The Social Media Competition

Social Media Competition

The social media competition is in its all-time prime. Snapchat and Instagram entered the market around the same time over 6 years ago. Since then, we have seen the never-ending competition between the two. One would think that Snapchat stories would be dominating Instagram because they “started it”. However, this is simply not the case. 

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Facebook Algorithm 101

Facebook Algorithm

Understanding the Facebook algorithm can be a bit of a headache. It is crucial in ensuring your content gets in front of people in their newsfeed. Facebook’s VP of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, recently broke down the process. Keep reading for more.

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Facebook Pushes Into TV

Facebook announces it has been working on a video app for set-top boxes that would feature “TV-quality” shows licensed by the company. Although the social network has been pushing live video, it believes an app would hold longer, higher quality content. 

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The Joy of Canvas

Facebook Canvas lets you combine images, video, text, and call-to-action buttons in a single, fully immersive mobile ad experience. Want to learn how to create Facebook Canvas ads? Click below and watch my demo of Canvas.

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Mobile Vs Desktop: How To Reach The Consumer On The Go

There are few things in life that actually live up to their hype. For example: The Grand Canyon, The Internet, Tesla cars, Game of Thrones, peeling plastic off of a new electronics… And of course smartphones.

Remember when your grade school math teacher drilled long division into your head because: “You’re not always going to have a calculator in your pocket”?  Guess who has the last laugh now.

I called it a while ago that 2015 would be the year on mobile. It looks like the world is beginning to agree.

Here’s why:

During their 2015 Adwords Performance Summit, Google announced that for the first time, a long time speculation came true: mobile is beating desktop in the search game. Honestly, this should not come as a real surprise to marketers. With the growing number of apps and smartphones available on the market, and the fact people are always on the go has resulted in the growth of a mobile concierge economy. Combine that with the long awaited Mobilegeddon of Google, and you have all the makings of a coup d’etat for the digital crown.

It is an inescapable truth that mobile devices have become a fundamental part of life. It is not only the screen glued Millennial’s that sleep within an arm’s length of their phones. We feel lost and disconnected when we cannot find them. I can’t be the only one who has ever experienced a phantom vibration when I don’t have my phone in my pocket.  The world is of course faster paced today and we are constantly on the move within it. So all of this mobility begs the question:

How do you reach the consumer on the move?

You can see there are numerous trends appearing around the country now if you followed the news from SXSW, or any of the other trade shows marketers frequent. One growing in popularity that I foresee really making a significant impact in the digital world is that a number of retailers have begun installing beacons inside their stores. This technology essentially is the next level of CRM (customer relationship management) device that allows for a unique and personalized bottom funnel sale /remarketing ability exclusively to mobile devices.

For another we can look to an older medium radio for inspiration. Traditional radio is sharply declining. In its place are Internet radio services like Pandora and Spotify which bring in new listeners in droves. Why is this? Simple: mobility and personalization. Consumers want things now, and they want them, the way they want them.

Uber-For-Everything
^Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

People are commuting farther and more frequent these days, and to help them get where they are going (mad men nod) they are using traffic crowd source apps like Waze and Google Maps to help them get where they are going.  This is an opportunity.

It is said that there is now a Uber for everything. This rise of a concierge economy is powered almost exclusively through the prevalence of mobile. Need a cab? Summon an Uber or Lyft. Want some booze but don’t want to drive? Drizly or Saucey have you covered. Have to get some laundry and dry cleaning done? Washio has your back. You can even order a doctor or a massage using the apps Heal or Zeel.

I bring this up because each of these services has an audience that is on the go. There are advertising opportunities available within each of these, as well. Google Display Advertising can allow you to place your message within these apps giving you the ability to reach people during their commute or free time.

So which is better Mobile or Desktop?

A hard question but to answer it, I’m going to take another page out of radio’s play book. Imagine search as a Hot Clock. There are high traffic times and low traffic times. Times when you know people are more likely to be on desktop, and times when they almost certainly have to be mobile. The folks over at the IDG Knowledge Hub put together a killer graphic that goes into this with a little more detail. Click here to check it out.

