Tell the truth and people will listen.
Insights from a group of Ann Arbor Marketers that will help you and your business #MOVEahead.
So many companies have jumped on the social media bandwagon after realizing that social media is one of the most effective ways to communicate and engage with your target audience, or as our Weekly Word recently pointed out, your target community. Just like advertising in various magazines or on different channels, social media has audiences unique to each platform. To some, choosing the correct platform to focus on might seem like common sense, but to many, filtering through the demographics and trying to pick the right platform can seem like rocket science. In this week’s blog, we’re breaking down the demographics a bit to help you choose where your company or brand should be spending its social media time and effort.
Facebook is still the powerhouse in social media with 71% of all internet users posting, liking and commenting. This amounts to 58% of the total population in the United States. If you’re looking for a broad, generalized reach, look no further. Facebook accounts for a relatively even spread across varying demographics: many of the demographics hover around the 70-80% mark, including men and women, people of various races and ethnicities, with varying levels of education and household incomes. Facebook gives you access to people of all ages, races, backgrounds and interests, so if you’re a company that appeals to a general audience, Facebook is your best bet.
While Twitter garners a lot of attention, it has a much more selective community. Only 23% of internet users are on Twitter, with the majority of those being millennials. Twitter is unique in that most Twitter users are college-educated, in urban areas, and have annual household incomes of over $50,000.
Very recently, Instagram has gained momentum to become one of the more prominent social media platforms. Twenty-six percent of adult internet users are on Instagram. Minorities also have a stronger presence on Instagram than on other social media platforms. Unlike Twitter, Instagram users are pretty evenly spread across education levels, household incomes and location. However, much like Twitter, millennials account for the majority of Instagram users.
If you’re interested in reaching communities of women, Pinterest is without a doubt your best bet. Forty-two percent of women who are online are on Pinterest, compared to only 13% of men. The majority of these women are white; and compared to other platforms, there is a higher rural and suburban community present.
LinkedIn, as you might expect, is home to many well-educated individuals with high household incomes. LinkedIn is dominated by 30 to 64-year-olds and users are primarily in urban and suburban areas.
Snapchat, Vine, Tumblr and Reddit
If you’re looking to target millennials, engaging on these platforms is necessary. Each platform has a different type of audience, specifically based on the type of content that is being created as opposed to the demographics. Snapchat is great for quick updates or behind-the-scenes looks. Vine compliments humor, song and dance. Tumblr and Reddit generally revolve around fandoms, humor and progressive politics.
When deciding where to focus your social media efforts, take into account the basic demographics of each platform. As you engage more within the platforms, you’ll also get a better understanding of what types of content to create and how to engage with particular audiences in each social network. Keep in mind too that it’s better to focus your efforts on one platform and commit to engaging on that one, than to overcommit and attempt to engage on every platform. Concentrate your efforts and pay attention to the complexities of each platform you’re on. If you need help navigating the platforms, demographics and audiences, we’re always here to help.
Comment below or start a conversation with us @movecomm.
*Statistics from Pew Research Center
The power of social media lies in its "social" aspect. It has the power to create communities and allows businesses and brands to connect and engage with people through those communities. But business and brands should engage with these groups as they would with any community; authentically and with the desire to be a part of something, not just to sell something.
This weekend, I went on vacation to New York City. In hindsight, calling it a vacation is a little ironic because I was thinking more about marketing in the city than I sometimes do at work. Walking around New York, you’re bombarded by advertisements and clever marketing techniques. There were many moments when I was on sensory overload; trying to absorb everything around me. But as a marketer (and I’m sure most of you have experienced this as well), I couldn’t just look at the thousands of ads around me, I had to analyze and measure the success of each and every one. The same usually happens when I watch T.V. In fact, my friend pointed out “Oh right, I forget what it’s like to watch T.V. with a marketer” and I don’t think she was referring to my witty commentary.
Though my marketer’s brain was overwhelmed by the sheer number of ads, I quickly realized how easy it was to begin to tune them out. For my friends who ride the subway everyday, they mentioned that only the best ads stick out to them (or sometimes the worst, but those have the opposite effect they intended). As I was walking through the city and had conversations with my friends, I began to understand some of the do’s and do not’s to really make your advertising efforts sell in such a large sea of competition.
