A Newcomer’s perspective: Digital Summit Detroit was an invigorating and empowering experience for me as a newcomer in the industry. The way the MILO team all banded together to learn more so that we can provide the best service as fellow marketers was moving. I have been to many conferences before, and none have kept me as engaged and charged throughout its entirety as Digital Summit. There were several different aspects of the summit that I enjoyed, but there are a few key takeaways I think will really help me better myself in this industry. After attending all the speaker sessions there are a few things as a digital professional that I want to apply to my everyday work!
“Sometimes you have to plan for the unplannable.” – Brandon Chesnutt Brandon Chesnutt from Identity taught us that working in social media means if a crisis does arise, we are at the frontline. Here are some questions we should ask ourselves before this occurs:
Do you have a process in place to address the crisis?
Do you have rules for engagement? If so, what is your approach?
Are your “non-specialist” trained to give basic responses during a crisis?
It is important to have a plan in place, test it and conduct a post-mortem so you can fix issues with your plan before a crisis occurs – though of course, we all hope that never happens. Too often brands don’t make crisis response a priority and are ill-prepared for when one happens.
“The play button is the most compelling action on the web.” – Jason Hsiao During this session with Jason Hsiao from Animoto, I learned businesses need to learn how to speak the language of video. As a social media manager video is not something new and groundbreaking to me, but it is definitely something that I do not use enough. I learned getting into video is as simple as this: start where your audience exists. There is no need to create a new platform for video. You can even use the same content, just translated in a video instead. Basically, your audience is more likely to engage with a video, than to click on a link to an article. A video can be a useful and more effective way to get your message across to your audience.
The world of humor and marketing are more similar than I thought. “Humor helps me connect with people, and helps me fit in. What else does that? Besides… Marketing.” – Scott Dikkers, Founder of The Onion. This statement really opened my eyes. Most people would think, “my client has nothing to do with humor so how is Scott Dikkers going to tell me anything worthwhile about marketing?” Well, they are wrong. The moral of Dikkers’ keynote was that you may have to put yourself out there to achieve your goals. This doesn’t necessarily mean being vulgar and humorous like The Onion. It can mean doing the most “out there” thing that appeals to your audience, or the audience of your client.
I wasn’t the only one to gain great insights from the Digital Summit. Alexus Bomar, one of MILO’s social media managers, gained valuable information to use for her clients as well.
“My favorite session out of both days was “Long Story Short: How Brands Can Create Quick Captivating Content Using Instagram Stories.” Even though I knew a majority of the information discussed, it was a great refresher and gave me some inspiration for things I can do for my clients. One thing I didn’t know was over 300 million people use IG Stories every day so it’s another great way to connect with the brand’s audience.” – Alexus Bomar, social media manager
As a whole, MILO gained a considerable amount of insight from the Digital Summit! The MILO team was excited to be a part of the event and look forward to putting the knowledge we gained into practice.
There’s really no better way to say it than this: Videos are a must to be successful on social media, but especially so on Facebook with the changes that have come down the pipe.
Correction: Quality videos are a must to be successful on social media.
It’s easy to post a video on Facebook, but if you’re not making sure it’s in line with your social media strategy or has a strategy built around it, the odds of success are not in your favor. According to Cisco, 80 percent of all content consumed online will be video by 2019 and that’s only six months away folks. The time to get going on videos was yesterday, so if you could use some guidance on how to correctly incorporate them into your Facebook strategy, you’re in luck, MILO is here to dish out some advice.
Focus on what matters
Gone are the days of relying on metrics like views and followers to judge the success of your videos. In fact, Marcus Sheridan, of The Sales Lion and IMPACT fame, stressed at Social Media Marketing World 2018, that you need not get caught up with the things that don’t matter, such as views.
According to Sheridan, you have to establish other parameters to measure success early on and determine the KPI’s that will dictate if you’re winning or not. Your video can have a million views, but if none of those views have generated sales for the business, are you truly winning?
Brian Fanzo, founder of iSocialFanz, is another social media expert who is urging marketers and businesses to say goodbye to vanity metrics, as Facebook is all about those meaningful interactions now. For Fanzo, the focus now is on bringing authenticity and creating participatory content when building out your social media strategies. By the way, did you know that Facebook Live gets six times the interactions than native videos on Facebook?
Content is Still Key
Mari Smith, Facebook’s designated “Small Business and Facebook Marketing Expert” shared an interesting statistic at SMMW 2018 – people gaze five times longer at video than static content on Facebook (and Instagram). Due to this, we need to move away from the whole “buy my stuff” style of copywriting and begin thinking about the videos we create from more of a screenwriter’s viewpoint. Remember, relationships first and business second.
If you’re wanting to move the sales needle, remember these five types of content which are favorites of Sheridan:
Content that is willing to look at the good, the bad and the ugly. To create trust with the customer, you must be willing to look at all sides. Remember, it’s not the competition who is keeping your lights on, it’s the customers and they value transparency.
Content that openly discusses money, costs, pricing, rates, etc. Did you know that 90 percent of businesses won’t address the cost of their service/product online? Take a chance and be one of the 10 percent who will.
Content that is willing to turn customers away. This one is important: don’t be afraid to tell folks exactly who you are and what your company can do, including what you’re not.
Content that promotes self-selection. “For me” searches have increased 130 percent over the past two years and “Should I” searches are up 60 percent. Incorporate this in your content strategies.
Content designed to replace or facilitate the traditional buyer experience. “First Ride” and “Shop With Me” videos continue to see their popularity surge, which is telling of what social media users are looking for.
Videos on Facebook are here to stay and if your brand implements some of these tips, you’ll see some encouraging results. Confused about how to get started? Remember, you’ve always got MILO Detroit in your corner!
Businesses use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to connect with their audiences and promote services, but over the years Pinterest has grown to become a powerful search platform to further target audiences before they make a purchase.
According toPew Research Center, only 29% of U.S. adults use Pinterest but learning how to maximize and best use this platform can be key to an increase in clicks, email subscribers and sales.
Pinterest is commonly used to browse around for something to use in the future, narrow down ideas or find something specific. Today, businesses are taking advantage of what pinners are using Pinterest to better promote their services.
Be prepared Before you dive into using Pinterest, it’s important to have a marketing plan in place to ensure this is the best direction to go. The plan should focus on how the business is going to use Pinterest to increase traffic, email subscribers and clicks. Take into consideration what topics to focus on and turn them into boards, featuring related pins.
Pinterest uses boards to gather pins and businesses can use this to showcase their products and help consumers find exactly what they are looking for.
Do your research to maximize reach When you have an idea of what topics you want to feature, think about your target market and research what keywords for search perform best. Step into the shoes of the audience and determine what terms they use when searching for your product.
For example, if your business is all about social media, your pins should feature social media tips, email marketing, tips to improve branding and more. Keywords should also relate to social media, marketing, strategy and more.
Pinterest is for more than ideas Wpromote, a full-service digital marketing agency in California, uses Pinterest to create campaigns to expand their reach. According toPinterest, this agency wanted to expand their clients’ reach with a lower cost per action. People use Pinterest to not only scroll through content but to plan purchases.
“We’ve found that people on Pinterest are more actively trying to plan or make a purchase than on other platforms. Being able to reach them when they’re in that mindset is a primary driver for the strong performance we’re seeing.” – Ashley Talley, Wpromote Account Director
With the use of Promoted Pins, their campaigns included 40% lower costs per action and 26% lower costs per thousand than other paid channels. They were able to reach new customers via Pinterest at a much lower cost than other paid channels.
