When it comes to the holiday season, it can be tempting not to publish anything on your social media feeds, or to ignore them completely. However, this can be a big mistake. Instead, the holidays should be a significant focus of your social media strategy.

There are numerous reasons why. Firstly, the holidays are important to consumers. They plan their lives around these events including a lot of spending, whether it’s on presents, food or experiences.

Secondly, consumers spend significant time researching online about the holidays, both before and during the event. Therefore, using the right hashtags can significantly increase your reach and attract potential customers.

How To Integrate The Holidays Into Your Social Strategy

Integrating the holidays into your social strategy can be difficult to plan for some. You can’t just add the relevant hashtag to your usual social post and hope audiences see a connection. It also doesn’t add anything new to your social stream, so looks boring to your regular audience.

However, you can create new campaigns using some tried and tested strategies that will support your holiday social strategy. Here are some great holiday campaigns to get you started:

User-Generated Content – Have your audience submit holiday-themed photos of themselves during the holidays or in the run-up. Use a relevant but unique hashtag to monitor the responses and give audiences an incentive such as a discount code for the best entry every week.

Discount Codes – A little simple, but in the run-up to an expensive time of year, discount codes can be highly effective at drawing attention to your brand.

Giveaways – Use the holidays to boost awareness of your brand, and mailing list, by offering a giveaway in the run-up to a holiday. Ensure you’ve got enough time to run the competition, pick winners and send out prizes.

Livestreams – Run a livestream where people can watch you and your staff members talk about the holidays. Livestreams on YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms are very popular.

Tailored Content – The simplest is sometimes the best. Create visual posts that represent the holidays and wish your audience a good holiday season, whichever it might be.

Conclusion

Integrating the holidays into your social strategy isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. It can help you reach new audiences and generate new leads. Don’t hide from holidays, embrace them as an opportunity.

What do you do during the holidays? How can you expand your holiday social strategy?

Let us know in the comments below.

Digital media is a significant part of today’s modern world. It can also make or break your business. With the competition on the internet, it can be challenging to see how you can win in such a crowded marketing space.

So here are our 7 digital media tricks you can’t live without which will propel your business to the next level.

  1. Post Consistently – create a strategy and give an indication of how often you will create updates. Keep to your schedule as it installs a sense of reliability and professionalism about your brand.
  2. Use Images – don’t think that text alone is satisfactory. Images can make a big difference, when they are included on blogs, landing pages and social media updates, conversions, and engagement increase.
  3. Use Video – Video is also important in today’s digital media. It helps to pass on your message in a clear and concise manner. Videos are also great for SEO and engagement rates.
  4. Don’t Upload Videos Onto Your Website – This can slow your website down which will harm your page rank and user experience. Instead, use a third-party application like YouTube or Vimeo to host your video.
  5. Cross Promote – It can take up to seven (or more) interactions for your audience to eventually convert. If you are relying on one digital media platform to do this, you’ll lose a lot of leads quickly. Instead, cross promote and use each platform for a different part of your sales process.
  6. Segregate Your Audience – Your audience is important, but ensure you are reaching the right people in that audience with each piece of communication. There is no point in talking to parents with girls about boy shoes. Learn to segregate users based on behaviors and see marketing costs fall, and retention of leads increase.
  7. Don’t Forget Cart Abandonment – When you sell on a website you’ll lose some customers. However, you can reclaim them by using cart abandonment to bring them back. Some research says this can bring back about two-thirds of customers who abandon their cart online.

Conclusion

Digital media can be the lifeblood of your business. You just need to ensure you are using the right tools to get ahead of the competition.

What are your top digital media tips? What tips have you not tried?

Let me know in the comments below.

The world is becoming more digital every day. Social networks now take up an unprecedented amount of time for customers, and live chat on websites is becoming more popular, so you will need to adapt to meet customer demands. This requires new communication skills that many don’t have.

Here are several tips for you to improve your digital communication and be a leading authority in the digital world.

  1. Use SMS

Most people have a mobile phone, and the draw of a mobile device buzzing is overwhelming for many. Also, mobile phones are usually on a person, whereas a desktop or landline isn’t.

Therefore, using SMS to communicate with your audience can be very powerful. SMS is also faster to reach customers if there is an emergency.

  1. Urgency

Don’t delay your response to a message. People expect a message back within a couple of hours on social media or within one day for email.

