MILO and Me ft. Dmitri

Hi friends!

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.

Digital Ninja Dmitri

 

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.

Firefighter Dmitri

 

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:

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?

The Bromance

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?

A:

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?

Garlin Gilchrist After Party

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.

P.S. His favorite color is blue!

MILO and Me – A Space Where I Found Myself

Hi friend, I hope you’re having a great day!

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. 

Digital Summit 2017

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. 

Google Tour

 

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. 

TEDxDetroit

 

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.

-Love, Ashley 

Yes, Millennials still use Facebook!

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 the American 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.

MILO and Me ft. Billy

Hey friends!

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… 

Watches on watches

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. 

Birthday Buddies

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.

Boss Bill

 

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.

-Ashley

5 Ways to Show Customers Social Media Love All Year

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 up and 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!

MILO and Me – Social Media Management

Hey friend, welcome back!

This week I thought I’d go over what my “normal” day at MILO Digital looks like – if there is such a thing!

Social Media Manager

Our company currently resides in the TechTown building in Detroit’s New Center, where all the MILO social, digital and creative magic happens. I’m a part of the social team, with my official title at MILO being “Social Media Manager/CEO/Creative Director/HR Manager.”

Ashley Bio

This may seem like a lot of responsibility for someone who’s only worked here for a few months, but I actually got these titles through my team joking around and putting me in positions that forced me to push myself as a worker and as a person. 

For example, we have creative briefs where a few people look over content that the creative team made. In order to get my opinion on the content first, they started calling me the “Creative Director”. From there the title evolved to include “HR Manager” and then to “CEO”. As you can see, I wear many hats here!

I manage some of our client’s social media accounts and co-manage the MILO page accounts. The social platforms that I handle for these clients include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. I am responsible for daily postings, which means as soon as I get into the office each morning, my day is already in full motion.

When to Post

By using an online program, a majority of the posts that I create are scheduled out ahead of time to be published at different points during the day. Now, there is a certain “science” to picking which time you would like something to be posted. A general rule of thumb is to not post anything from 5 – 7 p.m. This is due to that fact that people are, for example, leaving work, running errands and figuring out dinner plans. There is not a lot of online traffic during this time so it’s best to post earlier or later in the day.

Original Content 

The explanation of when to post leads me to the discussion of what to post. Now this varies from client to client, however, the things I post range from original creative content to third-party content. Original content includes graphics, events, blogs, and articles that relate directly to the client, are made by the client or are created by MILO for the client. For example, our creative team made this original quote graphic for one of our clients. I would share this on all their social media platforms and vary the copy to tailor to each platform. This would involve using hashtags on the Twitter copy but NOT on Facebook.

Original Content

Another example of original content is when our client is hosting an event. I would be responsible for promoting this event on their social media, and when necessary, boosting (putting ad money behind) the posts related to it. Or, if our client writes articles or a blog on their website, I would make sure those go out into the social media world to receive some recognition. This is original content.

Third-party Content 

Conversely, third-party content includes articles and posts from other people/sources. I would either share or retweet these on the pages I manage. For example, if a local news organization posted an article about the QLINE, my audiences for the accounts I manage would most likely be interested in that content. So, I would share the article to my channels and give the news organization credit.

Engagement

Another very important part of my job is interacting with my audience on social. How I engage with our clients’ followers sets the tone for the account. I must weed out the negative comments (“trolls”) and respond to the positive feedback.

This must also be done in a timely manner because if there is a negative/hurtful comment on a post that I created for more than a day, other followers will see that and it reflects poorly upon our client. This also gives the impression that we don’t interact with the audience as an agency. We want to make sure each of our clients receives the attention they need to have a caring and attentive voice online.

Now that’s just a taste of what I customarily do here at MILO. Join me next time to read more about MILO behind the scenes. 

Being productive

See you soon!

– Ashley

5 Ways to Take Your Twitter to the Next Level in 2018

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 report by 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. The algorithm limits the amount of posts from businesses, brands and media but allows users to see more meaningful content.

