Monthly Archives: February 2019

Strategically Increasing Business and Personal Connections through Email

Strategically Increasing Business and Personal Connections through Email

The average office worker receives about 90 emails a day, and on average around 40 or more are business related. So, if you are looking at this deeper into the numbers, a company who has 500 employees will send out about 20,000 business emails per day.

Now you come to how you could use your emails to create more attraction to your actual company and or personal business and create relationships by adding links below your email signature.

Your signature can be 100% personalized with the best criteria to help you and your company excel. There are plenty of techniques to do so.

1.     Add your company site

2.     Add any of your company’s social media platform links (ex. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Etsy Account, etc.)

3.     If you are more personally based or advertise your business through your personal accounts, be sure to add those as well. (LinkedIn, personal website and Instagram, cell phone number, extension through main office contact)

4.     Ex: if you are a realtor, add a direct link to the homes you have listed

5.     Add a link to sign up for whatever your company is trying to provide. Ex: if you are a Mortgage Lending company, place a link to apply for a loan below your signature)

Depending on your profession, your links and signatures may vary.

As a result of updating and improving your signature, you will create more leads for yourself and company increasing your client’s knowledge and awareness, all the while accumulating more traffic thus increasing yearly profit.

Compliance 101: Delete your Facebook dummy profile

Man on computer screen looking though binoculars with Facebook logos in lenses

If you’ve ever assigned first-time social media roles, you know the anxiety many employees share concerning privacy—specifically on Facebook. For many admins with “privacy anxiety,” the remedy is to create the infamous Facebook dummy profile.

Creating a dummy profile might appear a harmless solution, but Facebook is clear on its community philosophy. Creating only one profile is among several guidelines created to keep users accountable and connected. Similar to using a real name and not sharing passwords, an authentic profile keeps your account credible and off the Facebook radar.

If your account is caught breaking any community rules, Facebook reserves the right to delete your content and/or your page(s). The best way to protect yourself against being blindsided? Read your terms and policies.

Facebook Terms and Policies

Unbelievably, Facebook’s Terms and Policies are quite clear and digestible. The information covers data policy, advertisement guidelines and general user responsibilities.

Consider reading one section at a time, one day at a time. The terms cover many platform features, so prioritize what is most relevant to your social strategy. Avoid trying to memorize the document. As a social media lead, you should simply know the rules enough to make an informed decision when necessary.

Know ALL your social policies

Building a sound social media strategy includes investing the time to be sure you are following the rules on all your social platforms. If you are creating a social media team or building a new page, include platform policy review as part of the process. Not only will you feel more secure in your company’s social media decisions—your work will have the official Facebook stamp of approval.

Rules are rules, so it is helpful to get creative. Social pro Lissa Duty shares a few of her tips for using customized Facebook lists to improve security and ease anxiety for admins. The more you know the platform, the better you can make it work for you.

Emotion in Digital Marketing

As you know, adding emotion in digital marketing is the key to good content. Reaching a target audience starts with a development and distribution plan. Then, connecting with that audience through inspired and engaging content. Emotional content must be genuine, not generic. Below are two tips to help make good content go viral.    

 

Emotion in Digital Marketing
Emotion in Digital Marketing

In my last blog, Will from M/I Homes shared several tips. He talked about finding an audience, creating a compelling origin story, and focusing on mini-conversions. In a recent interview with Quint Lears of NewHomeSales, Will shared tips to add emotion. No matter if you sell new homes or widgets, these tips work. Click on the YouTube link or video below to see the interview.  

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAcxD7pCTFg

 

Emotional Content in Internet Marketing

Emotion in Digital Marketing: Create Contagion

Emotional content allows you to stand out. It also allows you to fight advertising apathy. As you know, digital marketers love to saturate ad space. As a result, consumers get dozens of ads every day to every device and platform. So, how to create engagement, or better yet, start a viral contagion with content? The first step, be smart. Practical triggers and socially current messaging work. Third party messaging removes the self-promoting nature of marketing. The more inspirational the content, the more open rates, time in session, likes and follows.            

Emotion in Digital Marketing: Personalize Content

Once you add emotion to your content, personalize it. Personalized content starts with listening to your audience. Data collection, analysis, and automated technologies help tailor information and create a call to action. Companys that add emotional content to their digital marketing strategies will build brand loyalty over time. 

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoyed the blog. Check in next time and we will discuss strategies for new home sales.          

Four Ways You Can Drive Engagement On Instagram

With 1 Billion Instagram users, this platform is attractive to any business. Now that you’ve created profile with quality content and have a strategy in place, let’s get your followers engaged. I will share with you four ways to help you drive engagement on Instagram.

IGTV 

IGTV was launched in 2018. Welcome to the world of vertical TV. This addition gives users a platform to create content for their followers. Let’s say you’re an aspiring chef. What better way to drive engagement with followers by sharing weekly cooking tips or DOTW, dish of the week. IGTV gives you the ability to showcase your message. You also can add the video to your profile so that followers can view at a later time.

 

Use IG Story for Engagement 

Stories are designed to give your users a snapshot of the day of the life. There are many features you can use such as asking questions, creating countdowns, creating polls, and using the emoji slider. Needing help deciding on which outfit looks the best, create a poll to get your followers involved on your decision. Use the countdown tool to alert followers of a big announcement. Go Live! For instance, bring your followers on your journey at your photoshoot. Followers are able to like and comment as you stream live. You can add the video to your story after you’ve ended a session and followers still can view the footage.

Cross Promotion for Your Followers 

You can share your posts on other social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. You have the option to share the post automatically or you can create a link and share on those platforms later. Also, share your profile or post via text. 

Caption This

A photo might tell a thousand words, but adding caption can tell a thousand more. Be descriptive in caption related to the photo. Your caption can be informative or educational. Inspire your followers! Tell them a story. As a result, your followers will be more willing to comment or like. 

In conclusion, these tools will help drive that conversation needed with your followers. 

Four Strategic Ways Brands Can Use Instagram Stories

Instagram launched Stories in the summer of 2016 and the feature has spread quickly since. Stories offer brands a huge opportunity to reach a higher number of people by taking advantage of one of the fastest growing social networks. Instagram reports that Stories have encouraged users to stay on the platform longer and visit more often. Here are four strategic ways brands can use Instagram Stories.

Use links in your Stories to gain traffic and generate leads.

One of the greatest consequences of social media is the intimate connection brands can form with their followers. Instagram Stories have taken the opportunity for connection one step further. If your brand isn’t capitalizing on the attention it gets from Stories, then the connection is wasted. The easiest and best way to do that is through direct links.

With the amazing “swipe up” feature, you can link out to your own hosted content assets or, if you’re an ecommerce marketer, to product pages. Your followers simply swipe up on your stories and get redirected to your preferred URL. Marketers can link to lead-generation forms or any other desired content.

Take advantage of polls within Instagram Stories

Instagram launched a feature that allows users to add interactive polls to their Stories. These polls are a fun, frictionless way to engage with your audience and hear their thoughts on specific subjects. Gaining instant feedback from your audience is a huge asset for brands. As a result, many household name brands use Polls in Stories. As simple as it looks, when intentionally used, it is both professional and well-structured, and results in valuable feedback.

