Five Key Social Media Strategies to Make Your Brand Stand Out

Five Key Social Media Strategies to Make Your Brand Stand Out

Are you ready to take your brand’s social media presence to the ultimate level? Make your business stand out amongst a sea of competitors with these five must-use social media marketing strategies.

1. Make your content stand out: How can you make your business stand out amongst your competitors? Easy—make your social media content stand out with eye-catching visuals, interesting links and crazy-good headlines. Programs such as Canva or Recite allow you to create engaging visuals with user-friendly platforms and step-by-step tutorials. When it comes to writing the ultimate social media headlines, keep in mind that less is more. In fact, headlines with eight words or less or proven to perform 21 percent better than longer headlines. It’s also been proven that headlines that end with a question mark or three explanation points get twice as many clicks than those without!!!

2. Strengthen your network: If you find that you are not getting the engagement you would like on your company’s social media platforms, it may be time to strengthen and expand your network. To do this, try creating or joining various LinkedIn groups to spark more connections and conversations around your products or services. You can also follow your competitors or industry-leaders’ profiles for some inspiration, and ensure you are keeping up with latest industry trends. It’s always a good idea to stay on top of what your competitors are up to.

How Often to Post3. Be consistent: In order to stay top-of-mind amongst your audiences, it’s important that you market and post consistently across all social media platforms. When it comes to posting, it’s important that you strike a balance between being informative and annoying; posting too much about your products can cause your consumers to become annoyed, and unfollow you. While frequency for posting varies from platform to platform, research suggests that the posting “sweet spot” for Facebook is two times per day, seven days a week. Publishing five to 10 posts per week is usually a good rule of thumb.

4. Show you care: Did you know that followers typically expect a response from companies within one hour of posting? Show your followers you care by responding to your followers’ comments and reviews—good or bad—in a timely manner. In addition to responding to customers, don’t be afraid to retweet customers’ praise and thank individual customers for their continued support. The more personal you can get with responses or posts, the better!

5. Go campaign crazy: In the age of diminishing organic social reach, paid campaigns offer a great way to expand your reach and thoroughly engage your audience. Now–a-days, companies with the best social media presence are using contests and other social media campaigns to successfully gain visibility and generate leads. To keep up with this trend, try providing your audience with valuable incentives that encourage audience participation, and platform your company as an industry-leader.

When it comes to leveraging your company’s social media presence, remember …. TAG, we’re it! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

Three Key Elements Every Social Media Campaign Should Have

Three Key Elements Every Social Media Campaign Should Have

As social media continues to grow, so do the amount of clever and engaging social media campaigns. If your business wants to keep up with the ever-growing power of social media, you need to engage your audience and potential customers in a new, fun way. Social media campaigns offer your business a creative, impactful way to enter the minds of your customers.  Here’s three key elements every successful social media campaign should have!

1. Measurable goals
The first step to a successful social media campaign is creating a well thought out plan, with goals and benchmarks you can measure along the way. Now, it’s important to make sure your goals are specific enough to truly measure your campaigns success. For example, creating a goal like “get the word out about X product,” is not a specific enough goal. But on the other hand, you must make sure your goals are not too narrow that they constantly feel out of reach.

For goal setting, try setting three goals that accommodate low, medium and high levels of audience engagement. Below are examples of measurable low, medium and high goals.

Low: Increase the number of “likes” on our Facebook page by X percent by the end of the campaign

Medium: Have X number of users share/retweet campaign content

High: Have X number of users share their own story with us regarding our product or services

You can also create more general goals—like increasing brand awareness, or driving more traffic to your website—so long as you create measurable benchmarks to help define your success after the campaign has ended. If you’re looking to increase brand awareness, incorporating a sharing aspect to your campaign is a must, and if you’re wanting to increase conversions to your website, consider including a form for users to fill out before being eligible to receive the value being offered.

