14/07/2021

Why reviews are important for your business

When was the last time you looked online for reviews before purchasing a product or service?

It was probably quite recently. With the increase of online businesses, the importance of online reviews has never been greater. 

But it doesn’t mean if you are not primarily online, it doesn’t matter. Think about going to a new restaurant, so many of us check on Google what their rating is or what people said about them. 

lady on her iphone

Industries most affected by online reviews are: 

  • eCommerce

Buying online can be a risk. You don’t get to touch and feel a product so is it really like how it is pictured? 

This is when you would turn to online reviews to check if the eCommerce website was legit and that the product lives up to expectations.

  • Restaurants

As previously mentioned, you’re probably going to look up a new restaurant and see what others think to make sure you enjoy your meal. 

With so many places to eat out there, having your customer reviews along with good word of mouth are going to be one of your most important marketing tools.

  • Services

This encompasses a lot of businesses, including beauty salons, estate agents and even web design companies like ourselves. These customer-focused, tailored services often rely on positive reviews.

Customers will often check if there are any negative reviews and the response made by that business. It says a lot about them. 

  • Hotels

Going away to a new place and with the variety of places to stay, travellers want to get their money’s worth and ensure where they stay will be what they expect. After all, it’s going to be their home away from home. 

Negative reviews can really impact consumer decisions. It’s important to monitor any mentions or reviews and respond to show you care and protect your brand. 

It’s never a good idea to just ignore negative reviews, your brand image is on the line. It will say more about your business so you want to come across as professional and respectful. 

From your Facebook reviews to Trustpilot, acknowledging and responding to all reviews are recommended, it’s part of reputation management.

At 22Group, we know the importance of reviews and the impact they can have on your business. We can incorporate it into your website or help you shout about the great reviews as part of your marketing

Ready to get started or want to learn more? Get in touch

01/07/2021

Social media scheduler

Wimbledon is back this year and it got us thinking, is the ball in your court? Social media marketing can be a handful when you’re on several platforms. Keeping up with social media dates as well as trending topics and conversations is constant. Do you use a social media scheduler? 

Planning in advance is a great way to get on top. There are certain dates in the year that don’t change like Christmas and there are also social media calendar dates too like National Siblings Day. 

It’s great if you’re able to get ahead with creating assets or even what the caption for a post will be, but where can you put it to ensure you don’t forget when the time comes? 

That’s where social media schedulers step in. They’re there to make your life easier, help with planning and even execute the posting so if you’re busy elsewhere or don’t have the time on the day, the post is done for you. 

notebook and post-it notes for noting down social media scheduling plans

Why use one? 

  • Manage multiple accounts

Instead of logging in and out of different social media accounts, manage them in one place. Login once and see all your accounts from there. 

  • Save time

As well as logging into one place, if you’re doing the same post across all channels, many will allow you to select those accounts instead of individually posting.

  • Visually see your schedule

If you’ve been planning ahead and already put posts in your schedule, check and visually see all your posts on a calendar or similar format. You’ll be able to see if you already have posts going out that day or see how many are planned to go out that week or month. 

  • More than scheduling

A lot of the social media schedulers go beyond scheduling. To help with engagement or other parts of your digital marketing there can be other tools like a keyword researcher to help with SEO. 

  • Analyse results

Want to find ways to improve your digital marketing? You’ll be able to monitor and see results and after some time you can then see what might need to change or what is working. 

How to choose one? 

There are many social media scheduler platforms out there so you’re probably asking yourself “How do I choose one?”. 

They’re not all the same so there are some questions to ask yourself to help choose: 

  • What is your budget? 
  • Which social media platforms do you use the most?
  • How many people will need access to it? 

Most of the scheduling tools will have a USP and that might be that they specifically tailor more to one platform than another. 

22 group employees discussing social media scheduling

Downsides of schedulers? 

Although they sound great, like most things there are downsides:

  • Instagram 

A popular platform that is very app focused. There is restricted functionality outside of the app for scheduling posts on the grid, IGTVs and Instagram stories. 

Stories have become increasingly popular with many saying they prefer to watch stories than scroll their home feed. Do thoroughly check when a scheduling tool mentions you can schedule Instagram stories because there might be an asterisk mentioning it doesn’t publish it but reminds you to do so. 