I can’t stress relevancy enough. People engage with topics that are current. Some of the best ads play off of current events or relevant trends. When a brand engages with trends, consumers recognize that they have a finger on the pulse of society. The ads seem more relatable and consumers will feel more connected to your brand or company.
…Talk to your audience
Talking to your audience is really just an elaboration on the point of relevancy. Know your audience well enough to know how they speak, what they like and what they hate. Engage with them through a common language. Someone is much more likely to remember you when you talk about their bro or use other colloquial language than when you resort to ad-typical language like “are you frustrated with your daily commute? We can help!”
…Be Bold (and simple)
Don’t be afraid to be bold in both content and appearance. Creating bold advertising sets you apart from the other ads on the street and makes you memorable. But maintain simplicity as well. You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention and communicate a message, so make sure your message is concise and clear.
…Use too much copy
In the interest of keeping things simple, avoid too much copy. Nowadays, people have very short attention spans. If you are trying to write out all of your services and explain why they should pick you, no one is going to read it. Instead, grab their attention and direct them to where they can find more information.
…Stretch too far
One of the most confusing ads I saw while in New York was for a travel company. The images were appealing and the copy was clever, but we had no idea what the company did or what their ad was trying to communicate. There were too many connections that needed to be made between the ad, their message, their company and their call-to-action.
…Forget a call-to-action
Now I’m not saying you should blatantly say “Buy Now!” Whether inherent or explicit, your ad should communicate a call-to-action. This could mean including a QR code or link to follow for more information, a handle to follow on social media or simply communicate the next step of purchasing the product. Without a call-to-action, your brand will quickly fade among the rest and you won’t be able to measure the effectiveness of your ad.
Put some of these tips into action. They’ll help you shape your concepts and engage better with your audience. We’ve got a few other thoughts that will help you create your best ads, but they’re much better explained in person. Connect with us @movecomm or in the comments below!
I find myself saying “there’s an app for that” more often than I would like (discussing the brilliance and staying power of Apple’s tagline is an entirely other blog) but when it comes to social media management, that statement holds true. The ephemeral nature of social media demands that those who manage social media are always “on.” Increasingly, technology’s ability to be mobile allows people to engage with social media constantly, and the same must be true for companies and brands engaged in social media. But the ability to be mobile isn’t relegated to the platforms themselves, the tools to bring your social media strategy to life are also available at your fingertips.
We’ve organized these into four categories: Social Media Platform apps, Photo Tools apps, Photo Editor apps, and Social Media Scheduling apps. All in, we’ve compiled a list of the 15 “must-have” apps to keep you in the loop and creating strategic, creative and relevant social media content.
Social Media Platforms
0. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest etc.
We’ve labeled these apps as must-have 0 because to have social media, it’s pretty obvious that you need the social media apps themselves on your phone or tablet.
You’ll see over and over that the best engagement often involves an image. These various photo apps allow you to capture interesting and creative images and videos that you can share with your networks.
The most basic camera app can allow you to get great images. Most phones or tablets come standard with a camera app.
Whether you’re trying to capture a full view of a beautiful sunset or a full stadium, panorama apps will capture everything you see. Some phones have this functionality built into their camera app but if they don’t, you can download the app.
3. Fisheye Pro
If your social media calls for more creative or quirky images, the fisheye lens app adds a lot of fun to an image.
4. Lapse It
This app creates a hyperlapse of a set of images. You can set your app to take photos at varying frequencies to capture a longer event and share it in a less time-consuming way (seeing as most people spend about 15 seconds on a post before moving on).
Flipagram mashes up various images into an interesting short video. Celebrities like Beyoncé have made this app increasingly popular.
So we’ve already established that images draw more engagement and as logic would have it, the better the image, the better the engagement. These photo editing tools will allow you to create eye-catching and trendy images.
6. VSCO Cam
Perhaps the most prominent editing app, VSCO Cam has additional filters as well as individual editing options. This app also has developed a community that follows #vscocam images.
