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Our 5 Social Media Predictions for 2018

By | Articles, Avocado Social, Business Lessons, Home Page, Latest Articles, Social Media, Social Media Platforms, Social Media Strategy | No Comments

One of the biggest challenges businesses are set to face in 2018 is keeping up with ever-evolving updates and changes within social media. The social media platforms are constantly updating their algorithms; the rules behind how your content is spread within the networks. This has a direct effect on your follower growth and engagement rate, and a lack of understanding can effectively silence your business online.

With over 50 million businesses using Facebook and over 25 million on Instagram, it’s a competitive landscape — but I feel that there are still some excellent strategies that can be adopted to enable your business to be found, remembered and trusted online. Here are my 2018 predictions:

1// A rise in niche communities: We’ve already seen a shift in businesses finding more niche communities to engage in, rather than trying to reach mass audiences this year. This has mainly been driven by the algorithms, but also a better understanding of hashtags and a rise in private Facebook Groups. I think we will see more of this behaviour from businesses looking to drive influence within targeted groups, rather than focusing on getting thousands of followers.

Instagram is already driving this behaviour with their new follow a hashtag functionality. This is an important change on the platform, as it allows you to increase your interest in certain communities and topics (#stationeryaddict, #farmhousestyle, #doorsofinstagram, #myeverydaymagic — just some of my favourites as the moment!) and encourages you to spend more time on Instagram. You should be thinking about which community-based hashtags your business can gain notoriety in, or even own.

2// Advanced advertising tactics: Without spending budget on advertising, social media can be hugely difficult to grow. We’ve seen the biggest fall in organic reach in 2017, meaning its harder than ever to ensure your posts are being seen in the newsfeed — particularly on Facebook. So many new features have been launched this year when it comes to advanced advertising, particularly around custom audiences. For example, you can target users with adverts who have recently engaged with your Instagram account. 2018 will see more brands advertising than ever before, and in more creative ways. If you haven’t installed your Facebook Pixel on your website yet, make this #1 on your 2018 To Do List.

3// Micro-influences continue to rise: Consumer trust in brands is set to hit an all-time low in 2018. Hootsuite predicts that “2018 will reward businesses that put their people — employees, advocates, customer communities, and influencers — at the centre of their marketing strategy.”

2017 saw the rise in the micro-influencer — an “everyday” social media user with influence over a credible following. On Instagram, these tend to be users with a following of 3K followers and above. Businesses will become far more strategic about partnerships with these micro-influencers and how they can get the most out of these relationships, rather than just simply paying them to do a promotional post.

                                                           Image courtesy of Hootsuite

If you’re interested to know more about influencer marketing, come to our free Avocado Social and General Assembly talk on 7th February. Tickets are available here.

4// Creative story-telling: This year saw huge developments with Instagram Stories, with many more creative features being added. Facebook Live is set to see some new updates, including split screens and customisation that will make it easier to brand your broadcasts. How will platforms such as Twitter and YouTube respond? 2018 will see brands getting hugely creative with their posts and videos, and countless apps will ensure our posts are “thumb-stopping” in that newsfeed. Take a look at these 13 hacks to help make your Instagram Stories stand out.

     
Facebook’s top recommended creative apps for 2018…         

5. Chatbots for customer service: Facebook’s Instant Reply functionality is a very useful tactic for businesses looking to offer a customer an instant response in Messenger. 2018 will see AI within social media go a lot further. Already this year, ASOS, Lego and M&S have launched Christmas specific chatbots to surprise and delight their Messenger customers, and we’ll see brands get even more creative as they come up with fun and useful ideas for chatbots. Will Facebook launch their own chatbot creator, in the style of popular DIY bot site Chatfuel? Probably. Learn more about chatbots at our talk in February.

Phewph! So we’re set for another great year of social media marketing and I’m sure we’ll see some new features and platforms emerge as the months go on. Personally, I’m looking forward to Instagram analytics getting a whole lot better, which Instagram co-founder Mikey K revealed would be happening at a talk I attended earlier in the year.

As always things are changing at rapid speed, and my advice is to ensure you are on top of the latest strategies. I run an active Facebook Group here, which is dedicated to sharing the best social media news and tips and is completely free to join.

