Tag Archives: social strategy

Rhubarb Fool LinkedIn Social Media Strategy

Social media is just like … football Part V

Rhubarb Fool attempts to apply its love of the beautiful game to the challenges presented to small businesses by social media

You think that inventing the game gives you a right to be pre-eminent within it.

Let’s lean on the wisdom of Gary Vaynerchuk again. “Forget Mad Men, and f*ck Don Draper,” he wrote, firmly avoiding beating about the bush. Gary bases his views on his belief that: “Don Draper lived in an easy world where … you could spend your whole career working to figure out how the print and television markets worked”.

This is not the reality we are now confronted with. This world, the one we are all trying to negotiate is evolving every second, of every day.

If you want to use your resources diffusing your brand’s story on social media (highly advisable) and if that effort and resource is going to translate into commercial results (which it will), then you need to open yourself to the fact that what’s succeeded in the past may have no relevance to what will succeed in the future. There are no divine rights here, no matter how innovative or good you or your business might once have been.

The rules of the game now are defined by micro-content, moments of inspiration, the riding of waves and banishing any sense of entitlement.

So ask yourself: Am I up to the task of keeping up to speed and following a path full of deviations and unanticipated turns? Can I compete in the dynamic world of social media?

We believe that with effort, enterprise and enthusiasm; you’ll find it a world that offers more opportunities than challenges.

Rhubarb Fool iPad apps

Digital marketing across multi-screen formats

How Rhubarb Fool will help your brand cross screen formats.

At Rhubarb Fool we know that we’re operating in a fast moving market. Our mission statement: “Listen. Create. Communicate” would maintain its essential truth if we substituted the word “listen” with the word “observe”. Vigilance is vital if we’re going to stay on top of the emerging trends of consumer behaviour.

We know that a significant proportion of media users are now accessing information over a variety of screen formats.

They are using computer screens, smart phone screens, tablet screens and of course the more ubiquitous TV screens. Bearing this in mind, it’s now more important than ever for any business marketing itself by way of social media, to present information relating to itself and its services across a multi-screen format.

Businesses need to appreciate that consumers may now start accessing information on one device (for example they might start reading an email on their smartphone as they’re sat on the train home from work) and finish the task on another device (by replying to the email from their lap-top when they get home).

Or perhaps more significantly, it’s possible for a consumer to catch the tail end of a advert on their television and then revisit this advert from the more controlled and leisurely position of their tablet.

If these behaviours sound familiar to you, it’s because they conform to the emerging patterns of multi-screen behaviour and we’re all a part of this.

A recent study: “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross Platform Consumer Behaviour” identified that 90% of social media users are now accustomed to moving

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between devices to complete a given task. As we’ve observed above, the device could be a smartphone, a TV a PC or a tablet.

The study also revealed that some tasks (like managing your bank account or booking a flight online) are often not completed in one sitting, or on one device. In fact the study demonstrated that 98% of sequential screeners move between as many as three different devices a day to complete tasks.

So what does this all mean for you? The biggest lesson we at Rhubarb Fool have taken from this is that it’s essential that businesses adapt their web presence to smaller screens.

Sites accessed by way of tablets (with larger screens) often render well and content can be readily navigated. But smartphones are a much trickier undertaking. Enabling your customers to interact with your content across all devices is not straightforward.

You have to be asking yourself whether your web experience is really optimised. Are you actually offering your customers exactly what will serve them given the context and the need of their engagement with you.

At Rhubarb Fool we are able to help you to find the web strategy that will fit your business best. Our staff will help you to answer the pivotal questions around implementation and technology that will enable your commercial presence to be achieved across all platforms. So if you want to:

  • Learn the best way to negotiate the challenges presented by multi-device behaviour.
  • Receive a professional assessment of your current site’s strengths and weaknesses from a multi-screen perspective
  • Access resources that will allow you to deliver a multi device site.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Rhubarb Fool. We’d love to show you the Listen. Create.Communicate ethos in action.

rhubarb fool content brand guidelines branding

Flexibility is the key when building brand guidelines

Rhubarb Fool is currently working on producing brand guidelines for one of the UK’s leading trade associations.

It’s an interesting project and we thought we’d jot down some tips we’ve picked up along the way. The most interesting being that the best brand guidelines are flexible. bend but don’t break!

Form the offset, it has been imperative to understand who will be using these guidelines and importantly why do they need them. Is it just colleagues, or advertising agencies as well?

Read our post on key considerations for building brilliant brand guidelines.

Do ask whether there is there a specific reason why they need to be produced?

You may learn something. Sometimes employees (let’s call them users) feel a little imprisoned by the brand, especially if it is an iconic one. They may benefit from being pointed towards alternative, yet still consistent, brand usages.

Maybe it is the opposite and the value of the brand is being diluted by a conflicting variety of usages. In that case we need to impose some consistency. Either way it’s best to find out from the get go.

As soon as you have learnt about the audience, get to the nub of the brand.

