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Things Social Media Professionals can’t ignore in 2016

It’s a new year and the perfect time to start your online marketing campaign anew, with a fresh angle. Out with the old… as they put it. Even though we are yet another step closer to a new decade, social media is vastly growing into a dominating form of marketing. However, in order to fully take advantage of that online power, let’s take a peek into the future and explore a few trends we should look out for.

Amped user security and privacy

With the Ashley Madison scandal, users expect their profiles and personal details to be more secure. They demand more secure ways of communication. In 2016, as social platforms heighten their privacy settings, users will feel more at ease and consequently more free to communicate on your business platforms.

Live-streaming is on the move

Live-streaming is the gateway to instant information and updates. The fact that people want to see the more human side of your business is nothing new in marketing. In giving them a glimpse of what’s happening behind the scenes, your business comes across as more human. Well, a fast moving trend is to post live videos using platforms such as Periscope.

Businesses can film what’s happening in the office, tutorials, interviews and whatever else creative they come up with as it is happening. The information gets delivered to the public instantly. Let’s face it; we live in a fast moving world so why should anyone have to wait?

In-app functionality will increase

Social media platforms aim to keep their users from having to leave the page to view other information. A prime example is Facebook’s new Instant Articles function. This allows people to publish articles on Facebook, making their article available to read right on Facebook. This way, users won’t have to go to another website but can rather read the news and interesting information on their favourite businesses on Facebook.

Less talking and more listening

It sounds odd to put listening in the same sentence as ‘social’ media but those who talk need an ear and customers especially demand an ear. Marketers will have to step up and listen to what the public wants.

Take a few seconds and respond properly to a comment on your post, not just liking it. This will show your audience that you acknowledge them and each and everyone one of them will feel special, noticed. Doesn’t it feel good when the lady at the cash register takes a moment to ask you how your day is going? It works in human, why not online?

Social media marketing is on the move and ATKA is moving right along with it. We investigate and stay up to date with all the latest trends in order to keep your content fresh and relevant. Contact us on info@atkasa.com to start reaping the benefits of quality marketing.

Google launches new Accelerated Mobile Pages project

Good news for businesses and mobile users alike! Google has launched their Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. Tablets and Smartphones have dominated the technology industry leading to an increase in mobile users.

When a web page takes too long to load, people tend to give up the search half way through resulting in high bounce rates. Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project improves the speed at which content loads significantly.

How AMP works

Google wants webpages with content like graphics, videos and animations to load instantaneously on mobiles. Accelerated Mobile Pages project aims to regulate how content looks and feels. They will build a more common technical core between pages, resulting in mobile users accessing the information they were searching for in nanoseconds. Developers will be able to cache AMP files in the cloud to reduce the time it takes for content to get to a user’s mobile device.

Twitter, WordPress.com, Adobe and LinkedIn are but a few of the technology companies already planning to integrate AMP HTML pages.

Benefits of Accelerated Mobile Pages

Time is precious to mobile users so they expect instant access to the news, visuals and videos they are searching for. AMP accomplishes just that. Businesses will experience a lower bounce rate on their webpages since mobile users will not give up their search out of impatience. This in turn will only lead to a growth in prospective clients.
The people involved in the project are working on creating Sustainable Ad Practices so that the ads in accelerated mobile page files are safe, quick, compelling and effective for users.

What to expect in the following months

It just gets better from here on out. The cogs and wheels in Google’s HQ keeps on spinning, constantly thinking of ways to improve users’ internet experience. In the following months, they will work with other participants to build more functionality in delivery and content.
Web publishers will be able to deliver content across the globe faster to different devices through Google’s high performance global cache.

In marketing, businesses rely on rich content like maps, social plug-ins, graphics and videos to draw prospective clients to their site. These are the common causes for pages loading slowly on mobile devices. Accelerated Mobile Pages enables publishers to focus on producing quality content without worrying that the webpages will take too long to load on mobile phones.

