Category Archives: Uncategorized

G Squared finalist for various awards

We’re thrilled to announce that we have been recognised in the last few months for our work in 2016/17 across two major award nights – the AdNews Agency of the Year Awards and the Australian Web Awards.

Finalist, Small Agency of the Year
AdNews Agency of the Year Awards

Silver Medal, User Experience Design
Australian Web Awards

National Finalist, Website of the Year (Start-Up)
Australian Web Awards

Highly Commended, Best Website or Online Service
2017 AMY Awards

We’d like to congratulate our team for their outstanding work and commitment to innovation, and thank our clients & partners for empowering us to push the boundaries.

Here’s to another big year!

The Meerkat/Periscope debacle

Don’t you hate it when people are reporting of the alleged ‘death’ of a social network… even before you know enough about it? This is the inevitable frustration of most people in marketing at the minute. All this noise (including loud noise coming out of SXSW) about Meerkat and Periscope, just like noise about Ello and other social/tech start ups in the past, has left us all wondering – is this the next big thing in social? Should we back it? Or will it be the next tech-flop?

Meerkat is a painfully simple app. After syncing with your Twitter account, you can either stream or schedule. Stream allows you to immediately broadcast live video straight from your camera. Schedule is… exactly that. Scheduling video content. Twitter’s Periscope launched soon after (last week). Days into launch, people are live streaming contents of their fridge to thousands of strangers around the internet. It is now a thing.

So, Meerkat and Periscope are direct competitors. Last week Meerkat received a gorgeous new round of funding. On the same day, Twitter launched the rival streaming app, Periscope.

By Sunday night, the Periscope-Meerkat rivalry had already become brutally unbalanced. Periscope was a smash hit, already in the US iTunes top-30 chart by Friday night. This is ridiculously rare for an app-based social outlet. Contrastingly, Meerkat collapsed to no. 523 on the US iPhone  download chart.

Meerkat has flopped even more sensationally than Secret, Path and other lightning fast tech collapses. Will Periscope face the same fate? Who knows. Meerkat’s founder, Ben Rubin, stats that live video is “in an exploratory phase.”

Things move quickly in social, as I’m sure you know. They both undeniably fill a void that Twitter has left vacant. Meerkat may indeed have allowed the void to be known to Twitter, who responded directly but integrating live streaming through Periscope.

In Australia, all we can do is watch with intrigue. But, as alluded to, the inherit dangers of backing social media’s ‘next big outlet’ has once again surfaced. The funders of Meerkat, it seems, have learnt a harsh lesson that many before them learnt the hard way.

What to consider when building a website

We’ve nutted out 5 points we think are vital for your new website design and development. Read them, print them, stick them on your wall. And if you need more help, call us!

  1. Call to actions

It’s vital that your website contains a clear call to action on the home page, preferably above the fold. This has proven to considerably increase conversions. If your website doesn’t focus on conversions, make sure you map out a clear customer journey from the outside. For an e-commerce site, consider showing products in a home page carousel. Or, for an information site, show categories and prompt users to navigate to these categories from the outset.

  1. Mobile responsive sites

62% of companies that built a mobile site showed an increase in web sales. 48% of users say that their perception of a business will be lower if their website isn’t compatible with mobiles. 44% complain that mobile navigation is difficult, and 46% have difficulty interacting with web pages on mobile. These stats are enough to prove that it is vital that a website is mobile responsive. Even Google have emphasised this point, no longer ranking websites which are not mobile-compatible.

  1. Search engine optimisation

Learn how to use a couple of vital keywords around your website – this will increase search engine ranking quite substantially. However, be careful not to go overboard or you’ll get penalised! For the more complex SEO, you’re best off engaging an SEO agency, but in the meantime keep your content relevant!

  1. Imagery

People don’t want to visit a website just for the content. Users want to engage with a website. This is incredibly difficult to do when a website is packed full of content. Make sure you give users an insight into your business by using relevant imagery. Statistics show that a photo carousel on the home page substantially increases click through rates and conversions. So get that camera out!

