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Digital Marketing

Is the #hashtag dead for marketers?

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No. The hashtag has been a befuddling nuance of social media to marketers since the advent of Twitter. What is it? What do we do with it? When do we use it? How can we “own” it? These are but a few of the ever-evolving questions we’ve posed for years. Ironically, consumers – the folks we’re so desperately trying to reach – have always gotten it: The consumer continues to shape the hashtag’s purpose.

I remember back in 2006 when I was first trying to explain to a client what a hashtag was, while still trying to figure it out myself. “It’s a way to categorize conversations,” I said weakly.
But it was more than that. It’s a way to understand the root of a conversation and get into the consumer’s head about a topic – is it funny or relevant? All of this can be revealed by diving into hashtags.

But many brands fail to recognize the usefulness of hashtags. They therefore want a reason to write them off: “They don’t work anymore.” “They don’t have a long-enough shelf life.” These are all things I’ve heard around the industry for…

Digital Marketing

10 Quick Tips for Marketing Your Business on Instagram

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Easily the most visual of popular social media platforms today, Instagram is a great tool for showcasing a human and relatable side of your business to your target audience. But, like all social media, it’s not the field of dreams – just building it doesn’t ensure a following. And to top it off, having a following doesn’t guarantee engagement. So how do you increase your brand’s visibility, reach your target audience and ultimately move consumers down the purchase funnel? Well, a good start is to follow these 10 quick tips:

1. Have a clear point of view: You can’t just jump on Instagram and start posting pictures. Your company has to have a clear point of view on what it stands for, what it is trying to do for consumers and how to convey those messages. Take a step back and get those goals on “paper” before you begin.Blueberries

2. Know your narrative: For example, let’s say your company sells floor cleaner. You cannot go on Instagram and talk about floor cleaner 365 days a year. Well, you could, but it wouldn’t get you far. What is the lifestyle you are trying to convey?…

Digital Marketing

Step Away From the Contest: Taking Social From Good to Great

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AloWe’ve all been there. You’re trying to build engagement for your client’s social media community and you’re floating ideas around, circling a few good ones, and then there it is – seeming like the most logical thing in the world – the contest/sweepstakes. Let me just say it now, step away from the contest!

Now let me back up for a moment. I’m not saying to NEVER host a contest/sweepstakes. Sometimes product interaction really is the end goal and a well-executed contest can be just the impetus for trial that we need. But ask yourself, “Are we doing this because it perfectly aligns with our strategy and the ROI is going to be off the charts? Or, is this a tactic I feel comfortable with?” If the answer to the latter is yes, step away from the contest.

When we look at best-in-class consumer brands for inspiration, we are seeing an increasing trend away from traditional prizing online for a few reasons. Primarily because the more savvy audience is becoming less and less likely to participate – it’s phasing out of natural behavior. Secondly, giving away product is rarely good for the bottom line.

Digital Marketing

How Social Media May Determine the Next President

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AAs we await the first official results of the 2016 presidential primary to see if outcomes reflect recent polling, there is one thing that is not in doubt. Social media has had an impact on this election cycle like never before. Obama’s “Facebook Campaign” of 2008 was revolutionary, but in this year’s presidential election cycle we are witnessing social media’s impact expand in several profound ways.

Messaging: Candidates are using social media to present positions, level attacks, correct missteps and, most remarkably, to drive the news cycle. No one has been more masterful at this last point than Trump, where the media is either reporting on his latest tweet or asking another candidate to respond to it. For a space that is known to require a relinquishing of message control it is something to behold. Sanders can also attribute much of the unexpected success of his campaign to social media. Reddit got a lot of people to #FeeltheBern with a popular subreddit of over 137,000 supporters who are analyzing and disseminating information on behalf of the candidate. The two surprising New Hampshire front runners are also benefiting from the reach of…

Digital Marketing

If snow falls in your immediate area and you don’t tweet about it, did it happen?

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Expect to see the name Jonas on your social feed this weekend more frequently than usual (unless, of course, your Twitter feed is comprised of updates exclusively from the Jonas Brothers. In that case, my condolences).

If you haven’t heard, here in the mid-Atlantic, a blizzard is set to take over major cities such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and New York. Winter Storm Jonas is supposed to be a doozy, with some areas to receive over two feet of snow and over 3,000 flights cancelled ahead of its arrival.

Severe weather is always cause for concern and can have devastating effects. We’ve seen this in recent years with the California wildfires, the state’s debilitating drought, and Hurricane Sandy. Some have seen it firsthand, and some have seen it through the glowing screen of an iPhone.

Social media has inherently changed the way the world reacts to events. No longer is the weather just a topic for agonizing small talk while taking the elevator to work – it fuels thousands of social posts and sensational news articles.