It is not just search in which mobile wears the crown. Take a brief look over any campaign reports from Facebook or Twitter to see how mobile your target audience is. If you separate out the placement of your ads I would wager you are likely to see a stark contrast in the CTR and impressions between mobile and desktop.

Mobile IT purchases and when people are most active on their mobile.

So should I drop desktop entirely?

Not by any means. While I am clearly an advocate of the strength of mobile over desktop, “traditional computers” (going to coin the phrase now) will still reach a broad demographic. It depends on who your audience is and what day part you want to hit them. Be honest: how many times have you watched a YouTube video or did a little Amazon shopping while on a computer at work?

When buying things online, there is still some level of distrust from consumers. Google’s Mobilegeddon aimed to relieve some of that hesitation and make the internet a bit more mobile friendly place. The trend is that consumers are doing research on their mobile devices, but when it comes to time to buy, they return to their desktops. A integrated marketing campaign will, as always, produce much better results.

What does this all mean for digital advertisers?

Bottom line? The ability to meet your target audience on the go and where they work was once a luxury, but now, it is  essential. The traditional sales funnel is changing and we as [digital] marketers must change with it.

Looking for more analytical proof about why mobile is important? Check out this blog on StrataBlue to learn more.

Want to talk more about how to advertise inside apps and search to reach your customers while on the go?

Click here now to contact us online!

Social Media Jobs: In-house or Outsourced?

social media jobs, social media sites

Social media jobs are in demand right now. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs involving social media and PR will grow by 23 percent between now and 2020. The value of investing in social media services to market a brand is undeniable. According to a recent study by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies, 51 percent of Facebook fans and 67 percent of Twitter followers are more likely to purchase from a brand that they are a fan of or follow. Every business needs that sort of exposure, no matter how successful.

social media jobs, social media sites, social media strategy

Social media jobs are growing!

When it comes to social media jobs, the real question should be whether these organizations will add someone directly to their staff, or hire an agency to cover social media news for them. Below we will weigh the pros and cons of having social media jobs in-house or outsourced.

In-House

Pros: Hiring people directly for social media jobs means businesses have a bit more control over their selection process. Supervisors can really get to know these employees, and perhaps they can learn something about social media strategy along the way. Having social media in-house also means those responsible for it are at the business site when any news, media or sudden changes happen. All creative ideas and graphics can easily be approved by the business, because the person responsible for making those decisions is always nearby.

Cons: Having a social media employee in-house might seem like a dream come true, but it can also have some serious disadvantages. Unlike many other positions, social media jobs are typically needed by businesses without a lot of knowledge on the topic. An employer is bringing someone into the fold they might have problems coaching on a subject they know little about. While managers can certainly hire extremely experienced and knowledgeable people for their social media jobs, there’s no guarantee staff can stay informed in an extremely mutable field. Resources for those in social media jobs will be limited if they work for a business that doesn’t value marketing too highly.

Outsourced

Pros: Agencies live and breathe social media strategy. By virtue of being so plugged into the field, outsourced social media organizations will have more knowledge when it comes to social media news. Agencies can also get the best talent for their social media jobs, because those applying know they will be appreciated and given the resources they need to do their work correctly. Businesses that outsource their social media sites to agencies don’t have to do it themselves, or find someone they hope can keep up in a competitive field.

Cons: Outsourcing does mean businesses will have less control of their own social media strategy. They will need to find a trusted agency like StrataBlue to control all of their social media sites and identities. Getting information from businesses to agencies can sometimes be troublesome, and often requires a site like Basecamp to exchange information and media.

Is your business currently looking to outsource your social media jobs? Please get in contact with us below in the comments section!

Time Management in Social Media Jobs

Spring has always been a time for renewal and revival. Whether it’s cleaning up your house or preparing for a big summer trip, spring has always been a time to take stock and organize your life. In case you don’t know, StrataBlue is hiring a new social media account manager. What better way to celebrate spring revival than to discuss time management in social media jobs?

Time Management, social media jobs, social media strategy

Time Management is a juggling act!