Here at ATKA, we have an excellent web developer dedicated to keeping your business’ website up to date for both PC and mobile users. Whether you choose the Web Mini, Web Plus or Web Premium package for your business, we will create a professional image with compelling, relevant content. Contact us at info@atkasa.com for more information.

Facebook Updates Pages for Mobile users

It is the age of smart phones and tablets and people expect to be able to access everything on their mobiles. They want the answers to their questions at their fingertips, instant access. It has never been more important for businesses to make their brand and information accessible to mobile users. Facebook has initially created the Pages section as a way businesses could promote themselves. However, they have recently decided to update this section for mobile users.

Nifty call-to-action buttons

The number one thing businesses always hear is how important a decent call-to-action is to marketing efforts. This, as the name states, is what drives customers to act. Facebook added some neat new, prominent call-to-action buttons. It does not matter if you want to get clients to make a booking or to contact you for more information, mobile users will see the call-to-action buttons more clearly and act on them.

Facebook is testing new call-to-action buttons like the “Call Now” and “Send Message” to make it easier for prospective customers to contact businesses. Keep an eye open for more call-to-action buttons to use in the near future. Mobile users can spot this button right under the Page cover photo.

Instant communication with your viewers

Facebook aimed to simplify the connection between businesses and their clients by updating the messaging features for Pages. This way, businesses can get in touch with their clients and answer queries much quicker. Soon, businesses will be able to reply to public comments with a private message.

The “Send Message” call-to-action button will enable businesses to initiate private conversations with their followers. Businesses will be able to respond privately to sensitive questions, an excellent thing for medical Pages. This will greatly enhance marketing strategies as customers like to feel valued and that they are heard.

Easier Page navigation

Facebook added two new sections for Pages, namely the Shop and Services section. The Shop section enables businesses in the retail industry to advertise their products more prominently while those businesses that provide a service will be able to highlight their offerings. This will all jump ahead to the top of the page where people can spot it instantly. This way, there is no need for businesses to continue reminding people about the services and products they deliver in posts. They can rather fill their page with some more interesting content in order to generate engagement with their followers.

Facebook is also updating the layout of the Pages, so that mobile users won’t have to scroll down and click to find the information they are looking for. Their main aim is to save time. They will give each Page section a specific tab so that when visitors click on it, they will gain access to more details. For example, the Home tab will contain highlights of each section so that the relevant information is more prominent when a person first views the page.

5 Ways businesses can use Periscope to improve their social media marketing

periscope

Periscope is a new app linked to Twitter where people can post live videos of themselves in a specific moment. Followers can watch the live streams on their phones or computer. This is a more entertaining way of gaining information on a business rather than reading a blog.

Periscope marketing is more cost effective than YouTube since businesses do not have to use fancy cameras and editing software to create a video. Periscope is also an easier and quicker way to post videos about your business on social media.

  • Give customers a behind the scenes peek:

Customers are very curious about how products are made. Make a short behind the scenes video of how your business runs. How cheese is made in a factory for example. This will give your customers a new appreciation and better understanding of the work that goes into the making of products and services.

This technique improves the transparency of your business. Clients can get a view of your business in a natural, comfortable way showing them that you have nothing to hide. Written press releases and websites sometimes give the impression that the content is premeditated and stiff creating mistrust in clients.

  • Share more believable customer reviews:

Periscope marketing is a novel way of sharing customer reviews. Customers can film themselves giving a review of your product or service and post it. People can even film themselves using the product. With skincare products for example, other customers can actually see how great a fellow customer’s skin looks after having used the product.

This will come across as more believable than written reviews that can be tweaked. This form of review also increases your clients’ interaction with your business.

  •       Create awareness around your products and services:

Instead of writing boring steps and user manuals that confuse clients anyway, rather film a product demo where an expert shows customers how to use the product properly. This saves time and money since you don’t have to hire a writer to construct the manuals.

