Revamp your socials this Easter

Most of us will be spending our Easter weekend at home this year and, as well as enjoying our Sunday roast and Easter eggs, we are likely to spend a lot of that time online.

At PHM, we understand that now is not necessarily the time to pursue your usual marketing strategy. So, how can you ensure you make an impact online in the right way? Take a look at our tips for revamping your socials this Easter:

1. Be careful with your sales tactics

Finding the right message can be tricky at the moment. Remain sensitive to the changing situation and ensure your message is appropriate and relevant.

Remember, intrusive and ‘in your face’ marketing stopped being fashionable on social media some time ago. Providing valuable, meaningful content on your social media channels will build authentic connections with your audiences and will build trust, too.

2. Host a competition

Competitions and prize draws are a great way to amplify your brand on social media, drive traffic and engage your target audiences. Consider something that adds value to the communities in which you work, adding PR value to the campaign as well as rewarding potential customers.

Make sure that you host the terms and conditions on your website to ensure competitors know exactly what they are signing up for, and consider using paid-for content to advertise the competition beyond your usual following.

3. Tailor your posts for each platform

Each social media platform is used in a different way, so adjusting your message accordingly is helpful. Instagram, for instance, is all about visuals – think high-res photos and graphics, accompanied by a caption. LinkedIn, on the other hand, can be focused on corporate messages and provides a place to host any opinion content or thought leadership.

If you’d like to find out more about how PHM can help you with an egg-cellent social media strategy, get in touch with our team on 01483 561119.

Dust off the cobwebs: Keep your social media in shape this summer

Here at PHM, we like our content to shine bright on the never-ending feeds of social media and with the summer months finally here, what better time to help you dust off the cobwebs and bring you three essential top tips to keep your social in ship shape:

  1.   Cut waffle in long posts: your audience don’t have all day!

Many people using social media are simply scrolling; recent stats are claiming that the average person scrolls through 300 feet (90m) of social media content daily! With so much to consume, your audience doesn’t want to be reading long paragraphs with no substance. One way to keep people engaged in your posts is to stick to the point and cut the waffle. It’s important to keep content concise without compromising on quality.

  1. Know your audience and stay up to date with them

We know the majority of a beauty blogger’s audience will have no interest in bird watching, so why should your audience maintain engagement with seemingly random and unrelated content? Tailor your posts to trending topics to keep your following engaged and up-to-date without jeopardising your message. Does it suit their interests? Are they the right demographic? Is it the type of content the target audience would choose to spend their time consuming?

  1. Add pictures and graphics

Pictures are processed 60,000 times faster by the human brain than words, so it’s important to keep your feed filled with photos. However, it’s often difficult to keep creating new visual content from scratch. Here at PHM we use sites such as Unsplash and Canva. Unsplash allows you to browse and download high quality images for free, avoiding unwanted repetition. Canva is a site used to create visually interesting content for social media. The website offers templates and graphics which you can utilise to personalise and refashion your posts in order to keep things fresh.

If you’d like to find out more about how PHM can help with your social media strategy, contact the team on 01483 561119.

Three social media tools we’re coupling up with this summer

By Louise Jarvis, Account Manager

It is official; Love Island has returned. Cue eight weeks of recoupling and viral memes.

Here at PHM, we like to pay attention to every trend, so we’ve been embracing this summer’s hot topic and thinking about how important it is to inject a little love into your digital PR campaigns.

That’s why we’re bringing you details of three social media tools you should be coupling up with this summer…

  1. Management platform

For agencies like us, juggling multiple clients’ many social media channels (not to mention fostering media relationships, strategising, copywriting, event organisation and more) a social media management platform is essential.

This type of tool is really useful for optimising posts for engagement, reporting and scheduling, and doing so consistently and efficiently. But don’t fall for the first platform you meet. Do your research and see whether you’re able to trial a few before committing (speed dating at its finest).

  1. Canva

If you’re not already using Canva, it’s a great free graphic tool with which you should definitely be getting acquainted. The website is home to thousands of social media templates and layouts suited to every kind of platform, which you can personalise and edit to suit your brand.

