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Trust vs Traffic – What do you believe in?

Trust VS Traffic (1)

Who do you trust?

How do you measure the ROI of social media in your company, by the number of followers and likes? If you do, you are not alone, but at Citrus Content we think differently.

One of the initial questions from a prospective social media client is: ‘How many followers and likes are you going to get me?’  This is not surprising when you see so many social media companies guaranteeing:

20,000 Likes

10,000 followers

Woohoo!!


The conversation
 

Client               “How many followers and likes are you going to get me?” 

My Reply          “I’m not!”

This is not my attempt to lose business, but we firmly believe that traffic is not the way to build a following. I have personal experience on this from growing my own personal following through social media before launching Citrus Content. I noticed that when I provided content that was of quality and interest, my following grew and what’s more this following trusted my content, my opinion and me and what’s more they were loyal.

On launching Citrus Content I knew that I needed to have this consistent approach with my clients. But I’m not alone in this thinking. Social media and marketing expert Mark W. Schaefer states:

“Instead of focusing on traffic, we need to focus on TRUST”

 And this is exactly what we do!

No matter what content we are working on for a client, we focus on building trust and loyalty. Website content, company brochure, blog post or social media management our approach is always the same. Trust is two people having a connection and as we know people do business with people.

Building this trust takes time, but it is also so powerful.

The need to share

If you have a blog, you need to be populating it with powerful content, content that people will want to share.  It is no good writing your blog posts and then doing nothing with them, you need to share them with your social following, your email lists and your team.  It is only by sharing content that you start to establish a quality following built on trust.

83% of brand marketers view social sharing as the number one benefit of digital marketing (eMarketer)

Let me be clear, sharing is not traffic.  “Traffic is intoxicating as it is easy to measure” (Mark W. Scheafer)

And this is the problem; if you concentrate on the traffic you will stop the trust. 

So why is trust so powerful in the social world?  

The New York Times recently did a study and the results speak true for no matter which country you are in.

70% of people are more likely to make a purchase based on a friend’s social media updates

In other words if you saw your friend sharing a post from a particular estate agent, they are 70% more likely to ‘purchase’.  This could be inviting the estate agent for an appraisal, view a property on their books or simply sign up to their newsletter.

Surely you want a following that is actually interested in your business?

 

How do we measure the ROI for our social media clients?

  • Profile views, if someone is checking your profile, they are interested in who you are.
  • Website visits, if you’re sharing content from your website on your social media accounts and the content is of quality, they will visit your site to discover more.
  • Engagement, are your audience/following sharing and liking your posts?

There is a place for monitoring the increase in following but this has to be measured alongside the above. For example, if you have a rapid increase in following together with engagement, you know you are attracting the right audience.

So do not worry if your competitor has 1000 more followers than you, we’re striving for quality rather than quantity and so should you!

We recommend

Posts with images and links are ore likely to be engaged with in some way. If you’re struggling to find copyright free images check out our FREE Ultimate Guide.

Want to know more?

Get in touch today to find out how we can help you grow your business through Trust.

Don’t Miss our Hot Tips!

Want to write powerful content?  Check out our hot tips

 

 

My Biggest Frustration

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Contact Details

If you have a business website or an online store, I expect that you want clients, but how easy are you making it for them to contact you?  One of my biggest frustrations is contact details, let me explain.  We come in contact with a multitude of businesses every week of all sizes I bet you do too!  But I frequently find that trying to contact these businesses is often not that easy.  You see many of the websites I go on, I play the game of – hunt the contact details.  Although this may sound entertaining, I can assure you that it looses its fun after about 5 minutes.  Now I am wanting to contact them on a professional level, but what if I was a client?  Would I stay and patiently search for your details?  Or go and find another company with a similar service or product?

Visitors to your website have made the first move but it’s down to you to invite them to connect with you, after all every visitor is a potential client.  The importance of contact details is often overlooked but did you know that a “contact us” page is the second most important page on your company’s website?  Here’s why.

  • Listing your full contact details including your postal address and email address shows each visitor that you are trustworthy and adds legitimacy to your business.
  • Visitors are unlikely to search for these details, if you choose to leave out this link on your main page they may choose to leave your site altogether.
  • Including different options of how a visitor can contact you gives them no excuse not to get in touch via a platform that they are happy with i.e. Telephone, Email, Postal or even Web Chat.
  • With an increase in smartphones, users are able to save your number from your website to store in their contacts, making it easier to reach you when needed.

Being transparent and open to your customers seems such simple advice yet being accessible to each visitor can really make a difference to your business.

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Social Media Links

Following from my previous rant I can’t ignore the annoyance of hidden social media links on many websites.  Believe it or not I have even come across websites that have no links at all, does this mean they have no social media channels?  Who knows!  If you have experimented with social media for your brand you’ll know the hard work that it takes to develop a successful social media presence, so why hide these links and buttons where no one can see them?  However well-known your brand is it’s important to showcase your social media profiles on your website.  We recommend to our clients that they should display their social media profiles and a link to their blog on the front page of their site.  After-all social media accounts are free so why wouldn’t you use them to your full advantage for your business?

