Tagged: Social Media Marketing

How a Retail Business Can Excel at Social Media

Posted on February 23, 2015 by - Social Media

storefront

Let’s say you have a brick and mortar store, or several, and you want to improve your social media presence and get the most bang for your buck – where do you start?

Well first, you need to create brilliantly beautiful company pages on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, complete with high-quality profile and cover photos. Make sure all of your settings are set for privacy purposes to prevent tagging or positing by any spammers (Facebook for example), then start posting some great, relevant posts.

What kind of posts?

Industry news, tips or trends, and occasionally pushing people to your website, of course. Remember to be picture heavy, and use only copyright-free pics.

Know your audience and post content that is relevant, informative or educational to them.

But let’s dig deeper. What else can you do to set yourself apart?

Well, to get new Likes and Followers on Facebook, you need to promote your page. It’s the single best way to get Likes and Followers which could turn into leads in a short amount of time. You can get a lot from just $5 a day for two weeks, and we can manage this for you. Contact us here.

Then what?

Next, focus on creating more in-depth content. Video, for example, gets 12 times the views and clicks as pictures and is great for engagement and sharing opportunities. If you can’t create one, just find one that is already popular and share it. Social media is, after all, about sharing great content.

Don’t spam your followers with your products and services. Be aware that most people don’t want to be sold to through their social media feed. If you want to push products and services, don’t worry – each social media platform has advertising campaigns you can run, separate from the content you create/share. Programs such as the new Facebook advertising options are where you can try to sell directly online.

Finally, don’t drop off the face of the planet. You need to schedule or post something at least a few times a week, or several times a day depending on the platform. Continually respond to comments, take follower’s suggestions, ask them questions, and so-on. Don’t ever look to stop building and managing the relationship you have with your followers.

Your daily, weekly and monthly analytics are important to track as well. Specifically for retail businesses that are promoting and selling products online, you need to have someone in place to track conversions, analyze data, and come up with new strategies.

Contact our social media specialists to learn more, or to see how they can help you today.

Achieving Restaurant Success on Social Media

Posted on February 18, 2015 by - Social Media

In this series we’ll discuss three different industries or businesses, and how they can succeed on social media. There are paid and free ways to do this, and we’ll just give you a few tips to get you started.

Restaurant Success on Social Media

 

4 ways to find restaurant success on social media:

Cater to foodies and food lovers

You’re a restaurant, and you make and sell food, so this one should be a no brainer. But the point is to post high-quality, detailed images that make your follower’s mouths water. After all, if you make them hungry for your food, they’ll likely come in that day for lunch or dinner.

Posting times for lunch would be around 10:30 a.m. to get them thinking about their lunch break – and for dinner would be between 2-4:30 p.m. This way you could catch them before they pick up their kids from school, or before they get off of work. Everyone is busy these days, so don’t forget to mention your to-go or catering services as well. Pictures work best on all platforms, especially Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Give them a reason to come back

Give away food, coupons, discounts, you name it – anything to give people a reason to come back to your pages again and again. This works great on Facebook, just be careful not to be too promotional or you might see your Organic Reach decline or at worst, FB may ban you for a day or take the post down.

Promote your Facebook page

The single best way to get new Likes, Followers and customers is to promote your page on Facebook. Start small if you want, but if you aren’t sure what parameters to set – contact our social media specialists to have them run this for you. They have years of experience running advertising campaigns on social media and promoting brand awareness through acquiring thousands of Likes and Shares.

Drive in-store customers to your pages

You need to get the people that regularly enjoy your dining experience to interact with your brand on social media. Have cards next to your menus with QR codes or social icons. Give them incentive by offering 10 or 15 percent off their meal when they Like your page or give you a review. Utilize a social app like Foursquare and offer free appetizers when they “check in.”

