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5 hacks to write the headlines your readers want

Great headlines grab attention, and clicks. This 5-step process can give you the text you need to get the readers you want.
Source: www.searchenginejournal.com

One of our favorite strategies to create headlines that resonate is this:

Cut to the chase and accurately and succinctly describe what your content is about.

Misleading your readers with deceptive headlines or a promise that you can’t deliver on only creates frustration and potential mistrust.

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Social media: Time to pay up?

Is organic social doomed? Sean Ashcroft investigates.
Source: b2bmarketing.net

The downside to the decrease in organic reach is that the broad audience that businesses could potentially market to is on the verge of disappearing.

The upside is this: Paid reach on social almost forces businesses to rethink their audiences and use targeting to ensure their message is seen by the audience they actually want to reach.

In other words, the decrease of organic reach on social creates an opportunity for marketers to target their audience wisely.

And that’s a good thing.

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How to respond to people on Twitter: A simple guide for businesses [Infographic]

Learn helpful data on the components of a tweet when you respond to people on Twitter — and use it to inform your own social media response strategy.
Source: blog.hubspot.com

In 2015, there is no question that people are talking about brands and organizations on social media.

Businesses need to be aware: Customers are using social media to communicate and interact with brands and organizations.

Don’t leave your customers or potential clients hanging on social media by not monitoring the conversations and participating when appropriate!

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200+ Social Media Tools and Resources for the Social Media Manager

We love great social media tools and resources!

Here’s a Pinterest board with more than 200 hand-curated resources: Social media nerd stuff

It is a quintessential collection of information collected with social media nerds in mind.

 

Social Media Tools and Resources on Pinterest

Our top five favorite social media tools and resources:

1. How to run a successful Instagram contest.

2. 25 awesome social media tools your brand should be using.

3. How to use Twitter for business.

4. What social media means for customer service.

5. Creating a social media content calendar.

 

Have fun digging through and let us know what you think.

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Visual content: The future of social media marketing? [Infographic]

This infographic is a great cheat sheet for what you need to know about creating visual content for the web and social web. Here are our four key takeaways.

Four things you need to know about visual content creation

Consumption of content: We now ingest substantial content daily through tablets, mobile and the social web. Users move through content quickly, so your brand’s messaging needs to be to-the-point and concise.

Storytelling is as old as time: Cavemen used visual content (i.e., drawing pictures on walls) to tell stories. This is making a big comeback via social and the social web and is being leveraged by brands and organizations.

Visual language is understood by all: Think of the universal symbol for mens/womens restrooms or a sign with an airplane on it, which denotes airport. One of the advantages of creating visual content it is easy to convey meaning through symbols, icons and imagery, and tell stories without words.

Each social network is unique: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all behave differently and reach different (and sometimes overlapping) audiences. Outside of the U.S., other countries have social networks that are prominent in their regions. Know your audience(s).

Visual Content: The Future Of Social Media Marketing?
Source: www.pinterest.com

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Social Media Marketing Trends for 2015 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Stay visual, stay engaged, stay informed, and you will be able to provide valuable content to the audience you have established a loyal relationship with on social media.

Source: www.pagemodo.com

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Top 4 marketing lessons from Dover Police “Shake It Off” viral video

Chances are, you’ve seen the video the Dover Police Department of Delaware released in early 2015 featuring Master Corporal Jeff Davis singing and dancing along to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”

The video has more than 30 million views on YouTube and the Dover Police Department received a considerable amount of positive media attention, while helping police around the world better engage with their communities.

We had a chance to speak with Master Corporal Jeff Davis, Corporal Mark Hoffman, and Lieutenant Jason Pires of the Dover Police Department about their department’s experiences with social media.

Before the video was released, the Dover Police Department considered their social media efforts a success in several areas, from the easily measurable (more arrests, reduction in crime, etc.) to the less measurable, but just as important (improved community relations, easier communication with the public, etc.).

The insights shared by the Dover Police can easily be applied not only to other police departments, but to other government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses.

1. Tell your own story

Corporal Hoffman said before using social media, the department really had to rely on others to tell their story, which normally means the drug bust makes headlines while officers mentoring students didn’t.

With social media, the Dover Police Department is able to share about both their successes in making arrests and their work in helping the community.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Whether you’re looking for a suspect or trying to get the word out about dangerous road conditions, it’s ok to ask your social media friends to help.