Influencers and brands alike have seen an increase in Stories engagement after employing polls since the feature’s inception. Using Instagram Insights, they can track engagement per post or entire feed activity per time period.

It’s all about storytelling

The increase of Stories has proven the value of authentic, uncut content in the eyes of your audience. As a result, documenting your journey with Stories makes your brand approachable. Many successful brands use Stories to share behind-the-scenes footage.

Stories should be used to tell an actual story. Tell stories about your product and services. This creates brand loyalty and greatly increases the potential of a purchase and referral in the future.

Perfect examples of digital storytelling include a manufacturing plant showing how a product is created or a restaurant showing how a dish is prepared.

Use the power of Instagram takeovers

Instagram takeovers are fun and easy ways to grow your following by either taking over another Instagrammer’s account or having them take over yours.

This is a great way to build a mutually beneficial relationship between yourself and another influencer and it provides a great avenue for expanding your audience.

Personalize Emails to Increase Donor Engagement

This week, I experienced a simple and effective way to increase engagement with my donors: use their name. Email marketing is, by design, a one-to-many style of communication. However, personalizing emails to create the feel of one-on-one communication will increase the likelihood of engagement with your donors. Addressing someone by their name is the most personal way to communicate. I’ll show you three ways to create a personal connection with your donors to increase engagement, whether that means opens, reads, clicks or responses.

First Things First: Tidy-up Your Subscriber List

Take a look at your subscriber list. The best way to review a large list of names is to export them to a spreadsheet. Start with a sort on the first name and then run a spell check. With names in alphabetical order, incorrect spellings will jump out at you. Next, turn on Filter; this will show you every occurrence of a uniquely spelled name. Finally, repeat the process for the last name. Before uploading corrections, separate subscribers who are missing a first or last name and include a tag (“missing first” and/or “missing last”) as you upload so those can be omitted.

An Eye-catching Subject

Put your donor’s name right there on the Subject line. What a great way to differentiate your email from those others! In Mailchimp, use the format *|FIRST|* wherever you’d like the donor’s first name to appear. And while you’re at it, go ahead and put their name in the Preview text, too.

Before:

After:

A Proper Greeting

How do you like to be addressed?  

  1. Hello Steve, I want you to know that, thanks to your generosity, we found homes for 15 dogs and 9 cats yesterday.
  2. (No greeting.) I want you to know that, thanks to your generosity, we found homes for 15 dogs and 9 cats yesterday.
  3. (Anonymous.) Hello, I want you to know that, thanks to your generosity, we found homes for 15 dogs and 9 cats yesterday.

Well, if I’ve donated to your cause, I’d appreciate it if you knew my name and used my name. Enough said. So let’s personalize the greeting:

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

Now that you’ve personalized the Subject and the Greeting, one last way to personalize your email is to include a photo specific to your donor. If you need to segment your subscriber list to do this, just add a tag like “parent” for donors with children or “senior adult” for donors of a certain age. Then replicate your email and for subscribers with a parent tag, include an image of their children, not a stock photo. For subscribers with a senior adult tag, include an image of them or their friends.

Add this image to emails with a “parent” tag.
Add this image to emails with a “senior adult” tag.
Make it personal!

Try all of these for a home run and let me know if you see an uptick in the responses from your donors.

How to set SMART goals for your Digital Marketing Techniques

There are different digital marketing techniques you can use for your company such as SEO, content creation or social media in order to attract traffic and sales. But for any technique to be effective, a well-designed strategy must be designed where all participants are clear about the goals they want to achieve. The creation of communication and content strategies is a complex work that implies knowing very well, not only the products and services, the market and our competitors, but also the patterns of conduct of our Buyer persona.

The good news is that there are five letters that will facilitate your work as a digital strategist: SMART

Setting up SMART goals for your company will enhance the effectiveness of your strategy. Bob Ruffolo, Founder and CEO of Keynote Speaker, states you need to set quarterly SMART goals in order to get better results.

But, what are SMART goals?

SMART Goals

Specific: Defined a clear goal. Focus on your visits, leads or clients.

Measurable: It can be a little bit more analytical and detailed. Assign a number or a percentage that way you can see if you reach that number or not.

Achievable: Another word for this step is realistic. The goal should be possible to achieve.

Relevant: At this point it is appropriate to ask whether the objective fits the overall strategy.

Timely: Each goal needs a time frame, whether is a year or several months.

By setting up SMART goals for your brand, it is easier to measure success or failure. Posting blindly, hoping to achieve massive amounts of new conversions would be like cooking without the right ingredients and waiting for a gourmet dish.

To better understand how to plan SMART goats, let’s follow the definition with an example:

Website visit increase

Increase visits to the company website from 5,000 to 6,000 per month to be able to launch the new service. The deadline is April 31st, 2019.

Is it specific? Yes, you talk about visitors.

Is it measurable? Yes, it is a 1,000 visit increase per month.

Is it achievable? Yes, it is based on your visiting history.

Is it relevant? Yes, it is associated with the inbound process.

Is it in a time-frame? Yes, the deadline is April 31st, 2019.

Now that you know how to plan SMART goals, start by writing down your goals for your next strategy. Be sure to use this technique and remember that in digital marketing nothing is written, this is a process of constant feedback and as such, must be enriched with new ideas permanently.

Leverage Hashtags to Grow Your Business in 2019

The Hashtag

Hashtags have been around for a while now (and officially became a part of the Oxford Dictionary in 2010), but how can you leverage hashtags to grow your business in 2019? Here are 8 tips on what to do (and not to do)!

1. Do your research!

Ultimately, hashtags are a great way to see what people are talking about on social media. See what people are talking about!

2. Keep it short and sweet

Nothing is worse than when a hashtag is so long you aren’t even sure what it says anymore. Try to keep them under three words. Clear and concise is best when it comes to hashtags.

3. Use them as an extension of your brand’s voice

Hashtags are a great way to stay consistent with your brand’s voice. Think of them as an extension and a way to create content for your brand. (Hint: this is a way to once again leverage Hashtags to grow your business!)

4. Cater your Hashtags to each social media Platform

What works on Twitter, might not work on Instagram or YouTube. After all, Instagram and YouTube are more visual social media platforms. These hashtags will be more specific towards each post, whereas Twitter and Facebook are more generalized topics of conversation.

5. Don’t use more hashtags than words in the caption

Having too many hashtags is distracting to your followers and make take away from your main goal of the post. It can also take away from your brand’s voice.

6. What is currently trending? 

Are the trending hashtags applicable to your brand? Will the trending hashtags help you use the conversation to grow your business?

7. Create your own hashtag for specific campaigns

Need to get the word out about a new product or special offer you are running? No better way to create a conversation surrounding your new product than to create your own hashtag!

8. Finally, measure your hashtags effectiveness!

Keep metrics on hashtags. It is important to know what is working and what is not. KPI’s are essential to a successful social media strategy. 