It’s user-friendly, it’s a great way to mix up message presentation and it has become one of our most-used tools for creating quick and engaging content for social media where visually led-content is the top property.

  1. Unsplash

Where visuals are king and feeds are saturated, it’s important to switch up your imagery on socials – after all, first impressions count.

As photography and stock imagery can be expensive, sites such as Unsplash are an easy way to browse and download high-quality photos for free, implementing fresh and exciting content to avoid too much repetition in your use of imagery.

If you’d like to talk to PHM about how we can bring your social media channels alive – and take on the time commitments you can’t fit into your calendar –  call us on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

Four things to consider before you embrace influencer marketing

By Louise Jarvis, Account Manager

There’s no denying the rise and rise of influencer marketing, most social media feeds have been peppered with third-party advertisements and brand partnerships for a while now.

But are we becoming more cynical? Does an influencer’s credibility plummet once you realise that they’ve been paid to talk about the product or service they seemingly love? And if so, why bother in the first place?

Despite these concerns, if done properly, we think this is an area of digital marketing that can add a lot of value to your strategies, however there are a few things to consider if you want to add influencers to your toolkit:

 

  1. Research, research, research

If you’re serious about incorporating influencers as part of your marketing strategy, you’ll need to invest some time in researching who’s out there. Find out what they have to offer you: what is their content’s reach and what does their audience demographic look like?  Before approaching them, you’ll need to know why you want to work with them; in short, your brands need to be aligned. Does your messaging synchronise with their narrative? If the fit is wrong, it’s likely your campaign will be less effective, so take your time and make sure you’re connecting with the right people.

  1. Micro vs Macro

When people think influencers, they tend to think big – or macro. Look at Kylie Jenner for example, who has a whopping 130 million Instagram followers. But with a following so vast, how can you ensure you’re targeting the right people? Targeting influencers with a large following will also most definitely be expensive and you may not always reap the return you’re after.

Depending on what you’re marketing, it’s very much worth looking into micro influencers; these people tend to have a smaller but niche and trusting following. This makes it easier to assess whether you’re reaching the right people via their channels.

  1. A tailored approach

As with all PR, it’s important to tailor your approach. With however many hundreds of thousands of influencer profiles to choose from and a sea of content to compete with, you’ll need to think of a ‘big idea’. With the digital marketing landscape so regularly changing, you might not get the best results from merely imitating campaigns you’ve seen before. So, brainstorm and take risks. What type of content would your target audience like to see and spend their time consuming? Decide your objectives, pick your angle and run with a creative approach.

  1. Contracts

Once you’ve cemented your relationship as a brand and advertiser with your chosen influencer, it’s important to get it in writing and create some form of influencer contract. It’s key to ensure everyone involved knows what their role is within the partnership or campaign. Here’s just a few things to include:

  • The basics: names and parties involved, the date and a description of what the partnership should achieve
  • Timeframe: How long is your partnership going to last? Is it one campaign or longer term?
  • Output: What exactly do you want from them? Include details, for example, the exact number of social media posts or the length of a blog
  • Veto list: Write down anything you’d like them to refrain from saying and include brand guidelines
  • Payment terms: in what form will payment be made?

 

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.

Four bad habits to give up this Lent when writing copy

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

Here are four key, timeless ingredients which will ensure your written content is second to none:

  1. Cut the waffle

The goal is 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 consumers alike are keen to get to the heart of a story quickly.

  1. Don’t be lazy

It’s easy and time-efficient to repeatedly churn out the same content, and while consistent messaging and brand recognition is vital, it’s also important to keep things relevant 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. 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. Make sure your posts are scroll-stopping for the right reasons.

  1. Don’t play it safe

There’s a vast sea of content out there and if you want to stay afloat, or better still, create the waves, you can’t just play it safe; safe doesn’t stand out. Experiment and, for want of a better phrase, think outside the box. Ask yourself ‘What’s going to make people sit up and pay attention to what we have to say?’