  1. Last, spend time on the design!

We’ve all seen nice websites. And we’ve all seen ugly websites. Design may be subjective, but there’s a pretty solid standard of “nice” websites. Make sure your website is professionally designed and professionally coded up. Websites designed and coded professionally won’t break, and, more importantly, they’re built with optimal user experiences and conversions in mind.

We hoped we’ve helped you on your journey to a better web experience with your brand. If you’d like more information on our web service, please get in touch.

Image: FastCompany

There’s more to social media than just Facebook

Commonly, we’ll get asked which of the main social media outlets should be utilised for a given brand. Of course, more often than not we’ll recommend Facebook as the go-to network. However, is there more to social media for brands than just Facebook? There certainly is. We outline some competing ‘visual web’ outlets below, and how they can be used to contribute to your strategy as the social media landscape becomes more diversified and competitive.

Instagram
Instagram has become a huge winner for brands, showing a 23% growth in active usage between Q2 & 4 last year. Very visual in its nature, Instagram offers the opportunity to create emotional connections with your audience through imagery & videos. The beauty of Instagram is that it is algorithm-free, meaning that the proportion of your audience who is online during your content’s life-span on the feed will see it. Reach – provided you are pushing content at optimal times during the day – should never be a problem on Instagram. Do not be afraid to add Instagram to your social media strategy, but be mindful that you need a tailored content strategy/plan aimed at producing content that is specific to this outlet and relevant to the audience.

Pinterest
The APAC region has been a little slow in jumping on Pinterest, with only 5% of internet users active on this outlet. However, it is a niche active audience, providing an opportunity for businesses targeting visually-driven females (80% of Pinterest users are female). As a ‘visual web’ outlet, Pinterest is often used for purchase-inspiration – in fact, it even tops Facebook for ‘eCommerce related sharing’. What does this mean? Well, if you’re looking to push brand-specific messages to a female-driven market, this is the outlet to use. Again, use it in combination with other outlets (specifically, Facebook). But don’t use it to simply recycle content through. Think about your strategy, monitor your audience and tweak your strategy based on their interaction.

Tumblr
Very much like Pinterest, Tumblr isn’t huge in APAC relative to other regions globally. An active audience, however, does exist on this outlet – the average visit is 14 minutes, longer than Facebook & Twitter! The opportunity for brands here, once again, is in targeting a niche audience. 66% of Tumblr visitors are under 35, and 39% under 25. Tumblr is a total youth market, who funnily enough have disposable cash (and are looking to consume). If this demographic fits within your target market, look to use Tumblr to push ‘images of expression’ which remain on-brand. Look to build a relationship with this youth market and use imagery as the mechanism.

Of course, there are a multitude of other social networks out there ready for you to utilise. However, be mindful of the fact that you don’t need to always go where the mass-audience is active. Think thoroughly about your demographic, research the available outlets & their usage statistics and tailor a strategy accordingly.

If you need our guidance on anything social, feel free to give us a call on (02) 9216 4600.

Facebook Warns Organic Reach for Pages Will Decline

In the past couple of weeks you may have noticed that your Facebook posts are not getting quite the same amount of attention that they used to get. This isn’t your imagination – Facebook recently announced that the reach of organic posts (those posts that are not paid for) will steadily decline.

In a blog post earlier this month, Facebook explained the need for higher quality content:

“Competition for each News Feed story is increasing. Because the content in News Feed is always changing, and we’re seeing more people sharing more content, Pages will likely see changes in distribution. For many Pages, this includes a decline in organic reach. We expect this trend to continue as the competition for each story remains strong and we focus on quality.”

While Facebook emphasises the quality of posts, the reality is that businesses need to start paying up if they want their posts, regardless of the content, to be seen in their fans’ newsfeeds.

“Page owners should continue using the most effective strategy to reach the right people: a combination of engaging Page posts and advertising to promote your message more broadly.”

