What is your digital footprint and the true cost of using the internet

 

Your digital footprint is all the stuff you leave behind as you use the Internet. Comments on social media, Skype calls, app use, browsing websites and your IP Address form part of your online history and can potentially be seen by other people, or tracked in a database.

digital footprint

So how do we leave a digital footprints? Here are a few examples:

Browsing websites & online shopping: Retailers and product review sites often leave cookies on your system which can track your movement from site-to-site, allowing targeted advertisements that can show you products you’ve been recently reading about or looking at online.

Social Media: All those Retweets, and Facebook comments leave a record.  Make sure you know what the default privacy settings are for your social media accounts, and keep an eye on them. Sites often introduce new policies and settings that increase the visibility of your data.

Mobile Phones, Tablets, or Laptops: Some websites will build a list of different devices you have used to visit those sites. While this can often be used as a way to help secure your account, it is important to understand the information being collected about your habits.

The web is listening every time you use it! It’s important that you understand what you’re leaving behind when you visit a website. There is no apparent cost to view a website, read a blog, watch a video or join a social network however we are paying indirectly. If you’re paying for the product, you are the product. If you don’t pay a subscription fee for a service that service must be funded by monetising information about you. You are trading your eyeballs for their servers, network and content is the economic bargain underlying most of the internet.

The commercial side of the internet has capitalised on the opportunities your digital footprint provides. Marketers use your digital footprint to target their products at the most appropriate audience, track users & customise content. They allow brands to observe, link & mine data.

Online services collect data about what you do. Some of it is used to directly improve your user experience like language settings and other data is built into a profile of you and that information can be sold to 3rd parties and used to decide what ads are most likely to influence you.

Advertisers want to customise ads to their audience and publishers want to track buyers & maximise commercial return. And this raises the issue of lack of anonymity and security issues. Online linkability means advertisers can link huge amounts of data and link it across multiple contexts

So do you think the internet is free? What does your digital footprint say about you?

Source: Internet Society

This article should come with a warning “Honest user experience within”.

If you don’t want to hear the truth about my digital experience with your brand, then don’t read any further.  I have an issue! One that I usually whine to my husband about but today I am sharing this with my wider audience. The issue does not just affect me. It impacts many other consumers and the businesses that are getting it wrong.

User experience on your digital channels is vital to creating sales and giving a positive impression of your brand. Over the past week I have been keeping track of the many digital experiences I have had, just like we all have every single day to share the good, the bad and the very bad.

These are real examples that share how what you are doing on your digital channels has a direct impact on your results.  So what does a week in the life of this digital consumer look like? So many businesses (large & small) do not understand their customer journey and as such are losing sales every single day and this is why…..

DAY 1

McDonalds: I bought McDonalds for lunch and not only did I get home to find the wrong burger and half empty fries but then couldn’t find the local stores Facebook page so send a tweet (in fact sent several) and got no response at all. TIP: DON’T BE ON TWITTER IF YOU DON’T RESPOND.

Ancestry.com: I wanted to order a DNA Kit and found the process very easy on their website. I didn’t finalise the order as I got distracted. The next day I got a reminder that I had an item in my shopping cart which prompted me to finalise the order. GOOD TIMING AND NICELY WORDED REMINDER PROMPTED ME TO BUY – WELL DONE

DAY 2

Lite & Easy: I noticed a Lite & Easy ad on TV and thought I would give it a go. I jumped onto their website and couldn’t figure out where or how to order. I got frustrated, mentioned it on Facebook to my friends who suggested trying You Foodz. I also sent Lite & Easy a Facebook message and the response was very poor. TIP: WASTED AD $$ IF YOUR WEBSITE DOESN’T REFLECT YOUR MESSAGING AND MAKE IT EASY TO ORDER.

You Foodz: I got onto the YouFoodz site and ordered some fabulous meals in minutes. They made it easy and answered all my questions on their website – got it right and I will order again. TIP: MAKING IT EASY TO BUY WINS MORE BUSINESS. THESE GUYS HAVE IT RIGHT.

DAY 3

Petbarn: We were out running errands and I wanted to know if they were open. I searched them on my iphone and tried click to call from their website which didn’t work. Plus the phone number was wrong so couldn’t get in touch with them. TIP: PEOPLE ARE BUYING FROM YOUR MOBILE CHANNELS SO MAKE SURE YOUR LINKS WORK.

