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Katie’s Top Tip for Businesses – Digital Marketing Services

Calling all entrepreneurs! Our very own founder and managing director Katie has contributed to an article on creative business site The OnRamp. When asked how she fought through the fear that entrepreneurs can feel during the infancy of a business, she cast her mind back to the founding of her digital marketing services company and replied:

‘When first starting out, if I was worried about the future of the business I would stay late at the office after everyone had left and take time to reflect. Often I make my best decisions at the end of the day when I’m tired, hungry or just want to go home, as this adds a sense of urgency to the decision making process!
So far all the decisions I have made this way have helped drive the business forward immensely.’

You can read the other 11 hints over at The OnRamp’s site.

Katie is able to offer consulting and mentoring as part of I Say! Digital’s full-service digital marketing services, so if you want to know how to get your new venture off the ground, give us a call.

Our Brighton SEO Diary

If you follow us on Twitter, last Friday you will have received some very interesting tweets throughout the day and thought to yourself, ‘what the hell is going on in Brighton?’ Well, it was Brighton SEO, the largest SEO conference in the south and it allowed us a day to geek out about all things social media and SEO-related. So we packed our iPads, charged our smartphones and headed to the Brighton Dome for our company day trip out.

Content

We saw a lot of great lectures from a wide variety of speakers from various fields and backgrounds; so, much like a sushi buffet (in which we partook at lunch), if you weren’t so fond of one thing, another came along soon after that you would prefer. David Trott kicked things off, speaking about predatory thinking when it came to content, which may have set the bar impossibly high for those to follow. Certainly, he seemed to be the firm favourite amongst our team. However, no one was at all “bad” or boring, and notes were made for each speaker. There were a few more speakers who talked about content, which piqued the interest of our writers who regularly work on copy-writing and link-building through articles for clients. At each break we came bounding out with new ideas for the future.

Content and Building Sites For Users

Linguist professor Lynne Murphy from the University of Sussex spoke about the Americanisation of British English which was an entertaining break from so much of the heavy content and provided much needed light relief with some international banter. The English student in me yelped in delight. Martin Belam’s talk on building websites for users and not search engines was a nice refresher for the team but very useful for the apprentice who has recently joined us.

Pinterest and The State of SEO

In the afternoon, we were blasted with several shorter clusters on a few more technical areas, where speakers showed off the apps and tools they had been busy creating, including one lecture by Danielle Fudge which intrigued us Pinterest-geeks quite a bit; she spoke about a great new tool her company had been working on to blow open the possibilities of Pinterest in an SEO campaign. We look forward to putting this one to the test. Jason Woodford’s speech to see things out was a rousing heap of praise for the work we do in such a tough economic landscape, noting how the SEO industry was actually booming compared to pretty much every other.

We had some fun and games onstage, including scooter races, egg wars and costumes, which followed on into the evening after-party; myself and Katie had a go on the sticky bouncy castle (which sounds a bit more dodgy than it actually is) and Ashley enjoyed the tokens for free ale. Though we were all a bit boring and left early, things were in full swing, with karaoke, retro games and various imported beers.

A great day all round. We got out off the office and learned a lot which will prepare us nicely for the future, and got our creative and analytical juices flowing. Following on from this, our clients are in for a treat! Maybe next time, I would like one or two more talks about social media but that’s just me; I understand that it infiltrates everyone’s lives on a daily basis and there was just so much to get through.

We just wanted to give Kelvin Newman a big well done on putting together a great conference, and we look forward to the next one.

How We Use Social Media: Meeting the Team Part 3

This week, we meet Ashley, our current intern; a big music fan who is training to run a marathon at the moment.

Hi Ashley, what is your role at I Say! Digital?

I’m the intern. It’s only my first month but I’m dipping my toe in a lot of areas. At the moment I’m writing a lot of blogs and articles for our clients hoping my inquisitive style can draw traffic to their respected sites.

What social media networks do you use? What’s your favourite?

Twitter and Facebook. At the moment Twitter is my favourite as it allows me to keep up to date with what is currently happening in the music scene and current affairs, whether that be on a local or national basis, new bands, old bands etc. At the same time as well, Twitter allows me to keep in touch with friends from around the globe.
My routine with social media tends to surround my commuting to and from University/Work and general breaks I have in my day.

Is there anything about social media you don’t like?

With Facebook I feel at times your privacy is no longer your own. Obviously your settings can be changed to control who sees what, but sometimes this isn’t enough for me.

Why is social media important to you?

Being on the move so much, it allows me to keep up to date with current affairs, career opportunities, and plain and simply see how my friends are doing back in the North.

Why did you want to make social media a career?

With the industry still being in its earliest days I feel this is the chance to jump into a field with so much growing potential. In the past five years we have seen how social media has crept into everyone’s life from “liking” a celeb on Facebook to following a discussion on Twitter using the hashtag feature. Just look at how many people now use Facebook; even my technophobe Mum has her own account now.

How do you see social media changing in the future?

As we can already see now more and more organisations are using social media to promote their organisation and product, I think this will continue and expand. Even educational institutes are using Social Media to advertise and educate their own students. I think this will allow further avenues into the training of an organisation’s staff on how to make the most of Social Media. I believe video blogging/graphics will take a stronger hold within Social Media, leading to users getting involved in a more interactive way.

How We Use Social Media – Meeting The Team Part 2

Following on from the first entry, today we meet Aidah and I ask her about what she does at I Say! Digital and how she uses social media.

