Social Media Simplified

Identify and Understand Your Audience to Create Content that Connects.

Social Media Simplified

  1. Identify social platforms that fit your audience.
    One size does not fit all and setting up an account on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram does not give you instant success. If your audience is visual, then Instagram may be your best choice. If your audience likes to write or research reviews while being a part of a private community then perhaps Facebook is your better choice.
    You may even determine that there is a different target audience for different platforms. For example, you may decide to reach the “Mom Community” on Facebook, but the ‘Millennial” on Instagram.
  2. Identify the message that fits your target audience.
    Your overall messaging may be great for your current audience but may not fit if you are targeting a new growth opportunity. You may need to fine tune the message so that it connects with the new audience.  For example, your product may be based on a “comfort story” that allows you to talk about your proprietary technology. Depending on your audience, you could talk about the innovation behind the technology, or on the flip side you could talk about the lifestyle that the technology enables.
  3. Identify the storytelling tools that best deliver the message to your audience.
    Does creating stop gap videos get your message across the best, or does a series  of photos tell the best story?  Perhaps it is about developing an ambassador program where your fans tell your story for you.  Whether it is the creation of a whitepaper, or writing a blog post, or going on a photo-shoot, always ask yourself what the audience wants to know.
    If you don’t know the answer – ASK.  Ask your audience what they want to see or read. They will be happy to be a part of the process and feel like they are a part of your brand.

Regardless of who your audience is, you need to gain an understanding of where your audience consumes media and how they like to engage with brands.

LEARN MORE:

Blog Post: Do you have the right Instagram Followers?

Do you have the RIGHT Instagram Followers?

Do you spend too much time being envious of those Instagram accounts that have tens of thousands of followers? Don’t be.

Do you get disheartened with the people who follow you just to unfollow 2 days later? Don’t be.

It does NOT matter the # of followers as long as you have the RIGHT followers.

Are your followers local to your business? If your small retail business is in Oakville, ON and 85% of your followers are from the US, those followers are not the right followers.

Instagram Insights - The Right Followers

The RIGHT followers will:
– Give you consistent likes and meaningful comments and feedback on your posts
– Be local to your business

See above photo of the Instagram Insights for @HTdesignsca . We only have 600 followers in 5 months, but we are happy with that. The majority of our followers are from the GTA – Toronto, Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga. This did not happen by chance.

Get the RIGHT followers without spending a fortune on ads.
– Use local hashtags ie/ #burlon – People who are also using that hashtag will
find you, and you can also search and follow people using that same hashtag.
– Follow and chat with other local businesses, and like-minded individuals
– Engage with your followers in an authentic way and you will see your account grow
organically

Remember that if you want likes and comments, you have to reciprocate and do the same to others. Be authentic, and create real relationships.

5 Reasons Why You Should Not Skip Creating Wireframes For Your New Website

What are Wireframes?  It is a simple layout that outlines the specific size and placement of  site features, page elements, call-to-action areas (CTAs), and navigation of your site.  They are devoid of colour, font choices, logos, graphics, or any real design elements that can take away from focusing on the site’s structure and functionality.

Wireframe Examples

5 Reasons Why Wireframes are so Important to the Web Design Process:

  1. Wireframes Display Site Architecture Visually
    Wireframes take the sitemap and converts it into a visual framework that ensures all parties are on the same page before design and development begin.
  2. Wireframes Focus on Functionality and Priority of Content
    Creating wireframes forces everyone to look objectively at a website’s functionality, behaviour and priority of content. Wireframes will point out flaws in the site architecture and navigation.
  3. Wireframes Allow for Clarification of Features 
    Clients may not understand your jargon (ie/ Hero Image / CTAs / User     Experience…) so wireframing provides a clear communication to a client about how these features will function and where they will live on any specific page. Often prototyping or showing live examples of features allows the client to make an educated decision on whether that feature is the right experience for their customers.
  4. Wireframes Help Identify How Content Growth will Affect the Design
    Your website needs to accommodate growth of your business without impacting design, architecture or functionality. Wireframing lets you plan out how additional products and services will affect the layout and behaviour.
  5. Wireframes Save Time and Money 
    Wireframes avoid misunderstanding with the design team, and the development team. They allow clients (and other team members) to provide feedback earlier in the process, so that changes are not being made to full design mock-ups or after programming has been done, saving on additional costs to the entire project.

