Are you leading, but losing? Four reasons every CEO should go social

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Social media is the new normal. We utilize social platforms to connect with family and friends, but they have also fundamentally changed the way businesses communicate with consumers. However, while brands are embracing social media, many CEOs aren’t. So while you are effectively leading your organization, you might be losing when it comes to social.

A study by Weber Shandwick surveyed C-level executives about their CEO’s use of social platforms. Of those surveyed, 76 percent think it’s a good idea and want their CEO to be actively engaged in social media to help build business and establish trust in their industry. Take our advice (and your C-level executive’s!) and start engaging on social now!

Here are four reasons every CEO should embrace social media: to showcase innovation, communicate and build relationships, build your business’ reputation and see tangible results. 

Showcase innovation

Be the first to do it, and do it right – that’s innovation. Use social media as a platform to be seen as an innovative leader in your industry. Connect with other executives and groups on LinkedIn to share industry insights, company blogs and awards. Lead your marketing team to create a strategy for a LinkedIn business page and build up a base of followers who want to know more about YOUR company.

John Legare

Create a Twitter account that not only retweets company information but also shares interesting articles, engages people in conversation and even adds humor and personality to your work. Feel free to tag other businesses and create friendly competition in the Twittersphere.

Communicate and build relationships

Being socially active allows you to communicate while building relationships with key influencers, potential clients, your colleagues and your staff. When used effectively to connect, CEOs who use social media make their employees feel inspired, technologically advanced and proud to work for an employer who embraces the future of communication while giving their company a face and personality.

Social CEO - Benefits

Build your business’ reputation

In 2014, consumers make judgments about your business’ reputation based on what they find online, and 82 percent of consumers put more trust into a company whose CEO has a Twitter account. Does your company stand out as a leader? Adding social to your personal strategy allows you to spread more positive information about your business, become an innovative leader in your industry and cultivate a strategy to always be top of mind with your target demographic. After all, social media is where your prospects, employees, current customers and peers are looking for you.

Richard Branson

Connect and see results

Social media is a two-way conversation. Make sure you listen to what people are saying about you and your brand on social media. Ask questions, engage with and respond to your followers to create a meaningful connection that will lead to brand loyalty, new business and sales. Be your company’s secret social media sauce when it comes to sales by inspiring those following you.

Bill Gates

Over the next five years, trends predict that 50 percent more CEOs will be actively using social media. You can no longer sit on the sidelines – stand out as a leader with smart social today!
Follow our CEO Mike Vondran on Twitter @TAGMikeV and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Click here to learn more about TAG’s social media marketing strategies and services.

*Studies and infographic from Weber Shandwick.

The 2014 World Cup: A Social Media Phenomenon

About half the population of the world tuned in to the 2014 World Cup football tournament. An event that big was bound to create a buzz on social media, but the numbers are staggering—record-shattering, in fact.

The #GERvARG final boasts the highest number of tweets per minute ever.

Examining Twitter alone, staggering numbers of tweets were sent from all over the planet. Tweets about the World Cup peaked at 618,725 tweets per minute (during the final match between Germany and Argentina), breaking the tweets per minute (TPM) record. The Brazil versus Germany semi-final broke the record for most-tweeted event ever at 35.6 million tweets, and by the end of the final game the World Cup saw 672 million total tweets.

On Facebook, the final stats boast 350 million users interacting with over three billion posts about the World Cup between June 12 and July 13.

In one of the first astounding social phenomena of the World Cup, over 10 million Facebook fans compiled 20 million interactions during the United States versus Portugal match on June 22, and the game boasted a larger television viewership than the average for the 2013 World Series—by 10 million viewers.

The 2014 World Cup not only outstripped the 2013 World Series on television, it was also bigger on social media venues in the United States than the Super Bowl or even the Olympic Games. These are impressive statistics for a country in which soccer is generally treated like the red-headed stepchild.

Twitter page

Part of this is due to the accessibility of World Cup content on social media. Facebook users could follow the official FIFA World Cup page and follow or join real-time conversation on the Trending World Cup page. Twitter jumped head-long into the World Cup spirit, adding a sidebar with the World Cup schedule and hosting a World Cup page with schedules, scoreboards and trending posts.

Consistent branding also allowed FIFA and social media platforms to aid recognition and interaction with World Cup content. One means of doing this was through creating and collecting identifiable hashtags and handles, from teams and players to individual matches to multilingual incarnations.

