Valentine’s Day—Social Media Style

Valentine’s Day—Social Media Style

Social media friends, be warned—Valentine’s Day is this weekend! Whether you classify yourself as single or taken this year, Valentine’s Day can cause anyone to feel a flurry of unsavory emotions—especially with all those crazy V-Day posts blowing up your news feed! Follow us as we examine the types of social media posts you can expect to see this Valentine’s Day, and uncover the true essence of this Hallmark holiday.

Look What I Got!
It happens every year—your friends upload photos of their special Valentine’s Day haul, captioned with something like, “My boo knows me so well, he’s the best! #loveyou #ValentinesDay.”

If you’re single, these photos just serve to show you another romantic holiday you’re missing out on. But don’t worry, whether you’re sitting at home sulking, or out with your love, we can all agree that spending the evening of Valentine’s Day scrolling through social media and judging your friends gifts is a treasured tradition.

 Look What I got

PDA, Go Away
Come on, Kimye—knock it off. Why is it that couples feel the need to share their PDA via social media every Valentine’s Day? We’re not prudes, but no one wants to watch you and your significant other play tonsil hockey all over our news feed. And let’s be honest, seeing your friends celebrating the day with their significant others is the worst when you’re alone, stuffing your face with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.

Kimye

Anti-Valentine’s Day
There’s bound to be one or two people on your feed who hate Valentine’s Day, and are determined to let you know. This year, be prepared to witness a few posts about how Valentine’s Day is a made-up holiday, or how being single is the worst. When you run into these posts, our advice to you is to scroll right along, and thank yourself for not giving into the crazy.

Liz Lemon

Single’s Awareness Day
The complete opposite of V-Day haters, some people take a different approach, and turn Valentine’s Day into their own personal Single’s Awareness Day. These individuals are truly an inspiration to us all to look on the bright side—and for that, we thank you!

V-Day Ecard

Alright, everyone. Now that you know what to be on the lookout for, it’s time to prepare yourself for the onslaught of social media posts this weekend. Even if you’re absolutely dreading Valentine’s Day, we can all agree that the holiday we’re REALLY looking forward to is February 15—Discount Chocolate Day!

Discount Chocolate

TAG Announces Staff Promotions As It Enters 26 Years in Business

Michael Vondran, CEO of TAG has announced the following staff promotions within the TAG executive team effective January 1, 2016.

Don_Mug_400_400_80_int_sDon Farber to Chief Creative and Digital Officer. Don has been serving as TAG Executive VP for the past two years. In his newly expanded role Don will drive all creative and digital services of the firm. “Don has been an outstanding leader as Executive Vice President, he has built a great team and is now ready to evolve the services and vision for TAG’s creative and digital teams. We look forward to great things with Don in the lead,” said Vondran.

“The world for our clients and ourselves continues to evolve with digital communications driving brand and sales, I’m confident Don will continue to enable TAG’s growth as the digital communications leader in the region,” said Randy (RJ) Jacobs, President and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).

Natalie Johansen-Murray to Executive Vice President/Strategy. Natalie has been serving as VP of Natalie MurrayClient Strategy and Experience for the past two years. In her new role she will continue to provide leadership and business development assistance to the TAG account management team while also growing the strategic planning, research and Brand Summit products within the firm. “Natalie’s driving focus has been to build the best possible client experience when working with TAG, this will continue and expand with focus on emerging and evolving service lines,” according to Vondran.

“TAG is a team of enthusiastic and intense members, Natalie’s leadership will continue to strengthen our position as the regional leader that Builds Brands,” said Jacobs.

Kathleen Herber to Vice President / Tri States Market. Kathleen has been serving as Market Kathleen HerberDirector for the past two years growing and managing account relationships from the firm’s office located in Dubuque, Iowa. “Kathleen has been a tremendous addition to our TAG team, her focus on client development has been instrumental in our regional growth. Her new role will only amplify and enhance our efforts in service to TAG clients in the region,” stated Vondran.

“TAG’s expansion into the Tri-State region has been an exciting journey, Kathleen’s skills and client focus will only enhance the growth of our team to provide valued services to our client partners in the region,” declared Jacobs.

Social Media for Dummies

How do I use social media to market my business or myself? How often should I post on social media? Which social media network do I need to be part of? What type of content should I post? How do I generate sales from social media?

The tricky part about answering these common questions is that the answer is never the same. The choices you need to make in your social media marketing strategy will all depend on what it is you’re marketing—and to whom.

Do your research

Start by researching who your customers are, how they consume information and how they buy. Every product or service is different, so it’s important that you understand which audience is on which network and how they prefer to communicate. Once you’ve identified your customers’ habits, you can choose one of over 200 different social networks to share information with them.

Entertain, educate and promote

The right strategy for any social media platform is to entertain to grab your audience’s attention, educate to move them to the decision-making phase and promote products and services to close the deal. Over 70 percent of businesses are eliminated in a consumer’s research phase, so build trust by focusing on help instead of hype and creating top-of-mind awareness by being in the same space they are. Many times people will forget about what you do and how you can help if you do not constantly remind them!

