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Is your business social yet?

Social Media is not a passing fad.  It has changed the way we communicate.  It is the new way of connecting – and not just in our personal lives.  Most big brands in South Africa are active on social media.  And more small businesses are waking up to the potential of this medium.

Why does your business need social media?

Are you sitting on the sidelines, wondering whether you should join in on social media? If you still need convincing, here are 6 benefits of social media:

1.Social media raises Brand recognition and awareness

Social media is an excellent way of raising awareness of your Brand.  It is a channel for your voice, a way to introduce yourself.

2.Social media improves Brand loyalty

Social media enables you to connect with customers and potential customers in a very personal way.  This personal connection is what builds loyalty to your Brand.

3.Social media creates opportunities to convert customers

Each time you share something on social media, you create an opportunity for a potential customer to react.  This reaction creates an opportunity for engagement.  Engagement creates the opportunity for conversion.

4.Social media increases your conversion rate

People like to do business with people.  Your Brand becomes personal through social media, and that increases your conversion rate.  Direct sales are even possible from your social media pages.

5.You can increase your reach with social media

If you have great content, people already familiar with your Brand will share it.  In this way you reach new potential customers.

6.Social media can be inexpensive

Start small.  Find your way around.  Learn the nuances of social media.  Spending as little as an hour a day on social media can generate benefit. If you don’t have the time, let us help you. We have very effective Social Media Maintenance options. Contact Us to Find out more.

And how can you use it?

The potential for social media is clear. Handle it with some delicacy and finesse, and the rewards can be yours.  Here are some ways to do that:

1.Content counts, not just self-promotion

For every promotion you post, you should post 6 others that are interesting or useful for your reader.  The online community will quickly lose interest in you if you simply use social media for free advertising. People are looking for interesting information: industry tips, insider insights, original ideas.  Share your expertise and boost your Brand.

2.Build relationships

Identify individuals that are influencers in your market, and build relationships with them. In time they may begin to recognise you as an authority figure and share your content. Find customers that are passionate about your product and ask them to blog for you. They will become your Brand ambassadors.

3.Enrich the experience of your customer

People take to social media to compliment and to complain.  Make sure that you are receptive, and you are responsive.  Quickly move complaints off the public platform into private communication and resolve them.  Thank those that compliment you publically.  Enhance the satisfaction of the customer and you will build loyalty.

4.Make sure you do respond

When a reader takes the time to reach out to you, make sure you answer them.  Every time.  Every one.  If you do not interact with your community, you will destroy your community.  And keep it personal.  Automated messages will not do.  It’s also not just about you.  Make sure you spend some time sharing the content of others.

5.Cultivate a strong and loyal community

Many actions already listed will help you build community.  Another way is to create an online forum on your site where customers can reach out to each other.  They can answer each other’s questions, share tips, chat.

6.Reward customer loyalty

Now that you have created a loyal community, reward them.  You can run promotions exclusively for online users.  Have a promotion code or a special password for their use.  Run competitions with even an inexpensive prize- people love things for free.  Give your online followers the edge with sneak peeks of upcoming products and events.

7.Quality trumps quantity

Don’t get sucked into chasing numbers of likes.  The quality of your community is more important than the quantity.  A thousand engaged users are far more valuable than ten thousand indifferent followers.

8.And NEVER criticise others online

It is never good to criticise others on social media.  Don’t compare yourself to competitors.  Don’t name call.  You can damage your reputation. At worst you can find yourself on the receiving end of a civil claim.


Social media need not be intimidating.  Spend some time familiarising yourself with the different platforms.  Each platform has a slightly different user and community.  Learn the nuances of each.  Identify which platforms are the best fits for your Brand.  You cannot be all things to all people.

Now is the time to have a social media strategy.  Your competition already has one! Get in Touch to find out more.

7 secrets of a successful landing page

First things first. Before you can unveil the secrets of what makes a landing page successful, be sure you are clear on what a landing page is.

A landing page is not simply any web page that you may “land” on. Rather it is a page that has been created with a specific and single business purpose in mind: convert that visitor.

Conversion can mean different things. It can mean a direct sale of your product. It can also mean that you gather direct contact information from your visitor so you can connect to them by other means, such as email.

So this means that a “Successful Landing Page” is one that leads to conversions. If we keep this in mind at all times, everything about this page must contribute to the likelihood of our visitor converting. Make it easy for them. Make it interesting for them. Make it clear exactly what they should do. And how do you do that?

