AMA Austin board meeting 2018

A Word from AMA Austin’s 2018 President-Elect, Angela Brutsche

Angela Brutsche AMA Austin

by Angela Brutsche. Connect with her on LinkedIn!

Gearing up for another great year at AMA Austin, the dedicated volunteers who make our local marketing community shine gathered on Saturday, June 16 to chart out plans for the year. We were grateful to include former AMA Austin president and national AMA chair elect Stacy Armijo for our planning session. Stacy has been an advocate for AMA and a great mentor for many of our members. You know how some people energize you? The volunteers at AMA are amazing, and this is definitely a group that inspires me. I’m very excited about working with such a phenomenal team!

AMA Austin’s 2018 and Moving Forward

This year, AMA Austin is focusing on “Being the Key” to helping our members and our organization succeed. AMA aims to be an essential community for marketing professionals, and we’ll work hard to bring you new opportunities to advance your knowledge and your network this year. Our plans for the year include:

  • Delivering increased member value through consistent, high-quality programming and communications content
  • Developing great membership experiences and encouraging increased member involvement and participation
  • Expanding our partnership with AMA collegiate chapters

Develop Your Skills and Learn from Fellow Austin Marketers

We have some exciting programs lined up for the year ahead. Our marketing programs are designed to share strategies that can help you become a more effective marketing professional. These programs also provide an opportunity to get connected with a great marketing network. Additionally, we hope to bring even greater value to your membership in AMA. We would love your help! We’re currently seeking volunteers who can contribute to making a difference in our membership experience and membership communications efforts. If you’d like to expand your network, grow your leadership skills and get a close view of what innovative companies in the Austin area are doing to successfully market their businesses, we invite you to join our team.

New July Events and Austin AMA Social Media 

Follow our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages for LIVE updates on new events, member event discounts, and opportunities!

Remember, on Thursday, July 19, Evan Carroll will speak on Big Data, Analytics and Infosense: Using Technology to Drive Customer Loyalty and Advocacy.

austin ama board

AMA Austin Ends Another Successful Fiscal Year

Pictured left to right: Jacob Smedley, Heather Dunn, Sarah Neal, Connie Johns, Angela Brutsche, Susan Andrus, Daniel Rallada 

Connie Johns, AMA Chapter President

June marks the end of AMA Austin’s 2017-18 fiscal year. At the helm of our Austin chapter our chapter president: Connie Johns, of Sir Speedy Printing and Marketing. Connie stepped in during a pivotal time in our organization. Our tremendous gratitude goes out to Connie and the volunteers who make AMA an essential community for marketers.

AMA Austin Leadership Board

Serving in the role of Vice President of Membership Recruitment was Stephanie Washington of Visit Austin.

Our Vice President of Membership Retention was Peggy Smith.

Leading our programs was Ashley Edwards of Atlassian, who will move into the role of Vice President of Sponsorships in the coming year.

Vice President of Communications was Michelle Vrudhula of Recon Research, who will serve as 2018-19 president elect.

Sarah Neal, of Concierge Auctions, dutifully served as VP of Technology and will lead Communications for 2018-19.

Our executive board was comprised of Connie Johns, Heather Dunn, Susan Andrus of Object Rocket, and Angela Brutsche of the Texas Association of REALTORS. Angela will serve as the incoming president for 2018-19.

AMA Austin Volunteer Recognition

In addition to the Board members who help bring marketing professionals together through AMA, volunteers have contributed their time, talent and expertise to our organization and its members. To name a few:
  • Jenni Gritti
  • Jill Stachura
  • Jacob Smedley
  • Cristina Montemayor
  • Gabby Dohse
  • Courtney Bartsch
  • Tyler Price
  • Wes Pollitte
Big thanks to all of you for your contributions. Your efforts have created a strong foundation for the coming year.

Want to Volunteer for AMA Austin?

