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Posts tagged Social Media

Using Social Media to Promote the Consumer—Not the Brand

Social media is widely recognized as one of the most successful ways for brands to engage in a two-way conversation with their customers. Some brands are more successful than others at utilizing social media in a way that builds customer loyalty; what makes these brands rise above the rest is their ability to put the consumer first.

One’s primary purpose when logging into Facebook is to connect with others, whether they be friends, companies or musicians. Even the most loyal of customers generally do not use Twitter as a medium through which to purchase a new product. In short, people see social media as an interactive and individualized experience, and they want the opportunity to express themselves in this manner. The following two brands are particularly adept at using the social media experience to their advantage.


Converse is doing social media right, thanks to VP-General Manager of Brands and Segments Geoff Cottrill. When asked in an interview for the source of the brand’s success, Mr. Cottrill claimed, “We try to celebrate our audience, not ourselves.” Indeed, Converse’s Facebook and Twitter pages are dedicated primarily to promoting its fans; for instance, a campaign titled Chuck Hackers spanning all of the brand’s social media channels allows customers to post photos of their custom-drawn Chuck Taylor sneakers for millions to see.

A lesson we can learn from this brand is that social media users do not want to be told how to use the products they buy. Converse both understands and publicly praises its audience’s desire to distinguish themselves from others. Are your customers using your products in a unique way? If so, use social media to capitalize on their individuality.

Continue to read on our blog: Brand Development: Build and Re-Energize Your Brand Today
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What Instagram Teaches Us About Advertising & Content

In early March, Instagram and global advertising agency Omnicon agreed to a deal worth about $40 million. This deal created frenzy among the social and advertising worlds because up to this point, Instagram has been very cautious about their distribution of advertisements.

Instagram was acquired by Facebook in April of 2012. After this acquisition, most people assumed that Instagram would begin to show ads on a regular basis. However, Instagram has only been showing ads in users feed since November 2013.

The social picture and video sharing network has worked hard to make sure that their ads stay true to the spirit of the Instagram community. What they’re really saying is that they want the ads to be high quality, engaging and add value to their users. Instagram selects what ads to display on peoples’ feeds by using information about you found on Instagram and Facebook. This might include who you follow, pictures you’ve liked, or your interests listed on Facebook.

Currently, Instagram has about 200 million monthly active users. This number might be far behind Twitter’s 243 million monthly users and really far behind Facebook’s1.23 billion users, but companies are still itching to advertise on Instagram. One of the reasons why companies want to use Instagram to advertise is because it’s growing extremely fast.

Continue to read on our blog: What Instagram Teaches Us About Advertising & Content
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Twitter is the Best Social Media Platform – For Consumer Connection

The New York Times published a piece this week detailing the social media strategy of General Motors, and the steps they have taken to gain the trust of their customers after some tragic PR blunders. The company has begun to take advantage of Twitter as a way to get directly in touch with their consumers, and have received positive results. Not only has G.M.  been establishing genuine relationships with their with customers, but those relationships have been reciprocal; the majority of mentions they have received on Twitter are either neutral or positive, with only 3% negative. G.M. is just one example of a brand finding a consumer connection on Twitter. If you’re looking for a way to form a better relationship with your consumer, Twitter may be the right social media tool for you. Here are some ways you can use Twitter to your advantage:

Connect with the Consumer - Twitter allows you to get directly in touch with consumer, and allows them to express their praise and concerns. You can get a direct opinion from an interested party, one that is offered willingly. If your consumer has an issue, they don’t have to call a hotline and wait on hold forever; rather, they can reach out to the brand directly and deliver a specific message on what they would like to see improved. This can create truthful and interactive messaging with your consumer, which is popular in marketing today.

Have Multiple, Targeted Accounts - Popular enterprise-level brands like Nike have support Twitter accounts along with their main Twitter account, in order to give their customers another outlet to reach out to. This way, complaints are not visible on the main page that sells the brand;  it has its own place specifically for that purpose. This dedicated account also helps customer support specialists zero in on messages that are relevant to them, rather than having to sift through a massive Twitter feed. It shows your customers that you want to listen and help them, and makes you a more reliable brand. Separate accounts don’t end with customer support; regional or local brand branches, different service sectors, fan clubs – there are tons of ways to segment your audience and offer relevant content and interaction.

