Don’t be terrified of Twitter

Don’t be terrified of Twitter

Rob Osborne of Red Knight SolutionsI hadn’t really warmed to Twitter until recently. Yes, I tweeted some content and followed people who followed me, but I wasn’t really focusing on Twitter as a social media channel for promoting Red Knight Solutions and my following was fairly small.

However, I was asked to do a session on Twitter at an Elite Digital Mastermind group recently so in preparation for that session I have been working on my Twitter presence and have been pleasantly surprised to see my Twitter follower count jump from 400 to over 515 in a week, which is a rise of over 25%, so I thought I’d share some details of what I have been doing so you can consider doing it too.

Changing my use of Twitter

crowdfire logoThe first change in practice I’ve made is Tweeting to people who follow me as I follow them back, rather than just pressing the follow button and leaving it at that. I had already used Crowdfire to send a message to each person as they followed me, but I now I type a quick thank you tweet to them. I’m spending quite a lot of time on trains at the moment so I normally do this whilst travelling – mobile signal permitting, of course.

Social Jukebox LogoI’ve also started using Social Jukebox to set up regular tweets. This comes with a jukebox full of quotes which I have left running and a jukebox that I am using to quote links to my site and other relevant digital marketing material – a link to this blog will be added very soon. I have also done some tweaking to the quotes jukebox, creating pictures for some of the quotes and adding them to the quotes in the jukebox and this will be an ongoing activity as I quite like the idea. I have also added some additional quotes from other sources – my next challenge is to make some quotes of my own that I think are worthy of sharing.

I am continuing to also tweet interesting and relevant links from digital marketing articles I find and have become more conscious of ensuring that I include Twitter as one of the places to share information, whereas before I mainly focused on Facebook.

These actions mean that the number of tweets I am making has increased considerably, which has also lead to more interaction with my followers.

Twitter LogoAlong with increased activity on Twitter, I have spent some time updating some of the company profile. I have updated the profile picture to use our new logo and I have also updated the header photo to include a picture of me. One thing I learnt when updating the profile picture was to ensure that you have the minimum height and width to 400 pixels. I was getting very frustrated initially as the logo picture I was using was 400 pixels wide but not that high and Twitter kept shrinking it. Once I set the background to be 400 x 400 pixels it all worked fine.

Learning Twitter the hard way

It’s not all been plain sailing though, as I experimented with linking Twitter to my personal Facebook page and on through to the Red Knight Solutions Facebook page  and for a few days I was getting regular posts on my Facebook page from Tweet Jukebox. The good news was that some my friends had conversations about some of the quotes that were posted, but it didn’t feel right to me so I have turned that feature off.

Twitter Tools

A really useful tool within Twitter that I have just learnt about is the creation and use of lists. One of my biggest frustrations with Twitter has been that as the number of people you follow and who follow you grows, your timeline becomes really noisy. However, if you create lists of people you are really looking to keep a close eye on, such as clients, potential clients or major influencers in your field, you can use them to see just those you are interested in. This allows you to start using the tools on Twitter, such as likes, retweets and quoting tweets, focusing on those you have added to your lists.

I have mentioned a number of tools I have started using and the world of Twitter seems to have an abundance of tools and add-ons that you can use to make your Twitter experience better. Whilst doing research about Twitter tools I did come across this blog which lists over 90 useful Twitter tools. Please feel free to research them further and if you find any of them are useful please let me know.


Rob Osborne of Red Knight SolutionsIf you would like help getting more out of Twitter or any other social media channel please get in contact with Red Knight Solutions by calling 02392 265725 and we would be happy to help you develop your digital marketing strategy and ensure it is making good use of Twitter.

7 mistakes business owners make with content marketing

7 mistakes business owners make with content marketing

Content Marketing MistakesContent marketing is currently seen as THE way to get your website optimised on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo (often referred to as SEO), but many business owners are disappointed with the results of their content marketing.  Are you making one or more of these mistakes, so you are not getting the business results from your website that you are expecting?

Mistake 1 – Not understanding what content marketing means

Confused business manContent marketing is a generic term used by digital marketers to describe using the content on your website to promote your business. By making sure that the text you write on your website pages, together with the pictures and video you include on it are focused on using the right words and phrases to describe your business and the services, you help Google, Bing and Yahoo understand the more about the goods and services your business offers and will show them high up in their search engine results pages when people enter those terms and phrases as a search.

Mistake 2 – Not knowing the words and phrases people would type into a search engine to find your business

This may sound obvious, but have you spent any time thinking about the words and phrases that people type into search engines that you would like or expect your company to appear on page one of google for? If not, it’s time to start thinking about them, writing them down and making sure they appear in appropriate places on your website.

Mistake 3 – Targeting individual words and short generic phrases rather than longer, more specific phrases.

Target long phrases for your websiteTrying to get ranked for individual words and short phrases is very difficult, as you will be competing with other businesses both nationally and internationally. It is much better to try to target your content at longer phrases that are more specific. Although there may not be as many searches performed for these longer phrases, you will stand a much better chance of ranking highly for that phrase. It is also likely that the person undertaking a specific search is a much hotter lead as they are searching for something very specific and your business will be a very good match for them. For instance, it was very difficult for one of our customers to rank highly in search engine results for the phrase “Find A Care Home”, but they are now on page one of Google for the phrase “help find a care home for my elderly relative”.

Mistake 4 – Not including locations

Location DetailsExpanding on mistake 3, when people are searching for businesses and services they are usually looking in a particular location, so it is really important that you include location references in your content where possible. For instance, our client mentioned above is based in Hampshire and operates across Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey, Sussex and the Isle of Wight, so including these details in their content helps them to rank highly for phrases such as “help find a care home for my elderly relative in Hampshire”.