Distill the essence of the brand into three or four words maybe. Use these words as the core pillars of the guidelines, making sure to explain how using the brand guidelines will help communicate these pillars to the key customers.

As mentioned, brand guidelines aren’t a pair of handcuffs. Use engaging language to demonstrate that the guidelines are there simply to guide not to rule. Good guidelines almost tell a story, so encourage the user to come along for the ride. Let’s discover the brand all over again!

Your guidelines need to be flexible. Brands need to tell their stories to a range of audiences and one size does not fit all. Adapt your tone accordingly and keep emotional responses front of mind.

Thus, a brand needs to live and breathe.

It is no longer a monolithic icon towering over our lives as it once was. We meet with a brand in a thousands scenarios now, and often the consumer will manipulate the brand to their own means. And there ain’t nothing we can do about it so chill. No-one’s getting hurt.

There is a difference between rigidity and consistency. Go for the latter. Make rules flexible enough for designers to be creative but robust enough to keep the brand consistent and recognisable.

Consistency is key as brand spill over and into different media but feel free to show  examples of how the brand should look across a full range of different platforms and media.

Your brand will evolve with different audiences. That’s fine, don’t sweat it. Your brand is out there living, having fun and only occasionally bringing home its dirty washing.

We’ll update this as we continue with our branding project, but if you have a question about brand guidelines or, indeed would like us to review your own then please do let us know.

Rhubarb Fool LinkedIn Social Media Strategy

LinkedIn as part of your social strategy?

LinkedIn-lead-generation

LinkedIn is the biggest professional network in the world with over 200 million users, and LinkedIn continues to expand rapidly with 120 new users joining each minute.

The social network is a great digital destination for building and strengthening connections, staying in the know about industry news and trends, promoting your content, establishing a following and magnifying reach and brand recognition.

Without doubt, LinkedIn is the best social medium for

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B2B companies. The social network has a visitor-to-lead conversion rate of 2.74%—outranking Facebook and Twitter by nearly threefold.

While LinkedIn’s conversion rate is highly tempting, you should stop yourself from engaging in hard selling or push marketing tactics on LinkedIn.

It is a social network after all, so add value as an informational resource; post links to highly shareable content with relevant, high-impact and information-rich solutions and deep industry insight.

LinkedIn offers a prime opportunity to boost engagement, promote your company, attain status as an industry thought leader, and dramatically increase lead generation and conversion.

5 Ways to Boost LinkedIn Lead Generation

1. Be Strategic About When You Post Your Status Updates

You should post status updates at the times of day, when you get the most impressions on LinkedIn. Generally, companies get more engagement in the morning. However, mobile use, which is rising, spikes in the evening on LinkedIn. Experiment with different times of day to uncover which ones are optimal to reach your target audience. Analyze your LinkedIn engagement metrics, including impressions, clicks and social shares, to determine which types of posts trigger the most website traffic and lead generation. Closely monitor which content incites the greatest number of social shares, since high rates of social content curation translate into increased visibility in LinkedIn streams, amplified reach, and increased lead generation and conversion.

2. Add Customized Banners

Adding banners is free of charge, and each banner can link back to your company website. You are authorized to add up to three linkable banners to the Products & Services section of your company page, which is great for funneling LinkedIn traffic to your blog, premium content, webinars or landing pages. Many companies on LinkedIn do not take advantage of this valuable feature, so give your company an edge. When prospects visit your Products & Services section, offer them a quick and simple way to contact your company by linking your website, your blog or a strategic landing page to your banners.

3. Deliver Custom-Tailored Content and CTAs

LinkedIn company pages can offer specific content based on the profile of the visiting LinkedIn member. This optimization allows you to use the most appealing language according to industry, geographic location, job function and company size—to name just a few. Tailoring content for specific LinkedIn members helps you drive them to highly relevant landing pages and offers, and the set-up is streamlined and user-friendly.

4. Win with the LinkedIn Lead Collection Widget

The LinkedIn Lead Collection widget is a great resource for testing an ad campaign budget. Add the widget to your company page. A

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little box will sit at the top of your page—allowing prospects to submit their email address to you with just one easy click. The widget can help you generate more leads at a faster rate; it is especially effective with mobile users, who are likely to opt out, when asked to type all their information into a standard landing page.

5. Send Personalized Messages to Your Prospects

LinkedIn Sponsored InMail is an outstanding marketing tool. With InMail, Linked identifies exactly who you should contact to advance your business. Just create your message, add your URLs, and then let LinkedIn take care of the rest. Consider these messages highly targeted sales pitches. While it is not free, InMail is well worth the cost for its ability to reach the right prospects, generate new leads and send highly targeted traffic to your website. An InMail campaign may be just what your company needs to optimize LinkedIn lead generation.

Experiment with various ways to distinguish yourself and your company; LinkedIn should become integral to your social media marketing and overall inbound strategy. If you cannot manage an engaging presence on LinkedIn internally, consider hiring an inbound marketing agency for strategic social media services, such as Rhubarb Fool.