I also run regular social media training workshops, both publicly and in-house at companies, which you can find more about here on our events page.

Here’s to another great year, and happy holidays!

OUR ONLINE SOCIAL MEDIA COURSE LAUNCHES!

By | Avocado Social, Home Page, Latest Articles, Social Media, Talks and Events | No Comments

We’re so pleased to present our brand new online social media course, The Busy Entrepreneur’s Guide to Social Media. Our online programme is designed for founders and marketers at startups and small businesses who want to quickly expand their social media knowledge and pickup plenty of tips for growing their online communities.

The course is divided into six video modules, covering strategy, content planning and measurement, as well as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Each video module is around 30 minutes, with a set task to help you put your ideas into practice.

We’ve packed the course with tons of case studies from our favourite small businesses including Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, Pip & Nut, Borrow My Doggy and more. Click on the image below to find out more and sign up!

 

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Join the Avocado Social Media Hub on Facebook

By | Articles, Business Lessons, Home Page, Social Media News | No Comments

The Avocado Social Media Hub is a free Facebook Group which we run, designed for anyone who has been in one of our training sessions, seen us talk, or read our blogs.

The Facebook Group is full of the latest social media updates, great examples and case studies, as well as free support from us and the rest of the community. We also exclusively announce our latest webinars, events and talks in the Group first.

We have a few rules which we’d like everyone to abide by:

  • Members are welcome to introduce themselves as they join the Group, telling everyone about their business or purpose for being in the group, with links.
  • If members are overtly promotional, they can expect that their posts will be removed. If you post irrelevant content more than once, you will be banned from the Group.
  • The conversations topics are strictly social media only.

You can join the Avocado Social Media Hub for free here.

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Get your social media strategy summer ready

By | Articles, Great Case Studies, Home Page, Social Media, Social Media Strategy | No Comments

Want to give your business a fresh new feel or tweak your content strategy? You can use summer to give you that extra motivation to update your social media strategy. 

Many brands have already given their social presences a fresh new look, since temperatures started to rise. So if you have a new product, campaign or simply want to revamp your image, now is the perfect time.

Here’s our five top tips to get you started:

  1. Take advantage of cultural events and news: A few days ago Budweiser announced a major rebrand of its flagship product, renaming beer cans and bottles ‘America’ until November.  A great way to coincide with major events such as the US elections and the Olympic Games in Brazil. This was announced via social media channels, using a GIF which is now supported on Twitter. Can your product/service be linked to festivals, competitions or conferences? Be on top of the events happening this summer!Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 10.16.05
  2. Try out new forms of content: We all know that images and videos are the content champions in any social media strategy, but have you tried 360 videos on Facebook? The social network has supported them since September and recently announced an upcoming feature called “360 Photos” that will allow people to upload flat panoramas, like those taken on iPhones and other devices. This could be a really interesting opportunity for SME’s to create virtual reality posts with no additional cost or special equipment.
  3.  Launch a hashtag: Hashtags are a great way to group together your content, encourage your customers to share reviews of your products, and to create a movement. Launching a brand new hashtag for the summer could be a great way of getting your customers talking online about your business, and creating some online buzz.

    ASOS
     makes use of their own branded hashtag #AsSeenOnMe, to motivate customers to share their fashion choices on Instagram and increase brand awareness. There are over 24,000 posts on Instagram that contain that hashtag now. Did you know that ASOS stands for AsSeenOnScreen, as they launched as a online retailer selling clothes that celebrities wore? We like that they kept this same theme for their hashtag, which is a nod to their avid fans. Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 10.50.29
    You can see above that ASOS have also been honouring the recent good weather in their fun, colourful updates on Instagram. If the sun is out, celebrate your brand outdoors! 
  4. Refresh your Cover Image:There’s nothing worse than seeing the same old Facebook Cover image being used throughout the year. It’s such a valuable piece of retail space in the platform, as you can promote your events, campaigns, happy customers and products.Bulmers have launched a new flavour for this summer as part of their #LiveColourful campaign. The theme is present in posts and they have also updated the Cover Image on their Facebook Page to fit with the new flavour.Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 10.47.54
    5.  Give your followers a tidy-up: It’s good to have a sort out of your followers from time to time, and the lead up to summer is a perfect excuse. Clean your Twitter feed from inactive followers by using tools such as Tweepi or Untweeps to keep your account in order.  We’ve just started trialling Cleaner for Instagram, which is a free app allowing you to mass unfollow users by simply clicking on their faces. Unfollow those that are no longer relevant to the brand, or who don’t update their social media channels anymore.

