Monthly Archives: December 2014

Predicting Marketing Trends in 2015

Posted on December 30, 2014 by - Marketing

At Thoughtwirewe pride ourselves on keeping up with the latest Google algorithm changes, social media trends, and overall marketing strategies.

To continue to successfully act as a voice for our clients, promote them, and grow their respective businesses across a variety of digital platforms, we consume a lot of information from the experts and even do our own research at times.

Here, we took an article from Forbes.compicked out some of our favorite points and turned it into an easy-to-understand infographic. The topic? Marketing trends to watch for in 2015!

If you’re a fellow marketer, comment and let us know what you think about these predictions. If you’re looking for experts to market your business and grow your brand online, click here.

TW Media - Infographic - 2015 Marketing Predictions

Should spelling, grammar and punctuation matter to a brand on social media?

Posted on December 22, 2014 by - Uncategorized

grammar

As for your personal account, it’s likely that none of your friends will make fun of you too badly if you aren’t great at following AP Stylebook rules. However as a business or brand, you know how bad it would look if you misspelled your own company name, or a word in an ad. As for social media, you may think social media posts are just something for fun, to draw interest and possibly drive sales. You don’t think social media should be taken so seriously.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you want to be taken seriously, you need to ensure the face of your brand is flawless, wherever it is seen. Nothing says “amateur” like posts on social media that are full of errors.

Even the worst spellers in the world take notice when the first word in a sentence isn’t capitalized. These are the very basics of brand management, and shouldn’t be treated lightly.

Sure, you can drive engagement and increase interest occasionally on social media even with errors – but if you really look at the stats, you may be surprised to see which posts are doing the best, and which ones received minimal reach.

Make it easy on your audience and potential clients to read and understand your posts, and you’ll be well on your way to seeing those numbers and stats going up.

The one exception? Videos. These usually do well on social media no matter what is written, especially if someone is viewing them on their phone and videos auto play in their feed.

In conclusion, do yourself and your company a favor – and hire a person who actually knows what they’re doing. Someone like a Copywriter, Editor or Social Media Specialist (like ours), who has proven experience at increasing Likes, engagement and even leads.

After all, getting grammar and punctuation rules down doesn’t mean the posts won’t be fun anymore – it just ensures the audience can read and understand your message more clearly.

Contact us today to learn how we can help. 1-800-367-2570

2014/2015: The rise of E-commerce on social media

Posted on December 19, 2014 by - Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized

shopping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have heard that Facebook and Twitter have been testing out the E-commerce experience by bringing shopping to users in their social streams, but this raises many questions.

Will people get sick of the ads and always paying to promote anything on Facebook?

Do people really want to buy from a place they go to check in on their friends?

Will you click “buy” while scrolling through your news feed or Twitter feed?

Obviously Facebook and Twitter execs hope so, but next year will surely prove to be the year of E-commerce moving full steam ahead on social media platforms. Besides, what if they could “own” a big piece of the pie if they play their cards right? It is a $293 billion pie to be exact. And with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter making it as easy as a couple of clicks – buying without leaving their sites may just be easier than we all thought.

Twitter did try this back in 2013, but the process wasn’t seamless and ended up being rather clumsy. Even Amazon tried its hand at hashtag-based sales, but it wasn’t the best way to get people to buy either.

Facebook tried its hand at E-commerce with the Facebook store program in 2011, which notably ended with huge companies like Nordstrom and The Gap opening then closing their stores within just a year.

So since some analysts predict that Facebook and Twitter are more likely to resemble Starbucks, where people want to hang out there buy never buy anything, where is E-commerce going to really shine in 2015?

Enter Pinterest.

We already know from market research that women are the biggest purchase influencers in a family unit. They are usually involved in or making the final decision to buy, or not to buy for the family.

They’re also the ones who are rocking out Pinterest on a daily basis. Pinterest is, after all, where you go to pin things you want to make, buy or experience. And, Pinterest said that two thirds of its content, or over 30 billion pins, comes from businesses. That is huge!

So, in conclusion, the future of the relationship between E-commerce and social media may be a fuzzy and confusing one, but one thing’s for sure – it’s not going anywhere anytime soon!

Are you cashing in on these huge opportunities to reach your potential clients online? Contact us today to see what our social media specialists can do for you.

1-800-367-2570

2014 Mobile Year in Review, Part 2:

Posted on December 16, 2014 by - Mobile, Social Media

If you missed Part 1, click here to read about four big strides mobile took in 2014 and some predictions heading into 2015. In Part 2, we will cover mobile as it related to social media in the past year.

Mobile > Desktop

2014 was the year where social networking finally became more popular on mobile devices than on desktop computers. The chart below from eMarketer shows the average time spent per day with social networks by U.S. adults. Mobile social networking beat out desktop (online) 35 minutes to 33.

Mobile social networking chart eMarketer

Graphic via eMarketer

Mobile-Centric Social Platforms

This phenomenon started in 2006 with the release of Twitter. It only grew as smartphones were released, user-friendliness improved, and people were able to share pictures, videos, and updates in real time. It’s now hard to imagine actively participating on social platforms without mobile.

