#MarketingTitbits – Hootsuite, shopping and Science World

1. Hootsuite – for begginers
If you haven’t heard of Hootsuite already then it is about time that you did. The social media management site now has 7 million users in over 175 countries around the world. It is basically a website that allows users to integrate all their social media channels and control posts across them; particularly handy for businesses.

This week, we’ve found a great article on Mashable entitled ‘A beginner’s guide to Hootsuite’. If you don’t already have Hootsuite or a struggling with it then we suggest you check it out. To read the article click here.

2. How is shopping changing in the future?

The way that we do our shopping is changing rapidly. More people shop online now than they ever have before, especially the generation of 14-19 year olds. This week we came across a very interesting article in Marketing Week that explores how the face of shopping is changing and how brands can and need to keep up with it. To have a look at the article click here.

3. Wonderfully creative adverts from Science World Vancouver

The Science World Museum in Vancouver is notorious for its slightly controversial exhibits –Body Worlds and The Science of Sexuality exhibitions being just two examples that courted controversy. This risqué and alternative attitude extends into their marketing. They are now known across Vancouver for their innovative and attention grabbing campaigns. They have amassed a vast array of eye-catching and intelligent adverts that have been used around the city to raise awareness. We think they are brilliant, so thought we’d share some with you. To have a look at some of them and get inspired click here.

TLC Business host Social Media Seminar for SMEs

Web-imageTLC Business hosted our annual marketing seminar last Thursday. This year’s topic was social media for SMEs, clearly an area of interest for businesses because the event was a sell out. Attendees were treated to a morning of presentations from experts in LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and given insights into how to use social media effectively in their businesses.
We are delighted the seminar was well received and we all left the session with a whole host of hints, tips and guidance on how to start using social media more effectively in our businesses.

For those that were unable to attend and attendees that would like to review the slides in more detail, we have uploaded the speaker’s presentations and top tips below. To download them, just click on the link:

Joshua Spencer – TLC Business
Social Media vs. traditional marketing

James Potter – The LinkedIn Man
With LinkedIn, are you collecting, connecting or cashing in? and LinkedIn Top 5 Tips

Samathan Russell – The Social Sardine
Facebook for Business

Mark Edmunds – ShootingBusiness
Attracting traffic to your site, finding clients and increasing online conversion with YouTube

Wendy Kier – The Business Mechanic
Twitter, Social Media Marketing and Business Promotion

If you have any questions about the topics discussed or in deed anything marketing related, give us a call on 01962 600 147 and we’ll answer them. Thank you to all those that took the time to attend and good luck with implementing your actions from the day!

#MarketingTitbits – Facebook campaigns by Ikea, ‘Brick by Brick’ and tips on being social media savvy from Richard Branson.

1. Six awesome examples of Facebook campaigns by Ikea
Ikea is the world’s largest furniture retailer, amassing sales last year of £186 billion, selling ready to assemble furniture in 38 countries around the world. Unsurprisingly, Ikea has managed to attain a pretty impressive social media fan base over the years with millions of Facebook fans and hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, particularly impressive for a furniture retailer!

We found this great article, which showcases six inspirational examples of Facebook campaigns from Ikea. To have a look click here.


2. What can your company learn from Lego?

Founded in 1932, Lego is one of the oldest plastic toys in the world. Today, Lego is an iconic brand and one of the most successful and popular toys of all time, with 80 Lego bricks for every one man, woman and child on the plant today!

David Robertson’s new book, Brick by Brick, tells the story of the family owned company from Denmark, about how they grew steadily for years until the 1990s, when they struggled to compete with new technologies. The book follows Lego through the harder times, when in 2003 they nearly went bankrupt, with the company seeing its biggest loss in history. However, Lego managed to save itself and companies of all sizes can learn a lot from David Robertson’s account of the journey.

3. Richard Branson on being social media savvy

Sir Richard Branson is perhaps the most familiar current British entrepreneur on the world stage. He is the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group and began his very first business venture at the ripe old age of 16. However, to achieve his success he has had to keep up with the times, something that he has done incredibly successfully.

Despite being 63 years old, there are many things that we can learn about being social media savvy from Richard Branson and he regularly shares his advice and business experience with anyone and everyone who is willing to take it.

We have found this article that highlights Richard Branson’s main points around how to harness social media and we think it is really worth a read. If you would like to read more thenclick here.