7. Photo Editor Pro
Similar to VSCO Cam, Photo Editor Pro has additional filters to choose from. It also allows you to add text, stickers and more to photos.
Snapseed has a variety of filters and editing tools to create high-quality images.
PicsArt is an all-encompassing photo editing app with filters, a drawing platform and a collage maker.
10. No Crop
No Crop allows you to use full size images in Instagram. It adds white space surrounding the image so that it fits Instagram’s 1x1 rule.
InstaShot has the same functionality as No Crop, but for video.
Phonto allows you to add text over your images with a variety of creative fonts.
Social Media Scheduling Tools
The Hootsuite app allows you to add multiple streams of information to track different hashtags, newsfeeds or accounts. Though created primarily for Twitter, the platform also supports Facebook, LinkedIn and Google +. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts and track metrics for various platforms as well.
Though there are no apps that allow you to schedule posts directly to Instagram, TakeOff allows you to schedule reminders for posts so that you can simply click “post” when the time is right.
Another tool to help you schedule your Twitter posts and keep your strategy on track.
These 15 apps can take your social media to the next level. The ability to be mobile allows you to create more relevant, timely and creative social media content and to manage its delivery more effectively--which ultimately, will lead to greater success for your company or brand.
For more social media tips, subscribe to our blog or contact us.
For a long time, marketing and advertising have been, in large part, a guessing game. But with online technology advances, your marketing has the ability to become much more targeted and effective.
Data, easily accessible to any business, allows you to measure how many people your marketing reaches, how many people engage with your content, how that affects your perceived brand and whether your efforts convince them to take action. These metrics can equip you to know exactly how your creative ideas are faring, and whether you need to switch tactics.
But there are massive amounts of data constantly being created; every action users take while online is tracked, compiled and analyzed. There is so much data at your fingertips but making sense out of it can be overwhelming. So where do you start?
Most likely you’ve heard of Google Analytics. It’s a free service created to track all of the relevant analytics related to your website. This platform is extremely robust, but can be quite complicated. That’s why Google also provides you with great tools to help you navigate it. You can take this online Google Analytics course.
We suggest taking the class, but we’ll give you the CliffsNotes version as well. First, create a Google Analytics profile, which will provide you with a tracking code. Add this code to your website (ask your developer or if you are using a hosting site like Wordpress or Joomla, they have extensions). Once you've added the code, Google will begin tracking all of the traffic. You can look through the various reporting tools like demographics, page visits, time spent on the page (and more) and analyze what those metrics mean for your company.
Social Media Metrics
Social media is one of the most effective ways to reach a targeted and engaged audience online. Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, Tumblr, YouTube and Instagram are the most popular social networks and there are various platforms to track their metrics.
Hootsuite & Sprout Social
Hootsuite and Sprout Social are similar social media management platforms with analytics tools. However, when it comes to metrics and analytics, we prefer Hootsuite. With the free platform, Hootsuite allows you to track up to 3 social media channels, which is a great option for a small business. If you are running more than 3 channels, consider upgrading to Pro (it’s relatively inexpensive). From this point you can add all of your channels and use reporting templates or create custom reports to collect the data you want to see. Set these to run on a schedule, perhaps weekly or monthly, to consistently measure your progress.
Note that Hootsuite can only track metrics for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google +. So, this is where the additional platforms come into play.
Iconosquare is a great, free reporting tool for Instagram. What the program lacks in robustness, it makes up for in simplicity. Simply link your Instagram account and it will email you a report tracking likes, follows, engagement and the best times to post. To get new reports, you’ll have to log back in and wait for them to run.
Google Analytics (for Tumblr)
Using the same account, you can create a new page and ask for a new tracking ID. Then within your Tumblr account, you can add this tracking code and run all the same metrics you would on your website.
Various platforms are beginning to house their own metrics and analytics. Facebook has an “Insights” tab that allows you to see a strong set of metrics related to your Facebook page. You can see the effectiveness of posts, advertisements and page promotions all in this tab. You can even export the data into an EXCEL file for a more critical breakdown.