What we recommend to our clients is a two-fold strategy. First, be sure to allocate a portion of your social media campaign budget towards promoted posts in order to effectively reach fans. And second, consider sharing your content on other social media platforms (such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube) in addition to Facebook, to avoid putting all your eggs into one social media basket.

Facebook loosens its promotions policy

Yesterday (28 August 2013), Facebook announced that it has made it easier for businesses to administer promotions on Facebook. Ultimately, businesses no longer need to use applications (hosted externally) to administer & run promotions on their company page.

What does this mean for businesses? Well, engagement with the promotion, if done so via the company page rather than an external application, will now assist in a measure we refer to as ‘virality’. Interaction direct with a company page is crucial, as it creates stories shared to the user’s network and allows for organic growth of the page’s audience. It also makes competitions, promotions, giveaways and the like far more accessible as applications are not compatible on mobile (well, we found a way around this… but we can chat about that another time).

Of course, there’s always a down side. We feel that, whilst it may make engagement with a competition more accessible & successful, it may also make administering the competition harder. When using an application, you can group all entries, use a customised dashboard and so on. If you begin to allow entries via wall posts & comments, we fear it may start to clutter the timeline, create an overload of content and make it harder for the business to administer the campaign.

That is, theoretically, the major advantage & disadvantage that you’ll notice since the policy update (in our view). However, the theory is not always aligned with the reality. The unfortunate reality is that most small businesses were using their timeline directly to run competitions even before the policy change. We feel that by Facebook loosening their terms, they are being reactive rather than proactive. They initially introduced the restriction to stop a user’s news feed from being cluttered with brand-specific content, win-win-wins and so forth. But now, it is all too common and it grew too quickly for Facebook to control. Ultimately, it was easier to remove the restriction than to attempt enforcing it any longer.

So, what will change? Perhaps we’ll see the big brands who, of course, strictly adhered to Facebook’s old policy, introducing new promotions run through the company’s timeline. But, aside from that, we don’t think you’ll notice the difference.

10 social media tips for your business

Everybody knows their business needs to be on social media. The issue however, is that many businesses don’t know how to most effectively utilise this marketing channel. So, we’ve given you 10 tips to keep in mind when managing your social media to ensure you see the best results.

1. Social media isn’t going to get customers through the door overnight

Social media requires patience, and plenty of it. Don’t expect the phones to be ringing off the hook because you just set up your Twitter account. You’d be lucky to substantiate any results via social media within the first three to six months. However, if done correctly, social media can do wonders for your bottom line in the long run.

The main purpose of social media is brand awareness. You’re getting your business’ logo in front of thousands of consumers for a fraction of the cost of using any other channel. For a restaurant for example, those people might have seen your logo while on their way to dinner at another restaurant, or at home after dinner, or even while overseas. However, by reinforcing your brand and allowing those potential customers to recognise your logo, next time they’re in the mood for Italian food it’s your logo they’ll remember.

2. Run plenty of promotions and giveaways

If you want to engage users via social media (which should be your primary goal), the best way to do so is by running promotions and giveaways. Promotions and giveaways are most effective through Facebook, as the platform allows for the development of custom applications. These applications can be developed using third-party software, or can be custom built. Third-party software is obviously much cheaper, but may not fulfil your needs if you want to follow your branding guidelines or build a substantial database of potential customers.

Promotions and giveaways get your customers talking, encourages them to share your page, and brings new people to your page. All-in-all, they give you a solid foundation to build your audience at what can turn out to be a fraction of the cost of Facebook advertising. Prizes can be brand-specific or you can source them elsewhere. The most successful promotions we’ve run have exclusive prizes, and encourage public interaction from fans. You need to also keep in mind Facebook’s guidelines when running a promotion, and Australian laws surrounding randomly selecting a winner.

