Create Your Personal Facebook Avatar

Create Your Personal Facebook Avatar

Since the advent of bitmoji (remember those personalised cartoon strips that were meant to look just like you in various scenarios that everyone went through a phase of posting?) and Apple launching its own memojis on iphones for calls, texts, voice notes and well, everything you’d use an emoji for, social networks have strived for further personalisation options.

Now, finally, Facebook have launched their version – the personal Facebook avatar.

What is a Facebook Avatar?

A Facebook avatar is essentially a sticker for any Facebook user that is designed to look like a cartoon version of themselves. It is a computerised drawing made of customisable parts – i.e., skin colour, face shape, eye colour, make-up, hair styles, clothing, accessories – for the user to design as they see fit. For the most part, Facebook avatars are used to look like the individual so that they can be used as an emoji or put into stickers to react to the posts of others in their Facebook newsfeed.

At present, the Facebook avatars are somewhat customisable but don’t yet have as many features or options as say, Apple memojis, but new features are being added all the time.

Why have a Personal Facebook Avatar?

Facebook users don’t have to have a Facebook avatar, but they can choose to if they wish. The primary reason for having one at present would be to have the ability to respond to the posts of Facebook friends with a personalised sticker or reaction. This, when designed to look like the user, gives a response that’s perceived more ‘personal’ – something undoubtedly appreciated by most in a period when the ‘offline’ world is so topsy turvy and stressful!

Many people are choosing to change their Facebook profile picture to their avatar too, to give a personalised image without having to use a photo of themselves publicly. Functionality behind the avatars is still a little limited, but they will be rolled out for everyone across Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.

For brands, an avatar can help give a more personal feel to corporate or business communications, which could be beneficial on the marketing side.

Can everyone get a Facebook Avatar?

As with most additional features to Facebook, the roll-out of avatar functionality is being done in phases and not as a blanket cover to every Facebook user in the world. It started in the US, and once sufficiently tested, was rolled out across the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. At time of writing (the beginning of June 2020), almost every country has now had Facebook avatar rolled out to them, but not all.

If you don’t yet have the option to create one, firstly: update your App and/or internet browser. If you still don’t, sit tight – Facebook will roll this out to more places, soon.

How do I create my Avatar?

Most people are finding the avatar creation tool through their Facebook friends – as they post their own Facebook avatar, they’re presented with the option to make their own.

However, if you’re yet to see anyone else post theirs, or simply scrolled past when they did, don’t worry! In the app, simply hit the hamburger menu (that’s the three horizontal lines) and select ‘Avatars’. From here you can create your own avatar from scratch or edit one you’ve already created.

What’s going to happen next with Facebook Avatars?

Once Facebook avatars have been rolled out completed, the functionality is expected to be rolled out to Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter too. This means that you will be able to comment using your personalised stickers and reactions on other channels as well.

The most obvious change to the Facebook avatar system is that more customisation will be available – more hair colours and styles, definitely more clothing (the range is currently quite limited) and a lot more little detail that can be changed and tweaked.

From there, who knows? If Facebook looks to echo some of the Apple memoji work, users may be able to create alter egos for their social media profiles, and maybe even animals or pets? And if they look to adopt a bitmoji-style approach, users may be able to create comic strips and scenes with their Facebook avatar!

Woya Digital is a digital marketing agency made up of experts in our various fields. We make business growth through digital marketing, affordable for any business!

Keep Connecting With Your Customers (During The Covid Chaos)

Keep Connecting With Your Customers (During The Covid Chaos)

To say that coronavirus has changed everything would be no understatement. There is no doubt that the world will never be the same and society’s norms will have considerably shifted once the pandemic is over and the lockdowns introduced across the globe end. Businesses need to be extra mindful with their marketing at the current time – but you must keep connecting with your customers!

It can be difficult for businesses to judge how best to manage marketing during this time of tumultuous tension. You need to keep the public informed of operations and whichever products or services are available without coming across as “salesy” or pushy. Arguably, however, now is a more important time than ever to keep communication open – so keep at it.

The following pointers can help you in mindful, considered marketing during this unprecedented period of time:

Stay Mindful of Moods

People are feeling fearful, anxious and upset. The coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone in different ways, and tensions are running high. You may find that people react negatively to some of your communications – if so, acknowledge your learning points and run with them. Don’t react aggressively and be respectful.