Twitter also runs an analytics platform, but only for its advertising. If you create a Twitter ad campaign, you are able to use their analytics to measure favorites, follows, reach and more.
Your metrics run continually and it’s up to you to decide how often you want to run reports, but no matter how often you decide to run them, establish a routine so you are consistently checking in.
Though this isn’t all of the information, this breakdown should give you an idea about how to begin to immerse yourself in the world of metrics and analytics. If you’re looking for something more robust, we’re here to help.
As always, we hope this helps you #MOVEahead.
Social media is one of the strongest marketing tools available, but very few know how to harness its power. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions circulating about social media (see our blog here: Three Social Media Myths: Busted), and one of the most prominent is that simply being on social media is enough. Some companies feel like they’re on top of social media if they have an account and post when the opportunity arises. In reality, businesses and brands should be developing a strategy which answers all of the who, what, when, where and why questions (with the why being the most important).
If you don’t have a social media strategy, or are looking to revamp yours to better capture your brand, better connect with your audience, or find better success—we’ve already done the legwork for you. Download our Social Media Strategy Tool and fill it in for your company as you develop your strategy.
Start at the beginning
As they say, you don’t put the horse before the cart. The same applies to your strategy. In order to nail down your tactics, you need to begin with your identity. Who are you as a brand? What is your purpose, mission, vision and differentiator? You can boil it down by finishing this simple exercise. Fill in the blanks: “(YOUR BRAND) is the only ___________ that _____________.” (Thanks to Scott Hauman at NewFoundry for this invaluable tip.)
Once you’ve established who you are, you can find your competition and your audience. Spend some time figuring out who they both are.
Now, use this newly articulated identity to set three social media goals. What do you hope to accomplish? What are some measurable successes? What ROI do you want to achieve?
Pull it together
Now pull this information together to inform your strategy.
Start with the platforms. Which platforms are good fits, given your identities? Don’t be drawn into using platforms that don’t align with your goals. Identify your primary and secondary targets; these are the people you’ll think of when you’re creating content.
Next, identify your messaging guidelines. What is your brand’s voice and tone? What kind of topics should you be engaging (and which should you avoid)? What design elements should remain consistent to reflect your brand?
After you’ve thought through the higher-level aspects of your strategy, you can focus on the logistics. How often should you be posting? At what times? How often should you create original content, and how often should you share content from others? What are some social media best practices? (We’ve got some tips:The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Image Sizes (for posting), Tips for posting great food pics (and marketing your food business))
Make it happen
The time has arrived to put your strategy into action. Develop a calendar that aligns with your strategy and distribute responsibilities to your team. You can schedule posts weeks out to stick to your calendar. As you start posting, be sure to connect and engage with your audience; follow relevant people and engage in conversations with them. For greater effectiveness, consider putting some marketing spend behind your strategy. Promoting your page or boosting your posts, even with a few dollars, makes a large difference in reach and engagement.
As you roll out your strategy, be sure to track your metrics, analyze and continually reengage to improve your strategy and better reach your audience. Social media is a complex world of #hashtags, targeting, filters and trends. If you need help navigating it, we would love to help you #MOVEahead.
Albert Einstein may have been referring to science and math when we said this, but it applies to marketing as well. Marketing needs both creativity and intelligence to be effective. So let your "brainy" side play a little.
Instagram is notoriously the brunt of jokes about selfies and food pics. A few years ago, you would have been on the receiving end of a host of judgmental looks for taking a picture of your food before you ate it. Now, instead of judgmental looks, food pictures are receiving likes and jealous comments from your friends and followers. Some people have entire profiles dedicated to the food they eat, and some are even making careers of snapping pictures of their meals (@chicagofoodauthority). This new trend creates an opening for culinary experts to improve on their historically (and generally) minimal marketing efforts in an inexpensive and engaging way. Recently, we had the opportunity to work with an up-and-coming food truck, Cordwood BBQ, in developing their social media strategy. We picked up a few tips (and maybe a few pounds) along the way.