  • Number of users

When looking at the pricing plans for different social media scheduling platforms, you most likely just look at their price per month. If you have a few people that need to use the platform, check the number of users allowed. On a lot of plans, they just allow 1 user on the platform at a time and anymore incurs extra charges. 

  • Full functionality

Social media platforms are advanced and constantly changing making them complex. Unfortunately, the scheduling tools might not be able to do absolutely everything you’re looking for. Whether that be posting videos on some platforms or creating Facebook carousel posts.

Most of the scheduling tools offer free trials or demos, we highly recommend making use of these so you can see what it’s like using the platform. 

  • Limitation with the free option

You may be a small business owner or just need a little help. A few of the scheduling tools offer a free option however, it is very limited in what you can do. This could simply be the number of social media accounts you can have on the platform or how many posts you can schedule. 

diary and pencil for writing down social media plan

What can 22Group help with?

If you are struggling with your social media marketing, whether that be keeping on top of it, generating content or creating visuals, we can help!

Our talented and experienced marketing team are passionate and proactive when it comes to social media marketing.

Ready to get started or want to learn more? Get in touch.

03/06/2021

Promote feature on Instagram

With algorithms on Instagram making it increasingly harder to reach your organic audience, have you been thinking about putting money behind your Instagram post? The promote feature on Instagram allows you to do this. 

This can be done directly on the app - along with anything else Instagram related, it is generally easiest done through the app. 

In the past few years, Instagram has seen a big increase in users and the app itself has developed to compete and improve its offerings.

instagram app open on an iphone on a table

How do I create a promotion on Instagram? 

The first thing to check is that your Instagram profile is set up as a business profile. 

Click ‘Promotions’ on your profile and from there you can select a post to promote. Another way to do it is if you have already created the post, there is a button on the bottom right of the image that says ‘Promote’ and when you click on it you’ll see the following steps:

Step 1: Set a goal

What do you want to achieve from your promotion? There are three options to choose from: more profile visits, more website visits or more messages.

Step 2: Define your audience

You have a choice between ‘Automatic’ or ‘Create your own’, an automatic audience means Instagram will target people similar to your followers. If you choose to create your own, you just need to choose locations, interests, age and gender.  

Step 3: Choose your budget and duration

Once you select how much you want to spend and for how long, you can see your estimated reach.

When reviewing your promotion choices at the last stage, you can preview your ad on Feeds, Stories or the Explore page.

Then just click ‘Create Promotion’. 

Pretty simple right? It’s similar to boosting a post on Facebook. On Facebook, you actually get the choice when you boost your post if you want it displayed on Instagram too. 

lady scrolling through instagram on her phone

Is it worth promoting on Instagram? 

If you are looking to improve your reach and brand awareness, then yes, promoting is definitely an option you should be looking at. Promoting on Instagram will help improve your vanity metrics - increase your likes and follower count.

Additionally, promoting on Instagram only takes a few clicks and is easy to use. Compared to creating a Facebook Ad, there are a lot fewer steps to advertising. 

What’s the drawback?

We mentioned there were more steps in creating a Facebook Ad, this is because there are more sophisticated advertising options. 

From selecting your goal to targeting your audience, you can be very specific about it whereas promoting on Instagram is vaguer. In addition, when creating a Facebook Ad you can reach more than one audience at once. If you want to see if your post does better with men or women, this testing can be conducted but not with promoting on Instagram.

hands pointing to a laptop screen evaluation an instagram and facebook ad

If you didn’t know much about promoting on Instagram or didn’t even realise it was possible we hope this has helped you to understand it. 

If you’re interested in advertising on Facebook, read our Facebook Ads vs. Boost blog where we explore the differences, benefits and when to use which one. 

What can 22Group help with?

We have a talented and experienced marketing team who can help you create social media adverts. From creating the assets, writing the content to reporting on how it performed, we’re here to help. 

Ready to get started or want to learn more? Get in touch

28/05/2021

Facebook Ads vs. Boost

Trying to reach more people or promote your Facebook posts? Heard about Facebook Ads and using the boost feature but not sure what the difference is? Or how to choose which one?