According to Twitter 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 to Twitter 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 or Trendsmap. In need of the perfect hashtag? Sprout Social has 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)

4. Make use of content posted by Twitter Business and Twitter Marketing

  • 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

  • Using Twitter Analytics will 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!

Should Your Brand Take a Stand?

Taking a stand.

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.

If the decision to see your brand take a stand continues to seem risky, keep these few tips in mind:

  • Be committed
  • Be relevant
  • Know your customer base

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!

MILO and Me – Company Culture

Welcome back! I’m glad you want to hear more about these “nutty” people at MILO Digital. Although, if I’m going to talk about them, I have to explain how they all operate. MILO Digital is a team composed of very hardworking individuals. We work together in order to function as a well-oiled machine. Although, I’d rather use the metaphor of a family. We bicker about day to day problems, but we also support one another. This work dynamic here is what every company should strive towards. I know this probably sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, so I’ll explain exactly what puts MILO ahead of the curve.

The communication within our organization is very open and honest. My very first day at MILO, I experienced this through our standing meeting. Our team stood around in a circle for 10 minutes taking turns talking, informing everyone of what was on our plates and how we were struggling. This is done every day here. Never have I worked at a company that has taken the time to do this. The benefits of a standing meeting are immeasurable. When “they” say communication is key, they weren’t wrong. The meetings are also a way to ask for help. One important thing I’ve learned here is that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s encouraged. You need to work hard, but you also need to be able to rely on your team.

What I found so refreshing at MILO is the honesty. Our boss Billy treats us as equals. Instead of running the company from behind closed doors, he is very open about what is going on in the business. He feels that we have the right to know about any changes or issues that arise because we are a team. Instead of just managing us, his leadership style allows us to grow within the company. My first week at MILO I talked with Billy multiple times about how my experience was thus far and what I hoped to get out of my internship. He wants me to learn as much as I possibly can. Before I started here, I assumed I would be doing simple intern tasks. However, after less than a month of working at MILO, I was already responsible for social media posting on two accounts. This brings me to my next topic: trial by fire.

Since my start at MILO, there have been several instances where I have learned by experience. Trial by fire (aka, the MILO way) has been a recurring instance with my experience here. One example of this is when I was asked by Billy if I wanted to run a new client meeting. I obviously assumed he was joking and so I said, “Ummmmm no,” to which Billy replied, “Okay you can run it.” Being that the meeting was the next day, I had a mini freak out. My co-workers helped me prepare as much as they could to lead me on the road to success. Finally when the day came, I found out that the potential new client was Billy. So it was just his way of giving me a taste of what running a meeting would be like with the buffer of it being my boss I was pitching to. He gave my team and me feedback as we ran the meeting, which was a very useful learning tool.

Another great piece of advice I received from my coworker Dmitri the other day is that “it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you’re trying your best.” This came from me voicing my concern about a post I was writing copy for. I was asking him his opinion and I told him that I just didn’t want to mess anything up. This advice really hit home for me because I’ve been very cautious with the things I do in my life. Living with this fear of making a mistake has prevented me from taking risks that could have ultimately paid off. However, all that matters, in the end, is that you gave a hundred percent in everything that you’ve done. That is something you can be proud of when all else fails.

-Ashley

MILO and Me – The Beginning

Welcome to the very first installment of MILO and Me! My name is Ashley. Here you can follow me on my journey as I step into the digital marketing world for the very first time as a Social Media Manager. This is what I have experienced and learned at MILO Digital.

It all started in May of 2017. Being a poor, recently unemployed college student, I set out to find a job. My previous employers included retail chains and miscellaneous occupations here and there that I dragged my feet going to each day. I was done with investing my time into a path I no longer wanted to follow. I was ready to begin the road toward my future.

I am currently studying Media Arts at Wayne State University while minoring in Public Relations. I started off majoring in Journalism, but after I made the switch to Media Arts, I knew this is what I was meant to do with my life. The day that Billy Strawter, the founder of MILO Digital, walked into my Organizational Communications class speaking of an internship opportunity for the summer at his Digital Marketing company, I could not believe that this was the shot I had been waiting for.