Film new product releases or promotions in an exciting and engaging way. This way you won’t have to print flyers or design graphics for the advertisements that must appear on websites. The news reaches customers instantly.

  • Hold Q and A sessions:

Forget the FAQ’s page on your website. With live Q and A sessions, businesses can elaborate on their answers instead of keeping it short and simple for reading purposes. Demonstrate things that customers might find confusing about a product or service. You have to find an expert to answer the questions properly to avoid embarrassment. Make it fun, informative and engaging.

  • Conduct interviews with experts in your field:

This is an excellent way for customers to gain information from a different perspective. Find a variety of topics in your field to expand on. For example, don’t just talk about the making of cheese but interview dairy farmers to give customers an insight to where the milk for the cheese comes from. You can even interview experts in a specific location, like the farmer on his farm, rather than in an office.

Film experts as they share tips and tricks and show customers how to apply them. Show people how to apply make up, make healthy smoothies, change bike wheels etc. Be creative and make your videos informative so customers will keep their eyes open for more.

How much business are you losing by ignoring the power of the Internet?

Internet marketing is the way forward

A growing number of South Africans are turning to their smartphones and other devices for information.

Fin24 recently reported that South Africa is forecast to see a massive jump in internet traffic.

This is exciting news for individuals and businesses who choose to market online.

Hiring specialized service providers such as ATKA SA who does it on your behalf – looking at the figures – seem to be the way forward.

Cisco Visual Networking Index 2015, predicts that there will be 27 million internet users in SA by 2019; up from just 15 million in 2014. Internet protocol (IP) traffic is also forecast to grow six-fold, representing an annual growth rate of 44%.

These figures should make you jump off your office chair in pure delight if you grasp the fact that these figures represent prospective clients. Some of whom are still untapped.

Posting and viewing of videos online is also rapidly growing.

Cisco said that a significant percentage of that growth will centre on internet video consumption; with South Africans expected to download 43 billion minutes of video content by 2019.

Specialists such as ATKA SA stay on top of trends in this regard and have been using this mode of communication for a while now.

Internet equals social media; equals business

It’s no longer a secret; Facebook is finally asserting its physical presence in Africa.

With more than a billion people, Africa is an important region to Facebook, and their teams want to do more to help people and businesses connect.

The company said its active user population in Africa has grown 20% to 120m in June 2015 from 100m in September 2014. More than 80% of people across Africa access Facebook from mobile phones – more figures that shout possible business.

ATKA SA has tapped into that as part of their specialised marketing services and is reaping the fruits as the industry grows both locally and internationally.

Here are just some of the top reasons to take advantage of online marketing and the ever growing internet population.

You’ll make more sales

When people know your business exists, they’re much more likely to become your customers. If your marketing campaigns are doing their job properly, you’ll start to see an increase in sales shortly after you get started.

You’ll increase awareness

Sometimes your best customers might see your advertisements hundreds of times before they buy anything. A lot of people see an ad or online recommendation and, instead of buying straight away, remember the brand name for future reference.

Raising awareness plants your business’ brand, its product and its benefits in the mind of your target audience. By raising awareness through marketing, you’ll build a huge audience of potential customers who know who you are, know what you can offer, and know exactly where to find you.

You’ll build a social asset

What could you do with a list of one million potential customers? By marketing your business now, you can build a powerful social asset that you can sell products to tomorrow.

Whether you opt for an email list or a Facebook Page, giving your audience a way to connect with you gives you a powerful platform for selling products and asking your audience important questions.

You’ll learn your marketplace

When you first start your business, your target marketplace can look as vast as the ocean. Once you start marketing, you dive below the surface and instead of seeing a massive expanse of waters; you start to see different communities, subcultures, and a huge network of different connections.

Marketing online opens your eyes to the reality of your industry. Once you start your own campaigns, you begin to notice what your competitors are doing. This information helps you develop your own campaigns, learn more about your target audience, and get a better feel for your industry.