Individual matches could be followed in real-time on pages that collected tweets specifically pertaining to that match. Hashflags were born, miniature national flags appearing next to the names of hashtagged countries like #USA (United States), #ESP (Spain) or #MEX (Mexico) and adding a little something extra to World Cup mentions.

FIFA

Finally, users posted about the World Cup because they were asked to. Both Facebook and Twitter prompted users to engage with special entry bars on official pages. Twitter even set up a “World Cup of Tweets” bracket, showing which teams would advance purely based on the number of hashflag mentions each country received. The FIFA website kept a feed of trending teams, players and tweets, inviting visitors to “#joinin the conversation” with a tweet or Facebook post.

Geotag

Whether due to the overall accessibility, recognizability or direct invitation to engage, users have indeed engaged globally in this event. In social media venues, at least, the 2014 World Cup shows a world that is truly #allin.

To harness some of that power and reach when promoting your own social media campaign, keep those three characteristics in mind. Content should be accessible, branded and inviting. These are strengths found in TAG’s successful social media strategies, as well. Learn more about our strategic planning process here.

The TAG team studies events and campaigns like the World Cup to stay on the cutting edge of innovative and successful digital marketing. For creative solutions to your social media needs, TAG… we’re it!

Eight questions to ask before hiring a marketing firm

Choosing the right marketing firm for your business can be a lengthy and sometimes expensive process. With thousands of different marketing firms available worldwide, who all offer great design and a wide variety of conventional and digital marketing services, choosing the wrong partner can be very expensive and can hurt your brand. You have to research your options and make sure that the firm is the right fit for you, your brand and your business goals.

Here are 8 questions that will help you make the right decision

Do they practice what they preach?

You wouldn’t trust a dentist with bad teeth or a tailor in ill-fitting clothes, would you? When you are researching marketing firms check their website, social media pages and online search ranking. Most marketing firms will display their top capabilities on their own website. Make sure that the site is mobile friendly and research the quality of their content. For social media, see how often they post, what type of content they share, and how much engagement there is.

Who are their clients?

Depending on what type of business you have, you want to make sure the marketing firm can handle all your needs but also gives you the attention that you require. A good balance of large clients and smaller clients is recommended. If you compete in a certain industry, it helps if the firm has previous experience in a related sector as well.

Are they forward thinking?

The marketing industry moves fast. What worked two years ago might already be replaced by something completely new. You want to make sure that the marketing firm understands the most current marketing strategies. Check out their blog to see how often they post and how current their content is. A good marketing firm understands that it is their job to be your trusted marketing partner and keep you up to date on the latest marketing techniques and development to ensure you reach the highest return on investment.

Do they understand digital?

Every business needs an online strategy. With new online marketing solutions such as inbound marketing, social media marketing and Search Engine Optimization, it is key that your marketing firm understands the most current digital marketing strategies. To make sure that your digital brand messaging is in sync with your conventional brand messaging, a full service marketing firm with a strong digital department that can handle all your communication needs is the better choice.

How do they gain insight into your customers and prospects?

To make smart marketing decisions, your marketing firm needs to understand your customers and prospects. You want to make sure that your messaging speaks to your audience and converts impressions into leads or sales. Having a firm that understands your market and your industry and that utilizes marketing research information and industry information to make smart marketing decisions is key.

Do they take the time to understand your business?

In order for a firm to put together a solid marketing campaign, they have to understand your business. You trust them with your most valuable asset, and if they do not take adequate time to learn about your business, you should walk away. The marketing firm needs to understand your history, your vision, your ideal customers, your market area and your business goals. A good marketing firm creates a consistent message across all media that matches your business communication style and your vision. It creates an identity.

Do they explain their processes and do they outsource any of their services?

With more complex services such as Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, some firms will outsource this to save internal costs. It is very important that you understand who performs these services and what their processes are. Having the experts in house also streamlines the process and ensures that they understand your brand message and your marketing goals.

How long have they been in business?

The marketing services industry is very competitive. If the firm folds in the middle of your campaign, you will have to put it on hold and hope that you can convert everything to a new firm. This can be a lengthy and expensive process. Although you can never be 100 percent sure on this, marketing firms that have been in business for multiple years, who bring in new clients on a regular basis and are current on the most recent marketing techniques will be your best choice.

 

We think that TAG is your best option when it comes to working with a marketing firm, but we challenge you to come in and ask us these questions for yourself! Contact us today to start your marketing off on the right foot! TAG…we’re it!

