Social Media Tips For Christmas

By now, you and your business should be in the Christmas spirit. Your business should of already planned for Christmas, but there may have been something left off the list. Social media for any business is crucial in today’s market, especially around the festive period. Social media can not only help promote your business and engage customers but can help increase sales. By using a range of platforms you can reach a range of audiences anywhere in the world at a click of a button. Take a look at our tips below on how using social media can really help you around the Christmas.

Social Media Christmas Tips

  • Utilise All Channels – Different audiences use different social media platforms, so do some research into what audience uses what and which ones are appropriate for your audience. For example, Instagram is hugely popular with a younger audience, whereas only 7% of over 50’s use this platform.
  • Customise Themes – Get into the Christmas spirit and make cover photos and platforms ready for Christmas. Make sure that the photos relate to your business and audience and make it similar across all platforms as it shows you are organised and on the ball.
  • Promotions – Christmas is the perfect time to give back. Share this time by rewarding your loyal customers with deals and discounts, and get creative! If you offer something a little different to your competitors, then customers will remember this. Promote this on Social Media to create interest.
  • Hashtags – Create a hashtag specific to your business, and ask your followers questions that can reply with the hashtag. This will create interest and will link back to your business.
  • Plan – Schedule tweets ahead so you don’t need to panic or worry about getting a tweet up in time. There are many different social media scheduling sites to help you keep organised such as Hootsuite.
  • Competitions– You can a competition on Twitter and Facebook relating to Christmas. The prize could be a discount, giftcard or something else relating to your business.
  • Tips – Everyone will be looking for some Christmas hacks, so why not share a few to give your customers that helping hand?

Building Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is a very important factor for any business, big or small. With thousands of businesses wanting recognition, it is important to keep customers coming back to you. New customers are important, but you must not forget about the existing customers who continue to come back to your business.

A powerful brand with a loyal consumer audience behind it can withstand any situation thrown at it. Brand loyalty and trust can result in long term business success. So how can you hold onto your customers?

Brand Loyalty Tips

Engage – Interact with your customers as much as you can, whether through email newsletters or social media. By giving updates of the business, then customers will more involved in the company.

Feedback – Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Good or bad, it will still help you improve and will make your customers feel valued if they see you using their feedback.

Quality – By keeping products or services at a high level,people will return if they see that you have a certain reputation in your industry.

Special Offers – If your customer is loyal, then why not reward them? Birthday discounts, member discounts, special offers are all ways to keep customers feeling valued and give a good experience.

Customer Service – If you don’t offer every customer a high level of customer service, then they will have no need to return. Every customer is just as important as the last. If you offer something special in terms of service, then they are more likely to return.

Relevant – Stay on top of your game, check what your competitors are offering their customers, and see what you can offer yours.

Create a Community – Start a conversation on social media, and build up your followers. This will encourage user-generated content and will personalise your business.

Promote Values – If your business stands for something, then shout about it. People are bound to connect with your values and create an emotional connection.

Blogging and SEO

Having a blog on your website is not only a great way to show off what your business has been up too recently, but also boosts your SEO and attracts organic traffic to your site, which search engines will pick up on. Here are some tips to really optimise your blog in terms of SEO.

  1. Fresh Content – Google and other search engines will give way to content that is new and fresh instead of dated content. A blog is the perfect way to keep your site fresh, and will keep reappearing in the search engine results, which keeps customers coming back to your site.
  2. Keyword Targeting – Without keywords, there would be no traffic coming to your site. By subtly placing keywords throughout your blog posts, it can create a page reporting strategy as well as naturally incorporating them throughout your blog.
  3. Backlinks – If a site has no backlinks, then search engines will pick this up and assume the site is no good. A blog offers a link for users to share, either on social media or elsewhere. You will create your own backlinks by sharing your post on your social media websites.
  4. Increases Leads – The more pages a site has, the more leads it will generate, so by having a regular blog, it can really help the business.
  5. Internal Linking – Link certain aspects of your blog posts to related pages on your website. This can help search engines understand a bit better what’s on your site.
  6. Personality – By having a blog, it can really help give the business a bit of individuality and help customers learn a bit more about the staff and backbone of the business, and help build a relationship.

