• Social Media Management Hacks That Will Save You Hours Each Week

    When you’re managing social media for a brand, you don’t just bang out tweets and Facebook posts with abandon – at least, we hope you don’t. Instead, you might be spending 30 minutes putting together the perfect status update. Taking an hour or two to sift through the day’s industry news to find a few great news articles to share on your Twitter feed. Crafting your brand’s social media voice is a full-time job (literally: it’s called being a Social Media Manager). And because the internet never sleeps, social media managers need all the time-saving techniques they can get. Time-saver #1: Schedule your posts. Have you ever found yourself checking the clock at 4 p.m. on a Friday and thinking “Oh no! I forgot to send out that tweet / post that update / share the link to that influencer’s site!” Then you scramble to put something together that people will actually see before they leave the office for the weekend, and hit send at 4:58, the sweat running down your fevered brow? That’s not exactly a fun place to be. So instead of doing that, try scheduling your posts throughout the week. Use a social media management tool, like…

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  • 16 Invaluable Guidelines for Managing Your Social Media Comments

    Social media. It can really bring out the worst in people, can’t it? From all-out trolls to plain old rude and offensive people, social media threads can become perilous places. That’s especially true for brands, which must tread an extremely fine line when it comes to comments. Obviously, they can’t tolerate anything overtly offensive – but they also don’t want to be seen as exercising censorship over their followers. You want your fans and followers to feel encouraged to engage with your posts. You want them to feel confident that their views will be respected. And you want them to know that personal attacks and inappropriate comments will not be allowed on your site. How do you pull this off? How do you create an open, engaging forum for the exchange of opinions without allowing it to get out of hand? The answer: A robust, clearly-defined comment management policy. These 16 guidelines will help you get there. 1. Establish a moderator. You need someone who’s committed to moderating your comments every day – not every few days, not once a week, but every day. That way, you won’t log onto your social media page one day to find that a…

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  • Marketing to Millennial Parents: 7 Surefire Tactics

    It’s a hard pill to swallow, but we Millennials are no longer the youngest generation (thanks, Generation Z). Instead of college community service programs, trendy bars, and artisanal mayonnaise, many Millennials are finding themselves spending more time thinking about baby monitors, preschools, and nontoxic toys. That’s right: Millennials are becoming parents. In fact, 80 percent of new moms today are Millennials, according to a 2015 study by BabyCenter. which means that if you’re marketing to parents at all, you’ve got to have a strong grasp on what makes Millennials tick. So how can you grab these parents’ attention in the increasingly overloaded digital landscape? Here are 7 surefire tactics for marketing to Millennials with kids. Embrace diversity. One of the most striking features of Millennial parents is their diversity – and not just their cultural and racial diversity. Take a look at these stats from AdAge, for example: 4 out of 10 Millennial moms are single parents 67 percent of Millennial moms are multicultural 61% of births to Millennial moms are to unmarried women By 2020, 50 percent of U.S. children will be non-white While marketers have done fairly well in recent years breaking out of the WASP family model –…

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  • 4 Awesome Ways to Use Twitter Moments to Skyrocket Your Engagement

    Who among us hasn’t felt overwhelmed while searching through Twitter for something – news of an event, maybe, or views on a certain topic? By the time you scroll through the first 20 tweets on your screen, 10 “New Tweets” appear. It’s truly neverending. Twitter’s content overload isn’t going away. Around 9,000 tweets are sent every single second, which means there are about 58 million tweets, on average, each day. So how does your brand break through the noise? There are a few ways – Promoted Tweets, Pinned Tweets, Twitter ads, partnerships with influencers – but in this post, we’re going to focus on Twitter Moments. What are Twitter Moments? Even if you’re an avid Twitter user, you may not be that familiar with Twitter Moments. A Twitter Moment is a selection of tweets, curated by a particular user, on a single topic or event. You can find them by clicking on “Moments” in the top left-hand side of Twitter’s menu bar, right next to Home. Click on that lightning bolt, and you’ll see the Moments posted today. There are various categories, too, for Sports, Entertainment, News, and Fun. Once you click on a particular Moment, you’ll see a collection…