Be social

Although social media can certainly be used as an advertising outlet, its platforms are primarily used as social networks. When you see good content, share it and tell your follower why it’s worth their time and attention to become an authority for your audience. Sharing content in a more conversational manner allows you to start discussions, learn more about customer needs and uncover opportunities. Also note that consumers nowadays demand interactivity with their brands. If you are not responding to Tweets, Facebook comments or actively listening for opportunities through social listening, you are missing out.

Manage your time

There are several free tools out there that will help you manage your time in marketing yourself on social media. Hootsuite and Buffer are two free tools that you can use to schedule your content posts in advance during the times your target audience is most active on social media. Gather shareable content from news reader sites such as Feedly which collect valuable content from several sources. Just be careful not to share anything from your competitors!

Outsource your social media management

Although the social media channels are free to sign up (for now) and creating posts are also free, you will soon learn that social media marketing is not free. Time is probably our most valuable asset, and it is very easy to invest many “free” hours into your social media strategy. Even if you have the expertise and capabilities to successfully engage buyers, the amount of time it requires may lead you to explore outsourcing options.

TAG excels at gathering, creating and posting content that engages our clients’ target audiences, and one of the most important advantages of working with TAG is that our clients save loads of time on their digital marketing strategy while still reaping the benefits of the top-of-mind awareness, trust and leads that come with it. Click here for more information on TAG’s social media services!

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.

Current Culture: Multi-generational Workplace

For decades, employees from different social backgrounds, educational backgrounds and even different generations have worked side by side. New employees fresh out of school and eager to make a name for themselves sitting next to employees who are reminiscing on a life-long career and preparing for a relaxing retirement. In advertising, we are always striving to produce a seamless message across all mediums.  Does a multi-generational workforce aid in our never-ending quest for the next great idea, or does it prove to be more of a setback?

How does a multi-generational workplace affect office culture and productivity?

Advertising agencies tend to have an office culture that is unlike any other office you have ever seen. Relaxed dress policy, monthly snack-attack (surprise snack time here at TAG) and employees riding around on scooters are just the beginning. A relaxed environment where employees feel free to be creative is important for productivity. Breaking down the walls, literally, is one of the most effective ways to cultivate this creative freedom. Baby Boomers are familiar with the notion of working towards a corner office. This top-down mentality hinders the creative spark needed in advertising. Creative work environments motivate all levels of employees to engage and contribute to the success of the team.

Things that fall into the cracks between generations.

More than years separate generations. Generational norms change over time, and each generation as a whole becomes comfortable with certain working conditions and motivators. Advertising has changed drastically since Baby Boomers entered the work force. Graphic design, social media and Klout are all vital to any advertiser today, but that wasn’t the case twenty or thirty years ago. New technologies and mediums for advertising can be seen as a fad that will soon go out of style, or they can be viewed as the industry’s future. Earlier generations can be hesitant and resist change in the work place. Refusing to adapt can leave your business behind that is why it is important to constantly challenge yourself to adapt. Change is inevitable in the creative field, but those who adapt positively and quickly are those who will have the most success.

Positive aspects to a multi-generational work force.

A multi-generational workforce offers new perspectives and ideas to flow freely – the core objective of most creative companies. Who says upper management are the only ones with good ideas? If a creative company gets stuck in these generational barriers, they have failed to fulfill their core objectives. Each generation has their objectives in the work place. Some work to live while others live to work. The key is to have employees from a range of generations but understand how they relate to one another. No generation is 100% unique, there are similarities across the boards. Utilizing these complimentary qualities will not only create a unified office culture, but it will also prove beneficial to the agency’s work.

At TAG, our mission relays our positive feelings on a multi-generational workforce.

Learn more about the TAG culture by clicking here.

How TAG can help you improve your Search Engine Optimization

SEO
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

Five tips for a successful video shoot

TAG Demo 9-10-13.Still009

You’ve created a YouTube account, and can’t wait to get shooting. Boosted Search Engine Optimization here you come!

Keep in mind, however, that to send a professional message to your audience the shots have to show it. Make sure your first video is a success, with these five quick tips!

1.      Use a tripod

If your video is too shaky it can make your audience seasick, as well as question your ability to perform in other elements of your business – such as your product or service.

2.      Think about lighting

When natural lighting isn’t available, or lighting is poor, artificial light sources are beneficial to use. One way to create a balanced look with artificial lighting is to have one light in front of the subject and one in back.

3.      Consider Placement

Try to use a relevant background for all your shots – including interviews. Relevant backgrounds add context, and is more visually appealing than a blank, white wall.

4.      Take your time with B-roll

Let the camera roll for more than five to 10 seconds when gathering your b-roll. When it comes time to edit, you’ll thank yourself for having so much more to work with.

5.       Don’t overcomplicate things

If you don’t know how to use the manual settings on your camera, then stick to the AUTO setting.

Bonus Tips:

On the day of your shoot, make sure your batteries are charged, extra SD cards are packed and your camera lens is clean. In addition, using headphones while your shooting helps ensure sound quality.

Good Luck!

Todd Steffens Videographer, Editor & Animator at TAG

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.