3. Consider social media as a customer service channel

Most of our clients want us to delete negative comments on a Facebook Page. This isn’t always the best way to go about dealing with disgruntled customers. In fact, it’s one of the worst. The last thing you want is unhappy customers posting on your page telling everyone that you’ve been deleting their comments. When facing this issue, deal with it in much the same way you would in person. Apologise to the customer (everybody makes mistakes!), and offer them something to compensate for their unfortunate experience. More often than not, they’ll accept your offering, thank you, and continue to do business with you. And, through this entire process, other potential customers will be exposed to your high level of customer service and your regard for your customers.

After a while, you’ll notice people heading to your Facebook Page to ask questions about products, services, to share good experiences, and to generally interact with your brand.

4. Find out which social media outlets your customers are using, and target those

If your business is in the wedding industry, you should consider jumping on Pinterest. If you are in the fashion industry, Instagram would be a good pick. For thought leaders, hop on Twitter. B2B? Tackle LinkedIn. There are hundreds of social media outlets out there, and your business shouldn’t rely on just one. A Google search for your business will usually display your social media listings on various different sites all on the first page, so ensure they’re all kept up-to-date, and there isn’t a back-log of customers asking questions to no avail. If your business is in a niche, there’s still a social media outlet for you. Research the various social media websites out there, and think about who’s really purchasing your products. Chances are they use the internet, and chances are they’re using at least one social media channel.

5. It isn’t about how many Likes you get, but about getting the ‘right’ Likes

If your business is selling costume jewellery targeted towards young women, there’s not much point in having 1,000 60-year-old males following you on Twitter. Use Facebook giveaways, in-store promotions, Facebook advertising, email marketing and anything else you can think of to get the right people on your Page. Chances are that they’ll purchase off you at one stage or another, so it’s important to get as many quality fans as possible. And the golden rule, NEVER, EVER, EVER purchase Likes. This will give you no interaction on your posts, which means Facebook will see your page as posting useless content. Then, when it comes time to gain new Likes, they won’t see your updates on their News Feeds. To get yourself back on track after purchasing fans can take months, even years, and won’t be cheap. Be careful!

6. Monitor your social media outlets as regularly as possible

As people start to catch on to the fact that you’re active on social media, they’ll use it to enquire about products, post compliments, make reservations and much more. As such, it’s vital that you remain active on these outlets to be able to respond to these enquiries quickly. Enquiries should be responded to within three hours (during your business’ opening hours). If someone posts a complaint, you want to be on your social media outlets to ensure it is dealt with in a timely manner, and doesn’t deter potential customers. For some business owners, managing social media all day, every day just isn’t possible – so it may be worth while outsourcing this. We provide a variety of social media management services for SMEs. For more information on this, please give us a call on 02 9216 4600.

7. Keep an eye on your competitors

On social media (or the internet in general), your competitors are just a click away. As such, you need to track their movements on social media. If they’re running promotions, you should be doing the same. If they’re posting content which isn’t working, learn from their mistakes. Just like you always know which specials your competitors are running, and what they’re doing to get customers through the door, you should know what they’re doing on social media. Naturally, some of your competitors will be more active on social media, while others will be less active. Learn from the ones that are more active, and we’re sure you’ll see some correlation between the businesses which are active on social media, and those which are not, and how popular they each are.

8. Once your Likes, fans & followers increase, drive them to your website

Don’t try and drive people to your website from the day you set up your social media accounts. Your primary goal should be in building your audience, and tailoring the right content to do so. Once your audience has grown and you have gained trust from your customers, then post links to your website. These links should be quite specific, like a link to a specific product or promotion, rather than a generic ‘check out our website’ post. Also, use shortened URLs to easily track who clicks the link, and what platform they’re using. This will give you good insights on your customers and prove to you just how prominent mobile is!

9. Content is king, more than ever before

It is vital that the content you post through social media is relevant to that medium. Content needs to be shareable, and relevant to your target market. You need to ensure the content encourages people to engage with it through likes, shares, comments, clicks, views, and anything else. The golden rule for content through social media outlets is not finding content relative to your business, but finding content which will appeal to your target market. These cultural posts should be a combination of things such as inspirational or funny quotes, ecards, memes, and photos. Next, use content which gives people an insight into your company, such as photos from inside the office. The other side of the spectrum is brand-speific posts (which were mentioned above) which encourage people to purchase your products, drive people to your website, or advertise new product or service releases etc.

