How you get the best bang for your buck with social media

Roughly 78 percent of Americans have at least one social media profile and your business Facebook, Twitter or Instagram profile equates to free marketing if you handle it skillfully.

But, it takes two to tango on social media. Your ability to reach customers on social media is closely tied to how your might build relationships with them through a face-to-face interaction. Engagement and personal relationships should be your first priority when you create your business account on social media.

You should engage your followers. In real life, this equates to buying someone a cup of coffee or hosting a reception. But, in the world of social media, this can be anything from a survey, to a photo contest, to an intriguing question for your audience.

When timing promotions, ask yourself, “Is this how I would time this if I were in a crowded room with this person/target audience?” If it feels too forward, work on relationships with your audience a bit longer. 

If  many of your posts are hard sells or promotions, Facebook will decrease your reach or the amount of followers who will see your posts in their feed. (The site’s mission is to promote a social environment rather than a marketplace environment for their users.) But if your posts elicit comments and likes, your reach will expand and when you do endeavor that promotion, it will reach an ever wider pool of people.

Pro-tip: comment on your follower’s comments. Even though they are your own, Facebook still interprets them as follower engagement.

Here is an article that sums up these concepts well.

And another article from Forbes that articulate the social media trends of 2016.

 

 

Improving your email open rate

Ever wondered how your email open rate compares to others?

Your email open rate will vary by the industry that you are in — agricultural and food industries have an average open rate of 26.06% and the consulting industry has an average open rate of 18.78%. You should aim to have an open rate of 20-25% per list feed.

Your subject line can be the secret to a higher open rate. It should be engaging and well worded. Additonally, you should make sure not to use words that trigger that your emails get sent to the spam folder.

Test which words resonate best with your audience in the subject line by (randomly) dividing your audience into two and testing two subject lines on the same email. Most email marketing programs have built in functionality for this.

Regularly cut out inactive subscribers from your email list. You should send specific emails to customers based on where they live, their interests and their purchase history and make sure that you keep your email list fresh and active with new subscribers.

Did you know that the ratio for time spent on a computer vs. on a mobile phone is 1:1 in the United States? This may seem like a lot of time on mobile, but in some areas (namely China and the Middle East) this ratio soars to 2:1 on mobile. While it may seem daunting to make sure your marketing strategies are optimized across all screens, it is exciting to start with little, effective changes.

The best time to send your marketing emails is Tuesday after dinner. Emails sent during the day, especially in the wee hours of the morning are more likely to get lost in the shuffle of the workday.

Be aware, this data comes from a compilation of several studies. While studies are always helpful, they are also general. What does this mean for you? Give Tuesday evenings a try, but test your audience at other times to see what is best for your organization!

Another good time to send your emails is at lunchtime. There is no “promotions” tab on mobile (yet), so email blasts get the same rank as personal emails when they are viewed on mobile phones, which directly improves open rates. Second, messages are less likely to be seen as an intrusion during these hours as opposed to busier work hours. Caution: In addition to work hours, steer clear of early morning hours, another time people are on mobile but not for “hang time.” During these hours, folks are on their phones to get their day started and see email blasts as an intrusion to the work or personal emails they are beside.

Happy emailing from Erreco Strategies!

 

 

Dealing with Negativity on Social Media

Someday, your business social media profiles might get negative comments from customers. The issue is thorny and many business owners panic — no one likes negative press. But, as with any content, it always pays to listen. It is also important to read the post thoroughly and make sure that your emotion isn’t trapped in your understanding of it and then reply swiftly, succinctly and tactfully. Be the bigger person. Be your brand ambassador and be magnanimous. We like these tips as a guide.

Listen to Cheryl Strayed’s advice, “Be about ten times more magnanimous than you believe yourself capable of and your life will be a hundred times better for it.”

Admit to your business faults and take this experience as a learning lesson — you are getting valuable market feedback.

If the question or comment is incredibly personal or complex, use your own judgement to take it offline. You can always privately message that customer.

Now soldier on, you social media warrior.

 

 

Why it pays to listen to your audience

When you are just starting out as a business or trying to grow your base, the secret to success is building and listening to your audience.

Keep working hard at it… it’s the one way to accurately predict the future. Using past trends instead (in marketing), as this article states, isn’t nearly (if at all) as effective.

Listing to Air BNB customers was the key to the companies success. This wonderful piece by NPR outlines how Air BNB came to fruition despite the many setbacks that its founder Joe Gebbia endured and how his secret to success lied in listening to his customer base.

