Category: Hints and Tips

Are your kids using mobile devices and apps safely?

As a keen technology enthusiast and a parent of 3 wonderful kids 🙂 I always ask myself; are my kids safely using the technology and apps that are widely available to children across the world today?

My digital marketing software company, Kong Digital, integrates our unique platform, “Kongalytics”, with a number of social media & online advertising platforms and we get to see the powerful tools that are available to reach your target audiences with precise accuracy! In today’s digital environment, these platforms are extremely important to businesses and essential to driving positive ROI from their online activity.

On the parent side of my life, I see the potential risks that are out there for young kids who are growing up with a smart device in their hands. I have been asked multiple times by parents, and regularly see articles in the media, about the dangers of certain apps and social media platforms.

Here’s a bit of advice to parents who have young kids using mobile/tablet devices & apps…

All messaging apps & social platforms need to be monitored by parents. I see articles in the media alerting parents about the horrible stories of predators grooming kids; the most recent one I’ve seen was ‘Paedophiles are using hugely popular musical.ly mobile phone app to groom underage children’.

What I see off the back of these articles are parents thinking that the social media app in the article is the one they should ban their kids from, but to single out one or two apps as the only ones that are dangerous to kids is risky. There are potential threats to kids across all social & messaging apps.

It's more important than ever to monitor children's online activities, including games and chats.

It’s important to monitor children’s online activities, including games and chats.

Here are a few suggestions on what you can do to limit the risks to your kids.

For each app that your kids are active on, control the privacy settings and restrict who can view, follow or interact with your kids.

If your kids are online using social apps, then they also need to be regularly monitored. I do weekly checks on my kids’ devices and will also do random checks throughout the week. I also make sure my kids know that I am checking to make sure that they stay safe online.

If your kids have their own email address, make sure that their emails are automatically forwarded to your email address and make sure, where available, that you have notifications switched on within the apps they use, so you know as soon as someone contacts them, follows them or sends a private message.

Also, carry out weekly checks of their searches on Google/YouTube etc… And monitor who they are following or who they allow to follow them. There are a lot of fake celebrity accounts that kids think are the real celebs, so you need to be very careful of these.

Another one to be aware of are the games your kids play, there are lots of games that have chat features built into them and kids are chatting away on these without you even knowing. Clash of Clans and Roadblocks are just two examples.

I’m a big fan of technology and my kids are too. There are lots of great benefits of using these apps but also a lot of risks for kids. So, try and get into a routine of doing weekly checks and making sure that the proper privacy restrictions are enabled on the apps your kids are using.

I think the most important thing to do is to educate your kids on the potential risks of being online. You just never know for sure who is behind the online profile you are interacting with. It’s also good practice to monitor your kids’ interactions with their peers/classmates etc. Cyber bullying is a big issue and can have a very negative impact.

 

We’re going to whisper this, but – “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”

It’s September, which can only mean one thing…It’s CHRISTMAAAAAAAS!

sorry

 

 

We’re truly sorry for the content that follows – it’s festive and early – but it’s true to say that as a marketer, you have to be ready. In fact you had to be ready yesterday.

Christmas is the biggest online marketing opportunity in the calendar and to not have a proper plan in place for the coming months is almost scandalous.

In the UK alone, £636million was spent online just on Christmas day last year. Across the world, online traffic increased from the festive period on 2013, a trend that is only set to continue this year.

Don’t believe us? Check out this ridiculously informative infographic that proves how online retail is increasing.

christmas-day-2014

 

We also can’t continue without a mention for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, because they are a HUGE deal too. Last year, Black Friday was the biggest day for online sale…EVER! Sales were up by 92% than on the same day in 2013. Just make sure you’re prepared for the demand.

Visits to retail websites on Cyber Monday were also up by 39% from 2013 to 2014, so with the demand for bargains rife at that time of year, it might be worth considering offers of your own to bring in valuable customers.