The Rise in Digital Media – Continued

The nights are drawing in and winter is on its way, so what better time for companies looking to boost their marketing by getting online and involved in social media on the dark and dreary afternoons that we have been experiencing lately. Following on from Joshua Spencer’s presentation on digital marketing in July, we examine some more benefits to digital media and what it can do for your business.
Digital marketing is hugely effective for connecting with consumers in an interactive and engaging way. An increasing number of people are interacting and communicating within the social media sphere, and therefore investing in an online presence for your business is very important. Effective use of social media is no longer an option for companies, it‘s now a requirement.

Last week the luxury fashion brand Burberry told the Financial Times that they were investing more of their marketing budget into the digital arena, a total of 60%, more than three times the average.  In the past, Burberry relied heavily on traditional methods of marketing, such as print advertising; however they now feel that they need to be totally connected with whomever touches their brand and engaging with their audience via social media is a means of achieving this. The shift to digital marketing highlights how quickly industries are moving away from traditional methods of marketing in order to interact with consumers globally. Reaching out to consumers on multiple channels makes it more important than ever for a business to make sense of this new ‘marketing mix’

Create a two way conversation

As we have mentioned in the past, digital media can be a valuable asset not just for larger B2C organisations but also for your everyday SME. Twitter is currently dominating the marketing landscape, used by 82% of the B2B social mix. When it comes to expanding a business, “tweeting” has real value, enabling a two way conversation with customers, as well as promotion for any organisation. It is used by small businesses, as well as global companies, facilitating customer feedback, free marketing, improved brand recognition and a stronger connection with customers. Starbucks use of social media is a brilliant example of this.  The coffeehouse giant posts new offers and participates in interactive discussions with their customers about the offers on twitter daily. Computer company ComCast also offers a friendly Twitter customer support, including a photograph of the member of staff you are talking to.

Audience participation

Video is another personal yet dynamic way to engage with consumers, allowing them to participate and interact with a brand in order to obtain more information. Google recently reported that 35% of B2B marketers already using online video will increase their video budgets in the future.   A tool which is mainstream and accessible to all, video enables businesses to accumulate larger audiences quickly and effectively. The value of video is reflected in HSBC’s recent campaign. The bank held a competition for a £15,000 student bursary last year, and the decision to keep the media interactive was integral to the success of campaign. Students uploaded a 90 second video to Facebook stating why the money would help them change the world. Response to the campaign was outstanding: there were 50,000 interactions in one month and more than 2 million impressions. Check out Sprites Zero Skate ‘n’ Splash video below and HSBC’S winning entry.

This interactive YouTube video lets you instantly skip from one segment to the next, deciding exactly what you’ll see and when you’ll see it. Using keyboard keys 4 to 9, you can replay the skateboard tricks, skip others, and create your own rhythmic masterpieces.The promotional YouTube video, dreamed up by Coca-Cola Germany for Sprite Zero, minimizes branding because it’s creators “wanted the focus to be on the content and the interactivity.” They added, “This sort of video is quite different from what we at Coca-Cola usually do, in terms of ‘edginess’ and branding.”

 ‘Likes’ are not the be all and end all

Facebook is used by 67% of B2B marketers and 200 million people access Facebook via a mobile device each day.  It is guaranteed to expand your business presence on the web. However, it is also important to be careful with the type of interaction your social media attracts.  A recent study has shown that the more “likes” a brand has on Facebook, the less participation there was to a page by consumers.  A study by L2, an organisation for digital innovation, has found that the quality and not the quantity of consumers is extremely important.  Therefore, in the fast changing social media landscape, it is important for businesses to keep their pages up to date and interactive.

Another huge advantage of social media is that it is a free or low cost marketing strategy.  It brings a new dimension to an organisation’s communication – forecasts indicate traditional marketing will represent only 30% of SMB marketing budgets by 2015.  The objective of social media marketing is to draw the customer closer to your brand. Once engaged, maintaining an effective dialogue must be a priority. It is no good collecting likes, connections and followers. The real power of social media is only realised through regular communication and relationship building. Only then can your start turning followers into customers.

