Social Media and Branding

Social Media and Branding

In the past, I’ve talked about the importance of building and maintaining a brand identity online whether it’s your personal brand or your company’s brand. With the number of entities vying for the attention of your target customer, now more than ever it’s essential to have a strong brand position–one which effectively communicates, engages and converts your audience to loyal customers. Since this month is all about love, I decided to highlight some of the most beloved or visible brands in social media.

Last month, Statista highlighted these which hail from both the B2B and B2C sectors. The industries range from Food/Restaurant, Retail/Shoes/Sports, Air/Travel, Soda, Computer/IT,
Internet Software, Online Retailers, and Broadcasting. The study reviewed 100 million images on Twitter and Instagram, which were analyzed for the appearance of 300 brand logos” over a three-month period from August – October 2017 of last year. See the graph below for the specific overview. You can get a copy of the full report from Brandwatch here.

What do the Top Three have in Common?

For starters, they all had well over a half a million unique images circulating per month during the time of the survey.  For example, during one month, McDonald’s on average had nearly a million images uploaded to social media. This may include promotional material from the burger company or content provided by customers, and even food fights. Whatever the sources, it’s circulated faster than the fast meal, pushing the brand to be the most featured on social media. According to the study, the number of images uploaded amount to an average “21 new images every minute, or a new image every three seconds.” Now that’s an awful amount of food for thought. Nike and Adidas went at it, nearly looking like they were head-to-head with their sports line equipment and gear. As far as images circulating, Nike was the clear industry leader, according to the report, which listed Nike as number one under “Sports” for the “10 Most Photographed Industries.” From the looks of things, it appears that Nike has a lock on branding until compared to Adidas.  The reports reviewed the two and “Despite lower overall volumes, Adidas generated more impressions. This is because users with larger followings shared Adidas’ images.” A difference like this goes back to influencer marketing.

Influence Marketing

Influencers were another aspect that the top visual brands were some of the most visual. In the study, influencers with a Twitter account of over 10K followers helped brands like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Nike, Puma, Google, and Sky gain more brand share.  Influencers like Premier League helped brands like Puma achieve much of their visibility. Another example from Disney has an influencer with over 8 million followers posting about a time capsule last September. See example below:

For other examples, click here to get a copy of the report.

Does Visibility Translate to Sales?

Well, from McDonald’s perspective, they were struggling for some time losing a significant customer base since 2012, according to an investor call back in early 2017. Since then, the fast-food giant has reallocated ad spending, increased promotions, and sweepstakes and has managed to show a profit in the Q3 of 2017. I’d say some of what they are doing is working. Additionally, they have launched a new menu in January 2018 with lower prices savings on simple menu items like breakfast sandwiches. Do some of what they are doing on social media impact their current financial status? I would say yes since social media on one of the quickest ways to target new messages for any size business. For more information on the

Nike had a successful year in 2017, with a revenue of $8.6 Billion which is a five percent increase over the previous year. Within the digital space, they are pushing selling through apps and they are also trying to sell via social media. Interestingly enough they are one of the few and I suspect growing corporations that manage their influencer marketing internally. They have a team of influencer marketers that manage their social campaigns so they can keep a tighter control of content on the social media platforms.

Adidas is a great competitor of Nike, and according to some industry experts is beating Nike in the shoe/apparel realm.  One social media campaign that had huge success was the Adidas trainer shoe which went viral. Here’s another example how the shoe giant reintroduced a retro product and made it cool again. Even my kid has these shoes and the different colors to boot. Adidas Originals pushes the hype around the product and then lets the consumer take control of what they like about originals today. They also leveraged key fashion and celebrity partnerships with Pharrell Williams to Stella McCartney. To learn more about certain posts and their strategy visit Econsultancy’s blog here.

There are lots to learn about marketing your business online just be studying some of the top brands and how they leverage social media to enhance their brand and increase sales. If you find it challenging creating a marketing strategy for your business, feel free to contact me for guidance.  For more information about the types of services we offer with branding and or social media, visit our social media solutions page.

Social Media: Which Platform’s Right For Your Business?

Social Media: Which Platform’s Right For Your Business?

Last month, I talked about the importance of getting your target audience right. With all the changes happening with Facebook’s algorithm and the need for businesses to increase their ad spend inside that platform, I wanted to review social media platforms and how you should pick the right one for your business. Often when businesses shift their efforts into the social media world, they consider the most popular ones and forget about what they’re selling. It’s true that social media networks like Facebook and Twitter are great places to start, but when you’re considering getting more granular with your target marketing, and equally with your ad spend, make sure you’re socially where you need to be.