The Internet is not going away. How much potential business are you losing by ignoring this powerful marketing tool?

Contact ATKA SA Director, Leon Marinus for advice on how to make optimal use of the internet as a marketing tool.

ATKA SA Cross Channel Marketing Specialists is the way forward for effective online marketing in South Africa.

Facebook vs Minds.com

FACEBOOK-VS-MINDS-(1)

For years Facebook reigned king of the social media sphere owing to the fact that users had unlimited and free access to its population.

Since the public caught wind of Facebook’s devious privacy infringement policies however, they spoke out; creating a demand for more transparent social media platforms.

While many “better and more secure” Facebook alternatives did hit the web, very few actually survived long enough to give Facebook a run for its money.

That is until the latest Facebook rival had stepped up to the virtual plate — Minds.com.

This blog-like social media platform promises to set even the most paranoid social media users’ minds at ease.

Not only is it completely free – even in terms of ad-spend – but it offers its users complete privacy.

Speaking of which, this platform is so secure and transparent that it garnered the support of hactivist group, Anonymous.

Minds.com is an open-source platform, which means that its online community can add to it and shape it for the best user experience.

When it comes to ad-spend, Minds.com uses a similar algorithm to that of Facebook’s, with one difference — there is no exchange of actual currency between Minds.com and its users.

Users earn points for their activity on Minds.com. These points can then be exchanged for paid-for, targeted exposure of their posts.

So, Facebook now has a rival that is 100 per cent free, completely transparent, in no way records information privately shared between users, has full support of Anonymous and can be improved by its users. Why don’t we all then boycott Facebook and jump straight over to Minds.com? Because we take our businesses’ Social Media marketing seriously and we can’t substitute one element thereof with another that might not stand the test of time.

It might seem over-sceptical for a cross-platform social media marketing company such as ATKA SA to discourage the migration from Facebook to a – for the lack of a better word – better platform, but our argument is justified.

Currently, if used correctly, Facebook is a very effective social media marketing tool. When used for B2B or B2C marketing, privacy isn’t much of a concern anyway. The comfort of Facebook comes in with the fact that it is still operational and growing after some 11 years, which means that we have a stable platform to work on.

While Minds.com sounds incredible in every aspect, so many other social media platforms have tried operating in similar ways; before falling aggressively short. How is Minds planning on remaining sustainable? How will the project be funded if not by targeted ads? Subsequently, how long will Minds.com remain operational?

Until these questions can be answered, the safest bet is to still focus your marketing efforts towards Facebook and use Minds.com as an additional marketing tool.

Depending on how long it takes South Africans to catch on and get used to Minds.com, it might still be a while until you have a proper local audience for your business on this social media platform.

While you wait around for Minds to overtake Facebook in popularity, why not employ ATKA SA for the best in Cross-channel Social Media Marketing for your business.

Contact ATKA SA Director Leon Marinus for the best solution to your current shortcomings.

Why doing your own Facebook Marketing will sink your business

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As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you are undoubtedly very active on Facebook; sometimes even more than larger companies of similar structure.

If you have employed Facebook marketing as your primary or only marketing channel for some time, you have also probably noticed that the Return on Investment (ROI) – if any – doesn’t warrant the time spent.

In most cases, you might feel that Facebook – complete with its new “Algo-what-what’s” – is a redundant waste of time. How does it make sense; larger companies garner new clients from Facebook daily, while you have to beg Facebook users to like your post and hopefully click through to your Facebook Page.

Let’s not circumvent ourselves; if your Facebook usage is for marketing purposes, you cannot do it yourself. The key to larger companies’ social media success is that – even if the CEO is a social media guru – they outsource their social media function to experts in the field, such as ATKA SA.

They understand the complexity of the function and are well aware of how much time Social Media platforms demand.

With that said, here are 5 reasons doing your own Facebook Marketing is probably a bad idea.