Even if you don’t have an answer, acknowledge their message, and reassure them you are looking in to their query.

  1. Use The Many Tools Available

Skype, website chat, Facebook Messenger, SnapChat, etc. there are numerous tools available for your business. If you can’t meet the contact in person, or calling them is difficult, think about what other tools you could use to get the conversation started.

  1. Check Your Communications

Before pressing the send button on your communications, be sure to proofread them. Too many mistakes from companies end up being viral hits on social media for all the wrong reasons.

There are free tools like Grammarly that can help you identify potential mistakes in your writing.

  1. Scheduling

If you need regular contact with key customers or stakeholders in your company, then set up regular meetings with them to discuss important matters. Keep to those times and ensure others do too.

Conclusion

Keep your communications clear, concise, and modern in today’s digital world. While you might think it is a small part of your business; a mistake can create a significant PR challenge.

How do you communicate with your customers? Do you always respond quickly?

Let us know in the comments below.

The Middle East has seen significant changes in media usage. Now, more than ever, media is shaping how populations in the Middle East communicate, work, shop and behave. Through it all, several trends are appearing that businesses should know about and can use to shape their marketing efforts.

  1. Facebook Cannot Be Ignored

It’s the largest social network in the world. Facebook’s use in the Middle East has tripled in the past five years and its growth shows no sign of slowing down.

It isn’t just Facebook’s core service that’s growing, Instagram and WhatsApp have shown significant growth too, with WhatsApp being the most popular direct messaging service in the region.

Instagram is also showing incredible growth.

  1. Video Is Important

Throughout the world, video content is often cited as one of the best forms of content for engagement. But the Middle East it is different – it’s the best form of content for your business.

In the Middle East and North Africa, video consumption is twice the global average, and online video viewership in MENA is only second to the USA.

Instagram and Snapchat fuel a lot of this – but YouTube is trying to get a slice of the market and offer many in the region the option to download and then view content offline.

  1. Mobile Content Is Important

Social media is becoming more mobile than ever. 93% of those on Facebook in MENA are accessing the network through their mobiles, and a high proportion of YouTube views are on mobile devices.

This can have constraints on the content you publish.

  1. Ad-Blockers

Mobile Ad-Blocking browser add-ons are reducing the effectiveness of ad-space on websites. With 6.4 million users in UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia alone, businesses will need to look at using native advertising rather than traditional Ad space to reach new customers.

  1. Real-Time Messaging

With so many apps now offering real-time messaging, businesses are going to have to offer live online chat services across their domain during their open hours, and perhaps at other times too. Twitter DM just isn’t going to be good enough.

Conclusion

The way digital media is influencing MENA is changing, and you will need to adapt the way you market to meet the new consumer behaviors. Long gone are the effectiveness of traditional ads. Now social media and native adverts are going to be more effective.

What trends have you noticed? What are you doing to meet the future trends?

Let me know in the comments below.

Getting noticed online is important and with today’s choice of marketing platforms – there are many strategies open to small businesses. While many will lead to some success, there are only a few that will allow you to become a viral hit, with a little luck. A viral hit will almost guarantee business success.

So, what are the top digital media strategies?

  1. The Importance Of Visuals

Images are processed much faster than words and is critical to how your brand is received by audiences. Think about how United Airlines have been affected by the images of the passenger being forced off the plane. The image has gone viral and damaged their reputation.

Images you develop can also have a profound effect. Remember to create regular images for posting on Facebook and Instagram. Take images with customers or during the production process of your product.

Also consider developing infographics, memes and other images.

  1. User-Generated Content

Al Arabiya is arguably the most visited Arab website. The news site has grown in popularity because it has developed a strategy for users to broadcast their videos to their audience.

User-generated content is one of the best ways to encourage loyalty and interaction. It can also help increase your reach as those that contribute will want to share their content with their friends.

Ask audiences to share their videos, photos or stories with you to publish across social media. You could even create a video or photo competition to encourage greater interaction with the help of gamification.

  1. Be Active, Always

Social media is changing audience expectations. Online users now think brands should be responding in near real-time to their questions, complaints, and other comments. This can cause a considerable drain on your resources, but it is an important consideration.

Using tools like Hootsuite will allow you to monitor three or more social media profiles, for free, to help you keep up-to-date with your brand’s mentions on social networks.

