Digital Marketing Trends to watch out for in 2017

With 2016 but a distant memory, 2017 is now in full swing. We are certain it is going to be another exciting and unpredictable year…and that is just for digital marketing.  From chatbots to video marketing, with lots in between, the industry is awash with talk about this year’s most important trends.  Here we’ve rounded up some of our favourites and why you need to be watching out for them in 2017.

1.Live streaming
We saw the buzz of live streaming first-hand last year with the US Presidential election, but it’s set to get even bigger in 2017. Most recently, Instagram has followed in the steps of Facebook and launched a live streaming service on its story feature. Virgin Media also received high praise for its live TV ad, which was created by piecing together live footage from 18 locations into a 60 second feature. Not only does live streaming allow brands to get creative, but it can also be more cost-friendly and allows consumers to interact on an even deeper level.

2.Chatbots
Chatbots are set to be the next big thing in messaging app technology and will reshape the way we communicate with consumers. Companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon have already started using them, so we’re sure many other businesses will follow suit.  While some are still unsure about chatbots, many argue that they’ll increase both sales and communication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.Video marketing
From Android’s ‘Friends Furever’ to Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign, video content is gaining ever more popularity amongst both consumers and marketers. While creating video content can be daunting, when done right it can be extremely effective. Videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined and it’s predicted that 74% of online content will be video by the end of the year.

4.Further personalisation
In a survey carried out by Swirl Network in 2015, it was found that 88% of shoppers were more likely to shop with retailers who offered personalised experiences.  From emails, to your homepage, personalisation can be done easily and effectively.  Research has also found that customers spend up to 48% more when their experience is personalised, which is revenue that no business can afford to lose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing has been around for a while now; however, businesses are now moving towards what are known as “micro-influencers”. These people may not have millions of followers, but they have the niche audiences businesses are looking for. You no longer have to be a big business either to use influencers; smaller businesses are constantly using them to bring about brand awareness, making it a useful marketing strategy for businesses of all sizes.

TLC Business Marketing Lunch-11 tips to get more from your marketing in 2017

With 2017 just around the corner, it was time to host our annual Marketing Lunch. This year’s event took place at the Southampton Science Park in the Innovation Centre and we welcomed over 20 local businesses for a jam-packed session. The theme of this year’s event was ’11 tips to get more from your marketing in 2017’ and we’ve summarised below some of the points:

1. Social media-Know your audience

It’s important that you’re using the appropriate social media platforms for your target audience. Instagram for example has a largely young demographic, with 37% of its users aged 16-24, making it an essential tool for businesses targeting younger consumers, but not so much for older consumers who make up only 3% of Instagram. It’s therefore imperative that you do your research beforehand.

2. Google reviews

Not many businesses understand the importance of Google reviews, but if you want to help your business’s presence on Google this is an excellent place to start. Not only will Google reviews give your business reputability, they’re also favoured by Google and the more you have the further you’ll move up on the search engine results. You don’t necessarily have to be the biggest business in order to top the rankings.

3. Social media – 5 things not to do:

• Being too salesy
• Choosing quantity over quality
• Taking on too many channels
• Posting irregularly
• Repeating posts on every channel

4. Have an SEO checklist

While SEO can be a daunting subject for many marketers, it’s an important tool to get right. Use our checklist to get started:
• Google Analytics installed?
• Google Search Console installed?
• Use GSC tools for 404 / 500 page errors, duplicate content etc.
• Used Google’s Keyword Research Tool – to find relevant keyword per page?
• Incorporated primary keyword into page url?
• Title tags created and correct length?
• Meta description tags created and correct length?

5. PPC – Understanding your quality score

Your quality score can have a big impact on the cost and effectiveness of your paid search campaigns. Quality score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads and it’s used to determine the price of cost per click. You can improve your quality score in a few ways:
• Structure your campaigns into smaller yet targeted ad groups
• Ensure your landing pages are directly relevant to your chosen keywords
• Decrease your landing page load times

• Ensure your ads are directly relevant to your chosen keywords

6. Retarget consumers

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses simple codes to anonymously ‘follow’ your audience all over the Web. When customers visit a website, the cookie is able to ‘follow’ them round as they search the Web and leave reminders in the hope of them returning to the site and making a purchase or undertaking an action. Retargeted visitors are 70% more likely to convert into buyers, making it a powerful marketing tool.

