile space. An easy to read, clear and clutter free interface is essential to get the most out of your home page.

Mobile has now become 65% of all digital media time. Desktop usage on the web has dropped 12% since 2013

Mobile users have a shorter attention span then desktop user, so getting the right content to them quickly is important. A single call to action button and an easy to navigate mobile site is just the start to get your site ready for the mobile world.

 

 

2. Does your customer really understand what you do or offer?

You know the company or your offering inside and out. You have lived and breathed it, but people visiting your site for the first time need a helping hand. Write out your company description in one line and that can be the key message for the home page.

It can be easy to want everything you do up front and centre on the home page but this can overwhelm your audience, think about your brand messaging and who you are targeting, this will keep your homepage clutter free and easily understood.

 

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3. Does your website take a long time to load?

Speed has a huge impact on not only user experience but also SEO. The internet is competitive, there are thousands of articles and websites that will load in an instant to give the user what they want quickly. If a homepage takes a long time to load your audience is more likely to go elsewhere.

Google can detect if your website loads slowly, this has a huge impact on your ranking on the Google search engine. It could determine if your site is shown on page one or on page six.

 

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4. When was the last time you redesigned your website?

Often, business owner’s setup a website as soon as they have a company presence or launch a product or idea. Normally this is an afterthought and can result in bad user experience, and unfocused messaging.

If the messaging is unfocused and there is too much old content, then this can mislead customers. Studies have shown that user scan pages rather than reading them fully when coming to a website for the first time.

You should be looking to update your website every two years to keep on top of website trends and styles.

Check out our slideshare or simply continue on for our next 4 tips!

8 Simple Steps to an effective and profitable website from The PHA Group

 

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6. There Are Too Many Distractions

This is where User Experience (UX) comes in. It is very easy to overload a website with too much information from the start. This clutter of information can not only distract a user to finalize their conversion process but also take them down the wrong path and as a result end up leaving the site for a more engaging website.

You will need to minimize your design and focus your messaging to keep the user engaged and on the right path.

 

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7. No SEO plan

A strong SEO plan can make or break a website. A few years ago it uses to be all about spamming websites, these days its more about strategic planning and content creation. Search engines are more advanced and look at content, design, layout, loading speed, functionality and rankings.

There are many factors that contribute to a good SEO functioning website. A couple of examples are; page errors, sitemaps, regular & creative content creation (including mixed formats) link backs, and even design.

If all these elements are checked, reviewed, and implemented it allows Google to search and index your site correctly resulting in more people being able to find it.

 

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8. Getting a website is domain and hosting is just the first step.

To fully make use of the domain and hosting you have bought, a website plan should be implemented to look at all elements of the business and the offerings you want to portray.

Your website is most likely the first thing a potential client/customer will go to and it is something you will be immediately judged on. This plan doesn’t have to cost a huge amount, and can always be done in stages, but it’s something to be invested in to maximize the potential source for revenue and conversions.

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What are infographics?

What are infographics? – Shareable and linkable content assets

Creating informative, creative, engaging and sharable content as part of the content marketing mix has seen the expansion of content across a range of formats.

Infographics have been around for a while, and perhaps unlike some “must haves”, when designed and produced properly, have stood the test of digital time.

With so much “big data” and messaging, now needed to be digested in even shorter periods of time, the use of Infographics as way to visually communicate, has seen continued growth as a dependable format over the last two years.

Why are infographics so popular?

It’s quoted that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. (Sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisisco), which essentially outlines that people will engage more with visual content than just pure text alone.

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present anything from top level messaging through to complex information, quickly and clearly. Infographics can help cut through the time precious need for facts and figures by using graphics and figures to outline top level information.

What are the benefits of infographics?

Infographics tick all of the usual SEO benefits; they can be embedded within a brands website or entrepreneurs blog, with onward sharing helping to build strong organic links. From a social perspective they can be seeded, liked and shared, creating strong engagement across a wide range of channels.

Telling a visual story with infographics

Designed and developed correctly, Infographics are an important component for helping to tell a story or provide top level messaging in an engaging, visual manner.