By being active and responding, you can demonstrate you are a better brand than that of your competitors.

Conclusion

If you want to be a success, you should ensure your audience is integrated into your marketing plans and using visual updates. These two criteria might be challenging, but with the right push and a little luck, it can turn a small business into a viral hit.

What is your top digital media strategy? What has gone viral for you before?

Let me know in the comments below.

When it comes to maintaining a high profile on social media, or within your industry, you need to keep up-to-date with social trends.

This can be challenging when you are engrossed in your work and perhaps don’t spend much time watching or reading current news or researching new trends.

However, there are lots of tools available that can help you stay informed of the latest social trends without wasting time. Here are the best tools available:

  1. Listen To Podcasts When Travelling

One of the easiest ways to stay apprised of the latest trends is to listen to high-profile podcasts.

These can be downloaded and listened to on the move so you won’t have to take any time away from other tasks. You could listen to these Podcasts while commuting or in the evening.

Podcasts are also free to subscribe to.

  1. Subscribe To News Aggregator Sites

Whatever industry you are in, there will be a news aggregator site which you can arrange to have send you an email, once daily, of the latest content submitted to the site.

This gives you an insight into currently trending content, and therefore, what topics are becoming popular.

While you will need to spend time reading these, it will save you significant time in identifying what you need to read.

  1. Your Online Performance

Sometimes, how audiences are responding to your content or products can indicate the latest trends. If one bestselling product begins to not sell well, then something has changed.

This is a useful technique for those who sell ebooks or use a lot of content. You can see what topics people are reading about and base future publications on those trends.

You could also use Google Dashboard, to determine what terms people are using to reach your website address.

This not only tells you the numbers of people using each term but also what variance there is in their search terms.

Conclusion

Being up-to-date with the latest social trends allows you to maintain relevance to your audience. But you should do your research. There are a few quick and simple tricks to use to help you if you are busy, but these aren’t the only ones.

What tips do you have for keeping up-to-date with the latest social trends? What tools do you use?

Let us know in the comments below

Most businesses need a strong content strategy in today’s online world. The Middle East certainly has some intriguing possibilities for media organizations looking to expand their operations. The challenge is that other media companies will also be looking to take advantage of the current, favorable climate.

The Local Opportunities

The Middle East has a large, young population. 65% of the population is under 30, and some countries have a higher proportion of Smartphone penetration than anywhere else in the world.

Also, audiences in MENA spend just as much time online as audiences in Australia, United Kingdom and the United States.

All this time spent online, they are looking for strong content. If your brand can match expectations, then you have the potential to attract large audiences and expand the reach of your media organization.

Developing Strong Content

There are three components of developing strong content in today’s digital market:

  • Content should meet the audience’s wants and expectations.
  • Be delivered on a platform the audience will use.
  • And at a time that the audience will consume it.

As we know that mobile technology and the internet are in high use, content that can be delivered via these platforms. In addition, analytics can tell you when content is most consumed by audiences.

To develop content that meets audience’s wants and expectations can be more challenging. But the best content always has some common components; such as:

  • Create original content. Unoriginal content will result in your search rank being negatively affected.
  • Use strong headlines that include at least a one of these:
    • Actionable promises.
    • Promise to provide answers.
    • Create shock value.
    • Use numbers to quantify your content.
  • Your content must be accurate with all references included. All statistics should have a link.
  • Be engaging and thought-provoking. This can be achieved with the following tactics:
    • Leave the reader with a question.
    • Have a strong introduction that promises to deliver unique information.
    • Tell a story.
  • Include images and videos. The latter is more important as it ranks higher both on search engines and on social media.
    • Images and videos should include your logo.
    • Images should be optimized for mobile use.
  • Be concise in your writing.

If you can create content with these elements; your media organization will have a great future.

How do you create strong content for your media organization? What content tips do you have?

Let us know in the comments below.