7. Email marketing – some more top tips

• Personalisation – personalising your emails is more likely to generate engagement.
• Context is everything – don’t be fooled by top words to avoid or included in subject lines.
• Mobile-friendly- make sure your emails are responsive.

• Split test – review subject lines and content

8. The best content for B2B vs B2C

Social media is still the most popular way of providing content for B2B and B2C marketers; however there are some differences when it comes to other tools they use. Blogs for example are more popular with B2B marketers and make up 92% of their content marketing, but only 67% for B2C. It’s important to use tools which are the most effective for your audience.

9. Start creating more video content

It’s estimated that video will make up 74% of online traffic in 2017, making it one to watch. We can expect to see trends such as live streaming and 360 degree videos developing within the next 12 months, so it’s the perfect time to practise your video skills and master creating video content for your consumers.

10. Make the most of Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site’s presence in Google Search results. Keywords, impressions, CTR, site error, broken links and more, Search Console provides you with key data you can’t afford to dismiss if you want your website to be effective.

11. Book your free ideas session with us

Here at TLC Business we offer a 1-2-1 session for SME businesses looking to improve their marketing. If you’d like to know more email emma@tlc-business.co.uk or call 01962 600 147.

We hope you find this useful and would like to thank everyone who attended. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

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US Election: How Trump and Clinton embraced Social Media in the race to the White House

After a year of campaigning, Americans finally took to the polling station this week to vote. What came as a shock to many was also a cause of celebration for others, as Donald Trump sealed an unlikely victory to become the 45th President of America.

Although the election may now be over, it’s certainly one we won’t be forgetting any time soon. It’s been one of the most aggressive and expensive elections to date, with the two hopefuls having reportedly spent over $6.5 billion on their campaigns combined. With spending on social media up by 600% compared to the last election, we’re taking a look back at how social media played an integral part of each candidate’s campaigns.

Twitter

Twitter was centre stage in this election, and with Trump and Clinton having a combined following of over 20 million, this came as no surprise.

From Clinton’s pledge to cut college fees for families earning under $125,000, to Trump’s vow to ‘make America great again’, Twitter was awash with political promises from all sides, in a bid to secure more voters and build campaign momentum.

During live TV debates, Twitter would erupt into discussion. The October 9th debate alone generated 17 million tweets relating to the election, and in the last 6 months, the candidates achieved over 100 million interactions on Twitter, demonstrating online engagement around this election never seen before.

Most popular tweets from the candidates campaigns:

hillary-tweet

 

 

 

 

 

543,949 retweets and 700,708 likes.

donald-tweet

 

 

 

 

 

121,030 retweets and 249,943 likes.

Facebook

Over 150 million Americans use Facebook, which made it another valuable platform for the presidential hopefuls. Trump and Clinton made their presence on Facebook clear with daily posts. Hillary made a particular effort to provide her 7.7 million followers with video content, whereas Trump continued to criticise Washington and current laws with the hashtag #draintheswamp.

However the social media site came under scrutiny for its role in this election, with some worrying Facebook was interfering by censoring what people see, in order to persuade them to vote a certain way. But it’s not all bad news, reports suggest that the websites reminder to vote increased online registration significantly.

Most popular posts from the candidates campaigns:

hillary-facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

263,290 likes and 71,795 shares.

donald-facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

325,466 likes and 13,458 shares.

Instagram

Instagram was another key platform for the candidates, especially when it came to gaining support among first-time voters. With both candidates having over 3 million followers each, posts were frequent and delivered powerful messages. On Instagram, Hillary stood by her hashtag #strongertogether, posting a series of photos with high profile supporters, including President Obama and Pharrell Williams. In contrast, Trump posted a series of rally photos and stats from the election so far, to drive support.

Most popular posts from the candidtaes campaigns:

hillary-insta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

308,000 likes.

donald-insta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

221,000 likes.

YouTube

Although YouTube played a lower profile than Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in this election, both candidates made an effort to boost their profiles with video content. Clinton had 135,000 subscribers and made sure she kept her YouTube updated daily with a variety of videos; including speeches and interviews with supporters. Trump was close behind, with 99,982 subscribers; however, he wasn’t quite as active. Despite this, his campaign still made sure videos were posted weekly in order to keep up with his rival.

Most popular videos from the candidates campaigns:

Hillary Clinton- 3.2 million views.

Donald Trump- 4 million views.