The way your audience reacts to you may be considerably different right now than it is normally; and you will need to handle reactions as they happen.

This Period is a Test

Now is the time to truly demonstrate your business’ values and what you stand for.

Many larger businesses have diverted from regular operations to focus on producing goods to support the fight on Covid. Many smaller businesses who are not in the situation to support the cause financially, have found other ways to demonstrate their support and maintain levels of positivity.

What could your business do to play its part during this challenging time?

Stay Human

Even if your business tone is usually extremely professional and academic, now’s the time to expose your human side.

There’s no need to go ‘full fluff’ with your messages, but keep relatable, and real. Doing this without compromising on integrity should come easily.

Keep Connecting with your Customers Regularly

If you already have social media and marketing content calendars, adjust them to fit what’s happening right now rather than just letting them run as usual. It’s still important to keep communications regular, and not to let your brand ‘go quiet’ – even if you’re unable to operate and function at present.

Continuing to work on external communications keeps your brand visible and front of mind. Communications can include updates on charitable and non-business activities as well as company ones, so don’t be afraid to mix it up.

Build a Community

Focus on how you can support, guide and help build the community within which you operate and serve.

Do not hike up prices or take advantage of the situation – it will only be perceived as bad business practice and in bad taste. Instead, work with those you can and increase your presence by indulging in good corporate social responsibility. Do what you can, with what you can, while you can – and encourage your customer base to do the same. Your customers, and your community, should be at the heart of everything you do.

Stay Positive!

Feel-good content is what we all need right now: reassurance is in sparse supply! Everyone is affected by marketing messages in a different way currently, and emotions are dipping up and down on a more-than-hourly basis.

Don’t ignore the severity of the current situation, but focus on the positive where you can. We all need a little positivity in our day.

Whatever you do: don’t stop communicating. Transparency and openness will be appreciated by your customers and honesty is key. Now proves an opportunity for you to be real, and pave the way for future integrity and veracity – both of which are great things to have associated with your brand!

Woya Digital is a digital marketing agency made up of experts in our various fields. We make business growth through digital marketing, affordable for any business!

Free Google Ad Credits for SMEs

Free Google Ad Credits for SMEs

As the COVID-19 crisis deepens and uncertainty continues to loom for small businesses unable to operate as normal, Google have stepped up to support their SME community by offering free Google ad credits for businesses who advertise with them.

This generous move will hugely benefit a range of SMEs with their marketing and communications throughout this unprecedented and very challenging period.

What are Google doing, exactly?

Google have set aside $340million worth of ad credits for SMEs to use on their site. This allows small enterprises to continue their marketing through the coronavirus crisis, even if they’re unable to trade or are trading in a different way. Whilst a marketing tool, the aim of this is to facilitate communication – so that businesses are able to communicate effectively and keep their customers and communities abreast of what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and any changes in basic operations. This could cover just about anything; from food retailers pivoting to contactless deliveries, online shops needing to advise on longer lead times or even brands advising of a temporary shut-down in services.

Google have also set up a fund for $20million worth of ad grants to help public service institutions communicate with their communities, and a further $15million in cash grants for non-profits.

What are Google ad credits?

Google ad credits are monetary credits against a business’ Google account which they can invest in advertising in various formats throughout the Google platform. These ads can be in the form of sponsored ‘top of the results’ listings, Google AdWords, classic banner ads or re-targetting campaigns; depending on what works best for your business.

As lots of advertising options on Google work around dynamic and ever-changing price brackets, there’s no ‘set price’ per ad option – so credits of block amounts make more sense and work more easily than charging a fee from a bank account every time an advert is placed (and in the current climate, lots of SMEs are struggling with internal cashflow anyway).

This is great – but what are Google getting out of it?

Well, they certainly have the cash, but also: SMEs are the backbone of Google’s business. Google rolled out their ‘Google for Small Businesses’ program just last year and continue to be the biggest search engine, and therefore biggest visibility platform for tens of thousands of SMEs worldwide. Whilst there’s definitely a need for SMEs to be able to communicate effectively during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, it’s worth noting that it’s in Google’s interest for these businesses to survive this period, so that they are there to invest again when life resumes to normal.

Is my business eligible for free Google ad credits?