Strategic planning for the 2018-19 year has begun, and we’re looking forward to seeing more AMA members at future programs. If you’d like to make a difference by volunteering for AMA, please let us know by sending a note to volunteer@ascendmarketingtesting.site.
marketing jam 2018 yeti headquarters

Marketing Jam 2018: Event Details & Thanks to Sponsors | AMA Austin

Storytelling from Giant, Austin-Founded Brands

Join us for an evening of storytelling, from giant, Austin-founded brands. Marketing leaders from Yeti, HopDoddy, Kendra Scott, and more reveal their rise to infamy and how their brand evolved to the cross-country sensations they are today. The evening will include a 1hr Q&A for a deep dive into how they did it: Public Relations management, advertising, social media, and more!

Marketing Jam 2018’s Panelists Include:

  • Yeti Coolers – Bill Neff, Marketing Director
  • Kendra Scott – Patti Kelly, Public Relations Director
  • Hop Doddy – Erin Fohn, Brand Manager
  • The Seaweed Bath Co. – Allison Grossman, Co-Founder
  • Texas Hill Country Olive Company – Cara Gambini, Co-Owner & Vice President

Marketing Jam Event Details

WHEN? Thursday, June 21. 5pm to 9pm

WHERE? Yeti Headquarters. 7601 Southwest Parkway – Austin

$63.93 at the door
$48.20 for registered non-members
$32.46 for registered members

TICKETS: here

BIG Thanks to Marketing Jam 2018’s Awesome Sponsors!

CASH SPONSORS:

White Hat

White Hat is a full-service creative and integrated marketing agency committed to being the trusted partner clients can depend on for smart, effective and award-winning creative and results driven campaigns.

A partnership forged in the trenches of broadcast management, the owners’ true grit and humility have grown White Hat into the good guy agency.

 

500 Rockets

500 Rockets is an ALL-SERVICES marketing company. From web hosting to SEO and Adwords, to branding, strategy, and creative, they DO IT ALL. At your price range. SEO, PPC, CRO, EMAIL? Yes. If it’s a tool that helps your sell, they know it, and they use it.

 


Austin Eastciders

THE BEST CIDER COMES FROM TEXAS. Could we move to an apple producing region, grow our own apples and make cider? Sure, but it wouldn’t be the delicious and complex cider we make today in good ol’ Texas. The most important thing to us is sourcing the best cider apples and using only high-quality natural ingredients.

Tito’s Vodka

It all started in Austin, Texas in the early 90s, on the very same land where we sit today. It’s been over twenty years, but we still make it in batches, use old-fashioned pot stills, and taste-test every batch to make sure you get only the best.

Guiltless Goodies

All Guiltless Goodies products are gluten, grain, dairy, soy, yeast and preservative-free! Also, low-carb, keto and paleo-friendly & extremely DELICIOUS! All Guiltless products are made from our custom organic 7 seed blend of Chia, Flax, Hemp, Sunflower, Pumpkin, Poppy, and Sesame Seeds. We never use any yeast, grains, wheat, corn, gluten, preservatives or unnecessary fillers in any of our baked goods.

Pierpont Communications

As Texas’ largest independent communications firm, Pierpont Communications sparks and shapes conversations to build brands, protect reputations and drive business growth. We have deep expertise across all facets of communications–including strategy and planning, public relations, public affairs, marketing, crisis management, investor relations and digital engagement.

darts

Leveraging A Lost Deal To Create A Win-loss Analysis

jeffrey rezabek

by Jeffrey Rezabek. Connect with him on LinkedIn!

Losing a big deal can be beneficial for your sales, marketing, and product development team.
Leveraging a failed deal to create a win-loss analysis can provide your teams with crucial
customer insights to better understand your buyers needs and win deals.

A win-loss analysis is the process of gathering information to understand the factors that turned
a sales opportunity into a win or a loss. But, a win-loss analysis could reveal a lot more than
that.

This post provides tips for creating a win-loss analysis to strengthen your understanding of your
buyers and adapt your sales, marketing, and product development strategies.

3 Tips For Creating A Win-loss Analysis

Creating Your Strategy

An effective win-loss analysis will provide you with information that you can then take to
strengthen your buyer personas, sales process, competitive analysis, and pricing strategy to
drive strategic growth. Unfortunately, it’s easy to skew the data and make the information
useless– wasting both parties time.

When it comes to conducting your win-loss analysis, you have to plan to ensure you’ve
assembled an unbiased team, asked helpful questions, and established the ideal timeframe.

