Category Archives: Blog

Making Your Social Media More Dynamic

More and more businesses, companies, and entrepreneurs are utilizing social media as a way to network with their consumers. Yet, how do you stand out against competitors? In a world of information overload, you have to get pretty creative when it comes to social media to not only grab the attention of users, but to also keep it! Below are a few tips, derived from various social media-marketing specialists, to help make your social media sites more dynamic.

To begin, be sure to share your content more than once. For many they are hesitant about sharing content more than once, in fear that consumers will pick up on redundancy. Sharing your content more than once is to drive more traffic to that initial share. Whether it’s reposting a link to your latest blog post, or following up to a recently posted photo on Twitter, sharing content a few times will allow for more traffic, reaching people in different time zones, and even sharing content with new followers or friends.

Next, utilize free analytics systems to see how well you are performing, such as Google Analytics or Buffer. Being aware of the different levels of engagement on your social media site will assist in the decision making process of when to post, what to post, and even what tone of voice best captures the attention of your audience.

Be sure to reframe your content to suit your audience. If content will be posted more than once, make sure that you’re slightly reframing the original content (so you’re not repeating yourself), but also pay attention to what best grabs the attention of your audience. Posting several times a day will do you no good if the target audience isn’t interested in the messages/information being sent out.

Finding the optimal time during the day to post truly is key to the success of your social media pages. Avoid posting during the early morning (prior to 9am) and late in the evening (after 7pm), keeping in mind the demographic of your target audience. If you are looking to grab the attention of working mothers, 3pm when she is picking the children up from school may not be the best time to post.

Lastly, be involved with other social media users! Be sure to retweet or reply back to consumers that mention you (in a timely manner), this will not only make the consumer feel valued, but also allow for additional visibility on your networks.

Using these quick tips in addition to several other media marketing strategies, you are sure to make your social media page more dynamic in no time!

To Post, or Not to Post

For many, setting up different social media pages for their company is not the difficult task; the difficult part comes when it is time to actually use them and post content. How often do you post? How long should the post be? What content do you post? When do you find the time to post? There are so many questions when you’re ready to post and we can help answer them!

When it comes to how often you post, Buffer App suggests different amounts for different social media sites. For Twitter they suggest posting 14 times per day but never more than once per hour and only seven times per day on the weekend. When it comes to Facebook, they suggest two times per day, seven days a week. LinkedIn posting is one time per weekday, but no weekends. Google+ is two times per weekday and again no weekends. You don’t necessarily want to post all of your posts around the same time, try to space them out and give your market time to see them without getting flooded.

Lets look at how long posts should be, in terms of your target market and social platform. How would you react to seeing a very long post on Facebook? Would you even take the time to read it? If you’re going to send out a tweet it’s typically best to make it short and sweet. For many business social media sites it’s best to keep your posts easy to digest.

Then there is content. This is sometimes the trickiest part of all. Neil Patel wrote an article on Quick Sprout discussing what he learned about content marketing. Patel mentions that info graphics do extremely well; in fact they get shared 42.4% more than a general blog post. He also mentions that people enjoy reading personal and controversial posts. It’s good to get your consumers involved with what you’re posting, whether it be getting their opinions and feedback or just getting them to click through to your site. Post things that are interesting, get your point across and engage your consumers.

If you’re having problems finding time to post there are a couple of things you can try. It might be a good idea to have a list of topics you can post about so that you aren’t racking your brain every hour trying to think of things to post about. If something spikes your interest that you might want to post about you can write them down or type up your post and save it as a draft. That may even be better if you aren’t completely sure on an idea. You can revisit it later and see how you feel about it and it’s effectiveness.

Social media has become such an important marketing tool to consumers and businesses that it’s not something you can look over doing. It may seem difficult at times but when you break it down and keep a focus, it becomes a habit. You can create a voice for you company in a new, run and engaging way.

