The Top Ten Reasons We Love Social Media

As brands, social media has been a way to reach and interact with consumers on a level that resonates with their behaviors on a day to day basis. They’re already there. They’re using channels they way they prefer. For example on Pinterest they’re planning and dreaming for their future; while on Periscope they’re getting an inside look; and on Instagram they’re building and sharing their own stories.
And as brands that is pretty great. It allows us to understand our target audience and provide content that will truly matter to them, where and when they prefer it. So instead of the 2016 lists we’re all about to read, let’s remember why social media is important to our brands, and why it still will be in 2016.
So as digital marketers we love social media. We love it simply because:
  1. You can get content out fast
  2. You are able to respond to consumers faster
  3. You know what your competition is doing on the same channels
  4. You can curate content
  5. You can see what themes are trending to create new content
  6. You can be involved within cultural phenomena
  7. You are able to create a dialogue
  8. You are able to see what content works right away
  9. You will know what content to put paid media behind
  10. Your brand can stand out
And that’s just part of the story. Your brand can also choose the channels that work best for success. Choose the content that will resonate deeper with your audience. And of course, finding the right paths to purchase, and helping consumers become loyal advocates through driving their followings to your brand as well.
Why does your brand, as a digital marketer, prefer to budget, spend, and invest in social media as a way to reach consumers?
Image sources:
Priority Media Plus
Business2community
 
This post was originally written for Socialnomics. 

Part 2: Leveraging your brand advocates

brand advocates

In my last post we spoke about how to court your brand advocates, this time we’ll dig a little deeper on how we leverage them to your brand’s and their optimal potential.

As I mentioned before, a brand advocate is “someone who loves your brand and will support it through multiple phases, including but not limited to loyalty in purchase, word of mouth, sharing on social, and encouraging friends and family to convert too.”

That’s a lot of potential, but the key is to harness them in a way that doesn’t alienate them through the “relationship.”

Two great ways to make that happen include

  • Amplifying your brand advocate’s voices
  • Allowing your brand advocates to be more than just one person, to be a part of a larger community

Amplify Their Voices

When one advocate praises your brand and says “I love you and your product,” most brands typically respond with things along the lines of “likes” and “favorites.” Some go further and respond or comment back with a “Hey X, thanks so much for the love. We think you’re great too!” This is important, and shouldn’t be ignored. The small value actions such as likes and favorites are important when done within 24–36 hours. It shows that your brand is paying attention. Commenting matters even more. The sooner your brand can comment in return, the more appreciated that brand advocate will feel about their relationship with your brand. They will feel heard and will want to continue that dialogue.

But there’s an extra step that is not often taken. Amplify the advocate’s voice through your brand’s voice.

Here’s what I mean.

  • Your brand could feature some awesome advocates on your website site. Maybe have a page dedicated to them.
  • You could start a blog series where you spotlight an advocate once a week or twice a month. Interview them- who are they, what are they all about.
  • Repost some of the stuff they post on social media.
  • Or more specifically, “regram” an advocate’s gram when they were featuring a product of yours they may have been wearing. Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack do this well. Nordstrom Rack will see products that people are talking about on Instagram and ask to regram them on the brand’s profile. It is not only super flattering, but sometimes an ultimate sign of brand love. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but it can be. Nordstrom also comments and asks to use Instagram photos within their website experience.

Those are some ways how you can take it a step further with the social and fan integration.

Let Them be a Community

This one is difficult. A community isn’t always brand built, it’s typically consumer led and naturally occurs through mutual affinity for an interest. For example, there is a cult of fans who are obsessed with Converse and will only wear that brand. They show their love through social, and support one another. For example, if one Converse lover sees a pair of kicks that they haven’t before, they are stoked to check them out. Even if they try to literally buy them off another converse lover’s feet at that exact second. It’s happened.

Will every brand be Converse? Probably not. But it doesn’t mean your brand advocates won’t be excited to be a part of a community that shares their interests. Remember, it’s a lifestyle that your brand exemplifies; such as a fitness lifestyle for a yoga clothing line.

Read more on what your brand can do here to let them be a community, be checking out the full post on Startup Fashion.

What NOT to do for your 2015 digital marketing plan

There are many lists. I’ve written a couple of them myself.  But how about the things not to do in 2015? Granted, some of these are items we should have avoided as brands in 2014 too, but let’s try again…
Don’t Be Selfish
Instead of posting only about your brand, its accomplishments, and awesomeness – consider posting about others – post about your audience, partners, charities, and those who are putting out great content such as thought leadership in your industry and marketplace.