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.

Starting a career in PR

Starting out in PR? Top tips to get you started…

Senior Account Executive Louise Jarvis remembers when she joined PHM after university and shares her advice on starting out in PR.

For many, this time of year signals new beginnings; students are set to start a new academic year, while those saying goodbye to education (whether it be college, sixth form or university), are looking to step into the world of work.

For those wanting to kick start their PR career, here are some essential top tips which will help you on your way, because it’s a jungle out there…

  1. Ready…set…adapt

You may have mastered the art of essay-writing at school, but be prepared for your work to receive a lot of amends. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer, it’s because every brand has a style to which you’ll have to adapt. Similarly, every strategy and campaign will require a different style of approach and execution depending on your objectives – be ready to switch it up, there’s no room for one-trick ponies in PR.

  1. Keep your eyes and ears peeled

Stay on top of the news. A great way to do this is to set up Google news alerts for your company and/or clients. Not only will this keep you sharp on what’s current, it will allow you to be quick off the mark when it comes to distributing a responsive comment or positioning your company and clients as part of the relevant and topical conversations being had in the media.

  1. Put your creative hat on

It may sound cliché, but think outside the box. It’s really easy to get into the same routine and way of thinking. In an age where journalists and consumers are time-poor, it’s never been more important to embrace creativity and think of ways to make your company and clients stand out in the everyday sea of content.

  1. It’s ALL in the details

Human error is inevitable, but there really isn’t room for sloppy mistakes in PR. Your role is to maintain and promote your company’s and clients’ brand or products, and nothing can sabotage credibility quite like an easily avoidable grammar or spelling mistake. Proof and proof again. Take five minutes out and come back to it. Ask a colleague to review with a fresh pair of eyes.

  1. Embrace the list

Working a PR job, especially in an agency, is a juggling act – there are always multiple things going on at once; events to organise, strategies to write and releases to distribute. One simple way to keep on top of your workload is by writing everything down, this will help you prioritise your tasks, because there are only so many hours in a day.

Need a fresh and creative take on your PR strategy? Give us a call on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

 

How to keep your PR campaign entertained during the summer holidays

– By Harriet Bolt, senior account manager

Much like children, your PR campaign needs constant attention. Although it won’t be asking you to play outside or demanding a lolly every time it hears the chime of the ice cream van, a PR campaign still requires nurturing and special attention during the summer holidays.

The six weeks from when children break-up from school and before they start the new academic year can traditionally be a tricky period of time for PR campaigns – especially for the property industry. Like the rest of the working world, many journalists will also be taking time off having filed their stories in advance, making the chances of securing new editorial coverage that bit slimmer. Your target audience may also be enjoying some R&R, meaning the opportunity to encourage them to sell/buy a new home becomes harder.

So what can you do to ensure your PR campaign is kept happy and busy? Consider these three steps and we promise it won’t be repetitively saying ‘I’m bored!’ in your ear…

  1. Choose a different game (alter your objective)

It’s unlikely that your campaign will be able to assist in drawing large numbers of leads as it can in peak home buying season (before the summer break), but it can still play a crucial role. Brand awareness is key – focus on reaching those who may not be sat in the office receiving emails, but perhaps poolside with a cocktail in one hand and a smartphone in the other.

For example, consider increasing your advertising spend on any social media posts, and optimise them for brand awareness or mobile devices to reach a wider audience than before. If you’re relying on organic (unpaid) content, make it engaging and interesting with less emphasis on the hard sell. A competition can get everyone’s attention.

2. Take it to a summer event (consider sponsorship opportunities)

If you feel like it might be difficult encouraging potential homebuyers away from their holidays to your house/development – find them at a local event instead, such as a summer fair. Opting for sponsorship opportunities can be a great way of increasing brand awareness, and provides the chance to meet the community in a relaxed environment.

The chances of a direct sale might be lower than if you had a visitor to the marketing suite, but any friendly conversations had at the event help to sow the seed for a potential sale. Especially if anyone you meet then decides that they actually do want to put their house on the market come September.

