Following the news in the Telegraph this week that the Apple App Store makes twice the money Google's Play Store does, despite most of the world using Android. I wanted to look at the current app market in the UK and draw up a list of the bestsellers of the last 12 months.
A study from IT company Compuware, Mobile Apps: What Consumers Really Need and Want: A Global Study of Consumers’ Expectations and Experiences of Mobile Applications, made a critical finding: 84% of mobile device users say app store ratings are important in their decisions to download and install a mobile app.
It looks like apps are here to stay due to many factors that appeal to all who use them. They provide:
iPhone Apps (Paid):
1- Minecraft - Pocket Edition
2 - 7 Minute Workout Challenge
3 - Heads Up!
4 - Sleep Cycle alarm clock
5 - Football Manager Handheld 2014
6 - Afterlight
7 - Fantasy Premier League 2014/15 - Official App
8 - Cut The Rope 2
9 - Plague Inc.
10 - Facetune
iPhone Apps (Free):
1 - Facebook Messenger
2 - WhatsApp Messenger
3 - Snapchat
4 - Facebook
5 - YouTube
6 - Instagram
7 - Spotify Music
8 - Skype for iPhone
9 - Google Maps
10 - Tinder
Hashtags have a firm place within the most popular social networks, including Twitter,Facebook,Google+, Instagram, Vine and Pinterest.
The hashtag is likely the most popular means of categorising content on social media. It makes your own content discoverable and allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses.
The hashtag also enables you to connect with and engage other social media users based on a common theme or interest. This remains essential when building new social media communities or campaigns from the ground up.
Knowing how to use hashtags is fundamental to your success on social media. You may use them, but are you using them to their full potential?
Here are a few best practices to help you achieve that success…
Do’s and Don’ts
I'm sure you have heard the expression 'actions speak louder than words' - in this case, our actions sometimes hinder our words and how we create valuable content. Here are ten quick tips on what to do when you are high and dry.
1. The first paragraph of the press release must, if it is printed on its own, tell enough of the story to be useful and answer the following questions for the reader: who, what, where, why and when.
2. Always remember that the first paragraph is by far the most important part of any press release. When selecting releases for publication, most editors don’t read any further! Try to write the release in such a way that it will still make good sense if one or more of the later paragraphs is deleted.
3. The first sentence should indicate why the item is newsworthy. For example, make it clear if you’re launching a new product, hosting an event, have won an award or you’re having an open day on your premises.
4. If it’s a release promoting the launch of product or service, the first paragraph should include a benefit. Why would the customer want to buy it? What makes it different from the ones already available on the market?
5. Always use the singular when referring to companies. For example, “Coca Cola is the leading manufacturer of soft drinks” and never “Coca Cola are the leading manufacturer of soft drinks”.
6. In product releases, the first paragraph must make it clear what the product is.
7. In product releases, the first paragraph should always include one or more customer benefits of the new product, rather than simply concentrating on features.
8. Be wary of making vague claims like “[the product] has a lot of benefits” or “[the product] has been used with great success”. Always say what the benefits are, or what type of success has been achieved. Percentages that show improvement or a high uptake of the product always help.
9. If the press release announces a specific piece of news about the business, such as the opening of new premises, provide a quote from a key individual – usually the business owner or director.
10. The second paragraph will usually define the target audience. If you are hosting an event make sure to add the details about location, timings and what can the visitors expect from it. Include a call to action, by sending readers to a website for further information or to register for a place at the event, for example.
11. For product launches, the third and subsequent paragraphs will typically give general details of the product, starting with the most important features.
12. The average length of a press release should be between 250 words and a maximum of 400. Don’t be tempted to add too much information and make it too long because journalists won’t have the patience to read the whole thing. Keep it simple, factual, and to the point.
13. When the press release has been written, the writer must proof read it carefully and spell and grammar check it before passing it on for further checking. Care must be taken to ensure that the spell/check grammar checking is set for the correct language.
B. Distributing your press release
Writing an interesting press release to support your event is all well and good, but its success can only be judged after the response it gets. So here are a few tips to help you get it right:
Timing: if your press release is announcing an event and your goal is to invite journalists to it, then this release needs to be sent to them well in advance – at least a month, if possible.
