Posts Tagged ‘search’
Instagram is a photo sharing application for iOS and Android devices.
In recent months, it has been catapulted to success not only because of the ease and convenience that it offers to photo-loving individuals, but also because the social media giant Facebook purchased it for 23 million shares (originally worth $1,000,000,000, now said to be $753,000,000). It has more than 80 million users making it one of the fastest growing social networking sites in the world. The sheer volume of Instagram fanatics should be enough indication that this social media site has the potential to be a gold mine for brands and companies that wish to engage in free advertisement and promotion.
Here are some suggestions on how an organisation can use Instagram to improve brand recognition and boost revenue:
1. Introduction of Products and Services
As a photo app, Instagram is a great tool that can be used to showcase your company’s products and services. A picture paints a thousand words and a great photo of your company’s newest product can spark the interest of potential buyers. The service can also be used to display print ads that would cost a small fortune, if published in magazines or billboards. If you have 100,000 followers, then each post made is tantamount to a free reminder to consumers, to support your brand.
To gain more followers, you need to be very selective with the photos that you upload. Choose photos that provide value to your customers and use shots that will spark interest in your brand and company. Maintain a high standard of quality, upload only the best shots. You can also check out what other popular users are uploading to get inspiration and ideas on what you should post.
Bear in mind that too many photos about the same product can cause people to become less interested in your site, resulting in brand and product fatigue.
2. Reach a Wider Audience with the Hashtag
Posting photos may be an excellent marketing strategy, but its reach is limited by the number of users following your account. Even the biggest brands only have about 500,000 followers, which is a small chunk of the total Instagram population. The hashtag (#) is a great tool that will allow you to expand your reach even to people who are not following you. By adding hashtags to specific keywords, your photo will become searchable and available to 80 million users worldwide. You will potentially get additional views from users who are not yet familiar with your brand and who may be interested in purchasing your products.
Using popular hashtags can help you ride the wave of current online trends. People who are searching about specific trends will likely come across your photos. However, don’t get carried away, make sure that you only use tags that are relevant to what you are posting.
3. Search for Potential Customers or Influential Users
The search function of Instagram can also be used to reach out to potential customers or users with an influential following. Search using specific keywords, resulting in photos that match your exact needs. For instance, you can try searching for photos with the hashtag “#cuisine” or “#michelinstar” if you are a restaurant. You can then leave comments on relevant photos to persuade consumers (and their followers) to try out your restaurant.
You can also increase fan numbers by following and complimenting other Instagram users. Make sure to be selective in who you follow, and avoid accounts that could adversely affect your reputation. Be discreet and avoid making it too obvious that you are out to make a rapid increase in following.
4. Promotion of Events and Activities
Instagram is also a great way of engaging people to participate in events and activities. A product launch, for instance, can be made even bigger when guests are encouraged to take “behind the scenes” photos to supplement the official photographs and video streams. The event will not only reach a wider audience, but it will also be personalised and give different perspectives.
Having a photo wall with your logo on, is also a great way of ensuring that your brand will find its way to online photo albums, profile pictures, or social networking posts.
Geotagging your photos is also a good way to promote your event or shop. Consumers browsing through your photos may be interested to know where to find your shop or office. Having the location readily available saves them the trouble of having to search online.
Instagram also displays photos taken from the same location and will show potential customers how much fun existing customers are having with your brand.
5. Customer Engagement and Campaigns
Another great way to use this tool is to elicit the participation of the masses to engage in activities that will promote the brand. Like other social media sites, Instagram is a great avenue for contests and campaigns. You can ask your followers to use hashtags that would promote brand recognition. For example, a coffee shop could host a contest for photos that showcase the best places to enjoy a cup of coffee. An energy drink manufacturer, on the other hand, can start a contest for the photo that best represents life and activity. Once the entries are posted, you can then choose the best shots and feature them on your own website.
Instagram was originally created so that users may capture great images, manipulate them to become great photos using built-in filters, syndicate using other social media sites like Facebook and interact with other users through hashtags and comments. The site has evolved into something much more than that and today brands can use it as a highly effective mode of free advertisement and promotion.