Restaurant Success on Social Media

Consider it a huge win for your restaurant when you can get customers to leave positive reviews on sites like Foursquare, Facebook, Google+, Yelp, and Trip Advisor

If you’re unsure about giving away free food, remember that online reviews and a strong online presence can work wonders for restaurants! You will always have your loyal base of customers. A strong online presence can help you sell meals to tourists, people looking for a new place to eat, and people looking for a phone number to place a to-go order, to name a few.

And all these new potential customers aren’t looking through the phonebook anymore. They’re searching on Google. Which is where your brand will be found after intensive social advertising campaigns, a bigger social circle, and a lot of great reviews!

Contact us to learn more, or to see what social media packages we have to offer to ensure you’re well on your way to increasing your restaurants social media and overall online presence.

New Facebook Product Ads Will Be Beneficial to Retailers

Posted on February 18, 2015 by - Social Media

Facebook Product Ads

Facebook is making another change. This time, it’s not a News Feed algorithm change but something a little more exciting, especially for brands and retailers.

With the changes in Facebook’s organic reach, we predicted that 2015 would be the year of paid advertising on Facebook. The announcement of the new ad type, Facebook Product Ads, should make this process even more efficient.

Dynamic Product Ads

With Facebook’s new dynamic product ads, you will be able to promote various products across multiple devices.

Rather than having to create and configure different ads for different devices and products, you can creatively do it all at one time. These campaigns can be set up to run continuously and to reach the most relevant shoppers.

Kristi Argyilan, Senior Vice President at Target, had the following to say about dynamic product ads:

“With dynamic product ads, Target has been able to more easily engage consumers with highly relevant creative. The early results have exceeded expectations. Performance has been especially strong on mobile devices – an important and fast-growing area for Target – where we’re seeing two times the conversion rate.”

Multi-Product Ads

Facebook’s multi-product ad type will have the capability to show several of your products in one scrolling ad. Facebook hypes it as, “a highly engaging and visually rich way to increase sales and grow your business.”

Brands will be able to get creative with this too. Whether you want to show multiple products or tell a story through pictures, it will be interesting to see how creative businesses get in order to gain the attention of consumers.

Does your business want to reach potential consumers and expand your online presence? Contact our Social Media Specialists and we’ll have you on your way to expanding your social circle with customized management and advertising plans.

The Art of Social Selling

Posted on February 5, 2015 by - Social Media

Social Selling Has Been Proven Successful – If Done Properly

In the social media world, we hear all the time that brands and companies should be engaging their audiences. Rather than sales messages, followers of brands want useful information, viral content, and an inside look at the company, to name a few things. This is all 100 percent accurate.

However, brands can use social media to drive sales, not by constantly asking their followers to buy their products/services, but by implementing strategies that empower their employees (specifically the ones in sales) to make an endless amount of connections, prospects, and leads.

Social Selling

The IBM Example

A couple years ago, IBM North America gave social selling a try. After a six-month pilot program, they saw seven of their sales representative’s combined LinkedIn followers grow from 535 to 3,500. Their total reach went from 54,000 sets of eyes to 1.3 million.

Douglas Hannan, Business Unit Executive for Inside Sales Marketing at IBM North America, saw implementing social selling as a no-brainer after the initial test run:

“Basically, we got more pairs of eyes reading our content with a very low-cost investment – just the rep pages and some social messages. So we said, ‘This is definitely working; we’re rolling this out everywhere.’”

Easier Said Than Done

While there is a massive prospect pool on social media, you can’t just assume that everyone is a lead. To simplify, the main key is to listen and make the connection before any sort of a pitch.

Here are 3 things social selling is not:

  1. Relentless spamming.
  2. Making every conversation a sales pitch.
  3. A replacement for calling prospects and meeting them face-to-face.

Social selling can work well when you follow these steps:

  1. From a company standpoint:
    1. Establish a policy with your sales reps, train them, integrate, and analyze. A cohesive, company-wide effort will produce better results.
    2. From an individual standpoint:
      1. Clean up your profile.
      2. Follow influencers and potential prospects on Twitter.
      3. Don’t just post; listen and engage – re-tweet, share, endorse, and comment.
      4. Make a connection before a call, email, or sales pitch.