Finally, I’ll leave you with Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon… Who remembers when they #hashtagged their entire #inperson #conversation? #seewhatididthere 

Small Businesses Need Facebook

A platform built around community, Facebook helps small businesses create direct connections to their audiences. Users share written posts, photos and video content via mobile app or web. Post features encourage user interaction through commentary and dialogue.

Facebook is the number one social media platform worldwide. As of 2018, there are 1.52 billion active daily users. The site constantly explores new ways for users to interact. In 2007, they introduced their first business tool: Facebook ads. Their tools continue to provide ways to increase reach and interaction with audiences.

Basic Facebook Features

Facebook’s basic features allow users to connect and socialize with other users, brands, organizations and celebrities. The ability to create and build communities is the primary function of the social network.

  • User Profiles showcase information about individuals on the platform. Contact information, hobbies, interests, photos and posts are viewed on a user’s profile.
  • Friends are a user’s network. This network can view the user’s full profile. Followers cannot view a user’s full profile, but can view their public posts and updates.
  • Posts are how users share content. A user creates a post then it is visible on friends and followers’ timelines. Other users can react to or comment on posts, then reply to other comments on posts.
  • Groups are public and private collectives of users with like interests. Members do not have to be friends or follow each another to interact in groups.
  • Facebook Live is a live-stream feature, like Instagram Live and Periscope. Users share video in real-time then are able to chat with friends and followers as they watch.
  • Messenger is a private communication feature. One-on-one or group conversations occur outside of public posts and visible timelines.

Helpful Tools for Small Businesses

Business Pages are an essential tool for small businesses to drive engagement and sales on Facebook. The platform can be a primary site or supplement a website.

  • Product Shops are an eCommerce tool where customers can shop for a business’ products directly on their Facebook page. Customers can complete transactions directly through the site or redirect to a business’ website.
  • Page Insights are analytics that track key metrics like traffic and engagement. Small businesses can then use the data to better plan content and schedule posts.
  • Scheduled Posts bypasses the need for third-party schedulers like Hootsuite. Content is created then scheduled to post at a later date or time.
  • Promoted Posts are visible on more timelines and reach broader audiences. Content receives exposure to more users on the platform for a fee.
  • Facebook Ads continuously evolves with the platform. Standard ads are visible on a user’s timeline, like regular posts. Video ads play before, during, or after video content is watched. Messenger ads allow users to connect directly with businesses via messenger after seeing an ad.

Facebook provides help for small businesses to better connect with their audiences on the platform. There is detailed information for different business types. Information for integration with other social media platforms is also provided.

Organic Reach on Social Media: Six Ingredients for Success

Box of cupcakes with social media icons as toppings to represent ways to make your social media post delectable for the audience to pick it up and share there by improving organic reach on social media
Image source: http://sciencemeetsfood.org/social-media-food-science-and-me/

Don’t we all want more mileage per post? And all that without investing those extra bucks? Organic reach on social media is what we are looking for. Organic reach is when your posts take wings and reach as many people as possible without investing those extra bucks. Well, there are very basic but very essential ingredients to increase organic reach on social media.  With algorithms constantly changing across social media platforms, it is essential for every brand to be aware and whip up these recipes for social media success.

Content is the Chief Ingredient

When you have great content, people love to share it. They always scoop it up generously and share. Invest in good content. Appealing high-quality visuals and well-crafted verbal content are the secret ingredients. The appetite for each channel is different. Hence the content should be suited to the audience and the channel’s palate. Engaging content garners more audience. Therefore your posts gain organic reach on social media.

Bring in some Popular Exciters

french fries arranged in the shape of a hashtag to represent sharing fresh content and tagging it to enhance organic reach on social media
Cross share and tag new and exciting content

Add a dash of freshness to your page by reposting interesting content from other pages and platforms. It is a great way to enhance interest. A good fusion of content adds a lot of flavor to the entire page. It is an effective way to invite a fresh audience to this social media get-together. Adding a new audience set and viewers to your posts and pages enable organic reach on social media furthermore. Hashtag the keywords and add links for the audience to move in and out of your post.

Sharing is Caring for Your Brand

Encourage your audience to interact, comment and share your posts. Most social media channels, especially Facebook, puts a lot of emphasis on boosting posts that are most talked about. So, interactions with posts impact organic reach on social media. It is a two-way process. Great stories get shared and stories that are shared automatically gain organic reach on social media.

Variety Adds Spice

a man's palm with pills with social media logos to represent building variety in content and posts act as a vitamin boost to improve organic reach on social media
Variety in content act as vitamins that boost reach

Don’t we all want to try something new and different? Variety spices up life and fuels appetite for more. Always try to add variety through videos, stories and going live from time to time to enhance organic reach on social media. Adding variety in content gives a healthy boost like vitamins to a page. It adds newness and hence makes the audience come back and check for more. Thus they share more.

Consistency is Key

Want to make your page and post reach its full potential? Then you must consistently churn out posts. And hey, they must be engaging and obviously brand relevant as well. Always remember quality over quantity. One hit wonder does not work on social media. The social media platform algorithms love constant change and newness. So, the more planned and consistent the posts are, the more they would gain in terms of organic reach on social media. Giving new things to the audience periodically will enhance engagement and encourage them to share more in turn.

Get Feedback and Track

All this would be futile if we don’t monitor what is cooking. Did they like what you dished up? Would they like you to serve more of that? These are important questions to find answers for. It is hence important to track audience participation. A post is only as good as its reach. It should resonate with the audience for it to gain momentum. It is also good to rehash a popular post from the past to boost some more reach. So, if you want to know if what you served was a winner. Monitor the engagement, reach and action conversion.

This is the standard recipe and basic ingredients to enhance organic reach on social media, but there are many more steps to ensure the organic reach spikes. It is observed that paid or boosted reach is gaining momentum while organic reach is slowly declining. However, by adopting some of these techniques one can surely rise above and not get stuck in the maze of the algorithms.

Do not sell, share a story

Inspire your customers to buy by sharing something to connect them emotionally with you. Do not sell.

Everyone loves a good story, or should we say gossiping?

men trying to sell by sharing a story with a woman

As George Bernard Shaw once said, “The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business.”

Most of the time, as consumers we navigate the internet to look for answers, we do not want people selling us anything.

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Why Dog Moms Can Be Your Next Brand Ambassadors

Moms are a large target audience and have an impact on social media including Facebook and blogs. So why wouldn’t a dog mom be the same? Well, millennials have taken their love for dogs up a notch to where they treat their pets like children. “Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, claims millennials now account for 31 percent of all pet owners, boasting 43 million pet owners in the 18- to 34-year-old age group.” Women love to boast about their pet children in their social media accounts and blogs. Many even have a dedicated Instragram account for their furry child #dogsofinstragram. Millennials might see their pets as starter children and that is a big opportunity for brands. Dog moms can be your next brand ambassador even for non-pet products.

What if My Product Isn’t for Pets?

Dog food, pet groomers, doggie day cares are just some of the verticals that are obvious in teaming up with dog mom influencers. If you have a product or service that is not related to pets then it is time to start thinking outside the box. Many brands that sell cleaning products or offer services find a way to partner with dog moms for brand ambassadors particularly lifestyle bloggers who love to write about their pet. In this blog post, Bounty did a good job integrating that their product can also clean up dog messes.