Incoming search terms:
- nice event pics
The bounce rate of your website is potentially one of the most valuable pieces of information that you can take from website analytics, especially when spending a sizable budget on search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) marketing.
Overall the website analytics provide vital information in relation to your websites usage, number of visitors to your site, page views, visitor clicks, countries visitors are from, how the visitors got to your page, the list goes on.
The task of studying the website analytics can also provide some confusing reading to most.
While examining the website statistics, you may have noticed a bounce rate (as a percentage of all visits) to pages on a website. Firstly what is a bounce rate and why should you care about this statistic? Secondly how can you reduce the bounce rate and increase time spent on the website?
What is a bounce rate and why should you care?
To answer why you should care about the bounce rate, first we must answer what it is. In simple terms, it is whether users bounce onto your site and off again (without visiting any other pages), spending none or a very little amount of time reading or interacting with your website’s content.
The bounce rate (without visiting any other pages), is difference to the exit rate. Some seem to use the terms interchangeably, however to clear up any confusion the exit rate refers to users who have previously visited other pages and then leave the website.
So why should you care, does this percentage actually matter? Yes, it matters a great deal (especially in the post penguin era). It signals to Google that the users needs were not met by your website, this matters to your visitors and to your crucial SERP (Search Engine Ranking Position). It signals and provides Google with two vital pieces of information, the ‘relevancy of search query’ and ‘quality of content’.
Relevancy of search query
When you appear in the results for a search term, for instance “Best Nike Football Boots”, if a user clicks through to your site and what they see is an article regarding something unrelated, they simply click their back button.
What does this mean to Google? Well firstly Google presented its search results of which they deemed relevant, a user clicked a link, then clicked back (Google knows they are back), hence the content was not of relevance or interest. The user then clicks more results (below yours) and spends 10 minutes reading a page, before Google detects they are back searching again. If this is repeated multiple times by multiple searchers, which website will start to be deemed more relevant?
Quality of content as time spent on site
If the bounce rate for your page is high or time on page low, it indicates two possibilities. Low quality content or non relevant article to the search query, this being the case ensure that the page is targeting the correct audience for its relevance.
If the bounce rate is high from multiple search queries, it then leaves low quality content as the biggest contender, indicating that the query may be relevant, but the content of the page is not worth reading. This being the case, you are seriously risking the integrity of your online brand, potentially creating negative brand equity in that consumers may associate your website with a waste of their time.
So if your bounce rate is high, it it matters to you from the perspective of consumers, SERP, future visits, ultimately brand equity.
How can I increase my time on site and decrease my bounce rate?
Brands need to ensure that their first impression reels in the user to engage with their content, as high time on site and low bounce rate, will provide increased Google authority and in turn, SERP for terms relating to your niche.
This is because Goggles main purpose (as a search engine) is to provide users with pages that are relevant, if users click your website and consistently spend a significant amount of time browsing they have achieved their goal. The visitor is also indicating that they have found what they are looking for and satisfied with the website. The likelihood of their return to the website also increases.
In order to achieve this, firstly ensure that your website follows the basics (a user friendly design). No matter how good the content and relevance, if the user can’t read or find it then it doesn’t matter. This includes ensuring that the website is both simple and clean, having a clear navigation and the content is immediately obvious to the user while the website layout is also responsive to the device being used.
Once the basics have been satisfied, your content must be relevant and of the highest quality, something of value that your users will want to read it. It must be informative and insightful about a topic, while also ensuring that it is relevant and consistent with your site, brand and other articles. If your site is about Apples ensure that you stick to them (don’t talk about Oranges).
Getting this mix correct, greatly increases the likelihood of user participation in terms of discussion and social mentions. Remember that if you are an authority site in your field, others will want to associate themselves with you, building authority for themselves. This results in increased non Google traffic and more users visiting (not bouncing) and reading your pages (increased time on site).