With epic snowstorms and people cooped up…

Digital Marketing

What a Real Guerrilla Marketing Campaign Can Teach Us

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Source: Mullen Lowe Group

No, I’m not talking about the pop ups we see on the streets here in New York. I’m talking about a REAL guerrilla marketing campaign commissioned by the Colombian Ministry of Defense in partnership with ad agency, Lowe-SSP3. Their goal: to convince members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) “guerrilla” fighters to demobilize and come home.

From This American Life podcast to TEDTalks, this successful campaign should be highlighted. It was born out of insight, included all the nuts and bolts a good campaign should have AND it achieved results.

Chief Creative Officer Jose Miguel Sokoloff first started with radio ads to try to reach these guerrilla fighters. Throughout the course of the campaign, he met with demobilized fighters and found that Christmas was the peak time fighters left the FARC. Dropping the ads, he went for something bigger, something bolder. With beautiful lights they decorated nine tall trees strategically set up in jungle paths frequently used by the FARC. With motion sensors, these trees lit up with a sign saying “If Christmas can come to the jungle, you can come home. Demobilize.”…

Digital Marketing

What Does Facebook Have in Store for 2016?

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Ever since its inception, I’ve had a bit of a one-sided (consumer) love affair with Facebook and, while that has changed over time, my devotion has never really waned.

You see, I’m from that lost generation who had a full childhood without any form of social media and yet was young enough when it popped up to dive in headfirst and make all the mistakes we warn kids about now (i.e. major TMI, too many party photos, general lack of filter).  So I can relate with both sides of the social media divide.

In fact, it was a very natural progression for me into social media marketing because I was such a native user. I really felt like I “got” what people wanted to see on the platform and was able to help translate for my clients. In many cases, it was the cornerstone of social strategy.

But in the past few years Facebook has been letting me down a bit as a marketer. Decreased organic exposure. A constant need for more monetary investment to see any engagement. A decline in meaningful consumer response.  I began finding myself advising clients to view…

Digital Marketing

4 Social Media Habits That Marketers Should Leave in 2015

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Let’s make a resolution for 2016 to move away from some of these archaic and ineffective social media habits below. Today more brands are investing in social media, so let’s step it up… seriously. If you’re doing any of the below it’s time for a change and what better time than the new year!

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  • Not Making Visuals the Priority – Look at the way we consume content and the rise of visual platforms, like Pinterest and Instagram. Our eyes first view the visual and if you’re lucky, a user may read the caption copy. For this reason, it’s so important to make visuals pop and invest in creating quality, engaging visuals. And videos, even better! Also, don’t forget to properly size them based on each platform’s specs.

 

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Credit: Ethos3

  • Pushing Out Content Without Engaging – brands can no longer schedule several posts and then go on auto-pilot. Social media is all about connecting. So take the time to engage with your fans, their content and comments. If you’re not having a dialogue, a two-way conversation, then you’re…
Digital Marketing

3 Key Learnings from this Season’s Best Holiday Social Media Promotions

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The holidays are upon us, and that means social media campaigns and promotions are in full swing from the big brands. From just the basics, to truly keen thinking, to massive blow-out campaigns, the big guys are covering the gamut. I’ve compiled a few of my favorites below to demonstrate key ways to get the most out of the holiday season on social.

The “Hashtag Hijacker”

Pro tip: Don’t make up your own hashtag… then you’re responsible for creating all of the buzz around it. Hijack a hashtag that already has some buzz and build your campaign around it (shout out to @Anastasia_NYC for that one). Best Buy has taken over Twitter with #WinTheHolidays, which was a fairly well-used hashtag around the holidays in the past.  By creating a campaign around #WinTheHolidays, Best Buy is positioning itself as the one-stop shop for gifting needs. It’s not groundbreaking, but man does it get the job done #respect.

Why it works:

  • Consistent messaging – The company is including #WinTheHolidays on the majority of their product-related posts. As Twitter users respond to the posts, the #WinTheHolidays hashtag is receiving even more Best Buy play.
  • Landing page – A simple landing page utilizes a card design to…
Digital Marketing

Travel Trends: 5 Great Apps for Busy Business Travelers

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For the past couple of months, it’s been planes, trains and automobiles for me with lots of business travel. While I’ve been on the road more than usual lately, for some busy professionals, constant travel is a way of life. Whether you travel every week or every once-in-a-while, here are five great apps for busy business travelers to help start the New Year off right.

Getting Organized
Tripit

 

 

 

 

Tripit is a great app to help organize your travels in one convenient place. You simply forward your travel confirmation emails to your Tripit account and the app automatically creates a detailed daily itinerary for your trip. The app also can help with a variety of other issues that can confront busy business travelers. The app can:

  • Find alternative flights quickly and open seats when you need to rebook.
  • Keep travel points in one place. Enter your rewards-program information, and Tripit will update your points, miles or segments, allowing you to have all your account numbers, balances and expirations in one place.
  • Get real-time alerts instantly – often faster than from the airlines – for flight delays,…