Use eye-catching imagery Along with using keywords and taking advantage of Promoted Pins, design plays a part in getting more people interested in your Pinterest.
Taking the time to design beautiful and striking graphics, focusing on the layout and creating useful pin descriptions are a few design ways to help increase traffic to your website. Using design tools like Canva, Crello and Adobe Photoshopcan help to create impactful images.
As Pinterest expertPeg Fitzpatricksaid, you want to maximize your efforts and create content that inspires, teaches and visually appearing to gain the attention of the audience.
Eye-catching images within your pins can make or break your business. The better the image used, the more clicks, traffic to website and email subscribers you can potentially have. Preparing a style guide with brand colors, fonts and logos can help plan out your Pinterest layout easily.
We can help you plan how to use Pinterest to increase traffic, gain more email subscribers and improve sales.Contact us!
Are you interested in hopping on the video bandwagon? 87% of online marketers use video content, so if you’re not doing video, you’re doing something wrong. But don’t worry! MILO is here to help you make a splash with Live Video tips and tricks!
Did you know that one-third of online activity is spent watching video?
Livestream and New York Magazine reached out to 1,000 adults with a survey to learn how consumers think about and use live video. Live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
So if you really want to increase your audience, live video is the way to go. Today, MILO is going to teach you how to excel at live video by creating closer customer connections and how to get over the fear of going live.
As platforms evolve, you must evolve with them. You can now go live on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Because this is such a new feature, many people may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with going live. In order to prevent poor performance and get over your nerves, you need proper planning.
Here’s a checklist of 10 tips when going live to make sure everything runs smoothly:
Tell your followers ahead of time when you plan to go live.
Figure out what your purpose is.
Make sure you have a strong wifi connection.
Switch off interruptions.
Remind viewers they can subscribe to Live notifications.
The best length for a love video is 15 minutes.
Say names from the comment section to engage your audience.
Keep showing up!
Even when you are prepared, going live can still be nerve-wracking if you are not used to it.
Whether you are in front of the camera or behind it, practicing with going live will help you become more comfortable and confident in this process.
Online marketing expert, Amy Porterfield, says that “there’s nothing more powerful than showing up live.” If you’re in front of the camera, Amy says you have to make it more about your audience and less about you. This way you will come across as someone that connects instantly.
Four secrets Amy has that she uses to thrive on camera are:
She eased into live by testing it in a private Facebook group
She’s rarely alone when doing Live video. Having someone from her team on the other end to let her know everything is working, eases her fears and makes her more comfortable on camera.
Use Instagram Stories as practice videos. They are great ways to become more comfortable showing your face and talking on camera without the live element. Try to do an IG story at least once a week.
Keep your equipment simple. Having to handle too many things all at once can make you more nervous about whether something will go wrong. A simple set up that you know how to use will help you remain relaxed while you’re live.
Going live in its simplest form requires a smartphone or tablet, and a good wifi connection. Confident Live Marketing coach, Ian Anderson Gray recommends using speedtest.net to check your internet speed before going live. The recommended minimum speed is 10 Mbps.
Live video can make you feel more connected with your audience. So don’t be afraid to try out live video for your business today! MILO is here to help.
Did you know there are over 330 million active daily users on Twitter? If you’re looking to increase your customer base, interact with your audience more and improve your sales, Twitter is a great platform to use.
At this year’s Social Media Marketing World, top media experts discussed everything Twitter including tools to use, algorithm, analytics and how to turn conversations into customers.
Below are some key takeaways to connect with more of your customer base and increase sales.
The Value of a Tweet Small businesses have started turning to Twitter to target their audience and increase their customer base. With that, it’s important to take into consideration the value of a tweet and how it can benefit your business.
International Social Media Trainer Nicky Kriel stressed the value of a tweet is NOT the number of impressions, reach, engagement or if the post goes viral. The value is: The tweet drives traffic to your website, makes the right customers aware of the business, builds business relationships and generates revenue for your business.
To increase the value of your tweet, take a look at Twitter Analytics. This gives you the chance to dive deep into the data of the account and learn what works best. Here you can be aware of who your audience is, their locations and their interests.
Produce great content with Twitter’s timeline algorithm Creative Content Marketers duo Andrew and Pete shared their strategy for working with the Twitter algorithm with the acronym TUCEPM!
The Twitter algorithm ensures the most important tweets appear at the top of users’ timelines. Per Twitter, tweets that followers are more likely to care about will show up first based on accounts and tweets with which they interact.
Keeping the algorithm in mind, there are ways to achieve organic reach. Check out a few below:
Timeliness: Newer posts get shown more often than older ones, so it’s important to post in real-time and relevant times to your audience. Take advantage of relevant trending topics and post a few minutes before or after the hour as opposed to at the top of the hour.
User interests: Use Twitter analytics to find out what your audience cares about the most.
Credibility signals: Twitter’s algorithm favors accounts that are credible, meaning the profile is complete with a name, bio, location, website, profile picture and header image. Tweets shouldn’t have broken links, swearing, nudity, high bounce rates or aren’t mobile responsive.
Engagement: The more engaging a tweet is, the greater its relevance score, which means it will show up across more timelines as a top tweet. Twitter takes into account the amount of time spent reading a tweet, sharing via direct messaging or if someone clicked the profile as a result of the tweet.
Tweets that have high engagement often include one of the following: “RT if,” “Retweet if,” “RT and follow to enter,” a Twitter poll, asks questions, mention/tag someone or uses GIFs.
Past engagement: People see more tweets from accounts they have engaged with in the past so increase engagement now to benefit in the future.
Media: Users are shown more of the media type they prefer based on what they have engaged with in the past. Along with your standard tweets, add in a variety of videos, images, GIFs and polls to keep followers engaged
As Andrew and Pete said using this acronym can help your account get the organic reach it deserves even with the new algorithm.
Improve your Twitter account with these tools Throughout their workshops, four Twitter experts shared various tools that can help step up your Twitter game, work well with the Twitter algorithm and improve your content marketing. Below is a list of tools you can use can help grow your Twitter account.
Twitter Analytics Measure and boost your impact by analyzing your followers’ interests, locations and demographics. Twitter analytics provide a 28 day summary or a summary by month to see what is working best for your account.
ManageFlitter This tool allows you to manage multiple accounts, grow your business by finding relevant people to connect with and schedule tweets at optimal times.
Zest A Google Chrome Extension that provides you with smart marketing content that is hand curated. This extension is similar to Sprout Social’s “Find Content” feature.
Union Metrics Union Metrics provides social media analytics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
Social Jukebox Allows users to automated and schedule content on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Tweriod Tweriod provides you with the best times to tweet by analyze your tweets and your followers’ tweets.
ClickToTweet This tool encourages people to Tweet something by giving them a link. People who use this tool can promote, share and track content on Twitter.
So you want to use Facebook to give your business a boost? You’re not alone!
According to Sprout Social, there are currently over 60 million businesses on Facebook. Those 60 million businesses are all competing for the attention of 2 billion monthly active users, over a billion of whom are active daily. Are you feeling like the odds are stacked against you? Don’t. With the right Facebook Ad knowledge, you too can enjoy a share of those billions of users!
Make your Facebook Ads Profitable Every Time We know, churning out profitable ads time and time again seems far-fetched, but if you ask Nicholas Kusmich, who sees some of the highest ROI on ads in the industry, it’s 100% possible.
