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Active Google Plus communities for Australians

Posted by Matt Hayden on Monday, May 21, 2018,
Regardless of the field you're in, surely one of the best ways to build a network of engaged followers on a social networking site is to participate in the communities that each of the big platforms offer. With this in mind I've already listed ones on Linkedin and Facebook that Aussies in general and Sydneysiders in particular will find useful.

Google Plus communities are also definitely worth being active in. Now, I know that this platform hasn't really taken off in Australia. And maybe it w...
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Hashtag marketing tips

Posted by Matt Hayden on Wednesday, November 1, 2017,
Hashtags are used on many social networks. But the sites where they seem to have most effect are on Twitter and Instagram. I haven't gotten into the latter site yet. But I've certainly used the former a lot, and have employed them there. So the following list of observations about how to use them for marketing relates to my experience on that platform. They have most relevance to it, but I'm sure you can apply them to others.

First observation: People do tend to think that hashtags are more p...
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Good Linkedin groups for people in Sydney

Posted by Matt Hayden on Saturday, October 14, 2017,
Linkedin, like Facebook, has groups that members can join and participate in. This is certainly worth doing. You can build your authority and get seen by heaps of people this way.

If you have a blog you can share posts you have written in the groups. If you don't have one set up on its own domain, there's the platform's own blogging tool, Linkedin Publisher. (Either way you don't want to spam them, of course. Only do this occasionally, and make sure the posts are relevant for the group!)

As w...
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Future Street promotion at Circular Quay

Posted by Matt Hayden on Thursday, October 12, 2017,
I get down to Circular Quay a lot. There's often something new and interesting going on and it's a bit like Martin Place in that you'll sometimes see business and government related initiatives being launched and promoted there. The most recent one is "Future Street". It presents a vision of a greener, more digitally connected urban lifestyle.

Like a similar display I saw several months ago, this one is visually interesting and created with social media in mind. It has its own hashtag and exho...
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Australian Facebook groups to promote your business or service

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, October 10, 2017,
There are Facebook groups for just about every subject imaginable. Not surprisingly, there are many country and city specific ones dedicated to business advertising. It's definitely worth joining several of these and being active on them. As well as being good places to advertise your page, services and products, you can also find lots of relevant, local Facebook pages on them that you can engage with as your page.

Many of them are for businesses anywhere in Australia. Given Sydney's large pop...
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Topical tweeting can garner mainstream media exposure

Posted by Matt Hayden on Thursday, October 5, 2017,
I'm very active on Twitter and have several accounts in different niches. One of these is current affairs and politics. I've learned more about building a large, engaged following on social media from this particular account than any of the others, to be honest.

This is a passionate, engaged niche. There are numerous mainstream media journos on it. And no wonder. It's a great way to keep up to speed on breaking stories ... And with so many "punters" on the site tweeting their views of politic...
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Sharing YouTube videos on Facebook and Twitter is a must

Posted by Matt Hayden on Thursday, October 5, 2017,
Obviously people have limited time to devote to social media marketing. It's impossible to build massive followings on absolutely all the main sites. However, regularly using at least three has definite benefits and is certainly achievable even if you're very busy.

Everyone's needs are different. But I recommend getting into Twitter and Facebook if you can. And while YouTube may not fit the strictest definition of "social networking" site, it's certainly a great way to get seen and make good c...
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Social media marketing is not traditional marketing!

Posted by Matt Hayden on Sunday, September 10, 2017,
Offering lessons in social media marketing has taught me a lot about how people new to the field tend to perceive it. Much of this information comes from their initial calls or e-mail enquiries. From these interactions I have learned that they often have the misconception that using social networks for promotion is much like traditional marketing.

Take Facebook. Many seem to think that when someone likes their page they are "opting in" to what is essentially an e-mail list. So they get on FB ...
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Facebook page marketing tip: Share posts in FB groups

Posted by Matt Hayden on Monday, September 4, 2017,
These days if you have a business and don't have a Facebook page to promote it you are missing out. And you want to have lots of people who genuinely like and engage with it. There are many free ways to promote the page, including advertising offline at your location and on your merchandise as well as by interacting with other pages.

But if you only use these methods, it can take a long while to draw likes to it. That's where Facebook groups can be very useful. Many of these are massive as wel...
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YouTube marketing is great for locally oriented businesses

Posted by Matt Hayden on Saturday, June 3, 2017,
I have been making numerous short local videos for YouTube in recent months. I'm doing it for fun more than anything else. But it's been quite instructive.

I've been mindful of the fact that YT is a huge search engine in its own right. So I've been applying SEO principles while uploading them and using geo-specific keywords in the titles and descriptions, and tags.