2. Cross-channel promotion

Promoting your campaign on multiple social media channels is an excellent way to increase campaign reach and improve your possibility of audience engagement. The best social media campaigns are part of an integrated marketing campaign, where your efforts on social media are supported by a number of other channels. For users more active on social channels, your cross-promotion will help remind them of your communications, and for users not as active on social channels, it will inform them of your efforts and remind them of your value.

Cross promotion also allows you to reach users of varying demographics, as well as target users on multiple channels at different times. Just be careful with your segmentation and timing—you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with messaging or annoy them with offers and campaigns.

 3. Analysis

Was your social media campaign successful? Was it a waste of time and resources? Without thorough analysis, you’ll never know! In the analysis stage, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate your predetermined benchmarks and goals—which is why it’s so crucial to determine these before beginning your campaign. When analyzing your campaign’s success, you’ll also want to go beyond just whether or not you met your goals—you will want to evaluate other metrics that increased—or decreased—as a result of your campaign, as well. This information will help you develop a unified, strategic marketing plan moving forward.

 

Are you ready to take your social media marketing to the next level with an engaging social media campaign? A great social media campaign is about more than just reaching your audience, it’s about engaging your audience in a meaningful way that will positively impact their perception of your business, and change their buying behaviors. The social media team at TAG understands that, and is here to help elevate your business with a great social media presence. Contact us today!

Top Five Super Bowl Ads of 2015

Top Five Super Bowl Ads of 2015

The best part about the Super Bowl is always the commercials. The Super Bowl has given us commercials like the E-Trade baby, and the VW one where the kid is dressed like Darth Vader and turns on a car using “the force.” To get us excited for this year’s commercials, we took a look back at last year’s commercials and picked our top five, as well as three honorable mentions.

 

Top Five Super Bowl Ads of 2015

Budweiser’s Lost Dog Commercial

Budweiser has perfected the emotional roller coaster. This commercial played off of their commercial in 2014, which included puppies and sentimental music making us all go “awwwww.” After a car accident, the yellow lab and his horse friends are separated when the puppy runs away. He starts his journey to get back to home when the horses come to his rescue.

“Like a girl” Like a Girl

P&G’s feminine care line, Always, took advantage of the popularity of their commercial, #LikeAGirl and shortened it for the Super Bowl. And it was just as impactful. The commercial asks adult men and women what it means to do so something “like a girl.” Then they asked young girls the same question to show the difference, and ask “why” and “when” doing something “like a girl” became an insult.

Dorito’s “When Pigs Fly”

When told he could have some Doritos “when pigs fly,” this commercial’s protagonist thinks #challengeaccepted, and gets right to work. He engineers a jet pack for his pig and sends him soaring across the farm, and finally gets his Doritos.

Microsoft’s “Braylon”

Super Bowl 2015 commercials really tugged on our heart strings. Microsoft tells us the story of a little boy with two prosthetic legs who, with the help of Microsoft-technology, can run relays and play like every other kid. Heartwarming and a little tear inducing, this commercial was awesome.

Coca-Cola “#MakeItHappy” Coca Cola

Soda spills in a data center and sends an electric shock to computers everywhere, taking negative messages on screens and turning them positive. Coca-Cola is taking on cyber-bullies everywhere and sending a message to everyone that bullying isn’t cool and to #MakeItHappy.

 

Honorable Mentions

Nationwide “Invisible”

No one notices Mindy Kaling, which leads Mindy to the obvious conclusion that she is invisible and therefore can do whatever she wants. Mindy walks down a grocery aisle eating ice cream out of the container, walks through a running car wash, and then learns that she is actually not invisible when she smells Matt Damon’s neck … and he is not happy with the unwanted attention.

Esurance “Walter White”

Brian Cranston, as Walter White from Breaking Bad, plays a pharmacist in this Esurance commercial centered on their tagline “Sorta you isn’t you.” The commercial would have been better if the show was still playing on TV, making it feel less than relevant. But all the same, it was a pretty clever commercial.

Minions

Who doesn’t love the minions? This movie trailer stood out from the various others because it themed their commercial around the game rather than it being a shortened version of their usual trailer. The minions are seen in stadium seating, up to their normal antics and enjoying the game … when havoc breaks loose.