Kusmich draws attention to the shift marketing has made. Gone are the days of mass marketing being king – it’s all about micro-marketing now and through Facebook, you’re able to pinpoint and target only those who need to be seeing your message.
Kusmich has come up with a predictable profit process, which begins with the ad, then the lead magnet, the thank you offer and retargeting. He also encourages keeping these three principles in mind
1. Content – how does your message stand out from the competition?
2. Distribution – what good is having a great message if no one or the wrong people see and hear it?
3. Conversion – what good is great content and distribution if nobody turns into clients?
Per Kusmich, you can’t just jump into the marketplace and ask people to buy your product and expect them to do it. No, you must give before asking. You have to earn the right to ask anything of your fans by providing value to them first.
Keep in mind, every step of your marketing process should be valuable in and of itself. The name of the game is value, and your content and ads must have it! Keep to SAGE (short, actionable, goal-oriented, easy) principles, and you’ll begin to see a return on those ads.
Small Business Tips As Andrea Vahl, co-author of “Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies” points out, organic reach may be decreasing, but users are increasing and Facebook is still the cheapest form of advertising out there. When done right, Facebook Ads will be quite a boon for your small business. Emphasis on the ‘done right’ part!
According to Vahl, you want to take the customer journey into consideration:
1. Use Facebook to build an audience
2. Target your ideal customer
3. Enhance the relationship with good content
4. Retarget to convert.
Ultimately, Vahl stresses that your goal is to move them off Facebook as soon as possible, whether that is on to an email list or your website. Since Facebook ad costs are rising, you have to get smarter and have a system in place for testing those ads.
Why Ads don’t work and how to fix them Per Jon Loomer, an advanced Facebook marketing strategist, the ultimate reason why your Facebook ads are not working is because the wrong people are being targeted. So how do you fix this? It’s simple – adjust how you’re targeting the audience.
Loomer suggests breaking your audience into different groups, those who engage with your content generally (aka not based off of specific posts, videos or events) and those who engage with specific content.
Making Facebook Ads Work For You Azriel Ratz, CEO of Ratz Pack Media, shared some valuable knowledge on how to do just this at Social Media World 2018, and it involves four simple steps to optimize your Facebook Ads.
1. Set business goals
2. Find your best potential audience
3. Engage with the most effective ads
4. Optimize your ad performance
Are you only running 1 to 3 ads in every ad set? That is probably not your best-laid plan. As Ratz pointed out, the chances of making anything really good when only doing 1 to 3 is very rare. You should be mixing things up, testing copy, testing images, testing everything possible with the ads. He also points out that to optimize your ads you need to be monitoring cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC), time on site and the conversion rate. Our digital experts at MILO are skilled at all things testing, in fact, they live for it! If you’re unsure of how to correctly test the effectiveness of those ads, we’re here to help!
If all ad sets have high CPM, you’re targeting the right audience, but with the wrong messaging. On the flip side, some high CPM and some low CPM may mean you have the right messaging, but wrong audience. Do you see high CPC? Try switching out the copy for more compelling language. The time on site numbers can be impacted by low-quality placements, a disconnect between your ads and the landing page, or a landing page optimization issue. Finally, if you’re conversion rate is low consider this: They just might not be interested in the offer or your form needs fixing.
You don’t have to dive into the world of Facebook Ad Manager alone, MILO’s team of digital experts are here to come up with a strategy that is just right for your business. Contact us today!
Today I want to tell you about Dmitri, a.k.a the (almost) black belt digital ninja. Dmitri has been a Digital Strategist for about eight years now. However, his journey to MILO was far from simple.
The first time that I met Dmitri I knew he was dedicated, a natural born leader and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I haven’t known him for very long, but I do know Dmitri is someone you can count on.
Today I want to give you another glance behind the MILO Digital scenes and show you the people making MILO the strong, team-oriented environment that it is. Here is what I learned about Dmitri.
Q: Can you describe your job and what you do here at MILO?
A: My official title is Digital Strategist. I take a look at the client and I come up with the best possible strategy to achieve their marketing goals on the Internet. Whether it’s sales, improving their social media, generating leads, or raising awareness, I put together strategies on how to make it happen using the latest digital tools.
I also put out fires on a daily basis.
Q: How did you get into the Digital Marketing world?
A: I wanted to be a psychologist/philosopher in college and then the economy crashed, so I switched to marketing. After graduating I did some copywriting and got into social media community management. My first account was PHI (PHI Air Medical) right when I got out of college and it’s still with me today. At my busiest, I managed up to 10-12 clients a day. Then I got into social media ads and Google AdWords, which helped me understand how everything in the digital world worked together and contributes to the bottom line.
Q: What is your favorite part about working for MILO?
A: My favorite part is coming up with the solutions for the clients. Each client is a different puzzle and each solution is custom fit for that puzzle. Sometimes you don’t really know what the solution is right away and you have to go and research.
Bringing the insights back to the client and seeing their eyes light up when you get it just right…that’s my favorite part.
Q: What is the most important thing you have learned in your career?
A trait that I learned over the years is just embracing uncertainty and change.
It used to really bother me because I would want to plan everything out and execute on how I planned it out, but life does not work that way. Working at MILO has made me comfortable with being uncomfortable; no matter what changes, I always feel prepared to do my best and welcome the challenge.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to those just starting in this industry?
A: If you’re starting out in social [media management] I would say that you have to look to the leaders in social media like Gary V or whoever the top dog is in your particular field. The first step is always imitation, learning the rules. Once you internalize the rules and have the guidelines for social media then you can start innovating and going outside of those rules.
The second piece of advice is to just start, just go.
A lot of people read hundreds of blogs about social and always put off actually doing. I say just do it, you’ll learn way more than just reading about it.
Q: Did you have any major setbacks in your career?
A: At my first big job I actually got let go two weeks before Christmas. I only managed three accounts there. Then I went from managing three accounts up to 12 and learning how to run digital ads, write strategy, communicate with clients and show reporting that matters. I was the guy that standardized reporting in our organization and got us the Google Adwords certification.
It really gave me a lot of confidence, and that setback didn’t really matter that much anymore.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
A: I’m a big fan of Jocko Willink, he’s a navy seal and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt turned author, turned podcaster/motivational speaker. He preaches something called extreme ownership where you own everything in your world. For example, if somebody on your team is underperforming, it’s your job to go and figure out why they’re underperforming, or spend time with them and get them up to speed.
Ultimately everything is in your court.
Q: Considering you had a long journey to get here, can you describe it?
A: I’m originally from Ukraine, which used to be a part of the Soviet Union. I was born around the time when the Soviet Union broke up and we got separated from Communism. It racked our economy to a point where it’s only now recovering. It was pretty rough. Then my dad won a green card in a lottery drawing to come to the United States. He came to the US and my mom and I followed after a year. We came here with no English and $100 in our (collective) pockets.
Throughout all of this, my family has been extremely supportive over the years and I owe them everything.
My mom for showing me the value of grit and resilience. My dad for always pushing me to do my best and not letting me settle. And my grandparents, Natasha and Nikolai, who showed me the value of hard work and planning ahead.
Q: What is it like being so close to your boss?
A: It’s a balance. There’s definitely a lot of trust involved. You have to balance being bros and doing the right things because sometimes what your “bro boss” wants to do is not what your “boss” needs to do.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is when to push back and when to drive home things that are important.