Continue to read on our blog: Twitter is the Best Social Media Platform – For Consumer Connection
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More Than Just Luck: How the Four Leaf Clover Can Teach You About Inbound Marketing


St. Patrick’s Day means a lot of things to different people. A religious holiday, a celebration of an ethnicity’s history in America, or a reason to party, there are many reasons to love March 17. We would like to add one more: St. Patrick’s Day is a great chance to review how B2B companies can successfully close the customer loop with inbound marketing.

Just like St. Patrick used the clover to teach about Catholicism, we use the four leaf clover to demonstrate what HubSpot calls the “Four Marketing Actions”. Complete these actions well, and you won’t even need the four leaf clover’s luck!

Leaf 1: Attract

Driving qualified traffic (the types of people who are most likely to buy your product or subscribe to your service) to your brand’s digital properties is an essential component to digital marketing. Smart marketers know exactly what these types encompass; they create buyer personas or buyer profiles that include goals, challenges, and typical problems to which the brand’s offering is a solution, as well as general demographics that describe the ideal buyer. For B2Bs, this information includes job title and description, goals for that position, challenges that individuals face when trying to accomplish this goal, and reasons why that individual might turn to the brand as a solution.

Knowing what an ideal buyer needs – and needs to know – makes it much easier to build enticing attractions that will guide them to your brand. What are those attractions? Content. Blogs, social media accounts, landing pages, and optimized web pages are all great content pieces that will attract that qualified traffic.

Leaf 2: Convert

Most B2Bs have a longer sales cycle. While expecting a first-time online visitor to make a purchase is a little unrealistic, you do want to make an initial interaction that you can follow up to move them closer to a purchase. Creating opportunities to collect visitors’ contact information – converting that traffic into leads – is crucial to facilitating this process. Usually, conversion is a give-and-take process; offering a visitor an exclusive gift, such as a promotion, or extensive content piece in exchange for their contact information is the best way to organically establish the initial conversion. How do you create these exchanges? Create compelling calls-to-action, contact forms, and email contact are all useful to converting.

Continue to read on our blog: More Than Just Luck: How the Four Leaf Clover Can Teach You About Inbound Marketing
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6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon(‘s Fan Page): Facebook’s News Feed Change Gives Brands a Chance

For months now, brands have watched their Company Page organic reach levels fall drastically as Facebook tinkered with its News Feed algorithm. These changes made it much harder for brands to appear in users’ News Feeds, or to stay visible there for long. Many social media marketers cried foul, accusing Facebook of putting Company Pages at a disadvantage so that they would have to invest more in Facebook Advertising. However, it seems like Facebook is trying to restore a little visibility to brands with its newest News Feed change, Page Tagging.

Now, when a brand tags a Page or person within a post, users who like the tagged Page will see the update on their News Feeds – even if they haven’t liked or followed the Page doing the tagging. Combined with the Trending Topics sidebar introduced in January, Page Tagging is Facebook’s attempt to serve users with relevant content that is interesting to them, and potentially introduce them to new Pages that they would genuinely enjoy but would not have discovered on their own.

This change presents an opportunity and a challenge to brands. On one hand, it’s a great chance to put content in front of a relevant yet never before tapped audience. Sports teams and franchises have been employing this feature particularly well, by tagging their individual players’ Pages, or the page of the league to which they belong.

However, the unregulated nature of tagging is opening the door to spammers, who want to highjack legitimate Pages’ audiences. Small Pages can simply tag large, popular Pages that they are related to, or only tenuously so; Search Engine Watch gives the example of an affiliate hockey jersey site tagging a specific hockey team’s Page in their post in order to attract fans of that team and its Page. There are no practical solutions to this problem yet; reporting a post as spam could backfire, since many of these posts have legitimate content and might not be recognized as “spam”, and requiring an approval process for tagging would slow down a system that performs best when moving in real time.

Continue to read on our blog: 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon(‘s Fan Page): Facebook’s News Feed Change Gives Brands a Chance
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Lithium Acquires Klout: Is Social Influence More Important Than We Thought?