After applying for the position and going through the interviewing process, I was brought on board at MILO Digital as a Social Media Intern for the summer. I was so nervous I wasn’t going to get the job because I had no previous experience in this field professionally, but the wonderful people at MILO saw potential in me that I could not see in myself. After meeting the MILO team for the first time, I could tell they were different. They were kind but tough. I needed that. Working for this company is so distinct from any other job I have had because these people are a little nutty, but that’s what makes them so fun to be around. The MILO dynamic has definitely seeped into my everyday life, and it’s taught me how to work hard, but not take myself so seriously.

The stipulations of this internship included a trial month period, after which the prospect of extending it to the rest of the summer would be discussed. My future, however, was decided by Billy after a week.

Now here I am, eight months later, and I have learned more than I thought I ever would about Media Arts, Social Media Management, Digital Marketing, and just being a part of a team oriented environment. The people here have no idea how much they’ve helped me grow into a professional, confident, and creative person. I will be forever indebted to them. Join me every other week to read what I have learned at MILO to receive some insight into our fun yet hard working dynamic. I will discuss the challenges I’ve faced, the lessons I’ve learned, and how I am growing in my career.

This is only the beginning. See you soon!

-Ashley

Rolling with the Punches: How staying agile will make you a better digital marketer

Digital Marketing blog postRolling 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.

13 Stats You Should Know about Instagram (2013 Edition)

A year ago Facebook offered some serious cash (to the tune of $1 billion – pinky raised) for Instagram.  The final purchase price was around $750 million.

The purchase at it’s initial value was the largest acquisition of a venture capital-backed consumer web company since Zappos was purchased by Amazon for 1.22 billion in 2009 (source).

Was it over-valued? Perhaps. As Facebook has yet to make any money from the purchase of Instagram.

With the anniversary of the announcement we thought it would be fun to put together a 13 things for 2013 on Instagram. Enjoy.

Brands with Instagram accounts share an average of 98% of the photos they post to the site to Facebook, and 59% to Twitter (source)  [TWEET THIS STAT]

Instagram’s Facebook app has more than 7.3MM active monthly users (source[TWEET THIS STAT]

18 – 29 year olds are the largest user base on Instagram (source[TWEET THIS STAT]

Women are more likely to use Instagram than men 16% vs 10% of internet users (source[TWEET THIS STAT]

34% of internet users on Instagram are African American or Hispanic (source[TWEET THIS STAT]

41% of brands post 1 or more photos per week to their Instagram accounts, up from 34% in Q4 2012 (source)  [TWEET THIS STAT]

100 million Monthly Active Users (source)  [TWEET THIS STAT]

40 million Photos Per Day (source)  [TWEET THIS STAT]

1000. The Number of Comments Per Second on Instagram (source)  [TWEET THIS STAT]

8500 Likes Per Second (source)  [TWEET THIS STAT]

257 Minutes is the average time spent on Instagram (source)  [TWEET THIS STAT]

Instagram Launch Date: October 2010 (source)

Room for Growth: There are 5.2 million phones in use, 83% of all phones in use are camera phones (source) [TWEET THIS STAT]

 

In our research we stumbled across a tool for tracking your own Instagram numbers: Statigr.am http://statigr.am/instagram-statistics

Now go be social.

Get More Likes on Facebook. Is it Worth Paying For?

Facebook Likes. We want ’em. We need ’em. We pay for ’em.

I noticed a recent feature on Facebook asking page admins if they would like to get more likes. If you admin a page you’ll find it on the left hand side. It replaces the section that showed the most recent person to like your page.  [UPDATE] Promoting your Page from the admin panel is only available to Pages with locations and a profile picture. [/UPDATE]

Similar to promoted posts, it’s Facebook’s way of making the advertising process easier to start. Page admins don’t have to fuss with the Facebook Advertising Dashboard or the hassle of creating an actual campaign.

Let’s take a look at how it works.