 

All of us at TAG enjoy watching these commercials, and are excited to see what advertisers are preparing for us this year! Be sure to follow us on Twitter as we live-tweet our favorite commercials during the game!

 

You’re in love with your new website. Now what?

Website Traffic photo

The day you have your website built and launched might be one of the best days of your life. But don’t let yourself slack off during the honeymoon phase. There is some serious work to be done to drive traffic to your new site and make an impact in your market.

Be sure to put yourself out there

You know how everyone loves posting their big life events on their social platforms? Do that with your website. It’s a big life event in the timeline of your business, and that’s something you can justifiably brag about. Link to your site through email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and other meaningful social platforms.

Word to the wise: Embed your YouTube videos on your homepage to increase your chances of being found organically through search engines.

Pay to play in the digital marketplace

Don’t underestimate the power of cash when it comes to digital traffic. Google Adwords, display ads and even ads on social media take your messaging beyond the limited scope of organic reach. Use a variety of designs and messages to reach targeted audiences and drive traffic to website content relevant to them.

Word to the wise: Marketing budgets are allocating more money to digital marketing each year. Be competitive in the marketplace by promoting your website with audience-enhancing ads.

Know the effect you have on your audience

Keep tabs on your website traffic with tools like Google Analytics. Note where your audience is coming from by monitoring referrals and search terms, and watch which messages gain you the most traffic. This is a strategic way to know what your audience is interested in and what makes your website relevant to them.

Word to the wise: Set goals for traffic—decide which pages you want to see traffic on, how much traffic you want on those pages and how many inbound marketing leads or e-commerce purchases you consider successful in a set increment of time, whether it’s one week or one month. Use digital methods to work toward those trackable goals!

Participate in active listening

Stay responsive to your audience. A digital relationship is something that takes ongoing work—don’t let yourself go just because your site is live. If you treat your website as a “set it and forget it” asset, you’re missing out on opportunities—and revenue! Tweak content and messaging according to your analytical feedback to keep things fresh and relevant.

Word to the wise: Use matching design elements across your website, social platforms, print and broadcast media in order to preserve your brand, but keep your branded content and campaigns dynamic and exciting month over month.

 

TAG understands new website infatuation, but we’re in it for the long haul with our clients. Think of us as your digital relationship counselor. From driving website traffic to creating complete marketing plans, feel free to reach out to the TAG team when your digital presence needs that extra something sprinkled in!

Video might be the secret digital marketing ingredient you haven’t added yet

Online Video

A solid digital marketing recipe takes more than just sugar and spice. Video is the zest of the social media world. If it’s not in your strategy, its absence is definitely noticeable at a time when a good branded video experience can make 39 percent of viewers more likely to research your brand or product further and 19 percent more likely to share other content from your brand.

So, here are some video-sharing platforms to consider integrating into your digital marketing strategy—and fast.

YouTube

YouTube ranks as the world’s second largest social network and second largest search engine, meaning posting video to YouTube puts you in a good place to be found by potential customers. And, YouTube is getting into the e-commerce referral game with interactive features allowing viewers to buy products and services directly from the video platform.

Facebook

Video will rule Facebook in 2015. In the last year alone, video uploads have increased by 94 percent with Americans watching at least one video on the social network each day. Users will see four times more video in their Newsfeed in 2015—will your video be one of them?

Twitter

Twitter is introducing Promoted Video in 2015. Video ads will autoplay for six seconds, and Twitter’s beta test found that these native videos generate better engagement and more views than before. In addition to better user experience, these promoted videos also offer a Cost Per View ad buying model—meaning marketers only pay when a user clicks to play the video.

Instagram

200-million users strong, Instagram generates high engagement rates with 15 times more engagement than Facebook and 40 times more engagement than Twitter. And, this Facebook-owned platform now offers 15-second autoplay video advertising spots, though targeting ability is not as advanced as other channels. If brands can tailor their content to Instagram’s aesthetics, they can really bring in the engagement from this platform’s new sponsored videos.