Ultimately, during work hours work must come first. After all is said and done, we can get a drink.
Q: Could you explain the company culture at MILO?
MILO is very creative and innovative, and it reflects in our culture.
It’s very fun and friendly, always trying to make each other laugh. When it’s time to bunker down, the tone changes and we sit down and crank out what needs to be done. There’s a collective understanding of what we’re trying to build and the quality of work we strive for.
Q: What are the benefits of working at a small business as opposed to a bigger corporation?
A: You can make a lot of change very quickly. Whatever idea you have, if you get enough people behind you, you can execute it. Working in MILO, we’re very nimble. If there’s something that we want to do, we can turn it around pretty quick. In a big organization, you have to deal with bureaucracy, going through all the layers of managers and their managers. In contrast, at MILO, idea becomes reality very quickly.
Q: What is it like working in Detroit?
A: It’s very cool especially because I draw a parallel of the rebirth of Detroit with the rebirth of my professional career. As Detroit got bigger, and as people started to rebuild and the small businesses started to grow, so did MILO throughout the years.
Having worked very closely with Detroit-based businesses, I feel like I’m growing with them.
I’m learning and getting all the benefits that Detroit is getting. I feel very close to Detroit because of that.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
A: The people. Just being able to be creative and see the impact of your decisions.
Dmitri has taught me a lot since my start at MILO Digital. From day one, he has been there to push me out of my comfort zone, which I’m terrified to do. In my first month at MILO, Dmitri told me that, “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you’re trying your best.” I have never been in such a safe learning environment as I have at MILO, and it’s all thanks to the people.
Without Dmitri, there is no MILO. Like he said, the people are the best part of working here. We all make up the heart and soul of MILO and we each play a key role in making sure this company thrives. I am so thankful for Dmitri’s constant leadership and dedication to making sure MILO is producing the best possible outcomes.
If you’re a social media manager, you understand how important it is for your content to be seen and engaged with.
One of your main goals for social media management is to increase the account’s audience and brand awareness. With that in mind, it’s important to know the difference between reach and impressions. Both terms have similar meanings, but provide different results on social media.
Reach vs. Impressions Reach is the total number of people who can see your content and Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, no matter if it was engaged with or not. For example, if a post was shown to the same person three different times, it would be 1 reach and 3 impressions.
Clients wish that all of their followers would see and interact with every piece of content posted but it doesn’t happen. For instance, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has 7,200 followers, but the organic content doesn’t result in 7,200 likes, comments, and shares. Without a post being promoted (like the post below), the organic content only receives a small percentage of interactions.
Why Reach & Impressions Matters (+ which is more important) Both reach and impressions are important because they help increase brand awareness and grow the audience.
Depending on an account’s goal, you might want to focus on just one or the other. If the main goal is to get content out to a specific number or people, then focus on reach. Shift the focus to impressions if your main goal is to increase brand awareness and you want your content shown a specific number of times.
However, Sprout Social reports reach may be less than impressions since one person can see multiple impressions. But knowing who your target audience is and what kind of content they like to see can help to increase both.
Something more important than reach and impressions is engagement. Engagementis the number of interactions people have with your content, whether it’s likes, comments, shares or retweets. According toAdWeek, it’s considered to be the most important metric for social media campaigns. If people are liking and interacting with your content, they may be likely to share it with their friends. If you’re receiving high-quality engagement on your content, reach and impressions will continue to grow.
If you think about it, engagement is the final step in this three-part process. Reach and impressions work together to drive engagement to your content. It all starts with content and what the audience likes to see.
Still don’t understand the difference between reach, impressions and how beneficial it all is? MILO’s team of experts are here to help increase your brand’s awareness! Contact us.
So, lately, I’ve been thinking about the amazing opportunities I’ve had because of MILO Digital. Over the past few months, I have been able to attend the Digital Summit conference at Cobo Center, visit the Google Ann Arbor office, work on the live social media coverage for TEDxDetroit, and do what I love – write for all of you. I would have never been able to have these experiences if it wasn’t for MILO.
Attending the 2017 Digital Summit conference at Cobo Center in September was very thought-provoking. Digital Summit says that it “is not only a place for keeping up with the trends, but also for being an active player in their creation.” Over the course of two days, I heard from many interesting people such as Jonah Peretti, the CEO/Co-Founder of Buzzfeed, and Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker and producer of “Super Size Me”. I learned a lot but also realized how much I had already learned at MILO, as I was already familiar with the ideas and topics presented by many of the speakers. I had come a long way in four short months.
Another amazing experience I had through my internship at MILO was touring the Google office in Ann Arbor. However, on the day of the tour, Billy [MILO Digital CEO] and Dmitri [MILO Digital Strategist] had to stay back at the office and “put out fires”, so they were unable to join us. Although I was disappointed that I could not share this experience with my entire team, I learned a lot about leadership that day. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the things you want, step up, and take on the challenges facing you – even if that means missing out on opportunities like a private tour of Google. I really enjoyed the tour of the Google office and I hope you enjoy this selfie we took with our tour guide Aashka.
Then later in October, MILO Digital ran the live social media coverage of the TEDxDetroit conference at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. This coverage included Facebook posts, live Tweets, Instagram pictures and creating a Snapchat story, along with engagement across all these channels. I love TED Talks, so being able to attend the event alone would have been incredible, but I also got to help tell TEDxDetroit’s story for the evening. I was in charge of Snapchat and for those of you who know me know, I am a die-hard Snapchat fanatic. The whole evening was so inspiring, listening to local Detroiters speak about their biggest accomplishments, while at that very moment, I was living out my own.
That night TEDxDetroit presenter Alana M. Glass, a sports entrepreneur, said, “sometimes you find your purpose when you’re not even looking,” and I think this encompasses my whole experience with MILO!
Before I started working here, I hit a very low point in my life. I had just been let go from my previous job, where I was told I wasn’t “up to their standards”. In spite of this setback, that same day that I was let go, I went home in tears, composed an entirely revamped resume and applied to the internship I was introduced to through a guest speaker at school.
When Billy Strawter visited my Organizational Communications class a year ago, I had to write a response to his discussion with us about his company, MILO Digital. The only person that has read this essay was my professor, but I want to share an excerpt with you.
“Strawter’s description of the company he founded was very interesting to me because this is the industry I would like to go into someday. It was very exciting getting to listen to someone who started their own company and how it all works. Hearing the processes at MILO made me feel very hopeful for the future, pushing me toward my ultimate goal of working at a company such as this one.”
Now here I am, almost eleven months later, and I could not thank MILO enough for giving me a space to find myself. I have grown so much over these past few months and feel as though I found my purpose. Not many people can say this, but I love my job! I am truly lucky to be here, writing these words for you. I hope they were worth reading.
If you’re between the ages of 18-29, you’ve probably heard through the grapevine that millennials such as yourself are no longer using Facebook. Is this news to you? It sure should be, because according to Pew Research Center, 81% of millennials are still using Facebook!
With other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat capturing the attention of most millennials, Pew reports that Facebook is still utilized the most out of the four major social sites. Wondering how millennials are using other social platforms? Pew reports that Snapchat falls second behind Facebook with 68% millennial usage, followed by Instagram 64% and only a surprising 40% of millennials use Twitter.
Why do Millennials still use Facebook?
According to theAmerican Press Institute, many millennials turn to Facebook to see what their friends are up to, find entertaining and interesting articles, share content and find more information on what’s trending.