B2C versus B2B

Consider who you’re selling to first before choosing a network to use for social media. If you’re B2C, it’s true the social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.. are the great options when targeting the consumer market, but let’s take things a step further. What are the demographics of these networks? What is the age range of these networks? What sorts of opportunities do these networks have to target your best customer even more? Facebook has groups and the ability to isolate an audience even further, but with the ad spend you now need to reach that audience, is it worth it? For many entrepreneurs, Facebook isn’t cost-effective for them. For others, it’s a far better investment than Google for advertising so it works. It all depends on the business. Before you choose where you want your business to be social, consider things like traffic, organic reach, the influencers, advertising costs and reach and targeting audience.

For B2B businesses, Facebook is almost a given just for the sheer numbers and the brand value but beyond that, you’ll need to get very creative in order to gain leads from businesses directly. And you’ll need quite a budget to do it. Before you carve out a substantial amount of ad spend, make sure it will be worth it if you’re trying to generate leads. Without a strategy or building an ideal audience, your money will show little return. When being social for business to business, consider LinkedIn first. It’s professional and simply, it’s where businesses preferred to hang out when they want to do business. I’m waiting for the day for a competitor of Microsoft to create or purchase their own social network for businesses only. Something else to consider for B2B is again your target market. Where do they congregate? Who are the influencers and what are your competitors doing? Take a look a the CEOs of your target market? Are the social? Is there an opportunity within a social network to connect with the decision-makers within that network?

More and more we’re seeing social networks monetize their platforms so that they can in return improve or increase their shareholders’ value. I’ve said this before. Social media may be free, or at least it started that way, but today, there’s a cost associated with it, albeit time or money.

“We don’t have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.” Erik Qualman

Breaking Down the Social Media Networks

Facebook

  • 2.07 billion monthly active users
  • Ability to target your audience
  • Opportunity to sell your products and services
  • Great branding opportunities for options storytelling
  • Create groups to inform people about your business
  • Create ads or post ads to promote your business
  • Good for either B2B or B2C businesses for branding, but better for B2C

Instagram

  • 800 million monthly active users
  • Great branding opportunities for options storytelling
  • Ability to target your audience
  • Opportunity to sell your products and services
  • Create ads or post ads to promote your business
  • Better for B2C then B2C

Twitter

  • 330 million monthly active users
  • Great opportunity to connect with like-minded/unique
  • Targeting can be done but it takes time and or requires advertising
  • List opportunities for targeting
  • Good for either B2B or B2C businesses

Snapchat

  • 178 million daily active users
  • Good for storytelling
  • Opportunity to market to Millennials and Gen Zers.
  • Opportunities for video marketing but costly
  • Brand options limited because of sharing limitations
  • Better for B2C

Pinterest

  • 200 million monthly active users
  • Opportunity to sell/market with buyable pins.
  • Opportunities for interest targeting
  • New business tool for businesses in the US in 2018
  • Significant brand opportunities depending on product/service
  • Branding/selling on boards greater with niche boards
  • SEO opportunities with right keywords
  • Better for B2C and good SEO for B2B

LinkedIn

  • 500 million members
  • Less active users on this network
  • Group connections and marketing opportunities
  • Personal and brand marketing opportunities
  • Personalized connection opportunities
  • Target advertising available but costly
  • Better for B2B

(Note-social media platforms user statistics via Statista, 2017; LinkedIn, 2017:)

Obviously, there are more networks out there such as Google Plus, Tumblr etc… The list continues to evolve as we delve more into that niche marketing era. Before you dive into the social media marketing pool, have a plan and know your target base. Without that, your business will be throwing valuable time and money away.

If you find it challenging to manage your social networks for your business or even unsure of a proper strategy, feel free to contact me for guidance.  For more information about the types of services we offer with market planning, visit our social media solutions page.

Know Thy Target

Know Thy Target

Would you believe that one of the many mistakes a business makes is they target the wrong audience?  Don’t believe me? Well, it’s true. Over the years, I’ve worked with some incredible businesses; some start-ups all the way up to Fortune 200 companies and off the top of my head I can recall numerous instances where the target audience was all wrong.  *Shakes head*  Believe it or not, it happen—seven with the best of brands. Why? Well, it could be for multiple reasons such as a company is growing too fast or technology is moving too fast. Even blatant arrogance and possibly ignorance can lead a business towards poor targeting.  Today, I titled the post “Know thy Target” because, in the current business climate, it’s all about targeting the right way.

