Archive for August, 2012

ABC Figures (Actual change on last certificate)

 

Daily Record                      (ABC July 2012): 275,526                                (-5,939)

Sunday Mail                       (ABC July 2012): 312,042                                (-6,525)

Scottish Sun                       (ABC July 2012): 297,123                                (-14,015)

Evening Times                  (ABC Jan-Jul 2012): 49,942                             (-3,154)

The Herald                         (ABC May-Jul 2012): 44,445                           (-691)

Sunday Herald                  (ABC May-Jul 2012): 26,187                          (-1710)

Scotsman                            (ABC July 2012): 34,127                                  (-1,800)

Scotland on Sunday        (ABC July 2012): 41,492                                  (-6,733)

Evening News                    (ABC Jan-Jun 2012): 35,611                           (-1,639)

Advertisements

HOMEBUYERS in Scotland spend less of their income on their mortgages than anyone else in Britain, a report has found.

Image

PEAKS AND TROUGHS: In East Ayrshire, which includes towns such as Darvel, mortgage payments account for 15% of disposable earnings. Picture: Angela Catlin

One-fifth of a buyer’s income north of the Border goes on mortgage payments, compared with as much as 38% just five years ago, and the lowest level for a decade.

Those buying a home in Scotland can expect to spend an average of 20% of their disposable income on the mortgage, compared with 35% in London, 24% in the north of England and 25% in Wales.

The Bank of Scotland Affordability Review, published today, found that “affordability” – the measure of mortgage payments as a portion of average after-tax income – was bolstering the housing market.

Nitesh Patel, the bank’s housing economist, said: “The prospect of interest rates remaining at low levels for some time yet is expected to continue to be a key factor supporting the demand for homes, helping to keep house prices around their current level during the remainder of 2012.” However, UK-wide figures also underlined the huge gulf between the real cost of buying and owning a home in Scotland and England. Estate agents believe this disparity is helping to fuel the net immigration from the rest of the UK that drove Scotland’s population to a record high this summer.

Faisal Choudhry of Savills said: “Over the last few years we have seen more and more of our buyers come from outside Scotland – although three-quarters of buyers tend to be local, wherever you are.”

The Bank of Scotland found the 10 council areas where mortgages were the most affordable – compared with local average earnings – were all north of the Border. East Ayrshire was the most “affordable” place in Britain to buy a home, with payments accounting for just 15% of average earnings after tax. It was followed by West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire, where the figure was just over 16%.

Mortgages remain relatively affordable in the most buoyant parts of the market. In Edinburgh, for example, anyone buying a home today could expect to spend one-quarter of their income on mortgage payments – the same as in relatively poor Wales. Aberdeenshire and Perth and Kinross are the least affordable places in Scotland, with new mortgages accounting for 25.7% and 25.2% of average local disposable earnings.

Lower real housing costs in Scotland’s private sector should mean home-owners have more money to spend on other things – helping, in theory, to prop up the failing economy.

Gary Gillespie, the Scottish Government’s chief economist, has suggested this factor should mean Scotland recovers faster from the recession than England, and especially London. Last week The Herald revealed that Scots also have the lowest unsecured debt, on average, in the UK and that many were using any spare income to pay down their mortgages or other debts. Housing market insiders happily acknowledge middle-class home-owners are doing well in Scotland today, arguably much better than those elsewhere in the UK, with plenty of cash left over to spend on boosting their lifestyles or cutting unsecured debt. However, industry-watchers also stress that the affordability figures conceal an awkward truth about the country’s housing market: that it is effectively closed to new entrants. Times are also hard for people who bought bottom-end properties at high prices just before the credit crunch in 2008 – as they often have insufficient equity to move up the ladder. John Boyle, head of research at estate agent Rettie & Co, said: “Housing affordability in Scotland has been boosted by the modest fall in house prices, reduced mortgage rates and an increase in the size of deposits being put down by buyers. “However, the high level of deposit required and restrictions on lending are still making it difficult for people to get on the housing ladder, hence transaction levels remain relatively subdued.”

The Scottish Government last week unveiled a scheme under which 6000 people will be able to get 95% mortgages for new-build homes.

Real Radio Scotland listeners are 36% more likely than the average Scot to have bought or sold a house in the last 12 months – Nearly two thirds of Real Radio Scotland listeners are home owners1 (64%)

96.3 Real XS listeners are 28% more likely than the average Scot to have bought or sold their house in the last 12 months also – 57% of Real XS listeners are home owners2

Smooth Radio Glasgow listeners are 89% more likely than the average Scot to have finished their mortgage payments in the last 12 months – almost three quarters of Smooth Glasgow listeners (74%) are homeowners3.

The Herald – 27.08.12 

Source: GB TGI Radio+, 2012 Q2, Kantar Media, Scotland BARB Region /

1RAJAR/Ipsos-MORI/RSMB six months ended June 2012 within Real Radio Scotland’s TSA

2RAJAR/Ipsos-MORI/RSMB six months ended June 2012 within Smooth Radio Glasgow’s TSA

3RAJAR/Ipsos-MORI/RSMB six months ended June 2012 within 96.3 Rock Radio’s TSA

*96.3 Rock Radio re-launched as 96.3 Real XS Glasgow on Monday 24th October 2011

Comments? Disagreements? Anything to add? Comment here or on twitter @Real_SmoothScot

Yes… I know the title is Boak-Worthy. However… having been asked to have a look to find some information on how radio works with online; I stumbled across a goldmine of interesting nuggets that could help you in your quest for business 🙂

The 13 reasons blog below may look a little long, but is worth 5 minutes of your time… even just to confirm how knowledgeable you already are on the market!