In a surprising move last week, Lithium Technologies acquired the social media measurement company Klout. The deal doesn’t appear to be officially closed, but most experts report that a deal has been signed and is waiting for the finishing touches. The most surprising fact about this acquisition is that Lithium has reportedly spent $100 million to buy Klout.

Founded in 2008, Klout measures social influence and assigns a score to each user ranging from 1-100, based upon the activity of that user’s connected social media accounts. Sounds simple right? Not exactly.

The question that most people have with Klout is how exactly is influence measured? Supposedly, there is an algorithm that measures influence, but people are skeptical about whether this algorithm is accurate. It’s also believed that there are many ways to game the system into giving higher scores. This skepticism has led many people to ignore Klout scores all together.

However, a $100 million offer is nothing to scoff at. Lithium Technologies is a software company that provides various tools that help companies manage social customer experience. They’ve worked with clients such as AT&T, Best Buy, Verizon and Acer. Clearly, Lithium sees Klout as a valuable social asset, especially considering Klout’s new services.

Recently, Klout updated its services to help users become more influential by focusing more on content creation. This move by Klout makes it easier for users to create, share and find relevant content. This is very different from their core service but in many ways it’s a much more valuable tool for individuals and companies alike. For example, one new aspect of Klout called “on the rise” alerts users about content that is on the verge of trending.

Continue to read on our blog: Lithium Acquires Klout: Is Social Influence More Important Than We Thought?
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Sochi’s Social Media Problem: What Businesses Can Learn About Branding

February 7th marked the beginning of the highly anticipated winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. While tradition still shines with the passing of the touch and the elaborate opening ceremonies, social media is still a relatively new aspect of this iconic event. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become accessible to many in their everyday lives, and they’ve given viewers at home the opportunity to be a part of the Games like never before.

Not only do we get a more in depth look at our favorite athletes, but we are able to voice our opinions about the Games as well. While this may be positive to us, the viewers at home, it is certainly not to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), whose tasks include maintaining a positive brand image and to keep controversy surrounding the Olympics low.

It was rumored in November that no athletes or spectators at the Olympic Games would be allowed to use social media while participating in the event, though this proved to be false. Participants are allowed to engage in social media, as long as they follow the rules.

The IOC have released social media, blogging, and internet guidelines for participants and viewers of the Sochi 2014 Olympics to try to minimize any potential branding blunders. This comes as no surprise, as we are all familiar with past scandals involving Olympic participants and social media. While the rules to state that they want participants to enjoy and express themselves freely, there are precautions and guidelines to follow.

Continue to read on our blog: Sochi’s Social Media Problem: What Businesses Can Learn About Branding
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Don’t Do This: Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid


By now we all know that content marketing is a critical component of digital marketing success. You also probably know that successfully distributing content is just as important as the actual content creation. You can create excellent content, but if you don’t distribute it correctly, then it was a complete waste of time.

In one of our previous blogs, we shared with you some tips about how to get your content noticed. Social media sites, email, SEO, and link building are all great options to get your content out there. However, some content marketers abuse these distribution outlets.

When you’re sharing your content, it’s important to remember that you want to serve your potential customers, not suffocate them. Below are some common content practices that should be avoided at all costs.

  • Tweeting and Tweeting and Tweeting – Twitter is an excellent tool for distributing your content. A catchy tweet with a link will entice readers to want to learn more. However, companies and bloggers often go overboard with tweets. One tweet per blog post or article at a time is usually enough. There may be instances when tweeting more than once is appropriate, or you may at some point want to “recycle” and redistribute a popular content piece, but sending out 5 tweets for one blog post is overkill.

Continue to read on our blog: Don’t Do This: Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
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Esurance Super Bowl Giveaway: Real-Time Marketing Triumph or Tragedy

It’s no secret that one of the best parts of the Super Bowl is the commercials. Advertisers know that if their brand is going to be seen by millions of people (111.5 million this year); the commercial has to be original and emotive. However, it seems that the most popular commercials in the past few years have taken the unconventional route and used Twitter, a relatively new form of social media. Last year, Oreo received high praise for tweeting “You can still dunk in the dark” when the power briefly went out at the Superdome. This tweet garnered 10,000 retweets in one hour, and left us all wondering if this was the new wave of high profile marketing.

This year, Esurance took a shot at social media marketing. Instead of buying an ad during the Super Bowl, they chose to show their commercial immediately after the end of the 4th quarter.