Salesman or Spokesman?

Social media means something to everyone, even if you aren’t an active user. For some it’s a social hangout, to others it’s a way to publicize business. For advertisers, social media is a tool that changed the industry. Honestly, it changed the world, but that’s another story.

Facebook, Twitter, Google Paid Search, Pinterest, YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, Foursquare, etc. What do they all have in common? Well, they all have the potential to generate sales. Yes, sales. The purpose behind social marketing can be seen as two fold; to build an audience while also building brand loyalty and to drive sales.

Steps for Social sales success:

  1. Strategy: As advertisers, we start with a strategy – first priority is to identify what platforms fit our clients need. Why do you want to use social media for your business? How can you use social media to sell your story?
  2. Platform: Which social media platforms are right for your business? There are multiple ways to reach your customers. Don’t limit yourself to the traditional Facebook and Twitter platforms.
  3. Delivery: How will you tell the story you want customers to hear? Connecting the dots from brick and mortar to virtual and back again. Aiding in a clients understanding of the work we do for them also helps connect the dots to the success of their business.

Take a company like Patagonia. Their Facebook page doesn’t have advertisements for products they sell; it has stories about the people that use their products. The stories they share depict a lifestyle that lives and breathes their mission. By sharing these stories Patagonia grows their own customer base. People read the stories and become inspired to live their life along the mission of Patagonia. This inspiration should be every company’s goal when it comes to implementing social media.

At TAG, we understand the value in a social presence for your business. We also understand the complications that go along with having a social presence. Lucky for you, we’re here to help! Check out our white paper on social media for your business by clicking here to get you started.

How TAG can help you improve your Search Engine Optimization

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Click image for more SEO tips from TAG on our Pinterest page!

It’s very frustrating for a business owner to type in keywords related to their industry only to find his or her website on page two, three or even four of the page results. After all, most Internet users typically never go beyond page one of the search results.

Websites with low on search visibility get fewer clicks and don’t attract authoritative links from other websites. A poor search ranking doesn’t necessarily mean a business isn’t as liked or respected as its competitors. It just means the business hasn’t been taught the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. That’s where TAG comes in.

TAG works with its clients to improve SEO – the ability for a website to appear in top web search results. The first step is to understand who their customers are and where they come from. TAG has a great tool for this – we call it a TAGmap™.

During this process, we sit down with the client and take a good hard look at the clients’ goods and services, strengths and weaknesses and define business goals. Then we take the results and build personalized marketing strategies to maximize growth.

Potential strategies include:

  • Optimizing website content to use trending keywords in search to aid in search visibility
  • Creating social media profiles and using content to help build website traffic
  • Claiming and improving the validity of website listings

Contact TAG today to discuss your SEO options to improve your business!

Brian Marshall, Digital Marketing Specialist

How to tell it is time for a new logo

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A first impression is memorable.  A quality logo will help your business stand out from its competition and keep your customers at your side.

Here are five tips for a fresh look:

  1. Keep it simple – The company name should be easy to read and the typography thought out. The icon shouldn’t be confusing. You wouldn’t put a whimsical font in a doctor’s office.
  2. Make it applicable – Your logo should be versatile enough to use in various formats: pens, signage, letterheads, etc.
  3. Don’t go back in time – What was popular 15 years ago isn’t now.  A logo does not need to be trendy.
  4. Recognize it – A successful logo is easily recognized and professional. Don’t overdo it and don’t change a logo out of boredom. The general public doesn’t see the brand as often as you might think.
  5. Make it appealing – A logo can be the difference between a product being appealing or not. When you’re at the store choosing to buy something, a well-designed logo and label might help make the decision for you.

If your logo falls short, it could be time to say goodbye and start over.

Don’t know where to start? Ask one of our TAG Graphic Designers Brian Buckles and Chelsea Liske.

 

Three ways Google AdWords can amp up your online advertising game

Google tops more than five billion searches daily and reaches more then 80 percent of all Internet users worldwide.

It’s no surprise then, its advertising service Google AdWords is so successful. It allows businesses to showcase their products and services on all that is Google – at a scalable fee.

Read on for three ways Google AdWords can amp up your online advertising game.

Paid Search

Google users rarely visit page two of their search results. Therefore, when a website is not organically in this top dozen or so, Google AdWords’ paid search helps boost traffic to the site by placing a link to the webpage either at the top or side sidebar of the search list.

