Posts tagged social media

3 Ways Businesses Tank Their Reputation Through Poor Customer Service


Take it from a digital advertising service, when a client is paying for a product or service, they have certain expectations. When those expectations are not met, you can bet a consumer will take their business elsewhere next time. They may even use social media to tell hundreds of their “friends” about their bad experience. Here are three things to avoid if you want your company to maintain a good reputation.

Unrealistic Marketing

Let’s use the cosmetics industry for our example. Most skincare products do not wipe away decades with one application. If you promise visible results in hours, days, or even a week, your customer is likely to be disappointed. This can lead to returned products, or worse yet, a letter from the FTC about your marketing techniques. Always have the data to back up claims, and don’t promise someone the world if you only plan on giving them a little neighborhood.

Failure to Communicate

Let’s use a service industry as our example here. If you were a window washer and had a client’s window to wash every Monday, what would you do if you could not make it one Monday? Common sense says to call and reschedule the cleaning for Tuesday. Even if you have to completely skip a week, a call is likely to appease a customer. The problem is that most businesses would not communicate with a customer. They would either simply show up on another day or not at all. The lesson? Keep your customers looped in.

Ignoring Negative Feedback

Whether it is a tweet directed at your company or a negative review on a site like Yelp, a good practice is to respond to negative remarks. As a digital advertising service, we understand sometimes your response on a social network can be critical to your reputation. At other times, it means analyzing the data to change how the business works. This shows customers that you are listening to their needs. While one complaint should not change your whole business model, a serious of suggestions that agree with each other may reveal something that many of your other customers are thinking but not voicing.


Understand What Snapchat Is Before You Start Marketing


To get the most out of your Snapchat marketing campaign, you have to understand what it is and what it is not. Here are a few simple understandings to guide you.

This Is Not Your Ordinary Social Platform. Snapchat has intentionally distanced itself from existing social media formats. It is designed as a platform for communication and creation of content. Treating the app in this way will help you to avoid developing campaigns as though you were designing them for a social network.

Shift from Creation to Consumption. Snapchat was originally designed to create and share content with individuals one-on-one (not a great marketing tool). The focus has been shifted to mass consumption with the addition of the Discovery Channels and the Our Story feature. This makes it possible to obtain enough views for content to make marketing a feasible goal.

A Young Demographic. If you want to reach 14 to 28-year-olds, this is the place to engage them. More than 50 million users in this age range exist in the US alone. The average frequency of app use is between 14 and 22 times per day. That means there is an entire generation that is glued to this app and waiting to be marketed to by your business.

Snapchat Is Not Intended for Organic Growth. This has been an issue with social media as well. Snapchat has been very straightforward about this, however, and they recommend using special events and brand storytelling to reach new users.

Snapchat is emerging as a tool to create brand awareness and engage the younger generation. If this is your goal, then your business should be interested in using a Snapchat marketing campaign. After all, with millions of users in its primary demographic who open the app over a dozen times per day, this is an easy to leverage format.

How Will Wearable Technology Alter the Digital Marketing Arena?


Wearables, or wearable technology, are being heralded as the future of technology. No one wants to be without his or her smart devices, so why not make them part of our wardrobe? It is an elegant solution, and one that will change the world of digital marketing for certain. What should we expect, as wearable devices become more commonplace? Here are four effects to watch out for over the next couple of years.

Mobile Applications. Wearables need apps to connect them to other devices which allow us to access the data. Some devices can run the apps themselves such as the Apple Watch. Either way, you can expect a glut of them to hit the market once such wearable products price drop enough to become mainstream.

Metrics. We love analyzing data. At first we developed metrics for our websites, email campaigns, and PPC marketing. Then metrics went mobile. You can bet there will be plenty of ways to track usage of wearable devices and gather data on your customers.

Geo-Tagged Advertising. We love to use mobile devices to send a coupon to consumers as they pass our brick and mortar stores. Now we can see when they approach even more easily when they are wearing a smart device on their person at all times. Tracking location and buying habits will be a great tool for drawing consumers in rather than letting them walk on by.