Did you know that the average internet user has an average of 6 social media accounts?
I personally have 15 professional and social purposes. At work, I look after up to 35! I can all get a bit chaotic and people ask 'How do you do it?' the ask - well here are my 5 essential go to platforms:
Hootsuite is an enterprise level social media management tool used by over 10 million professionals. They can help you schedule and analyze your social media marketing campaigns.
Bit.ly is a url shortener and click reporting tool all in one. It’s great for Twitter with short posts, and also tracking the clicks to help you understand how well your content converts traffic to your website.
Sprout Social is the complete social media management tool for social media agencies because you can use this premium social media management tool for multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts.
SocialFlow helps you manage paid, owned, and earned social media campaigns in one place. Social Flow recommends specific posts, pins, or tweets for you to promote. Then you can use keywords and segmentation to analyze these campaigns.
Agora Pulse lets you schedule content for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all in one place. Plus, Agora Pulse has dynamic reports for all three social networks. You can market content and run promotions from Agora as well.
Ask Ashley- "Ashley, Christmas is in a few weeks and I have done no FEStive social media activity? - do you have any quick tips for me?"
So, we have a little under two weeks until the big day and Christmas provides a great opportunity to promote, engage and interact one last time before the herald of a new year.
There is still time to inject a last-minute Christmas social media marketing strategy. Here are my starters for ten:
Send a digital Christmas cardDesign and create your own digital Christmas card easily, quickly and cost-effectively by using some online tools that can help you get your Christmas greeting presented in a seamless way. My favourite is Spark from Adobe that can provide you with the best tools available on a free sign-up. Send on to stakeholders, colleagues and contacts if you have emails, but better still post on social media and use the common hashtags like #Christmas #MerryChristmas, include industry hashtags too (see below or more popular hashtags)
I always think it is nice to create bespoke Christmas cards for each country of the world you have clients, teams and social media following,
Christmas blogsIn the crowded online Christmas market, an insightful Christmas themed blog will give your social media marketing a point of difference, and a way to engage your social media audience and drive them back to your website.
Here are some pointers for Christmas content that will prove clickable:
Retail - Trends, stats and behaviour from shoppers on the high street are always good click-bait.
Oil and Gas - Conduct a retrospect of the last 12 months and the successes that will see the team have a wonderful Christmas.
Security - Talk about facts and figures of crime rates, etc at this time of year.
Education - Asses the lead up to the Christmas break and the highlights within education in the last year. Bring in the end of year statistics and pay respect to the teachers and students for hard work in a tough climate.
Technology - Trends in technology are big at Christmas, whether it be with small gadgets or technology that is shaping the industry, talk about it as if you are educating on a 'Technology Wishlist' for Christmas and beyond.
Launch an incentive discounts, incentives and competitions are a good tactic to include within your social media plan as they give you the opportunity to grow your audience, increase your engagement and outreach to B2B and B2C environments.
The 12 Days of Christmas concepts work well if you have offers that you can commit to a 12 day period. A 10% discount, BOGOF, free content, or a trial of a product can work well with this incentive. It may be a good time to weave in a customer satisfaction survey too - find out what your customer/client base is thinking and use it within an end of year report, use social media hashtagsUsing the proper hashtag can get you exposed and grow your followers, especially this time of the year. Here are some of the best hashtags you can use during the festive season with approximate numbers of hashtags users across all social media channels:
#merrychristmas (30.3 million)
#happychristmas (1.1 million)
#christmasgift (2.5 million)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Last year I volunteered at Reading Family Aid. It was absolutely heartbreaking to read some of the children’s wish-lists...a teenage girl requests some nail varnish and clothing, a 4-year-old requests lego and a ball. They can’t and don’t request the new iPhone, expensive headphones, computer games, etc - just small requests. I am thankful I have never struggled, but the reality is the people I walk alongside in this country every day do. This type of community outreach and local charity initiative is obviously a great thing to do to help those who are less fortunate and to raise awareness of some great causes. Do something small or just donate and support a charity on social media and showcase your values as a company that understands its CSR.
Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!