3. Take it shopping for new stationery (get it ready for a new term)

Use the quiet time wisely. Reconsider the objectives of the PR campaign for the next term – who are you trying to target, how, why, when etc. Making full use of the time to put together reports of the success to date or strategies for the approach going forward, having learnt from what has or has not been working for the past few months, can be incredibly useful.

A fresh perspective will leave you better prepared for the new term in September, one of the busiest months in the property calendar.

Still struggling with how to keep your PR campaign happy this summer or don’t have the time? Let PHM help – call us on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

PHM’s three top tips this Social Media Day

With the ninth annual Social Media Day taking place on June 30th, celebrating social media’s influence on digital communication, we thought there was no better way to join in the fun than by sharing our three top tips for impactful and memorable campaigns over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

  1. Consider your objective

It sounds simple, but what are you trying to achieve by implementing a social media campaign? Whether it’s to generate sales leads or foster engagement with other users, you can only accurately create content and report on the success of any activity if you truly understand your goal. For example, there’s no point in creating posts that encourage users to visit a website, if you wanted that post to be shared with as many people as possible, as the content created to encourage leads to a website, might not be as interesting enough for users to want to share with others.

2. Remember that you are invisible

This one is especially relevant for when you are creating social media content for the first time. Don’t expect that people will come looking for you and you’ll naturally build your likes/followers over time. You need to get out there and make yourself known. Consider implementing a competition as a kick-starter for your campaign – one that is easy for users to enter and share with their friends and family. It makes for a low-cost brand awareness exercise that gets results.

3.  Know when to join in

This mostly applies to Twitter and Instagram, where hashtags are the main form of linking like-minded posts together. As there are so many, it can be tempting to use the most popular hashtags when starting a campaign but it’s worth thinking about the audience this is reaching. For instance, there may be a popular hashtag many industry professionals are using, but if you are trying to reach potential customers, it’s worth reconsidering your approach and choose hashtags that they regularly use or will be interested in to connect with them.

If you’d like to talk to PHM about how we can ensure your social media channels and campaigns are doing what they should – and take on the time commitments you can’t fit into your calendar –  call us on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

SPRING

Spring clean your social media

Warmer temperatures and longer days mean it’s time to blow away the cobwebs. Here are our tips for getting your social media channels spick and span for a summer of success.

Digital marketing plays a vital role in supporting many of our clients’ communications objectives, making social media an integrated part of PR and our everyday lives at PHM.

To truly get the best out of social media, it’s incredibly important to understand that time, commitment and consistency is key – this will build your following and increase audience engagement. However, there’s a whole range of tools which can help with the time-costly day to day tasks and keep channels alive and thriving.

Here come our four top tips on how to do just that:

  1. Scheduling platform

If like us you manage more than one social media channel, it’s probably worth investing in a scheduling platform where you can manage multiple accounts from one, secure place. These platforms can help with optimising posts for engagement, reporting and publishing, and doing so consistently and efficiently.

  1. Canva

Canva is very user-friendly – we can safely say it’s become one of our most-used tools for creating visual, interesting content for social media. The website is home to thousands of social media graphics and layouts suited to every kind of platform, which you can design and personalise to integrate into your strategy. As social media is a place where visually led-content thrives, this is a great way to mix up how you present your message.

  1. Link shorteners

We use link-shortening services, such as Bitly, in almost everything we publish online. This not only makes the most of your content on platforms like Twitter, where you’re limited to 280 characters, but creates a slick and professional aesthetic for your posts – when links stretch over two or three lines it can look untidy and dare we say, un-clickworthy.

  1. Unsplash

We cannot stress enough how important visuals are when it comes to online content. We always make the most of sites such as Unsplash, which enable you to browse and download images for free. This really helps in implementing fresh and exciting content without becoming too repetitive in your use of imagery.

If you’d like to talk to PHM about how we can freshen up you social media channels – and take on the time commitments you can’t fit into your calendar –  call us on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

 

 

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.