 

Facebook gives you the option of setting a daily budget between $5 – $100 per day (image right). To the right of the price is an estimate of how many likes the page should get. As you can see a $100 per day should net you between 43-391 likes per day. Your mileage may vary depending on your page and it’s existing fan base.

Where do the Ads Show?

Your ads will start showing in the new feed or on the right side of Facebook with a link that encourages them to like your page. They ads may appear on mobile or desktop and run until you end the promotion.

What Type of Ads?

People will start seeing ads in their news feeds or on the right side of Facebook with a link that encourages them to like your Page. These ads may appear on mobile or desktop and will run until you stop your promotion.

Who Sees my Ad?

Your pages ad can be targeted to people located near your business. You can choose from your business’s city, state or country.

 

I’m thinking this will prompt me to write a post about targeting ads on Facebook. I’ll also post some results as we’re testing the feature now (see bottom photo)

Have you noticed this new advertising option on Facebook? What do you think is it worth it?

 

 

 

Source

Non-Profit Marketing: Going Digital is now Free

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.

Time saver
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.


To get started visit Google for nonprofits. We’ve assisted our clients in setting up their accounts with minimal down-time. Google does an excellent job of walking you through.

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.

What Happens on The Internet in 60 Seconds

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.

    • 50 New blogs created
    • 70 Domains registered
    • 600 Youtube videos uploaded
    • 13,000 iPhone applications dowloaded
    • 20,000 posts on Tumblr
    • 1,600 reads on Scribd
    • 90,000 tweets
    • 320 new Twitter accounts
    • 6,600 New photos uploaed to Flickr
    • 79,364 Facebook wall posts
    • 510,040 Facebook comments
    • 694,445 Google searches

60
Infographic by- Shanghai Web Designers

Photo Source

Why Your Website Isn’t Getting Visitors (and what you can do about it)

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.

Did we miss anything?

 

 

 

 

 

Why Forums Aren’t Dead and How Your Business Can Make the Most of Them

I’m pretty sure the fact that I use forums may date me. But they are a useful tool when it comes to business.

I like to think as forums as on of the original social networks. You could come together with like-minded individuals for some pretty in-depth conversations.

forums plural of fo∙rum (none)  1. A meeting or medium where ideas and view on a particular issue can be exchanged.  2. An internet message board

 

1.  Forums are Niche

Sure there are forums that are wide reaching, but the majority of forums are specific to an industry, topic (photography, motherhood, business), group. Which leads us to:

2.  Get backlinks from relevant websites

Getting back links is good for Search Engine Optimization. One advantage to being a forum member is the ability to create a signature that links back to your website. There may also be a minimum requirement of posts before you can add a signature. Each forum is different. Some have a no-follow rule (tells Google not to follow the link), you’ll need to check the forums terms of service to see how they handle back-links.

 3.  Pick a Good Username

Try to avoid names like PinkyStar8047. Especially if it’s a business forum. Consider using your business or your real name. And be sure to add an avatar. Other users are more likely to interact with you vs. a logo. That being said, a logo is still fine just make sure you take the time to re-size it and that it identifies with your brand.

4.  Introduce Yourself

Most forums have a thread that allows you to introduce yourself to the other members. Take advantage of this as the more active members will generally take the time to welcome you. Let them know what that your goal is to contribute to the community. Don’t try to sell anything here. It will get you banned.

5.  Observe the Natives

Don’t be “that guy”, the one who jumps in to a conversation simply to get several posts so you can add your signature. See how the other members interact with one another to better understand the community you joined. It will help you figure out who the influential members are and allow you to fit in faster.

6.  Give to get

Don’t just be a lurker. The more involved you are the better the community is as a whole. You get to build relationships all while promoting your business. Win/Win.

When you’re ready to make the leap look for forums that are active or overrun with spam. Of note: Try to avoid one hosted by a competitor.  Even if you decide not to do the whole forum marketing thing, forums are worth considering for market research. You can find a wealth of information ranging from customer satisfaction to areas in the marketplace that need to be filled.