In conclusion, post penguin, content quality is of vital importance to your search engine strategy and to ensure brand consistency, should be at the heart of your brand communication strategy.
Incoming search terms:
One of the best ways to improve website traffic is by gaining a good search engine ranking position from search engines such as Google and Bing. Online users who type in specific search phrases or keywords are provided a long list of related sites; however the vast majority only go as far as reading the first page. Unfortunately this can be the case, no matter how excellent your content may be and it can remain in obscurity, unless the website improves its search engine ranking method, with the aim of propeling it to the first page of the search results.
The “game” of optimisation used to be simpler; today webmasters can resort to a number of unethical means (such spamming) in an effort to gain top rankings. This can result in useful content often being difficult to find, as online viewers are required to click through a long list of irrelevant websites before finding the information they need. However recent updates made by the top search engines, have focused on providing “natural search results.” Google, for instance, recently released the Penguin update which aimed to reduce low-quality back-links, over optimisation, and illicit SEO strategies.
More than ever, it has become essential for writers and bloggers to provide online content that is both compelling and informative. It is also important to focus on building a strong network of natural back-links that serve as portals to the website. The more links there are out there, the higher the chances of a stray reader stumbling upon your page.
Here are some social media techniques that you can use to drive audience to your site:
1. Social Media as a Tool for Encouraging Back-links
Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are great tools for building strong links to your webpage. Google and Bing have both made confirmations that links used on these social media sites are used in their algorithm. Fortunately, both sites have made it easy for webmasters and writers to integrate their blog links into post creation. For instance, once new entry is posted, it is possible to have Facebook and Twitter post updates and inform followers. Google+ is another great way of reaching a wide audience base, the more “+1” votes recieved on a blog post, the more visibility it gets.
Optimal times for posting upon social media platforms exist for certain demographics; however another method is to post multiple times, although not excessively. Scheduling tools are also widely available online, which enable authors to have certain links posted repeatedly over a pre-determined period of time. This way, you can reach potential readers who have varying schedules of activity or may be in different time zones. Scheduling also spares webmasters from the monotony of having to manually create updates featuring the same links.
2. Social Media as a Source of Content Ideas
The concept of search engines is that users are looking for information, based on certain keywords and phrases. If your goal is to get many readers, then you will likely attract more people by writing about content that interests them personally. The more interested people are about your article, the higher the likelihood of them sharing your link with other users. Thus, it is beneficial, to entice readers to share through social media network,s while providing them with the content they crave.
Social media sites are also excellent places for finding ideas on article topics of current interest. They have become tools that provide information based on what the majority of users are interested in, at any given time. Twitter for instance, has an easy to use search bar and “Trending Topics List” that will give you an insight into what people are currently talking about and showing interest in. Use these methods to find topics that fit your blog portfolio and provide interesting information or insight that will attract attention and let potential readers find it by making it available online.
3. Encourage Social Media Following and Re-Posting
Social media is the best tool to encourage direct access to your website via links. While being very easy to use, readily available, widely accessible and in terms of the future, being relatively safe from any algorithmic changes that search engines may make, for instance calculating page rank. In other words, it would be wise for a blogger not to simply rely on search engines for page visits, but to maximise the usage of social media to attract a strong following.
Most social media networks provide sharing buttons that can be clearly displayed on a website. These can easily be attached to your blog, using codes that are obtained by visiting the social media platform support page. Having these buttons displayed visibly on your page will encourage readers to share articles or entries that catch their interest.
As a last resort, another approach is to directly ask for help from your followers. Adding simple phrases like “please re-tweet” or “please re-post” is enough to encourage other users to share your post. This is particularly true for well-written and informative content. However it is important not to seem desperate, as this may impact upon your followers.
In summary, social media tools can be used to drive attention and traffic to your site. However, the content of your site remains the biggest factor in attracting readers. Content, after all, is king. No matter how extensive your social presence is, poor content will not get a good mileage. The best way to maximise your tools is to become an industry expert or authority figure in the topics that you are writing about. Gaining credibility in your craft will result in more social media following and repeat visitors to your site.