Building Your Business on Social Media

One of our recent posts was on social media marketing, and if you have followed those tips, we hope it has made a difference. This blog post is a few tips on how to increase your brand awareness on social media, so you don’t get lost amongst your competitors.

Pick The Perfect Platform – Choose the platform that can showcase your business the best, as well as speak to your customers well.

Visuals – If you have accounts on a few social media platforms then make sure that they tie in, whether it is through images, content or colour scheme. By doing this, it makes your business consistent, organised and more people will recognise your company no matter what platform they use.

Have a Personality – Let your company’s personality shine through your posts. If your business is all about being upbeat and fun, then reflect this in your content! If you don’t know where to start, then think about what message you are trying to convey to your customers as well as what your audience is, and make sure it is authentic.

Create Great Content – By creating memorable content that your audience can share, it can bring traffic to your site, and build visibility and a reputation.

Use Your Bio – Don’t let this valuable space go to waste. Tell visitors to your site who you are and what you do, and why they should pick you – and be creative!

Engage – By engaging with Tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram photos that you receive, it helps make your brand individualistic and personal. Connect with other similar brands to reflect on what they do on social media.

Be Consistent – If all your accounts are posting different things on different platforms, this not only confuses the customer, but makes your business look unorganised. Similar to your visuals, keep your content under the same bracket, but cater to the different markets on the different platforms, to engage different audiences.

Share Your Page to Clients – By providing links to your social media accounts within your email signature, it can connect you and your clients in an instant, and promote your business in a discreet manner.

Benefits of Business Online Reviews

When looking at products on a website, it is always helpful to read online reviews before making a purchase, however big or small. Even if you provide a service and not products, it is still useful to see how were perceived by your customers. It is said that 63% of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site which has user reviews(iPerceptions, 2011), making it an invaluable resource. Here’s some more reasons why reviews can benefit your business:

  1. New Function on Site: There are new technologies you can employ on your site that can enable users to leave reviews of products, which owners can then reply back too that can help build relationships.
  2. Get Confidence From Your Visitors– When you receive honest feedback from customers, then visitors to your site will feel confident with the service they get when ordering from you.
  3. Creates new Content: Reviews are essentially guest content, which is invaluable to your site. It makes the site useful to customers, and starts to make your site stand out.
  4. Free Advertising– Each review is a form of free advertising, given to you by the customer. By searching for a product, your business will appear with the review, giving potential customers exposure to your business and increasing awareness of who you are.
  5. Increased CTR– IfIf review content is correctly formatted, then this can help increase the CTR from search engine results pages.
  6. Suggestions– on the off chance you don’t receive the feedback you were hoping for, then turn it into a positive. Analyse the criticism and use this to build upon your business, as it may bring more business ideas and custom.
  7. Build a Relationship With Your Customers– By taking the time out of your day to reply to the reviews, then it can help build a good rapport with your customers. By giving a personal response, it can help customers learn about the person behind the business.
  8.  Reviews are More Trusted – A survey of US Internet users saw that reviews are 12 times more trusted than descriptions that come from manufacturers.
  9. Use Reviews via PPC– Show off your ratings that your customers have left you by placing them in your PPC ads to help give you the edge over your competitors.
  10. Repost Reviews on Social Media– By sharing the comments and reviews you receive on social media, it helps to spread awareness of your business and how well you are doing, showcasing your business to the world.

5 Tips to Building an Online Presence

At Findtheneedle, one of our main goals is to help our listings get as much exposure as possible, by building up your online presence. Here are some top tips that are quick and easy to implement yourself in the meantime:

  1. Clearly Outline Your Goals- Ask yourself why you want to grow your online presence and how it will help your business goals, for now and the future.
  2. Make Sure Your Content is Clear– Grab the attention of potential clients by having clear and concise information about your business by adding in keywords to your content to attract your target market.
  3. Create a Social Hub– Social media is your best friend. Connect to new and old clients online and you may see a rise in followers and likes, and maybe a boost in business. Make sure your content is inviting and interactive too.
  4. Start a Blog-With the ability to blog about practically everything these days, why not start writing about the accomplishments of your business as well as key things going on in your industry? By sharing this on social media, it will help attract a lot more attention.
  5. Make your Website Inviting– If your website is confusing and hard to navigate, then potential clients won’t return. By making it user friendly, you will get recommendations and potentially more business.

