• Background Image

    News & Updates

February 28, 2017

Nearly £40k

The cost of one full-colour ad on the front page of The New York Times.

Did you know that the the cost of one full-colour ad on the front page of The New York Times is around $50k/£40k. To appear on the Times’ front page, though, marketers must commit to a certain frequency, such as front-page ads every Tuesday for six months; the total cost of running frequent page-one ads would likely top $1 million/£800k.

Is that really worth it?

Without meaning to take away the value from other forms of advertising, don’t you think you’d get more for your money if you were to spend it on ANY form of online advertising? How do you know how many people saw your ad on the front cover of The New York Times? How do you know how many people actually read it? Can you reach them again with a re-targeting offer?

For example on Facebook: with just one weeks budget, you could produce a video(s) and make it go viral (Post Engagement ad +Video Views). 2-million+ views, and the results would be measurable. You’d also be able to retarget the users who engaged with the video and watched it until the end. On top of that, you’d still have enough to develop a flawless sales funnel that gets you email addresses and sales.

Online ads Vs anything else…

We’ve worked with organisations in both the private sector and the public sector that have been running TV and Radio ads at the same time as having us run their social media. In all instances there has been what we would consider an awkward moment at the end of the campaigns where the TV and Radio companies would send their reports about total website visitors during the campaign etc, and we would account a large percent of those visitors to our social media campaigns and be able to prove it with hard figures. Would you rather speculate with your data or have it laid out for you?

February 24, 2017

The Facebook & Instagram Merge is on Desktop

We don’t like it, yet!

We posted last week that a few of our pages were now merged with Instagram for messaging and commenting in one place. This was only on mobile but yesterday we noticed it’s started merging on desktop too. We don’t like it yet. It’s a mixture between us not being used to it and there’s a few things that just don’t make sense to us.

What it looks like:

As you can see it’s basically your Facebook messages and notifications in the same place as your Instagram messages and notifications. It’s definitely a step in the right direction.

What we don’t like:

So far we don’t like the change from ‘undread’ to inbox. If you’ve read a message you have to mark it as ‘done’ which moves it into the done folder. However so far if a person responds after you’ve marked the conversation as done, the message still stays in the done folder so you may not see it. Hopefully this will be fixed.

February 23, 2017

Facebook Interest Targeting Hack

Which interest is working?

If you’ve ever set up a successful Facebook ad then you’ll know how good it feels. Some people stumble on a winning ad on their first try, others take hundreds of attempts. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get it right, it’s not easy! The chances are though that if you’ve started Facebook ads from scratch, you’ve set up some basic targeting like age, gender and location and then added some interests that match your niche. That’s great, and a good way to see how well your audience react to your product/service. If you’re lucky, it will bring some results in the form of engagement, clicks and SALES! But say you used 5 interests for your targeting, how do you know which one is the one that was the best performer? You either spend more money by creating new ad sets with only 1 of each interest in and see which works best or you keep spend money on your multiple interest ad set meaning you still may be wasting money on an interest that isn’t performing.

Here’s the hack:

  • Set up a custom audience of people who engaged with your ad
  • In power editor set up a new ad and select the new custom audience
  • Let’s say this audience is 100,000 people
  • 1 by 1, add each interest that was in the initial ad set on top of your custom audience
  • This shows you approximately how many people who engaged with your ad fall under each interest.

So if interests 1 takes the reach from 100,000 to 50,000 then it’s probably a good interest to target. But if interest 2 takes the reach from 100,000 to 1,000 then not that many people fall under that interest. It might be an idea to drop that one from your targeting.

It’s not perfect and it only helps you to narrow your interest targeting down to an extent, but it could save you £$£$ in the long run!

February 22, 2017

Instagram Hashtags

Why is everyone putting them in the comments?

If you follow any brands on Instagram you’ll probably have seen both them and their followers type hashtags into the comments of their posts. The reason for this just is as simple as you may think. The hashtags still work and it makes the Instagram posts look a lot cleaner!

Which hashtags should I use?

If you like the clean look to your posts, then it’s definitely a good idea to make your posts and then put the hashtags in the comments. But you still need to do your research and workout which hashtags you should be using. Scope out your competitors and look at what’s working for them. A good indication of what’s working is engagement. So if you noticed a post with a lot more engagement on it than others, note what hashtags were used. If any of them are relevant to your business as well then give them a try.

