Optimizing Social Media for Success

The impact of social media on the success of a business is becoming more and more apparent. Businesses and brands alike are seeing the importance of staying relevant online in a digital and mobile world, but many are struggling to effectively use social media to meet their goals.

Based on the results of Software Advice (a consultancy group for social CRM tools) and Adobe’s Social Media Content Optimization Strategy survey, 55 percent of marketers said that social media optimization is at least “somewhat difficult.” And these are marketing experts!  So how can a business owner keep up?

We’ve outlined the key aspects from Software Advice and social media influencer Liz Strauss’ analysis of the survey to help you create a social media plan that is effective and measurable and then optimize your social media for success:

Multiple Social Media Outlets

The majority of survey participants (84 percent) said they regularly post on at least 3 social media outlets, with 3 percent active on 11 or more networks. When your competitors are active on so many sites, only being on Facebook and Twitter may not be enough.

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However, many users “are using channels in a non-useful manner: posting randomly, without a goal, and without a true understanding of what can be accomplished on any social channel.” There’s a big difference between posting frequently and posting strategically.

A sound social media marketing strategy will not only involve publishing a lot of posts – it will involve publishing the right ones.

Post Frequency

Nearly half (47 percent) of respondents said they post on social media sites at least twice a day. Impressively, 19 percent post more than three times a day.

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Businesses that fail to post consistently will likely struggle to build brand recognition and engage audiences, especially when faced with competitors that have adopted more regimented social content delivery strategies.

Advanced Scheduling

The majority (41 percent) of participants responded that they schedule their social media posts “several days to one week” in advance. Planning posts ahead of time allows for finding content that is more meaningful and relevant to your audience and easy to post on multiple social media networks. 

Important Social Media Tactics

Eighty-two percent of participants said it is “important” or “very important” to use images in posts, while 67 percent said the same for using hashtags and usernames.

Most marketers believe optimizing their businesses’ social media content requires a multifaceted approach but many have their priorities out of whack. Their prioritization of images and hashtags over targeting specific audience is backwards. How do you know which images are going to resonate with your audience if you don’t know who your audience is? Also calls-to-action (CTAs) only work “when you know exactly who you are trying to reach and what you want them to do.”

When your images and CTAs are relevant to your audience, they are more inclined to respond to and share your content with their followers, ultimately, engaging your business with new potential customers.

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Determining the Best Posting Times

Most of the marketers said it was important to test the share and click-through rates (CTRs) of content at different times of the day and days of the week to discover when their audience was most receptive. And these decisions should be based on multiple performance indicators rather than focusing exclusively on any single metric.

Over 60 percent believe the use of social media optimization tools such as Hootsuite and Adobe Social are important for determining the best posting times.

Outside research proves as a valuable resource because it serves as a good jumping-off point for trial and error testing (A/B testing).

Measuring Social Media Goals

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Most participants said they had social media success with gaining new followers (74 percent) and building brand recognition (77 percent), but less than half said they were able to successfully nurture relationships with potential or existing customers via social media.

These results suggest that businesses are achieving half of what an overarching social media strategy can do for their company. Integrating tactics that nurture relationships can provide businesses with real, measurable results from their strategy.

Automated Posting Software and Services

More than half (57 percent) of the survey respondents said they use an automated posting service or software. Automated posting software is required to generate data and insight into the success of a social media strategy. The 43 percent of marketers who manually manage social media posts are putting themselves at a serious disadvantage.

Unless you are actually counting, “you’re likely to be way skewed. And even if your intuition is right, you’ll have a much easier time selling it to your boss or your customers if you can back it up with numbers.” Also, automated posting tools allow you to see what is being said about your business on various social networks.

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Upbeat Marketing specializes in Social Media Strategy – contact us at 512-222-7141  or info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com for more information or for help optimizing your business’ social media marketing strategy.

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The Value of Video Marketing

imageDo you have the time to write 1.8 million words? We didn’t think so. According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, 1.8 million words is the value of one minute of video(Source: Video Brewery). It’s like that old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” except for a lot more words. It is this statistic, in an addition to a whole host of others (some of which we will share in this post) that convince us that video is one of the most effective way to reach an audience today and is the future of marketing. We have been employing the use of video in many of our current projects and are seeing the ROI of video marketing first-hand.

Video is valuable for your business and brand primarily as you will see in these staggering statistics. Over 100 million people watch video online every day and the average Internet user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos each month (Source: Video Brewery). What is most striking about these video viewers, however, is the action they are more likely to take after watching video.