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  • The Immense Power That Virtual Reality Can Have for Your Brand

    If you’ve been paying attention, you know that virtual reality is being used for a whole lot more than scaring the pants off of gamers with apocalyptic zombie games. Manufacturers are using VR and its cousin, augmented reality (AR), to help employees learn how to operate high-tech machinery. Medical universities and hospitals are using VR for training and surgery simulations. But perhaps more than any industry (after the gaming and entertainment industries, that is), it’s marketing that is embracing VR and AR with open arms. It didn’t take marketers long to discover that VR has incredible applications for brands, whether they’re selling shoes or pitching the next season of a popular TV show. It’s easy to think “Hey, we should be using VR too!” when you’re brainstorming ideas for your next big marketing campaign. But how exactly do you employ VR effectively? How do you create something authentic, rather than gimmicky? You’re not alone in asking that question. Lots of brands are struggling to figure out what VR can do for them, and how to use it organically to spread their message. And while the medium will certainly continue to evolve with time, here are a few pointers on how…

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  • 20 Things You Had No Clue Google Analytics Could Do

    In 2017, more than ever before, data drives every aspect of business. From predictive analytics powered by artificial intelligence, to data-based operating systems that allow businesses to perform just about any task with an immediate backdrop of company data, businesses are growing increasingly savvy about how to use data to guide their every step. The story is no different in the realm of marketing. The most effective marketing decisions are data-driven these days, based on which tactics garner the most traffic, the most engagement, or the most conversions. And where does most of that marketing data come from? Google Analytics. Everyone knows that you can get website traffic information from Google Analytics, but what many people don’t know is just how much it allows them to drill down into the details of that data, and how they can use that nitty-gritty to inform every marketing decision they make. Here are just 20 of the things that Google Analytics can do – and how you can use them to your advantage. 1. Import data from other sources. Wondering where your social media stats fit into the big picture presented by Google Analytics? Need one central dashboard with all your marketing data…

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  • The Ultimate Guide to Buyer Personas

    Conventional wisdom used to hold that buyer personas were something only large businesses needed to bother with. Small and mid-sized companies often didn’t (and still don’t) develop buyer personas, for a variety of reasons. They’re time-consuming, for one thing, and some managers feel that time spent on a buyer persona could be better spent actually selling. For another, they can be very difficult to do correctly. Maybe you’ve experienced this yourself: you sit down, ready to create your first buyer persona, when you realize that you know a lot less about your customers than you thought you did. Naturally, this can be a disheartening feeling. What do you do with this feeling? Do you tamp it down and switch to working on something else – analyzing data from your company’s latest social campaign, or writing a new whitepaper, perhaps? Or do you get down to business figuring out what you don’t know, and making the best buyer persona your company’s ever seen? If you’re in the latter group, then this blog post is for you! First, what is a buyer persona? If you’ve never created a buyer persona before, then you may not know where to begin. Let’s start with…

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  • Sharing, Citing, and Stealing: Content Etiquette Rules for the Digital Age

    The Book of Ecclesiastes and Shakespeare said it long, long ago: “There is no new thing under the sun.” That was true then, in the days of stone tablets. It was true when Shakespeare was writing his sonnets. And it’s most definitely true now, in the age of the internet. It seems sometimes that you can Google anything – a dream you had last night, a thought that ran through your head this morning – and find 15 people who’ve not only had that same dream or thought, but written about it to boot. When you’re writing content for your brand, this can become a little disconcerting. How do you make sure you’re not inadvertently plagiarizing? When and how should you cite sources? What rules govern how you share images or content from other sites? If you’re new to writing for the web, it’s easy to get paralyzed by all these questions and not write anything at all. To keep that from happening, take a look at these content etiquette guidelines for some of the situations we often find ourselves in when creating or sharing content. Doing research for a blog post, whitepaper, or other long-form piece of content When…

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  • Marketing to Millennials – 10 Things Every Company Must Know