By collating and analysing data and information, and then spending the time determining how to present the content and context as visual story, an infographic will help a brand achieve much more than top level SEO box ticking.

Produced correctly, an infographic will enable a brand to effectively communicate key messages or products in a creative, inspiring manner, something particularly relevant for more drier or diverse topics.

Clever creative can present a brand as a thought leader within a specific industry, which in turn develops engagement with audiences, from showing understanding of top level requirements, through to providing information in a style and format relating to viewing time available.

Researched thoroughly, designed correctly and delivered as part of an integrated content strategy, an infographic will enhance a brand message, delivering a fully multi-lingual brand message.

Good infographic examples

We have selected five infographics from different sectors to outline clever, creative thinking and to show effective methods to increase both site traffic and returning users.

Sport infographic

In 2012, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to score over 30,000 career points.
Using a mixture of imagery, iconography and data graphs, The LA Lakers produced a “Celebratory infographic” which broke this data down, across 17 seasons, in an easy to digest style, whilst also saluting this achievement.

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Fashion infographic

Around the release of Madmen in 2014, Boston based Custom Made, created a visually engaging guide to “Dressing dapper in the modern age” Through hand drawn animation, the infographic provides a creative, informative approach.

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Technology Infographic

Infographics take shape in many styles and formats. Akita, an IT support company, developed an engaging, Infographic timeline, which shows the evolution of technology over the past 70 years. Using animation, users can either scroll through for top level information, or interact with hotspots for level 2 information.

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Business and Entrepreneur infographic

ContactMe.com, a contact and task management tool produced a ten step infographic guide on “How to establish a business legally”. The infographic uses a mixture of copy, iconography and animation, to deliver a snap shot of top level information.

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Political Infographic

In the countdown to the General Election, the Guardian developed a live Poll Projection infographic , which collates data from published constituency-level polls, UK-wide polls and polling conducted in the nations to provide a useful, top level summary.

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Social Media: Limitless?

Image courtesy of Robert Scoble, flickr.com

Image courtesy of Robert Scoble, flickr.com

 

The internet is available to almost 3 billion people worldwide (that’s a lot of people) and that number only continues to grow, with help notably from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg, a pioneer of social media who has launched a campaign to help more people connect to the internet, already aiding 3 million new people with access. Social media exists as a conversation platform on which anyone around the world with internet can communicate with anyone or everyone. Now social media is branching out for new opportunities but what are the limits?

Social Media itself mainly consists of conversation. This information can be made available to anyone allowing easy, quick and cheap communication, replacing more traditional methods of sending letters and postcards. Nowadays, even telephone conversations can be substituted by video conversations via Facebook Messenger or Skype for example. This process can be completed by a mere pressing of a few buttons, which means it has become favourable for people to take this convenient and effortless task, making these older methods appear more like novelties as we move into a technological age.

Social media icons future

Image courtesy of Yoel Ben-Avraham, flickr.com

Additionally, such scandals such as Facebook’s ‘experiment’ and OKCupid’s prove several limitations to social media’s benefits. OKCupid has experimented on unknowing users by pairing them with a ‘bad’ match in order to test whether they could connect in, causing controversy in the public eye. A statement was released shortly after this information became public stating ‘”If you use the internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site, that’s how websites work’, and unfortunately this statement is all but too true these days, will it become a social norm to accept this abuse of trust all in the name of science?

Further debate surrounds the rise in potential employers using social media to weigh up an individual’s employability by searching through sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn at their profiles. PwC’s John Harding (a human resource service partner at PwC) even predicts that employee’s personal data could be monitored in order to forecast performance motivators or issues by bringing together the home-work interface. Going either of two ways, perhaps resulting in coming a step closer to reducing the high risks of stress prominent at work or on the other hand making employee’s feel exposed and their security threatened, decreasing job satisfaction.

From a PR perspective, social media is becoming ever more important for a business to have a good stand-in. Facebook and Twitter accounts may even be deemed essential to any small to large business, but now even more platforms have arisen for businesses to take advantage of. Such sites as Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and Flickr could also have been considered as options for businesses moving towards a more visual foundation on which to advertise from, allowing companies to reach more markets and more audiences.