Both boosting and creating a Facebook Ad are advertisements since they both require a budget to reach a wider audience.

Let’s bring it back to basics and break them down. We're going to explore the difference, benefits and learn when best to use which one. 

iphone with the facebook app showing 2 notifications

What does it mean to boost? 

To boost on Facebook is putting money behind an organic post. This is the easiest and fastest way to advertise on Facebook. Choose the target audience, the amount of money to put behind the ad and how long you want it to run. 

When you have boosted a post it appears on your audience’s newsfeed as an advert mentioning ‘Sponsored’. Additionally, you can choose to advertise that post on Instagram. 

What is a Facebook Ad? 

A Facebook Ad is created through Ads Manager and has advanced customised options for a user to choose from. 

When creating an ad there are many campaign objectives to choose from. The three main categories are awareness, consideration and conversion. Match your objective to your business goals and target specific audiences.

So, what’s the main difference?

Boosting a Facebook post allows you to improve page likes, comments, shares and overall brand awareness whereas a Facebook Ad allows you to do more, optimise website conversions, shop orders, video views and more.

Benefits of using the boost feature

  • It’s quick - the option to boost is prevalent and you can choose the options of your ad in a few clicks.
  • Easy to use - boosting a post only takes a few steps and all options are completed on one page.
  • Targeting - choose a specific audience or where you would like to target. Pick their interest, age and gender. 

Benefits of using Facebook Ads

  • Choose your ad placement - boosting gives you the option to advertise on Instagram but when creating a Facebook Ad, you can select from multiple different placements including Messenger ads, Instagram stories, Instant articles and more.
  • Specify ad objectives - by defining your ad objective early on you can align it to your business goals.
  • Creative control - when creating an ad there are more features than boosting, you can add specific descriptions and choose how you want your post to be shown.
  • Advanced targeting - with additional options like selecting Lookalike Audiences, you have more options and control over who will see your advertised post. 
facebook ads manager showing results and a graph of an advert

Which one should I use? 

Deciding on what you want to achieve with your advertisement is how you’ll decide which one to use. If you’re looking to maximise visibility and grow your audience then boosting a post is suited but if you’re wanting more control and advanced ad features creating a Facebook Ad is the way to go.

It’s always worth noting that Facebook regularly updates and changes the way they let people advertise on their platform, or even just the layout of creating ads. Keep an eye out!

How 22Group can help you 

Our team is filled with talented people who can help you take care of your Facebook Ads and look after your social media. From creating assets to reporting on how an ad performed, we’re here to help. 


Ready to get started or want to learn more? Get in touch.

29/04/2021

Benefits of email marketing

Some people think email marketing is dying out, but how many times do you check your emails? How many times have you clicked on an email that offered a promotion? Or opened an email because it contained some useful information about new store policies due to COVID-19?

With an abundance of devices at our disposal - smartphones, tablets, laptops - we’re checking our emails daily. 

A major benefit of email marketing is that it’s an incredibly cost-effective method of marketing. It really is still one of the most valuable and powerful marketing tools a company can have. 

bag and man looking at his emails on his iphone

So, what are the benefits of email marketing: 

  • Create targeted content

The content you put in your emails can be very specific and relate to the targeted audience. For example, if you have a promotion for UK Mother’s Day that would not apply to your US customers as their Mother’s Day date is another month.

  • Nurturing leads

Email marketing allows you to build up a relationship and share information with the customers that are sitting on the fence. By keeping in touch with them you’ll hopefully, one day, turn them into your loyal customers.

  • Sharing company news 

Keep your audience up to date through email marketing or share a new marketing campaign to build interest. Do you have new opening times? Or are you going to be sponsoring a charity that means a lot to your business? Let your audience know. 

  • Build your brand

Email marketing allows you to build your brand image as you’re sharing content. While you share relevant and valuable information, trust increases amongst your audience. This trust is so important for turning them from leads to customers.

  • Increase traffic to your website

Lead customers from your email marketing to your website by CTAs, this increases traffic and improves SEO. Maybe you ended up reading this blog because you opened one of our emails!