If you’re company needs a professional team of marketers to implement a social media marketing strategy, contact us here or call 800-367-2570.

The Super Bowl – A Marketer’s Holy Grail

Posted on January 29, 2015 by - Marketing

Every Year, Digital Marketers See More Of An Opportunity To Step Up Their Super Bowl Marketing Game

Super Bowl Marketing

Television ads during one of America’s most-watched events have always been a great way to make a huge advertising splash. But they certainly aren’t cheap. The rise of social media and mobile devices have given brands a cheaper avenue to market through and they have also changed the way the biggest brands are marketed during the Super Bowl.

Statistics from last year show that brands are seeing a more fruitful ROI from their Super Bowl ads than ever before. “Overall visits to advertisers’ websites rose 15 percent above 2013, while the average increase in typical daily Web traffic soared 163 percent,” reported the Adobe Digital Index (ADI) last year.

The main reason for this? Mobile! Consumers are more attached to their phones than ever as total smartphone visits to advertisers’ websites increased by more than 110 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Mobile Phone Visits During Super Bowl

Image via Adobe Digital Index

Who Is Winning In 2015 So Far?

While the outcome of the big game won’t be decided until late Sunday evening, we can already see which brands have the lead in terms of marketing and brand awareness.

Candy brands, such as Snickers, M&M’s and Skittles are devouring impressions with ads on Google for Super Bowl-related searches. M&M’s, in particular, isn’t even running a TV ad during this year’s game, but instead using Google to promote. Skittles, has already achieved trending status by teaming up with Marshawn Lynch.

Newcastle launched its Battle of Brands campaign over a week ago. It’s a very unique idea that will feature, “37 of the universe’s best brands…and a dental office in Pittsburgh,” according to their website, all in one commercial. Their YouTube video already has over 2 million views.

It wouldn’t be a big event if Facebook didn’t find a way to promote their platform. Similar to their World Cup marketing, Facebook will launch a Super Bowl hub page where live commentary and related posts will all be found in one place. It will also show the score and play-by-play updates. Were you up getting a drink and missed that touchdown catch? Better check Facebook for the replay! Genius.

What Can You Do To Compete?

Is it realistic for your local business to compete with national advertisers that will spend up to 4.5 million dollars on a TV ad? Of course not. But those brands aren’t your direct competition, like the local businesses on the other side of town are. The Adobe Digital Index (ADI) also reported, not surprisingly, that brands who advertise during the Super Bowl will see 6.5 times the amount of mentions as their competitors online. So it’s essential that you do something.

Posting images and video on social media are important, but posts that include a link are being increasingly shared.

Types of Facebook Posts

Image via Adobe Digital Index

If you want to have an impact, don’t necessarily think you can escape without forking over any money. Organic impressions are down on social media, specifically Facebook, and paid advertising is often a better way to reach your audience.

If your website isn’t mobile-friendly and your content isn’t tailored to a mobile audience, you might as well not even bother! As emphasized at the beginning of this article, a majority of the people seeing your ad or content are viewing from a smartphone or tablet. TV and mobile really do work well together.

Make sure your mobile-site is running at full speed, direct consumers toward your new mobile app, and post on mobile-intensive social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Vine.

Happy Marketing!

For more marketing tips and to keep up with the latest trends, subscribe to our newsletter, keep up with our blogs, and contact us to see how we can help promote your business online. 

Facebook Video is Kind of a Big Deal

Posted on January 14, 2015 by - Social Media, Video

Video

Funny movie lines aside, Facebook really wants to sell you on the idea that their videos could one day surpass YouTube’s viewership. Something comScore claimed they already did back in October.

Now we’re not saying they’re not a major player in the online world, just that it seems like it would take more than a few months to dethrone YouTube.

What does all of this video business mean for your business?