You think Facebook is free

When it comes to marketing, Facebook is anything but free. If you want to take Facebook Marketing seriously, you should work with a budget. Pay for Facebook ads, employ a Cross Channel Marketing Specialist, boost your posts; these are elements you should be utilising. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as chucking money at the blue social media giant; there is a level of expertise required. If you plan on using Facebook as a free marketing tool, expertise is undebatable (see the next point).

You don’t understand its algorithm

Probably the biggest misconception that still exists among Facebook users in South Africa today is that everything you post is seen by each of your friends or those who have liked your Facebook Page. To achieve maximum exposure on Facebook, you need to understand its algorithms. Interaction is the name of the game here. If you cannot distinguish between engaging and senseless posts, it’s best to leave this function to the experts.

You don’t know how to reach your target audience

Even if you understand paid advertising on Facebook and its latest algorithms, how do you plan on reaching your target audience? Each age group has something they relate to. Posting general content without consideration of who you are trying to reach will generate minimal interest; if any.

You simply do not have the time

At ATKA SA, for instance, it takes an entire division to maintain clients’ social media profiles. That is their main function. How can one person run a company, manage staff and still build engagement on their social media profiles? It might not be impossible, but it definitely is highly unlikely. Proper social media management takes a lot of time. If you are running your business properly, you won’t have the time to invest in proper Facebook Marketing.

You don’t portray a professional appearance

Let’s face it; we’re not all English professors. When it comes to someone else, however, we are quick to criticize. All it takes is for one negligent spelling error or poor grammar use to scare off potential clients. Why? It’s simple. Companies should be professional at all times. If your posts look elementary, chances are you won’t be seen as a professional or leading company. In most cases, you will be subjected to public ridicule. At social media marketing companies, you can expect language practitioners to sift through and edit the content before it gets published.

There is a reason why companies such as ATKA SA exist; sensible business owners have realized that they cannot do things alone. To save your business from social media disaster, give internationally-acclaimed Cross Channel Marketing Specialist and Director of ATKA SA, Leon Marinus a call.

How much business are you losing by ignoring the power of the Internet

Internet marketing is the way forward

How much business are you losing by ignoring the power of the Internet?

A growing number of South Africans are turning to their smartphones and other devices for information.

Fin24 recently reported that South Africa is forecast to see a massive jump in internet traffic.

This is exciting news for individuals and businesses who choose to market online.

Hiring specialized service providers such as ATKA SA who does it on your behalf – looking at the figures – seem to be the way forward.

Cisco Visual Networking Index 2015, predicts that there will be 27 million internet users in SA by 2019; up from just 15 million in 2014. Internet protocol (IP) traffic is also forecast to grow six-fold, representing an annual growth rate of 44%.

These figures should make you jump off your office chair in pure delight if you grasp the fact that these figures represent prospective clients. Some of whom are still untapped.

Posting and viewing of videos online is also rapidly growing.

Cisco said that a significant percentage of that growth will centre on internet video consumption; with South Africans expected to download 43 billion minutes of video content by 2019.

Specialists such as ATKA SA stay on top of trends in this regard and have been using this mode of communication for a while now.

Internet equals social media; equals business

It’s no longer a secret; Facebook is finally asserting its physical presence in Africa.

With more than a billion people, Africa is an important region to Facebook, and their teams want to do more to help people and businesses connect.

The company said its active user population in Africa has grown 20% to 120m in June 2015 from 100m in September 2014. More than 80% of people across Africa access Facebook from mobile phones – more figures that shout possible business.

ATKA SA has tapped into that as part of their specialised marketing services and is reaping the fruits as the industry grows both locally and internationally.

Here are just some of the top reasons to take advantage of online marketing and the ever growing internet population.

You’ll make more sales

When people know your business exists, they’re much more likely to become your customers. If your marketing campaigns are doing their job properly, you’ll start to see an increase in sales shortly after you get started.