  • Reaching people at the right time

Your email marketing allows you to reach people at the right time. You’ll be able to learn a lot about your audience through your email marketing, including the optimum time they will open and click on their emails. This is great to know for specific marketing campaigns, like a new product launch.

22 employee drawing our lead nurture journey for email marketing on a whiteboard
  • Provide valuable content 

By providing valuable content to your audience, you’ll keep them coming back. Even those who aren’t actively your customer will see the value and pay attention to you. 

Hopefully, you found the above benefits of email marketing useful and understand why it’s important to utilise it as part of your marketing. 

If you need help or simply don’t have the time, 22Group can help. We’d love to have a chat with you. We’re a Manchester based web design company that also offers branding and marketing all under one roof. 

Get in touch and discuss a project!

15/04/2021

Top brands on social media

Social media doesn't just keep us connected with friends and family, but it also keeps us connected to all walks of businesses and brands. 

The top brands on social media have a powerful impact, authentic engagement from their followers and clearly showcase their brand identity.

Going onto a brand’s social media, whether that’s Instagram, Facebook or the other platforms, has become part of the shopping experience. People look for validation through pictures, posts, videos and even comments from other customers. 

With social media being a necessity for any business these days, getting some strategy inspiration from the brands that are doing it right is always a good place to start. 

Let’s take a look at the top brands on social media

screenshot of GoPro instagram
  • GoPro

Making the world’s most versatile cameras, GoPro not only showcases their products and how great their cameras are, but they also interact a lot with their followers. They use user-generated content to show the quality of their cameras, it acts as a review for potential customers.

screenshot of Nike's twitter
  • Nike 

Nike focuses a lot on people and athletes on their social media channels. They have attracted the audience’s attention by showing the people who make the brand rather than constantly plugging their products. Nike is also very good at jumping on current affairs and sharing their thoughts, from Black Lives Matter to recognising frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic.

Screenshot of Starbuck's Facebook account
  • Starbucks

Starbucks has managed to grab the attention of its audience by using engaging and colourful visual imagery. Another great brand for voicing and creating campaigns around current topics, they create a lot of relevant content and create products in line with trends.

Screenshot of Greggs twitter post with a girl running on a treadmill.
  • Greggs

Greggs is a well-established brand and often uses humour through its social media. Whether retweeting with a witty comment or using a punny one-liner, Greggs has managed to maintain their image and actively engage with their audience.

Screenshot of etsy instagram account
  • Etsy

Selling a variety of handmade and unique items, Etsy uses its social media to display the work by independent, creative designers. The pandemic increased the message to support small businesses and local independent shops, Etsy’s platform allows customers to do exactly this. The visuals and content posted shows off Etsy’s very warm, welcoming and authentic branding.

screenshot of Farrow & Ball Facebook post
  • Farrow & Ball

A brand inspiring people to use eco-friendly water based paint and handcrafted wallpaper, Farrow & Ball have become well-known. They create a lot of content that is useful, inspiring and gives their individual paint colours personality. 

Did having a look at these top brands help inspire some new and unique content for yourself?

Adding value is very important through social media, don’t just push products and promotions. Give them information that is useful and relevant - connect with your audience, relate to them and create relationships. You want to create a lasting impression.

Are you using your social media to showcase and build up your brand image? 

man on phone browsing through a business' instagram


22Group can help if you’re looking for branding, marketing or web design services. Make a splash! Get in touch, we’d love to help.

30/03/2021

10 myths about web design

We’re busting those myths about web design. Don't work in the web design industry? We get that coming from a different industry your perspective and understanding of web design probably doesn't go beyond the basics, that’s why we’re going to set these myths straight. 

1. The look of your website is the most important 

There’s no doubt that the look and appearance of your website are important, but it’s not the only aspect. Web design isn’t only graphics, imagery and visuals, it also incorporates designing the functional elements and content of your website.

2. I just need a collection of nice photos for imagery

Just gathering a bunch of images you think look great for your website isn’t the best strategy, a visual strategy will bring more benefits. Align it to your brand - if a picture speaks a thousand words then that’s what the visuals on your website need to be doing about your business. 

3. Social media buttons aren’t necessary 

Apart from the advantage of increasing followers on your social media channels, having the buttons on your website can improve your search engine rankings. Sharing content through your social buttons, like a blog, will give SEO a nudge in the right direction. 