Reaching Dog Mom Influencers

Dog mom taking selfie with dog

You want to first ensure your product or service is pet-friendly. If you are a makeup brand, you would want your product to be cruelty-free and safe if a dog was to get into it. Research the prospective blogger. Know who will be your brand ambassador before you try to reach them with your proposal. Unfortunately, dogs get sick or old and you might not know if they recently lost their beloved pet. A great and easy way to draft your campaign is to first create it for actual moms and then tweak it to cater to dog moms. Millennials and their pets are a growing audience. Research the dog moms of that generation. They are usually the bloggers and social media influencers you want to be as your brand ambassadors.

Avoid Costly Social Media Mistakes!

Emojis reflecting unhappy emotions with the center emoji reflecting happy faceBrands need to evolve with their customers to stay relevant, but in doing so, they may make social media mistakes.  A quick internet search reveals several companies that have lost credibility among their customers.  For example, in 2017 Dove published a racially insensitive Facebook ad. It showed a black woman morphing into a white woman after using Dove soap. Offended social media users voiced their displeasure and quickly damaged Dove’s reputation and sales.   How can brands avoid these social media missteps and take reasonable risks?

Build the Brand from the Outside In

Shows conversations between beauty insiders @Sephora Brand building with beauty as a two way conversation

@Beauty Insider @Sephora

Brand concepts aren’t pushed out; people want the brands they use to reflect their stories and culture.  Before creating a social media strategy, brands need to understand and invest in the communities they want to be a part of.   Companies take cues from entertainment, fashion, news, and social media to be a relevant part of any conversation and avoid unfeeling posts.  Brands with vibrant online communities also have a direct channel to collect customer feedback.   Sephora, for example, has an online community of loyal “beauty insiders” who keep the brand messaging on trend and out of trouble.

How Does the Brand Voice Manifest on Social?

All social media managers should know a brand’s unique personality or voice like they know an old friend. To avoid inconsistent social messages, companies need to determine, up front, everything that a brand likes, dislikes, end goals, and aspirations. What type of language will a brand use and what type of content is sharable?   How will teams respond to angry customers on Facebook? Without common guidelines shared among groups, social posts go astray.

Who’s Watching?

Brands need systems in place to control and cut off access to social platforms. Ex-employees and distasteful user submissions can quickly damage brand reputations. It also helps if staff with diverse backgrounds review and edit social ad copy for careless errors or a lack of sensitivity. Diverse staff editors may have helped Dove before they posted a poorly thought out ad copy.

Brands who are in touch with their customers and consistent across their edited messaging make fewer social media mistakes.  With a tagline “Let’s beauty together,” Sephora is one such brand that continues to invest in brand building two-way conversations.

Social Media Engagement During Pop Culture’s Biggest Moments

At a basic level, your social media engagement strategy should involve responding to customer comments. But, don’t shy away from participating in other conversations taking the Internet by storm.

two women look at an ipad

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Pop culture discussions that used to happen around the water cooler now unfold in real time on platforms like Twitter. As you brainstorm content for your channels, keep tabs on external events and trends. Having a broad view not only helps you avoid insensitive or poorly timed messages, but it also allows you to recognize engagement opportunities that best align with your brand.

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Build Your Integrity with Digital Marketing in 2019

The buying experience is getting more critical to the consumer and they want to buy from a dealership they can trust. They need to know that you have their best interests in mind. Digital marketing offers many ways of showcasing the excellent customer service your dealership provides. Build your integrity with digital marketing in 2019.

Promote A Culture Of Family-Friendly Shopping Experiences.

Video should be an essential part of your digital strategy.  YouTube is the second largest search engine.  If you’re not participating in this area, then your missing opportunities that your competition is leveraging.  Testimonials and short customer reviews about your dealership help build trust and integrity.  The next time a customer has an exceptional experience, share their story and elevate your marketing.

Promote Your Team.

Employee shaking hands with customer

Do you have employees that have been with you for more than eight years?  A great shopping experience begins with a solid sales team.  Long term employees often have sold to multiple generations. Create short stories about these loyal team members.  Highlight their relationship with their customers.  Show potential customers you are family friendly. 

Be Creative and Precise With Your Message!

Digital advertising allows you to be very creative and precise. The ability to target your ad to a specific consumer is unmatched. This will allow you to create particular ads for select groups of people, such as Russian speaking consumers. Create campaigns that are meaningful to your specific audience in 2019. Remove the limitations of traditional advertising and be more intentional and thoughtful. A creative and precise marketing campaign will improve integrity with your clients.

It’s Time To Make It Happen!

New tools are constantly being developed to help you perfect your digital campaign.  Log into your Google Analytics and examine your website traffic.  Are you converting web traffic into store traffic?  Simple website optimizations can make significant differences in building new sales for 2019.  Monitor your online reviews.  Quickly address any negative comments.  Leverage the tools available, and build your integrity with digital marketing in 2019.
“Dependent upon the platform, you want to be building your dealership’s reputation with reviews, culture content, special offers, and communicating with your followers while at the same time working to gain more.”
Alexandra Patty https://www.dealerteamwork.com/blog/setting-up-a-successful-2019-automotive-digital-marketing-strategy

3 Reasons Why Your Client’s Lead Conversion Sucks!

Lead Conversion is at the bottom of the Sales Funnel but can have a big impact on Sales.
Is Your Problem at the Lead Conversion Stage?

Have you ever worked your tail off on an awesome marketing campaign, generating great leads for your client, only to find that few of those leads are converting into paying customers?

It happened to us, running ad campaigns for doctors.

You can learn from our real-life lessons on three ways your client may be inadvertently sabotaging their own lead conversions and what we did about them.

If you are confident that you are targeting the right audience and bringing relevant leads, then you will want to investigate these areas for problems.

For Average Lead Conversion Rates by Industry – Click Here

Problem 1: They Don’t Have Dedicated, Trained Staff for Lead Conversion

Picture of President Obama on the phone in the Oval office, with feet on desk.  Is he Converting a Lead?
Converting a Lead?

If your clients are small to mid-size, they likely don’t have dedicated staff to respond to leads.

In our case, we found one doctor had receptionists and nursing assistants assigned to working their leads.

That can be okay if their staff prioritizes lead contact and follow up.

It is a bigger issue if that same staff has no experience or training to “close the deal”.

Resolution:

Have a discussion with your client and their staff who are handling the leads.

With our client, we found they lacked training, and their responsibilities were unclear.

We connected them with resources that would get them the training they needed. Also, the doctor designated a primary and a backup individual.

Result:

They went from barely any lead conversions to over 10x improvement in conversion rate.

For a Little More Depth on Lead Conversion Sales Process – Click Here

Problem 2: They Are Not Responsive to Incoming Leads

From last photo of President Obama, this is Michelle Obama on the phone in front of Christmas lights.  Is he engaging with incoming leads or something else?
Engaging with Leads?

Leads age. Every hour that goes by, their value declines. Your leads go from a potential customer who was ready to engage to one who may have had a change of heart.