So how is Facebook managing to keep the attention of millennials in the ever-changing and growing world of social media? By constantly making updates and adding new features! Facebook is constantly upgrading and updating its platform, with advancements such as Facebook Live, Marketplace, Virtual Reality (VR) apps and Stories keeping it in the limelight.
Similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories allow users to share what they are currently doing via videos or photos. Along with filters and lenses, users can interact with their friends by sending short stories.
With social media platforms implementing video and live video streams on their platforms, millennials are now attracted to this new way of sharing their personal lives. Facebook Live allows viewers to interact with the live post through comments and Facebook Reactions.
At the end of the day, millennials are just looking for technology that is simple and easy to use. With Facebook, users have access to all of the different features found on other social media platforms within one site.
Why should organizations/businesses use Facebook?
Social media allows businesses to target a specific audience, target those based on their interaction with your website or target those similar to your existing customer base. Utilizing social media allows organizations to continue reaching their current customers along with interacting with a new audience.
Facebook is one social media platform that provides organizations the opportunity to build a community for viewers to voice their opinions, share their thoughts and provide valuable feedback. It opens up a dialogue where a business and its customers can talk in a more casual setting and in a timely manner. The more an organization interacts with its customers, the more those customers will be interested and want to stay connected.
Millennials have been using social media for quite some time to share their personal lives but as of now, they mostly use social to share their experiences with brands. With this generation being open and honest about things, their comments can be the key to your brand’s growth and social presence.
Need more guidance on using Facebook to your organization’s advantage? MILO’s team of experts are here to help! Contact us.
Today I want to talk to you about my boss. His name is Billy Strawter, Jr. a.k.a. Boss Bill, the founder of MILO Digital. I know I’ve mentioned him before, but I don’t think I’ve given him the credit he deserves. Introducing Billy in this blog was daunting to me because his larger than life personality and passion for the industry cannot be accurately expressed in such few words. But I’ll try…
I’ve never had a boss like Billy. He’s not just a boss, but a leader. He cares about seeing his employees grow and learn new skills within his company. Even though I am not around as often as my other coworkers, being that I’m also a full-time student, I still feel like an important part of the team. Former president and CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, said that you should, “work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you they’ll invest in you.” I can truly say that Billy has invested in me and my future in the Digital Marketing world at a time when I felt like no one else would.
To give you a glimpse into the man behind the MILO Digital scenes and how he came to run his own business, I sat down with him and asked the “real” questions.
Q:What made you want to be an entrepreneur? How long did you know you wanted to be one?
A: I think the first story that I remember about me being an entrepreneur was we were at a place called Ponderosa … I remember sitting there as a kid, and I said to my parents, “I wanna eat steak every day when I grow up.” They said, “You know if you want to have steak every day you need to be a lawyer or a doctor or own your own business.”
It was really all about the idea that I asked a lot of questions and I was told frequently that it wasn’t my job. I wanted to figure out how to make it my job. I spent my life trying to find the right business to be in.
Being an entrepreneur comes with failure and trying lots of different things, but I feel like with MILO and advertising, I found my home.
Q:What have been some major struggles in creating MILO?
A: I guess the answer is I never wanted to own an agency. I just wanted to do cool stuff. MILO was born out of Social COOP – I wouldn’t have been able to do MILO without what I’ve learned with Social COOP. The hardest part was I went to school for marketing, but I never worked in an agency. What I loved was figuring out how to take traditional things and translate them into digital. Then the people – saying goodbye to people, managing people, and all the different personalities. And sometimes being misunderstood, I think that’s the hardest part.
Q:How would you describe your leadership style?
A: I try to give people freedom; to make decisions, to fail, but allow them to have a safe place to fail.
The only thing that I ask is that they learn from it and that they own it. That’s so important – not making excuses for why you failed, but finding what that reason is and trying to avoid it the next time around.
Q:Who is your biggest role model/inspiration?
A: My dad. In the face of adversity, he decided to start something, to build something. He stuck with it and is still doing it. He’s been firm with me but he’s also been very fair, very loving. My leadership style is servant leadership, and that’s me emulating my dad.
That’s the thing I took away from my dad, it needs to be bigger than me and that we lead by serving.
Q:Who or what do you look to for support?
A: Obviously there’s my family, and then there’s my Leadership Detroit crew. They’ve been really helpful for bouncing ideas. It’s just been an incredible experience working with them. And of course, Jen’s [Billy’s wife] probably heard me complain about more things than anyone. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do now had she not gone back to work when I decided to start doing advertising.
There’s that sacrifice, living with the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.
I couldn’t even have done it without Savannah [Billy’s daughter]. She’s made a sacrifice of not having her dad around as much as someone that works a 9-5 would be.
And then Dmitri [MILO Digital Strategist] is my right hand.
Q: Okay. You have your idea, now what? Is there a specific starting point, or is it different for every business?
A: Just do it. There are all sorts of reasons you can talk yourself out of starting a business, but it would be a shame to silence whatever little voice that told you “you should” and “you could,” because clearly there’s a reason that you’re considering starting something.
Q:What is something that many entrepreneurs may not be prepared for?
A: For me, I had to be prepared to lose everything.
You can certainly plan to mitigate some of the risks, but you also have to be prepared for that – It’s a real possibility.
Q:If you don’t have a lot of personal funding to start, what do you recommend?
A: Get creative. You may have to work lots of hours, you may have to wear lots of hats. I learned how to do what I could do, and anything I couldn’t do, I’d find someone in my similar position that could assist.
Q:Have you ever had a rough patch or feeling of doubt? If so, what did you do to keep going and be successful?
A: I just have to quote Yoda, “There is no try, only do.” There’s no other option. When I wake up in the morning, there’s no one telling me I need to get up at 5:30 in the morning. There’s no one saying I need to be here until 8 or 9 p.m. or 1 a.m., it comes from inside. It’s just a drive that I’ve always had and wished that I could give that to people, but you have to find that drive internally.
Q:Where do you see yourself and MILO in 10 years?
A: Ideally I’d love to see MILO in the hands of the people who helped build it and doing big things. I see it being bigger than me and it no longer being about Billy, but being about MILO and the family that we’ve built, just on a bigger scale.
Q:What’s the biggest reward from being an entrepreneur?
A: Getting to do something that I believe in every day and watching people grow.
Seeing people start somewhere and taking them from being shy or not quite confident in what they do, to watching them blossom into their own person is really incredible. Watching them turn from someone that is maybe an intern, to a leader. And working with the clients because they’re just good people.
I’ve only known Billy for a short while, but he has made a huge impact on my life. He’s taught me so much but one thing Billy has said that stuck with me the most is,
“we never fail, we learn.”
This is how he looks at life. It’s fearless.
Here is something we should all think about today: have you ever backed away from a challenge in fear of failure? Billy had a long winding journey on his road to success, but it never stopped him from waking up the next day and working harder than ever. He is an inspiration to all those who know him, yet the most humble man I’ve ever met.
If you’re in the business of social media marketing, how do you manage social media marketing tasks?
At MILO, we use Facebook Business Manager and Sprout Social to help us manage our clients social media activity.
Next to Buffer & Hootsuite, Sprout Social is a social media management platform that can help streamline workflows and ensure your content reaches the right audience at the right time. We’ve identified five tools that can help you integrate with the platform to maximize its capabilities. These tools enable users to find content efficiently, review social media analytics in real-time, and connect with the audience all within the same web environment.