As you all know, the digital, mobile and social media world is becoming more and more important as time goes on. Every business, big or small, should be embracing these changes. Do you have discussions like this with your clients? Are they aware that Radio is an amazing driver for social media and digital retail? Do they realise that what they do on the airwaves can have a big impact on how they are perceived in the digital marketplace?

Did you know:

At any given time, 20% of internet users are listening to radio at the same time?                                    

57% of people interviewed claim to have checked things out on the internet after just hearing about them on the radio?

Source:RAB / Other Lines of Enquiry

13 Reasons Why Using Social Media For Business is Non Negotiable!

Is there ever a time when having a social media presence is an option? The simple answer is no, in this day and age as a business you can’t afford NOT to leverage social media. Here are 13 Reasons why using social media for business is not negotiable.

1. Social proof

Consumers are more and more savvy about who and where they purchase products from and people will take the time to research online before making a purchase. By having a social media presence that is both engaging and engaged it helps reassure clients that your business is reputable and can be trusted.

2.Humanizes your brand

Copying and pasting marketing lingo into social media just doesn’t work. You have less space to do it and the environment is completely different. Social media gives your business the opportunity to reach out and actually connect with your audience. No Stuffy corporate policies. Real one to one relationships.

3. Builds Your Sphere of influence

Your sphere of influence is the people in and around your brand that you interact with. There will always be key people of influence in your niche so spend some time getting to know them, watch and learn how they engage their audience and then start engaging with them. When you manage to develop a relationship with these key people of influence it impacts on your sphere of influence, people will see it and this too will help build your credibility online.

4. Your competition is using it.

Your industry or niche is represented on Facebook and Twitter. It is. If you don’t believe me go to Google and do a search for: “Your niche” + “Facebook” and see what comes up.

  • In 2011 Emarketer estimated that Facebook’s revenue from advertising was $3.8 billion and that could be $5.2 billion in 2012.
  • Emarketer also said that almost 40% of small businesses that sell on Facebook say it is their sole sales channel.

Companies are paying a lot of money to advertise and grow their brands in social media. That suggests that using social media for business is working. If you aren’t already, then you should be.

5. Your target audience is using it.

Think of Facebook as a shopping centre, where people are living a virtual social life, being present in this mall is one of the smartest moves you can make for your small business. The old saying goes that, “numbers don’t lie” so here are the official statistics from Facebook about usage.

Statistics

  • We had 845 million monthly active users at the end of December 2011.
  • Approximately 80% of our monthly active users are outside the U.S. and Canada.
  • We had 483 million daily active users on average in December 2011.
  • We had more than 425 million monthly active users who used Facebook mobile products in December 2011.
  • Facebook is available in more than 70 languages

Source: http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=22

Of course these numbers are for Facebook only and don’t include any of the other social media sites which have hundreds of millions more of users. What would it mean to your business if you had 8 new customers? That is less than one millionth of the percentage of users on Facebook. Yes, there are certain pitfalls you need to ignore when using small business social media marketing but surely it is worth trying.

6. Google counts social sharing when ranking.

The whole concept of the internet is a web. If you think of a web there are many layers or paths to a single point. The more paths, called links, to this single point the more authoritative, or stronger the point becomes. When many different people on social media refer to your content, your website, your articles, or your video it means that those individual people find your content useful, entertaining, informative or all of the above. When this happens the search engines pay attention and in return use this as a factor to provide better search engine placement for your content.

7. Provides great brand exposure

If your brand can really embrace the nature of social media, through providing great content and engaging and interacting with your audience in a manner that leads to building a great community that people want to be involved with, then your brand will get a great boost.

8. It’s the next generation of Word of mouth marketing

What better way to interact with new potential clients than via people who have already experienced what your brand has to offer? When your social media presence starts to generate conversation and reactions such as; likes, shares, tweets, pins or whatever else it maybe then you get their approval. This social recommendation is visible to that persons individual following and acts as a great gateway for their friends or family to get to know more about your brand.

9. Social Media Networking sites have high Page Rank

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn have high Page Rank. This means that in terms of the search engines like Google and Bing that they carry authority and therefore get good rank in search results. Having a well optimized social media profile on Facebook or LinkedIn can help you command search result places for your brand name or search terms related to your business, providing more ways for clients to get in contact with you.

10. Provides Transparency

Social media is an open book. If someone likes you then great, everyone can see it. If someone doesn’t like you and mentions something negative about your brand or experience then this too is available to the community. Many successful businesses that leverage social media use this as an advantage to show how switched on they are by replying and finding a resolution and closing that loop. This shows to the watching community that your business has integrity and values interaction, criticism and debate and more importantly knows how to deal with it.

11. Opens Up Conversation

The users of your brand or experience are the best people to learn from when it comes to making things better. By invoking questions about the usability of your experience you will get an understanding as to what clients are looking for. You will also be able to gauge how to improve things in the future. Social media for small business success is truly about listening as opposed to marketing! Conversations act like a magnet; when one starts people prick up their ears and take notice. This can have a knock on effect where more and more people jump into the conversation. This could help to get your content and brand spread wide and far.

12. Aids Customer Service

Many businesses face the same questions time and time again when it comes to customer service. Use your social media outlets to answer those questions. By doing it this way you can highlight to your community that you are available but also get other people within the community to provide answers and support to new members who have perhaps experienced the same issues themselves.

13. Brand Exposure

Everybody wants to expose their brand to a larger audience. The more targeted people who are aware of your brand, the greater the chance you have of turning those into leads, paying clients and brand advocates. In conclusion, using social media for business today is as important as learning how to use email for business 15 years ago. We need to embrace social media; the possibilities it brings and the challenges it presents in order to remain profitable and, most importantly, relevant in an ever increasing social world.

Comments? Disagreements? Anything to add? Comment here or on twitter @Real_SmoothScot

Hello world!

Posted: August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!