Another of our client doctor’s staff had challenges in following up within 24 hours.

We found that the lead forms that came to them in an email were not “visible” in the sea of regular emails they had.

Resolution:

You may need to do some detective work, secret shopping, as well as, frank discussion to get to the bottom of this.

We ended up agreeing to change their ads to route a call to a designated office number where Leads were sure to get an instant response.

Results:

Their lead conversion improvement turned a negative ROI into a rather profitable source, and bigger ad spend.

Why Follow Up in 24 Hours is Critical to Lead Conversion – Click Here

Problem 3: They Are Not Attentive / Managing Their Staff on Lead Conversions

President Obama is in a media theater room with hands in air, cheering a touchdown in Superbowl game.  Is he managing his staff, or having a party?
Party Time!?

Your clients may be like ours – they are not professional sales managers.

Yet, they do need to adopt measurements and processes that ensure they are keeping tabs on their staff’s performance.

Resolution:

This is hard to assess and delicate to discuss with a client.

One of our doctor clients had several “lines of business. Ultimately, with a trusting relationship and frank discussion, we were able to understand that the one we were advertising was, unfortunately, not a high priority for him.

If he were motivated, we were prepared to help him plan metrics and reporting that he could review with his staff weekly, and monthly, to maintain a healthy lead conversion ratio.

Results:

There are some things you cannot fix.

We agreed to halt the ad campaign. It was not a good investment for the doctor to continue without the supporting back-end for success..

We did leave the door open if his priorities were to change.

If Three Reasons Lead Conversions Suck are not Enough – Click Here for Eight

The Ultimate Fix

President Obama is in Oval Office signing a paper in front of his Cabinet members.  Is he solving the lead conversion problem by instituting a checklist?
Add to Your Checklist

Ultimately, you need to get this right from the start to optimize lead conversions.

When you first engage with a client for a lead generation campaign, ask them about these three things.

Are they prepared for success too?

It is now part of our checklist for engaging clients and should be on yours too.

And with your existing clients, where lead conversion seems a problem, these are the key areas to check for ways to improve those numbers and THEIR ROI.

Social media success: It starts with a social media plan

chalk board with "social" post-it note reminders

How often have you heard a company express excitement about joining social media, only to follow with a story of how the page is now stagnant?

And what about the company Facebook page with stories that never quite connect? Endless #NationalDay posts, poor photos, and copy-and-paste messaging flood their timeline with no consistent tone or quality. 

Many companies fall into the trap of “winging it” on social media. Social is casual, so the assumed approach is to treat the company page similar to a personal page. Add some disorganization and a fear of transparency, and social media can become a nightmare for a company’s image and credibility.

Today, companies cannot survive on social without a basic social media plan. And because goals, trends and platforms change, it’s important to assess and adjust your plan regularly. Thankfully, structure is a profound benefit of planning. Once you can answer a few strategic questions, you are well on your way to creating sense of direction for your social media presence.

Elements of a social media plan

Know your objectives. (WHY)

Make sure you are clear on company objectives and how social media should support them. Once you establish WHY you are using social media, each post or campaign should support that mission. Create a list of goals and prioritize them from highest to lowest.

WHERE will you be social?

While it is tempting to jump on as many social platforms as possible, it’s not always necessary. Where is your audience most active? How many channels can you manage reasonably? There is no shame in starting small as a means to establishing a cohesive social footprint.

HOW will you post and measure success? – Decide how you will post to each platform. Will you post three times per day? Should every other post include video? Should all posts include a link to more information? Also, decide which measurements matter to your success. Do you want to increase website clicks? Are you looking to increase newsletter subscribers?

If this is your company’s first social media plan, a deeper dive into the WHY is appropriate. Consider Sprout Social’s guide to Creating a 30-Day Social Media Plan. The guide is a day-by-day approach to creating a foundation for how your company uses social media. Not only will you walk away with a polished, customized social media plan—you will have a data-driven document to guide and educate everyone involved.

Focus your team’s efforts and you will see success not only in your numbers, but in overall cohesiveness.

3 Pillars of Social Media to Enhance Brand Intimacy

Woman smiling while looking at her tablet screen with multiple digital connections represented by drawings on the wall behind her showing her social media intimacy
image courtesy www.youthvoices.live

Do you want to enhance your brand intimacy on Social media? You need to focus on three key pillars. Connect to engage, converse to excite and listen everywhere. The result is a more engaged and devoted audience. Let’s explore these three pillars that boost brand intimacy on social media.

Connect to engage: Make the right type of connection.

A dog and cat looking at each other through a glass door trying to connect with one another to show it is important to connect with right audience to enhance brand intimacy on  social media
Connect with the right audience

The secret to a successful relationship depends on making the right connection. There are many social media platforms to choose from however to enhance brand intimacy, you should choose the right channel mix. And hey, there is no universal formula in social media. Therefore, not all channels connect with the audience in the same way. Each channel is unique with a distinct audience, different purpose and communication style. For instance, Facebook builds community, Twitter is crisp and topical, LinkedIn is a professional powerhouse. So, craft the engagement strategy keeping in line with this difference and you will see your brand intimacy maximize on social media.

Converse to excite: Collaborative communication.

Three monkeys engrossed in a two-way conversation with head tilted to represent like in any relationship collaborative conversation is key to enhance brand intimacy on social media
Free-flowing two-way communication

Encourage audience participation. Social media and traditional media are not alike. Social media allows for two-way communication. Take advantage of it. Such exchanges on social media enhance brand intimacy. Be consistent. Be collaborative. Also, use a good mix of rich verbal and visual content. Adopt a fun interplay and conversational style communication and see your brand peak on engagement metrics. Want to enhance the brand intimacy furthermore? Engage your audience through games, polls, and contests. This is a great way to boost audience participation and brand affinity. Additionally, brands must recognize that everyone has an equal voice. Always avoid statements or imagery that might have a negative impact on consumer sentiments.

Listen everywhere: Listen intently with your eyes and ears open.

A cute dog listening intently with a raised ear to show listening is important to enhance brand intimacy on social media and relationship
Listen intently

Do you want to improve your relationship? Then listen more. It improves the understanding of a relationship. Brands must listen to consumers across all digital platforms to improve brand intimacy. Practice active listening. Keep a constant check on comments and posts across channels. This helps avert crisis and build credibility. There are several listening tools and monitoring tools for social media. Use these to monitor what is being said about your brand and its competitors. This is a great enabler for brands to be agile and responsive. Consumer’s attention span is shrinking. Therefore in social media, time lost is an opportunity lost. So, it is critical to listen intently and everywhere to enhance brand intimacy on social media.

It is a fast-paced digital world. There are multiple brands competing for consumer’s love. Hence, it is important for the brand to be always top of mind. Social media enhances brand intimacy by empowering it to understand and react to the consumer pulse in real time.

ig

Small Brands Need Instagram

How do small brands stand out in a noisy, digital world? Be seen. Instagram is a visual content-driven social media platform. It is one of the best tools to for small brands to gain visibility, drive engagement and build awareness.