Now you are ready for those 7 secrets:

1.Have a Clear Call to Action

It should be instantly obvious to your visitor what they must do. A short, simple, specific instruction that they must action: “Add to Cart”, or “Download Now – Free”, or “Sign up here”.

It must look clickable, like a button. Make good use of colour to ensure that it stands out and is obvious. The colour of the button should be distinctively different to the background.

Pay attention to the copy you use for your button, and test to see what generates the best response. And the golden rule: ban the word “Submit” from your vocabulary.

2. Less is More

Your landing page should be clean, uncluttered, and have no distractions. It should be easy for the visitor to scan. Think bullet points and lots of white space.

You do not want your visitor to have to search for the information they are looking for. Use a big font, and keep your text to a minimum. If you want to add more detailed information, add it below the fold. Your visitor knows to scroll if they are looking for more.

And keep your call to action button above the fold in clear sight of your visitor.

3. Put Catchy Headline Here

You have approximately 8 seconds to capture the attention of your visitor. Your headline should be clear, concise and convincing. It should communicate very clearly what you are offering.

Follow up with a sub-heading that explains how amazing your offering is.

4. Match it up!

Let’s use an example. When a visitor clicks on your advert with the keywords “Blue Suede Shoes” they should arrive on a landing page with related content and copy, such as “Blue Suede Shoes On Promotion”. They should not arrive on the page “Men’s Clothing”.

And why? The purpose of your landing page is to convert the visitor to a customer. To convert the visitor, you need to give them what they are looking for.

5. Social Proof Your Landing Page

People like to have the assurance of others. They like to know others have used your product, follow you. It signals to them that you can be trusted.

You can social proof your landing page by adding testimonials of satisfied customers. If you provide a service to customers, you can list their well-known logos on your page. Usage statistics are reassuring such as “30 000 copies sold”. Industry standards and certification, such as SABS or VeriSign, build trust.

You can even use badges of your own making such as, “Best Service Guaranteed”.

6. Make sure you are mobile friendly

Currently 50% of Google searches are done through mobile devices, and this number is growing. Having a landing page that works well on a mobile device can double your conversions.

Make sure that your landing page scales for mobile devices. Your call to action button must remain visible and accessible.

7. Only ask for what you need

Only request essential information from your visitor. This is the information that will enable you to make direct contact with them. Ask for too much information and your visitor may get bored, or irritated, or distracted. You have a small window of opportunity to capture their attention and convert. Do not squander it with a lengthy form.

Apply these tips to your landing pages. Tweak and change, test and retest. With perseverance, you will find the exact combination that converts your visitors into customers. Landing pages form part of a Lead Generation Strategy, read more about how  a Lead Generation strategy works here.

White Hat SEO Vs Black Hat SEO


High noon. Ten paces apart. Weapons drawn. On the left, scarred and mean, Black Hat. On the right, tall and righteous, White Hat. A glance can tell you who the good guy is, and who is rotten to the core.

It’s a useful analogy. One co-opted by the Search Engine industry to distinguish good SEO techniques from bad.

So what do they mean, and what practices do they include when they make the distinction?

What is White Hat?

White Hat practitioners subscribe to the philosophy, “slow and steady wins the race”. This methodology aims to raise the ranking of a site through hard work. It may take time to get to those high rankings but once there, your website will stay there.

White Hat practitioners believe that Search Engines are friends. They play by the rules set by the Search Engines, and in the spirit of those rules. Ethical SEO is important to them.

The user experience is paramount to White Hat practitioners. Their aim is a good quality site, with great content, that focuses on the end user. It’s a long-term strategy and it carries no risk.

5 White Hat SEO techniques

The typical ways of White Hat SEO are:

1.Website optimisation
This involves making small modifications to a site to firstly enhance the user experience, and then to optimise it for search engines. It includes the use of page titles, headings, meta-tags, easy navigation and backlinks.

2. Quality content
In White Hat SEO, the content of the website is of a high quality. It is aimed at giving the user what they want. It is fresh, original and relevant.

3. Good design
A well-designed site is easy to navigate. It is intuitive. It doesn’t contain internal links. It has no scripts that cannot be read by search engines. It also works on mobile devices.

4. Link baiting
This is the practice of including links to your site from another website. It could be a link offering a useful tool. It could be a sensationalist news story. Its purpose is to incite a user to click through to your site. Whatever it is, the link delivers what it promises.Read more about Content Marketing.

5. The use of keywords
This concerns the prominence and the density of keywords in your content. Where is the keyword placed, how often is it used, and is it relevant to the content?

