Blog post by: Sarah Schrader, Baer Performance Marketing’s Social Media & Creative Specialist

 

If you own a business, then just like a website, you should have at least one platform you are using for social media to reach out to current and potential customers. Here is why:

 
More Website Traffic

If you take a look at Google analytics on your website, there is a section specifically devoted to social media. Google gives importance to having a social media account attached to your website. So not only will it help to increase your SEO (search engine optimization) by having a Facebook page or similar social media profile, but having posts with content that links back to your website will also increase your web traffic. For example, if you have a new blog post and post about it on Facebook with a direct link to read it on your blog, you will have created what is called a “referral link” to your website. A click on that link counts as a visit to your website and will show up as having a referral from Facebook under that social media section previously mentioned.

What makes it even better, is if your follower on social media finds the post content with the link to your website valuable, they will most likely share it with their friends. That could get you in front of a potential new customer, possibly a new follow on that social media and even another website visit if they also click the link. The more relevant the content you post on social media, the more likely this cycle is to occur.

 
Customer Relationship Management

The largest benefit of social media is maintaining an additional level in your customer relationship. A recent post on updates to social media mentioned that messages on social media pages are becoming increasingly important. Facebook has given evidence of this with the amount of work they have been putting into their Facebook Messenger service. Why is it becoming important? The ease of use in doing so and the desire for a quick response to customer questions has increased customer preference of using messages on social media over regular email.

In addition to the increased use of social messages, posting regularly to your page helps put you in front of your customer. It’s a reminder of you being there and ready for them when they need your product or service and a place for you to provide value to your customer. Providing them with value will also make your customer feel cared for.

Without talking too much about algorithms, content that is relevant is more likely to get clicks, likes and reactions and shares as mentioned earlier, which in turn will help put you in front of more of the people who follow you, because Facebook, Instagram, etc. feel others will want to see your content.

Going even further, responding or reacting to comments on your posts will help foster this new level of customer relationship. If you’ve ever had the happy, excited feeling inside when a person or brand you like responds in a comment or likes your comment, you know why. Responding makes the customer feel heard and cared for, which helps lead to brand loyalty!

Lastly, in talking about customer relationships via social media, having your hours, link to your website, a description and even reviews are all helpful for someone looking to gain a bit more information about your company.

 

Blog Post By: Kali Kraft, Baer Performance Marketing Intern

 

Celebrities are plastered all over TV, social media, magazines, and any other place you’d find an ad. But do those endorsements truly lead to an increase in sales of a product? In short, yes, but there can be some drawbacks that you may want to consider before choosing a celebrity to represent your brand. Here are some advantages and repercussions of celebrity spokespeople on the brand in which they’re promoting.

 

Pros

  • Builds credibility

People are attached to their favorite celebrity, and they are generally well-trusted by their fans. If they use your product, it shows their fans that it is a product worth using and builds trust in your brand. Seeing a celebrity attach their name to a product also reassures consumers of the quality of your product. The celebrity would be at risk for damaging their reputation if they endorsed a product that’s quality was lacking.[1]

  • Makes your brand stand out

Using a celebrity to represent you helps to differentiate your brand from competitors. It also can improve ad recall, making consumers remember your ad and that your brand is connected to their favorite celebrity.

  • Opens up new markets

Choosing the right celebrity can open up your brand to new markets. For example, when Nike wanted to expand from primarily sponsoring tennis and track, they partnered with Michael Jordan – and this partnership has been so successful it has expanded into its own subsidiary company.[2]

 

Cons

  • Celebrity images change

When you sign on a celebrity to endorse your brand, you sign on to everything that comes with them. While this usually means bringing in some of their fan base as customers, it can lead to disaster if a scandal occurs. A prominent example of this was Tiger Woods in 2009, when rumors of his infidelity surfaced and brands began to drop him as a sponsor to avoid the backlash from consumers. Nike didn’t immediately release him as a sponsor and lost customers as a result.

  • They may overshadow your brand

If a celebrity is too big, their popularity might instantly overshadow your brand. If the ad focuses too much on the celebrity, it can cut out brand recognition in the minds of consumers.[3] This can also become a problem if a celebrity is endorsing multiple products at the same time, as they might see the celebrity and associate it with another brand.