Why Is Instagram Important for Small Brands?

In 2017, Instagram had an estimated 500 million daily active users. It is the second most popular social media network in the world. Instagram’s vast and valuable reach is an advantage for small brands on the platform. According to Digital Vijay, audiences receive visual communications faster and better retain it. This makes visual content even more critical in digital marketing and branding. 

Instagram Uses and Features

Instagram’s core feature is content sharing. Users edit then share photos and videos as posts on their profile pages. Posts also become visible on their followers’ timelines. Once a user uploads content, they can add captions, hashtags, and geo-tags and tag other users. With these features, posts are easy to track and search, and increase in visibility.

Other functions are now available on the platform. They allow users to engage in new ways:

  • Stories lets users post content that is only visible for 24 hours, like Snapchat. Other media are available to layer, including licensed music, emojis, gifs, text and links to user profiles and external sites. Users can archive and group Stories into collections for others to view beyond the 24-hour expiration.
  • Instagram Live, similar to Facebook Live and Periscope, allows users to live-stream video and interact with viewers via a chat function.
  • Instagram TV is similar to Facebook Watch or LinkedIn Learning. Users can create and share long-format video content. These videos are available to post on the user’s profile and add to collections. 

Instagram also offers business profiles with additional tools for brands to  build awareness and drive engagement. 

  • Contact buttons are located at the top of business pages. They immediately connect users with businesses via email, text or phone call.
  • Promote boosts the visibility of a previously shared post.
  • Insights provides analytics into follower demographics and post performance. 
  • Shopping tags posts with product information (descriptions and prices) that link directly back to a brand’s website

Tips and Tools to Get Started

There are many right ways to use social media in marketing. Clear and concise messages, and posts with intention are always important. As you integrate Instagram into an overall social marketing strategy, remember these tips:

  • Content must have a clear purpose. First, determine the intention (promote, raise awareness, etc.). Then, ensure all elements (images, captions, hashtags) are an accurate reflection of the brand and intent.
  • Use text sparingly in images. Convey the message in one view. Use the caption to continue the story. Canva and Adobe Spark are tools that help create captivating posts that tell stories with few words. These tools are also cost-efficient for small brands with limited budgets.
  • Create and use brand-relevant hashtags. Create a brand-unique hashtag to build awareness. Include other relevant hashtags to boost the brand’s visibility in searches.
  • Be aware of your audiences’ interests and triggers. In digital communication, intention and tone is not always apparent. Messages are easily misinterpreted. Be careful and deliberate in combining images, captions and hashtags. Consult multiple people to proof content before post.
  • Plan ahead. Consistency is the key to maintain visibility. Create a content calendar and plan posts ahead of time. This will ensure messages are on-time and relevant. Hootsuite and Planoly allow you to create and schedule posts. Allocate one hour per week to brainstorm topics, create images and schedule posts.

Hootsuite’s list of over 24 Instagram statistics is a helpful with strategy creation. These statistics show the significance of Instagram as a branding tool. Instagram’s Business page is a robust resource for small brands that want to gain visibility on the platform using a business profile. 

Resend Emails to Non-openers

image resend emails to non-openers

How can you make sure that important emails you send are being received by your constituents? One easy way is to get personal with your constituents and monitor who’s opening your emails and who isn’t. (By the way, recipients who haven’t opened your email are called non-openers.) I suggest you give those non-openers another chance so you won’t have this conversation with them again, ever:

     “Why didn’t I know about that event?”

     “I emailed you about it last week.”

     “I didn’t see your email!”

     “How was I supposed to know you didn’t read the email?”

Using an app like MailChimp for your email campaigns makes monitoring and re-sending campaigns easy and quick. And according to MailChimp, statistics support that using this feature is worth your time

Monitor Opens in MailChimp

To see which of your recipients opened your email, go to the Campaigns tab, hover over the name of your campaign, and click on View Report. On the Activity tab, click the down arrow, and select Opened. (Caveat: The monitoring of opens isn’t an exact science. More on that later.) Now go back to the Activity tab and select Didn’t open. What can you learn about your constituents? Do the same ones repeatedly appear on the Didn’t open list?

Resend Email to Non-openers

Go back to the Campaigns tab, hover over the name of your campaign, click the down arrow next to View Report, and select Replicate. Now here’s the secret sauce:

  • In the To Segment or Tab box, select a Group or new segment
  • Set to Contacts match all of the following conditions
  • Select Contacts that match your original subscriber list
  • Select Campaign Activity and did not open and the name of your Sent Campaign
  • Click Save

Now do the math: does the number of Recipients minus the number of Opens equal the number of recipients for your new email?

Tips When Re-Sending

  • Always resend within 24-48 hours.
  • Should you change the subject line? MailChimp advises against it. 
  • Should you change the from name? MailChimp advises against this also. 
  • My two cents: Know your constituents. To my senior citizens, I resend exactly the same email because my goal is to get their attention without confusing them. To the busy parents of my elementary school kids, I resend short to-the-point emails with dates, times, places – just the facts.

Thanks for reading. Please let me know your experiences with re-sending emails to non-openers. 

Man’s Popular Website Homograph Attacked on His Punycode

Are Your Fat Fingers Letting You Get Robbed?

We jest, but Homograph Attacks are an increasingly serious problem.

Google calls this the “URLephant in the Room” and has an update that protects you from URL imposters.

If you fell victim to these lookalike URLs, you will often find yourself at the wrong end of a phishing or malware attack.

Even with this update, as a website owner, you may still want to evaluate your website name for attacks like these to protect your visitors.

Avoiding a Homograph Attack

Google’s Canary release for Chrome 70 contained a new feature you can enable called “Navigation suggestions for Lookalike URLs”.

If you mistyped a URL, Chrome will provide a message with an alternative that it thinks you wanted to visit.

Just Deserts or Just Desserts?

(No this isn’t the Chrome Message)

This protects you against a class of attacks known as domain name homographic attack. One form is typosquatting, such as paypai.com for paypal.com.

Protect Your Punycode

You are also protected against another homograph exploitation – how a browser displays Unicode characters in regular (ASCII) text (think “Citibänk” instead of “Citibank”) – called punycode.

This obscures domains while displaying the same or similar text for a link (xn—80ak6aa92e.com – a domain translation made from Chinese characters – becomes apple.com in your browser).

You can turn this protection on by entering the URL below in the address bar, and selecting the option to enable:

chrome://flags/#enable-lookalike-url-navigation-suggestions

Go Deep on Punycode and Homograph Attacks – Click Here

What’s a Website Owner To Do?

To protect your brand and reputation from homograph attacks, you could hire an internet security firm.

For More on Impact to Brand Risk – Click Here

They would scan the web for branding and trademark related lookalike domains. They’d also monitor for new domain name registries to flag.

If you run a larger enterprise, you will also want to analyze your internal networks too for any vulnerabilities.

On a limited budget? You could go to this domain checker to cover the most obvious imposters:

Hold Integrity Domain Checker

Background on the Domain Checker Tool – Click Here

Puny or Punny?

Yes we made a bit of a joke of it, but now you know about Homograph Attacks and how you can protect yourself and your website from those URL impostors!