Social Media Implications. Every time a new device is developed, people use it to connect to their social networking accounts. You can bet people will expect the same from wearable devices. Whether it is the ability to check your Twitter from a watch or a shirt that automatically updates your Facebook status when you break a record on your morning jog, expect social media to be impacted heavily by wearable devices.

Social Media Affects Sports


Social Media Affects Sports: Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

Sports have always been connected with social gatherings. If you go to the game, you are surrounded by thousands of people, and a camaraderie forms as you all cheer on your favorite team and jeer the enemy. Even at home, important sporting events often result in watching the game with friends, enjoying some good food and drink, while rejoicing as your team triumphs or shouting at the screen while they get decimated. There are also sports bars that let people come together to watch the game in a public forum. Nowadays, social media affects sports, and in a variety of ways.

Around 35 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 admit that they are frequently using sites like Twitter or Instagram to post sports related content. Many fans now commiserate over losses and boast over victories by tweeting and posting pics with hashtags that attract fellow fans or insult fans of competing teams.

So, how can you benefit from knowing that sports fans are not just watching the game, but engaging one another via social media? (By the way, they are doing this while the sporting event is on, likely during the commercials we wish they were watching).

Nearly 75 percent of people who use the Internet are actively using social media. That makes social media a must when it comes to engaging consumers and building your brand’s reputation. Clearly, it’s time to use social media strategically to engage sports fans during the game, and perhaps even at live events.

Now that you know that social media affects sports, use this knowledge to the benefit of your brand. Make sure that during the game, whether live or on TV, fans know what hashtag you want them to use. This connects your brand with the game they are watching. You get a large audience, increase brand awareness, and create engagement all at the same time. It’s a great way to associate your brand with the good feelings that come from the sense of community people enjoy when they watch sports.

Social Media Lost Its Edge


Social Media Lost Its Edge: Why?

Have you noticed that social media lost its edge? Everyone wants to be super nice, keep their nose clean, and avoid topics that could cause any dissent. Now don’t get me wrong, content that is considered prejudiced or intolerant can cause a lot of damage to a brand. And it doesn’t have to be posted directly to the company’s social media site either. It can be a mistake made by an employee that instantly smears a company’s reputation. But these overly nice, ‘how’s the weather by you?’ posts aren’t engaging by any means. So, where is the happy medium? Where is the point at which social media creates a dialogue without being shocking and detrimental to a brand?

Let’s take the Applebee’s scandal from last year as an example. A disgruntled waitress posted an obnoxious note on a receipt from a customer who was too cheap to leave a tip (we’ll leave it at that). They fired the employee who posted the pick siting privacy issues. If that didn’t get them enough negative attention, they then posted an apology for the employee’s actions, actions which the Internet seemed to support. In an effort to be overly nice to one customer who didn’t tip a waitress, a chain restaurant earned themselves tens of thousands of negative online remarks and threats of boycotts. That’s what happens when you are too nice on social media.

Just as an aside, Applebee’s also made the mistake of deleting negative posts. Just because you feel you have to be nice on social media doesn’t mean that everyone else has to live by your company policy.

That having been said, there are a few risks that you shouldn’t take on social media. The primary one is that you shouldn’t try to capitalize on a catastrophic tragedy that occurs. Yes, it’s on everyone’s mind. No, they don’t want you to try and turn it into a PR stunt. Also, it’s important to plan ahead for what you will do if a social media post does go awry. Be ready to apologize and take the hit—if your brand screwed up. Don’t apologize if the Internet is on your side or your employee’s side (refer back to the example above).

Social media lost its edge by trying to be uncontroversial. It may be time to flip the conventional wisdom on its head. Speaking on a controversial issue can start an expansive dialogue and give the opportunity to show customers your brand values.