So now you know how important it is to get your social and online campaigns planned, so what are you going to do about it?

Remember, when you’re setting out your schedules, remember to include deadlines, dates to publish, platforms and to make sure all personnel is in place to deal with the incoming traffic.

Here are a few ideas of what to plan:

  • Blogs – make your blogs relevant to your products or services. Ask questions, encourage engagement and educate your followers.
  • Social posts – get your Christmas Day messages and images ready now. Schedule them well ahead of time so that no one forgets to do it at the last minute.
  • Special offers – if applicable to your business, do you want to roll out discounts and specials heading in to the festive period?
  • Online advertising – what Facebook posts and tweets are you going to promote? What’s the budget? Decide now!

Be timely with everything, don’t leave anything too late. People are incredibly organized in this day and age with purchasing abilities at their fingertips, so to get ahead of your competition is vital.

Be decisive and stick to your plans as much as possible. Of course, factors can change, so don’t be afraid to move things around and re-plan along the way. But that’s why it’s vital to begin planning and run with it before you end up just doing a few slap-dash campaigns for the sake of it.

elf-gif

 

You might even want to stick to a theme, an idea, a single campaign. Penguins worked for John Lewis.

What kind of subjects should you be planning blogs and social posts about? How about…

  • Order deadlines
  • Special offers
  • Opening hours for the holidays
  • Highlight great products or services
  • Last minute ideas
  • Something for the kids – a Santa message maybe?
  • Post Christmas sales
  • How your products/services tie in to the festivities

Feel ready to spread festive cheer this year and don’t make your Christmas campaigns a last minute rush. If you enjoy the festivities, so will your customers!

PS: Over 40% of consumers expect an online response to queries within an hour, so also make plans to deal with an influx of inquiries. Keep up your customer service with prompt and helpful responses.


*Bonus Content Klaxon*

Here are a few resources that you might like to use for your social campaigns.download

Free Festive Stock Images

Christmas Song Lyrics – y’know, for all your cheesy blogs…

Free Christmas Fonts – just double check each license before you download

Gifs, gifs, gifs

Seasons Change and So Do Your Audiences

Seasonal marketing – are you going to have to work harder when the sun comes out?

Sunny days get us all smiling and feeling refreshed about life. The birds are tweeting (in a literal sense!), the sky is blue and your office has an all-round good buzz.

But hold on a second – if everyone is out enjoying the good weather, who is spending time browsing your website or buying your products?

That’s where clever, seasonal online marketing comes in to play. We all see shop windows changing when the sun makes an appearance – they
go from autumnal and cosy to fresh and bright – and why should you online presence be any different?seasons

The truth is, research does show that you have to work a little bit harder in sunny weather to attract attention. Until everyone has access to a mobile phone screen that is non-reflective, browsing hours whilst sunbathing will be decreased.

Studies on markets in France have shown that rainfall has a significant, positive effect on online sales, with some areas seeing a 15% increase in online sales compared to dry days.

Similarly, a decrease in air temperature saw an increase in online purchases and when the highest temperatures were recorded, e-commerce slowed down on average.

So, what can you do about it? Here’s a few ideas:

  • Use social media to get in on the weather conversation. It might be small talk, but people will be willing to engage with a real-time post.
  • Use your location to snap pictures. Show everyone how lovely your shop/office/study looks in the glorious rays of the sun!
  • If you can relate weather to your products or services, go for it.
  • Consider changing your Facebook/Twitter/Google+ cover image to something bright and cheerful to match people’s moods. Try and keep it in line with your company branding though.
  • Capitalise on rainy days. Missed out on sales and visitors during sunny periods? When it’s gloomy, go get ‘em!
  • Plan your social posts around evening times when, even on a good day, people may be settling down for the evening indoors.
  • On a rainy day, give people something to do – hit them with a message that makes them want to take action immediately.

That’s just a few hints for you, so remember to reflect the seasons within your online campaigns.

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