Pragmatic Marketing suggests that you conduct your win-loss interview in a non-sales
environment within three months of the final decision. A department other than sales should
conduct the interview to keep it unbiased.

Questions To Ask

Once you have created your strategy, you should begin thinking about the questions you’re
going to ask during your win-loss interview with the prospect. Your list of questions should be
adapted to your product, prospects, and industry. However, here are some suggested questions
to help get you started on conducting your win-loss analysis:

1. What challenges were you trying to solve with the solution or service?
Knowing what challenges the prospect was dealing with will help your sales, marketing,
and product teams align the product and messaging with what the user’s pain points are.

If the prospect’s challenges do not align with what your product solves, it could help you
identify new messaging or market-share opportunities.

2. Who were the other vendors that you considered?
Getting a picture of who you’re up against in deals can help you create a competitive
strategy and identifying trends.

3. What criteria did you use to make your selection?
Knowing what matters most to your prospects will help you pinpoint the features and
benefits that should be addressed the next time, if your product can meet the criteria.

4. Why did you select the vendor that you chose?
What was the main factor that led the prospect selecting the vendor? Sometimes it’s
price, other times it’s features.

5. Did the presentation and messaging align with your needs?
Matching your pitch to your customer persona and personalizing it to your prospects
individual needs is vital to winning deals. If your messaging doesn’t align with the
prospect’s needs, it could indicate that there are holes in your buyer personas or that
your reps need additional training.

6. How did our offering compare to the other offerings you considered?
Getting product comparisons from your prospects will help perform an analysis of the
competitive landscape.

7. What advice would you give us?
There may be information that a prospect may be willing to give out, you just didn’t ask
for it. Giving the prospect a chance to speak their mind can open up doors for longer
discussions, more information, and possibly a second chance at a sell.

Using The Information

You have nailed down your strategy and narrowed down the questions you’re going to ask in
the interview, but now what?.All of this work isn’t going to be worthless unless you compile the
data, analyze it, and report findings back to your team.

Using the data collected from multiple win-loss interviews, you can:

  • Find patterns for why you won or lost deals
  • Identify what your market values most
  • Align your buyers wants and needs to your product, messaging, and sales pitch

So, next time you lose a deal, remember how you can use the opportunity to create a win-loss
analysis to help your business grow.

content is king

When Content is King, Who is Queen? | AMA Austin

Featured image source: Caroline Jones, via Flickr

victor glenn

by Guest Contributor Victor Glenn. Connect with him on LinkedIn!

Content is (Still!) King

We have heard this time and again since 1996, when Microsoft founder Bill Gates was credited with coining the now golden phrase. Content is King. Like our ever-expanding physical universe, our virtual environment is growing too. The modern day vastness of our online landscape demands for more and more content development.

There are dozens of services currently promising literally any literate person the opportunity to work as a content writer. To work from home, pulling in an income of $25,000 to $100,000 annually, to write. Whether it be Writers Work, List Verse, or The Write Life. From ads, to blog posts, to stories for the entertainment of one’s peers, the world is begging for content – content to fill newsfeeds and blog streams and webpages.

But… If Content is King, Who’s the Queen?

The answer to that is Quality. Quality is Queen. Why?

Look at these three nearly identical Instagram posts. Notice how in the first, there is a total lack of hashtags despite being a nicely worded post. Effectively, that means that no one will see this post. The second post is nothing but hashtags, which is great for visibility, but conveys no clear brand message. Then, there is the third post; a blend of concise sentences and relevant hashtags which will draw engagement and convey meaningful brand messaging. In this regard, Balance is paramount.

image source: dreamstime.com

These same factors are key when drafting content for both Twitter and Tumblr. Both require something of genuine substance for your audience to bite into with a limited space in which to do it. While Twitter has now been updated with the ability to conduct searches for any word(s) in a post, Instagram and Tumblr still rely heavily on hashtag based searches. Those who are learning digital media or who have worked in it as social media has evolved will no doubt realize that all hash tagging did was make meta-tagging “fun” for all users to do.