Top 10 Tips For Effective Social Media Marketing

Social media is an invaluable tool for marketing your business directly to customers. But are you getting the most out of your efforts? Social media marketing should improve your sales and lead generation, boost customer engagement, build your brand reputation and much more. These top 10 tips could make your social media strategy more effective.

1. Use Visual Content – Visual content, especially videos, are far more likely to be shared on social media platforms than written content. Whether you’re creating your own or using curated content it will give your marketing a boost.

2. Create a Plan – Sometimes social media can fall to the wayside when the business is busy, drawing up a social media plan, which could include how often you’ll post, goals, tone of voice, and content type, ensures you can consistently use the platforms and build it into your daily routine.

3. Use Hashtags – Have a look at trending hashtags and if there are any relevant to you make sure you use them to gain exposure. You can create your own hashtags to support certain campaigns but make sure they’re easy to read and remember.

4. Share Quality Content – It’s more important to share quality content rather than post lots of updates. Your content should be relevant to your audience and be helpful or entertaining, posting irrelevant content is a sure fire way to turn your followers off.

5. Join the Conversation – Don’t just post updates but join in conversations too. It’ll help raise awareness of your brand, expose you to potential customers and give you an opportunity to show off your knowledge and expertise.

6. Get the Whole Business Involved – While the marketing strategy might be the preserve of just a few of your team, encourage your whole business to get behind your social media by sharing content you post and adding their own voice to the conversation.

7. Use a Management Tool – Using one of the many available management tools not only allows you to schedule content but means you can track, monitor and measure how each of your posts are doing.

8. Analyse to Improve – Make sure you analyse your past posts to see which ones your audience responded to the most. Through assessing your content, you can improve your strategy going forward.

9. Watch Your Competitors – If one of your competitors has a great social media following you can learn from them and improve on their strategy. Have a look at the type of content they share, when they post and who they are following to get some new ideas to incorporate into your strategy.

10. Consider Social Media Advertising – Advertising on social media platforms does mean paying out but it can boost your sales in return and allow you to catch the attention of those in your target market.


Top 10 SEO Tips to Boost Your Website Rankings


Lifting your search engine rankings can seem like an impossible task but with these ten SEO tips that you can put into practice you can give your efforts a boost.

1. Pick Good Keywords – When picking out your keywords you need to be sure that people are actually searching the term, there are free tools you can use to assess this. Ideally you should keep your keywords list limited as the more you have the less resources you’ll be able to dedicate to each one.

2. Use Your Keywords – While you don’t want to ‘keyword stuff’ and make content unreadable you do need to use your keywords. Be sure to add them to your page title, headers, tags and within the post.

3. Write Great Content – Great content isn’t only shareable and interesting for your clients it helps with SEO too. You need to include your keywords in the content but make sure it’s still readable and be aware that overusing keywords can actually have a negative impact on your SEO.

4. Provide Long Pieces of Content – Not all of your pieces of content need to be long but copy that is more than 1,000 words suggests that the post is in-depth and offers insight to readers, which search engines like Google rank highly.

5. Research Your Competitors – Understanding what your competitors are doing can give you an edge. Analyse what keywords they’re using, the quality and quantity of links and their content to see how you can improve on their offering.

6. Refresh Your Meta Data – Optimise you meta description and tags to improve SEO. You need to use your keywords but at the same time make it clear what your business does in a way that is readable.

7. Optimise For Mobile – The mobile market is growing and ensuring your website is optimised for mobile users can help push you up the search engine rankings, plus more customers will be able to access your site.

8. Add Internal Links – Be sure to add internal links between the different pages on your website as this helps to signal important content. If you haven’t linked internally it’s simple to go back through your content and create some between relevant pages.