Avoid Conversations Where You Have No Right

We’ve seen it. We’ve done it. We want to hop on a trend to be a part of a conversation. But not everyone is Oreo during the Super bowl. Not everyone can be Arby’s during the Grammy’s with Pharrell. Find your time. Find the right opportunity. Be true to your brand’s voice and image.

Don’t Be Stale

It’s easy to stick to what’s safe, comfortable, and what seems to work. But instead, how about setting aside part of your marketing budget to experiment. Try a new social channel. Find a new content partnership. Invest in influencers who can help your brand draw in new audiences. Be willing to try something new.

Don’t put quantity over quality

Because of the nature of social media, it’s hard to be noticed unless you’re putting our content on a regular basis. However, some brands make the mistake of putting out tons of content, and only a couple pieces being actually share-worthy. Take the time to put together quality content that will resonate with your audience rather than churning and burning…crap.

Avoid trying too much at once

And although it’s awesome to try new things, experiment, dive into new social channels because your audience is there and it would be a great place for your brand to play — wait. If you invest in too much you’ll spread your budget thin and won’t be able to invest properly and as above – with quality content. Take a minute and decide on the 3-5 things that seem valuable for your brand and leave the rest for later.

And last but not least, don’t be lame. Have some fun with your content!

This post was originally written for: http://marketingontherocks.com

Mobile First – Is your Brand There Yet?

 

mobile first fashion business strategy

In the not so distant past, it was OK to be “mobile friendly.” As long as your site and content had a way to look good on mobile and tablet devices, then you were good to go. Unfortunately…or should we say fortunately, mobile friendly is no longer enough.

Mobile is a priority for consumers, and they are dictating what brands need to do in order to stay on top of their marketplace. Still unsure? Just check out these stats and then tell me you don’t believe me.

  • 65% of tablet owners report using their tablet while watching TV at least once per day
  • 76% of users agree that location sharing provides more meaningful content,
  • 84% made a purchase from a brand’s email
  • The top reason that consumers opt into push notifications is for coupons and deals (52%)
  • 52% of searches are done on mobile devices
  • 82% of mobile media time is from apps
(Stats Sources: Visual.ly and Exact Target)

Mobile first is a behavior, which consumers are continuing to adopt and grow with. They like their content to be at their fingertips, when they want it – and where they want it.

There are things you need consider in this mobile first world.

  1. Your website should be built in Responsive Web Design in order to ensure it fits any device. In turn, the content within that site should be easily consumable and not device dependent. For example, if you have a form on your site, and someone is accessing it via mobile, don’t make it a chore to fill out. Keep it simple so they don’t mind doing it while they’re on the go.
  2. Not everyone needs a mobile app. Sometimes it’s easier to integrate within existing app experiences to gain exposure in the marketplace. For example, for fashion brands – apps like Polyvore, Pinterest, and Wanelo allow for search-ability, sharing, and purchasing. Since apps like these are already within fashion consumer behaviors, it would behoove most brands to consider these on top of their existing app as well (if you already have one).
To learn more around mobile direct messaging and email, check out my full post on Startup Fashion

 

Image via Just Ard

 

Launch of: “Marketing on the Rocks” by Four Best Friends

So it all began a few years back when the four of us met through mutual friends and networking events around the city. We had social mentors in common, similar career inspirations, shopping habits, healthy living ideals, a love for boston, and most of all a quick love for one another.

Janet Aronica, Kristin Dziadul, Elisabeth Michaud and I are four best friends and four marketers in Boston. We each have a bit of geekiness when it comes to digital marketing, social media, and staying on top of what’s savvy and new. We tried GroupMe during SXSW, we’ve been on Path since before it became cool, we constantly tweet at one another in the midst of Gchatting, and support each other in all of our endeavors. I can’t say enough about how much I trust these girls personally and professionally. And that’s what brought us here today…

Over a couple adult beverages and some inspiration from fellow digital marketers in the space, we decided to work on a marketing project as a team. We brainstormed on what we could offer the Boston community and beyond as we each have diverse backgrounds from working with startups, individual consulting, agencies, big brands, and more. And then we realized – that’s exactly what we can offer. We are experienced in so many different areas and can offer unique advice and strategy because of it. And “Marketing on the Rocks” was born…

Want to learn more, and see what we’re cooking up? Check out the launch of our new site!

www.MarketingontheRocks.com

And feel free to reach out to us anytime for more info:

@pamsahota

@janetaronica

@kristindziadul

@emichaud