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Lent: three bad habits to give up when writing copy

Three bad habits to give up this Lent when writing copy

Today marks the beginning of Lent and rather than giving up chocolate, here at PHM we’ve decided to look at the bad habits worth banishing when writing copy, from press releases to social media posts.

Here are three ways to ensure your written content is second to none:

  1. Cut the waffle

It’s important to keep your content concise without compromising on quality. It’s tempting to provide as much information as possible, but in a time-poor day and age, journalists and followers alike are keen to get to the heart of a story quickly.

  1. Don’t be lazy

It’s easy to repeatedly churn out the same content, and although consistent messaging and brand recognition is important, it’s also vital to keep things current and fresh. Your level of engagement is more likely to increase if you tailor copy to your audience and have something new to say.

  1. An eye for errors

Checking for spelling and grammatical mistakes may seem an obvious part of writing formal copy, but this is just as important when it comes to social media which provides another opportunity to promote your brand. Colloquial language is common across platforms such as Twitter, however there is no excuse for poorly structured content; attention to detail and errorless posts make for a more credible company.

If you’d like to talk to PHM about a bespoke approach to your PR requirements, call us on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

Facebook will favour family and friends over business content

– Harriet Bolt, Senior Account Manager at Property House Marketing

It’s been two weeks since Facebook introduced yet another change to its algorithms, and here at PHM we’ve taken the time to understand what the changes could mean for us as marketers. Until now, content from businesses appeared roughly the same number of times as content from friends and family on  the standard Facebook news feed. However, with fake news on the rise and causing scepticism towards business-led posts. Mark Zuckerburg has decided to give the power back to the people, with content from friends and family to appear much more often.

The change is part of Mr Zuckerburg’s new ‘meaningful interaction’ campaign. In his announcement, he said: “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect”.

In essence, if your company posts aren’t engaging, they are not going to appear as often as posts from friends and family which always attract a lot of interaction in the form of likes and comments.

If you think this is a bombshell of an update, fear not. This change is only in relation to organic content (posts which have no advertising spend behind them). It will not affect the algorithms associated with ‘boosted’ content (posts with advertising spend that enable you to target content to a specific audience).

Therefore, we believe the update gives us, and our clients using Facebook for business, three opportunities:

  • Get inspired by the new change, prioritising boosted content but with an emphasis on quality not quantity. If you can really drill down to who your target audience is, you shouldn’t need to spend money boosting your campaign to a wide audience, or setting up multiple campaigns with the same message for the sake of it, which can be costly. Organise one, or a few, well thought-out posts a month which reach your desired audience effectively and prevent you falling into a trap of posting repetitive and expensive content.
  • Limit the number of organic posts you post from a Facebook business page – but don’t stop it completely. Facebook’s changes are a chance to get inspired, and create truly engaging content. Rather than ‘sell sell sell’, why not start a Q&A every week, or post a competition asking for comments as entries?
  • Be more creative in the way you distribute content. If Facebook is prioritising human interaction between users, why not consider new ways to reach a target audience through Facebook and other social media channels, without posting directly through your company page? This is where influencers (individuals that have influence over potential buyers, often with a large fan base/following) come in, who regularly post truly engaging content, mainly in the form of images and videos, reviewing products or showcasing their interaction with a business.

At PHM, we believe using social media as part of a wider PR strategy can only be effective if we’re keeping up to date with the latest changes to utilise its tools effectively, adjusting how content is delivered in order to get the best results.

If you’d like find out more or to know how to get the most of your social media strategy, call us on 01483 561119.

social media

PHM’s 3 golden tips for managing social media this Christmas

-By Harriet Bolt, Account Manager

The upcoming holidays is a time of relaxation for many, however an extended period of time out of the workplace can cause a sense of unease for those managing their own or their clients’ social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc). However, this needn’t be the case as we at PHM believe it’s a great opportunity to schedule brand awareness campaigns, double check your customer care protocol and trust the technology available to you to manage social media on the go.

After all, ’tis the season to be jolly, said a famous Christmas carol, and so can be social media over the festive period if you follow these three golden rules for a well-planned digital strategy over the coming weeks.

1.Make a plan

It sounds simple, but without a well-organised content plan, your carefully created messaging will not know when or how it will be delivered to your audience. Help it along by creating a timetable of activity and remember to schedule the posts in using a social media scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social.

2. Be prepared

We promise we haven’t lifted this from a survival guide, but be aware that the holidays provides customers with more access to their social media accounts and potentially the chance to express any negative feedback. Ensure you have a communications protocol in place which can ensure messages are responded to quickly, and escalated to a customer care department swiftly if necessary. Nevertheless, it is also a chance to positively engage with your customers and potentially create an audience of which to target future content to on your return. Embrace the opportunity by introducing some easy but relevant competitions to encourage more interaction and brand loyalty.

3. Embrace change

If you always manage your social media channels using a desktop computer, then using the free tools available to you on the App Store of your smartphone for the first time might seem a little complicated. However, they are a valuable tool and there to help you quickly amend or edit your clients’ advert campaigns or engage/comment directly with customers over various channels. Get these set up before the Christmas break, and should you need to check any live campaigns or channels, you’ll be able to far more easily than opening up a laptop and signing in remotely to any emails or social media management accounts.

If you’d like a hand ensuring your social media strategies run smoothly over Christmas and indeed anytime of the year (the above rules apply to evenings and weekends too) then speak to a member of PHM on 01483 561119.