  • Endorsements are expensive

This may seem obvious, but getting a celebrity endorsement typically requires shelling out a pretty substantial chunk of money. Pepsi decided it was worth the price when they signed on with Beyonce for a whopping $50 million 10-year endorsement contract, but if you aren’t a multi-billion dollar company, it’s important to assess if the increase in consumer interest and revenue is worth the cost of the endorsement.[4]

 


[1]http://www.cnn.com/2009/OPINION/12/16/elberse.athlete.endorsements.tiger.woods/index.html

[2]http://frog-dog.com/the-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-celebrity-endorsements/

[3]https://product2market.walkme.com/pros-cons-celebrity-marketing/

[4]https://successstory.com/spendit/most-expensive-celebrity-endorsements

Blog Post by: Kali Kraft, Baer Performance Marketing Intern

 

With the App Store expected to hit 5 million apps by 2020, there couldn’t be a much larger variety to sift through for the “next best thing.” While it is hard to know when an app is created whether it will be a hit or a bust, here are three up and coming social apps to keep an eye out for in the future.

 

Viber

Viber is a social messaging app that allows for unlimited voice and video calls and group and individual text messaging to other app users.

While the company has been around longer than WhatsApp (the current leader of the market), they have had a recent boost in popularity. The app started the year with about 500 million users and has grown to over 900 million users in 2017 alone. It does not require you to register by creating a username and password, only asking you to enter your mobile phone number to create your account. While it remains behind WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger in number of users, Viber has some unique features that outshine many other messaging apps:

  • Richer interface
  • Free to download, and offers versions for nearly all mobile operating systems
  • Delivers HD voice call quality
  • Secure, with end-to-end encryption of texts and calls
  • Calls and messages to other Viber users are free, no matter their location.

As for age demographics, social messaging apps age groups are pretty evenly spread, with the age group of 18-29 slightly higher than the rest in usage.

To learn more or download Viber, visit www.viber.com.

 

Venmo

Venmo is a mobile person-to-person payment service allowing users to connect to their bank account or credit card in order to transfer funds to another account.

Venmo has been growing in popularity significantly in the past few years, having increased from $1.3 billion in person-to-person payments in the first quarter in 2015 to $9 billion in the third quarter of 2017.

The Paypal-owned app allows users to pay friends and family for rent, concert tickets, dinner, or any other reason you may owe someone money. You are able to hold the money within the app to use at a later date, or transfer the money into your bank account. The overwhelming majority of users are millennials.

There are concerns that Apple’s new feature, Apple Pay Cash, will take away from the number of app users due to its direct integration into iMessage. However, Venmo is available on a variety of mobile platforms, whereas Apple Pay Cash is only available for iPhones, and the familiarity of Venmo may provide an advantage.

Learn more about Venmo at www.venmo.com.

 

Musical.ly

Musica.ly is a video sharing app intended for teens to post 15-second lipsyncing videos.

Launched in 2014, the app has already gained over 200 million users and has been in the top 100 list on the App Store for the past two years straight. Musical.ly’s rapid growth was noticed and purchased in November by Chinese social media giant Toutiao for $1 billion.

Videos can be shared across the app as well as through other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While the app started off as a lip-sync video site, it has grown since Vine was shut down to include short-form videos with a variety of purposes, similar to those previously found on Vine. The majority of users are between the ages of 13 and 21.

Learn more about Musical.ly at www.musical.ly.

 

 

Sources:

https://www.lifewire.com/viber-app-review-3426625

https://www.lifewire.com/whatsapp-vs-viber-3426376

http://www.pewinternet.org/2016/11/11/social-media-update-2016/#fnref-17239-2

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-amount-of-money-sent-through-venmo-has-sextupled-since-2015-2017-12

https://www.forbes.com/sites/natalierobehmed/2017/05/11/from-musers-to-money-inside-video-app-musical-lys-coming-of-age/#2b5eb3b66cff

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-use-musically-2016-6/#when-you-open-the-musically-app-it-defaults-to-a-feed-of-featured-videos-1

 

When it comes to the future of your not-for-profit organization, an expertly-planned fundraising event can make an extraordinary difference. Not only do walk/run events, auctions, golf tournaments, and concerts raise significant funds, they also provide an opportunity for staff, volunteers, and donors to mingle, have fun, and renew their dedication to the cause.