Photography 101: The Rule of Thirds

Another element that is key, whether for social or traditional marketing, is photography. It goes nearly without saying that your images must be clear and well-lit but many still struggle to grasp the concept known as the “Rule of Thirds.”

Here is an example of the rule of thirds:

 

Notice how the image without lines features the figure in the center?

Well, that isn’t what we want. Why, specifically?

Because it is too balanced. Looking at the image on the right, where a light grid sections the image into three rows of three, you get an idea of the Rule of Thirds. Placing your subject along or at the intersection of the imaginary grid increases the likelihood someone will take interest in your photo or video or advertisement because the eye is naturally drawn to these points. It seems like a minor style choice, but it can be difference between someone scrolling by or pausing to leave a Like.

Elements for Clarity: Consistency and Style

Finally, there is how you choose to write. No matter what language you’re writing in, or whether it is for social media or a blog or even a newspaper there is one thing that matters above all else including proper grammar and punctuation – Consistency. Some writers choose to cast words about as if it were a stream of their internal thoughts. Others, journalists specifically, utilize the Associated Press style guide which sets about a clear universal code for how one composes their content. Regardless of where you fall within that range, the key is to keep writing that way otherwise the sudden change in style could be off-putting to your audience.

All these points serve to illustrate a single concept: in the age where Content is King, Quality is Queen.

how to write meta descriptions

How to Write Meta Descriptions – & do They Affect SEO? | AMA Austin

In this week’s article, we’re covering 5 things:

1. What is a meta description?

2. A meta description’s effect on SEO

3. How to write meta descriptions

4. Max. length of meta descriptions and title tags (POST December 2017 Google update)

5. Whether or not you should update your meta descriptions after Google’s December 2017 update

What is a Meta Description?

Before we get into how to write a meta description, let’s talk about what it actually is (and what it isn’t).

A meta description informs soon-to-be-users what a web page is about. It’s essentially free ad space for individual pages on your website. When it’s written correctly, it shows up in Google search results like this:

how to write meta descriptions

When a meta description is either too long or hasn’t been written at all, Google provides what it thinks to be relevant to your search – usually the first few sentences on the webpage:

how to write meta descriptions bad example

Meta descriptions can also be written specifically for Facebook and Twitter. When someone shares a link on Facebook, the meta description appears on the preview:

Does a Meta Description Affect SEO?

Does a meta description affect your site’s SEO? Yes and no. (I know, I hate those kind of answers too).

In a recent interview with John Mueller from Google, this theory on meta descriptions was confirmed. The interview transcript is very hard to follow and understand, but this basically sums it up:

“[The meta] description is something that explains what your service is… maybe the unique proposition that you have on your page.. That kind of encourage (sic) people to click through to your page.”

So, It does have a very important and practical purpose for giving someone more reason to visit your site. In addition, words that are used in both the search query and the meta description are bolded and that catches attention.

However, Google does not crawl for keywords in a meta description. Google itself does not care about your meta description.

“So with that in mind, It’s not a ranking factor.”

How to Write Meta Descriptions for SEO

I’ll cover both parts of how to write a meta description: the science first, and then the art.

The “science” will explain how to tell Google that you have a meta description. The “art” will talk about what to actually write for it.

The science: 

If you have a WordPress site (you should!), download the free Yoast plugin. After it’s downloaded, activate the plugin. Start editing the page that you want to write a meta description for. You must edit the page in the WordPress editor and not in your theme’s editor. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll see the Yoast plugin. Click on “edit snippet” and write your meta description in the large text box. Yoast makes it easy!

The art: 

If you’re not a professional web copywriter, you should seriously consider hiring one. The basic idea is to describe your page in enough detail to give the reader confidence that they want to click on your page. Half of this battle is done through choosing the right keywords in the first place.

  • Using special characters like &, $, %, and quotation marks help your meta description catch the eye of a user. Don’t write in all caps though. Google doesn’t like that.
  • Avoid over-explaining things. Each sentence should present brand new information. The last sentence should gently reel in the reader.
  • Try using this rule: 75% of the meta description should simply describe the webpage. 25% of the meta description should sell the page.
  • Go ahead and put one of your title tag’s keywords in the meta description. It won’t directly affect SEO since Google doesn’t crawl meta descriptions for keywords, but it’ll appear in bold.

