How do you know your business is doing well on social media?

You formed an organisation that has now been around for nearly five years and finally decided to make your organisation a part of social media. You make your Facebook page and spread the word to everyone you know, and before you know it you have nearly 10,000 likes on your page! As you have learned your content is essential, so you become personable and put content out there that aren’t just glorified ads for yourself – you care about your organisation’s mission. Your content always gets thousands of likes. That must mean you fulfilled your goals of social media outreach and have a positive return on investment (ROI), right?

Likes and followers are not everything.

Our first problem is being content with having thousands of likes, followers, and feedback.  These are great, but if you’re a business or a non-profit organisation that relies on revenue, you’ll quickly learn that likes aren’t an exchangeable currency. We need to break the mentality that quantitative knowledge is everything, and instead, focus on goals that measure value metrics over activity metrics.

We need to break the mentality that quantitative knowledge is everything, and instead, focus on goals that measure value metrics over activity metrics. Value metrics include increased revenue, deflected cost, moving brand perceptions.

Your Facebook likes alone won’t tell you if you’re succeeding, so create goals that have a value connected to them.

If you’re having trouble setting goals, trying to set S.M.A.R.T. goals

Direct contact with your audience isn’t everything either.

Unlike other media such as television, radio, and print, social media’s success isn’t measured based off of one person’s viewership. Social media gives the opportunity for your viewers to share and multiply viewership, further increasing potential actions from a new audience.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr rely on users sharing content, which makes the job of content creators a lot easier. With great content, comes great effort from content consumers, who unknowingly help fulfil their goals.

Social media goals shouldn’t be measured separately from other channels.

Because of its influence, we believe the goals we set on social media should be independently measured. In fact, we should be measuring them alongside all of the organisation’s media. Social media makes enough influence that it brings its viewers to their different forms of media.

Tyler Oakley, starting off as a Youtube phenomenon, is an example of this. Despite having over 8 million Youtube subscribers, Oakley does not measure his success based on that alone. Now spread to media like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, television, and recently books, Tyler Oakley can’t measure his success individually for each.

With these strategies in mind, we need to remember that likes aren’t everything, a single viewer can make large impacts, and to measure your media as a whole.

 

 

Building a Marketing and PR Plan

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Marketing is often associated with products and services being sold. While this is correct, there is more to it than that. Marketing, more than products and services, is about the customers you are selling to. Marketing is no longer about forcing people into submitting to your desires, marketing is about giving a group of people something they want, and thus, you must plan your strategy around bringing forth this idea.

A common error in several marketing plans is focusing on the wrong thing. Objectives in the marketing plan should be associated with what the actual business is. For example; a musician should try to make revenue by selling their music in one form or another. An artist should sell its art. Large corporations need to gain revenue to grow. To do this, the marketer needs to know the audience they are trying to sell to and appeal to that very market. Many marketers and PR executives still believe that the old styles of marketing are effective and do not use the new tools that our modern day has given to us.

Buyer personas can be a useful tool in this case. A buyer persona can help you find specific details about the type of audience you have gathered. As you learn about your customers, catering to their needs and meeting what appeals to them will become clearer. These details can include, but aren’t limited to: where you can find them, what they enjoy doing, how they would prefer to purchase and other tidbits of useful info. Interviewing someone (especially a customer) can also prove to be a great way of creating a form of buyer persona.

If you are looking to expand your audience, there are ways of bringing new people in. Going back to what I said earlier, marketing is about your audience, so you would be creating some sort of content that would appeal to this new group. Do people like to shop or get information online? Build that website and fill it with content that will bring in other people can catch attention.

As we were reminded in class “YOU are not your customer” and the ways of marketing have evolved. Great content and useful products are still essential, but knowing your audience and building something that people would want is even more effective. Soo remember, if you’re creating your own business or you want to get something you’ve worked hard on out there, remember who you’re targeting and use the tools necessary to reach them and bring them in.

The E’s have it: Four tips for mastering digital content

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Use those bright ideas to get and keep your audience’s attention.

Times have changed. Gone are the days of being limited to receiving news at six in the evening, or being tethered to the kitchen wall when talking to a friend on the phone. We are in the age of smart phones now, and that means less limitations. Now, news is available in a few taps on your screen and texting allows us to communicate freely with people. But with smart phones comes a new era of marketing. Mobile marketing. This means thinking outside of the traditional marketing box and coming up with unique ways to reach your audience via their mobile device. How? The four E’s of digital content strategy, that’s how.

Engage:

The first step is gaining your audience’s attention and interest. A popular way to do this with mobile marketing is location-based discounts. The concept is simple, a user’s phone recognizes when they’re near your business and a coupon pops up. Easy, right? If they’re right there anyway, and they’re getting a deal, it increases their chances of coming in. Once you’ve engaged them, let them work for you. Make your content easily shareable to various online platforms so that your new customers will be able to share their experience with friends. RingPartner offers some useful tips on these and other strategies for engaging your audience.