3. Transparency is a good thing

Don’t be afraid to let the public see you and your organization as you are.

4. Experiment

Look beyond your own industry and organization for inspiration, try new and different things, you never know what’s going to connect with the public.

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Five ways to sharpen your networking skills

The thought of going into a room cold, with just a name tag and a stack of business cards can be intimidating, anxiety inducing and downright painful. Networking doesn’t have to be that way.

With the advent of social media and the ability to stay connected online as an extension of the real world, networking can be done in ways that reduce exposure to sterile networking events, minimize stress and produce similar, if not better results as traditional networking.

Here are five ways that you can improve your networking skills without making it a painful experience.

5. Ask

Instead of leading off a conversation with what your needs/wants are, ask the other party what projects they’re working on. Eventually the conversation will turn to you and you’ll have an opportunity to talk about you and your needs.

4. Listen

Be a genuine listener when networking. People who listen are often thought of as great conversationalists. That’s because other people love to talk about themselves. Give them the space to do that.

3. Reach Out 

Don’t wait until you have a critical need (e.g., must make a sale, desperately need a new job). Check in periodically with former colleagues, friends and acquaintances and find out how they’re doing. The next time an opportunity or lead presents itself, they’ll be a lot more likely to think about you.

2. Offer to help

If there’s a way you can proactively help a fellow networking contact, do it. It can be something such as introducing a contact, suggesting strategy or sharing your experience. Don’t over commit, but make a gesture that shows you’re paying attention and that you care.

1. Don’t be so selfish

For many people, networking is driven by selfish needs. “I need something and I need it now,” is a total turn off and perpetuates the (accurate) impression that you only reach out when you’re in need. And while people may respond, it’s going about networking the wrong way.

Takeaways

Networking should be an exchange between people or people and their networks.

It shouldn’t be self-serving, because all you’re doing is potentially hurting yourself (and your future networking opportunities) while trying to help yourself today.

Get out there and try some of these strategies today.

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Top 3 social media metrics every organization should capture in 2015

In 2014, most organizations that are active in social media seem to have gotten past vanity metrics. Which is good.

The number of Facebook likes on a business page or Twitter followers doesn’t shed much, if any insight into the effectiveness of a business’ social strategy.

So what are the key metrics that truly matter? While the answer can vary depending on your organization’s goals, the following three social media metrics will be next-to-mandatory in 2015: Impressions, engagement and influence.

1. Impressions: Create opportunities for your content to be seen

If you want to measure the reach of your content, impressions are the way to go. Impressions indicate the number of potential users that saw any content associated with your social networks.

A follower with a large audience, that retweets your content, can cause a substantial increase in impressions. Spikes in impressions can also be created by discussions around one’s brand/product on the web and social, press releases and news stories.

Analyzing what caused the spikes in impressions can help lead to opportunities to create future content that consistently yields more of those impressions and the potential to reach a wider audience.

2. Engagement: How do people behave with your content

People and brands frequently talking about @epicmc2

Producing great content and promoting it on social media should not be the end game. It’s more important to measure what your audience does with your content, which gives insight into how well your organization is communicating and interacting with your audience.

If a certain type of content gets little or no engagement or interaction, but requires a heavy lift to build, that’s an opportunity to reduce inefficiencies and stop building that type of content and focus on the content that does drive engagement but is easier to build/maintain.

Ultimately, the higher your engagement, the more valuable your audience becomes and the more value you provide to your audience. You should focus on creating customers and advocates by providing value to your user base and engaging your brand.

3. Influence: Aim to be an authority online

Measuring influence on social media

Comparing your influence versus your competitors can give social media managers a sense of how well their organization’s social media presences are performing.

Your organization and/or brand will likely want to be seen as influential on the topics on which your content is based around. Tools like Klout aim to measure an individual’s or company’s influence around topics.

Klout recently introduced suggested content to share, which simplifies the process of finding content to share on social. But it also raises the question of the value of the content being shared; that is, auto-sharing versus more authentic content curation strategies.

This is a good start … 

With these three core analytics in place, your organization will be well on the way to measuring the reach of your social content, what your audience is doing with that content and how influential you are on social media.

Want to learn more? We’d love to hear from you.

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