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Hootsuite 2018 Social Trends

Recap: “Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018”

In the rapidly changing changing world of social media marketing, it’s important to stay informed about the latest and upcoming trends. To learn about how social media marketing is changing, I recently attended a Hootsuite webinar called “Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018,” hosted by James Mulvey and Amber Naslund of Hootsuite. Mulvey began the presentation by discussing the major social platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn), the recent updates that have been made to the platforms, and how brands will use them differently in the future. I’ve highlighted the three platforms we support for retailers at AWG. Facebook Mobile Video: As more consumers watch videos on mobile devices, social networks offer new opportunities to add to traditional TV content and create new forms of entertainment and news programming. Messenger Ads: Facebook now offers brands the ability to create ads that are sent directly to a customer’s inbox. Facebook Groups: Facebook created Brand Groups and they’re going to be a key marketing opportunity for brands. Brands can create groups on their business pages where audiences can…

Tennessee Vacation Logo

SMCKC Recap: VML and Snapchat – Building a Millennial Following

At a recent Social Media Club of Kansas City presentation, VML discussed how they built a millennial following on Snapchat for Tennessee Vacation, or the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. In case you need a refresher on Snapchat, check out my Snapchat 101 blog post. The Snapchat stats I shared have changed since then…and Snapchat has become even more popular, especially with millennials. 71% of the more than 300 million Snapchat monthly active users are under 24 years old (source: Omnicore Agency). The team from VML explained that the percentage of millennial travelers going to Tennessee and engaging with Tennessee Tourism content was declining. Since Snapchat has such a large millennial audience, the team thought this platform was perfect to “give younger audiences the exclusive content they desire while showcasing the state.” VML ran into two challenges with this project. First, it’s difficult to generate a large organic following on Snapchat because discovery isn’t the main focus of the platform. The company prefers that brands buy advertising on the platform. They don’t even provide analytics for accounts. Second, millennials aren’t…

yellow umbrella among gray

AMAKC Recap: “Creating Fewer Ruined Days” for Patients, Customers, Organizational Leaders and Their Teams

When was the last time you put yourself in your customer’s’ shoes and thought about how they experience your store? Do you think that would change the way you approach your business? Or the way you perceive customer feedback? At a recent event hosted by the Kansas City chapter of the American Marketing Association, Jeannie Walters, CEO and founder of 360Connext, gave a presentation about customer experience and “creating fewer ruined days.” Walters specializes in customer experience but her presentation focused on the medical field and included a personal account of her and her family being involved in a car accident while on vacation. The presentation focused on health care and patient experiences, but the ideas and processes she discussed can be applied to any customer in any field or industry. Walters described everything she experienced as a patient during this terrible incident, from the moment of the crash all the way through her and her family’s recovery during the months after the accident. She shared what she could remember during those first hours after the accident, both good and…

Telling Your Story on Digital

When I work with retailers on social media content strategy, I always remind them to “tell their story.” But what does that mean? It means posting about more than just product and price. Yes, a good sale can get people to come to your store for a specific item one time. But what keeps them coming back to you? What creates a loyal customer? One of the best ways to attract and retain loyal customers is to share your story with them online. Some of the vendors we work with at AWG are doing this very well when it comes to their digital promotions. For example, Red Gold is sponsoring a Crush Hunger campaign for the month of October. When a customer buys one can of Red Gold product, the company donates one meal to Feeding America. When you visit their Crush Hunger website, you will see that the company not only plans to donate to the organization but they are also educating their customers about those in need and how to help. Another example is Idahoan Foods. Recently I…