Hi Aidah, thanks for setting aside some time as I know you’re very busy. So, tell us what you do at I Say! Digital?

My position is that of SEO Executive and that can include a lot of different tasks. This includes wider, big picture things like developing and implementing SEO strategies or launching social media content, to smaller tasks which just have to be done and are essential, like keyword research, article writing and publishing, or client reporting.

And you enjoy it?

Absolutely! I spend a of time on different social platforms and I think it’s great that I can use my skills to help companies grow their business by acquiring more clients online.

What social networks do you use? Do you have a favourite?

Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest mainly. Facebook is probably my favourite; I use it mainly to keep in contact with my family and friends in France. I’ve never really thought about which one is my favourite too much but that tends to be the one I use most. I’m also on LinkedIn but really ought to check it more often than I do. Just today I received a message from an old university friend who works in Scotland now; he saw from my profile that I work here and suggested working on something together, so I’ve replied back so to see where it goes.

Your thoughts on Social Media in general?

I like everything about Social Media as it allows everybody to express themselves and connect with other people. For companies, like those we work with, it is the best to be closer to their clients, know what they’re thinking, and therefore provide them better services or products.
You can express your satisfaction or dissatisfaction directly with a company where everyone can see. For instance, you can connect with a favourite author, find out more about them or their influences, their future projects, what makes them tick etc.

How do you see social media changing in the future?

I think that social media has become so powerful that if your business is not active on these platforms there’s no way you can compete within your market; they’re probably on them anyway so you need to be active on them just to remain competitive or be seen. In the future, those who choose to not at least try Facebook or Twitter to see if it works for them will find it very difficult to remain in the game.

How We Use Social Media – Meeting the Team Part 1

Recently here in Peacehaven, we have undergone some changes; we have said goodbye to Cat (congrats on the wedding!) and are awaiting the arrival of our new intern and dog (two distinct members, I assure you). In this new series of blogs, I decided that, following this re-structuring, we would get to know each member of the office, looking at how they use social media in their day-to-day lives.

I thought I would begin by interviewing…. myself, so we could ease in to things slowly. So here we go; I promise not to sound too much like Jekyll and Hyde.

Paul

So Paul, what is your role at I Say! Digital?

I began an internship here in May, and have recently been offered a full-time position as a team co-ordinator. I perform quite a range of tasks from content writing which includes proof-reading, corresponding with contributors, managing social media accounts, some PPC, proposals, maintaining our own site, offering ideas to increase business and the odd bit of taking things to the recycling point. Pretty much anything that helps business chug along day-to-day. Going forward I’ll be a project manager on a few things too.

And what social media networks do you use?

Well Paul, I use the biggies like Facebook, Twitter and Google+; though with G+ it has taken me a while to get into and integrate into my routine. It was more when I began my internship here and started to follow those in the SEO and social media industry, that it became a worthwhile pursuit. I’m also a keen Redditor, because it collates everything that appeals to me in one site, and I like the idea of an internet democracy which votes on what is quality content.

Any that you stay away from?

I’ve never really used things like Foursquare because I didn’t have a smartphone until recently so it seemed a bit pointless to just sign in to being at home or work. I’ll probably start using that a bit more especially when going to conferences, like Brighton SEO, in the next few months. I’m not a huge Pinterest fan either as it all seems a bit disorganised and random to me, though I occasionally come across a really great image that becomes my screensaver.

What do you gain most from social media?

I’m a huge television geek, and watch loads of obscure shows from America. I like being able to stay up late when they’re broadcast over there, and see what people on Twitter are saying while a show like Breaking Bad or Community airs. Because I don’t really know anyone who watches the same shows as I do (everyone else has a social life), and don’t have the proverbial water-cooler around which to talk about them, I can bring the water-cooler to me, so to speak. I like the idea of getting instant reactions rather than wait the next day. It’s also really cool to see the variety of places that bands I like are in at that moment. It took me a while to get into the way Tweets were so fragmented and broken up but now it’s plain sailing.

Why did you choose social media to be a part of your career?

I never really considered it because, to be honest, it seemed too good a prospect to even consider a viable option. It was only through being an administrator for a music society at University, where we used social media to plan for events and get discussions going, that I gained my first experience outside of my personal leisure. I had a really terrible experience in my first grad job, which wasn’t media-related, and realised that doing something that you really get a sense of fulfillment and personal satisfaction out of  means so much more and so I looked into it. It’s been hard starting over and learning a lot of background that I didn’t previously in my degree, but it’s been completely worth it and I actually enjoy listening to podcasts about SEO and social media in my free time; on my commute, I can easily go through ten episodes of geeky chatter about relevant updates.

So you use social media during your day?

Pretty much from when I wake up to when I go to sleep, more so now I have my snazzy phone. I can keep in touch with what my friends are up to without sending a long message to each of them with the same questions. What is quite nice is a lot of the tools or sites I use at work are different to those I use in my free time, and with changes occurring every month in this industry, it’s a cat-and-mouse game of grabbing people’s attention. The best part is when you completely forget that not everyone is in tune with social media, especially in our line of work where many business owners don’t realise the potential in having an online presence. Walking clients through the fundamentals of our SEO services is enjoyable, but when you can see how passionate they are about their own business and you show them that they can express this in a way that can actually impact their bottom line, it’s fantastic. Often the perception is that a social media or SEO strategy will be additional work which is completely the wrong mind-frame.

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