MavSocial: I was setting up this new social scheduling tool and had a few set up issues. I emailed them and didn’t get a response for 2 days so emailed again. Then I got a call from their CEO apologising and walking me through the issue. Was so impressed that the CEO took time out to call and address the issue. TIP: YOU CAN TURN A FRUSTRATED NEW CUSTOMER INTO A FAN WITH ONE CALL.

DAY 4

Telstra: I have constant issues with getting local help from Telstra. Biggest pet peeve is when I tweet them and get generic responses that send me to a link unrelated to what my issue is. TIP: TRAIN YOUR SOCIAL TEAM ON LISTENING SKILLS AND DIRECT PEOPLE TO THE RIGHT PAGES.

Darling & Co: Local Brisbane restaurant that I was making an online booking for a business lunch. I made a mistake so emailed them and had a call back within 2 hours. TIP: CUSTOMER SERVICE EXTENDS ACROSS BOTH TRADITIONAL & DIGITAL CHANNELS.

DAY 5

Ashy Bines: One of the worst experiences I ever had with a fitness brand. I saw a Facebook ad which prompted me to go to their website and get some more details. I had a number of questions before I signed up so emailed them. Still had no response after 3 days so emailed again. No response so sent a Facebook message and was told they will respond within 4 days. I managed to get hold of someone and was told that if I email again within the initial 4 days my query goes to the back of the queue.  TIP: 4 DAY RESPONSES TIMES ARE RIDICULOUS. IF YOU ARE SPENDING MONEY ON FACEBOOK ADS, RESPOND TO QUERIES IN A TIMELY MANNER. P.S AND DON’T CALL YOUR CUSTOMERS BABE OR HONEY WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW THEM.

Missing Lett_R – I signed up to a new blog scheduling platform and as part of the welcome process got a call from the CEO in the UK. TIP: GETTING A CALL FROM A CEO CARRIES A LOT OF WEIGHT AND IS GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR BRAND.

DAY 6

Booktopia: I order an ebook on my laptop then downloaded the app to my iphone to read it. Experience across both devices was positive. TIP: WE LIVE IN A MULTISCREEN WORLD SO ENSURE YOU MAKE THE MULTI SCREEN EXPERIENCE SEEMLESS.

Microsoft: I was having issues on my laptop since downloading Windows 10 and tried to schedule a call from their website however it kept saying my phone number was invalid. Had to get onto Live Chat and they told me I had to schedule the call on the website (which it wouldn’t let me do). Again instead of using common sense, they just wanted to read from their script and didn’t understand it was a technical issue on their end. TIP: TEACH YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAMS TO USE COMMON SENSE AND TAKE INITIAVE TO SOLVE PROBLEMS. AND GET TECHNICAL ISSUES FIXED QUICKLY.

Hootsuite: I got an EDM about a free upgrade to my account. After clicking on the links, it didn’t work as they suggested it should so emailed them. Then was sent incorrect details on how to upgrade with a promotional code TIP: TEST YOUR EDM LINKS & INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE SENDING.

DAY 7

Brisbane City Library: By far the worst experience of the week. I downloaded an ebook from the library on my laptop. The download would not open as it was an odd format and there were no instructions on their website telling me what the process was , what app I needed to read the ebook or where to get it. I called the library and they told me I then needed to go to the library website on my smartphone and go to the ebooks section, download the app from there. I found two apps that supposedly would let me read the book and guess what – still no ebook anywhere to be found. Most ridiculous & frustrating process ever! TIP: WHEN YOU INTRODUCE NEW TECHNOLOGY EDUCATE YOUR AUDIENCE BY PROVIDING DETAILED INFORMATION AND MAKING SURE YOUR STAFF KNOW HOW TO USE IT.

Popcherry: I saw a Facebook ad that had one top in 4 colours. I jumped onto their website to find it but it wasn’t available in all 4 colours so I was far from impressed. TIP: DON’T USE IMAGES OF PRODUCTS YOU DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE IT, PARTICULARLY WITH FASHION.

Cineplex – I was getting movie times and saw an advert for new Deluxe cinema on their website but couldn’t click on the ad to get any details TIP: LINK YOUR ADS TO THE URL THAT GIVES CUSTOMERS THE INFORMATION YOU TALK ABOUT IN YOUR AD.