So what do hashtags actually do?

Hashtags are used to catalogue your posts, so Instagram users can easily find posts within a certain niche (#healthyrecipes, #yogaposes #momlife) instead of wading through a massive home feed or hoping to randomly stumble upon what you’re looking for. By using multiple hashtags, you’re sending your content out in front of most people, with gives you the opportunity to gain new followers and bring them back to your store/website.

Hashtag Tips

You can include these organically in your post text to boost your audience and visibility a bit (Ex: Here’s a great #plantbased recipe!) OR you can kick things into high gear and make the most of these hashtag lists by using this strategy…

Instagram allows a maximum of 30 hashtags per post. Upload your post as you normally would, and then copy and paste 30 of these as a COMMENT under your post. This will still act as effectively as including all 30 tags within your original post text and keeps things from looking spammy (when people see a giant block of hashtags, they very rarely read through them). This will allow you to reach your maximum audience each time you post.

Once your account has gained traction and a great following (10k or higher), you can cut back your hashtag usage to 3-5 tags per post, as your account will naturally keep building and you’ve already developed your brand prestige.

February 21, 2017

Branding On Social Media

Should I brand all of my images?

You can save yourself a lot of time with branding on social media by focussing on branding your pages, rather than your posts. There are only certain circumstances where we believe it to be necessary for a brand to add their logo etc to every image they post on Social Media.

Branding your pages

If you think about the way most of the social media networks are set up, you tend to have a profile picture and a cover/header image. This is where you need to have branded images. It’s common to use your logo as the profile picture, which is perfect unless you have a specific reason to use another image. Then on the cover photo most businesses will have an appealing image with some branding or company information on. Such as opening times, a company slogan or even the website address. When people look at your social media pages these are the first things they see, so your branding is in their head straight away and they get a feel for your company’s personality (if your branding is done properly!). Following this, most people will scroll down to look at your content. Because they’ve already seen your branded header and profile picture it’s not necessary for all your content to have your logos in.

What about when they see an ad?

It’s a common question we get after explaining the above. But have you ever thought about how an ad is displayed on most social media networks?

Notice how in the above example of an advert in Facebook, our profile picture is displayed as well as our business name. You don’t need to add your logo again to the image because it’s already there. We added SMR Social to the headline of the ad to let people know that clicking the link will take them to our blog. This wasn’t a branding decision, it was an informative one.


This also happens when a person shares your post to their profile. It shows your profile picture and your business name, meaning it’s not important that your logo is on the images or videos etc. If someone who sees a share is interested enough, it’s very easy for them to click through and look at your pages/website. They don’t need to be reminded with more branding that isn’t even clickable.


The only concern we have when it comes to branding images is that if you don’t do it, others can easily steal your images and use them for themselves. However here at SMR Social we are actually quite relaxed about copycats. If someone is stealing our ideas, we must be doing something right! Although it’s wrong and we don’t agree with it, people and businesses that have to copy their content from others aren’t sustainable.


February 20, 2017


Behind the Ad!

I had a great conversation with a digital marketing agency last week that are looking to use SMR Social for the social media side of their business. Their clients are mainly B2B and the lady I spoke with said something that really resonated with me. It was something along the lines of

“Even though you’re advertising from one business to another, it’s still people that are reading your ads.”

Separate content from advertising

Here at SMR Social we like to separate our work into different sections. 2 of these sections include Content and Advertising. 

Content: The content side of things is the advert that your audience will actually be seeing and reading and interacting with (hopefully!). This is where you really need to have your audience in mind. Imagine them sitting at their computer or scrolling through their phone. What can you say that will make them listen. What will give them enough value to take the time to read your content and give you the opportunity to express to them why they should be interested in what you have to offer?

Advertising: This is the side that’s all about the figures. How many people are you reaching, how many of those people are engaging with your ads, how many people are clicking through to your website and how many are turning into actual customers? If you spend too much time in your advertising accounts, you become very focussed on the numbers. Which is fine, but as soon as the numbers aren’t looking too good it’s easy to forget that it all starts with content…and perhaps that’s where you need to improve first before wondering if you’re targeting the wrong people.