Marketing Titbits – Pinterest analytics, hashtags for Facebook and Dropbox

Pinterest Analytics:
If you have a very visual website, with lots of imagery that visitors might like to share with their friends, family, colleagues or business network, have you started exploring how the latest social media phenomenon, Pinterest, could be utilised to increase web traffic and awareness amongst your target audience? If not, you can find out a bit more here about how it works.

The nature of Pinterest is such that you might already be benefiting from your visitors sharing your website imagery, without you even realising it. Such is the rapid growth of Pinterest, over 12 million unique users per month, that it is quickly gaining entry to the top table of the social media kingdom, alongside the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn. To highlight its growing influence, Pinterest has recently launched its own analytics software, which will show website owners just Pinterest users are interacting with their website. It will include information like:

  • How many people have pinned from your site
  • How many people have seen these pins
  • How many people visited your site from Pinterest
  • Most repinned, most clicked, and most recent pins

For more information on Pinterest Analytics click here.

#Hashtags coming to Facebook?:

Once synonymous with Twitter, there are now rumours that Facebook might be building in hashtagging capabilities into its social network architecture. The new facility would enable Facebookers to tune in and participate in the public discussion of topics across the social networking site, in much the same way users of Twitter can do currently.

The facility is already incorporated into Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, so it is likely we will see this development in the not too distant future.

If your wondering what all this hashtagging is about, here’s a brief overview from theGuardian’s Technology Blog.


There are very few ‘must haves’ in our opinion, but Dropbox is something we can’t live without and we think if you try it, you’ll agree.

Dropbox is a free service that, put simply, lets you access all your documents, images, videos and files anywhere. When you save any file in your Dropbox, it will automatically sync to all your computers, phones, tablets and the Dropbox website. It is a great way to back up important files.

However, we find the real value is in the ability it gives us to share files (particularly large ones) with our clients and team. Need a client to go through a brochure file too big to email? No problem, share it with them securely through Dropbox. Need to share a large document with a co-worker working from home and you’ve not got a server? Again, no problem, use Dropbox.

Its integration across all our technology, including PCs, laptops, mobiles and tablets has made our lives so much easier. We hope you benefit in the same way. Learn more here.

Marketing Titbits – Tumblr, Facebook’s conversion measurement tool & Robert Cialdini’s book ‘Influence’

Robert Cialdini’s book ‘Influence’, is a must read for anyone involved in marketing a business. The book explores the 6 central pillars of Influence: reciprocity, consistency and commitment, liking, social proof, authority and scarcity and outlines, through real world examples and scientific studies, how and why they work. We’ve just read it and can thoroughly recommend it. For more information click here.


Tumblr has been around for a while now; however, it’s popularity has been on the increase of late. This free online tool straddles the boundary between blogging platform and social networking website. It allows you or your business to post text, images, video and other media to your own short-form blog, which fellow users can follow. You can use it to share anything that you or your business find interesting and want to share directly with your followers. The opportunities are endless and it is another great tool for helping build your online brand.

3.Facebook conversion measurement

Facebook’s update spree continues. Last month, Facebook launched their new conversion measurement and optimisation system that allows you to measure the ROI of your Facebook ads. It enables users to identify key online conversions, such as registrations or shopping cart checkouts, which have derived from their Facebook ads. Another feature allows you to optimise your ads based on consumer popularity.  Overall, the new features are designed to help you increase the ROI of your Facebook ads, which has got to be a good thing!

Marketing Titbits – Graph Search from Facebook, Twitter’s new video sharing app, the latest social media site

1. If your business doesn’t have a Facebook presence yet, there’s another reason you might want to get started. Facebook has recently launched its much-hyped new functional calledGraph Search. More than a new “search tool”, Graph Search lets you find people and businesses by interests, location or industry.  For example, Graph Search allows you to search “best restaurants in Winchester”, Facebook will then show you recommendations based on what your friends feel is the best place to eat, based on their likes and reviews. Just make sure that your location details on your business Facebook page are up to date.
2. Although Thumb has been around since 2010, it has only recently started to become popular around the world. Thumb is a picture based social media site that helps to engage consumers and get their gut reactions to your business ideas, images, and messages. Want feedback for your new website design, or need help choosing a business card design? Upload a picture and let your fellow Thumbers instantly share their opinions.