Snapchat

Snapchat is growing as a marketing tool, allowing businesses to share messaging while being casual and relatable to their audience. Snapchat is perfect for showcasing your personality, and it’s also a good choice for teasing products, promoting sales and even hosting contests.

 

While there are many other video-hosting platforms available, these are the major players for 2015, and it will pay off BIG TIME to get them into your digital marketing strategy. From social media platforms to email campaigns to websites, video is perfect for showing off your brand and sharing your messaging in an engaging, meaningful way that drives traffic and conversion across channels.

For help creating an integrated digital marketing strategy that makes the most of video, get in touch with the team at TAG!

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!

Did Truckers Create an Early Form of Social Media?

If you’ve ever scanned CB radio channels while on the road or your favorite song is “Convoy,” you’re familiar with trucker 10-code. It’s a system truckers use to communicate universally with one another while on the road. While the most familiar code to popular culture is the iconic “10-4” response used to indicate “okay” or “understood,” trucker code goes beyond the basics to create a meaningful form of social communication.

The 10-codes have been in use since the 1930s, when police radio channels had the need for shorter transmissions when they communicated remotely. In 1937, Charlie Hopper, the communications director for the Illinois State Police, invented a code that kept a consistent first syllable (10) since radios took half a second to reach full power. Keeping the first syllable the same gave time for the radio to fire up when officers forgot to pause before speaking. It wasn’t long before truckers across the country adopted the same code to communicate with each other while on journeys alone.

In a sense, these 10-codes were an early form of social media. They were created as a way of social communication within a niche of people. Just as our posts on Facebook and Twitter are branded by hashtags to aggregate information, the 10-codes were a system familiar to users across the country in an advancing form of media—radio.

For developing social media, we salute the Illinois State Police for the creation of the 10-code, and tip our hats to the truckers across the country that still use the 10-code system for social interaction.

10-24 (assignment complete)!

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.

Social Media: How to use top platforms to reach your marketing goals

social platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, with so many social networks out there it can be hard to tell how to use them best to market your business. Each network is used differently by users, which means your marketing tactics should be different for each one.

Read on for tips on how to do it.

Connect with consumers through Facebook

Facebook is great for initiating two-way communication between you and consumers. Include calls to action and questions in your posts to get the best engagement with your followers.

Quick stat: 31 percent of Facebook users report it plays a role in influencing their purchasing decisions.

Validate your expertise through Twitter

Tweeting links to interesting articles about your industry gets your Twitter handle noticed by other users, and situates your business as an expert in that area. But remember to interact with other five times for every original tweet.

Quick stat: 21 percent of Twitter users report it plays a role in influencing their purchasing decisions.

Boost your website’s Search Engine Optimization with Google+

Google automatically places websites with Google+ accounts higher up on its page search results with related key words. Hello page one visibility!

Quick stat: 61 percent of top brands are represented on Google+

Educate consumers through YouTube

Photos and short descriptions aren’t always enough to educate your consumers about your products, services or know-how. Create short videos with tips, tricks and advice to demonstrate what makes you stand out from competitors.

Quick stat: 90 percent of online shoppers find videos useful when deciding to make a purchase.

Generate leads through blogging

You recognize the need for your product. You understand the value of your services. The trick is to get consumers to do the same. Starting a company blog on relatable topics is a great way to do this – plus demonstrate your professional expertise.

Quick stat: 61 percent of online consumers made a purchase based on blog recommendations.

Showcase your work to targeted audiences through Pinterest

Pinterest is dedicated to saving pictures that link back to a website. Businesses can use this channel to upload pictures of their work and link it back to their website. Target audiences are best reached when other boards are included with related interests. Home improvement, fashion and travel are among the top industries to utilize Pinterest.

Example:

Flooring specialist? Include a board of before and after projects you’ve completed and link it back to your contact page on your website. Create other boards for your page such as home improvement tips and DIY crafts to draw in your target audience.

Quick stat: 25 percent of Pinterest users report it plays a role in influencing their purchasing decisions.

Learn more about social media marketing by downloading our free white paper.