Instagram is primarily a visual medium. While creative captions are important, the old adage “a picture is worth a 1000 words” holds especially true on the social media platform. Instagram is no place for blurry or unfocused pictures. Taking a moment to think about the composition of a photo or what interesting scene you could capture makes all the difference between likes, new followers and new customers, and just another social media account to manage.
Play with your food
In the name of being artsy, don’t be afraid to play with your food. Any restaurateur knows that presentation is everything; the same applies for a photo of the food as well. Move your plate around to find the perfect lighting, push that carrot over to create a perfectly symmetrical plate and perfectly position your drink next to your meal.
Be a fan of filters
When you’re creating the perfect image, use the magic of filters. As an eatery, there may be a specific filter that really communicates your brand, so use it! If you’re a retro-diner, use an old-school filter with a high grain and sepia tones. If you’re a modern sushi establishment, use filters that make your colors pop and keep everything clean with high contrast. Start with the filters in the platform and you can expand your horizons to include filters from other apps like VSCO Cam. If you’re feeling really advanced, you can use the different tools to change the levels yourself.
Play with your words
While photos are important, image isn’t everything. Clever captions can take a fantastic image to the next level. As a primarily artistic medium, wordplay is highly encouraged. Keep your captions relatively short, but work in poetry, rhyme, alliteration or a funny pun.
Hashtags are probably the best way to boost the effectiveness and the reach of your image. Do some research to discover which hashtags are popular for your area or your type of food. I am a big fan of using location-based hashtags paired with hashtags that are specific to the image that’s being posted. In food, I also found the following to be fan favorites: #foodie, #nom, and our location-specific #eatdrinkmi.
Don’t forget to engage!
Your customers are engaging with you; it’s simple logic that you should do the same. Create contests that challenge your customers to take the most tantalizing photo and re-gram them. Encourage conversation in the comments section of your photos. If you talk to them, they’ll talk back, and they’ll likely become more loyal customers in the future.
Tag your friends...
...and locations…and businesses…and anything else you can tag. This is another great way to engage with your potential customers. This also gives you a greater reach and access to the networks of whomever you may be tagging—which means more eyes will see your delicious food!
Instagram is one of the greatest ways to showcase your creations, whether they be food-related or otherwise. If you haven’t taken advantage of this great (and free!) platform, consider making the jump. But before you do, think about your strategy in doing so. If you need help ironing out the details of an Instagram strategy, we’re here for you (especially if you bring food).
Follow us on Instagram @movecomm_a2 for more tips!
In order to bake the best cake, you need the right ingredients. Marketing is no different. One of the key ingredients to an engaging and effective content experience is relevance. If your content isn't relevant, no one will engage with it.
Throwback Thursday is the perfect opportunity to share cute photos of yourself when you were 3 years old or to remind everyone how much you miss your trip to Greece and want to go back. This week, we’re going to give our #throwback a little more substance and share our favorite past blog posts with you.
One of our most useful blog posts, the easy-to-understand charts provide a quick and easy way for you to know which image sizes are ideal for various social media platforms. (There’s even a “one size fits all” image size too!)
As social media marketers, we’re constantly looking for better images, which is where this post comes in handy. We’ve bookmarked this blog post so we can always find the perfect images to accompany our social media messages.
One of the best ways to learn is by learning from the best. This blog post compiles some of the best advice garnered from some of the best brands on Instagram.
We’re now getting to the celebrity section of our favorite posts. President Obama and his staff have a lot of great marketing insights that you can use even if you’re not trying to run a country.
Celebrity blog post #2 features non-other than the talented and brilliant marketer, Taylor Swift. Read this one to see what you can learn about marketing from the pop diva.
Our favorites would be incomplete if we didn’t end with a good video (that teaches you how to make a good video).
Picking our favorites felt somewhat like picking a favorite child, so head to our blog and read the rest if you’re wondering what ones we didn’t include on the list. We hope this #tbt left you feeling a little nostalgic and a little bit smarter.
Don’t forget to share your favorites too!
Social media allows you to connect with your audience in direct and tangible ways. Brands no longer have an excuse not to understand their consumer, their consumers are constantly telling them, and the rest of the world, exactly how they feel. Take advantage of social media to really understand your audience.