So remember no matter what your business is and who your target audience is, each time that number increases in the ‘reach’ column of your reports, an actual person has seen your post. Did they stop to read, did they share it with their friends or click on the link to read the full article on your website? If not, don’t jump straight to blaming it on your targeting or the social network that you’re using…ask yourself if you would have stopped scrolling if you saw your post!

February 17, 2017

The Big Players Are Starting to Struggle!

A Conversation with a Millionaire

I caught up with a UK based Facebook marketer yesterday on Facebook Messenger. He’s always been a great guy and full of useful information, having made his millions using Facebook ads to sell his products online. It’s a great business model and by throwing myself and SMR Social into their community we learned a lot about some of the more advanced Facebook advertising techniques that no one else was ever using. To this day we still use Facebook ads (and other platforms now) to sell our own products, but we don’t do it to make money, we do it to keep up with the latest techniques and test out ideas we have. It’s incredible how much you can learn from testing things out yourself, rather than just following the basics.

He’s really struggling now

The millionaire in question has actually been on a rather long break from Facebook marketing, and rightly so. A few weeks he announced to the community that he was going to jump back in and give his online business one last push before leaving it out there to make him money while he’s retired. I was really happy to see him come back, because he’s always so open about what he’s doing and we learn a lot just by reading his posts in the community we’re in. So I thought I’d drop him a message yesterday to see how it’s going so far…


He started a partnership with someone who he used to work with in the early days of his business. The idea was that ‘millionaire’ would come up with the products, the new partner would run the Facebook ads. Now this new partner is very active on the community groups and is often posting advice to people. We’ve always been skeptical of his advise and we’re glad we were! He couldn’t get a sale. ‘Millionaire’ has been emailing his new products to his email lists and getting great results, while partner had been running Facebook ads and not getting any sales. It just goes to show, don’t always believe the advice you’re given by people in the communities you’re in…make sure they’re actually doing it themselves before you listen to them. So straight away ‘millionaire was disappointed.’

Cold Traffic

When you don’t have email lists and look a like audiences to work with, starting with Facebook advertising can be tough and can take a lot of testing. You’re effectively trying to get people who’ve never heard of you to buy your products. Well, that’s if you go straight into direct adverts…which is where we believe 80% of people are going wrong. Back in the early days of Facebook marketing you could come up with a great product, put an ad on Facebook for it and it would work amazingly. It just isn’t like that anymore. ‘Millionaire’ is trying to push his products on Facebook without building up brand awareness, trust and a good reputation. He has all the assets to do that with his previous customers and huge lists and look a like audiences, but doesn’t have the patience to build his brand instead of going for the quick sales.

Make no Mistake

It’s a lesson to be learned for everyone. Make no mistake, this guy knows what he’s doing when it comes to Facebook ads and if anyone’s going to be able to get the quick sales it’s him. It just points out how things have changed and Facebook ads aren’t a get rich quick model anymore, it’s all about building up your brand and reputation so that you can sell your products and services to ‘warm’ traffic instead of cold traffic.

February 15, 2017

Facebook & Instagram in One Place!

It’s finally here! You can manage your Facebook and Instagram messages and comments in one place…

Do you have it yet? Today we updated a lot of apps on our iPhones, including the Facebook pages app. When we came to look at it, we noticed the icon for messages on some of the pages we manage was a little different!

Rather than the normal  we’re seeing this: 

When you click on it you get a welcome message:

It’s pretty self explanatory. You can now get all of your messages and comments for both Facebook AND Instagram in one place. This is such good news for those of you who use both, especially those that advertise on both. It’s going to make things so much easier.

February 15, 2017

How Much Time Will it Take?

How much time will it take for Social Media to work for my business?

We recently managed a company’s Facebook page for a week so that they could learn how we work and what sort of content we would put out there for his business. Because we were confident we could reach his target audience and get some attention we actually set up a small ad out of our own pocket to prove how useful Facebook ads will be for him. We actually do this a lot, as a way to show businesses what we can do for them and how it feels to be working with us, so that they can make an informed decision on whether they want us to handle their social media long term. You can actually order a trial week from us here on People Per Hour.

How did this trial go?