4. The copy on my website isn’t that important

The copy on your website should portray your brand, having the right tone of voice and the right information. Don’t forget the length of your copy is key too, this affects the design and the overall look of your website.

5. I don’t need to update my website 

You’ve invested and spent good money on your website, why would you need to update it? Trends change and are ever-evolving so if you want your website to remain current then updates will be needed every so often. 

6. The more features I have on my website the better 

Thinking about your customers and solving all their problems through your website? Unfortunately, having lots of features can make the website complex, it’s best to map out the features you would like and be smart with them. 

7. The homepage is the most important

This is a common one, but we’re bursting that bubble because it’s not always true. Many customers end up visiting your website by landing straight on your product or service page - it’s what they’re usually searching for. 

8. It doesn’t matter if my website isn’t mobile-friendly

Thinking that most of the traffic coming to your website is through desktop is not only outdated but detrimental. The responsiveness of a website improves the user experience and actually counts towards Google indexing websites. 

9. The more content I have on my website the better 

Having lots of content can make your website hard to navigate. If you are struggling to keep the content succinct, a web designer will be able to provide a smart solution.

10. Once the website is live, I don’t need to touch it

It’s great when a website you’ve been waiting for is finished and finally goes live, however, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to touch it. Strengthen your website by conducting A/B tests, create landing pages, change your lead generating forms, keep your blog or news section up to date and don’t forget to keep your content current. This includes team members changing, product prices, services offered and more. 

sketch of a web design plan - the sitemap

Did you think that any of these myths were true? Some may have been once upon a time but as time changes so do the web design ideas and best practices. Hopefully, we’ve cleared them up for you and even enlightened you too.

We’re a Manchester based web design company that also offers branding and marketing all under one roof. If you’re looking to update your website or have one designed, get in touch

18/03/2021

Spring clean your website, branding and marketing

Time to give your online presence a fresh look?

With the thought of spring cleaning right around the corner, it might not just be your home that needs freshening up. 

Is your website outdated? Branding old fashioned? Do you struggle with planning and creating regular campaigns that suit the season and cyclical trends within your industry? 22Group can help. 

Seasonal changes can often bring changes in general. We’ve put together a list of points to think about when you are going for a business change (all applicable whether it’s for a website, brand or your marketing):

  • Business goals and vision

Any changes made to your business should align with your business goals and visions. It should be part of the process not hinder it.  

  • Budget

What you’ll be able to change may depend on your budget. If what you’re changing is beneficial to your business in the long run, it’s an investment to be taken seriously and the expected return on this should show. 

  • Current functionality

Does your current website, brand or marketing do what you want it to? Does the website have enough CTAs, is the brand able to be easily incorporated into marketing materials, are you able to produce the marketing materials you want? 

  • Current pain points

Are you finding it hard to solve your customers’ problems? Is it directly linked to either your website, branding or marketing? Then it’s about time to do something about that. You don’t want there to be a setback to providing the best service or product to your customers. 

  • Competitors

How are your competitors performing? If they’re better, why? If you’re on par with them, how can you stand out? Your competitors most likely influence your decisions and the way you operate, so you configure out how to differentiate yourself but maybe this can only be achieved with a refreshed approach. 

  • Inspirations

What inspires your business? Look and find those inspirations and explore what you like. Gathering up what appeals to you and what you aspire to be like will help come to a conclusion of what or how changes need to be made. 

laptop, phone and pen ready to make notes for making some business changes


Had a thought about all of the above? Ready to crack on with spring cleaning? Get in touch to see how we can help with websites, branding or marketing.

04/03/2021

Recognising International Women’s Day: Women who influenced branding, marketing and the web.

In recognition of International Women’s Day we’re exploring the women who have influenced and shaped the branding, marketing and web industry. 

There’s no doubt future generations will influence and change the way we market products and services, use the web or create brands. Here are only a handful of influential women who have made a major impact: 

  • Ada Lovelace

"Ada Lovelace, 1838" by Nefi is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Back in the middle of the 1800s Ada invented computer programming when she wrote the algorithm for the first computer machine. Her contribution has made the internet and today’s web possible, thanks Ada! 