Tool #1: Find Content/Content Suggestions
Looking for content quickly? Turn to the Find Content section under the Publishing tab.
Sprout Social recently announced Content Suggestions as a way to find current and engaging content. This tool aggregates shared content from various social channels to help the user find articles from trusted sources, posts from industry blogs and other brand-related media.
The content is aggregated from links shared on Twitter and based on an algorithm created by Sprout’s Data Science team, each article is matched to one of the featured content categories.
Tool #2: Reports
Getting ready to present social media updates to a client? Turn to Sprout Social for automated analytics!
Using the Group Report option, you’ll be able to see all of the analytics for the channels you have connected on the platform. The report gives you the opportunity to analyze your social strategy and compare data to understand what works well for the account. Included in the reports are: Impressions, Engagements, Audience Growth and Link Clicks.
Sprout Social also gives you the opportunity to review each profile in full depth. This is an opportunity to analyze data for individual profiles including audience growth, total engagements, top posts and impressions.
Tool #3: Messages & Smart Inbox
Interact with your audience without leaving Sprout Social by using the Smart Inbox! Located in the Messages tab, Smart Inbox provides users the opportunity to monitor and engage with conversations across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. It also allows users to customize their inbox feed, monitor keywords and hashtags, assign tasks to other team members and keep in touch with viewers.
Tool #4: Discovery
If you are interested in seeing what others are saying about a specific topic, use Sprout Social’s Discovery tool. This tool allows you to find conversations and people to engage with based on keywords relating to your business. You can even narrow the search by adding a location to find a highly geo-targeted audience.
Along with finding new conversations, you can increase your follower count by following accounts. Additionally, clean up your account based on Sprout’s suggestions. Using the Suggestions, you can see the account’s Twitter followers and who to follow back, accounts you’ve held a conversation with and those who have mentioned you at some point.
Tool #5: Hashtag Analysis
Studies show that tweets with hashtags get twice as much engagement as those without hashtags. Because hashtags can help generate engagement for an account, Sprout Social provides a hashtag analytics tool to help find popular topics and hashtags.
By utilizing the Trends Report, you can see the most commonly used hashtags and topics when the account is mentioned on Twitter. Apply the hashtags listed within the report to help increase your engagement.
Take advantage of the tools on Sprout Social to maximize your efficiency and improve your social outreach skills. Maximize your time and ROI on social media by implementing these time-saving programs.
Looking for some more in-depth help? We’re happy to consult and/or bring you into the office for a one-on-one session with our in-house expert. Let’s talk!
It’s Valentine’s Day and you know what that means – it’s all about love today! Throughout the country, brands are making sure their customers are feeling loved in the digital world, but what about all the days that aren’t Valentine’s Day? Are you making sure customers are feeling the love year-round on social media?
If you are unsure how to best show customers love on social media all year long, have no fear – MILO’s Digital Ninjas are here to help with 5 easy ways for your brand to connect!
1. Engage with them. Yes, it’s really that simple! Be there for your customers and brand-faithful. Answer their questions, acknowledge their comments and most importantly, do so in a timely manner. There are many tools available to help monitor your social channels, so no comments, questions or issues go unnoticed.
2. Ramp up your Facebook Live game. Everyone can do FB Live, but not all are producing quality content. This is where you can ramp things upand continue showing customers all the love! When going live, be sure the subject matter is relevant to your audience and that you’re providing value in the session. Watch for questions and answer them as they come in and enjoy showcasing your new products/services!
3. Roll out special social media sales. Again, this boils down to making the customer feel special and rewarded for interacting with you on social media. Drive sales and website traffic by offering a social media only deal; e.g “Mention that you saw this on Instagram and receive 25% off your order.” Increase your reach easily by boosting the post to ensure that it will be served to your followers.
4. Give your customers shout outs.This should be a no-brainer for your brand! The customers show you love by posting photos, leaving reviews or tagging themselves at your location, so why shouldn’t you return the favor? If you see a photo you like that a customer has shared, by all means, give them a shout out or feature them in an upcoming social media post!
5. Create a Facebook Group. Loyalty is always worth rewarding and by creating a Facebook group for your customers, you’ll be doing just that. Those in your group can get sneak peeks of new products or a first chance to buy them. You can also provide them with special sales and discounts periodically. The main purpose of this group is to keep the conversation going all while showing love to your loyalists
Happy Valentine’s Day from the team at MILO Digital and, of course, the Digital Ninjas!
We hope that you’re able to easily incorporate these 5 suggestions into your brand’s social media strategy! If you’re struggling to implement them or perhaps need some guidance on a solid digital strategy, we’re ready to get down to business for you. Let’s chat!
Next to Facebook and Instagram, Twitter is another social media platform that brands and organizations can use to connect with their audience across the world.
According to a reportby Hootsuite and We Are Social, there are currently 3.196 billion active social media users around the world. As of January 2018, their report lists Twitter at No. 3 behind Facebook and Instagram for the number of active users on the social media platform.
While there are more users on Facebook and Instagram, there are some key benefits to Twitter including increased brand awareness, ability to promote content, boost website SEO, drive website traffic and monitor brand reputation.
Twitter allows brands to connect with their audience on a different social media platform without being subjected to the weird algorithm that Facebook and Instagram are. Thealgorithm limits the amount of posts from businesses, brands and media but allows users to see more meaningful content.
According toTwitter Marketing, people share positive experiences about the organizations they follow on Twitter with their own network of followers, spread the word about your organization through retweets and are also more likely to buy or interact with you in the future.
Followers play a huge role in how successful a Twitter account can be. One big thing to keep in mind is that you should interact with your followers, as this is the key to a successful Twitter account. It can lead to higher engagement numbers, more followers and increased exposure.
So if you are running a Twitter account for a business or organization, you are probably wondering how you can increase engagement and followers. Here are some tips to take your Twitter account to the next level in 2018:
1. Use Promoted Videos, In-Stream Video Ads, Branded Emojis, GIFs & Photos
According toTwitter Marketing, all of these ways plus a few more are a great way to interact with your audience in a completely different way. It also allows you to showcase your brands personality and makes it relatable.
2. Twitter polls
It’s different from other ways to engage with your audience, but it’s a great way to interact with your audience and see what they are thinking.
Tip:Try asking lifestyle questions that relate to your business or ask followers what content they like the most from you.
3. Take advantage of hashtags
If you are struggling to find the perfect hashtag to use, try using tools like Twitter “Trending Now” section orTrendsmap.In need of the perfect hashtag?Sprout Socialhas a full list of tools to help you find the best one.
Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement; stick to one to two relevant hashtags when posting (Buffer)
Both Twitter Business and Twitter Marketing provide content for creating a brand presence on Twitter, develop creative marketing campaigns that engage your audience and improve customer experience.
5. Use Twitter Analytics
UsingTwitter Analyticswill give you the opportunity to know who your target audience is, what they are interested in, engagement rates, and the best times to post.
Twitter Accounts for Inspiration:
Moon Pie & WingStop: Both accounts bring fun, entertaining content with marketing and selling their product
Bleacher Report: Features a wide-variety of content with photos, videos & gifs
Shea Moisture: Uses quote graphics, short videos and hashtags like #WednesdayWisdom and #FeelGoodFriday to engage with their followers
Adidas: Simple and straight to the point copy with videos or photos & hashtags
With these tips and recommendations, you can take your Twitter account to the next level and stand out among the rest.
In the end, Twitter is all about communication. Don’t forget that engaging with your followers and posting interesting content featuring photos, videos or gifs can help increase exposure and follower growth.