New meta description length (post 2017 update):

In December 2017, Google lengthened the max length that a meta description would fully display for.

The max length went from 165 characters to 270 characters. That’s the simple answer.

“But I’ve seen meta descriptions fully display 300 characters!” That’s because the real scoop on max meta description length is based in pixel length. 512 pixels for title tags and 920sq. pixels for a meta description. But to play it safe, limit your title tags to 65 characters and your meta descriptions to 270 characters.

Should I change my current metas since the character limit increased?

So, what if you already had 165 character meta descriptions on all of your webpages before 2017’s length update? Should you rewrite or add more content to all of your metas? My answer to that is “I doubt it.” With some finesse, most webpages can be described pretty well with the old 165 character limit.

If you were dying to say more in your metas in the past, go ahead and update them! Again, a meta description is only of practical use to a reader – not a crawl-able SEO factor.

Need Help Writing for the Web?

So, here’s my plug: I’m Jacob Smedley with Pecan Street Media. I’m an SEO copywriter. I write blog posts, landing pages, company bios, product descriptions, and all other kinds of webpage content. I have experience in consumer products, natural medicine, medical, fitness, law, music, technology, and more.

There’s an art to writing stuff online. You want people to take certain actions on your site, but you don’t want to sound like a used car salesman.

I provide test assignments at a discounted rate. Let’s talk about how I can help you.

Contact me by email: jsmed95@gmail.com – I’ll respond within two business days

how to measure blog roi in google analytics AUSTIN AMA VIDEO TITLE

[VIDEO] How to Measure Blog ROI in Google Analytics | AMA Austin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=allMhzXNbf0

(VIDEO TRANSCRIPT)

Hey everyone, I’m Jacob Smedley; I’m an SEO blogger and social media manager for American Marketing Association’s Austin, Texas chapter.

Many writers are strictly just writers. They don’t know or care about Google Analytics – and that’s really okay for a lot of them. But being able report on blog roi by saying “my content influenced ‘x’ amount of people to contact you this month” can be a very useful thing.

And, just an FYI: this video will only apply to those of us that use a separate “thank you” page after a purchase or contact is made. If you want to track a button click, you’ll have to subscribe to my channel and wait for that video to come out – because that’s an entirely different ballgame that involves using a webmaster tool called Google Tag Manager.

So today, I’m going to demonstrate how to set up (1) goals and (2) audience segments within Analytics. These will help you understand and report on your blog’s ROI. This may be easier than you think.

So, let’s get into it.

Measure Blog ROI by Creating Goals in Analytics

Here we are at the Analytics home screen. We’re going to navigate to “admin” and then “goals”. An Analytics “goal” is an action that users take that is valuable to you (or your client).

measure blog roi goal

New goal
Goal slot ID: leave as is
type: destination
Continue
Equals to: the thank you page
Value: enter your $ value
Save

To see your goal:

– “Conversions” tab
– Goals
– Goal Overview

Currently, this screen is telling us how many goals that ALL of our user’s have completed with this time range. To measure your blog ROI, we have to create an audience segment.

measure blog roi audience segment clipart

Create a “Blog Readers” Audience Segment

An audience segment is a custom group of site visitors that you define. So for measuring blog ROI, we want to know how many people that completed a goal ALSO read one of our blog articles at some point in time. We can make a safe assumption that by reading a blog post and later completing a goal, the blog post influenced them in a positive way.

So, let’s create that audience segment.

– + Add Segment
– + New Segment
– “Conditions” tab
– Change to “page” and “exactly matches”
– Paste blog URLs using “OR” (so important!)

And here we are. We’ve created a goal and a “blog reader” Audience segment. We see the percentage of total goal completers that read our blog. We see the number of goal completions. We see our goal conversion rate.

Applying What You’ve Learned to Other Scenarios

Creating goals and audience segments can be used in an unlimited amount of ways. Maybe you want to measure the effectiveness of last month’s blog posts only on a different goal of “number of coffee cups bought”. Then you’d create an audience segment containing only those March blog post URLs and that new goal.