 **http://www.quicksprout.com/2015/03/18/what-i-learned-about-content-marketing-by-analyzing-614-posts/
**https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-frequency-guide

Snap Chat Marketing: A Growing Audience

Are you on Snapchat? Marketers across the country are beginning to look to this self-destructing photo application that forces the user to pay attention and moreover pay attention to their message. As a platform, Snapchat has the attention of 15-25 year old’s across the country; therefore, if you are looking to grab the attention of that demographic for at least 10 seconds, look no further!

Since Snapchat is relatively new to the social media world, other brands haven’t “ruined it yet”, journalist Gary Vaynerchuk adds, “The grounds (of Snapchat) are very fertile.” Snapchat unlike Facebook, Instagram, or even Twitter has yet to be filled with advertisements for users. It’s a no hassle platform that really allows users to share what they want, for how long they want.

In a web article titled, Snapchat Marketing: What Businesses Need to Know by Michael Stelzner, he mentions that a lot of people think that since Snapchat content disappears, it’s not valuable and he goes on to challenge this idea.

On many social media platforms, viewers scroll through content quickly, and even though the posts will be there forever (on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), viewers will likely not see them again. Marketers in these circumstances are only grasping for approximately 50% of users’ attention at a time and those users never look back. Moreover, users of Snapchat have no choice in looking back (the longest a video or photo can be viewed is 10 seconds) therefore marketers have 100% of their audience’s attention for the length of the content’s life.

Vaynerchuk believes that, “The younger generation gravitates toward Snapchat, because parents have infiltrated Facebook and Instagram,” going on to add that, “Snapchat created a haven that parents have yet to discover for teens.”

While many above the age of 25 aren’t an active demographic of Snapchat, the nature of the application leaves much room for creative and interactive marketing. Snapchat is a social media platform that is personable, real, and stress free. There’s no ability to “like”, no way to know how many friends or followers you have, and no way to compare how many people you are following versus how many are following you. The stresses of other popular social media platforms are removed, so users can truly just enjoy the application.

Currently Snapchat has a feature called, “Our Story,” which is a collection of various snaps from those users at the event in one collective. With this feature users can view other stories from around the world in real time, leading to high levels of engagement. The latest “Our Story” was the Oscars that had a record 27 million views; to put that in context 36.6 million people tuned into the Oscar’s in the U.S via television. This is just one example of the success of “Our Story,” the FIFA World Cup was also equally as popular, along with Oktoberfest and New York’s “Snowmaggedon.”

The vast amount of users tuning into, “Our Story” on Snapchat truly reveals it’s potential as an entertainment broadcasting entity and platform for interactive marketing. It will be interesting to see how brands begin to incorporate Snapchat into campaigns to get users, and moreover potential consumers involved.

References:
https://gigaom.com/2015/02/24/snapchats-our-stories-are-generating-tens-of-millions-of-views/
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/snapchat-marketing-with-gary-vaynerchuk-and-shaun-mcbride/

 

 

Diversify Your Marketing

Are you in the process of revamping your company’s brand image? While you’re coming up with an incredible campaign to launch, it is important to keep the diversity of your marketing in mind. Diverse marketing does not mean reaching different cultures in your marketing, well not necessarily anyway. The concept of diversity marketing simply means to have marketing of all different types and consistencies. You want consumers to remember your brand and an easy way to remember something is by seeing it often. This can be done through diverse marketing. Putting your product out there in as many ways as possible so that consumers are constantly being reminded of your product or service.

It is necessary to do some, possibly extensive, research in to who your target audience is. It can be somewhat simple to see who your current consumers are but if you are trying to expand and target peripheral consumers, you need to know important demographics about the people you are trying to reach. When trying to achieve diverse marketing, it is important to understand what mediums your target market best responds to and why.