SM and Mobile Graphic

 

Instagram reached 300 million users in 2014 and who uses Instagram from a desktop computer? Snapchat, Vine, WhatsApp, and others have exploded with the help of mobile. The revamp of Foursquare has allowed people to leave tips and reviews from their smartphones. Meanwhile, the most downloaded social app in 2014 from Google Play? Facebook.

Proper Brand Strategy Going Forward

You’ve seen the statistics. The trend of mobile social networking isn’t going away either. The good news? You don’t have to build a Responsive website to reach them. Simply be present on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

SalesForce released a 2014 Mobile Behavior Report and in the study, the top four reasons consumers like or follow brands on social media using a mobile device are as follows:

  1. Offered coupons or deals

  2. Quick access to information

  3. Like being in the loop

  4. More meaningful content

Those are four things to strongly consider when evaluating your brand’s social media strategy heading into 2015.

Contact Thoughtwire for a comprehensive social media strategy that will grow your audience and help you reach the massive population of mobile users.

2014 Mobile Year in Review, Part 1:

Posted on December 12, 2014 by - Marketing, Mobile

The Increased Integration of Mobile in 2014 and Looking Ahead to 2015

The mobile world achieved a lot in 2014. As the technology improved and user-friendliness and popularity soared, brands got in on the action in a big way.

The Preferred Media

The experience of using websites, apps, and streaming video has become so much better on mobile devices that smartphones are now the most-used form of media consumption. The chart below from The Nielsen Company shows the difference from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014.

Graphic from The Nielsen Company

Graphic from The Nielsen Company

Mobile Payments Gain Exposure

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is not new in 2014, but with its implementation into more Android and Windows phones and Apple announcing Apple Pay, it has gained relevance.

In a year that was filled with hacking news, security concerns might still be holding back mobile payments. However, 2014 marked the year that over 50 companies officially accepted Apple Pay as a form of payment.

download

Brand Integration

Companies are continuing to add mobile to their marketing strategies. As smartphones and tablets have become a more common way to search the Web and find brands, products, news, etc., Responsive Websites have become essential for businesses who want to be found.

Mobile apps and mobile marketing have become more commonplace as well. The world’s biggest public corporation, Walmart, launched Savings Catcher, their own app. Everyone else, from Budweiser and Target to the local business down the street used mobile to target customers, run promotions, discounts, and offer rewards.

Increased Importance for Quality SEO

Google has come out and officially supported Responsive websites and is now showing whether or not a website is “mobile-friendly” in mobile search results.

If your brand image, website traffic, and customer experience weren’t damaged by the lack of a mobile-friendly website in 2014, they likely will be in the upcoming year.

Looking Ahead

In case you haven’t realized, Responsive websites are imperative to growing your business online! It’s only a matter of time before search engines start penalizing websites that aren’t mobile-friendly.IMG_3894-1300x866

A Mobile App will continue to be a great tool for most brands (although not all) in providing value, customer service, and a better experience for customers.

The ability for brands to reach consumers with mobile marketing practices will take off. It has become way too easy for companies to track and retain consumer information through mobile for them not to try it. Consumers are too attached to their smartphones and find the experience helpful enough that they can’t ignore mobile promotions and offers.

Providing context with targeted offers and promotions to more relevant potential customers is becoming more commonplace and geo-targeting might finally be taking off. According to Churck Hemann, Analytics Digital Marketing & Media Manager at Intel:

“While brands have used geo-targeting capabilities for years, they have also struggled to reconcile (and use) insights at a local level that might conflict with other macro trends, among other reasons. However, data maturation and availability have made most of those concerns moot, and in 2015 we’re going to see more (and better) case studies of brands using this very localized data to reach customers.”

Finally, mobile-centric social media platforms will be even more crucial in reaching customers and spreading brand awareness in 2015. We will discuss mobile as it relates to social media in part 2.

Instagram reaches 300 million users; are you growing your brand on it?

Posted on December 11, 2014 by - Marketing, Social Media

Since March, Instagram has grown to reach another 100 million users, topping out at over 300 million as of Wednesday. So if you’re not on Instagram, and you’re involved in any type of business – that’s a rather large piece of marketing pie you’re missing out on. After all, Instagram now has as many if not more users than Twitter. Instagram also plans on cutting down on spammy accounts, and on introducing verified badges for celebrities and brands.

I guess Facebook doesn’t look so foolish after all when they bought it for a cool $1 billion in 2012.

Many business have learned how to grow their brand on this platform by using a few tricks of the trade we’re going to let you in on, while giving a standing “O” to some of Instagram’s all stars.

First up, GE (General Electric)

GE Insta

GE uses Instagram to drive brand awareness in unexpected ways, and to entice consumers to think of GE first when it comes to lots of products and services. And it’s working, since they’ve got 182k followers at the time this is written. As for best practices, they skillfully integrate hashtags and reply to comments where appropriate – all good ideas for being found easily, and for engaging with consumers.

Next up, Nike, with a whopping 8.6 million followers on Instagram as of today.