Honestly, there’s nothing difficult about understanding who your target base is. The challenge I’ve found is most businesses don’t take the time to find their primary target customers and then they end up targeting the wrong base because they haven’t narrowed down who their core customer.  This causes them to target everyone.  Before I start, let’s start with some basic insight into your business. One of my favorite quotes that bears repeating.

“Everyone is not your customer.”  Seth Godin

When you’re planning or executing a marketing strategy whether it’s traditional or digital, you can’t think of every person as your customer. Even with an infinite marketing budget, building a customer base from the “kitchen sink” strategy can burn through your budget and make you feel frustrated with your results. Finding and nurturing your core targets can make or break you, even more so in the digital world. Do you have a website? Great. Do you know who you should be talking to or what your content should say? Do you know where your customers live? Where they hang out? What do they like to do? If you can’t answer these types of minor questions, then I promise you, your targeting will be all over the place and so will your marketing.

Try not to swim against the current.

By not fine-tuning your target, you might as well be swimming against a current. Times are changing, and online tech giants expect businesses to get on board…or else. One of the trends you’ll see continuing to evolve in the digital world is targeting.  For example, organizations like Google will continue to develop and launch new initiatives to enable businesses to find the right customers. Why? Because better target allows for better results. Aside from Google’s search engine, look at their geo-search capabilities. If you’re a retail shop, a feature like this enables users to find what they need fast.  And if you’re a business and you’ve got your ideal customer defined correctly, Google makes things easier and faster for you to access these new customers.

Customers & Competition

If you have a business and you’re struggling with overspending with your marketing, then try this exercise. Define your perfect customer by starting with the basics. Review your monthly sales and see who is buying? Why are they buying? What do your customers say about you? How is your business reviewed online? After you complete this exercise, evaluate a successful and comparable competitor in your area. What products or services do they offer that you don’t? Review their online reviews and identify at least three to five things they do well that you don’t. Let’s say you have a product or service such as a dry-cleaning business. Do you know how many dry-cleaners there are in your city, town or zip code? Knowing your competition inside an out is important and helps you isolate your target customers a lot quicker. How so? If there are three dry cleaners in a 5-mile radius, chances are not all cleaners are alike. Their differences could be price, quality, and my favorite, location, location, location. Understanding your competition can help you understand more about the right customer for you.

Testing, Testing…1,2,3

After you’ve identified who you think your customers are, start evaluating ways to target them. Many businesses today usually look to platforms like Facebook for advertising or even Google ad words to market their businesses. If that’s your goal, then both offer solutions to enable businesses to target their audience better. The key to using these marketing methods (and others) effectively is by testing. Test your preferred audience and review the results and keep tweaking. And depending on your product or service, you need to spend a fair amount of time testing all your marketing tactics with your new target base. Plan, test, market and then repeat.

To recap, knowing who to target is the first step to cultivating your client base and growing your business. There are many outside factors that could impact your customer base and your business so don’t skip this important targeting step in the beginning and from time to time, you will need to revisit your targets.

If you’re having a difficult isolating your target market or even frustrated with your marketing methods, comment or send us an email. For more information about the types of services we offer with market planning, visit our marketing strategy page.

January Hot Deals

January Hot Deals

It’s a New Year with new opportunities and with that comes some great bargains. For this month and next, we’re running a special for new customers that will start your business right for 2018.

Everyone knows by now if you have a business, B2B or B2C, you almost certainly need to be on Facebook. And in doing so, you need to keep active on that network, letting potential customers know you’re available on all the social media platforms their using.  Getting access to our favorite brands online is key in today’s digital world so if you’re not using social media, then you’re missing out on serious opportunities.

One of the biggest challenges business have today is running their marketing while they’re managing their business. It’s been my experience that most businesses treat their marketing as an afterthought. It happens. If you’re one of the few that does some market planning, then you already know how finding a person or an agency to manage the day-to-day marketing is incredibly challenging. Although the market seems saturated with countless digital marketing experts of all shapes and sizes, many businesses still have a hard time finding a good partner to manage their social media. That’s where our business comes in. For over six years, the Office Ants have been supporting businesses who lack the time and additional resources to be active on social media. And we do that by offering social media solutions at affordable prices. If you’re one of those people that struggles with managing it all, then this offer is perfect for you to get started.