As the dust begins to settle and the world prepares for Trump to replace Obama, it will be interesting to see just how Trump’s use of social media changes. If there’s one thing we’re sure of though, Trump being Trump, he won’t be reducing his activity any time soon. After all, he can now add ‘President of the USA’ to his current title of the ‘King of social media’.

Trump has shown that despite being the underdog (albeit a very wealthy one!), his ability to master social media as a tool to engage with and inspire the disaffected and disconnected members of American society, is unrivalled amongst the current political elite.

 

 

Saying Goodbye to Vine: 5 Times Marketers got it Right

Twitter announced last week that it will be shutting down its much loved 6 second video app Vine over the coming months. Vine was purchased by the company back in 2012 for a reported $30 million.
The shock announcement, which sent fans into a frenzy, also came in the wake of the news that Twitter is cutting its workforce by 9%. Twitter has not given a reason for the job cuts, however the company has reportedly been struggling to find a new buyer, leading to speculation of a possible company revamp in order to attract potential investors.

Despite no longer being able to use the mobile app, both Twitter and Vine have released a statement assuring fans that existing content will not be removed from the website. “We’ll be keeping the website online because we think it’s important to still be able to watch all the incredible Vines that have been made. “You will be notified before we make any changes to the app or website.”

Whilst Vine was well known for showcasing upcoming stars and comical content, the app also managed to attract the attention of some of the biggest brands in the world, with companies such as Sony and Adidas quickly realising the apps marketing potential.

With this is mind, we take a look back at some of the best marketing vines created in the last 4 years:

 

1.Oreo

Views/loops:243,236

https://vine.co/v/Mhln0j7IHJH

 

2.Dunkin Donuts

Views/Loops:29,643

https://vine.co/v/Mu3PQBPLdXe

 

3.The White House

Views/Loops:3,106,705

https://vine.co/v/O9TEhID2O2U

 

4.Smart Car

Views/Loops: 9,421

https://vine.co/v/O0MHinm6OL1

 

5.Marmite

Views/Loops: 1,056,024

https://vine.co/v/im3PDpevE0n

 

Marketing aside, here are the most popular vines:

 

1.A football fan captures the moment a bomb can be heard going off from inside the stadium during the November Paris attacks.

Views/loops:715,565,925

https://vine.co/v/iBb2x00UVlv

 

2. Leonardo Dicaprio pulls a funny face as Lady Gaga walks past at the Golden Globes.

Views/Loops:114,584,845

https://vine.co/v/iMAHYTw00bH

3. A little boy gets a surprise when a rotating foam stick picks him up.

Views/Loops: 95,820,686

https://vine.co/v/e6nLQQuYJPn

 

4. A toddler pretends to be excited about his avocado present.

Views/Loops:119,339,261

https://vine.co/v/ewJP7Mh0A1V

 

5. A dog pretends to be a human.

Views/Loops:24,282,342

https://vine.co/v/b623zdwVuJB

 

 

 

 

Businesses have finally landed a place on Instagram

The world’s leading photo-sharing app has announced a new feature that we’ve all been waiting for – company pages!
Instagram previewed the new profiles and tools for businesses earlier in the month, and they will soon be available to people in the US, New Zealand and Australia over the next few months. But don’t panic Britain; they’re slowly introducing the new feature, so we’ll get our hands on it at some point!

The new update will add a contact button to profiles, as well as detailed analytics and easier access to promotional tools, which can transform company posts in advertisements.

For companies, the most useful feature will be the addition of a contact button, where consumers will be able to easily interact with the brand. Companies will be given the option to add an email address, contact number or text message option, alongside location directions.

As stated earlier, Instagram will also give users with a company profile the ability to access analytics data. Similar to Facebook analytics, Instagram’s insights provide a detailed look at post engagement, audience and follower demographics.

Alongside the new business feature, Instagram is also testing a new algorithmic feed, which will order posts by relevance, rather than chronological order – a move that has particularly upset many businesses and personal users alike.

Being fans of the photo-sharing app ourselves, we’re eager for the new business feature to roll out into the UK. Let us know your thoughts!

RE: Tips for increasing your email opens

Did you know that you have fewer than 5 seconds to convince a recipient to open an email? When it comes to email marketing, enticing your audience to engage with your email is a common struggle, and with a bland subject line, your chances of getting that email opened markedly decrease.

New trends are emerging throughout the world of email marketing all the time and a number of these revolve around the never-ending quest to create engaging and eye-catching subject lines. For instance, of late, you may have noticed the retail sector increasingly using emojis in their subject lines to attract you to open their email. However, whether this is suitable for own audience needs to be considered carefully. The fundamental goal of a subject line is to get as many opens as possible, and to give you a little help, we have come up with 5 top tips for writing an irresistible subject line.