Notice that “mediums” above is plural. This is the most crucial concept of diverse marketing. If you want consumers to be aware of your company to the point where they begin using your product or service or even become brand loyal, you need to be reminding them of who you are and what you do. Marketing in this way can be expensive, but it is important. Due to the sheer volume of people using the Internet and social media, getting your brand name out there through those outlets is not an incredibly difficult task, but it is saturated. No matter how effective just one media outlet may be for you, for diverse marketing you do not want to halt at just one feed. After assessing social media you should think on the opposite spectrum, depending on your business.  Perhaps, for example,a more traditional marketing strategy such as leasing two billboards on opposite ends of town so that consumers have an opportunity to see them often. Other mediums you could easily tack onto those two would be things like magazine or newspaper ads, YouTube ads or commercial ads.  Just be diligent in your research of your target market so that you are spending valuable marketing dollars in the right spaces.

The important thing to make sure you’re doing when aiming for diverse marketing is taking advantage of all mediums that apply to your target market. There is more than one way to reach each market, so be sure not to settle for just one type. If you want to make an impact, having a diverse marketing plan will help you be remembered by your consumers and that’s what every good marketing campaign shoots for!

Learning From Apple Marketing

Smart watches, health monitors, pedometers, activity trackers, and virtual reality headsets, are all part of the emerging landscape of wearable technology, which all promise to change the way we complete day to day tasks, such as exercising and communicating. According to a web article titled “Best Wearable Tech of 2015” CNET.com discusses which are the most user friendly, best priced, and down right cool gadgets to wear, based on a ranking of five stars. From Pebble Steel to the Fitbit there are many wearables that are that are being ranked highly by consumers. Yet, there’s one wearable that “techies” around the world just can’t wait for.

Apple Watch.

On February 26, 2015 Apple announced its highly anticipated Apple Watch Event, which is occurring on March 9th. The company has been slowly releasing information to the media regarding their first wearable. The event’s tagline is “Spring Forward”, an obvious reference to both time and their watch.

The Apple Watch will start at $350 for the aluminum Sport model, but the company has remained rather quiet on the pricing for both the regular version and the luxurious Apple Watch Edition. CEO Time Cook previously shared that the devices will ship out at some point in April to stores across the country. The Apple Watch will be the first landmark product since Steve Jobs introduced the original iPad in 2010, so in other words Apple lovers have been ready for something new!

Yet, there’s something to be said about Apple’s simplistic, yet astonishingly effective marketing strategies. There are very few companies across the world that have thousands of customers lined up for hours at the break of day waiting to get their hands on the newest product. Apple is much more than their products, they are a design firm, a media platform, a publishing company, a software powerhouse, a computer builder, and moreover a movement.

Apple successfully turns the ordinary into something beautiful, focusing on the details that matter to consumers. From the smooth edge-to-edge glass on the iPhone, Mac, and iPad to the placement of speakers, Apple’s designs go above and beyond to create the polished look that consumers are looking for and moreover expect from the company.

Apple justifies the price of their products, with style. Apple completely ignores the prices their competitors offer, and often price their products over 2x as much as competitors, without even blinking. How? By offering features and benefits that can’t be matched, yet some critics will note that some features are the same as other products on the market, but truthfully Apple has such strong brand loyalty, people are willing to pay the extra money to have an Apple product.

One word, unboxing. I did a quick search of “Unboxing of iPhone” on YouTube and over 2,200,000 results were found, and this is just for the iPhone! No one tells Apple consumers to record their unboxing experience, but it says something when the customers are sharing their experiences with the world. They are proud to have an Apple product and are joining in on an online community of Apple users. Apple does this by ensuring that the experience doesn’t end at the cash register or online check out online. They take great care in designing a user experience from browsing online to unwrapping. Which is an experience that is nearly impossible to match.

Finally, Apple has successfully become the name. The iPhone wasn’t the first phone, but Apple has engineered it to be so unique that you couldn’t help but to think that it was. Apple products have become the standard. When you go to the store you don’t buy a tablet, you buy an iPad, you don’t buy an MP3 player, you buy an iPod, and finally you don’t buy a smart phone, you buy an iPhone. Apple isn’t and will never be content with leading sales for technology; they want to own the market. From here on out, everything within the realm of technology will be compared to Apple products.