I hope you have a better understanding of how to use analytics to determine blog ROI. The value of a blog extends beyond these numbers shown in this video, though. Blog posts are the best kind of content to share with a social media following. They’re original (hopefully), and they answer questions that potential converters may have.

Alright, so here’s my plug. If YOU would like to have consistent, SEO-friendly blog content written for your company’s website, contact me by email or through LinkedIn and I’d be happy to give you an affordable quote with a discounted test article so we can get acquainted. Links are in the description.

Also, please feel free to ask me anything in the comments – or to email me. Follow AMA Austin’s LinkedIn page for more of this kind of content.

Thanks for watching.

[VIDEO]: How to Submit Blog Posts to Google for Fast Indexing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmAZ5paG4iQ&t=133s

by Jacob Smedley

What is the Google Search Console Used for?

(video transcript)

Hey everyone, I’m Jacob Smedley; I’m an SEO blogger and social media manager and I work on the technology committee with American Marketing Association’s Austin, Texas chapter.
Today, I’m going to demonstrate how to manually submit your blog posts directly to Google using Google’s Search Console. The search console is a webmaster tool, but anyone can to use it if you take some time to learn about it. The basic purpose served by the search console is to tell Google that your site exists or that it has been updated. This is an easy way to get your blog posts to show up (or to “index”) on Google faster.

Submitting Blog Posts to Google for Fast Indexing

So, I’ll go ahead and show you how to do this as if you have already connected the search console to your website. If you have NOT yet connected the search console to your website, don’t worry – I’ll demonstrate how to connect it to your website in this video as well.

  1. Select your website
  2. “Crawl” menu
  3. “Fetch as Google”
  4. Paste blog’s URL
  5. “Fetch” and “Request Indexing”

blog posts search console

Connecting Your Website to the Search Console for the First Time

If you haven’t connected your website to the search console yet, I’ll show you 3 easy ways to get it connected – or “verified”.

Methods demonstrated:

  1. Yoast verification
  2. Domain login
  3. Paste code into header.php

Getting your Company Blog Up-to-Snuff

I hope that I was able to answer any questions that you had going into this video. But please feel free to ask me anything in the comments – or to email me (jsmed95@gmail.com). I really enjoy using LinkedIn, and I’d love to connect with y’all there. The link to my Linkedin profile and my email address are in the description of this video.

Also, follow AMA Austin on LinkedIn – lots of useful stuff being posted there.

I know that consistent blogging with SEO requires a significant amount of time, so for many companies, it’s hard to keep one going. If you would like to have consistent, SEO-friendly blog content written for your company’s website, contact me by email (jsmed95@gmail.com) or through LinkedIn and I’d be happy to give you an affordable quote.

Join AMA Austin’s 300 Marketers and Thought Leaders!

AMA Austin connects marketers by hosting events and presentations featuring some of the most influential marketing professionals in the Austin area and beyond. Members receive large discounts on all event tickets as well as a monthly subscription to AMA’s national magazine.

Make valuable connections and learn from an array of industry leaders by becoming a member of AMA Austin today!

 

Facebook Engagement 2018

3 Things DESTROYING Facebook Engagement In 2018

 

Jacob Smedley

By Jacob Smedley – Connect with him on LinkedIn!

Marketers are concerned about their Facebook engagement in 2018 and moving forward. Social media marketers have hundreds of tools available for reporting, prospecting, scheduling, and monitoring. We’re drawing up strategies, filling up Excel spreadsheets, and trying our best to keep up with everyone else.

There’s nothing wrong with any of this. In fact, I’ve got an Excel spreadsheet open right now as I create next week’s content for a client of mine.

But our tools don’t mean anything to the people that we’re creating the content for. All they see is the content as it flies by on the newsfeed. They’re either interested or they’re not – and content is still king.

Even with a well-planned social strategy and calendar, 3 simple things stick out to me over and over again when I’m checking out company pages across social media:

  1. Engagement bait
  2. Over-saturation of self promotion
  3. Playing WAY too safe with content

These 3 mistakes are all ground-level problems that are destroying Facebook engagement in 2018.