When you are searching for the social media links where do you look first?  If your answer is the top right of the page then you are part of the majority of people who took part in the latest eye-tracking studies.  Heat maps show that most visitors’ eyes move to the upper right corner more than other part of a webpage, so use this space to show your social presence and even your phone number.  Here are a few other pointers to consider when it comes to promoting your social media pages.

  • Social media sharing buttons will lead your visitors to promote content from your website onto their personal profiles.
  • Always place your links somewhere towards the top half of the page, or “above the fold”, meaning the part of the page a visitor can see without having to scroll down.
  • Unnecessarily large buttons will clutter up your webpages whilst taking away from the main content.

Through buttons, links and content invite your visitors to share, follow and like your business and be sure to engage with as many people as possible to further promote your brand.

Take a few minutes today to look at your website through the eyes of a customer.  Have you made their experience stress free?  These small additions and adjustments might just be what your website has been missing.

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Are you embracing the modern way of working?

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I’ve always loved the idea of working from home but whenever I Googled terms like ‘work from home’ or ‘be your own boss’ it would always cough-up the same dodgy looking websites, offering an unobtainable pipe-dream; when in fact all they want to do is rob you blind!!

And then a couple of years ago Yahoo slapped a big ban on their employees working from home, which (for many) was seen as the first ‘nail in the coffin’ for home-workers. CEO, Marissa Mayer, left hundreds of her staff facing a tough choice between relocating from home to Yahoo’s nearest office or quitting, as part of her vision of a ‘new era of collaboration’. However Richard Branson has recently spoken out about Yahoo’s controversial decision, branding it a big mistake. The Virgin Group founder believes that companies who forbid their employees from working from home put pressure on families, whilst limiting opportunities for women.

Branson: “Unless you have a technical job like flying a plane, you can probably do it from home.”

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I know working from home isn’t everyone’s cup-of-tea, especially for those of you who need continual guidance and have a short attention span, but when I saw a (rare) opportunity to work as a remote personal assistant I jumped at the chance. Fortunately (!!) the position had already been filled, and not long after I was offered an even better role working from home with Citrus Content, and since then I haven’t looked back!

Why do I like working from home? … Well:

  1. There’s no commute (I don’t drive!)
  2. Work via my own initiative (This is how I work best!)
  3. No formalities to adhere to (e.g. I can dye my hair whatever colour I like!)

Our approach to content writing is equally as refreshing as Andrea’s approach to business. This is because at Citrus we aren’t confined by stuffy offices or corporate nonsense, as our main focus is finding and creating the voice of your business.

The general consensus of those who don’t work from home seem to think it must take a phenomenal amount of self-discipline, if you don’t have to be there at a set time or have any outside pressure to be continually busy and motivated. But I don’t agree, as I believe if you’re truly passionate, enjoy the work that you do and respect and get on well with your co-workers and boss; the drive to excel and work hard will come naturally.

bitrix

There are lots of ways to keep on track from home, and as a company we use Bitrix24; a free social enterprise platform for small businesses. Offering a complete suite of social collaboration, communication and management tools, it allows me to still feel part of the office event though I’m not based there. It helps me to stay on target with deadlines, store helpful dates, keep in contact with the Citrus team via in-built video chat and much, much more.

Citrus Content as a company embraces flexible working, believing that a happy workforce is a productive one. So as a business, what with recent and continual advances in technology, why wouldn’t you embrace the modern way of working?

Ask yourself this: are you limiting your work forces productivity by doing so? …

- Samii.

The Post-it Wall of Fear

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Last night, as I sat at my desk looking at the wall of Post-it notes in front of me, I began to get scared.  I felt as though this black cloud was hovering over me, the weight pressing on my slumped shoulders.  I felt overwhelmed.  Each Post-it represented a piece of work I needed to do, emails to send, blog posts to write, projects to complete.  They were staring at me as if calling my name, haunting me with their presence and draining my energy.

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It’s hard to start a business, and even harder when you are still employed.  Every second is so precious as though it was a rare jewel for the taking.  I balance my life between work, family and business my supportive husband encouraging my every step.

Stepping-stones

I have so many things I want to do for my blog, my business and my writing.  I have a mystery story constantly itching to spill out on a page, ideas for my blog and vision for my business.  I will get there, I have a plan, and every day I am moving closer to this dream.

I took a deep breath.

I the looked at the wall again.  This wall didn’t represent fear, it was magical, inspirational and rewarding.  Who would have thought when I started Citrus Content I would have been contracted for such a variety of projects and with fantastic companies.

* Writing articles for print and online
* Social media campaigns
* Marketing a websites
* Writing website content

I am loving every minute of it.

This is my wall

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My wall represents by business, my future, my dream.