  1. Less is more

Whilst it’s important to make your subject lines as clear as possible, it’s also important to keep them short and sweet. For best results, a subject line shouldn’t be any longer than 50 characters. Whilst this may be a struggle, give it a try and see how you get on.

Particularly with mobile devices, making a subject line longer runs the risk of it being cut off prematurely. According to a study from Sidekick, 40% of emails are opened on mobile first – where the average mobile screen can only fit 4-7 words max.

  1. Beat that filter

There’s only one thing worse than having your email sent to the ‘trash’ folder, and that’s the email being sent to the ‘spam’ folder. Sidekick found that 69% of email recipients report emails as spam based solely on its subject line, so making sure that your subject line isn’t ‘spam-worthy’ is a must.

There are also a range of words that act as a warning sign for email accounts, so be sure to avoid the following:

  • Reminder
  • Increase your
  • Dear
  • Free
  • Help
  • Get out of
  • Urgent
  1. Make it personal

One of the easiest ways to get an email deleted from an inbox is if it comes across as too generic. These days, consumers are attracted to a product or service with their name plastered on it – a prime example being CocaCola’s #ShareACoke campaign.

Personalising your subject line is one of the most effective methods for generating opens for an email campaign, and it can even be as simple as using the term ‘you’. Emails which contain personalised subject lines are 20% more likely to get opened – it’s a no brainer!

  1. Urgency is important

There’s nothing wrong with creating a sense of urgency in your email. We have a deep fear of being left behind, or missing out, and this can be your chance to use it to your advantage!

In recent years, Sidekick have seen a 61.8% increase in opens when using the word “alert” in a subject line.

You need to make your recipients feel like they must open your email without any hesitation. Examples include:

  • Get your marketing MOT today
  • Today only
  • Ends soon
  1. Be humorous

We all love a bit of ‘banter’ here and there, and a humorous subject line can really stand out from the other dull, bland emails that surround it. However, humour can be a touchy subject, and without knowing your audience well enough, it can go wrong, so be aware.

We’ve come across a range of amusing subject lines:

  • Groupon – “There are no deals in this email”
  • Customer Surveys – “Baby got (feed)back”
  • Move Loot – “Seat your heart out”
  • Barack Obama – “Hey”

 

If you’re looking to be sneaky, include ‘RE:’ before the subject line, as the top 5 subject lines in a recent study from Sidekick had ‘RE:’ at the beginning.

Whatever you choose to do to improve your email marketing’s effectiveness, make sure you put improving your subject lines at the top of the list. It doesn’t matter how great the content in the email is, if it doesn’t get opened.

If you have any tips for successful subject lines, get in touch!

10 years of Twitter and some interesting facts that will blow your mind

Did you know that one of the early names considered for the platform was “Friendstalker”? We’re not so sure how successful the network would have been with that name or even if it would reach its 10th birthday; but, having done so and with over 305 million monthly users, we’re sharing some of the most impressive and fascinating facts about the platform to date.

Most retweeted tweet

Can you guess? That’s right, Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar selfie, with her Hollywood A-lister friends, received over 3.3 million retweets on Twitter. Selfie-taking (for better or worse!) has now become a way of life for us all, to the extent that the term itself has now been accepted into our dictionaries. It somehow seems fitting then that the modern selfie phenomenon would lead to Twitter’s most significant sharing moment to date.

Most followed person

Somewhat surprisingly you might think, given the competition, American pop-star Katy Perry is Twitter’s most-followed person, boasting nearly 85 million users, which is more than the population of Spain. Katy is closely followed by pop prince Justin Bieber, with 78 million followers and pop princess, Taylor Swift, with 74 million.

Most tweeted emoji

To date, the most tweeted emoji with 14.5 billion impressions is the ‘tears of joy’ emoji. Personally, we like the aubergine!

Most tweeted hashtag

Hashtags have been named ‘the child of Twitter’. Their development enabled users to employ the hashtags to start a conversation, participate in trends and make new connections. The most popular hashtag to date is #FF – Follow Friday. For those of you not already #FF savvy, this is a popular phenomenon where users encourage their followers to follow new accounts; either because they’re new to the network or have done something worthy of recognition.