In honor of the 10th anniversary of Youtube, we’d like to take a moment and appreciate the power Youtube has for advertisers. Since the launch of Youtube ten years ago, the video sharing platform has driven how audiences interact and engage with media. Millennials have grown accustomed to the ability to consume and share video: YouTube reaches almost 50% of the 18-34 year old population (more than any cable network). But it’s not just about reaching millennials. Everyone watches videos online and those videos lead to awareness, engagement, and conversion. Video increases organic traffic to company websites by 157%, and consumers who watch a video are 85% more likely to buy a product than before they saw the video.
Let’s take a look at the ten most shared YouTube commercials of all time:
1. Volkswagen: The Force
Relatable, cute and clever, Volkswagen pulls in the most shares while highlighting the roll-out of its newest model at the time.
2. TNT: A DRAMATIC SURPRISE ON A QUIET SQUARE
TNT’s unique combination of audience interaction, high drama and surprise captured their core brand message in a not-so-subtle way.
3. Dove: Real Beauty Sketches
Dove is no stranger to viral videos. Their videos are emotional, inspirational pieces that cause viewers to rethink how they see themselves and challenge women to see their real beauty.
4. evian: baby&me
Evian’s hilarious “baby&me” spot plays off their tag “Live Young” by creating a spectacle of dancing babies. It’s a simple concept, but it will always make you smile.
5. Budweiser: 9/11
One of the older commercials on the list, Budweiser’s heartfelt 9/11 commercial commemorates those who lost their lives in the attacks on September 11, 2001.
6. Volvo Trucks: The Epic Split feat. Van Damme
There’s nothing like a fascinating, life-threatening stunt to get people to share your ad. Volvo Trucks paired the fascinating daredevil Van Damme, the calming voice of Enya and the precision driving of their trucks to create a viral hit.
7. Kmart – Ship My Pants
Sometimes all it takes is a clever play on words to get your ad to go viral. Kmart highlighted its ability to ship from their store in their clever ad where you can’t help but laugh when an old man exclaims “I just shipped my bed!”
8. Pepsi Max: Jeff Gordon - Test Drive
A good prank, especially when it involves innocently scarring a car salesman and Jeff Gordon gets Pepsi some strong advertising.
9. & 10. Budweiser: #BestBuds
2,498,703 shares and 2,055,422 shares
Budweiser closes in the last two spots with their Super Bowl commercials from 2014 and 2015 pairing their classic Clydesdales with cute puppies and a heartfelt story. Budweiser knows that telling a good story with cute animals is a sure sell.
YouTube has helped create opportunities for brands where there wasn’t before. Audiences have been transformed from passive consumers to marketers themselves as they share their favorites with their networks. YouTube has created and cultivated the ability to share and use one of the most powerful mediums available to us. Are you making use of the power of video for your brand?
Tell us in the comments below or @movecomm.
The simplest messages are the strongest ones, especially when they're important. In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to take a week off from our usual marketing tips and throw in a more general recommendation: reduce, reuse, recycle. Let's protect our earth, as companies and as human beings.
As Pinterest’s advertising continues to trend toward supporting business goals, it is important to understand just how popular the channel has become.
Pinterest’s ‘Pin It’ button has a strong presence on brands’ product pages, comparable to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button and Twitter’s ‘Tweet’ button. Did you know….
Design is a beautiful thing. With audiences increasingly demanding a visual experience, strong design becomes more and more important. But design is useless if it doesn't have something to say. Creating good content that is worth sharing is the first step. The second is finding the right visuals that capture the importance of the content.
One of the greatest challenges we come across as social media marketers is the assumption that it’s not that complex and if you want to start using social media, you just have to start posting. We wrote a whole blog about it (Three Social Media Myths: Busted). But if you’re entrenched in social media everyday, I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are a mind-numbing amount of complications and industry tricks you have to be aware of.
So maybe you’ve developed a strategy, set up your platforms and you’ve got the content you want to post. Great job! You’ve almost conquered the social media mountain. But if you go to post all of your pictures on the different platforms without thinking about sizes, you could end up with a lot of muddled material that doesn’t communicate all of the work you put into it.