You’ll increase awareness

Sometimes your best customers might see your advertisements hundreds of times before they buy anything. A lot of people see an ad or online recommendation and, instead of buying straight away, remember the brand name for future reference.

Raising awareness plants your business’ brand, its product and its benefits in the mind of your target audience. By raising awareness through marketing, you’ll build a huge audience of potential customers who know who you are, know what you can offer, and know exactly where to find you.

You’ll build a social asset

What could you do with a list of one million potential customers? By marketing your business now, you can build a powerful social asset that you can sell products to tomorrow.

Whether you opt for an email list or a Facebook Page, giving your audience a way to connect with you gives you a powerful platform for selling products and asking your audience important questions.

You’ll learn your marketplace

When you first start your business, your target marketplace can look as vast as the ocean. Once you start marketing, you dive below the surface and instead of seeing a massive expanse of waters; you start to see different communities, subcultures, and a huge network of different connections.

Marketing online opens your eyes to the reality of your industry. Once you start your own campaigns, you begin to notice what your competitors are doing. This information helps you develop your own campaigns, learn more about your target audience, and get a better feel for your industry.

The Internet is not going away. How much potential business are you losing by ignoring this powerful marketing tool?

Contact ATKA SA Director, Leon Marinus for advice on how to make optimal use of the internet as a marketing tool.

ATKA SA Cross Channel Marketing Specialists is the way forward for effective online marketing in South Africa.

Facebook vs Minds.com

 

For years Facebook reigned king of the social media sphere owing to the fact that users had unlimited and free access to its population.

Since the public caught wind of Facebook’s devious privacy infringement policies however, they spoke out; creating a demand for more transparent social media platforms.

While many “better and more secure” Facebook alternatives did hit the web, very few actually survived long enough to give Facebook a run for its money.

That is until the latest Facebook rival had stepped up to the virtual plate — Minds.com.

This blog-like social media platform promises to set even the most paranoid social media users’ minds at ease.

Not only is it completely free – even in terms of ad-spend – but it offers its users complete privacy.

Speaking of which, this platform is so secure and transparent that it garnered the support of hactivist group, Anonymous.

Minds.com is an open-source platform, which means that its online community can add to it and shape it for the best user experience.

When it comes to ad-spend, Minds.com uses a similar algorithm to that of Facebook’s, with one difference — there is no exchange of actual currency between Minds.com and its users.

Users earn points for their activity on Minds.com. These points can then be exchanged for paid-for, targeted exposure of their posts.

So, Facebook now has a rival that is 100 per cent free, completely transparent, in no way records information privately shared between users, has full support of Anonymous and can be improved by its users. Why don’t we all then boycott Facebook and jump straight over to Minds.com? Because we take our businesses’ Social Media marketing seriously and we can’t substitute one element thereof with another that might not stand the test of time.

It might seem over-sceptical for a cross-platform social media marketing company such as ATKA SA to discourage the migration from Facebook to a – for the lack of a better word – better platform, but our argument is justified.

Currently, if used correctly , Facebook is a very effective social media marketing tool. When used for B2B or B2C marketing, privacy isn’t much of a concern anyway. The comfort of Facebook comes in with the fact that it is still operational and growing after some 11 years, which means that we have a stable platform to work on.

While Minds.com sounds incredible in every aspect, so many other social media platforms have tried operating in similar ways; before falling aggressively short. How is Minds planning on remaining sustainable? How will the project be funded if not by targeted ads? Subsequently, how long will Minds.com remain operational?

Until these questions can be answered, the safest bet is to still focus your marketing efforts towards Facebook and use Minds.com as an additional marketing tool.

Depending on how long it takes South Africans to catch on and get used to Minds.com, it might still be a while until you have a proper local audience for your business on this social media platform.

While you wait around for Minds to overtake Facebook in popularity, why not employ ATKA SA for the best in Cross-channel Social Media Marketing for your business.

Contact ATKA SA Director Leon Marinus for the best solution to your current shortcomings.