The Lowdown

New Year, New Me!

As the first days of January roll into view, we take a look at what to expect from the coming year. These are the trends and changes that we think you should consider in 2018.

The Rise Of Augmented Reality

The introduction of the iPhone X was dominated by facial recognition and the £1,000 price tag. But, the iPhone’s capabilities when it comes to augmented reality are very exciting. Perhaps even revolutionary. Pokémon Go pioneered the push towards real-time immersion in 2016, but that was just the beginning. As the technology in our phones continues to improve, businesses will begin to use AR in more creative ways. This will lead even more exciting and interactive opportunities in 2018. Already, Ikea Place is changing how we shop at the famous flat-pack retailer, and Google Translate is managing to break down the language barrier.

Heat Mapping Has Arrived

We can all agree that UX is a vital aspect of design. Customers ultimately want the very best experience from start to finish. And now more than ever, the customer journey is a multi-layered process. Heat mapping allows you to see how users interact with your website, instead of only displaying stats. By tracking the physical movements of a user it is easy to see which areas that are causing friction. We’ve discussed heat mapping before, but as websites continue to evolve, it is becoming fundamental to their functionality that you understand what people are doing on them.

Social Media Is The Next BIG Thing…

Businesses are becoming dependant on social media in order to reach their audience. It is no longer something to consider in your marketing strategy. It is a necessity. In 2017, “Social Media advertising spend increased over 60% year-on-year” according to ADWEEK. So, with continued investment and an ever-increasing number of users across several different channels, what new opportunities are available?

Clever Chatbots – Chatbots are getting smarter, easier to use and much faster at dealing with enquires. They are becoming an excellent and reliable way of streamlining customer service.

Ephemeral Content – That’s when the things you post disappear after a period of time. Snapchat was founded on it, and it is a key feature on Facebook and Instagram. Ephemeral content is an engaging way of creating a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). Could your brand benefit from it?

Live Video – YouTube has over a billion users and is the second biggest search engine in the world. That means there is a huge potential to engage with your audience. Live video will continue to grow throughout 2018. We will no doubt start to see brands creating their own live channels, meaning there are potentially millions of users able to watch your content for free. It’s an exciting opportunity ready for the taking.

Generation Z – An age-old question; How does your business appeal to the next generation? What do you do to engage with them? Well, firstly, you need to know who they are? Generation Z are obsessed with their phones and yearn for authentic experiences. They will respond to less text and more images. They have a shorter attention span and use multiple screens at the same time. And in regards to social media, they love it! It has always been there for them. However, they don’t want to use the same ones as their parents. Do you still think you are appealing to them?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

New EU regulations are coming into play in 2018 called the General Data Protection Regulation. If you are not aware of them, then this is a good place to start. In a nutshell, the information you have about an individual needs to be available when requested. As a business, you need to be transparent on the data you have on your customers and how you use that information. The terms surrounding consent are being overhauled. Make sure you are clear on these new laws that will go live from 25th May 2018. Keep an eye out for our full update in the coming months.

Voice Search

There has been a sharp rise in people buying and using voice-activated products such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. With the increase of users comes the exciting, albeit unexplored opportunity of voice search results. Over the next couple of years, Google and Apple will be investing heavily in improving Siri and Google Assistant, and businesses will need to consider how they can appear in the search results (another factor to consider in SEO). It will no doubt take a bit of time to get to a position where we are relying solely on voice commands to deliver accurate search results, but it cannot be ignored. Amazon has already started to see the benefits in this area with, “Echo owners spending $400 per year more than Prime subscribers”.

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14th June '17

case study social media

Look, We Promise Social Media Really Does Work: A Case Study

Regular readers and our social media followers will be aware that Source took part in Shrewsbury’s Race For Life this month. Not only did we run the entire 5K (with some of us beating our personal bests), but we also managed to raise a staggering amount of money.

At the time of writing, the total stands at a whopping £1,057.50. We are so grateful to everyone who sponsored us. Your support made all the blood, sweat and tears completely worth it!

We Use Social Media, And You Should Too!

It has to be said, a fair amount of that sum is down to spreading the word on social media. I know – we are banging on again about how social media is such a powerful tool – but we’re only saying it because it’s true. We know that people out there are still fairly dubious about the whole topic. But let’s take the Race For Life event as an example and have a deeper look…

Regular updates on Source’s internal “goings-on” are posted via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. In preparation for the race and to spread the word about our involvement, we published a post entitled ‘Source Raising Money For Cancer Research UK In Race For Life’. We used this as an opportunity to link to our respective fundraising pages and asked for people to donate to a worthy cause.

The post was shared on our social media channels with a picture of smiling, happy faces, courtesy of Sally, Kirsty and Paula. Direct mentions of the official Race For Life and Cancer Research UK social media accounts (to ensure they would receive notifications about our post) and relevant hashtags were used to reach a larger audience. The engagement we achieved from these posts was as follows:

Facebook

  • 14 likes
  • 1 share
  • 801 people reached

Twitter

  • 2 retweets
  • 3 likes
  • 683 impressions

Instagram

  • 14 likes
  • 1 comment

The post was published on our website and pushed out across social media on 18th May and, at the time of writing, it has generated a total of 68 pageviews, 51 of those being unique visits and 53 of them being from a social media channel. The average time spent on the page is over 5 minutes and the bounce rate is 82.98%. Whilst that may seem high at first, it is fairly respectable for a blog post, as people will often leave a website straight after they get the information they wanted from the post.

Following that success, and with a week to go before the big day, we decided to thank all our lovely clients that had already made a donation. So, on 7th June, we published a vibrant, eye-catching image, listing our clients together with a “Thank you” message. To accompany this, we tagged each of those clients accordingly, together with the official Race For Life and Cancer Research UK accounts. We also included relevant hashtags and a link back to our original blog post to make it easy for anyone still wishing to sponsor us. Once again, this post received a lot of engagement:

Facebook

  • 14 likes
  • 3 shares
  • 1,053 people reached

Twitter

  • 4 retweets
  • 7 likes
  • 1 comment
  • 801 impressions

Instagram

  • 14 likes

Finally, the big day was upon us. The race was great fun and we loved being part of such an important event that brought together women from all over the county. And, of course, we were sure to take photos of our efforts, posting these images, once again, to our social media accounts. Using many of the same techniques as before, our sweaty-but-happy post-run faces generated:

Facebook

  • 37 likes
  • 1 share
  • 4 comments
  • 1,604 people reached

Twitter

  • 4 retweets
  • 7 likes
  • 4 comments
  • 669 impressions

Instagram

  • 8 likes
  • 1 comment

Even now, a few days after posting, these numbers are still growing.

Incidentally, that one comment on our Instagram post was from the official Race for Life account saying “We love your pic! To be featured, please reply with #YESraceforlife to agree”. So, of course, we said yes!

In short, no, this activity is unlikely to lead to direct sales or conversions for us, but that was never our purpose. And to use social media successfully, it shouldn’t be yours either.

As well as our main goal of raising money for Cancer Research UK, we posted on social media to show the real, human faces of the people behind Source.

Whether your focus is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even more B2B-based platforms such as LinkedIn, the idea is to use social media as an additional marketing tool. It’s about awareness; getting your business out there and humanising your brand.

And hey, if you think you may need a little assistance getting yourself out there, we’re more than happy to help.

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