  • Carolyn Davidson

What brand do you associate a tick with? Carolyn Davidson, graphic designer, created the all so famous Nike Swoosh logo and originally contracted it for just $35 back then. 

  • Ann Handley 
"Ann Handley - Keynote" by TopRankMarketing is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A digital marketing pioneer, she’s an inspiration to create better marketing that delivers results. ClickZ, her previous company, is one of the first sources of digital marketing information in the world and IBM named her as one of the 7 people shaping modern marketing with a mention by Forbes as being a top thought leader. 

  • Susan Kare

Susan Kare is a very influential computer iconographer, she has designed thousands of software icons which are recognisible to anyone who uses a computer. Her most notable icons are Apple, Microsoft and PayPal. 

  • Kim Krause Berg

In 1998 Kim founded Cre8siteForums.org which is a forum for SEO, UX and web design. It’s a great place for advice and talking with other SEOs on different topics. Kim, from the start of SEO, provided guidance on balancing usability with SEO. 

  • Carol H. Williams

Creator of many famous advertising campaigns, Carol has worked with several big companies and one of the most memorable is The Walt Disney Company where she created the groundbreaking “Imagination” campaign. 

Here at 22 Group, we’re really pleased to have welcomed a number of women to our team over the last 6 months, and we couldn’t be more proud to have a balanced, talented team.

But let’s be clear, when recruiting we of course search for the best person for the job, irrespective of gender. Running a small to medium-sized agency with a wide range of clients and industries, we find real value in having a balanced team to work on branding, design, web-build and marketing.  

25/02/2021

Benefits of blogging

Do you have a specific section on your website for blogs or articles? There’s definitely a need for them and it brings so many benefits - it’s a no brainer. No matter what industry you are in, it’s a must. 

Blogs should be kept up to date and informative. It’s a section of your website to show your knowledge, be informal and share topical, relevant and useful information. Whether it’s about your company or a specific industry topic, it’s a diverse space for educating your customers.

Having a blog isn’t enough, to reap the benefits there should be consistent posting and you should be regularly sharing content.

What benefits does having regular content bring to my company? 

  • Establish your brand

Blogs enable you to build up and create brand awareness. Writing about who you are, what your company does, what you stand for and who your company provides a service or product to really lets readers in. They are able to learn if they are the right customer and what it would be like to be yours.

  • Improved SEO

A major advantage of blogs is that they will help improve your SEO, your search engine ranking. Google is constantly updating and changing how it ranks websites and relevant and regularly updated content is a key measure.

This minefield of a task is definitely best for an SEO expert - something we have covered here at 22 Group. Keep in mind that just writing lots of blogs doesn’t instantly improve your SEO, there’s a lot more to it like researching and using keywords.

  • Content for social media

Your blogs are longer forms of writing which you wouldn’t post on social media. The discussion, in-depth views and more serious tone isn’t what social media is about. It’d be too long and the audience would most likely lose interest.

On the plus side, sharing links to your blog post via social media is a great addition to your on-going social media programme. It can be shared on your channels to generate shares and involvement from your audience or potential customers and helps to drive users to your website.

  • Engagement 

Everyone has an opinion and none of us thinks the same. When something happens or is going to happen, people seek what others think so this is great for you to portray your company’s voice and allow those in your industry or community to engage.

  • Organic leads

Having regular content really does make a difference. Leads that come to you through your blogs are bound to be suitable since they have read and got a feel of what your business is like. 

  • Educate your customers

Teach your customers and potential customers about what you offer, what you can do or if there are any major updates on what you provide. 

Customers like to be informed before committing, with so much competition out there this is your opportunity to show them what sets you apart. The more they understand, the more likely they will become the right customer or client for your business. It’s about building trust.

22 group employee typing away on their laptop, writing a blog post for a client

So how often should we post a blog? 

There isn’t one answer, this definitely depends on a few factors such as what’s best for your company, how big the company is, the resources you have and what your overall goal is from doing these blogs. 

This is something 22 Group can help discuss and plan accordingly. Our copywriters are skilled at making sure content is bespoke to you, using your tone of voice and brand values.

Interested in a chat or to see what we can deliver? Get in touch with us

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