Some key statistics include:

  •  Website visitors are 64% more likely to buy a product from an online retail site after watching a video (Source: Video Brewery)
  • 80% of Internet users recall watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days, according to the Online Publishers Association. Of that 80%, 46% took some action including:
    • 26% looked for more information about the subject of the video
    • 22% visited the website named in the ad
    • 15% visited the company represented in the video ad
    • 26% purchased the specific product featured (Source:Video Brewery
  • The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (Source: Mist Media)
  • Video and e-mail marketing can increase click-through rates by more than 90%. (Source: Mist Media
  • Nearly three-quarters of consumers (73%) say they are more likely to purchase after watching videos explaining a product or service (Source: Animoto)
    • 96% of these respondents say they find videos “helpful” when making purchase decisions online(Source: Animoto)

That’s not where it stops. Video placed in an email marketing campaign creates a 51% increase in subscriber-to-lead conversion rates versus campaigns with no video. Having video on the landing page of your site also makes it 53% more likely to show up on page 1 of Google (Source: Mist Media). As video continues to grow, marketers must utilize this platform to maintain customer attention.

Another potential side effect of using video to grow your brand includes the potential of going viral and reaching a larger audience than your target by employing funny, memorable or touching situations (See the way American Greetings accomplished this in the video here).

Video also gives you a unique opportunity to interface with a large number of your consumers as well as answer questions and address concerns directly.

The value of video is simply too great to pass up. The statistics speak for themselves and tell us that consumers are more likely to listen to your brand or business when the story or content comes in the form of video. Coupled with social media to increase views and shares, video can be one of the most effective ways to get the main messages of your product or service to stick with your potential customers.

Want to utilize Upbeat Marketing to help your business gain the exposure video can offer?  Contact us at info@upbeatmarketingausitn.com or 512-222-7141 and we would be happy to talk!

 

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Building B2B Brand Advocates

“A 2012 Google study found that 60 percent of B2B tech buyers seek peer reviews before they make a purchase decision. And, according to a McKinsey report, word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchase decisions.”

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We cannot stress enough the importance of building strong partnerships and referral sources.  Small businesses thrive on referrals, and what better way to gain trust with your customers than positive word of mouth.  Think about how you make your own personal purchase decisions — how often do you post on Facebook asking your friends to recommend their favorite restaurant, doctor or vacation spot?  It works the same way with B2B.

It’s possible that you already have brand advocates out there, so to start we recommend compiling a list of your latest referrals sources.  Over time you may start to see patterns in your referral sources that we previously not on your radar (Side Note: Be sure to THANK your referral sources often.  Small gestures go along way.  Try a  hand-written thank you, a cookie delivery or just a simple phone call.)

Next, building on your already established partners, begin to identify other NEW brand advocates – starting first with customers who already support you.  Three customer personas of potential brand advocates are outlined by Software Advice in their article about Building B2B Brand Advocates.

The three customer personas for building brand advocates are:
1. Socially Active Customers – These are your socially savvy customers who are active online and consistently share or comment on your content
2. Peer Problem Solvers – These come to your aid by actively supporting potential customers on your behalf or defending you when necessary 
3. Customer References – These provide a personal touch by sharing positive experiences directly with prospective customers

Also mentioned in the article are 3 important steps for developing your brand advocate program:
1. Start Small & Vary It Up – To encourage participation, limit your number of asks to these groups.  Start with small tasks such as following you on social media and then build up to more time-consuming tasks like requesting a written blog post.  Also keep your requests frequent and varied to increase continued participation.
2. Say Thank You via Recognition – Instead of monetary gifts, recognition of your brand advocates goes a long way.  Consider a sneak peak of your product launch, premium access to your products/services, special badges or awards or even a hand-written note as mentioned above.
3. Manage Your Program – An advocate marketing platform is the best way to keep your participants organized and mobilized and to track progress made by brand advocates.

Whether you are nurturing relationships with existing brand advocates or developing new advocates to sing praises for your business, we hope you’ve found this information helpful. Contact Upbeat Marketing at 512-222-7141 or info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com for further help with your brand advocate program or browse our website to learn more.

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Event Management Tips For Success

Events are an essential way to get your product or business out there in the public eye. However at any standard event, be it a tradeshow, festival or fair, there are bound to be other companies and even your competition present! How do you make sure that your booth stands out and your company gets the public’s attention?

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You need to make sure that you make the right impression and leave the right memory with the attendees. Here are some tips to get you started on making the best experience at a public event:

1) Be childlike – At the core of every adult is a hidden child. We are all naturally attracted to games, toys, colors, and wonder. Find a way to make your booth fun and childlike enough to grab your audience’s attention.