Mistake 5 – Not writing content very often

Diary for bloggingHow often and how regularly do you write content for your website, either updating your pages, adding blog posts or news items? Website visitors like to see that the website they are looking at has been updated recently, so Google and the other search engines like to see this too. The best way to achieve this is by setting up a plan detailing when you are going to blog and what you are going to blog about. Doing something at least once a month shows that your website is alive and well.

Mistake 6 – Not using or optimising images

Optimise your photos and imagesDo you include photographs, pictures and diagrams as part of your website content? It is a good idea to do so to break up your website content and make it more readable. When you add images to your website it is very important to use descriptive file names and include all descriptive details in all the fields available as Google, can’t see the picture in the same way you and I can and needs help to understand what the picture is about. You can do this by renaming the file, so for a photo rather than it being called img00012.jpg you could call it A person using a mobile phone to browse the internet.jpg.

Mistake 7 – Not using the meta data fields correctly

Sorry that this is a bit techie, but it is important to understand that within a webpage there is some additional information, known as meta data, that is not displayed when looking at a website but is used by search engines to get a better understanding of what the page is about. The two most important meta data fields for content marketing are the page title, and the page description. The method of updating these for your website will depend on the system you use to run your website. For instance, if you use WordPress to run your website then the best way to do this is to install a WordPress plug-in designed to help with SEO. The two most commonly used are All In One SEO and Yoast SEO.

Taking action to resolve these content marketing mistakes will go a long way to helping you move up the search engine rankings. If you would like help with this, please call Red Knight Solutions on 02392 265725 or complete the form below.

Expressing your business – Digital marketing on the radio

Expressing your business – Digital marketing on the radio

Express FM LogoThis week I appeared as a guest on the Business Express show on Express FM. I initially accepted the invitation out of curiosity, taking the opportunity to see behind the scenes of a radio station and getting experience of being in a radio studio. I have got so many benefits out of participating that I thought they would make a good blog post.

Rob Osborne of Red Knight Solutions at the Express FM studioThe first benefit has obviously been to satisfy my curiosity about how a radio show works and is produced. It was really interesting to see how it all works and as a bit of a techie geek at heart I was fascinated by all the equipment and how it’s all managed digitally.

The second and probably biggest benefit has been using the preparation for the show as an opportunity to really think about what I am doing and how I wanted to present this to listeners. It is very easy to lose sight of what you want to achieve in your business, but as part of the preparation was to provide some questions to help guide the show I was able to spend some time contemplating what I wanted to say and more importantly how and why. The only downside to this was that I forgot to get off the train at the station where I had left my car!!

Miles Henson presenter of Business Express on Express FMThe third benefit was that it took me outside of my comfort zone, as I wasn’t sure I would be able to speak for an hour about digital marketing or if there was a danger that I would waffle incoherently. I’m pleased to say that I have had some very good feedback from people who have listened to the show, so I want to say thank you to the Miles Henson who hosts the show as his very informative briefing before the show and off-air comments during the show were very helpful. This has helped me to stop procrastinating about an on-line mentoring service I have been planning to launch for a while, so keep watching this website or sign up to our newsletter for more information.

The fourth benefit has been that it has driven me to take some action on updating Red Knight Solutions website and it’s content, as I have sadly neglected it over the last few months and fallen into the trap of do as I say and not as I do. I have spent time updating content, adding new pages and planning my future blog posts, starting with this one. Although it’s not crammed with information about digital marketing it is a good place to start and I am now going to write a blog at least every two weeks. I will be monitoring how this helps with search engine optimisation and I am looking forward seeing an improvement in my search engine rankings.

Additional benefits are that participating in the show has boosted my confidence, raised Red Knight Solution’s profile on social media through posting about the show on Facebook and Twitter both before and after the show. The number of likes of the Red Knight Solutions Facebook page and the number of Twitter followers of Red Knight Solutions has increased and Google analytics shows that listeners were visiting our website after the show too.

Finally, I have been toying with the idea of writing a book about digital marketing for a while. I have signed up to Karen Williams 10,000 word challenge during August but haven’t got as far as I wanted, but as I announced on the show that I was writing a book and have now written it on this blog post I am now referring to myself as an author and will write my book.

 

Survey

We’re undertaking a survey to find out how companies are using digital marketing to promote their businesses and how successful it is for generating new business.

Here’s the link to our digital marketing survey.

The Rainbow Centre LogoFor each survey completed we will donate £1 to our chosen charity, The Rainbow Centre, so please take the time to complete the survey. We are hoping to raise at least £100 for this amazing charity, so please take the time to complete it.

We will be producing a free report of our findings. If you would like a copy, please include your details when asked at the end of the survey.

Thanks.

 

A New Beginning

A New Beginning

Although Red Knight Solutions has been running for over 10 years, we are now entering a new beginning and re-focusing our business on helping other businesses grow their businesses by helping them improve their on-line and digital marketing.

Re-launching a business should be done in a carefully planned manner and with our experience in project and programme management there should have been lots of careful planning and preparation but due to various circumstances beyond our control and wanting to take advantage of an extremely good offer from 4Networking as they celebrated their 10th birthday, we launched in a rush at the 4N meeting in Chichester on 26th February.

I was made very welcome by everybody who was there, but I was surprised at how nervous I was standing up and talking about what we are aiming to do for 40 seconds, especially as I am also running a multi-million pound IT contract for a London Borough. At least I had produced a postcard that gave some more information and was able to wave that about.

I had also managed to throw together an initial version of the website, which still needs lots of work – but I’ve happily adopted the “Done is better than perfect” mantra and will be developing and improving it’s look and feel, as well as adding richer content as I go – this blog is an initial example.