9. Link to Authority Sites – Providing links to authoritative sites indicates that your information is more reliable. For instance, you can cite some research or statistics in a blog post link to where the information comes from to provide more information.

10. Get External Links – External links to your website are important for SEO as search engines consider this in their algorithms to determine how good a post is. It can be difficult to link build but it’s well worth the effort.


New Google Certified Staff

We are pleased to announce two more members of Alpha Publishing – have been working exceptionally hard to achieve Google certification. Two members of the team have now passed and you can see their certified status using their partner links below:

Bradley Sparkes:;idtf=101845164219267783062;

Tim Lunnun:;idtf=109725889341290987625;

(Apologies for the shirt worn in picture, Arsenal fans may want to look away)

Also huge changes and improvements have been made to FTN (which you will have hopefully noticed!) to bring it up to date with Google’s many content guidelines for online marketing. The site is now simpler to use and reactive meaning it will work on any device in the world.

The site has also had new customisation features added to it so you can improve brand identity with custom colour schemes and custom tabs on your advert which reflect your own site and marketing strategies, we have coupled this with changes to the way your profile is presented so that people see more of you the advertiser.

As partners our company is known to Google and the links and therefore content we hold for you as an advertiser carries even more weight.

As the next year progresses more of our dedicated team will be working towards personal certification, you will also continue to see updates and improvements to make sure were providing the best online service, following the best online practices.

If you would like to know more about the new features or changes to the site and how you can best utilize them then please feel free to call a member of the team on 01279 461900. If you’re new to the site and would like to discuss membership options them please email

Why use Find the Needle?

A question we are often asked by prospective new members of the Find the Needle Trade website is “Why should we become members?” The answer is in fact multi-layered.

The obvious and most tempting answer is simply ‘exposure’ – Here is a trade directory, which according to the worlds largest and most respected web ranking tool ‘Alexa’, is comfortably in the top 2,000 websites visited in the UK. We are also proud of our Majestic SEO rankings.

It is, again according to the owned Alexa, the highest ranked of all the UK trade directories. So Naturally displaying all your products and/or services on such an engine would be smart and, from a marketing standpoint, wise.

You need to imagine your website as having an audience. If your SEO is healthy and your marketing plan smart then your audience should be large and targeted for your industry sector. Find the Needle opens your company up to an audience you would otherwise have no access to. It has taken over nine years to build a database that appeals to the entire B2B market in the UK.

The highest number of new and unique visitors per day use Find the Needle to source Products and Services in your sector. The question should really be “How can we afford not to be listed on Find the Needle?”.

Secondary benefits are many, but the main two are ‘SEO’ and ‘Google exposure’.

SEO (search engine optimisation) is a very broad term, meaning how well your own website is geared towards performing in the search engines (Google etc.) and opinions vary greatly from SEO specialist to SEO specialist.

Where Find the Needle truly, and unequivocally, helps is with Backlinks. As much as Backlinks perhaps don’t hold the same level of importance as in the Pre Penguin and Panda Google update world, they are still an extremely important part of how Google will judge your own websites power on the web and performance within it’s own algorithms and results.

We build backlinks of high value with every page we build within your listing. Within 12 months you will find that Find the Needle is highly likely to be comfortably within the top 3 backlink providers that your website has globally. And as a result this will improve your SEO rank within Googles. All our content has a high trust-flow rank and is unique in nature.

Google Exposure is really an obvious benefit. A trade directory with the power of Find the Needle will often be an extremely effective method of gaining page one results in Google for keywords important to your business that were proving elusive for your own website. We allow the client to add up to 400 products and/or services to each section of their listing.

Whilst we are at the mercy of Google algorithms as much as anybody else, we have years of experience in building listings that are effective within Google and provide stunning exposure for relative search results for our clients.

So to conclude. “Why use Find the Needle?” I would suggest you become a member for 12 months and let the results answer that question for you. We are confident in becoming not just an extremely beneficial media partner for you, but indeed your number one external marketing lead source in the UK.