Facebook itself HATES engagement bait – they’ve made that clear

After Facebook’s 2018 news feed change announcement, it became clear that their objective is to get back to basics. “LIKE this post if you’re a Capricorn!” is seen as an abuse of Facebook’s real purpose for company pages. Facebook’s purpose is to “foster authentic engagement”. We must be aware and vigilant of what Facebook defines as engagement bait. What you use to think of as a simple call-to-action statement may be seriously lowering your Facebook engagement in 2018.

There are 5 kinds of engagement bait that Facebook is actively looking for and demoting in the news feed:

  • Vote baiting
  • React baiting
  • Share baiting
  • Tag baiting
  • Comment baiting

This means that we now have to create higher quality content that our followers are seriously interested in. Honestly, we’re just being forced to be better at our jobs – and that’s a good thing.

Facebook Reach 2018

Self-promo is boring

… but it doesn’t have to be! It’s possible to create good content that also directly promotes a brand.

Facebook Engagement 2018

Whataburger uses original photos and a real sense of humor to make self-promotional content seem less like a sell and more like the rest of their non-promotional content.

 

When I say “self-promotional content”, I’m speaking of posts that are explicitly asking for participation or a sale. However, every single thing that a brand does on social media is self-promotional. Every post is aimed at lifting the brand’s standing among the public.

Hootsuite recommends to limit self-promotional content to 1/3 of your total posts. In my opinion, that’s still a bit too often. I like to keep it to a maximum of once weekly. We’ve all unfollowed or muted pages that over-saturate our personal feeds with self-promotion.

Stop trying so hard to create the “correct” kind of content

I think that playing it too safe is the most common pitfall of any company’s social media presence. All of their content sounds like it came straight out of a black-and-white Excel spreadsheet running Windows 98 after being pre-approved three times by supervisors.

No matter their audience or industry, some pages feel the absolute need to jump on every single holiday and every dead meme. This is one of the most common complaints about company pages from the public.  They’ll say “Happy #Thanksgiving! Are you #eating #turkey today?”

Duh – yeah, I’m eating turkey. I’m also cringing because this has no connection to your lumber company. That’s sure to halt Facebook engagement in 2018 and beyond.

Produce content that your followers enjoy

I know that it sounds obvious. But this is really the bottom line. Your brand’s content is literally sandwiched between an angry Trump post and a video of a dude skydiving without a parachute. Will your followers actually feel compelled to move their thumb 3 centimeters over to your “like” button? That’s the question.

I believe that combating these three areas will improve any brand’s Facebook engagement in 2018.

Facebook Reactions 2018

SM Week AMA Lunch Teaser Flyer-04

Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Online Marketing Legalities

Next month at our March Luncheon, we will be focusing on Online Marketing: Legal Pitfalls and Best Practices.  We’ve snagged a great guest speaker and to gear up for this great event, we’re asking the top five questions that get asked over and over again when it comes to avoiding legal issues with digital content.

The Issue

The exponential rise in popularity of social networking websites and other social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and individual blogs, is due in large part to their viral nature. Social networking sites are essentially self-promoting, in that users spread the word for the sites. The more quickly social networking sites grow, the more quickly they spread. The viral quality of social media makes it an appealing way for businesses to market products and services, and marketers have long recognized and tapped the potential of social media outlets. Many advertisers have conducted consumer promotions involving social media to generate attention to and participation in their promotions, thereby maximizing brand exposure. Incorporating social media into a marketing campaign is not, however, without legal risks. Companies utilizing the power of social media must be cognizant of the relevant legal issues in order to protect themselves from liability risks.

Top 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

1. Is all of your online marketing content truthful and substantiated?
If not, you could find yourself sued for false advertising.

2. Are you using native advertising and using social media influencers?
If so, you better be making proper disclosures.

3. Do you and your clients have a robust online privacy statement to protect consumer data you are collecting?
If not, you’re going to want one.

4. Did your marketing department get permission to use that photograph they pulled from Twitter?
If not, you might be infringing somebody’s copyright.

5. Celebrity images for endorsements? Non-celebrities on your website?
If you didn’t get their permission, you may be violating their rights.

We’ll cover all of these topics and more next month at the luncheon.  Tickets are selling fast so be sure to get yours today!