Educate:

Once you have your audience’s attention, you need to be able to hold it. One way to do this is to provide knowledge to your audience. People are curious in nature, and if offered a learning opportunity in an interesting way, they will take it. Think blogs, how-to videos, or even an app. Give them a solution to something, give them information and they will come back for more. The sky is the limit here, so get creative. Not sure where to start? Convince&Convert gives examples of real businesses and their education strategies.

Entertain:

Another great way to hold your audience’s attention is to entertain them. I mean, who doesn’t like to be entertained? Most of us enjoy movies, books, music, etc. Use this to your advantage. Videos can go viral because of their entertainment value, so use them in your marketing. Bonus: they are easily shared so you can get new engagement this way too. But don’t rely solely on videos every time you want to entertain your audience. Find other ways to provide enjoyment to your audience. ClickZ suggests comics as another outlet to make your message exciting.

Evangelize:

As discussed with engagement, use your current audience to get you a new audience. Get those already engaged and involved as a consumer to speak for you. After all, even in this digital era, word of mouth is still the best way to gain new interest. Digital content just makes it easier to spread the word. With a single click one person can share your information with hundreds of people. For an in-depth look at evangelism marketing, check out marketing-schools.org.

With these four strategies, the digital world is your oyster. So get out there and start finding some pearls.

Know the success behind an audience’s need for speed

In a time of digital media, we can no longer rely upon simply having the largest amount of content. With everyone’s access to the internet, content becomes quickly saturated if people already see it all over by other sources. In a time of new ideas, the most effective way of getting yours out there is by utilising speed.

Ourselves, as consumers, have grown to crave swift access to all of the content we ever need. To the point where we expect it. Because of this, time has become a resource. You can either work around it or have it work for you.

A Prime example of who does this right

A PRIME example of this is Amazon. More important, Amazon Prime. Currently, Amazon offers three methods of delivery exclusive to those who subscribe to their Amazon Prime service. These methods include Two-Day Shipping, Same-Day Shipping, and Prime Now. Standing out from the other two already exclusive offers, Prime Now offers two-hour delivery and even one-hour delivery for a small fee. Amazon fulfils the consumers’ need for speed while making themselves the go-to place for online shopping.

Instead of being fearful of time, they embrace it and use everyone else’s urgency of time to their advantage.

Dunk in the Dark

Services aren’t the only way to use speed. In 2013, Oreo showed the world how real-time marketing was done. After the power had gone out during the Super Bowl, Oreo released this tweet.

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Without spending millions of dollars, Oreo had the most successful ad in that year of the Super Bowl. Oreo reacted quickly to the situation and in return guided other companies through real-time marketing.

How can I do this?

Listen. Regularly listen to what your audience is saying. Listening is the beginning step to communicating. The golden rule of communication is to keep it as a two-way street after all.

In the video game world, many gamers can relate to this through the most anticipated mobile app of the year, Pokemon Go. What started out as the dream game from every gamer’s childhood quickly crashed after its release. Within the first week, millions of people tried logging on to play the long-awaited game, only to be met with this message.

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Understanding the message, the players waited and waited. They waited a month. Public forums and other forms of social media filled with confusion, which then turned into rage when Pokemon Go’s developers, Niantic, stayed quite through the whole ordeal. After a month, they lost millions of users, many never looking back at the game. By not making an effort to communicate with their audience, Niantic lost out on the chance to keep their audience.

As detailed through this, listening is important, but even more so is responding. Throughout this time, all the fans needed was a simple message from the developers saying that they were listening and finding a way to help. Instead, the fanbase was left in the dark with no idea of any future fixes to the game.

Sometimes your audience doesn’t need to read paragraphs of information. By being quick with decisions and understanding an audience’s need for speed, these companies take advantage (or don’t take advantage) of efficient communication to improve themselves as a business. Seize this opportunity to learn from these lessons of speed.

 

The Role of Video and Audio in Web Marketing

In web marketing, a lot of what someone may do on their blog or website to market their products is all in text and still images. Blogs are especially notorious for being a great big wall of text with nothing but one’s own attention span and love of reading to keep their interest on a blog. There are some things in web marketing that text and images alone cannot do. Text cannot set an atmosphere, give off emotion or create any sort of vibe. This is when web marketers go on to using video or audio to enhance their marketing experience.

Thanks to the extra ‘bang’ that can be delivered with video, video has the power to turn topics that would otherwise be boring to viewers, interesting and fun, if done correctly. Videos can be posted on many different platforms. Some people will post video on their blog in order to enhance their blogger’s experience, but there are also platforms on the internet dedicated to video. YouTube, Vine, Dailymotion and Vimeo are a few examples of platforms marketers can use to get their messages across.

If video is too much of an investment (as video production can be expensive) than sometimes podcasts are the better way to go. Podcasts are simply audio files that a viewer can listen to. The benefit of podcasts is that they are much less expensive to dish out and can be updated on a more frequent basis. Podcasts can be played on such platforms like: iTunes, Google Reader, MyYahoo and Newsgator just to name a few. Podcasts are also very easy to control and are very powerful tools in terms of reaching potential buyers directly. Because of small production value and its ease of creation, podcasts can react to audience feedback on a timely basis and in an interesting way.