Becoming a Digital Marketeer


Becoming a Digital Marketer: Things You Must Learn

When you want to break into the field of digital marketing there is a basic foundation that you need to have. Because many in the marketing field don’t have a lot of IT experience, it can be difficult to know what to focus on. In this article, we will consider some useful IT skills that can make becoming a digital marketeer easier.

Let’s start with social media. Marketing campaigns involving social media are becoming more commonplace, because most people are on their mobile devices for that sort of content anyway. It is thus necessary to know how to use various social media sites, what the repercussions are for using them poorly, the benefits of using them well, and the methods of marketing that are available.

Next, you want to have a good understanding of online metrics in order to calculate or estimate ROI for various campaigns. It can be a little tougher to find the ROI of an email campaign than the ROI of a coupon in the Sunday newspaper. You also need to be able to measure conversions to be sure that your campaigns are reaching some of the less financially tangible goals.

The world of web design is ever evolving, and you need to stay up to date. This means understanding search engine optimization and, now, app store optimization for any business applications your company may develop.

Finally, there is the matter of selling your products online. People love to shop from their computers, phones, and tablets. You should be familiar with what goes into a well-designed online shopping cart. The best encourage customers to complete a sale rather than walk away with stuff in their bag (the online equivalent of ditching products while on the checkout line). While you probably won’t have to design this sort of thing yourself, you will want to be knowledgeable enough to have a say on how to keep the interface consumer friendly.

While you won’t need to become a full-fledged IT before becoming a digital marketeer, the more you know about these subjects, the better off you will be.

Mobile Is Rapidly Changing


Mobile is Rapidly Changing: The World of Technology

Mobile is rapidly changing, almost on a daily basis, and it can be easy for companies to get left in the wake. What are some of the most current trends that you need to keep up with in order to stay relevant?

More people than ever are shopping directly from their smartphone or tablet. Has your company developed a mobile website or an app for mobile users? Did you decide that responsive design is the better option for your company? The fact that people will judge your company based on their experience surfing your site from their mobile devices can be nerve wracking. It is up to you to make sure that online shopping with your company is an enjoyable experience.

Then, there is the collision of the world’s two current great passions: health and fitness and technology. The result has been numerous wearable devices, and now even Apple® has gotten on board with a smart watch. Fitness has become a major concern for people, beyond just New Year’s resolutions. Whether it is the combination of fast food and video games, which has led to an obese world, or, just that people are obsessed with looking like their favorite superhero or Victoria’s Secret model, there is no doubt that fitness is a major fad. Leave it to technology to capitalize on this too. The question is: can your business benefit from this trend?

Finally, mobile usage is almost synonymous with social media. Whether it is Facebook®, Instagram®, Pinterest®, Twitter®, or another networking app, people constantly want to be connected. To reach mobile users, you need to meet them on their turf, and that means providing engaging content across various social media platforms.

It seems the one thing that isn’t going to change is the fact that mobile is rapidly changing—and digital marketing needs to change along with it. It’s time to take stock of your business stands and ensure that you haven’t fallen too far behind in the mobile marketing race.

Taking a Brand to the Next Level


Taking a Brand to the Next Level: What You Need to Know

There is a difference between brand names you recognize and brands that make you question purchasing a product from anyone else regardless of the extra expense. So, what is it that makes the difference? Spending money actually carries an emotional reward for people; logic rarely enters into the equation. That means creating an emotional connection for people to your brand is the best way of taking a brand to the next level.

There are a few things that will result in loyal customers. One is product quality. If a consumer knows they can trust your product, they won’t mind spending a few extra dollars (or maybe more). There’s also a feeling of satisfaction after a purchase from a trusted company. You know that what you got is going to be enjoyed thoroughly or will be useful to you for a long time.

Take Apple®, for example. There’s a rewarding feeling when you buy an Apple® product because you know they produce high quality technology. There’s also a feeling of satisfaction at being part of a community of users. Most users can’t imagine switching to another company’s tablet or phone, even if it would mean saving hundreds of dollars.