Well, since Facebook reports a 75% increase since last year in the number of videos being uploaded, this is a bandwagon you must jump onto. For example, you’ve heard the phrase, a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, a video would be worth about a million. They do 12 times as well as pictures on Facebook, and let’s not forget, Twitter GIFS are pretty popular too these days.

Contact us to help create videos for you, and to push them out across several social media platforms.

Still not convinced?

In a recent blog post, Facebook released the percentages that included one saying the amount of videos in users’ feeds has increased by 360% globally. Another great stat said more than half of all daily users view at least one video a day.

Some tips they gave were to post compelling videos that are shareable and with clips no one else has yet. Which should be your quest in anything you post online as a business anyhow, don’t you think?

Want to know more about social media and online marketing? Subscribe to our newsletter here for more industry tips and trends.

Call 800-367-2570 to get started on improving your social media presence.

2015 Social Media Checklist

Posted on January 7, 2015 by - Social Media

We’re a week into the New Year, but it’s certainly not too late to make some resolutions. In the social media world, things are changing. In fact, they’re always changing and it’s important to keep up.

Luckily, we have made it easy for you. Here’s a list of 8 social media strategies to incorporate in 2015:

1. Create Content

Content

This may seem vague, but that’s because it is. Content can come in a variety of forms. Podcasts, infographics, blog posts, videos, and slideshares are just a few examples. The point you need to remember is that brands need to act more like publishers on social media in 2015. The more you relate to your audience and provide them with relevant, valuable information, the more they will engage and show loyalty to your brand.

Slideshare, specifically, seems to be an up-and-coming social platform, especially for B2B companies. It offers and easy and effective way to create and distribute content. Check it out.

2. Get on Instagram

Insta

Launched only four years ago, Instagram has exploded onto the social media scene and has now reached over 300 million monthly active users. Its success has shown that people are more responsive to visual content. Brands of all sizes have started the Instagram marketing journey and if you haven’t, jump on that bandwagon in 2015.

3. Get on Pinterest

Pinterest

Like Instagram, Pinterest is also a place where visual content thrives and people search for ideas and inspiration. It has gone from a niche platform for artsy women to a platform for all demographics with information on just about everything. It also has shown to be powerful in Google search results and in 2015, Pinterest has made Promoted Pins available to all advertisers for the first time.

4. Give Paid Advertising a Shot

Paid

This is especially important on Facebook. With more companies seeing a decreased organic reach, Facebook’s answer? Pay for advertising. The options within paid advertising schemes are also becoming more advanced, you can better target specific consumers, and many times it’s simply more effective.

5. Create more Video

Video

In 2014, we saw Facebook surpass YouTube for desktop video views for the first time. While YouTube is definitely still important, other social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) have embraced video wholeheartedly. Brands can create their own video episodes, answer questions, give inside looks, and convey information in an appealing way by publishing more videos.

In addition, video also allows brands to be candid and transparent. You will be amazed at how popular a short, yet insightful video hosted on Instagram or Vine can be to your followers. There’s no excuse for brands not to produce video as you no longer need thousands of dollars worth of video equipment anymore, rather maybe just a smartphone.

6. Run a Contest – Create a Hashtag

Contests

One of the best ways to get your followers to participate on one of your social networks is to create a contest. Give something away, promote a charity, or maybe just build comradery around a hashtag.

Hashtag activism and communities that collaborated using a single hashtag hit an all-time high in 2014. We don’t expect that trend to decline in 2015. This is a great way to connect conversations across Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram and it’s a great way to get your followers to do the work for you.

7. Analyze Deeper

Analyze

Set benchmarks, record data, and ask yourself if the metrics you’re using to measure social media success are actually doing something for your business. Find some new tools to measure your social networks and make adjustments based upon your findings.

8. Keep Learning

Learn

Finally, don’t ever stop learning and progressing. We believe that you can count on these strategies 100 percent in 2015. However, in a few months there will be a new list of predictions and ideas to incorporate as the social media world is always changing and evolving.