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Those are our five top tips to give your strategy a new colour this summer. All that’s left to do now is get outdoors and get creative! If you have any other tips to share, please let us know on Twitter @AvocadoSocial, or join our Private Facebook Hub for plenty of tips and advice. 

3 Benefits of Attending a Social Media Workshop

By | Articles, Business Lessons, Home Page, Social Media Platforms, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Training, Talks and Events | No Comments

The world of social media is changing rapidly, with new updates and networks being released at the blink of an eye, how are you supposed to keep up? That’s where experts like us come in. We run regular social media workshops designed to keep you on top of the latest changes and updates within the industry.

Avocado Social Workshop Table

Here’s three reasons why it’s a good idea to attend regular social media workshops:

  1. The most up to date social media statistics
    Social media is constantly changing with new updates happening all the time. Chances are an expert will keep on top of the latest news and will be able to advise you on the most up to date changes on each platform. You can read up on the changes yourself, by reading sites likes Mashable, Econsultancy, The Drum and Social Media Examiner – but it’s time consuming to do this and a social media expert will be doing this anyway!
  2. Top brand case studies and examples
    One of the best ways to get new ideas and inspiration is to see what other brands in other industries are doing. This is especially useful if you know that your industry is perhaps lacking in social media effectiveness! In our social media workshops we showcase some of the best case studies and plenty of examples of how startups, SMEs and global brands are adopting social media.
  3. Networking and collaboration
    Everyone in attendance will be there for the same thing – to learn. Don’t just sit and leave once it’s over. Create valuable in-person relationships by talking with your peers about your strengths and weaknesses. You never know who you could meet from your next client, collaborator or even a new employer. Be sure to bring your business cards, just in case.

Our Founder Alison Battisby often says the best part of a social media course is the chance to share:

Talking to other people and finding out what they have tried, what works best for them, and what to avoid is a great way of learning.

After all social media is so new – you can’t possibly have tried everything so I find it best to talk to people about their experiences.

Any other questions? Do your best to stay in touch with the experts. Take note of their Twitter handle, website and other details so you can continue to learn once the course is over.

Tools you’ll need:

Pen and pad

Laptop or iPhone (charged!)

Your attention!

We have limited spaces left on our next training workshop on May 11th in London. Book your space or find our more information here. Keep track of our latest social media training course on our Events Page.

How To Create Effective Facebook Carousel Ads

By | Articles, Avocado Social, Home Page, Social Media Resources, Social Media Strategy, Social Media Training | No Comments

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It’s been one year since Facebook introduced their carousel ad format, allowing advertisers to showcase a variety of images that link through to different landing pages. The format, allowing multiple images and links all in one advert, is now available to both advertisers and Facebook users.

Since their release, advertisers have seen carousel link ads drive 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion and 20-30% lower cost-per-click when compared to single-image link ads.

Allowing you to upload up to five posts, carousel ads gives you the chance to share a variety of content for your audience to enjoy. Take a look at a few examples below:

River Island

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River Island took the advert format to promote their latest swimwear collection. The brand uploaded five images from the new collection along with copy with a brief description. The post also includes a clear call-to-action with an emoji for extra character and to stand out.

Ted Baker

Ted-Baker-Carousel-Ad

Following suit, clothing brand Ted Baker make good use of the carousel ad format as part of their Valentines Day campaign – managing to attract both males and females to their page in order to make a purchase. The brand doesn’t include call-to-action in their copy but go for a witty tone with a link to their website.

There’s much more that you can do with carousel ads. Interact with a call to action button, educate with links to your website content or promote your mobile app. How will you use them? Start by creating your own today (don’t forget your copy!)

Don’t forget to sign up to our FREE webinar to learn the basics of Facebook Advertising – the best way to boost your business and get infront of your target audience!

We’ll be offering some top tips on Thursday 24th March at 1pm.

Grab your spot NOW!

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