But Wait! There’s More!

The fun hasn’t ended yet. Check out this Justin Bieber Parody.

3 Easy Social Media Tactics to Engage Your Audience in 2019

Engagement. When it comes to social media, everyone wants it, but not everyone has it. The question remains, how do we get our customers to engage? Below are three easy social media tactics for you to implement and engage your audience in 2019.

Before we get started, you must know your audience and which platform best suits their needs. Have amazing images that need to be seen? Look no further than Instagram. Interested in increasing your brand awareness and traffic to your website? Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can all help with that. When posting, don’t forget about # (hashtags)! They are a great way for your audience to find you.

Now that we know a little bit more about each platform, let’s chat about three easy ways to engage your audience in 2019

Ask!

First, ASK! How will your audience know what you want them to do unless you ask them? Make sure your intentions are clear. The more the audience knows, the more likely they are to engage with you and your brand. This post from Hubspot gives a few different ideas on asking specifics from your audience.

Consistency is Key!

Next, stay consistent. As with most things, consistency is key! Getting in front of your audience often and using a consistent voice will help your audience gain trust and confidence in your brand. According to this blog from Sprout Social, “43% of social media users only interact with brands to get a direct response to a question or issue.” If your brand does not remain consistent with its voice, your customers may feel your brand is in-authentic. Always be timely with replies to your customers.

Be Useful!

Last but not least… If you want your audience to engage with your brand in 2019, be useful to your audience. At its heart, Social Media is a place to connect. Listen if there are problems. Provide information to your audience that will help them out. Keep in mind that not every post needs to be about a promo or a sale.

There you have it. Three easy Social Media Tactics you can implement right now in order to help engage your audience in 2019. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Every Business Needs Social Media

Fewer Americans are turning to traditional news outlets and newspapers for news. Newspapers have always been an important part of the American news landscape, but they have been hit hard as more Americans digest news digitally. According to Pew Research Center, “The industry’s financial fortunes and subscriber base have been in decline since the early 2000s, even as website audience traffic has grown for many.”[I] It’s no coincidence that every social network was created during this period of decline. Research shows that younger generations consume the majority of their news from social media platforms. The use of social media for business communication is imperative. Every business needs social media. Here are four popular social platforms that are great for business.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media network even with the recent leaks and bad press they’ve received. This platform can be invaluable to small businesses when used correctly. Facebook can be used to share important company updates as well as share events and photos. Business accounts allow for access to robust advertising tools and analytics. These pages also allow you to highlight hours of operations, contact information, and so much more.

Twitter

Twitter gets news out quickly, providing short updates or sharing links to larger articles. Many businesses use Twitter to share images and videos. This is a great platform for interacting with users by mentioning, liking and retweeting other users’ tweets. Many companies do well with Twitter by using their brand voice and personality on the platform. Many consumers would rather direct a complaint to a business via Twitter instead of picking up the phone or writing an email. As a result, large organizations use Twitter as a way to handle customer service. If you have exciting content, Twitter is a great tool for quickly spreading the word.

Instagram

Instagram is the most photography centered of all of the platforms and is growing in popularity with businesses. This is a visual platform that’s based entirely on photo and video posts. Instagram Stories and Instagram Live have proven to be great tools for businesses to promote their products and services. Although some aspects of Instagram translate to desktop and laptop usage, the platform is almost entirely mobile. Creative businesses and influencers most excel on Instagram, however, it’s a great visual platform for all businesses to embrace.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the best platform for professional networking, for finding top talent, and for promoting businesses as industry leaders. This platform is designed for professionals. Many Human Resource teams and hiring managers use LinkedIn to search for applicants and future employees. Therefore, prospective employees use LinkedIn to find out more about a company they are pursuing. As a result, inkedIn has become the best place to post job openings and information about company culture. Businesses can join industry-specific LinkedIn Groups to ask and answer questions. This helps brands stand out as industry experts and brings people to the company’s page and website.

Listening Tools

One of the most important parts of marketing and business communication is analysis. Regardless of the platforms used, every business must use social listening tools. There is an abundance of tools available (Hootsuite, HubSpot, SalesForce, BrandWatch, Google Alerts). Social listening is the process of tracking conversations around specific keywords, phrases, and topics and leveraging your insights to discover opportunities to create new content for those audiences. Companies need to pay attention not only to notifications but also to the huge group of people talking about their business, their brand and their products and services.

[i]http://www.journalism.org/fact-sheet/newspapers

Utilize Instagram More Effectively for Your Photography Business

You just bought a camera and want to start a photography business. You’ve established your logo and website. You’ve built your portfolio by experimenting with family and friends. Now it’s time it increase your brand awareness. What better way to establish your presence than with Instagram. I will share with you tips on how to use Instagram more effectively for your photography business.

Quality and Consistency 

It’s all about quality, but don’t forget to be consistent. Posting poor quality photos can be an eyesore to your followers. Be sure keep the photo’s width between 320 – 1080 pixels and height between 566 – 1350 pixels. Create visual harmony by being consistent with your post. Find a theme, choose a color scheme, pick a photo format and stick to it. Using apps like Preview app or Later app gives you the ability to see the layout of your photos before posting.

Engagement

Engaging with your followers is a must. It helps create awareness and establish rapport with potential clients. After you post a photo and if a follower makes a comment, respond. This is your first hand experience with your followers. Use Instagram Story to showcase behind the scenes of a photoshoot or create How-To videos on IGTV to give your followers a glimpse of how your magic is create. This builds credibility.

Hashtags and Tags

Don’t forget your hashtag. Hashtag might look annoying if overused, but are effective when used properly. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. I would caution you on using all 30. You don’t want to appear to be spam. Make sure you hashtags are relevant to your post. If you’re posting photos of a wedding, find relevant hashtags that are searchable to your target audience, i.e., #weddingplanner, #weddingdress, #dallasweddingphotographer. Tag local wedding planners, venues, wedding dress designers, and magazine. Hashtags and tags help drive engagement.

Your Bio is a Business Card

How effective is blank business card? Completely fill out your bio. Add your name, your website, use hashtags, and tell your audience about the services you provide. If the photos you post serve as your portfolio, your bio serves as your business card.

how-to-use-facebook-live

Use Facebook Live to attract customers

A Facebook Live campaign can boost your brand’s exposure online and increase customer engagement.

Facebook Live is a free feature of the Facebook app that allows you to stream real-time video to your audience from your smartphone. It was released in April of 2016.

Did you know that marketers prefer Facebook to create live videos followed by Instagram?

Continue reading

Difference between a Blogger, Vlogger and Influencer

Do you know the difference between a blogger, vlogger and influencer? Below is a better understanding of each of them that will help you with future marketing decisions for your product.

Who are the Bloggers?

blogger definition

They are people who manage and create a blog. Blogs are websites originally structured as personal diaries based on links, news and opinions. These are updated regularly and are usually written in an informal and subjective style.

Bloggers write and create relevant content for their audience. They use a number of multimedia resources such as pictures, podcasts, etc.