In conclusion, social media’s uses develop constantly as this ever-growing hub (otherwise referred to as the internet) continues to stir controversy, whether these uses will better the old ones… only time will tell.

‘Sharing’ Grief: How Social Media Has Changed The Way We Mourn

Robin Williams social media mourning

Courtesy of Shi Devotion, flickr.com

Everyone is an obituary writer these days, says the New York Times, in a poignant statement about the viral reaction to the death of Robin Williams.

My first reaction after hearing Robin Williams had died was to grab my phone. I typed his name into Google, hastily attempting to find out whether or not it was true. Stories flashed through my head: recollections of celebrity deaths turning out to be hoaxes, vague memories of an interview on Ellen reminding me that he’d had heart surgery sometime not that long ago. This was around 11pm Monday evening, there were two news articles available from outlets I didn’t recognise and his Wikipedia page still lacked an update. There was still space for doubt.

Then along came Twitter.

Within minutes of the news breaking, the legion of Robin Williams fans, friends and peers, were expressing their shock and grief, collating their admiration and loss, their memories, through photos, favourite clips and quotes tweeted in 150 characters or less.  As the New York Times put it, social media became an ‘electronic scrapbook’ that transformed whole sites and feeds into memorials full of stand-up routines, exceptional performances, hilarious interviews.

A sense of the grand scale of the social media obituary became startlingly apparent. When Michael Jackson died five years ago, I had the same reaction to double check via social media. Yet despite the widespread outpourings of grief, I remember far fewer photos and far more blue hyperlinks. I remember it trending but most of my memories are of hard copy print articles and televised film clips. Twitter didn’t condense into an extended eulogy. Plus, since entities like Buzzfeed hadn’t yet hit their heyday, the listicle memorials were almost absent.

Tributes today involve constant updates on Williams’ family, the nature of his death and has seen #RIPRobinWilliams trending worldwide. Tweets from accounts like Sesame Street, The Academy Awards and Steve Carell have been retweeted, favourited and shared by thousands of people across the globe and hundreds of web articles have sprung up, including nearly thirty on Buzzfeed alone. Of course, not all public expressions have been positive, as illustrated by Zelda Williams’ forced retirement Twitter after internet trolls posted a photoshopped image of her dead father to her feed.  Yet even as further details emerge about his passing, people have been looking back at Williams’ own digital channels from his Twitter to his Instagram, including one of him and his daughter Zelda as a child.  Not only are social media users turning their feeds into spaces of grief, but they’re using the same means to investigate, attempting to piece together clues and to make sense of the loss by rereading recent posts. This was something also witnessed, to a lesser extent, during reports of Peaches Geldof’s death where many noted her last tweet was of her and her mother, who also died of an overdose.

So what is social media doing to our methods of mourning? It seems to be making it collective in a way unprecedented before now. Saying this, writers such as Richard Powers predicted this cultural shift, his cynical vision of the future anticipating millennial and post-millenial digitalisation to the point where the virtually extended self is intrinsic to any kind of social interaction, including the literal ‘sharing’ of grief.  Some might believe that this level of grief only applies to lives as large as Robin Williams, public icons whose existence was itself compiled from every form of contemporary medium available.  This simply is no longer the case, whilst Robin Williams has gone global, almost everyone will probably know someone on his or her social network who have lost a loved one and who will publically remember that person. Grief, even small scale, is now something more and more are comfortable with sharing amongst their extended networks. Perhaps it does not have the same ‘intense communal experience’ that Kurt Andersen describes in relation to the death of someone famous, but it does happen and a new etiquette of social grief is evolving into something concrete.

Perhaps this is social media at its worst as suggested by Politico blogger, Dylan Byers. Or perhaps this is just the next step in the evolution of our social lives and deaths. Sharing allows us to enter into a community of loss, to search and find solace, to show solidarity or provide it for those closer to the epicentre of grief.  There are no ‘right ways’ to mourn, and perhaps the semi-public space of social media is not the ideal place for private communication with the dead. But it does create instant access to a support network and a virtual memory that is never more than a click away.