3. Twitter has recently unleashed their very own video sharing app called Vine. Vine allows users to upload very short 6 second videos to their Twitter account and has already become Twitter’s most downloaded app.  So why only 6 seconds? Similar to your short snappy tweets, posts on Vine are about abbreviation, providing little snippets of people’s lives, businesses and ideas.  At present, the only platform that the Vine app is available on is the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Following on from our July marketing seminar, here is another top tip to more effective SME marketing. This month we highlight the growing trend in Quick Response (QR) codes.
Whilst the QR code debate rages on and we assess whether this is a passing fad or a marketing phenomenon, the last year has certainly proven that QR campaigns can work effectively for the larger brands. From Coca Cola to Tesco, more and more companies are adapting their marketing campaigns to take advantage of the latest technology and consumer engagement channels available.

So is it worthwhile for SMEs to jump on board the latest marketing bandwagon?

SMEs may feel that technology such as QR codes is best left to bigger firms, with more resources and a deeper understanding of how it works. However, with QR codes, this is simply not the case; they can benefit the marketing of organisations of all sizes.

A QR code is a marketing tool that can help drive consumers to specific content of your choosing, such as a landing pages on your website, contact details or competition entry forms.  QR codes are cheap and easy to generate online. All your prospect needs to access them is a smart phone. Studies from 2011 indicate that businesses were reluctant to introduce QR codes, with only 8% of businesses thinking that QR codes were worthwhile; however, in 2012 the numbers changed significantly, with 47% of businesses declaring that their brand would benefit from introducing QR codes into their marketing, due to the rise in smart phone adoption amongst consumers.

How can my business use QR codes?

QR codes are currently dominating the consumer market, from packaging, magazine adverts, bus stops and billboards, the list is endless.

Tesco in South Korea is a great example of a forward thinking QR campaigns. In order to help save time, Tesco found a clever way to bring the grocery store to the consumer. Tesco launched a QR code campaign that plastered enormous images of food items on to South Korean subway walls. These images came with a QR code and allowed consumers to scan individual food items to be loaded in their virtual shopping cart. Once they finished their checkout, their order was processed and delivered to the consumer’s doorstep.

If you were at the Olympics this year, you may have noticed that QR codes were sitting right at the centre of mobile engagement during the 2012 games, linking supporters to Olympic action, promotions, merchandise and information.

Before and throughout the Olympics, Southwest trains used QR codes to help their customers plan their journey in a timely fashion, so the passenger could avoid any confusion during the games.

QR codes are not just for the big players. QR campaigns can be used in various ways within an SME environment, from business cards and adverts to direct mail and merchandise.  QR codes are a cheap, effective addition to many marketing campaigns and can be used to increase the effectiveness and measurability of campaigns. Common ideas include:

“Scan this product to download a recipe straight to your phone”

“Scan to ‘Like’ us on Facebook and get 20% off this purchase!”

“Scan to enter our latest competition”

Like any marketing activity, it is essential to have a campaign strategy in place, offering something special or unique. You need to understand your target audience, have a clear objective in mind and most importantly, provide valuable information to encourage the user to interact with your brand.

Businesses should always measure the results from any marketing campaign, QR codes included.  Did your website receive more traffic? Did the campaign generate more sales, Twitter followers or ‘Likes’ on Facebook? Whilst trying out the latest marketing trend can be fun, ultimately the campaign needs to generate results for your business.

To create your free QR code today, click here.

Drill-down into your social activity

Following on from our July marketing seminar, last month we provided you with a blog dedicated to the importance of Google Analytics and what your business should be measuring. As promised, in this blog we delve deeper into the world of social analytics to provide you with additional tools to help you make sense of your social media presence.
Identifying social media ROI is a difficult task for any business.  We have seen a dramatic rise in the number of businesses using social media within their marketing mix over the last few years; however, many have jumped on the bandwagon with little consideration for the actual benefits to their business. Identifying ROI has been, for the most part, fairly elusive for marketers and business owners; provoking questions such as, ‘How do I know if social media activity will generate business?  Is this really an effective way to spend my time?’

In the past, a measurement of social media success was determined by the number of followers or ‘Likes’ generated through Facebook and Twitter. Many businesses struggled to see the bigger picture, often basing their decisions on assumptions, because defining a meaningful ROI was difficult. However, recent changes to Google Analytics have helped ensure marketers and businesses owners are now better informed about the impact of their social media activities on their website traffic, helping them establish how to spend their social media time and budget most effectively.