Nike Insta

Nike uses the power of the hashtag like no other, with #justdoit on many of its pics. And, their PHOTOiD campaign has to be the most successful campaign to date on Instagram, where fans could show off their designing skills by making their own shoe online and sharing it with other followers. Nike understands one thing – people like to be individuals, and show off their creativity in unexpected ways. Sometimes you just need to stand back, and let your consumers do the work for you!

In conclusion, if you want to grow your business on Instagram, but just don’t have the time or skills to really rock it out – contact us. Our social media specialists can manage your IG account for you, and grow your business and brand using tricks of the trade like these – and many more.

Why Mobile Marketing Benefits Brands and Consumers

Posted on December 10, 2014 by - Mobile

Say Goodbye to Traditional Loyalty Marketing Programs

Mobile Marketing Graphic

 
In an article from Ad Age, CEO Lars Albright, noted that, “Mobile is shaking up the traditional loyalty model, just as it’s shaken up so many other things.” He’s right.

Think of frequent flyers miles, hotel member rewards, or supermarket fuel incentives as traditional loyalty programs. While it might be harsh to bury them already, many brands are finding out that mobile loyalty programs can be much more effective for all parties involved.

Consider the simplicity of this example pointed out by Albright:

American Express’ new partnership with Uber, for instance, represents a huge milestone for mobile commerce. It’s powerful and yet so simple. Under the program, participants pay with AmEx when they ride Uber, earn two times the rewards points and can use those points to pay for future Uber rides.”

Does the customer have to go out of their way? Not if they already have an American Express card and are using Uber anyway. This is just one example of how simple mobile rewards can be for consumers.

But brands won’t participate if they don’t get something out of it. Here’s why mobile loyalty programs are better for both parties:

Consumers generally don’t have to go out of their way to benefit and many mobile promotions are tailored to their specific preferences.

Brands have consumers at their fingertips. They can reach them at any point with a text message or push notification.

Consumers can essentially use their smartphone (a device they’re already attached to at every waking moment) to earn rewards and save money at their favorite retailers, restaurants, and services.

Brands get incredible insights on consumers beyond basic male/female demographic information. This includes contextual data such as where they’re located, their shopping habits, and preferences.

When something comes along (smartphones) that consumers bond with and brands can use to market their products and ultimately make more money, it’s a win-win and that means it’s here to stay.

If your brand needs a mobile app, responsive website, or a mobile marketing plan to better reach your targeted audience, call us at 800-367-2570 or contact us here.

Another Google Algorithm Update

Posted on December 9, 2014 by - SEO

Keeping up with Google and Staying Ahead of your Competition in Search

Google Search Example

 

In order to appear ahead of your competition and to be seen high on the first page of the search results page, you need search engine optimization (SEO). The key to amazing SEO that actually works and provides the results you want is to go with a marketing company that studies, understands and makes the web crawlers work for you.

Search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, all follow a very similar search algorithm. As hackers, the technology and user needs continue to change, so will and does the algorithm of the web crawlers.

Recently, Google has updated their Penguin algorithm, which will have a big effect on numerous websites. Here’s how Barry Schwartz describes it:

“Penguin is Google’s filter to fight spam that gets past its regular spam fighting defenses. It is used periodically, and when sites are hit by it, they retain a massive penalty until they clean up their spam problems. Then they have to wait until the next time the Penguin filter is run. If Google’s filter likes what it sees, the sites have their penalties lifted.”

Will your website be penalized by the latest algorithm change? Take action before Google does—get a complete SEO website evaluation from Thoughtwire Media.

By having you website completely optimized, Google and the other search engines will rank your site ahead of those owned by you competitors. Get started now by calling Thoughtwire at 800-367-2570.

Learn to Code for Free

Posted on December 9, 2014 by - Development

521px-Html-source-code

As the digital universe continues to grow, the more you know the better off you will be and the easier it will be for your company to be elite. That’s one of the reason Thoughtwire Media was created—to make sure you have the absolute best digital support so your brand and presence online is above the competition and in line with the latest technologies.

For the unfamiliar, code, or computer coding, is basically the set of instructions the computer follows in order to perform certain tasks. The code is composed in some kind of human-readable language of the computer, such as HTML.

Coding allows you to create webpages and content from scratch and gives you more operational freedom. Since having the ability to write code is so important and intrinsic to computer function, more and more people want to learn how to do it.

President Obama, for example, became the first U.S. President to write a computer program.

“It was a very simple program—all it does is draw a square on a screen—but that’s the point. All programming starts simple. No one starts by creating a complicated game,” said Hadi Partovi, co-founder Code.org.

So, are you ready to get started or want to get some employees, interns or your kids going on writing and understanding computer code?

A great place to start is at studio.code.org. You can begin instantly, ask questions, watch how-to videos and more.

Want to get your children involved? How about having them code with Elsa from the hit Disney movie “Frozen?” Visit http://studio.code.org/s/frozen/stage/1/puzzle/1 to make the Disney characters do what you want them to do.

Do you have coding or any other digital questions? Thoughtwire Media is here to help and we want to connect with you: 800-367-2570.