While podcasts and video are very useful and can possibly hold a company up on its own, they are not meant to completely thwart the other tools of web marketing and should be used alongside the other web marketing tools as a way of enhancing and optimizing on your arsenal of web marketing strategies.

Media such as video and audio are powerful tools in the web marketing industry. On the internet, people are impatient and can only read so much text before they begin to get bored and lose their attention. Video and audio are fun and interesting ways to keep a user attentive to what it is you are trying to convey.

Soaring on social media: Tips for using Twitter

By Cassandra Secord

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In a sea of tweets, make yours stand out.

In recent years, social media has taken over. It’s rare now to find someone who doesn’t engage in the online world via Facebook, Twitter, and the like. With almost everyone engaged online, reaching your target audience through social media is obvious. What’s less obvious though is how to do that.

With so many social media sites to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one is the best to engage your audience. Facebook is one of the most used social networks, but it shouldn’t be the only one you use. Using Twitter, a micro-blogging site, can also be beneficial to your business. The limited word count on Twitter means messages need to be short and concise. This makes messages easier for your audience to scan. But with only 140 characters to play with, how do you get your message across?

First, keep in mind that just because you have 140 characters, it doesn’t mean the you have to use them all. Shorter tweets are easier for the internet audience to digest. People are becoming more use to small bites of information, and tend to not read long articles or posts. So even though you are already limited, a short, snappy tweet will stand out among longer ones.

According to sproutsocial, shorter tweets are also more likely to get retweeted. Most users use RT to signify a retweet, as well as citing your Twitter handle. A longer tweet could make it impossible to use this format, as they may not have enough characters left to do so. It also leaves room for users to include their own comments.

To answer the question of how to write a short tweet, I suggest you look to JakeCanDo. They have a list of methods you can use to keep your tweets concise. Some of their best tips are to limit yourself to one message per tweet. Trying to share many ideas in under 140 characters is just going to be too much, so pick one and save the rest for later. Another good tip is to write long at first, then edit it to be short after. Once all your ideas are down, you can go back through and start making your language more concise.

Now that we’ve talked about shortening your tweets, let’s focus on another strategy. Photos. Twitter’s blog actually states that tweets containing photos receive 313% more engagement. Including a visual not only makes it easier to catch people’s attention, but also says a lot. Short tweets are great, but photos add some variety and are a great way to get around the word limit. Photos tell their own story, so even though you have few words, an image will speak for you.

There are many tips and tricks for improving your Twitter presence. These two are some of the easiest and most engaging. Now it’s time to use them, so fly on over to your Twitter page, create your own engaging tweet, and watch it soar.

 

A simple way to think about the Internet when you take your business online

 

Stumbling into the world of social media with the idea of getting your business out there can be daunting if it’s your first time. There are so many places you could post, and it’s critical to post the right information in the right place – because that is where your audience will be.

Visualise the Internet as a city.

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The corporate website is your storefront.

It isn’t directly selling to you but will give you information on what’s inside and what to expect.

Think about your audience when making this website. Don’t only think of what you want your audience to know. Try putting yourself in your the shoes of a member of your audience. What might they want to get from your website?

When making your corporate website, still put more of yourself into it. Don’t make it so generic, and instead, give it the personality that draws in people.

Craiglist is like a bulletin board at the grocery store. 

Here, everyone is going to stop by and check all of the classified ads on community events, job openings, services, and other local interests.

Depending on your type of business, Craiglist can be useful, but it is more suitable for services such as tutoring, repairs, and much smaller scale services. This is why it is important to know where your content should be going.

eBay is a garage sale.

Much like Craiglist, this isn’t a staple for your business. Although, some have turned to eBay as a business.

The use of eBay is very situational for companies, depending heavily on the products that you sell. After forming a success from eBay, sellers will often create their website to sell their goods and link their site to their eBay page.

Amazon is a Superstore.

You can find anything here.

Another medium for selling, Amazon is the world’s largest distributor through electronic commerce. With countless online shops, Amazon sets up a point of sale for businesses to sell their goods.

Sellers can tap into Amazon’s infrastructure in exchange for a fee, and sell their products. Much like eBay, after retailers establish, they often create their website as a selling point to their buyers.

Mainstream media sites are the newspapers. 

This concept is self-explanatory; much like a local newspaper, your ideas can be pitched in the form of a news release to be picked up as a story for the media.

Mainstream media outlets and physical newspapers share the same idea: getting news out to their audience – and in the end your audience.

Find ways to work with other forms of mainstream media. Don’t only sell your product and instead, sell a story.

Social Media is the private clubs and cocktail parties.

Here is where everyone wants to be. The social media, in this case, is your blogs, forums, and social networks. Using social media is how you meet new people and find those who will be interested in you and what you have to offer. In the end, you will find your best luck here.

In the end, you will find your best success here, as it is the most versatile of the places.

Moving to the big city. 

Think about what you have to offer and tailor your content to the place you are posting.

eBay isn’t for sharing your business’ backstory, and your corporate website isn’t used to sell your product directly. Instead, think critically about where you’re posting, and what kind of audience will be waiting for you there.