Pacific Fair – They have been promoting the new centre so we decided to check it out only to discover half the new designer stores were not open at all. Simply putting Coming Soon next to their names on their website would’ve totally changed our experience to a positive one. TIP: MANAGE CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS AND ENSURE YOUR WEBSITE INFORMATION IS UP TO DATE AND CORRECT.

The purpose of this blog is to highlight how the simplest things when missed, result in lost sales & bad customer experiences with your brand. Digital is an experience you take with you from screen to screen.  Seriously look at your user experience and the path to purchase and consider are you making it easy and does it flow like it should. Put yourself in your customers shoes and look at it with fresh eyes. Stop spending thousands of dollars on advertising until you get these basics right. (otherwise you are just wasting them). Your marketing efforts should start with your customer so make it easy from them to buy from you.

 

 

 

 

Automatically schedule your blogs with a click of a button

Everyone knows I love my digital tools – anything that saves me time and makes life easier is a good thing.

I recently discovered MissingLett_r. If you have a blog it creates a unique social marketing campaign, spread out over a year, minutes after you publish your next blog post.

To use it you just register your blog’s RSS feed and you’re done! When you publish a new article they automatically notify you with a personalised social marketing campaign for it. All you have to do is review and then approve it! Yes it really is that easy. Saves you have to then go and create & schedule content for your social media channels.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 19.41.31

Always a believer if you find a great product, then share it, I spoke to CEO and founder of Missinglett_r, Benjamin Dell and asked him 3 quick questions about the new service:

Where did the idea come from?

I also run a web development agency. Through that, we started noticing a trend amongst our clients that blogged. In essence, they weren’t really doing it very effectively. Some would share their new blog posts on Twitter and other social networks once (typically the day it was published), very few would remember to share it again and almost none would have a systematic plan in place to share the article over a sustained period of time. We knew there had to be a better way. Missinglettr was born at that point.

What types of businesses are using it?

We’re finding all sorts of businesses using missinglettr. From the individual at home that’s focused on building their personal brand, through to serious companies looking to extend their reach. We also work with social marketing agencies who are looking for new ways to add value to their own customers.

What’s next for Missinglett_r – world domination?

Always! But whilst we’re biding our time (and no doubt, stroking a cat with an evil glint in our eye), we’re super focused on a couple of key areas. In the short term, you can expect to see additional social networks added, as well as improved scheduling flexibility and ways in which you can better brand the content that we create for you.

This is a great tool for building your automatically building your content calender so you have a pipeline of great content being shared. They have a free plan to connect one social channel or pay $10 a month and join several. Money well spent I say.

Find it here: https://missinglettr.com/

 

Once upon a time there was a digital princess… who wrote a book

Once upon a time there was a digital princess called Tanya. She had a dream of one day writing a book that would help businesses & startups understand how to use digital to grow their business. She knew it would take many, many hours and lots of resources to make her dream come true but she did it. She didn’t need a knight in shining armour – she made it happen herself!

She was so excited that after months of work, her book – Digital Marketing Insights for Small Business – was launched into the kingdom.

She knew that the loyal subjects of the kingdom would enjoy learning how leading brands and entrepreneurs had used digital to grow their businesses from $0 to lots of zero’s. She understood the insights included in the book would be enjoyed by everyone that read it for they were very powerful and filled with much value.

The princess scoured the land in search of the perfect mix of entrepreneurs & big brands from  different industries to provide a nice cross section of the kingdom in which she lived. She was thrilled to have 21 different traders, master craftsman and artists included such as Boost Juice, Di Bella Coffee, Vita Group, RSPCA, Edible Blooms, Black Milk, Airtasker to name but a few.

The princess was tired after working on this special project but knew it was really important to share this work with the kingdom so she set out on a journey to help as many people as possible to become digitally savvy too.

digitalanya3d (6)

She was very grateful to all the amazing CEO’s, Managing Directors, business founders and Marketing Managers who took time from their business schedule to contribute their thoughts & valuable insights.

As a way of introducing her book to the kingdom, the princess wanted to give all the people that lived in the city of LinkedIn a special promotional price of $9.95 which would last for one dozen days of time. She knew they would love her offering to the city and settled back with a contented smile on her face and a decanter of the finest wine.

And she lived happily ever after. 

Click on the magic book above to get your copy. Don’t leave it or you will forget….