Increasingly, consumers are using a brand’s online presence to gauge its relevance for providing a solution to their problems, and this could range from a service or a product to an online video.
Having a significant online presence means more visitors and potentially more customers, but your presence needs to be positive to prevent people turning away or not reaching out to your brand at all.
Increasing your presence across the internet is a great way to drive traffic to your website, and there are many effective ways to improve your online presence.
Here are our top three:
1. Search Engine Optimisation
Google, Bing, and other search engines are one of the first places that consumers go to when looking for new products or services. If you don’t have any presence on search engines – then you won’t generate any traffic this way.
Some small businesses can generate as much as 80% of their traffic from search engines, so getting access to this market is important.
The best quick fixes for search engines is to focus on one set of keywords and include it in headings and text on a page’s meta tags.
2. Social Media
Social media is one way to grow interest in your brand by getting your current customers, staff, and business partners to promote and interact with you.
Consumers say that they are likely to trust the recommendation of a peer on social media more than traditional marketing.
Social media is also a great way to display your expertise within a field by sharing useful information.
3. Blogging
Blogging is another way for you to display your expertise and build links to your website. Research has demonstrated that businesses which blog generate more inbound links (that help with SEO) and that audiences trust blogs more than other forms of advertising.
The important element of blogging is not to be too promotional. This comes after a prospect has subscribed to your mailing list and receives promotional emails.
Conclusion
You need to be seen online, and there are three very effective ways to do this. Use these tools well, and you will likely see more traffic to your website and more leads being generated.
How do you grow your online presence? What results do you see from your efforts?
Let me know in the comments below.

Smiley

The internet has provided the opportunity not just for organizations to create a brand, but for individuals to imprint their own brand upon the world and part of the reason for this is that more people are now buying from the person rather than a nameless corporation.
Evidence of this can be seen in how YouTube and Instagram stars have risen to fame.
The importance to consumers of their product/service research is also evident. Should consumers learn your name from a friend or family member, many are likely to search for you on Google. If they don’t see what they like, they won’t buy from you.
Also, a personal brand is more convincing than a corporate brand in many industries. Especially in the fashion industry. They offer consumers a real person to speak to, and this can help to build trust.
So, what are the secrets to building a personal brand?
1. Professional Image Everywhere
One of the first things to do is to ensure you have professional images on your social media profiles. This includes removing controversial content and any potentially embarrassing images.
Images that are months or years old on social media can come back to haunt you, so take no chances.
2. Continue To Be A Student In Your Industry
New information and knowledge is always available in every industry. If you want to have a strong personal brand, you need to be aware of the latest trends and news in your industry and report on them as soon as they break.
Any delay lessens the impact your personal brand has. To help you, regularly read industry and general news sites.
3. Communicate With Related Journalists
Identify and communicate with journalists who write articles in your industry. Get them to see you as an industry expert, so you are the first one they’ll call when they need an expert’s quote. This enables you to gain creditability.
You can use services like HARO or reach out to journalists yourself.
4. Be Authentic
There is nothing more important than to be yourself. If you aren’t, then people are going to notice, and this could be detrimental to your brand.
Conclusion
Creating a personal brand is important. It can help you sell more products/services and be more convincing than a corporate brand image. Remember the secrets to building a personal brand, and you’ll reap the rewards.
How have you built your personal brand? What tips do you have?
Let us know in the comments below.

Social Media Logos in the Picture

Your social media accounts have a value. Hubspot uses a complicated calculation between the number of followers you have, your net gain per month, and the interactions between your content and followers. However, this might not be entirely accurate.
There are two calculations you really need to do, to know the real value of your social media accounts, and we discuss both in this article.
Direct Value
This is the amount of revenue that can be directly attributed to your brand’s social updates, i.e. when someone sees an update you’ve published, and they click through and make a purchase.
With the right monitoring tools, this can be very easy to calculate. You can also break this down into different social media platforms to calculate the top performing platform and sometimes even content.
Indirect Value
Your social media accounts don’t just provide direct value to your brand. Social media statistics can also impact your brand in numerous other ways.
For example, it can contribute to your brand’s page rank on search engines such as Google and Bing. The better your brand’s social media output, the higher the rank. This translates into greater traffic, more conversions, and higher revenues.
It’s the hardest value to calculate, as knowing exactly how much social media impacts your page rank is challenging – if not impossible.
Another factor is that some customers don’t buy immediately but make a purchase after signing up to your mailing list. They might have originally discovered your brand via social media, but the converting media was email. So, because social media was part of the process, some attribution should be given to social media.
Complete Value
Therefore, instead of just working out the direct value of your social media accounts, you need to look at the wider issues. How much revenue do you earn because of direct traffic and indirect purchases, due to your social media content?
How do you calculate the value of your social media accounts? Do you have any tips on how to improve your social media value?
Let us know in the comments.