It’s about time, not tasks. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in social media jobs. Before you even consider social media strategy and ROI, look at the basics of the job. You’ll be using various social media sites like Facebook and Google+ to engage and update for your audience. You’ll also probably be working on paid media, such as promoted Twitter posts and Facebook ads. You could also be blogging for a number of your clients. Do you feel overwhelmed yet?

The solution is time management. You have to focus on the time you have for each task, instead of how many tasks you have. Each moment of your work day can be used to complete a task you need to accomplish. Waiting on a Facebook ad to get approved? Schedule some tweets. Have twenty minutes before your next client meeting? Get some blog research done. Once you realize how valuable your hours are in social media jobs, time management will become your best friend.

Lists are your friend. As a working adult, perhaps to-do planners and daily lists are something you remember from college. As a social media employee, you’ll need to pull that daily planner back out. I don’t care how organized your computer is, you’re going to need plain old lined paper to keep your time management goals straight. At the start of your day, write down the big items of the day. Write a blog about lawn mowers. Schedule tweets for the day. These tasks will need to be completed, but I can guarantee you they will quickly be joined by small, pertinent tasks that come up during your day.

It’s about quality AND quantity. As you become more familiar with social media jobs, you may start to notice the heavier workloads sliding your way. Or perhaps another employee will suddenly fall ill or leave your company. No matter the reason, you may find yourself with a new blog or client. You will definitely have to increase quantity, and many social media employees might let the details fall to the wayside. Avoid this at all costs. Adding new responsibilities is where time management really comes in handy. Know your limits. If you need help, there is most likely someone at your company willing to help you. Your employer would much rather help you than let client’s content suffer.

Avoid the social media abyss. It’s so easy to get sucked into social media. I’m not even talking about surfing on Facebook when you should be working. Perhaps you’re working on the completely noble task of researching a local event for a client’s social media strategy. Before you know it, you’ve spent an hour reading tweets from the event coordinator for that one last piece of information. Again, keep yourself on track with time management. If you need to research a local event, set a time limit.

What time management tips do you have for social media jobs? Please share them in the comments below!

Don’t Put All Your Social Media Eggs in One Basket

You’ve heard of the phrase “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Today I am taking that quote and applying it to social media. Any succesful social media strategy includes more than one platform. The purpose is to know where your customers are and how to get to them, because I can guarantee you they are not all on the same platform.

I know you are asking, “So do I have to do them all?” The answer is no! It would take up all your time and energy to do every platform and to do it successfully. It would be a terrible waste of your time. You can try, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!

In developing your social media strategy, the first step is to find out where your customers are. Are they 20-somethings who tweet all day long? Business professionals who are looking to network? Stay-at-home moms who are on Facebook and Pinterest all day? Once you figure that out your target demgraphic, the next step is to develop a strategy that works for you.

icons-in-a-basketRarely will a small to medium sized business truly need to be on every platform. Take moms for example. Many of them work from home and have lots of other stay-at-home mom friends. They spend most of their time on platforms like Facebook and Pinterest. If you mention Twitter to them, they might look at you like you’ve started speaking a foreign language. If they are your target market, then you need to look at how to better reach them on those two platforms.

Those of us in the social media industry are on all platforms since it is the nature of our job, however we can guarantee you each of us has a favorite platform that gives us the best response. I personally get the best results from Twitter.

When you try to do them all, you will not achieve the maximum results you would if you were focusing on where the majority of your customers are spending their time.

Here are some great social media strategy tips:

  1. After you figure out which  platforms your target market is using, see what your competitors are doing. That will give you a key on how to start your campaign.
  2. Work with a social media consultant or social media manager to put together a successful plan that will engage your followers. You want to build relationships to turn them into paying and long-lasting customers.
  3. Once your plan is in action, make sure you are responding to every post, comment, message and question – both positive and negative. 85% of posts go unanswered by businesses. You wouldn’t want to be ignored in person, so don’t ignore your community online.

 

If you find that a certain platform isn’t working out so well after you’ve been on it for a few months, there is no harm in trying something new. You might find a new group of followers in a totally unexpected location.  Similarly, if you are working on two platforms and want to branch out and try a third or even a fourth platform, go for it! If it doesn’t work out, you still have your two strong platforms in action. Remember, each platform has it’s advantages and disadvantages and not all of them work the same way. So before you toss it out of your basket, make sure you tried your best.