Now, my videos of Sydney are being found increasingly often for those keywords. And they slowly creep up the internal search engin...
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Nabo social network looks good for local businesses

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, May 9, 2017,
When it comes to social networking obviously Facebook is king and it will be for quite some time. But there have been many changes in the online landscape recently, with new sites popping popping up all over the place targeting various niches.

One of these of interest to Sydneysiders is Nabo. It's a locally owned site that received some major backing to get going. (There was another one in this vein that is still up online but a bit of a ghost town now. That's Housenet.)



What makes Nabo unique ...
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Social media is emotional, like art. You must find your own voice

Posted by Matt Hayden on Saturday, May 6, 2017,
One phrase that is often repeated these days is "it's called social media for a reason". That highlights an often overlooked fact: you've got to communicate with others for it to work. And people being people, much of this will involve emotions.

Not understanding this is perhaps the biggest barrier to success with this method of promotion, in my opinion. Many get into it thinking it's primarily a technical process, or just an advertising method. They use it as such and nothing or very little ...
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YouTube tip: Imagine you are a member of your ideal audience

Posted by Matt Hayden on Wednesday, January 4, 2017,
Short, compelling videos can be surprisingly easy to make. Basically, you just point and shoot. As long as what you're filming is interesting and relevant it's worth putting online. People love visual stuff, and they are more likely to share it than the written word. While it's always a bonus when a video is slickly edited, it doesn't absolutely have to be.

When people realize this they often go crazy making videos and uploading them to YouTube. But they don't make them easy to find. So they ...
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#SydXmas campaign combines online, offline promotion

Posted by Matt Hayden on Wednesday, December 14, 2016,
It's pretty clear that these days almost everyone is an active member of one or more big social networks. So if you have something to promote you should be mindful of this.

Old methods still work well, though. So they shouldn't be ignored. And you'll generate more buzz if you manage to combine both methods in a neat package.

In the lead up to Christmas I saw a good example of this in Martin Place. A couple of yuletide entertainments were promoted around a large Christmas tree. A couple of hash...
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How web developers can find leads on Facebook

Posted by Matt Hayden on Friday, October 7, 2016,
The great thing about Facebook is that almost everyone is on it. And while not nearly enough businesses have a Facebook presence, there are still plenty of them that do have pages. The nature of their usage of it can be very useful for people in the B2B niche -- especially web developers. 

If you offer web design or related services then you should look through lots of locally oriented business pages. As you do, you'll see that most of them have links to their websites. But some of them don't....
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Social media engagement tip: sincerity is crucial

Posted by Matt Hayden on Sunday, September 25, 2016,
Perhaps the main buzzword in social media marketing is engagement. And there's a very good reason for this. If you don't have it, you've got next to nothing. You're just floating there in space, basically ... 

But what's the best way to build engagement? Well, some self-described gurus tell you exactly how to do it, often laying out specific plans and strategies. They will even offer "sure fire" templates to follow. 

I'm sure these can be useful to many -- particularly if they are new to social...

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Twitter, Facebook cross promotion tip: Tweet Facebook notes

Posted by Matt Hayden on Wednesday, September 14, 2016,
I'm a big believer in joining several different social networks and being as active on all of them as time will allow. Obviously joining too many can be pointless because you'll fail to build momentum on any of them. But if you can get into at least three this has huge benefits, one of them being the ability to cross promote.

There are many ways of doing this of course. But here's one using Facebook and Twitter that I think is very useful because it complements the two sites nicely. 

Twitter is...
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Google loves YouTube. That's something to keep in mind

Posted by Matt Hayden on Monday, September 12, 2016,
YouTube is a fantastic platform, and one that's often overlooked. Perhaps that's because people tend to think that they need to have slick promotional videos up there, which would of course be expensive and time consuming to create. But they don't have to be big productions to work. You can very quickly and easily put very shareable nuggets of content up there that you record on your smartphone and upload straight away.

The other advantage is that Google loves YouTube. And the video sharing si...
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How to use Facebook to build targeted blog traffic

Posted by Matt Hayden on Wednesday, August 3, 2016,
There are many ways to use Facebook to get traffic to your blog posts. For example, you can join a whole slew of blog marketing groups and share your latest work. Every now and then you'll get clicks coming through. And given that these groups are also full of other bloggers, you may end up getting the odd backlink from one or more of them, which is still valuable for SEO.

Needless to say you should build up a following on your own Facebook page for your blog, and share the links there. Somet...
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In online marketing emotions are powerful. Fear can be a big obstacle

Posted by Matt Hayden on Friday, July 22, 2016,
I'm accumulating more and more knowledge of how newbies perceive online marketing (especially using social media) by offering lessons to Sydneysiders. And I keep coming to the conclusion that the biggest blocks to success in this field are emotional.