    Much is said about millennials, both positive and negative. They’re simultaneously valorized as innovative social justice warriors and disparaged as being self absorbed, entitled Peter Pan prototypes. Whichever camp you fall into, it is helpful to know how to communicate with them, how to market to them, and how to relate to them through the prism of their own values. 1) “Millennial” represents a diverse body of individuals. As obvious as it may seem, it’s worth underlining that the trends of a demographic do not equal hard and fast rules. And millennials are exceptionally diverse, even in comparison to other generations. For example, 45% of millennial adults identify as Hispanic or non-white, compared to 39% of Generation X, 27% of Baby Boomers, and only 17% of the Silent Generation. To complicate matters further, many of the millennials who identify as non-white are second-generation immigrants with complex histories who are striving to balance two or more different cultural heritages. (23% are bilingual) In addition to their cultural variability, millennials range from 16 to 35. That range is indicative of different tastes in everything from music to politics. And though that doesn’t mean there’s no common ground, it’s important for advertisers and…

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  • To Rebrand or Not to Rebrand: A Guide for Businesses at a Turning Point

    Even rock stars have a difficult time rebranding. When – in an effort to wrestle back control from Warner Brothers – Prince began to go by a mysterious symbol, or ‘The Artist Formerly Known as Prince,’ fans reacted with annoyance, and the population at large reacted with mockery. Though his fight for artists’ rights may have been laudatory, the abrupt execution of this new moniker alienated just about everyone. Rebranding represents a pivotal moment of transition for a company or an artist, and whether superficial or totally transformative, it can highlight the fact that a brand’s identity is always a negotiation between popular opinion and the interests of the brand itself. Lesson One: Don’t Neglect the Value Proposition There are many good reasons to rebrand, and a few lousy ones, as well. The important differentiator and the one that customers will be most sensitive to is whether there’s been a significant change or merely a surface re-design. For example, when Radio Shack, in an attempt to regain relevance, changed its name to “The Shack,” the public response was a mix of confusion and apathy. The problem was that the value proposition hadn’t been updated, so consumers felt like they were…

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  • 7 Digital Marketing Mistakes That Can Kill Your Brand

    Everyone makes mistakes. You type “Helo” instead of “Hello” in one of your email newsletters. You forget to create a custom URL for one of your blog posts. You mistype an email subject line. These are small things that, while certainly undesirable, probably won’t have a long-term negative effect on your brand (unless you do them habitually, of course, in which case you probably need to talk to us!). But then there are the mega-mistakes. The things that can take a brand from being generally liked to generally loathed, or The snafus that are incredibly difficult to come back from. Chances are, you’ve seen some or all of these screw-ups played out online in all their gut-churning glory. And goodness knows, you don’t want to be the next brand sacrificed at the altar of social media public opinion (which is even more cutthroat than public opinion IRL). But mistakes don’t have to be public to be major. In fact, perhaps the worst mistakes you can make are the ones that get you…indifference. The campaigns you shell out thousands, even hundreds of thousands, for, that get almost no results. Without further ado, here’s a list of the mistakes that you really,…

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  • 15 Writing Tips to Make Your B2C Blog Posts Shine

    What’s the difference between a blog post that makes your reader feel curious, laugh, and empathize and one that informs, but is otherwise lackluster? The difference is a sense of connection, a sense of humor, and a wittiness that admits the subtleties of irony and nuance. Don’t worry – you don’t have to be J.K. Rowling to tell a great story. Literary genius is not a prerequisite for making your B2C blog posts shine. It certainly helps, but it’s not necessary. There are several simple things you can practice and keep in mind before, after, and while composing your posts that will showcase your creativity and cause readers to take notice. 1. Surprise your readers. The element of surprise lends novelty to your post, and it can inspire readers to lean in. One of the most common reasons we tune out or dismiss a blog post is because we think we already know what it has to say. We’re protective of our time and weary of the redundant. Note that this doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel. What you have to say may have been said before, but it may not have been said in the way you’re saying it. Leverage…

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