Esurance decided to save that money, just as they hope to do for their customers. John Krasinski, a familiar face and charming spokesperson, explained that if you published a tweet using the hashtag #EsuranceSave30, you were eligible to win the money they saved from not purchasing a Superbowl ad, a whopping 1.5 million dollars.

Esurance is certainly receiving the attention it desired, and is getting some of the best post-Super Bowl commercial coverage.  In the first minute after the commercial aired, they received 200,000 tweets. By Monday, they received 2.391 million.  Tweeters can enter as many times as they please, and the winner will be announced Wednesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Continue to read on our blog: Esurance Super Bowl Giveaway: Real-Time Marketing Triumph or Tragedy
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Score a Touchdown with Your Ad Campaign


On February 2nd the biggest football game of the year will be played. While it may be an important day in the world of sports, it’s also the biggest day in the advertising world. The Super Bowl showcases some of the most creative and expensive advertisements that we’ll see all year.

In the past there have been some industry giants that have become regulars during Super Bowl intermissions. Companies such as Budweiser, GoDaddy, and Pepsi continue to shell out the big bucks for thirty seconds of glory, hoping that an intriguing commercial will lead to increased sales and brand recognition.

Chances are, your company probably won’t be spending millions on one commercial. However, you can still learn something from the companies that will be featured during Sunday’s game. We’ve provided some tips that regardless of the size of your budget, will help you optimize the quality of your online ad campaigns.

1.  Create Buzz Around Your Campaign – Even before their commercials air, many of the large companies have created teaser commercials or YouTube promo videos. For example, Bud Light’s teaser commercial featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger playing ping pong has created quite a stir. Similarly, your company can create a buzz around a new product or service that is approaching its release date. Social media is a great way to do this. Start with fans of your Facebook page. Facebook fans are usually your most loyal customers so they will show interest and give feedback regarding posts about your new offering.

Continue to read on our blog: Score a Touchdown with Your Ad Campaign
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You Won’t Believe Our Process for Creating Shareable AND Search Engine-Friendly Headlines

One of the most controversial new trends in digital publishing involves maybe the smallest element of any content piece: the title. What journalists traditionally refer to as “the lede” has always had an important job – to draw readers in and to make them concentrate on that one particular story. Now, however, titles have to take on even more work; aside from drawing readers in, they have to also convince those readers to share that content across social networks, and they also have to alert search engines as to the subject of the content piece. It’s a lot to ask of a single phrase or sentence. Several media and content distribution sites have taken to creating “clickbait” out of their titles – long sentences that create a logic gap between the promised content and an emotional appeal to the reader.

Take this post’s title; this is a classic example of the new form of clickbait: it depends upon human curiosity and the possibility of shock value. You won’t believe it, because it’s so outrageous, or easy, or something – but what? Now you have to find out. Additionally, it creates the assumption that the reader doesn’t know how to create shareable and search-engine friendly headlines and challenges the reader with this assumption. While this example is innocuous enough, some forms of clickbait have become insidious and deliberately deceitful.

Continue to read on our blog: You Won’t Believe Our Process for Creating Shareable AND Search Engine-Friendly Headlines
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Facebook is Changing and You Should Too

Uh oh, they’ve done it again. If you’re a longtime Facebook user, you know that Facebook has changed a countless number of times over the years. We’ve seen the introduction of the news feed, cover photos, and even full redesigns of the homepage.

The most recent changes from the social media giant are going to have a major effect on social media marketers, especially those who rely heavily on Facebook. Facebook has updated their newsfeed ranking algorithm to ensure that their users are seeing high quality content.

The algorithm update treats posts from users’ friends differently than posts from brand or company pages. It is difficult to say how brands can position their content in users’ feeds, but there are a few things you should keep in mind that will help you with Facebook’s recent update:

1. Link-Share – Facebook has been vague about which type of content will generate the most traffic, but they‘ve been very explicit about the best way to share links. Facebook suggests using a link-share rather than embedding links in statuses. Link-sharing creates more engagement and it adds aesthetic value to your post. Look at this site for a better understanding of embedding vs link-share.

Continue to read on our blog: Facebook is Changing and You Should Too
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