Need help taking your social media to the next level? MILO’s digital marketing team is ready to answer any questions you may have and work with your business to come up with a strategy that will make your digital presence truly shine.Let’s talk!
With the current political and socioeconomic climate of the United States, taking a stand is something that every father, mother, brother, sister, etc. is doing. Be it through the stickers on their vehicles or what they post and share on social media, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has not taken a stand on at least one issue lately. While it may seem like a controversial move, it is also important for brands to take a stand.
No, not just important – expected.
According to a recent consumer survey from Sprout Social, “66 percent of respondents said they want brands to take a stance on difficult issues, and 58 percent are glad to see it happen on social media.” Of those consumers who participated in the survey, it was discovered that “liberals are more likely than conservatives to expect brands to take a stand,” at 78 percent to 52 percent. Sprout Social also found that 44 percent of consumers are “more likely to purchase from a brand with a clear opinion,” with 52 percent saying it would case greater brand loyalty.
Brands leading the way
Brands taking a stand is clearly not unheard of and has become a common practice in the advertising and marketing arenas. While some of these attempts at taking a stand have fallen flat, here’s looking at you Pepsi, other companies such as Airbnb, Chipotle, Oreo and Patagonia have executed successful campaigns.
This past December, Patagonia’s website took a shift away from online shopping, choosing to instead share “The President Stole Your Land” in large white letters on a black background on its landing page. This was the company’s reaction to the president’s decision to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah by a combined 2 million acres. Fellow outdoor retailers REI and North Face joined Patagonia in taking a stand on the issue.
How your brand can take a stand
When successfully executed, a brand’s ‘take a stand’ campaign can help their content have more views and higher engagement rates, such as what Yoplait saw in its “Mom On” campaign that tackled the topic of mom shaming. The campaign performed exceptionally well across all five brand lift metrics and produced a 1,461 percent lift in brand interest.
Sprout Social’s recent survey put up the data to prove that brands simply cannot ‘ride two horses with one ass’ anymore. Your customers want to know where you stand and want to see that you’re in touch with the issues they are facing daily.
Not sure where to start on your brand’s stand? MILO’s digital marketing team is ready to answer any questions you may have and work alongside your business to craft a campaign strategy that will ensure your stance on a hot topic truly shines. Let’s get the conversation started today!
Think back to the last time you used your phone to search for something to do or something to eat nearby – did your search include the words “near me?” Chances are that it probably did, but it is becoming more common for the phrase to be left off with mobile searches.
While Google reported that searches using “near me” or “nearby” had doubled from 2014 to 2015, they are now seeing another shift in search habits. Users are now dropping location qualifiers, such as zip codes and “near me” phrasing in their local searches, because they’ve come to realize that those results will already apply to their location. This is something that Google considers “kind of magical.”
Google Data reports that from January to June 2017, search volume for local places without the qualifier “near me” have actually outgrown comparable searches that do include “near me.” Making the case even more compelling is the fact that over the last two years, comparable searches without “near me” have grown by 150 percent.
Have we outgrown the “near me” search phrase? No, but all signs and data are pointing towards the end of needing to include the phrase when using mobile searches. Location services have made it simple for your mobile device to know exactly where you are and what is nearby without the phrase even having to be used.
Once again, think back to the last time you used a mobile device to search for something – what exactly were you searching for? According to Google Internal Data, nearly a third of all mobile searches are related to location. One area that is popular for searches are local or nearby restaurants. It is normal for searches to include the type of cuisine being sought and a zip code, but while restaurant searches have grown by double-digits in the past two years, those using a zip code qualifier have declined by more than 30 percent.
So how does this information apply to marketing? It’s simple: people want to receive the same quality and relevant information without the use of direct inputs. They may be sharing less, but are still expecting a word or phrase to produce what they’re looking for in a search. For those willing to put in the time and effort to meet these new search standards, the payoff could be big, as nearly two-thirds of smartphone users are more likely to purchase from companies whose mobile sites or apps customize information to their location.
MILO’s digital marketing team is ready to answer any questions you may have and work with your business to come up with a strategy that will make your digital presence truly shine. Contact us today to get started.
Rolling with the Punches: How staying agile will make you a better digital marketer The following is a cautionary tale for when digital marketing is separated or siloed from other pieces, like the ability to modify the website. This is based on my experience working on a digital campaign when a client refused to give access to their landing page and website. My hope is that the lessons that I learned will help you too. All the players were on the field: our search ads were driving relevant traffic, social media was tuned in for customer service and our display ads were ready for retargeting, but when the time came to score, we couldn’t convert. It was devastating. The sign-up process on the client website was messy and made the customer jump through too many hoops. It was like driving the ball towards the goal and passing it back and forth between players without actually scoring. The unforgiving truth about the success of digital campaigns is that all of the parts need to work together or whole the campaign may fail. Your website, landing page, email, digital ads and social media must play as a team to guide the customer to the desired goal. Key Takeaways: Identify your final goal and understand how all of the digital elements fit together to achieve it.
At the end of each round, listen to your analytics
The first round was shaky, but the fight wasn’t over. We got back on our feet by reviewing the data and gathering insights of the campaign so far. We initially divided our budget between social, digital and display, but the data clearly pointed in the direction of Facebook ads. We shifted the budget to Facebook ads and saw a spike in positive conversions. Unlike TV and Radio, digital ads allow for instant feedback on the campaign performance and the ability to shift the budget to the segments that are performing better. Key Takeaway: Listen to your analytics – they will show you where the opportunities are.
When in doubt get back to basics
Everything goes back to simplicity: you must make the customer journey easy. The easier it is the more likely they’ll make it to the end. Every clickthrough, bad landing page and extra fields they need to fill out works against you. As more data came in, we could easily see where the target traffic came from, what they clicked on, and where we lost them. All the traffic and attention we bought to the website was met with an obstacle: the client-ran website. It was full of annoying pop-ups, long registration forms and no onboarding process for new clients. It was like putting in the hard work and having your opponent on the ropes only to step away without finishing the fight. Key Takeaways: If the conversion process is broken no amount of ad traffic, Facebook likes or blog posts will fix that. Your website and landing page needs to be designed with the customer in mind.
Reviewing the Tape
In sports, reviewing the tape refers to watching video of your past performance to look for opportunities to improve. Looking back at this campaign I wish we would have started with a smaller project to gain more trust with the client so we could work better as a team. Key Takeaway: Never walk away without learning something new from the project.
When social media first arrived on the scene companies were scrambling trying to figure out how to take advantage of this new medium. While others were asking the question, “why should I bother? Especially when all people do is share pictures of what they had for dinner or their kids back to school pictures.”
What we forget is that social media is really nothing new. It’s something we’ve done since the days of AOL, America Online. Don’t you remember the 500 hour free cds and usernames like Kitty 902010? It’s really just a fancy way of describing how we communicate on the internet.
We know that Social Media isn’t going away. It’s the #1 activity on the web and when we pull out our cell phones, 91% of us are using them for social media related activities.
Here is a great example of the larger role mobile plays in our day to day lives. This is a picture of St. Peters Square in 2005. Nothing really to write home about. Fast forward to 2013 and you’ll notice nearly every person has a mobile device to capture the moment. But they aren’t just capturing the moment for their personal collection. They are sharing the moment in real-time on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. It’s what we call the real-time web.
So as business owners how do we take advantage of social media? With all that we have going on where do we start?