Starbuck’s® is another great example. They have millions of Americans convinced that they are the only company in the nation that can provide a decent cup of joe. Meanwhile, if you ask a European who is visiting the states if they have fallen in love with Starbucks® yet, they’ll probably tell you they hate it. The fact is that Starbucks® isn’t the greatest coffee on Earth. They’ve just convinced America that they are. When you drink a Starbucks® coffee, you feel like you made a good decision.

Here’s the real secret about taking a brand to the next level and the difference between the greatest brands and everyone else. They aren’t chasing after their customers. They create an environment that makes consumers chase them. They also don’t just try to jump on the current industry bandwagon. Companies like Apple® and Starbucks® are pioneers in their fields. Finally, they create a community presence rather than just focusing on selling a specific product. Apple® doesn’t cram tablets, phones, or computers down the public’s throat. They just convince you that if you want high quality, innovative products, you will stick with them. If they switched to making toasters, people would buy those too.

Branding Values


Branding Values: The Secret

Your target audience may take in people of various cultures, economic classes, and locations. It’s a daunting task for a brand manager to bring so many different types of people together into a community. But if we have learned one thing from Apple, it’s that a sense of community creates loyal customers of all sorts. So how do you create a brand image that resonates with all sorts of people? It’s all about developing branding values that will convey your company’s values.

You may wonder, though, what that means. Is it about charity work and showing that your brand gets behind the underprivileged? Not necessarily. While charity work does bring together all sorts of people (have you taken the ALS ice bucket challenge yet?), it’s not the only value that people come together over. So, how can you decide what values will bring together the community that you want?

The proven way is to listen and then respond appropriately. You can spam people with all sorts of content that they don’t want—and get nowhere. Or, you can simply ask the customers what they would like from you. It might sound too simple, but it’s really something everyone wants: someone to listen to them and respond in an empathetic way.

Engage your consumers on social media sites. Ask them to comment, to speak their mind. Respond appropriately. Eventually your consumers will start to shape their own community. This is, after all, how it works. Just go back in time and ask the British empire about the community they started in the new world. It didn’t go quite as planned, because it developed its own sense of values such as ‘no taxation without representation.’ Your community will do the same thing if you loosen the grip a little and allow it to form.

You can’t force consumers into the mold that you want them to fit. You should have a strong sense of branding values and be willing to appropriately bend those to the will of the people.

ALS Fundraising Campaign Went Viral


ALS Fundraising Campaign Went Viral: A Marketing Goldmine

There’s a lot more money going to ALS research right now because an ALS fundraising campaign went viral, to the utter delight of the charity. Let’s see what we can take away from this phenomenon that can be beneficial for your future ad campaigns.

First of all, if a picture tells a thousand words, a video must be worth millions of words. Using video in a campaign takes what amounts to a campaign flyer and turns it into the great American novel. Everyone wants to know the story, tell the story, and be a part of the story. This is engagement at its finest. The best marketing videos create a sense of community and promote the notion that we are all in this together.

Second, don’t feel that all of the content for your campaign needs to come from your company. Give consumers something to do. There’s no ALS conglomerate out there producing video after video of people pouring ice water on their heads. People are doing this all on their own. What if your company started the ad campaign that resulted in thousands or even millions of people making their own little ad spots for your company? And oh, just as an aside, all of that extra advertising costs your company absolutely nothing.

Social media can spread your message like wildfire and companies are taking notice of this phenomenon. For example, Coca Cola’s share a Coke with a friend campaign is really doing the same thing. People are posting pics of bottles with the names of friends and loved ones and tagging them. Thus, it’s possible to make the jump from nonprofit to corporate advertising and to get people to play along without even thinking about it.

Granted, it’s easier to have people spread a campaign in this format when it is for charity. The ALS fundraising campaign went viral due in no small part because of this. But your ad campaign can make use of the same principles. You can do this by using video, creating a sense of community, and getting consumers to pass on the campaign ideals. When this happens you have created a self-perpetuating ad campaign that only costs your company the initial start-up videos. It is then community fervor that takes over and puts your product or service in the spotlight.

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