It will be interesting to see just how many will be waiting in line for the Apple Watch, and moreover how quickly other wearables will be compared to the Apple Watch.

Sources:
http://www.cnet.com/topics/wearable-tech/best-wearable-tech/
http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/26/8115325/apple-watch-event-march-9https://blog.kissmetrics.com/7-strategies-apple-marketing/

Instagram: Could it be your business’s next social media outlet?

InstagramInstagram, launched in 2010, has grown to be one of the top social media outlets today. In just four, short years Instagram grew to over 300 million active monthly users. Currently there are over 30 billion photos shared monthly and 2.5 billion likes on pictures each day – talk about a social media site exploding! With a total of 20 filters, the ability to post up to 15 second long videos and sponsored advertisement opportunities, Instagram is becoming a very impressive and versatile social media network. So, is this something your business should look into? If so, how will you use it effectively?

Top social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and many more should be examined and reexamined by businesses to see how they can use them to their advantage, even if they may not be useful at first glance. Digital marketing is crucial to businesses in the current media age; if you leave your business out of the social media world you are creating an extreme disadvantage for your company.

The Instagram community, according to Instagram Business, is “passionate about the platform and their love for amazing imagery.” The design of the site gives each post the advantage of filling up the entire screen so when your business posts something you can rest assured that the viewer won’t be having any other “in-site clutter.” Instagram can also give a big boost to business site visits. Take Mercedes-Benz for example, they had a 580% lift in site visits when using Facebook and Instagram ads together. So, should your business look into creating a company Instagram account? We think so!

If you decide to create an account on Instagram for your business, how will it help you? Instagram, like Twitter and Facebook, is hash tag friendly. Using hashtags is an awesome way to get your posts seen on any social media platform that allows their use. Also, through one of the twenty filters you can add to pictures and videos along with regular editing settings, you are able to create a very flattering and attention-grabbing post. Adding links and tags to pictures and video is another important way to give access to your business site to users. With the exploration updates Instagram has added recently, it’s now easier than ever for consumers to search for specific businesses. Each time someone posts a picture or video they have the opportunity to tag someone either in the post itself or in the caption. If your business is tagged in a post not only are followers of the person posting seeing your business name but also then consumers can go to an option on your business’ profile and see what pictures have been tagged. Instagram is certainly catching onto the fact that consumers and business are starting to use the app and they are trying to make accessibility easier. Don’t limit yourself to posting pictures of products or services, either. You can add pictures and video of company involvement within the community and other fun team activities and overall what is important to your business and team. Instagram can be a great way to enhance your brand image and give your company a new voice – it may be time to take advantage!

 

Data collected from:

http://instagram.com/press/

https://business.instagram.com/

Meet Brooke Ray

BrookeBrooke is out latest staff writer for Cinnamon Social.  Find out more about Brooke below…

  • Where are you from?
    Chatham, Illinois- suburb of Springfield, IL
  • What’s your favorite social media platform?
    Currently my favorite social media platform is Instagram. For how quick and simple it is, there is so much you can do with it!
  • What do you like to do in your free time?
    Back home in Illinois I ride and show horses so doing that and spending time with my family is what takes up most of my free time there. Here I am usually either reading, watching Netflix, or working out!
  • If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?
    Italy, absolutely! Cinque Terre, Tuscany, and Milan look so stunning and I would love to see them all!
  • What is your favorite food to eat?
    Very fitting to the previous question, Italian! I love how fun, creative, and of course, delicious Italian food is.
  • Favorite color?
    My favorite color is lavender and it’s also my favorite scent!
  • If you were stranded on a deserted island, what four things would you want to have with you? A collection of good books, my cat, pancakes, my bed
  • What do you find is the most common question or misconception about social media marketing?
    I think the most common misconception about social media marketing is that it is an easy task. It can sometimes be extremely difficult to get your point across effectively and in a way that will make consumers want to engage with you. Also, crisis management with social media can be a tough thing to do- you want to make sure your company is portraying itself in the correct manner and if things go awry it can be a big thing to fix! Things are also constantly changing and being added in the social media world and it can be hard to keep up with social media trends. It is not always easy but it is worth it!