Do you need team of professionals to implement these strategies, stay ahead of the curve, and grow your brand on social media for you? Contact us here or call Thoughtwire at 800-367-2570. 

Social Media 101 for Dummies: 3 Tips

Posted on December 9, 2014 by - Social Media

SM icons

As the year winds down and you plan your online marketing campaigns for 2015, you may think you know everything there is to know about social media. Or, you may be a beginner who just doesn’t get the value of it – and who doesn’t have time to even check it, much less work it.

Well here are some tips and tricks from our social media specialists you may or may not know. If you’re an expert, they’ll serve as a refresher course; for newbies, take note – these are the basics you need to know to get started and rock out 2015 in a big way.

Social media tip #1: One clear voice.

Make sure that across every platform you choose to utilize, and these days you should at least try to be on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, that you use the same profile and cover pics on each one – so you’re easily identifiable. This goes for whether you’re a business or an individual. Make sure they’re clear, beautiful pictures, and that they convey a strong message. These will be seen by the world, so make them count. Don’t try to make them fit if they don’t fit, and if you’re not great at Photoshop or graphic design, ask someone who is to do them for you.

Social media tip #2: Show up.

Don’t get on a social media network then drop off the face of the planet. Post at least once a day, and follow, retweet, follow back, plus one, Like, and Share. Be an industry expert, and add a little humor now and then to spice things up. Just show up every day, and add valuable content and insight where appropriate. Just being present can make a huge impact. If your last post was months ago, chances are your Likes and Followers have dropped off significantly. People are content hungry, and they’ll find the information or entertainment they’re seeking from your competitors if not you.

If you’d rather have the experts handle this for you, call us today. 800-367-2570

Social media tip #3: Audit your brand.

Frequently check to make sure you haven’t received any bad mentions, spam mentions, negative reviews, or spam comments on any of your pages. Some of these can be used as customer service opportunities, but many just need to be reported and blocked. Also see what people liked best, what their demographics are, and what they hated. Use this information going forward, and promote your page or boost the posts that got the most attention.

In conclusion, there are tons more tips we could add, but we felt these were the bare necessities for anyone looking to up their social media game – or just stay in the game at the very least.

Contact us today to have our experts work your social media for you.

The 2 main reasons your brand should be on Tumblr and Pinterest

Posted on December 5, 2014 by - Social Media

Tumblr and Pinterest are the fastest-growing social platforms today; but how do you know if your brand should be on them or not?

Yourbrand

You may think that these visually stimulating sites are just for teens looking at fashion pics, or women looking for recipes – but you’d be dead wrong; they’re so much more than that.

Many businesses utilize each of these for very different reasons. For example, if your business involves any kind of pictures, photography, fashion, design, food, or products in general – these are the platforms for you!

If you don’t have time to manage them, or don’t know how, our specialists can help.

Reason #1 you should be on these sites

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a gif is worth 10,000. If you want to appeal to the masses on Tumblr, switch things up and post an occasional gif. People love to re-blog funny ones their followers will like, and it says so much more non-verbally (when involving people) than a still photograph.

Reason #2

You can be seen by potentially hundreds of thousands of people. One of our social media specialists is a foodie, and food blogger, on the side in her spare time. She was posting so many food pics she got asked to be a featured Pinner to a shared Pinterest board that is seen by over 90,000 people on social media! That’s a lot of people seeing her personal website and pics!

It’s all about networking online, getting your brand out there, and enticing (persuading) people to check out your products and services. Be the expert in your field. Take and post pics that make their mouth, or minds, salivate.

If you’re running a business, you don’t have time to pin on Pinterest or reblog and post on Tumblr all day. But our specialists know where to go, and how to get your pics or gifs seen by the right people, much faster. And, they’re not only great what what they do, they actually ENJOY their work!

Call today and see how our social media specialists can help you.