Most importantly, make sure your content splits up the abovementioned categories evenly – don’t overload on any of the above three content types. If you do, people will either not take your brand seriously (with too much cultural posting) or get bored of your updates (with too many brand-specific posts).

10. Facebook ads, if done correctly, can give you excellent results

Facebook advertising is the best way to build up an audience via social media. It allows you to target your ads to your demographic to ensure you are receiving quality likes and followers. Furthermore, it is cost effective and gives you CPC or CPM options. Facebook advertising should be made up of adverts, sponsored stories and promoted posts. An effective combination of these three means you will reach a very low cost per like, and gain great value for your investment. It is important that you keep track of your Facebook ads using their advert manager. This will allow you to continually tailor your content, creative, and ad configuration to engage as many users as possible. This can become quite complex, especially if you have dozens of ads running, so if you feel yourself falling behind, your cost per like is too high, or something just doesn’t seem right, then give us a call on 02 9252 6181 and one of our social media gurus will throw you a couple of pointers!

Thanks for reading and we hope you’ve gained some useful knowledge out of this article!

Incentive in social media

With the growth of social media has come a rapid increase in the number of active businesses utilising channels such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and the like. Consequently, it is common nowadays to see a group of social media icons thrown onto a piece of marketing collateral for the sake of showing an ‘active presence’ on social media.

However, that is no longer enough. It probably wasn’t ever enough. Consumers need incentive, and that has always been the case. To use a brick & mortar analogy: just because your door is open, does not mean people will walk in. For that reason, it is important to provide people with an incentive – a promotion, a sale or even a giveaway. And this hasn’t changed with the emergence of social media.

Businesses are now starting to realise that incentivising interaction proves far more effective for engagement numbers. Users are, on a daily basis, exposed to a multitude of business pages on certain social media outlets. Without incentive, it is unlikely they will interact & engage with a certain business. Generally, it all comes down to the strategy. The first step, and arguably the most challenging aspect of social media for businesses, is building an audience. This is where tangible incentive is important.

Once a solid audience is built, and engagement levels are satisfactory, businesses will see their social media outlets becoming one of their main customer service channels. This, then, becomes one of the largest incentives available for users to engage with a business on social media: effective and responsive community management.

The more competitive the market for businesses on social media becomes, the more important it is to focus on incentive. Whether this be tangible incentives in the form of giveaways or exclusive discounts, or prompt & effective enquiry management on a certain social media outlet.

Facebook’s Graph Search Launched

Facebook have recently released a beta version of their “third pillar” – Graph Search. The other two core pillars – news feed and timeline – have both been transformed significantly over the last two years. Essentially, Graph Search is a search tool that allows you to easily find friends who share similar interests – recommendations, music they’ve listed to, restaurants they’ve eaten at and so on.

The launch of Graph Search is quite timely – Facebook hadn’t made any major change or significant launch in some time. This together with the fact that the useful information Facebook stores about your relationship with friends was never very accessible at all.

It’s now common knowledge – social media is about peer recommendations for businesses. If you see your friend has liked a business page, you’re far more inclined to use this business and its credibility is therefore boosted. What Graph Search now allows is convenient access to any peer recommendation.

For instance, one can now search for “Dentists my friends like” using Graph Search. This information was never at all accessible. It existed, yes. But it was hidden beneath layers of other information. One would only ever stumble across it, and not search it.

Jon Thomas at postadvertising.com says, “what Google is to the web, Graph Search is to your social network on Facebook”. This is a great outcome for businesses, especially those who are active on Facebook. Ultimately, there is now another path to stumble across their page and, better yet, it’s based on a peer recommendation. We’ll monitor the success of the beta launch and report back with our findings in the near future.