Clearly, before they have any experience of this method of promotion, many people think that it is primarily a technical process. But while it obviously requires stunningly advanced technology, in the end it's still used by people. (This is partic...
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Customs House Library is another one with good free wifi

Posted by Matt Hayden on Monday, June 27, 2016,
Customs House library just opposite Circular Quay is another good library. Surprisingly spacious, it covers three floors. Best of all is a separate quiet room. And people really are quiet there!

This is something old fogeys like myself really appreciate. In the past people used to be quiet right throughout a library. But now, it seems pretty much accepted that you can happily talk inside a library at the same volume you do outside.

So, it's great when you actually find a place where people are ...
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Facebook marketing tip: Think of your page as an online cafe

Posted by Matt Hayden on Sunday, June 19, 2016,
One thing that really stands out on Facebook is how good cafes and pubs are at using it to market themselves. I think this is because they know the value of emotion. Their business depends on making people feel welcome, after all. So they find out how to do that with their FB pages as well. 

So learn from them and think of your page as an online cafe. Be welcoming with it. Give it a warm atmosphere. The visual appeal of it is of course a factor here. So uploading appealing photos of your offic...
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Rise of emojis, Facebook video confirm power of visuals in marketing

Posted by Matt Hayden on Sunday, June 19, 2016,
I posted earlier about the intriguing rise in emoji marketing that's been happening lately. This clearly isn't just a passing fad, as I'm sure some would have suspected. It's actually starting to become a marketing genre in its own right.

Confirmation of this is the fact that Twitter will soon enable advertisers to target people according to their emoji use when creating campaigns

This says a lot about the power of visuals in marketing. And the reason visuals are powerful is because they conv...
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Local Facebook marketing tip: Engage with pages managed in-house

Posted by Matt Hayden on Sunday, June 12, 2016,
Without a doubt one of the best ways to build up a quality Facebook page following is to use it to engage with other local pages. If you keep liking and commenting the updates of popular pages in your area -- such as news outlets -- your page will be seen by many locals, some of whom are sure to like it. So this is definitely worth doing. 

However, it's best not to put all your effort into the popular local pages. It's also worth engaging with those of smaller businesses in your area. And whil...
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A Facebook page like is valuable, but it is just the start

Posted by Matt Hayden on Thursday, June 9, 2016,
Facebook page likes are certainly important. They are tangible, social proof that people have a positive view of your page's content and want to see more of it. So, obviously you'll want to amass as many of them as possible. 

But they must be genuine, resulting from users' organic interaction with your content and offered freely. Otherwise they are pretty much meaningless. (That's why you should never buy likes in bulk. These may be from real people. But they have no real desire to engage with...
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YouTube tip: Keep your video camera with you at all times

Posted by Matt Hayden on Wednesday, April 27, 2016,
Now, I know that if you've got a smart phone, which many people have, you're doing what I recommend here already, since they've all got video cameras built in. Still, if you prefer to use a standalone camera to make YouTube videos with (as I do -- dinosaur that I am!) it's a good idea to get into the habit of keeping it in your pocket or bag. 

That's because you just never know when you'll see something useful, interesting, or amusing that you can capture and upload. Being prepared to record s...
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Some social media companies show little engagement themselves

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, April 12, 2016,
One idea that is often repeated in relation to social media marketing is the importance of engagement. It's definitely a bit of a buzzword. Of course, they do tend to be overused. But not in this case. Engagement really is crucial. The whole point of using Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and the like is to start up and maintain conversations -- to engage with others.

Unfortunately there's a widespread belief that you can employ social media marketing and avoid that particular element! It's seen as...
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Emoji marketing is really taking off

Posted by Matt Hayden on Saturday, April 9, 2016,
Being on Twitter a lot, I've noticed a big increase in emoji use recently. Some tweeps employ them in almost every tweet! And they have been getting some publicity in the most surprising ways, such as the widely reported fact that Julie Bishop is an avid emoji user.

I haven't gotten into them yet. I'm much more of an old fashioned type who prefers the written word. But it's something I've got to look into eventually. 

I can see why they are already popular on social media, and rapidly becoming ...
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Don't use social media for promotion if you dislike communicating with others

Posted by Matt Hayden on Monday, April 4, 2016,
There is clearly an enormous amount of confusion about what social media actually is. A lot of people in business have heard about it and that it can be an effective promotional method. It is all the rage these days of course. So they're keen to get into it.

But a significant percentage of them tend to see it as just another advertising platform. Yes you can place ads on social media, and you should. But ultimately it's for developing relationships through conversation and sharing of content. ...
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Losing my laptop nearly made me lose my mind!