The art of a well thought out apology

Political campaign season is in full swing and inevitably, there are many scandals and crises. The most recent is the apparent plagiarism of Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC remarks by Melania Trump. Meredith McIver, a long-time Trump Organization staffer recently issued an apology, taking full responsibility for the lifted remarks and offered her resignation (which was not accepted).

We think the power of an authentic apology is key in crisis communication and this article  demonstrates some great examples of well thought-out apologies, as well as an example of an apology gone wrong.

Never hesitate to be sincere and admit wrongdoing. An apology captures sympathy. A cover-up or denial captures anger. Anger lingers much longer in the press than sympathy.

Twitter Updates

We’ve long been frustrated about having to either risk security to shorten links or waste characters by displaying original links. We applaud and welcome these changes by Twitter.

Perhaps the most interesting component to these changes are the analytics and ad optimization through t.co. We’ll watch and wait but it sure seems like Twitter is now positioned to become a much bigger player in digital advertising.

Mother’s Day: Business is Personal

Mother’s Day is May 8th and there’s still time to use it in your marketing endeavors. If you are a brick and mortar business or retail focused business, the ideas are endless… from special promotions to simply handing out a rose to every mom who comes in that day.

Are you a B2B company or can’t imagine how you would use Mother’s Day to promote your business? A simple email blast or social media post wishing all moms a happy Mother’s Day, featuring a hard-working employee who is also a mom could go a long way. Don’t forget to do the same thing for fathers on June 19. 

While “it’s just business, nothing personal” used to be a common mantra, it has increasingly lost credibility as our business and personal lives have merged. If we check our email at 10 p.m., we should also be allowed to let some of the personal bleed over into our working lives. Try recognizing the mothers and fathers who both work for you and/or support your business this year– you’ll love the morale and ROI you create!

Mobile SEO

We have a client who is (rightfully) very interested in SEO. Among the many SEO aspects we’ve discussed is mobile… and this is a biggie.

Just shy of a year ago, Google expanded its use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal for websites. This came as a benefit to its stock and because in regions like the Middle East and Asia, moblie to destop use has now surpassed a 2:1 ratio.

Did you know that in the Unites States mobile internet activity outpaced desktop internet activity in 2015 (mobile 60%), (desktop 40%)? What’s more, half of those mobile searches were for the purpose of finding local results with a whopping 61% ending in a purchase. It’s time to make sure your website is mobile ready and interact with customers when they are likely on their phones. Source: Search Engine Watch.

 Gone are the days of strictly building dozens and dozens of pages optimized with keywords. First, that practice is hard to maintain and actually risks losing organic reach for your organization’s website (the more mechanical and stylized a website is with its keywords, the more generic it becomes, losing the differentiation that is also very important in your marketing). Second, the practices you use to optimize a desktop website may not translate to mobile (as many companies have realized this past year).

What can you do about this? Here are three tips you and your web developer can use to make sure you are as mobile friendly as possible. And… don’t forget that SEO is only part of the marketing mix. As we know, it takes a whole combination of tactics to get leads, donations, votes, etc.

Happy optimization! Now get back on your phone and make sure to return that text, you 1:1 desktop/mobile user!

Why engaging your followers on social media pays off!

Engagement pays off. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS? Millions of people who likely had never heard of ALS took to their social media accounts and posted videos of themselves dumping icy-cold water on their heads.

In fact, there was enough attention drawn to the cause to total $100 million in donations.

While the origin of the ice bucket challenge is unclear, research shows it most likely went viral when a recently diagnosed college student posted a video on his Facebook page. 

In our industry, we would refer to this college student as an “influencer” or “opinion leader.” While this campaign happened organically, many organizations establish metrics for content, reach, quality of posts, etc. to find their top influencers and cultivate them. It is a complex process but can produce incredible results– for all types of organizations.

At Erreco Strategies, we are thankful for digital marketing and most of all, our clients

Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for our clients who trust us to achieve their goals. Thank you for the opportunities!

If you have a product based business that relies heavily on digital marketing, here is one of our favorite blog posts of the year: The Ten Best Holiday Marketing Strategies EVER! Well worth the read.

If you adopt just three things from this article, my favorite tips are: 1) Update keywords to make offerings fresh and current, 2) don’t “set it and forget it,” 3) give remarketing a try… (I know, I know, I thought it was annoying at first too but last I checked remarketing open rates are among the highest of several digital tools and it’s pretty easy to implement).

Happy Marketing!