It begins with your website. Think of your website as your hub. Everything that you do should revolve around getting traffic back to your website. Facebook is not your website. Your activities on social media are the spokes that drive traffic back to your site.
Now if it’s been a little while since you’ve updated your website it may be time for a makeover. Sure we get busy, but we need to think of our website as our business card on the web. It’s the first impression we give when someone is researching our company. And with keeping mobile in mind it’s even more important that we take a mobile first stance to our design. What we like to call responsive. Responsive design allows your website to resize to fit whatever device someone may be using whether it be an iPhone, tablet, or desktop computer.
An example of recent redesign is the AWRF.org website. We wanted to put the social icons at the top for a couple of reasons. Number one was to share with people where they can find and two to let the search engines know what social media sites are connected to us. This way when someone searches out your company Google can return the social media sites as relevant results.
We also added an image that would quickly give a visitor an idea of what the website was about. You have roughly five seconds when someone visits your website to before they give up and leave.
Finally we made sure to have a clear call to action telling the visitor what we wanted them to do. All of these items were above the fold. Meaning when you visit from a desktop you can see all three items.
Now that we have our website in order we need a way to measure our efforts. It doesn’t make sense to put in all the work without understanding the return. One of my favorite tools is Google Analytics. Mostly because it’s free but also because it gives you great insights to how people are visiting your website and if the content you are sharing is working.
You can see how many people have visited your website. What country, state or city they came from. The amount of time they’ve spent on your site. All of this data will help you to understand how people are using your website. Don’t trust my word on going mobile, let the data guide you.
So we have our website in order and a way to measure our efforts. How do we choose a social network? It starts with connecting the dots with our traditional marketing goals. Who are the people we are trying to reach? Where do they spend their time? With over 200 social networks it can be overwhelming. Don’t forget forums they are great for niche communities and discovering conversations that can’t be found on more traditional networks.
Let’s talk a bit about blogging. Blogs are great way to easily update your static websites. For those who are a bit leary about the pressure to update often because of the name blog can name it something like news.
What are some of the things you can talk about? Stories of employees volunteering or doing good in the community. An employee spotlight. Share your company milestones. Customer stories and testimonials are great options. What about your frequently asked questions. Certainly you have customers that reach out with same questions over and over. Make them short blog posts. Blogs are a gift that keep on giving. Long after you’ve written a post you’ll reap the rewards of that content.
I’ve listed a few blogging platforms although my favorite is WordPress. It’s simple to update. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can use WordPress. Talk with the guys in your IT department about implementation.
As business owners you certainly wear lots of hats. Finding time to manage social media and digital marketing may be one hat too many. Where do you find the time? It’s a team effort. Look for subject matter experts within your organization that can contribute on a regular basis. Find employees that are active on social media. But make sure you put a social media policy in place to guide them on what is acceptable. What works for their personal Facebook account isn’t always what’s best for a corporate account. And be sure to make it a habit. Check your accounts first thing in the morning. Get in a routine.
Now that you have some pieces in place it is extremely important to listen. If you’re going to be involved you need to participate. This means knowing when a question has been posted about your company. Don’t let it sit for 2 or 3 days. Answer the question. You’ll know it’s out there if you take the time to listen and monitor your accounts.
I’ve listed a few tools to help manage your social media efforts. All of them are cloud based tools to allow you to manage from multiple devices from any location with internet access. Be sure to check out Bit.ly. It allows you to take a really long URL and make it tiny. You also have the ability to track where clicks are coming from and where your links are being shared.
Be sure to reach out if you have any questions. There are a couple more slides with additional tools and an example of how search engines return social media channels in search results.
Good news for non-profits. Google Apps, the cloud based productivity suite (think Microsoft Office) from Google. What can you do with Google Apps? The list is long:
Email: Get custom email address using your domain
Calendar: Schedule meetings, share calendars, meeting reminders
Drive: Store documents online, share them, access from anywhere
Docs: Create and share documents in real-time
Sheets: Spreadsheets with real-time editing and charts
Slides: Presentations with the ability to embed videos and real-time sharing
Profit Vs. Nonprofit
For a traditional business you would be looking at $5 per user, per month or $50 for the year. If you have a large non-profit organization, getting this for free could save you hundreds per year. Plus, you no longer need to update software year after year. Google Apps are automatically updated at no charge to your non-profit.
Cut the tether
An issue with many non-profits is the ability to pivot on the fly. Google Apps allows you to do this by cutting the tether to your desk. With mobile, iPhone and Android apps, you now have the ability to work from anywhere. Changes you make on your home computer will look exactly the same when you log-in at your work computer.
Work in real-time with your staff. Does this sound familiar? You create a Word document. You email it your boss. Your boss makes corrections then emails it back. You make the changes. Email…you get the point. With Google Docs you can edit in real-time with multiple people having the document open at the same time. In fact you can do this with spreadsheets and presentations as well.
Regardless of where you are, you can do this in real-time. Including different countries.
A change of heart
Google at one point only offered the free version of Google Apps for Nonprofits to those nonprofits with less than 3,000 users. Now, regardless of size you are eligible.
Description from Google: Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps you and your team connect and get work done from anywhere on any device. It’s simple to setup, use and manage, allowing you to work smarter and focus on what really matters.
The internet is a big, wonderful place with content to consume at every turn. Some days it can be overwhelming trying to wrap your head around the information thrown at us. We thought it would be cool to share just how much happens in the span of a minute on the internet. Below you’ll find a nifty infographic from Go-Globe. These numbers are from early 2012 so I’m certain they’re are adjustments here and there, but you get the point.
You have a fabulous idea for an online business. You’ve done your due diligence by researching the need, target market, and even had the “talk”. You know, the “if only 10 people buy per day, that’s like and extra $2 grand a month” talk.
If only it were that easy.
Build It and They Will Come
Unless blessed already large, built in customer base, launching a website will generally get you crickets (nada). Simply putting up a website these days is not enough. If you want to increase your exposure, you’ve got some work to do.
Search Engine Marketing
Different than Search Engine Optimization (SEO), search engine marketing is the process of buying digital advertising for the sole purpose of driving traffic. Works wonders when you’re just starting out. You can serve relevant targeted ads based on location. For example I could target someone searching for “SEO Services” within 20 miles of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This would show my ad to anyone typing that search into Google, Yahoo, or Bing (if that’s where I advertise). Just be sure to set a budget. SEM can get extremely expensive if you dont’ watch it carefully.
Search Engine Optimization
If you’re going to do Search Engine Marketing, it’s important to know that SEO (search engine optimization) plays a role in the cost of advertising. The more optimized your landing page (the place people land when they click you ad) the lower your overall
cost per click will be. An example: A page on your site sells manly man soap. You decide to serve up ads for anyone searching your competitor. Nothing illegal about it, although this will cost your more on average than if you targeted individuals searching “manly man soap”.
Also make sure that the pages of your website are optimized. Does every page have a title? Keywords? Description? You can check by right clicking the mouse and selecting “view source” (See image below. It’s missing keywords and description)
Social Media Marketing
Social media has come a long way since the early days. Companies now understand that less is more. You already know your target market, now figure out where they spend their time online. This could be forums, Twitter, Facebook, a blog, all of the above or or a combination of a few.
It’s really easy to get lazy here. Don’t just follow random people. Be intentional. Follow people in your area. In your target market. While it takes time in the beginning. You WILL reap the benefit in the long haul.