Posted by Matt Hayden on Sunday, April 3, 2016,
There's a lot of talk in the media about internet addiction -- particularly to social media. And I think it's time for me to accept that I'm one of those sad souls afflicted.

That said, I don't think this particular kind of addiction is entirely negative. Means that you get a lot done, apart form anything else. And it's clearly less destructive than being hooked on drugs, alcohol or other toxic stuff...

Still, a recent experience has given me pause for thought. Left my laptop on the bus, see. T...
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Wordpress is great but has disadvantages worth considering

Posted by Matt Hayden on Monday, March 28, 2016,
These days if you want to market something you'll need a website, preferably with blog included. If you hire a web designer to build it for you there's a good chance that he or she will recommend Wordpress as a platform. Maybe you will have already decided that's what you want anyway ...

That's not surprising. It's widely regarded as an excellent CMS (content management system). There's so much you can do with it and web designers love it. 

While it has a lot of benefits, webmasters do find it ...
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Facebook ad campaign shows the importance of mobile friendliness

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, March 22, 2016,
These days, with smartphones being so hugely popular and relied upon, having your website optimized for mobile usage is a no-brainer. This aspect has had major ramifications for SEO for a while, with countless pages being pushed well down the rankings because they don't load snugly into the small screens that so many people are Googling on. 

Then there's the fact that such a huge amount of traffic comes via social networks -- Facebook in particular. And a high percentage of users on this platf...
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Kings Cross Library has good free wifi

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, March 15, 2016,
If ever you need to work on the web, or just check your e-mails, etc, then the libraries in Sydney are great. They all have free wifi as far as I can tell. And it's usually pretty reliable. However it does vary a bit in quality.

One of the best of these is the library at Kings Cross. It's just opposite the train station on Darlinghurst Rd, shown below, so it's really easy to get to. 



The main work section is on the second level. There are numerous study desks and power points. There are also nu...
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Flyer campaign targeting tip: Use Google Earth

Posted by Matt Hayden on Thursday, March 3, 2016,
When running flyer campaigns, obviously you want to make them as targeted as possible. Often the way to do this is pretty much self-evident. If you are a pizza bar or similar bricks and mortar type business, you'll want to include pretty much every available letterbox within a certain radius of your location.

But you may be promoting something that is not so geo-specific and is more about demographics instead. If this is the case then Google Earth can be a very useful tool. You can get a clear...
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Local blogging challenge becomes a new opportunity

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, February 23, 2016,
One thing I've learned from years of blogging in different niches is that you should keep your blogs alive if you can. This is because the longer they're up there, the more SEO value they accrue. Blogs and websites are a bit like wine and cheese in this regard. The older they are, the better they get!

I've also learned that local blogging is a really good niche to get into. Firstly, they're really easy and fun to write. You really don't have to do much research. Just by having lived somewhere ...
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Thoughts on Mike Baird's use of social media

Posted by Matt Hayden on Sunday, February 14, 2016,
NSW Premier Mike Baird has clearly put a lot of time and energy -- not to mention (taxpayers') money -- into mastering social media marketing. He is widely regarded as being ahead of the political pack when it comes to his use of Twitter and Facebook in particular to get his message out to the electorate. I don't think there's any doubt about that.

Sure, there are many politicians on Twitter. But they tend not to engage with other tweeps so much. And from time to time some show a worrying lac...
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Social media marketing is like riding a bike

Posted by Matt Hayden on Wednesday, February 10, 2016,
An analogy is often an effective way of describing how something works. And it can be particularly useful for those who are new to a field, interest or skill. So here's one for social media marketing: It helps to think of whichever network you've chosen as being a lot like a bicycle. 

While digital technology is far more intricate and sophisticated than the humble old bike, when all is said and done it's still just basically a machine that enables you to do something efficiently. In the case o...
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Sydney is a visual feast. That's good for online marketing!

Posted by Matt Hayden on Friday, October 2, 2015,
Having recently returned to Sydney after several years in Perth, I'm reminded of what a spectacular city it is. It is jam-packed with iconic sites and landmarks both man-made and natural. 

Needles to say it's desirable to make your website look good. And appealing images get shared often on social media. So if you have a website that is Sydney oriented in some way -- such as one for a local business -- it's worth thinking about how you can use photos taken locally.

You have to keep your site f...
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Glad to be back in bustling Sydney

Posted by Matt Hayden on Tuesday, September 29, 2015,
Welcome to my blog, in which I'll write observations about online and offline marketing. Thoughts will often be general in nature, with some being specifically related to Sydney.

I'm glad to be back in this big, bustling city after living several years in my home town of Perth. While there I built up a site that will be a template for this one. It was a good learning experience.

Perth is a lovely place, and has grown hugely. But there's something about Sydney that is much more invigorating. Th...
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