 

Am I a writer?

Writer citrus

I was reading a blog post today by Jeff Goins about following his dream and being a writer. And this part of the post got me thinking.

A few years ago, a friend asked me an important question:
“What’s your dream?”
“Don’t have one,” I said.
“Sure you do. Everyone has a dream.”
“Ah, I dunno… I’m living it, I guess.”
“Really? Hrmph.” And then a long pause — “Because, well, I would’ve thought your dream was to be a writer.”
As soon as I heard those words, something in me stirred. Something that had been there all along.
“Well, uh, yeah…” I gulped, “I guess I’d like to be a writer… some day. But that’ll never happen.”
I sounded so sure, so certain that at 28 years old, I knew where the rest of my life was headed. Shaking his head, my friend smiled.
“Jeff… You don’t have to want to be a writer…”
And then he said nine words that changed me life:
“You are a writer; you just need to write.”

This got me thinking of my own journey and the right to use the term ‘writer’. Do you have to earn the right? Or can you just be one?

It all boils down to that feeling we all have from time to time of being a fraud. Even the most successful people have a ‘fraud’ moment from time to time. I recently read the book by Sheryl Sandburg, Lean In. She speaks openly and honestly about her ‘fraud’ experience. She then talks about whether you lean in to the moment or lean out. Reading her experience gave me confidence, why? It demonstrates that we are all human, you could be the COO of Facebook or me and still have the same emotions in similar situations.

Julian Smith in his book Flinch, states “The flinch is the moment when every doubt you’ve had comes back and hits you, hard. It’s when your whole body feels tense. It’s an instinct that tells you to run. It’s a moment of tension that happens in the body and the brain, and it stops everything cold.”

Whether you ‘Lean In’ or face the ‘Flinch’ both require you to have faith and confidence in your ability.

Writing is something I love to do, it’s so expressive, creative and true. There is something scary and liberating about putting pen to paper and sending it out into the world. Citrus Content is still in its early days but my passion for writing is growing. I am constantly armed with a notebook frightened of missing a line, a story or any kind of inspiration that magically appears in my mind.

In many ways starting Citrus Content is like unlocking a door or even flood gates. What has been held deep inside me is now racing to get out. Words are like drops of water forming together into a dramatic waterfall. I feel alive.

So instead if feeling a fraud and flinching, I am now going to embrace the four words and proudly state “I am a writer“.

Resources

Jeff Godins expert via
How I Stopped Waiting to Become a Writer, Quit My Job & Launched My Dream

Julien Smith, Flinch

Sheyl Sandberg, Lean In

The Incredible Journey – From Passion to Citrus

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“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

Winston Churchill

 

As some of you may know I have gone through a difficult few weeks.  To tell you how I got here you have to start at the beginning.

twitter-Man-with-a-van When I joined twitter I never, ever imagined what lay ahead of me.  I started with complete naivety and skepticism of what it was.  I plodded along really not knowing what to do and then I started to find my voice for property and interiors and I never looked back.  Building my followers has been organic and underpinned with engagement.  I love hearing people’s stories sharing their successes, their interesting articles and honored they want to share them with me.

 

Just over a year ago I started Trying to Balance the Madness – my blog which I share my passion for Property, Interiors and Social Media.  This blog came from, well basically, being nagged by a certain part of my following.  Again I was a novice and really no idea what I was doing.  Again soon I found my blog voice. Trying to Balance the Madness is a huge part of me I feel it shows my journey and my story.

 

About this time last year I started to have talks with a friend about the idea of A Passion for Homes, after months of hard work we launched in February 2013.  It was an amazing day one I will never forget.  I was so proud that so many of the followers had supported me in some incredible ways with venue, photography, speaking, being part of the site.  You name it my followers were there, sharing the experience and I felt honored.

 

About a month ago I made the very, very difficult decision to walk away from A Passion for Homes.  This was not a decision I made lightly but knew it was the right decision for me.  Partnerships are difficult.  My Passion for Property and Interiors is stronger than ever and I knew I wanted my own business and I have so much to give.

 

Trying to Balance the Madness is growing and it’s fascinating seeing it develop and mold into something more exciting every day.

 

Through Trying to Balance the Madness and A Passion for Homes I realized how much I loved writing.  My parents had always said that I had a talent for it but I never really thought anything of it.  Over the last 6 months the request from people for my writing has been overwhelming and I have realized that my parents were right.

Writing-writing-27456811-1277-955  I Love to write!

 


Citrus Content
allows me to utilise my love for writing with my passion – perfect combination.

From:

  • Articles
  • Website Content
  • Blogs
  • Newsletters
  • Rightmove MicroSites
  • Social Media

Wherever content is needed – you will find Citrus.

I am honored to already be working on a couple of really exciting projects.

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As people always say, ‘When one door closes, another one opens’.

I feel as though that door was there all the time and I just hadn’t found the key.

 

Andrea x