Total number of tweets

Since Twitter’s launch 10 years ago, the network has managed to generate 500 million tweets per day across the world. On average, 6,000 tweets are tweeted every second, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets per minute.

Most geo-tagged location

Surprisingly, the most geo-tagged location is south-east Brazilian city Sao Paulo, having received over 638 million tags. Sao Paulo is classed as one of the world’s most popular cities with well over 11 million inhabitants.

With Twitter reaching its 10th birthday and generating 6,000 tweets per second, us marketers are intrigued to know what the numbers will look like on its 20th birthday? Will it even get there? With the rapid rise of rivals Instagram and Snapchat eating into Twitter’s audience and user base, some marketers are heralding its imminent demise. Will it become the next MySpace or have Twitter got something up their sleeve to secure its position in the social media platform hierarchy for another decade? Only time will tell…

If you’ve found any more fascinating facts about Twitter which you think is worthy of being added to our list, get in touch!

Technology shifts and their impact on content marketers

technology
 

 

 

 

 

 

With technology continually evolving, content marketers need to ensure that they stay on top of the trends and technologies that will influence their audiences and marketing channels going forward. With this in mind, we take a look at some of the emerging technologies that are shaping the world of marketing this year. Is your business on top of them?

Social purchasing

Social purchasing has been a growing trend over the last few years. It involves consumers being able to purchase products and services direct from an organisation’s social media channel, rather than their website.

Facebook have lead the way with social purchasing, through their Facebook ads, but other social media channels, such as Pinterest, with their buyable pins (where consumers are able to buy products straight from the network without leaving the page) have supported them. According to a study by Deloitte, 47% of millennials say their purchases are influenced by social media, indicating social purchasing opportunities are only going to increase. Businesses that have to-date ignored social media marketing, could be missing out on a trick!

As you might expect, social media is the most popular marketing channel for marketers looking to share content and build an audience. With the rise of social purchasing, it does raise the interesting question of is this the beginning of the end for the traditional business website?

Live streaming

Streaming live video has become a growing trend, with apps like Meerkat, Twitch and Periscope appearing more frequently on our smart phones. Even mainstream social apps like Facebook have adopted their own live streaming features, and users are beginning to demand new ‘in-the-moment’ content, rather than pre-scheduled.

This could put a heavy burden on businesses large and small. Even large organisations, like Red Bull and Home Depot in the States, who rely heavily on video content to engage with their consumers, will be challenged to come up with genuinely engaging ‘in-the-moment’ content. It will be particularly interesting to see how video leader, YouTube, will respond to the growing trend, with their platform currently set up to deliver pre-recorded rather than live video.

Live streaming also offers opportunities for SMEs looking for closer engagement with their target audiences. It is important that marketers in smaller businesses don’t discount this exciting medium. It is not all about the big brands!

Mobile usage

Mobile messaging apps are beginning to transform the way consumers interact with brands, and Facebook is once again at the forefront of this trend. In March 2015, Facebook announced their partnership with Dutch airline KLM, giving KLM passengers the ability to access booking confirmations and boarding passes via their smartphone.

The practice of carrying out transactions through messaging apps is already expanding in China, where consumers are moving rapidly towards mobile purchasing, and away from online purchasing. The rapid rise of mobile purchasing will force businesses that offer an online-only service to adapt and evolve.

The dramatic growth of mobile usage and the rise of the smartphone is heralding the slow demise of traditional PCs and computers. For a long time, laptops and desktops were the preferred choice of consumers for researching and purchasing, but now the tables have turned. With the advent of 4G and Wi-Fi becoming ever more ubiquitous, amongst us in shops, cafes, restaurants and even banks, smartphones are becoming our primary means of running our lives. From a content marketers perspective, ensuring your content can be easily accessed on a mobile device is now a must.

If you are involved in content marketing and aren’t considering the impact of these and other technological developments on your strategy, you’ll be missing out on some very exciting opportunities.

TLC’s Campaigns of the Month

With the New Year now gone and Easter on the horizon, it is a good time to review how some of the bigger brands have been boosting their marketing in early 2016 (or end of Dec 15 in one case!). Whose campaigns have stood out and why? We’re taking a look back at 3 of the more innovative and quirky campaigns that kicked off the year, just in case you missed them.

We saw pop-up shops from the likes of Crème Egg and Skittles and live-streaming billboards from Land Rover. Take a look at the details below to see if you can draw inspiration from any of them.