If your SME has advertised with Google either directly through the site or with one of their advertising partner companies since 1st January 2019, you could be eligible. You’ll have to still have an active Google Ads account for your business, not be in debt to them and have followed the Google terms and conditions relating to adverts with those you’ve already placed. Ads placed previously can include YouTube and Display, as well as on Google, although these two will need to comply with the relevant regulations.

How do we get free ad credits, and how long will they last for?

There’s nothing to do! If your SME is eligible for these free ad credits, Google will notify you by email and place them directly into your account. This is an ongoing process as the team at Google HQ work through verification and eligibility, so is expected to take place over months rather than being done automatically overnight. Any free ad credits received can be used on advertising across any Google platform and will not expire until 31st December 2020. You can use as many or as few of them as you like at any point during 2020, and any unused credit will simply disappear as the clock ticks into 2021.

This is a fantastic opportunity for SMEs to improve their customer comms through the coronavirus pandemic and continue to demonstrate your willing to operate and service where you can. Don’t miss out – if you get some free Google ad credits, spend them, and keep the conversation open with your customer base.

Woya Digital is a digital marketing agency made up of experts in our various fields. We make business growth through digital marketing, affordable for any business!

Temporary Disablement of Google My Business Features

Temporary Disablement of Google My Business Features

The ways in which the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting us all are still being realised, but online, you’ll have noticed social media and news feeds changing up the ways they prioritise activity and posts. Almost every website you use will likely now have a statement or signpost to further information on COVID-19. One business marketing facility however has made some major temporary changes – and that’s GMB (Google My Business).

What is Google My Business (GMB)?

Google My Business refers to the overall management tool of a business’ presence on Google – through search results, maps and local listings. Qualifying business’ can claim their Google My Business listings for free and work from there to optimise their web presence. This includes standard SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) work, ensuring a mobile friendly offering and co-ordinating your business’ online presence across all digital channels, not just your website.

Temporary GMB Changes

There are several services within Google My Business that have been suspended currently. At present these include, but may not be limited to in the future:

  • New Reviews – Users will be able to publish and view their own reviews, but these will not be publicly visible
  • Review Replies – Entirely suspended. There will be no new reviews, but businesses will also be unable to respond to existing reviews on their profile
  • Q&A – Entirely removed. Existing Q&As have been removed and the feature has been suspended
  • Adding, Claiming and Verifying Listings – All businesses that are not health-related will be re-prioritised for these services and can expect delays
  • Editing Business Information – All businesses that are not health-related will be re-prioritised for these services and can expect delays

Although not confirmed by Google in their statement or other official comms, there is anecdotal evidence online to suggest that there may also be suspensions and/or delays in service in regards to the approval process of posts, user-generated content and business usernames (especially where reference is made to ‘delivery’ or ‘takeaway’).

Why is Google My Business Making These Changes?

Google officially released a statement on Friday 20th March 2020 detailing the changes that they would be making to Google My Business and explained why they were doing so. Put simply: Google are being a responsible employer and lessening any services that rely on their staff having to be IN the office to operate.

It’s fair to say that given the prioritisation of health-related businesses over other sectors, that Google are also being responsible toward the communities within which they operate and are supporting public health efforts, as well as looking out for small businesses who otherwise may be inundated with questions from the public on their protocol and services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic disruption.

What Happens Now?

None of us can predict exactly how this current situation will pan out or how long it will last. Therefore, there is no set time scale for the reinstatement of these facilities back to their prior service levels.

What Can My Business Do About The Changes?

Realistically … nothing. If you’re a healthcare business, make it clear in the name and/or listing information of the company. Ensure your marketing and SEO is clear across all channels and that your website is mobile friendly and adaptive.

If you’re not happy with something specific in your Google My Business (GMB) online marketing presence and are unsure how to fix it, or at least to lessen its effects on your search engine results, get in contact with a digital marketing specialist, as they may be able to advise you further. You should also log your query with Google, but if you’re not a healthcare business, be prepared to wait for an official answer.

Woya Digital is a digital marketing agency made up of experts in our various fields. We make business growth through digital marketing, affordable for any business!

Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy Day

Data Privacy is a key issue around the world now as we increasingly rely on technology and incorporate it into our daily lives, sharing more of ourselves online than ever before. The information that others unrelated to you are able to access on you, is likely a lot more than you’ve ever considered – scarily so!