What’s so bad about Black Hat?

The purpose of Black Hat practice is to gain high-ranking search result as quickly as possible.

In the Black Hat approach the Search Engine is the foe. The intent is to break the rules and trick the Search Engine. It is aggressive and it carries high risks.

The user experience is not relevant in Black Hat philosophy. The intent is to beat the Search Engine. It is a short-term strategy that can bring initial rewards but ultimately it is very risky. Once the Search Engines become aware of the use of Black Hat practices on your site, it will be penalised or even banned.

Sneaky Black Hat ways with SEO

The typical techniques of Black Hat SEO are:

• Cloaking
This is the practice of showing human visitors one thing, but showing the Search Engine something else.

• Keyword stuffing
In this practice a keyword is used so many times on a page or meta-tag that the content no longer makes sense. It no longer reads properly. It is clearly aimed at the search engine and not the user.

• Doorway pages
In essence these are fake pages that are filled with content aimed at the Search Engine. The human user does not even see this page but is redirected to another site without their knowledge.

• Duplicate sites and scraping
In this instance popular content is copied from other sites. This amounts to plagiarism. The content could be copyrighted and there could be serious consequences.

• Hiding content and images
Content can be hidden from the human user, for example by making it the same colour as the background. It could be included in comment tags or no script tags. It is aimed at the search engine and all search engines consider this spam.

How good is your SEO?

Improving organic search engine rankings is a slow process. One can see how it could be tempting to include the occasional Black Hat practice, or even to follow that strategy aggressively. That approach, however, carries very high risks.

There are safer ways of improving your ranking, such as pay per click advertising.

Do you know what approach your SEO company uses? They may be getting results, but through which practices? Can you afford to have your website banned?

Vlogging? Who does that!

Pewdiepie. Joe Sugg. Zoella. Troye Sivan. Caspar Lee.  The chances are these names mean little to you.  That is if no one in your home is younger than 18.  In reality, they are some of the biggest earners on YouTube today.  They command millions of subscribers and millions of views.

By 2017, predictions are that 74% of Internet traffic will be video.  The age of video is here, and here to stay.  It has never been easier to create video content. It is quicker than having to read text.

It is not just YouTubers that are vlogging.  Some of the industry giants are using it, including Google and Microsoft.  Celebrities like Taylor Swift and Jim Carrie speak directly to their fans with a vlog.

But what is it? And does it work? Should you be doing it?

Simply put, a vlog is a blog that consists primarily of video content.  It is self-made, amateur content, and not always the best quality.  It is easy to produce.  All you need is a video camera or a webcam with a microphone.  It is accessible, shareable, and immediate.

Here are 4 effective ways you can use it in your business:


1.Create product demonstrations.

A vlog is more interactive than a brochure. It is an excellent way to reach customers that want information but do not want to wade through copious text.  It means your customer doesn’t need to leave their home. It can boost their confidence in buying your product online.


2.Record customer testimonials.

A sincere endorsement from a customer is an excellent way of reassuring potential customers.  It builds trust in your product or service.  Knowing that other users have been happy with your product, reassures them that it is safe to try it.


3.Take the customer behind the scenes.

Create a personal connection with your visitor by taking them behind the scenes.  This could take many guises.  It could be, “A day in the life of our CEO”  or,  “Meet our Designer”.  Give your customer an insight into how your product gets to them with, “How is it made?”.


4.Answer customer questions.

A vlog is an excellent way of responding to questions from customers.  There may be a particular issue that customers have, or perhaps a typical query.  You can provide your customer with the answers they are looking for, directly and personally.

You can also get information out to customers quickly.  As soon as you become aware of something that needs to be addressed, you can create a vlog.

There are many possible ways you could be spending your time and money in your marketing efforts.  Does it make sense to be spending some of it on vlogging?  How does it work, and does it really work?


Here is why you should do it:


1.Vlogging helps you build a personal connection.

Video is very personal.  It creates an emotional connection.  Your viewer learns things about you that don’t come across in text.  They get to know you.  They start to trust you.  They are more willing to try your products and services because they are buying from “You” and not a faceless company.


2.Vlogging is interactive and engaging.

Video is a very engaging medium.  For that period, you have the attention of your viewer.  For a time you are right there, in the room with them.  Many visitors prefer video to text.  It means that you can expand the audience you are able to reach.  And many people retain information better if they have watched it.


3.SEO loves video content.