Crème Egg Café

January 22nd was an exciting day for all London-based Cadbury Crème Egg lovers, with a new Crème Egg Pop-Up Café opening in Soho, London.

The café is spread across 3 floors, where consumers are able to order takeaway Crème Egg toasties on the first floor, Crème Egg brownies and even Crème Eggs with soldiers on the second floor, and access a Crème Egg ball pool on the third.

According to EventBrite, the tickets were on sale 3 days prior to the opening, and were sold out by the time the café was scheduled to open. The café is open from 5pm Friday – Sunday for 7 weeks, and with nearly every day sold out, I think we can all agree that this is a highly successful campaign.

Land Rover

Land Rover’s Instagram filter OOH billboards definitely brought a new perspective to the people of London and Leeds last month, as part of their #Hibernot campaign.

Land Rover transformed the cities’ landscapes with their Instagram-like live filters on digital billboards, encouraging consumers to ‘see winter differently’. The billboards displayed live images of the immediate area and then applied their own ‘Land Rover filter’, encouraging consumers to follow their Instagram page, and get out and about to explore the season by taking a drive.

Skittles Pawn Shop

Wrigley-owned sweet brand, Skittles, opened a pop-up shop in Toronto on 26th December for 4 days. Consumers were able to exchange unwanted goods for sweets. Now, we understand that this campaign wasn’t quite in January, but we loved the idea so much we wanted to include it.

Consumers were encouraged to bring any items that they no longer wanted, and receive Skittles for them. The store particularly promoted novelty gifts, such as knitted clothing and cuddly toys. All items received were donated to the Goodwill ReUse centre in Toronto’s Scarborough district.

To extend the reach of the campaign, Skittles launched an accompanying digital campaign for those who weren’t in the area at the time, where fans could see how much their unwanted items were worth in exchange for Skittles.

We loved these campaigns and look forward to what 2016 has in store for us. Stay tuned for the best marketing campaigns of February!

Facebook celebrates its 12th birthday, but will brands be celebrating in the future?

Facebook celebrates its 12th birthday, but will brands be celebrating in the future?

Last Thursday marked Facebook’s 12th birthday, and they were kind enough to let us users be a part of it with their ‘Friends Day’ video experience! The special occasion enabled users all around the world to view a personalised video experience at the top of their news feed, which included photos that were marked as ‘special moments’.

The ‘Friends Day’ videos were pre-populated, but users were able to customise and switch the photos being used to create the video, with their customised version being posted on their Timelines shortly after.

Despite a marked decrease in number of under 18s using the platform regularly, there are still many more birthdays to come for Facebook, thanks to the 1 billion users actively using the platform each month, but how many of these are actually brands? Below are just a few examples of how the big boys are using Facebook in its 12th year:

Nike

Nike is arguably one of the biggest brands out there and their Facebook page plays a key role in their overall marketing approach. The page is a balance of new products, science and charitable initiatives, but one way they differentiate themselves is using different pages for each of their product lines. From snowboarding to golf, Nike has a page for all interests. Do you?

Microsoft

When marketing a technology product, it can be challenging not to get too ‘techy’ and alienating your audience. Microsoft’s Facebook marketing is a great example of avoiding falling into this trap.

Their latest campaign was based around the hashtag #5to9, which was designed to focus specifically on a user’s time outside of the office. They also subverted typical workplace acronyms like PTO and ETA, converting them into non-workplace phrases, indicating that their products can be used at home, as well as in the office. Microsoft’s use of social media platforms like Facebook, is in marked contrast to Apple whose use of social media marketing is very limited.

Cadbury’s

As Cadbury’s Dairy Milk approached their 1 millionth like on Facebook, they decided to celebrate with an innovative campaign – the thumbs up! Cadbury’s built a giant thumbs up out of 1 million pieces of chocolate and allowed fans to participate and engage with the campaign through their Facebook page.

Cadbury’s are still devising quirky campaigns on Facebook now, with their festive #cadvent Christmas campaign last year a great success at generating consumer engagement.

With all of these brand giants embracing Facebook marketing, what does this mean for us marketers of smaller businesses?

Facebook is still developing new ideas for brands to showcase their products; their new Carousel ads, first introduced back in 2014, are a key example. Since then, advertisers have seen carousel ad links drive 30-50% greater consumer spend as a result of the social network. This, along with the rapid rise of video on Facebook, all points to the social media giant continuing to play a central role in many marketers’ social media strategies in 2016 and beyond.

What are your thoughts about Facebook marketing for SMEs?