Meet Devin Joyce

10612538_10201641981011064_3286898120915864941_n-1We’re excited to have two new writers on staff.  The first we’re introducing today is Devin Joyce!   Learn more about Devin below in our Q&A session with her.

  • Where are you from?

A. Omaha, Nebraska

  • Who is your favorite celebrity? 

A. Michael Kors or Jackie Kennedy, if they count as celebs, more or less icons in my opinion! 

  • If you could meet anyone – past, present, future – who would it be?

A. Jackie Kennedy, hands down. She just emulates style, grace, and sophistication for a woman. 

  • What is your favorite social media platform? 

A. Twitter, it’s quick, simple, and to the point- allows for easy sharing with a minimum amount of text. Great for sharing links to outside websites and photos. 

  • What retail store would you like to go on a crazy spending spree in? 

A. Louis Vuitton, I am a huge fan of classic and timeless brands, Louis Vuitton is one that has lasted over several decades and will essentially never go out of “style”. Timeless pieces are worth investing in! 

  • What is a hidden talent you have that most people have no idea about? 

A. I love canoeing! Although I love to be dressed up and partake in “girly” things, I love being out in nature, whether that’s hiking, biking, or canoeing. Any chance I get I am out on the lake enjoying the weather and getting exercise in a fun way. 

  • What is one thing about digital marketing you find intriguing? 

A. One thing I find really interesting about digital marketing is the interaction between the consumer/investor and the company. Really prior to social media, there wasn’t a open line of communication between the two. Digital marketing and the use of social platforms really allow the consumer/investor to feel valued and a part of the company, which is awesome and in my opinion allows a great opportunity for the company to grow with consumer involvement, feedback, and opinions! 

Hello Ello

As promised, this is our first social media review blog and we’re going to start with a little known social media site, that seems to have sprung onto the social scene with recent changes to Facebook.  Ello is in beta and and invitation-only phase of release, but you can request an invitation through their home page, https://ello.co/beta-public-profiles.  Good luck!  It seems that an “in” is ultimately required to sign up for a free profile.

How does Ello shape up compared to some of the more prominent feeds out there?  Kind of bland.  Ello touts the simplicity of design, which equates to elegance and simplicity and yes, it is clean.  Is it interesting?  It depends on a users taste.  The platform is rich in imagery and artistic flare, but Tumblr and Facebook it is not.  Current users seem to be struggling with how to use it and the purpose of it, similar to the failure to launch retrospect of Google+.

How is Ello different and why does it exist?  If you read the Ello Manifesto,  https://ello.co/wtf/post/manifesto and the About section, Ello founders are quite vocal about user privacy and no advertising.  So, if these things are a profound concern for you, it might be worth obtaining a coveted invitation from the feed.  Is Ello a major player in social media?  Not at this time.

Posting Fatigue

Are you engaging your social media audience?  What does this equate to?  This is a difficult thing to do and with a decrease in Facebook’s organic reach abilities, businesses are either hitting the mark with posts, or they’re completely failing in their social media efforts.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic solution to this problem.  We do know from experience and trial and error, that when you practice the disciplines of on-brand, consistent, genuine and personable postings, more often than not you hit the mark.  Each and every post isn’t going to resonate with everyone, but if you can reach even a handful, it’s time well spent. Social marketing is relational.  Just like other relationships, important and otherwise, they don’t happen over night.  Maybe your brand will take three months to build up it’s following and others may even take 3 years, but if your walking the walk, it will pay off and many times from the least likely places.  As the saying goes, it’s not a sprint but an endurance race.  Hang in there and keep posting!