2) Don’t stray too far – You are the experts in what you do, so don’t try and give off the impression of something you’re not. Show them that this is your area of expertise and incorporate your activity or ploy into your skill. This will show the audience that you are knowledgable in your category and can make it entertaining.

3) Learn from others – One of the best ways to get ideas is to see what other people are doing. At your next event, take a peek at the surrounding booths and see what people are up to! Another fun way to explore and see what is out there is to go to a festival or fair with some co-workers to get ideas.

4) Show them your passion – One of the easiest ways to get people to your booth is to be energetic and passionate about your product/company. Show them why you are in the business and why you care! When an employee shows their passion, it makes it easier for the audience to engage with them.

If you’d like to talk further with Upbeat Marketing on ways to make your events special, visit www.upbeatmarketingaustin.com or contact info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512.222.7141 with any questions.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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Holiday Marketing & Planning Tips from Upbeat Marketing

holiday marketing

Tis the season! Christmas is right around the corner and new year celebrations will follow closely behind. While the holidays can be seen as stressful to some, we encourage you to utilize the holidays to expand, develop and plan out your goals for 2014. Holiday marketing and proactive planning can help your business set the tone for the upcoming new year.

Expand Your Marketing Efforts with Contests & Customer Discounts

The holidays can be the perfect time to experiment with different marketing strategies. Try offering a special coupon code for new customers or reward your current customers with special deals and discounts for their loyalty.  Contests run through social media can also help you build brand awareness during the holidays. Consider using a special #holidayhashtag.  The possibilities are endless – have fun and don’t be afraid to try something a little out-of-the-box this holiday season.

Develop & Train Your Staff

Whether this means hiring new staff or further training existing staff, now is the time to think through these decisions. The holidays offer the perfect opportunity to treat your staff as a “thank you” for a job well done or to schedule an off-site training day for both fun and functional learning. Developing your team’s skills and/or a new system for handling sales will prepare you for the new year and any challenges that may come!

Plan for the Year Ahead

With a new year approaching, the future is bright and exciting. Use the holidays to plan out your upcoming marketing strategy for 2014. What are your sales goals? How will your marketing efforts help you accomplish these goals? And what plan of action will you take to ensure success? We recommend calendaring out the new year and planning your marketing efforts well in advance so you can ensure proper timing and execution.

Upbeat Marketing specializes in marketing strategy and campaign execution. Contact us today at info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512.222.7141 to learn more about our services.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Holidays!

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Let’s Be Honest About Marketing Copy

So you are writing some copy for your marketing materials…

What do you say? How do you say it? Who will read it? Let’s break down some simple questions that most professionals ask when writing copy for their marketing materials.

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1) Can I use the same copy everywhere?

This is not recommended. Your copy should be modified based on the medium you are using and the specific message you are sending.  Also consider the call to action most appropriate for each medium. Billboard copy for example should be short and eye-catching with a website link or phone number. Facebook posts may prompt the reader to click for more information before taking the next step to contact you. Consider your audience for each campaign you are running.

2) Do I need to use formal language in all my copy?

Not neccessarily. It depends on your brand voice! If you brand is a 5-star hotel then yes, but if you are a local tackle and bait shop then no.  It all depends on what you are saying and who you are saying it to.  Some marketing mediums also allow for a less formal tone.  Blogs for example tend to be less formal than website or printed copy.

3) Can I send the same message to everyone?

No. Every customer is different and should not be given the same 1-size-fits-all message. There are different demographics, behaviors and purchasing trends across customers, and you should communicate with them based on those factors and patterns. We suggest segmenting your audience and messaging to them separately when possible.

If you’d like more tips for marketing copy from Upbeat Marketing, visit www.upbeatmarketingaustin.com or contact info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512.222.7141 with any questions.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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Writer’s Block? Inspirational Rut?

As we near the end of the year, you may find that you need an extra spark to get your creativity flowing! Have you run into an inspirational rut? Experiencing writer’s block?

We’ve got you covered.  Enjoy some of our favorite resources that can help you unleash your inner creative genius!

*Take a break and watch a funny Youtube clip that you have never seen before (You will be surprised how a small giggle or chuckle can recharge your battery).

*Buzzfeed.com  – Be amazed at the bizarre and quirky things you will find on this site. Who knows? Maybe you find something that inspires you to think out of the box.

*Twitter – Check in on your friends, competitors and other businesses you admire to see if any of their posts or content spark your big idea.

*Ted Talks – These quick videos come in a variety of topics from different professionals in  various fields. Watch a video on a topic you don’t know much about — sometimes thinking in a new way or learning new things can help with writer’s block.