Under the umbrella of paid search are extensions. The increasing number of blue underlined phone numbers and addresses under search results make getting into contact with businesses easier than ever. Desktop users no longer have to click on the site and search for this information and smartphone users can instantly call or get directions to the business.

Online Display

Online display allows you to show your advertisement on virtually any webpage. Simply choose your geographical target options (location, age, gender, etc.) and it will be displayed on a related site.

Remarketing

The latest addition to Google AdWords, remarketing is the process of “tagging” Internet users who visit your site, and then having your ads follow the person to where they cyber surf next.

For example, when your customer purchases an item from your website, they will see more frequent advertisements from your business on any website they visit in the future. Creepy, maybe. Effective, yes.

Specific strategies and target tactics are the backbone to a successful Google Ads campaign. The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone. Email me today for TAG Team expert assistance in managing your Google Ads.

Brian Marshall is Google AdWords certified.

Account managers: How to maintain a relationship with clients

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At TAG, none of our clients are the same. Industries range from steel manufacturing to an assisted living community, and products range from sports equipment to wine.

As an Account Manager, one of the first and most important things I learned early on in my career was the importance of having a strong, yet flexible communication style to understand their business and cater to each of our client’s desires and needs.

Where some clients prefer to take active partnerships with TAG – brainstorming alongside us to develop a strong advertising campaign, others rely on our expertise to develop a strategy and bring them our recommendations. Some, on the other hand, prefer to take a quick, get down to business approach where I deliver a quick, 1-2-3 review of the game plan and everybody breaks.

No matter their preference I put forth the same, unmatched TAG effort to listen to their concerns, educate them on the latest in advertising for their industry and communicate how our marketing efforts are affecting their sales.  Getting to know clients on a personal level and earning their trust is always the primary goal.

TAG is special because we go the extra mile. And it’s not just the Account Managers, it’s the whole TAG team fighting for their success. I maybe the forefront face, but it’s all of us coming up with ideas, solutions and concepts.

Dorie Arp-Benore, Account Manager

Developing brand identity through email marketing templates

A strong brand identity is the core of any successful business.

And to get there, developing consistency across the board is essential. From the tone, message, and style of layout of advertisements, everything should complement each other in order to make the strongest possible connection with consumers. After all, the more a consumer can identify with a brand, the closer their trust and loyalty to the brand will be.

It is crucial your email marketing template has the same look and feel as every other aspect of your business. Without this consistency, making the effort to market via email at all could be done in vain.

Think about any big name company. The advertising on their trucks is consistent with the advertising that’s on TV and is consistent with the content on their website and so on. Without consistency, consumers might not even recognize your business is the same one they saw or heard about yesterday.

Especially with email and websites, consistency between the two has become a subconscious expectation from consumers rather than a bonus. They might not remember if your emails match your site, but they will remember if it doesn’t – leading to both confusion and disconnect between consumers and your business.

Contact TAG today to see what our designers can do for your website!

Kicking your website into mobile gear

Whip out your Smartphone or tablet for a second – we know you’ve got one – and pay a visit to your website. Is the content sized appropriately? Is it easy to navigate from page to page? Can you find the information you are looking for with ease?

If you gave up waiting for your site to load before you could even get around to answering these questions, YOUR WEBSITE IS NOT MOBILE OPTIMIZED.

If you’re wondering what the big deal is here, we’ll tell you what! Read on the TAG top five reasons for kicking your website into mobile gear:

 1.       The reality: There are nearly 130 million Smartphone users in the U.S., along with 40 percent of all Internet usage being done via mobile device. Failure to have a mobile optimized website suggests an ignorance of these changing times and laissez faire attitude about the needs of nearly half your visitors.

 2.       The customer expectation: Slow loading times and tricky navigation due to an un-optimized website means three things for Internet visitors to your page – I’m frustrated. I won’t be coming back. I’m checking out your competitors.

3.       The drive in revenue: Mobile websites lead to mobile revenue! Providing this alternative method of doing business means your customers can do business with you essentially any time or any place.

 4.       The ability to network: A mobile friendly site is an excellent way to communicate to on-the-go customers’ information such as what your business hours are, ways you can be contacted as well as directions to your location.

 5.       The way of the future: By 2014, it is projected that mobile search will be overtaking desktop Internet usage. Will your business be ready to meet this mobile demand?

If you’re ready to kick start your website into mobile gear, click here to see how TAG specialists can help!