From our point of view, really well! We actually had 10 direct messages to the Facebook page with enquiries about our client’s service. Now with this being a new project we had to be in constant communication with the client so that our responses were correct, as it can take us some time to research all of the features of a client’s products or services. As well as the direct messages our content was getting a lot of engagement. Not just normal engagement, but enquiries in the comments as well. We knew we had a good feeling about this service and it’s ability to attract interest on social media.

What did the client think?

Through out the trial week the client seemed very happy with what we were doing. He was impressed with the content that we were putting out and how natural it seemed for us to be able to speak out as his business on Facebook. As well as this he was of course happy with the amount of enquiries that were coming in. It was possibly one of our best trial weeks as far as leads/enquiries go as we normally use the trial week to show our potential long term client how we work, how much communication we have with them, and the type of content that we want to post for their business.

How’s the campaign going now?

Unfortunately, it’s not. This is where the lesson to be learned comes in this blog. After the week was over we spoke with the client and explained how we felt the week had gone, and asked if he’d like us to continue working on his Facebook page for him. He left us a lovely review and explained that he’s going to get back to us after the weekend when he’s looked into budgets etc. This was definitely a campaign that we were happy to take on, because right from the get go we had confidence that it was perfect for social media. However a full week went by and we didn’t hear anything back from the client…so all activity on the Facebook page stopped dead. This is like torture for us, because all the initial progress we managed to make in just one week was slipping away while no activity was happening on the page.

Although the client was very kind and very reasonable, when he did eventually get back to us his response shocked us. Without directly quoting him, he explained that since we had worked on the Facebook page no one has actually ordered his service from Facebook, so he doesn’t believe Facebook marketing to be cost effective for his business.

So what did he expect from just one week?

The million dollar question! You can probably tell as you’re reading this that we’re slightly (very) frustrated with his response. Yes we understand that perhaps no one has directly booked his service from Facebook but with over 10 enquiries in 1 week all on Facebook, there is potential to start turning those enquiries into bookings and optimising the Facebook ads to pull in more and more enquiries as time goes on. We genuinely feel deflated by his decision and believe he’s really missed a trick here with Facebook marketing. If he could just give social media a real chance for a longer period of time then he could potentially see a massive ROI from it.

From our perspective we can only look at the positives, being that in just 1 week what is normally a trial period for us to get a feel for how far we can take a company’s social media turned into a really successful week. It’s always nice to get results fast, even if it’s normally un realistic. On the other side of things, perhaps this client was far too focussed on results and may not have ever been happy with what we were delivering. We can’t help but feel like we’ve missed out on a great campaign though!


February 14, 2017

The Language of Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Whether you love it or believe it’s just a marketing ploy to get couples to spend money on each other, you have to at least try to involve it in your marketing once a year. I mean look at us…We’re a Social Media Agency who’s target audience are small to medium businesses and here we are talking about love!

What if we’re nothing to do with love?

If your business is, well, strictly business then it can sometimes be hard to come up with ideas for ‘lovey dovey’ content. But you have to remember, that CEO you’d love to have a business lunch with, or the decision maker in the big company that you’re trying to win over are all PEOPLE…and love is just a natural feeling that PEOPLE have. The beauty of social media and content marketing, even for B2B, is that you get to communicate with people on a personal level and show that your business is also built up of real people.

So what should we post?

This is a tough one to make a general statement about because it’s very dependent on your business and your normal content strategy.

B2C: If your business is B2C whether it’s products or services, try and make things a bit more glamorous for the day. Get some nice roses and ribbons and put them on your products, offering a discount for 1 day only. Get in the spirit of it!

B2B: If your business is B2B then it can be tough to think of what to put out there that relates to valentines day. A good one is to post pictures of any flowers that get sent to the office (be careful not to include any name tags though! You wouldn’t want to get anyone in trouble!). Or perhaps you’re a family run business, that sort of thing writes itself on Valentine’s Day!

SMR Social

Here at SMR Social we’re practically a family business. Although not technically married yet, Stephen and Abby have been engaged for nearly 2 years and will be getting married in summer 2018 (in the big apple!). So you can imagine Valentine’s Day has a special feeling for SMR Social and it’s a day we’re going to enjoy posting lots of ‘lovey dovey’ content for all of our clients. Speaking of family businesses, who knows, maybe one day it will be the next generation that are sat here writing our daily (well almost) blog posts!

❤️️Happy Valentine’s Day❤️️