There are a number of reasons why.  SEO loves fresh content.  You can keep adding new vlogs to your website.  SEO favours video, especially when it is labelled and described correctly.  Your vlog makes your page “sticky” and visitors stay for longer.  All of these things help improve your search engine results page ranking.


4.It’s easy!

Vlogging is inexpensive and it is easy to do.  You don’t need expensive production material.  The informal nature of your content is part of its charm.  All you need to do is prepare your content, record, upload and publish.


Vlogging can help you to build trust with your customers.  It can reassure hesitant buyers.  It can help you reach those that prefer video content.  You can build brand awareness.

The only question left:  Have you started yet? Get in touch if you would like to find out more.

Ps – You can have a look at an example of Vlogging with Craig’s Business Before Breakfast Video ,

Is Social Media Dangerous for Your Business?

Social Media is an excellent medium to engage your customer.  You can tell your brand story.  You can enhance your customer relationships.  You can gauge the industry and pick up on trends.  You can establish your company as current and relevant.  You can generate leads.  You can make your Brand accessible, fun, human.  What is not to like?

Social Media can also destroy your reputation.  In a few, easy steps.  Before breakfast.  A moment of misguided enthusiasm, or even of malice, can undo what you have built up over years.


How To Avoid Social Media Disasters

Here are things you should look out for when you’re posting on Social Media:


1.It seemed a good idea at the time
It’s the office party and things are getting a little out of hand. It’s all good, clean fun and the photos are hilarious.  Share your story, the experts say.  Tell stories about your events, and quirky employees, they said.  And on they go.

Except … “you had to be there”.  From the outside it looks awkward, and embarrassing, and what exactly was he doing with that balloon?


2.You and your employees represent your brand
An employee may be speaking in their private capacity, on their own personal profile.  It is not even in your Company’s name. Within moments a controversial perspective can go viral, and your Company is guilty by association.  Many a personal and company reputation has been ruined by an inappropriate comment or unpopular point of view.


3.But I thought I was on my own profile
Except that I was not.  I was on the Company profile.  It was meant as a private message and now it is splashed all over, well, everywhere.  It could mean leaked, confidential information.  It could be a breach in media regulations.  It could be offensive and inappropriate.  It could be all of the above.


4.Make sure your “social media expert” is just that
For many people social media can be intimidating.  But just because someone is young, you cannot assume that they are an expert in all things social media.  Before you hand it all over, do your research. Make sure they have all the required skills to build and safeguard your brand.  Even a single imprudent post can cause spectacular damage.


5.Look left, look right, look left again
Make sure everything is right before you publish.  Once you have hit “send”, your message is in the ether for time immemorial.  Sure, you can delete your mistake as soon as you realise it.  But with the power of the screen shot, the share and the re-tweet, it is out there forever.

This means re-read your intended post from the perspective of the intended receiver.  Is it on Brand?  Could it in any way be offensive: racist, ageist, sexist?  Are there spelling mistakes? Is the grammar spot-on?


6.And if you made a mistake, say sorry
Once you have realised your mistake, come clean and apologise.  Do not become defensive or arrogant.  Do not begin to attack any followers that disagree.  Do not delete comments that you do not like.

Engage your reviewer in conversation; show off your customer service skills; demonstrate that you are big enough to say sorry; and fix the problem.


7.When the cat’s away, the mouse will play
The motivation could be mischief or malice.  It is possible that your Company account could be hacked, an imposter posting all manner of inappropriate content designed to embarrass and do damage.  Using your Brand name.  And saying terrible things.

Or perhaps it is a disgruntled ex-employee with a fake profile set on destruction.  It could be someone with too much time on his or her hands, trolling up a storm.   An unhappy customer may be trying to get your attention.  You need to actively manage your social media platforms.  Keep close tabs on all the activity and respond appropriately.


Social Media: Yes Or No?

Is social media still a good idea for your business?  Or do the associated risks outweigh all the positives to be gained?  With the possibility of rumours, mistakes, leaks, misunderstandings, mischief and mishandling, does it still make sense to have a social media presence?

Despite the risks, the answer is still a resounding, “Yes!”  When you know what to look out for you can avoid the possible pitfalls. If you have a sound Social Media strategy, you can get real rewards from your efforts.

If you are looking to manage your social media the proper way you will need a Social Media Content Calendar. You can download a Free Content Calendar here.

Want to benefit from Social Media marketing, but just don’t have the time? No problem, let us manage your social media for you. Contact us about Social Media Management.

Head Office Location


Head Office: +27 (0)21 910 4437

Cape Town Office: 2nd Floor Edward II, 72-76 Edward Street, Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa

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