Let’s switch up the B for the V: Hello Vlogger!

vlogger

The difference between the blogger and the vlogger is that the vlogger creates content through videos in a chronological sequence. Unlike the bloggers, the vloggers do not write, with the exception of the video title and description. The vloggers change structured paragraph for a clip in which most of the time, hold a long conversation with the camera.

Some vloggers are acted upon, others relate more to the audience with a great potential to communicate and develop specific issues or products. Also, there are vloggers who publish their day to day activities and transform a vlog into a reality show. YouTube is the star platform for the vloggers.

What about the influencers?

influencer

Bloggers and vloggers can be influencers. it depends on their followers, engagement in social networks, expertise and power of persuasion. Some believe they are the new opinion leaders on the digital platforms and the massive channel for Word of Mouth.

There are two types of influencers: the celebrity and the social influencers. Celebrity influencers have the power to increase brand awareness with one post. However, they can be quite expensive, up to $1 million per post.

The social influencers on the other hand, are ordinary people who have great impact on their social networks. They can relate to people from all over the world through relevant content. They give credibility and confidence about the products they promote.

For any digital marketing campaign, it is important to know the difference between these three. Danielle Wiley, CEO of Sway Group, explains you need to first analyze your product, target and goals. Then, choose the best platform for your next marketing campaign.

Strategies for Social Media

Marketing managers, are your strategies for social media helping or hurting your metrics? This question was posed to Will Duderstadt, VP of Digital Marketing at M/I Homes. His responses and a few simple tips below will help. Click on the podcast link below to hear more:

Is social media hurting or helping your digital marketing metrics?
Is Social Media Hurting or Helping

Whether you build widgets or new homes, the billboard approach to lead generation is dead. Strategies for social media cover a range of platforms and can leave marketing managers feeling like they are hunting mosquitoes with a shotgun. Sound right? Here are three tips to help keep your social strategies – and budget – out of the social graveyard.

Social Strategy Tip 1: Find your audience

Finding your audience depends on their consumption traits. Content, relevance, and engagement must be highly focused. Talk to your audience, get to know them and understand why they use the platform they do. Focus groups can help zero in on key content needs. In sales, it is all about location, location, location.

Social Strategy Tip 2: Tell your story

Apple, Tesla, and Zappos are unique companies in completely different industries. However, each is unique in the same way. They tell a great story. Creating an origin story that leverages one-of-a-kind aspects of your company, product or culture will help you stand out. Content matters, make yours compelling.

Social Strategy Tip 3: Mini-conversions, not megaphones

Now that you have found your audience and have a great story to tell, remember not to yell your story with a megaphone. Strategies for social media are about just that, being social. Connecting and engaging with your audience is about a conversation, not yelling price, features, or what is most important to your conversion. Stay social and convert lead opportunities with likes. 

Hope you enjoyed the podcast and tips. I’ll have more on digital marketing and social media in the next blog, thanks for stopping by!

Create Social Media Buzz for Nonprofits

Nonprofits have touching stories to share but usually few resources to help share them.   How may they stand out in a sea of paid and unpaid content?   Four social media tips for nonprofits create social media buzz on a budget!

Build Word of Mouth

Nonprofit social media tips

Milking a Goat at Bonton Farms @melissa_jean88

The best publicity comes from people talking about a nonprofit: hopefully in glowing terms!  Engagement Labs reports five times the number of conversations to happen in person compared to the number on social media.  Luckily word of mouth costs nothing and engaged people usually share on social sites.  Bonton Farms, for example, builds rapport in the community.  They live their mission of “restore health, create jobs, and ignite hope.”  In turn, their avid supporters, volunteers, and customers share on social media.  Bonton Farms also connects to area programs, like the United Way’s program OneUp.  It’s designed to spread word of mouth, provide community connections, and grow social media buzz.

Gather Digital Content

Building a content database for social media is critical for nonprofits and can be low cost.  Anyone may capture video, photos, and audio with a smartphone and a few inexpensive tools.  A thirty dollar microphone and an economical tripod will greatly improve the audio and video quality.    Nonprofits might also track user-generated content as well via hashtags, comments, and photos.   They reward users by offering to re-post and give credit.

Post Consistently

For nonprofits with few followers, publishing content at the same time is better than posting a lot for platform algorithms.   Tools such as free online social media calendars help manage content and review the success of past campaigns.

Partner Wisely

Given the shrinking organic reach on social platforms,  nonprofits need to form key alliances.  Partnering invites others into a story and shows openness to new ideas.   If the goal is to build an authentic base of followers who foster online engagement, then working together is a strategic choice.  Similar causes also inspire additional user-generated content.

Given the amount of social media content, it feels overwhelming to be successful on platforms.  A small budget presents an extra challenge. However strategic use of social media for nonprofits isn’t costly and can add to their ability to innovate.

Promoting Experiential Gifts in Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns

Individuals hold paint brushes and paint mountains on a canvas.

A painting class is one of many experiences that can be given as a gift this Valentine’s Day.

Think Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns only benefit candy, flower, and jewelry companies? Think again. According to the National Retail Federation, 40 percent of individuals want to receive the gift of a special experience, such as a fun trip or concert tickets. With consumers estimated to spend more than $20 billion this holiday, you should use digital channels to illustrate how your brand delivers memorable experiences.

Explore four ways your organization can tap into this niche and improve your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign.

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Reaching Hispanics Through Social Media

Best social media practices for engaging Hispanics

Hispanics are a growing population in social media use. Brands are adapting to changing demographics by creating content tailored to U.S Hispanics. According to Media Post, “75% speak Spanish at home, and most of them are more loyal to companies that cater to them in Spanish.” Learn the best practices for reaching Hispanics through social media. Before brands can start engaging Spanish-speaking audiences, they need to understand how they connect online.

Best Practices to Engage Hispanics through Posts

1. U.S Hispanics Prefer Both English and Spanish Language Content

Companies that communicate in both languages on social media are more appreciated since many Hispanics online are bilingual. Brands are viewed as more authentic and have a stronger brand presence because Hispanics feel like they are being considerate of the demographics. One way to better achieve that is to open a Spanish language page. McDonald’s uses this strategy to effectively engage Hispanic users on their Facebook page. They communicate and interact in Spanish as well to reach Hispanics through social media.

2. Hispanics Like Reading Content That Reminds Them of Their Roots

Tie your social media posts to traditions or ideas that differentiate the Hispanic demographics without making it sound distasteful. For example, use dishes or the idea of family in posts.

3. Post Videos With Shareable Content

Shareable video content in Hispanic demographics

According to pm360, “U.S. Hispanics spend nearly 66% more time per week watching videos on their smartphones compared to the total market.” The video content they watch also ties in to their culture and language. They share video content on social five times more often than non-Hispanics. So video content should be a vital in your brand’s social media strategy.

4. Giving Back to the Hispanic Community

Share or promote community involvement of your brand through social media. Hispanics value brands that are involved and give back to the community through events, scholarships, and others.

Don’t miss a huge opportunity to reach a growing audience. You can make a large impact with a targeted Spanish language campaign that reflects your brand’s identity. For extra tips, check out blog post