January Hot Deals Offer

Sign up for an annual social media service “Best Value” or higher

and receive “FREE” Facebook advertising.* 

And now we’re offering even more value to our newest clients and it all starts with Facebook. 

Getting social has never been easier and at affordable prices.  With industry experts, your 2018 just might be the best year yet.  Sign-ups are easy, click here and let us take care of your social media planning and execution today.

About the January Hot Deal Offer: Sign up for an annual social media “Best Value” service or the “B2B LinkedIn Special” and your Facebook business page can receive a minimum of $25 monthly ad spend for the duration of twelve consecutive months. Offer good while supplies last. Some limitations may apply.

Want More Savings?

If you’re looking to save even more, than you need to check out our “Refer a Friend” offer.  Again, the details are simple: Refer a friend or business and you can find even more savings.  At any time, when you refer a friend or business and they sign up for one of our annual plans for social media or content services, your business can receive one month of service of equal value for FREE!  Your business can save a huge chunk of change so don’t delay. Click here to refer a business.

If you have any questions about these offers or other services, contact us today.

And remember, 2018 will be sure to fly by. Get the right support for your business and the best possible price.

Cheers!

Brandy

 

 

 

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Google Plus & Google Posts – What’s the big deal?

Google Plus & Google Posts – What’s the big deal?

If you’re like most businesses, you often wonder about Google Plus and whether its worth the hassle. Many social media enthusiasts have pondered that question for some time now. I personally do think it’s worth it for no other reason than it’s Google. And Google means SEO.  That said before you stop any or all efforts read this incredibly informative article about Google Plus. Despite it being fairly outdated, it is still relevant as we head into a new year.

It has a good basis for the following:

  • Google Plus Marketing 101
  • Google Plus & SEO

 

Should Google+ Marketing (Still) Be a Part of Your Digital Strategy?

But that was then and this is now. Is Google Plus still relevant?

Well, the short answer is yes. Why? Becuase many of those factors still apply. Even more so now that Google My Business Listing is running full speed ahead, creating more advanced features that can really help local businesses. Now many of the questions are, how do these two Google entities correlate with each other? Let’s take a look at Google Plus first.

Google Plus

If you had a Google Plus page whether is a personal page or a business brand account, at some point you’ve probably invested a nominal amount of time posting and linking back to your website? If that’s correct, then bonus. You built some creed in the Google SEO world. It’s a common fact that in the past Google Plus social interaction can help your SEO results. See this report if you don’t believe me. Today, those findings are more tied to the Google Business Listing, but they are still relevant.

Still, many businesses struggle with overall experience on Google Plus. Personally, as a social media consultant and expert, I get it. Google changes things constantly and that’s incredibly annoying but they are THE monster-search provider and can quite frankly do whatever the heck they want. Still, many people ask why it’s still important. Well, like any online company, the social platform not excluded, companies what you (the end user) to spend more time on all their assets. In Google’s case: search, ad words, blogs, chrome, phones. apps, social networks are aspects where Google wants you to buy and or visit.  I’m sure you get the point.  And when it comes to Google Plus, they want their users to be active and posting relevant content.  If you’re a business, try to think of your niche market. Search for ways to connect with those who may be customers on Google Plus whether its a community or a group. Gone are the days of just posting multiple updates. The content of any good SEO must be relevant.

Google My Business Listing / Google Posts

If you’re a local business, having a Google My Business Listing is a no-brainer. Not only should you complete your listing, you need to have it verified and start collecting reviews asap. Since mobile utilization is the ongoing star in the search category, your listing can make or break a business. Google My Business Listings are vital for businesses if you want to be found. And if you want to get even more exposure, you’ll post updates on Google Posts under your Google My Business listing. If you’re a restaurant, you should be updating offers, specials or menu items. If your a small business and want new customers, draw them in with an enticing offer like BOGOS or Free Consultations. These posts are great tools and must be updated or changed regularly as they do expire.

When you’re thinking about how Google plus fits into your overall strategy, think about how you’re using several channels to market your business. Take these steps:

  • Update your Google Plus profile
  • Target your niche markets such as local businesses or groups that have like-minded interests.
  • Create your Google My Business listing – especially if you’re a local business.
  • Encourage and respond to reviews on Google only. Make sure they are legit though.
  • Post updates on Google posts.

If you’re confused about what to do with Google Plus or even Google My Business Listing, don’t despair. There’s a tone of information online on how to maximize your listing including this one here. If you’re still confused, feel free to contact us with any questions.

Cheers!

Brandy

 

 

 

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