Yet unless you’re a big business or a high net worth individual, you probably do very little to manage your data privacy; instead relying on those companies you interact with, to do it for you. Introducing Data Privacy Day which we now have to create awareness around this topic.

What is Data Privacy Day?

Data Privacy Day is a new (inter)national day aimed at inspiring dialogue and empowering a journey toward knowledge and action toward better data privacy for both individuals and businesses. This means safeguarding their own data, respecting the data of others and in doing so, better enabling trust. There’s nothing to fear in the management of data privacy, but it’s a topic that’s definitely worth being aware of!

Data Privacy Day 2020 will take place on January 28th

Why is Data Privacy important?

For individuals, data is important because it’s often made up of your personal information – and the leaking of such info can result in identity theft, fraud and severely negative financial consequences.

The same can happen for businesses, but there are also legal consequences: there is a degree of privacy and security measures that companies must implement and manage as they handle data, be it their own or that belonging to others.

How can businesses ensure they keep Customer Data Safe?

Businesses have a responsibility to keep their customer data safe – however it’s also good business to foster trust with your customers! In order to best keep their customer data safe, businesses should strive to ensure they’re constantly up-to-date with the latest data privacy legislation and tools.

The enforcement and management of this as part of a cycle of continuous improvement, is something that can always be improved upon. This will allow firms to keep abreast of the latest developments in technology and data security.

Where can businesses go for Data Privacy Guidance and Support?

Businesses looking to develop their data privacy procedures and policies should use Data Privacy Day as their first foray into the sector. You can access information and guidance through the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

There are also lots of data privacy specialists who are able to consult and offer tangible help with data security within businesses.

Woya Digital is a digital marketing agency made up of experts in our various fields. We believe in making business growth through digital marketing affordable for all businesses through our pay monthly marketing packages, with no upfront investment. Find out more about how we can support your business growth through digital marketing.

Get To Know Your Customers Day

Get To Know Your Customers Day

Life is busy for business owners and one day rolls into the next; so it’s important that we step back and take stock once in a while. We need to re-assess priorities and ensure our ship is continuing to sail in the right direction. It is crucial for business owners to be consistently and constantly aware of changing customer attitudes and appetites – so you’re able to adapt, pivot and continue to meet your clients wants and needs. The purpose of Get To Know Your Customers Day is about doing just this – allowing us to promote business growth and customer understanding.

What is Get To Know Your Customers Day?

Get To Know Your Customers Day is a national day aimed at encouraging businesses to halt their usual work and touch base with their existing (and potential!) customers in order to address any issues, untapped opportunities and/or concerns.

This can feed into business operations, marketing and business growth.

When is Get To Know Your Customers Day?

Get To Know Your Customers Day doesn’t happen just once a year – but instead, every quarter! Usually held on the third Thursday of each quarter, it’s regular enough for businesses to keep on top of rapidly changing markets and attitudes. In 2020, Get To Know Your Customers Day happens on January 16th, April 16th, July 16th and October 15th.

Why it’s Important to Get To Know Your Customers

Customers are people, and their wants and needs change over time with changing circumstances, attitudes and appetites for products and services. Building up a trusting relationship with your existing customers fosters brand loyalty that can ultimately increase their value to you.

They’re also the audience you want to hear from to find out what they want, like or dislike – giving you distinct competitive advantage.

How Knowing Your Customers Can Impact your Marketing

The way in which you communicate to existing and potential customers is key to attracting them to start or continue on a relationship with your business. One of the things that can be gained from getting to know your customers is to find out how they would best like to be communicated with, and to identify the channels they use and prefer for communications.

You can also identify which marketing strategies are really impacting your target audience, and therefore focus on these moving forward.

This allows you to tailor your marketing to best reach your audience where they are.

Knowing Your Customers Will Benefit Your Business

Really knowing your customers will affect every area of your business! Assure those that you’re interacting with that you want their honest, open feedback on EVERYTHING. Consolidate all the information you receive and work out how the results can best be applied to your business operations and strategy as a result.

Pivoting a business’ direction based on changing markets and client requirements is key to business growth and success, and is something that every business should be reviewing at regular intervals.

Woya Digital is a digital marketing agency made up of experts in our various fields. We believe in making business growth through digital marketing affordable for all businesses through our pay monthly marketing packages, with no upfront investment. Find out more about how we can support your business growth through digital marketing.