Once the wireframes are signed off on by all parties, they are then used as the base for the graphic design team as they take the content and creatively build out the brand experience.

Related Blog Posts:
Why a Responsive Website?

 

Why a Responsive Website?

Definition: A responsive website responds to the needs of the user and the devices they are using. The layout changes based on the size and capabilities of the device.

We used our own HT Designs website as a test to prove why a responsive website is so important for business.   HT Designs Responsive Website

In the year, leading up to the launch of the new website, our Bounce Rate was averaging 60.7% and we had very minimal mobile visitors.  This means that over half of our site’s visitors immediately exited our site after viewing the page they landed on.

Increase in Mobile Visitors in the first 6 weeks

We designed and developed a new responsive website that gave us some astounding results within just 6 weeks of launching.

Not only did our bounce rate drop to 8.04%, but we have seen a 68% increase in visitors per week, and there has been a 28% increase in mobile users. Wow! If that does not answer the question of “Why Responsive?”, then I don’t know what will.

We know, the site is not perfect, but as we monitor and analyze the site, we will continue to work on creating a better experience for our customers. We will continue to update this post with new and revised stats.

Please visit our site as your feedback is always appreciated!

Updated on December 2, 2016 with revised stats.

 

Brick and Mortar Retailers Should Embrace the Smartphone

Independent Retailers need to embrace the smartphone

What is showrooming?
People visiting and using a physical store as a showroom, so they can touch and feel the product, and then go away to  buy on-line.

I have heard this term over and over again by independent retailers who are using it as an excuse for their declining business. In reality, more people actually research on-line first and then go to purchase in-store.

Many independent retailers are scared of the smartphone and what they think that means for them and their business.  In actual fact, knowing that the smartphone is a permanent connection between the retailer and the consumer, they should be embracing it. Smartphones allow an exchange of feedback and conversation with each other.

5 Suggestions on how to use this knowledge to your advantage:

  1. People research product on-line first, so make sure your website is up to date with product information including features, specs and pricing.
  2. Since people look at dealer locators and where to buy product, make sure your website is optimized so that customers can find you in the first place.
  3. Have a newsletter signup bar on your website to help grow your database so that you can keep your customers informed about new arrivals and brand promotions.
  4. Keep your social media accounts up to date and make sure that you respond regularly to people who tweet/chat about you and their in-store experience.
  5. Make it easy for your customers to research product right in your store, with the use of tools such as QR codes and Blippar apps.

These are just a couple ideas that will help keep your customers coming back for more.

Check out these two articles from L2 INC for more insights:
1. Bringing Luxury Customer Service to Mobile
2. Retailers Mostly Fail at Mobile Checkout

 

What Makes a Great Social Media Team?

A team that is passionate about connecting brands with people will be successful in building new and long-term relationships.Your Social Media Team

Marketing Director –  Developing a strategy is the first most important step before heading into Social Media territory. A Marketing Manager will determine which Social Media platforms are the best fit for your brand. They will lead key messaging and help keep the campaign direction on track.

Content Developers – Unique content is king and multiple content developers can keep the stories flowing often and consistently. Storytelling is a big part of social media; whether it is through 140 characters, a photo essay or a blog post.

Graphic Designer – Creative graphics keep the reader interested as well as give the opportunity for people to share visual content with others.

Digital Manager – Having someone on the team who can develop custom apps, track traffic through analytical software, and who is always looking for advancements in technology will ensure your content and messaging is always top of mind.

A great team will create new fans and build upon the loyalty of current fans through content filled engagement that make people feel like they are a part of the process. How connected is your team?