Google Analytics have taken their social analytics tools a step further with the intention of delivering the following information:

  • The full value of traffic to your website coming from social networking sites and the ability to measure how they lead to direct conversions or assist in future conversions.
  • What social activities are happening both on and off of your site to help you optimise user engagement and increase social key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Make better, more efficient data-driven decisions in your social media marketing programs.

So how will the latest Google Analytics developments help businesses achieve the above?

New data is now available under the “Social” tab in Google Analytics, which includes:


The overview report provides data from all the other social reports and contains a Social Value visualisation of how social networks contribute to website conversions.


The Sources report shows the source activity based on social referrers. Google unifies different URLs that can be used to send traffic from one social network. For example, Twitter can send traffic from both and Traffic from both sources are combined under the category of Twitter.


This report highlights social activity per page, what happened on and off the site.


The Conversions data provides a quick view of which social sources drove conversions on the site.

Social Plugins:

Social Plugins is a summary of pages and the social activity that happened, such as clicking on a like, tweet or +1 button.

Social Visitors Flow:

Social Visitors Flow is a visual presentation of how visitors from social properties are navigating your website. Assuming the goal of your social media campaign is to get more traffic to your website, this report gives you insight into which social platforms are sending the most traffic to your site and what your social visitors are doing once they get there.

The reports available have the ability to drill-down further into data and reflect things like comments, shares or likes to help you identify successful social media campaigns and what works for your business.

At TLC Business, we believe measuring the ROI of any marketing activity is essential, the new tools from Google Analytics will help you perfect, tailor and manage your social media campaigns, helping you make the most your time.

Install, sign in and start measuring your Google Analytics today.

Blog your way to the top

In today’s digital society, blogging is not confined to personal use alone. The medium is a powerful communication channel for many different sized organisations and to some, it represents an integral component of their marketing and social media strategy.
Why is this the case and more importantly, why should my business blog? Well the answer is simple. Every business, from finance to catering, has a voice and more and more consumers are interested in hearing what your organisation has to say. A business blog helps add a personality to your brand, enabling you to engage with your market on a more human and ultimately, more meaningful level.

Topic is key. Think about how your blog could help your customer. What questions do you get asked? We regularly tell our clients to write a blog, with many stating ‘Who would want to read something I have written’…Well you would be surprised.  Regular blogs are an excellent way to communicate with your potential customers, introducing them to your organisation, whilst sharing your thoughts on the latest industry trends and news; all helping towards strengthening your position as an expert within the industry.

A well-established blog can help influence an audience. When clients start conversations, the chances are these days many are doing it online, using social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or their own blog. Social media serves as an important mode of interaction and provides you with an ideal channel to your target audience.  Consumer habits are dramatically changing, with many using social media to source companies, recommend services and start conversations with like-minded individuals and businesses.  Posting blogs on social media sites can help inform and spark debate with your target audience and more importantly, drive traffic back to your website.

Google loves content.  Getting to the first page of the search engines is always a priority for website owners. Providing good quality, unique content, such as blog articles, is a good starting point to achieving this. Blogging provides you with the opportunity to be present, be found, and get your business noticed by your target market. Search engines favour sites that are both active and also adding new content on a regular basis. A blog accomplishes both of these features. By having a blog you are demonstrating that your site is not static and that the information on the site is not only current and up-to-date but also increasing. Simple steps such as utilising keywords and internal and external linking to relevant and complimentary sites are all factors which can not only develop your blog, but also improve your SEO.

Blogging not only shares your expertise and improves website visibility; it also opens doors to many opportunities. Successful bloggers are often asked to expand their blog for industry magazine articles and columns, or attend the latest product launches and conferences, as their voice is seen as influential in their industry. A prime example of a simple blog working its way to the top is Mashable. Mashable was once a one man blog that soon turned into a popular news site, tackling social media and the digital culture. Bored by schoolwork, Scotsman Peter Cashmore skipped college and began writing about how people were using technology and the new world of social networking. From March 2012 Mashable was worth a staggering £127 million with over 2,775,000 Twitter followers and over 838,400 fans on Facebook.

Producing a blog that attracts a following like Mashable’s doesn’t happen every day, but a well maintained and regularly updated blog is an effective marketing tool. The only thing it will cost you is your time.

Start your blog today!