Are you putting all your social media eggs in one basket or are you using a multi-platform strategy? If you are still trying to figure out if you should even add social media to your marketing plan, please give us a call so we can tell you all about the benefits of social media marketing.

Does Your Social Media Strategy Fit the Hierarchy of Needs?

I want to talk about social media strategy, but first we have to discuss zombies.

A particular group of geeks are very interested in October 12. This is the premiere of The Walking Dead’s fifth season. The zombie thriller television series is watched by millions. I think it has to do with everyone’s interest in surviving a flesh-eating apocalypse. People always want to talk about how they would survive the undead hordes.

Usually these conversations dissolve into discussions about ammo, canned food and fortified shelters. If you’re a special kind of geek (and I am), you can usually name drop Abraham Maslow into this discussions. Maslow is famous for creating the hierarchy of needs, a psychology theory best expressed in pyramid form.

social media strategy, blogging tips, content strategy

Is your social media strategy fit for survival?

Essentially, the hierarchy of needs asserts that people need certain things to live a healthy and fulfilling life, and they need those things in a certain order.

First, you need basic necessities like food and shelter (physiological needs, in other words). Then you need security and safety, like healthcare and property; love and belonging, from friends and family; self-esteem, like accomplishment and respect from others; and finally you need self-actualization, such as meaning and creative outlets. These needs must be met from the bottom of the pyramid up. If you don’t have basic shelter, supposedly you will not care about self-respect.

What does all this have to do with social media strategy? The hierarchy of needs can be a tool when considering your content strategy. Beyond any list of blogging tips, people need to remember the basics of their social media strategy, and build up from there.

Grammatical

If the basic needs of any person are food and shelter, than grammar is the basis of any good piece of content. You could have the best information in the world, but your bad grammar and weak voice will keep many readers from seeing it. They stop reading as soon as they come to the first mistake. More on grammar here.

Entertainment

Is your content interesting? Does the subject matter really pop? If not, did you find an entertaining way to present it? If not, you can pretty much assume no one is reading it. The world is filled with content strategy at the moment. Make sure your writing is fun and interesting so you can grab the largest audience possible.

Engagement

So your content is interesting and grammatically sound. You’re good to go, right? Wrong. Make sure every piece of content you create has some call to action. What do you want your readers to do? How do you want them to react after reading your work? Whatever your wishes are, make them very clear. Otherwise someone will read your content with no benefit to your brand.

Visual

So your written information is stellar: interesting, engaging and well written. Now you need some sort of visual content to really grab attention. Readers tend to respond well to visual content, and spend more time on content that has visual stimulus. Whether it’s a painstakingly researched infographic or a funny cat picture, make sure you have something visual attached to your work.

Shareability

The most amazing piece of content actually has the power to reach millions and even change the world. It’s completely true, and it’s happened multiple times. Perhaps you dream of your tweet or blog going viral. Make sure your awesome content is ridiculously shareable. Add social buttons to your websites or blogs, and make sure you ask your audience to pass on your content.

Is your social media strategy passing this hierarchy of needs? What parts of the pyramid do you really excel at? Let me know in the comments below!

Connecting the Dots: Social Media and Television Audiences

Facebook and Twitter have both made claims about their strong connection to television audiences. Until recently however, it has been hard to verify just how accurate their assertions really are.

Data from the Council for Research Excellence helps us put things into perspective. The infographic below visually displays their findings. According to the organization, this data was gathered from more than 78,000 mobile-app diary entries submitted by nearly 1,700 study participants representative of the online population ages 15-54.

This insightful information can help us understand the overlap between traditional television and new media audiences. Additionally, clever marketers can then coordinate their social media marketing campaigns to reach their target audience at the same time they are watching related or relevant primetime television. The compounding effect can be very powerful!

Social and Tv Infographic

If you would like to brainstorm ways your company can benefit from strategically targeting social and television audiences, contact StrataBlue!