What’s ahead for Facebook – this is there 10 year plan

We know Mark Z likes to keep it fresh and keep us guessing on what will be the new focuses for Facebook and the new features have been developed based on demand from us, the people that use it.

At the F8 Developer Conference in San Francisco, Facebook have announced what the next 10 years is going to look like for them. Not surprising to see connectivity, AI and virtual reality predictably getting a big focus and video remains very strong as you would’ve noticed recently if you are looking at the analytics from your direct video posts on your Facebook page. The focus on VR is not surprising given that Facebook acquired Oculus last year.

facebook roadmap3

A few new features you will soon see are:

  • Video profile images
  • Extending the functionality of the Save button, making it similar to the Pocket app
  • Adding a new Rights Manager tool to combat freebooting (people re uploading video and claiming it as their own)
  • Text sharing feature that enables you to share highlighted text

Another change that sounds pretty cool that was mentioned late last year is the introduction of Facebook M. With digital assistants like Siri and Cortana already widely used, Facebook is going to introduce Facebook M which is a Messenger-based digital assistant that is a digital/human hybrid.

I am most excited about the new video profile feature that’ll make it easier to upload video direct from other video tools like Vine & Boomerang.

Love it or hate it, at least Facebook are developing their product to remain relevant to their audience and listen to what their users want (unlike LinkedIn and Twitter).

How to send a personalised LinkedIn invite from your phone

If you are like me and use LinkedIn to connect and educate your audience, one of the biggest frustrations I have is not being able to send a personalised connection from my phone. Well I have just discovered a quick hack for you on how you can send personalised LinkedIn invites from your mobile (because it is bad form to send one using the terrible template they provide).

You can do it in 4 easy steps:

  1. Find the person you want to connect with

LIconnect2. Click the dropdown in the upper right corner (where the 3 dots are)

3. Select Personalise Invite

LIconnect2

  1. Then select personalised invite

LIconnect3

4. Write your personalised invitation and send

Abracadabra! You have now sent a personalised connection request from your phone. Wont that make life easier….

 

 

Here are 5 Digital Myths exposed

Don’t believe everything you read or hear about digital, particularly if it sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately there are some unscrupulous operators out there (like in any industry) that just want to grab some of your hard earned dollars. So in this blog I expose 5 digital myths:

  1. If you are told that someone can get you to page 1 in google in one month run a mile and beware of promises like this. If it sounds too good to be true it is. Done properly search marketing takes time, revisions and trial and error. I get emails everyday from so called search professionals with all sorts of promises, particularly from dodgy overseas operators. You get what you pay for!
  1. You are going to get to get huge numbers to your digital channels for free – another myth that inexperienced operators will try to sell you. It takes time to set up your digital channels, measure, test and tweak to get the right balance. It doesn’t happen overnight and will require some time and resources to manage.
  1. Having a few hundred likes on your Facebook page does not make you an expert qualified to teach others – I remember talking to a guy who had a picture framing business at a digital event who proceeded to tell me he was an expert at social media because he had a few hundred likes on his Facebook page (which he thought was amazing) and he had people requesting to know his secrets. I’d be very concerned if this guy was charging people for what is likely inferior and outdated advice. Having a few fans does not make you qualified to teach other people.
  1. Beware of overseas search companies – Do your research, ask lots of questions, compare apples with apples, get compatible quotes. Effective search marketing takes time and effort to maintain our visibility. Overseas operators do not know our local market or your audience and they will not deliver quality work. I have seen so many businesses run into so many problems by using cheap, unqualified search marketers from overseas, only to find themselves paying out a heap of money to fix the issues down the track. Cavaet emptor!
  1. You have to be on 5 social media channels – NO, in fact you may not need to be on any. It all starts with your audience and where they are. If your core audience is not using Facebook or Instagram, then perhaps you don’t need to be wasting time developing these channels. Just because the Joneses are on FB doesn’t mean you need to be.

Like everything else in life, digital marketing is the same and you get what you pay for. The amount of money you can invest on Odesk (now Upwork) with poor hires and wasted hours can end up costing you more than hiring someone local for 1-2 hours to do the job properly the first time.

The best way to get results is to not skimp on the important stuff, communicate your goals clearly with your digital marketing team, set KPI’s, evaluate metrics and collaborate with your digital manager or supplier, making sure you are on the same page and working towards the same clearly defined goals.

To get free digital tips, tactics & tools watch our short videos on the Digital Conversations You Tube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/digitalconversation1