And while your event will benefit from being memorable and unique, the main focus should be on raising money. To that end, meticulous planning, execution, and financial management (often involving a professional PR or event planning team) are vital to the success of the event. It’s also very important take into account the following:

Establish goals. – Before the planning gets underway, be sure the purpose of the event is agreed upon and finalized. What are you looking to achieve with the event? What is a realistic dollar amount you plan to raise? Establishing objectives will determine the type of event you should organize, activities to include as well as the budget.

Get started early. – When planning a large fundraising event, it’s important to start planning early (around 11-12 months before the event’s date) to ensure there is enough time to secure the venue, procure auction and raffle items, recruit volunteers and promote the event. Also, begin asking local businesses a year in advance to include your organization in their annual giving budget.

Promote the event. – Get word out through a variety of marketing channels, including social media, local events websites and traditional media outlets. When developing your messaging, remember the news media is more likely to respond to human interest stories—stories of individuals who have dedicated themselves to or benefited from your organization.

Craft event content that educates and motivates. – Activities and scripts should always be mission-focused and engaging. You want to encourage night/day-of donations while leaving a lasting emotional impact on attendees.

Give thanks. – Be sure to thank all who contributed to the event and share how much was raised. This includes vendors, sponsors, volunteers, attendees, individuals and businesses who donated auction items or raffle prizes, and other supporters who were unable to attend. All thank yous should be communicated promptly after the event and personalized if possible.

Final Thoughts

There’s no question about it: Charity fundraisers are a lot of work! To avoid being overwhelmed in the process, a flexible attitude is a must. Events never go as planned. Even with careful preparation, you can expect the unexpected. However, with a cool head, a little bit of creativity and a focus on the aforementioned tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful event!

Blog post by: Sarah Schrader, Baer Performance Marketing’s Social Media & Creative Specialist

 

If you’ve opened the Facebook Pages app recently, you may have noticed the icons are different. This is one of the many changes that constantly happen on social media. This week, we are sharing a few of the changes that have occurred on the popular social networks to be aware of because they can affect your business’ use of social media marketing.

 
Facebook

Starting with Facebook, in mid-August, profile pictures took on a circular shape. While the large profile picture remains square on your page, your posts and comments show off the new round look. The change was intended to increase engagement amongst Facebook users, and it is important to note that if you have not done so already, you should check to make sure your profile picture works in both circle and square formats.

Other than a few visual changes made to its original site and app, Facebook has been mostly focusing on their Messenger app. In October, they released an article with 5 Tips to Drive Business Results on Messenger. Since then, Facebook has released several announcements and updates for Messenger. This is probably due to a study done by Nielsen stating that 53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly.

In early November, Facebook started rolling out sponsored messages, which allow businesses to send relevant promotions to people they have been in contact with via Messenger to help reengage with those customers. At the same time, Facebook also announced a beta for a customer chat plugin. Once the beta is completed, you will be able to add a plug-in to your website that allows users to communicate via Facebook Messenger from the website. The idea is that users will be able to go seamlessly from your website to Messenger without losing the conversation, making it convenient for them and you.

 

Instagram

Facebook-owned Instagram also received some exciting updates over the last couple weeks to their stories feature. While stories posted disappear after 24 hours, Instagram is now allowing highlights. This ability allows businesses to group stories they have shared and feature them on their profile. It is a great way to share behind-the-scenes photos and videos that showcase what your company is all about! With highlights also comes the stories archive. Unless you turned it off in your settings, Instagram will now archive your stories for you to view via your profile page.

A second exciting update from Instagram is the ability to follow hashtags! If your business has a unique hashtag for its services, a promotion or giveaway, this allows you to follow the hashtag like you would a personal account. The feature can help you discover and interact with customers, and you can always unfollow a hashtag at any time.

 

Twitter

Finally, moving on to Twitter, November’s release of an increased 280 character limit was not without mixed reviews. People feared the increased limit, which is double their previous 140 character limit, would hurt the quick scroll-through feel of Twitter. While there are some who will take advantage of the 280 characters, the value that this really provides is the ability to use a few extra characters in your tweets without having to rely on the many shorthands like b/c (because), icymi (incase you missed it), and rn (right now) that the previous limit resulted in. So go ahead, use a bit more proper grammar and punctuation!