If you still need some inspiration or want to learn more, visit www.upbeatmarketingaustin.com or contact info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512.222.7141.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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Personalize Your Customer’s Experience

In a growing technological world where consumers are becoming more informed, intelligent and saavy every minute, the customer experience in changing. You cannot treat your customers in a cookie cutter way or apply the same customer experience you did years ago to today’s consumers. In order to remain at the top of your customer’s minds, you must adapt your business to better meet their needs and expectations.

One major difference that has been noticed in the past few years is personalization of customer experience. With more informed consumers (thanks, Google!), it is crucial to make sure you are tailoring your service and products to the people who are actually buying them — or you will lose them to your competitors.

Here are a few tips on how to personalize your customer experience:

1) Engage your consumers when they interact with you on social media platforms.

The next time a customer tags you in a status or checks in to your storefront, make sure you say “Great seeing you today!” or “We hope you enjoyed your time at our store.” It makes the customer feel special, and they will most likely plan a return visit/purchase.

2) Make sure you have someone dedicated to meeting your customer’s needs.

Whether it is you, your business partner or an employee you train, someone in your company needs to be in charge of customer relations. When customer complaints, praises and inquiries come in, this designated person needs to be the one who responds. This will allow your company to grow relationships with customers and create a personalized response to their questions/comments.

3) Allow customers to contribute by asking questions.

Through social media, customers can actually help create your content or at least provide a general direction for your ideas. For example, if you simply post a question like “What would you like to hear about in our next weekly blog?,” you can learn what your customers want and actually follow up on it. For retailers or restaurants, you can even pose questions related to new products or new menu items.  This helps customers to feel a personal connection to your company — and who doesn’t like to feel special?

If you’d like to do a little brainstorming with Upbeat Marketing on ways to personalize your company’s customer experience, visit www.upbeatmarketingaustin.com or contact info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512.222.7141.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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Easy Ways to See Returns on Social Media

Most of us are already aware that businesses are taking on social media at a rapid pace.  Social media is an incredible tool to build your brand and your business!

Inc.com states that the greatest benefit according to marketers is “generating more business exposure” (see their article, “Social Media Takes Time But Pays Off“).  Even better, this increased visibility filters down best to small business owners!  59% reported that social media has helped them find and secure new business partners.  Strategic partnerships are essential for referrals, branding, and overall growth.

So how does one measure returns on social media?  After all, it does require a bit of time!  Inc.com also offers a short guide on how to build your presence organically so that you can begin to see payoffs.  In other words, how to monetize social media.

Once you’ve established yourself in all of the major channels and have become comfortable talking to and engaging your audience, you can start seeing monetary benefits by:

  • Offering special promotions
  • Using Facebook, Twitter or Google Ad Words – all of which offer additional benefits in metrics and in learning about your audience demographics
  • Selling your products in an online store via Facebook
  • Using social media to retain loyal customers in addition to gaining new ones

What’s most wonderful about social media is that you are free to experiment and be creative in the ways you interact with your audience.

If you’d like to learn more about social media or to refine your social media marketing strategy, visit www.upbeatmarketingaustin.com or contact info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512.222.7141.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Power of Emotions

Emotions are what guide our habits and actions.

Emotions are what drive us to certain actions and to think certain things. How can a business harness these powerful emotions and use it in marketing to benefit the company and drive sales? Adding the power of emotion to your messaging can help grab your target’s attention and create a memorable brand image for return sales.

Here are a few things to remember when handling the power of emotions in your branding/marketing:

1) Context is key. Yes, an image or quote can say a lot, but to really emotionally connect with your audience you need to put the message into context. Framing the emotion into the message can help your audience relate or feel the emotion you are aiming for.

2) Be honest. Nobody likes false advertising or messaging, and it makes the audience feel an emotion you don’t want them to feel: betrayed. Using authentic content and true feelings towards your message will help create that honest bond between your brand and your consumer.

3) Finally, use your clients as a source of emotion. Why did they feel the need or desire to buy your product or service? Tapping into that emotion and understanding your audience can help drive your messaging forward down the road.

When using emotion in your messaging, these tips can help guide you to really creating that connection with your target. Emotions drive all human behavior and have a serious impact on our purchasing habits as well as the way we look at products. A great example is to think of a band’s t-shirt. Did you buy that shirt for the quality? Most likely, you purchased it due to the emotional bond you felt at the concert or through their music.

As a marketing agency, our goal is always to engage in an emotional bond with the audience by creating campaigns that grab their attention.  We see the overall creative process as an opportunity to build trust and expand upon our existing relationship with clients.  We hope you will experience the same success with these quick tips to use the power of emotions!

Want to learn more? Contact us at info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512-222-7141.

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