Blog post by: Kali Kraft, Baer Performance Marketing Intern

 

As the holiday season approaches, people are searching high and low for the perfect gifts, and that includes scrolling through Instagram. Make sure your products are in the mix by optimizing your company’s Instagram page with these few quick tips.


Cross promote your social media

If you already have a following on other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), utilize it to the fullest, and send them over to your Instagram page. You know they already like your brand, so offer them another way to connect with you socially. However, make sure you have some unique content on all sites so people have another reason to follow you.

 

Pick a hashtag to promote

Choose a hashtag for your brand, and invite people to post using that hashtag. This makes it easier for people to find posts about your company and also exposes your brand to all of that user’s followers. You can re-post the shared images, which provides more content for your page that requires no work from you AND encourages followers to use the hashtag because they could be featured on your page!

Your page can also generate new content for different seasons, holidays, or company promotions by creating a new hashtag specifically for posts on a certain campaign. For example, Starbucks is encouraging followers to use the hashtag #GiveGood for the holiday season, a reference to their holiday-themed cups.

 

Post at the right time

Research shows that on average, the most successful times to post on Instagram are at 2am and 5pm. However, the best times to post vary by day and are different for each profile. Instagram analytics, a tool for business profiles, allows you to see what times your followers are most active on the app. You can use the information to help you decide what time posts would be best for your audience

 

Get interactive

If someone tags you in a photo, comments on your post, or uses your hashtag, take a second to respond to them. Whether it’s a clever comment or a simple thank you, it can help create a bond with a follower who could become a promoter of your brand.

 

Aside from creating a relationship with your followers, go out and engage with the people you want to follow you. Search popular hashtags that would attract your audience, and like, comment on, and follow what you find. The more active you are, the more likely people are to see your profile and posts.

 

Sources:

http://metro.co.uk/2017/11/28/the-best-time-to-post-on-instagram-is-weirdly-in-the-middle-of-the-night-7112715/

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/280964#

Analyzing marketing and communication from an external perspective is a priority for most businesses. However, it’s just as important to evaluate, practice, and encourage effective internal communication. This is because employees are your most loyal brand advocates!

Work is oftentimes filled with tension, complex relationships, and office politics. One way to make the workday less stressful for both you and your associates is by knowing what not to say.

The words you use to communicate with employees and customers matter, and a level of professionalism should always be maintained on the job–even if you consider the individual to be a close friend.

Here are six things that should never be communicated at the office, (no matter how difficult it may be to bite your tongue):

 

  • “It’s just a small account/sale.”

Treating large accounts different from your small ones can have serious consequences. Not only will it lead to poor customer service, it can create tension amongst employees split up on the accounts.

 

  • Constant negativity

Excessive cursing and/or complaining can get in the way of effective communication and even keep you from being taken seriously by employees. Staying positive will help keep workplace morale high.

 

  • Unprofessional emails

Keep messages concise, and take time to proofread your emails before hitting send. Also, to ensure your messages are read, write subject lines that are as specific as possible, and limit your use of “high importance” indicators.

 

  • “I doubt that will work.”

According to what? Employers or those in leadership positions who frequently shut down creative ideas can appear overly negative.  The next time a strategy concerns you, try asking questions about the process to better understand why the employee thinks his or her idea will, indeed, work.

 

  • “A rabbi, priest, and Lutheran minister walk into a bar…”

Be careful with the jokes you tell at the office. Not everyone shares the same sense of humor, and jokes can sometimes be misconstrued and viewed as a derogatory or discriminatory statement. Always gauge your audience, and avoid joking about gender, religion, and other taboo topics.

 

  • “Do you and your husband attend church?”

Questions about an individual’s age, sexuality, or religion should be avoided at work, and invitations to church can be taken the wrong way if the employee is practicing another faith or atheist.

 

Final Thoughts

Many lifelong friendships begin at the office, and it’s to be expected that a bond will be formed with the team with which you’re spending around 40 hours a week. However, when communicating during office hours, it’s important to always speak with tact, kindness and forethought.

 

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