Blog Spelled With Scrabble Tiles

Blogging For Your Business

Blogging isn’t just a hobby for parents sharing meal prep ideas or dedicated fans giving their insights on the latest YA fantasy novel. Some people have turned blogging into a lucrative business. Additionally, already-established businesses can use blogging as another digital marketing platform to share their story and connect with customers. Even small businesses can use this platform and see the benefits of it if they put the work into creating and maintaining it. Getting Started Decide on a platform Talk to your website developer or designer about how to integrate a blog platform onto your store’s website. Find your voice Your blog voice will tie into the overall brand voice you have for your store. It’s the same voice you use in other forms of digital marketing like social media, website and email. Ultimately people like doing business with other people so find a voice that captures your business and shows the personality of your brand. Set a schedule Decide how often you’re going to publish blog posts. Do your best to stick to that schedule so your readers…

Online Shopping Digital Marketing

How to Promote Your Online Shopping…Online

Does your store offer online shopping? Do your customers know about the program? …are you sure that they do? Online shopping is part of the future of grocery retail. In 2016, one in five shoppers had an online purchase and that will likely increase to one in three this year. Yet in a survey of 500 consumers, 41% of shoppers didn’t know if their stores offered online shopping (2017 Online Shopping Forecast). As Kate mentioned in a recent blog post, online shopping isn’t an “if you build it, they will come” program. When launching an online shopping program, your marketing and advertising campaigns need to inform your customers about the program and teach them how to use it. Kate also noted that digital marketing is key to these campaigns. While in-store promotion is necessary, digital marketing will point customers directly to the online shopping platform and that gives them a chance to see it and hopefully try it! Here are some examples of AWG retailers who are using digital marketing to promote their online shopping programs: Website Do more than…

Wendy's Logo

“How Wendy’s Squashes Beef in Social” – AAF-KC Recap

Even if you aren’t on social media or don’t use it very often, you’ve probably heard about the unique brand voice of Wendy’s. The brand has been getting a lot of media attention over the past year for their marketing campaigns and digital presence, particularly their Twitter account. Recently I attended a presentation from the two people responsible for that unique voice and attention-grabbing social presence: VML social strategist, Christina Miller and VML community manager, Matt Keck. They shared their approach to social engagement at a professional development breakfast hosted by the Kansas City chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Miller and Keck discussed the strategy behind the viral sensations surrounding Wendy’s marketing campaigns, while also providing high-level ideas and tips that other marketers could take back to their organizations. When Wendy’s became a VML client, the team noticed that the company already had a dedicated following of brand advocates who grew up with Wendy’s, loved the restaurant and regularly showed that love on social media. Miller and Keck talked about how the team started with a campaign built around…

Smart Photography on a Smartphone graphic.

Smart Photography on a Smartphone

Sharing pictures on social media is one of the best ways to tell your story. But what kind of story are you telling with those pictures? You want the photos on your business page to grab people’s attention as they’re scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, but you want it to be for the right reasons. As a small business owner, you might not have access to professional photographers or expensive cameras and equipment. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking quality pictures on your smartphone that you can share on your business profiles. Here are a few helpful tips to taking better pictures on your smartphone: Get close and fill the viewfinder Depending on what you’re photographing, you will want to get close to it when taking a picture so that you not only get all the detail of your subject but also block out anything distracting in the background. A grocery store is usually filled with backgrounds that could be considered distracting, such as shelves filled with products, food displays, people, etc. Smartphones give you the option to crop…

Local Pages illustration

How Local Pages Help Your Store

Retailers with multiple locations have a decision to make when it comes to creating Facebook business pages: do you make one page that represents all locations or do you make individual pages for each store? I discussed in a recent blog post how to do both, as well as how to link the location pages to the banner page. In the post, I highlighted the more practical reasons you should consider setting up the locations pages. For example, setting up individual location pages might make sense if your products, services and messaging vary widely from store to store. Those practical reasons are important but there is a less tangible reason to create local pages for each individual store location. Your customers are more likely to engage with a local page versus a banner page for the entire chain. According to an article on MediaPost, “local store pages generated 25 times more impressions than brand pages.” Citing research from MomentFeed, MediaPost highlighted findings of their analysis of impression data in early 2017 from approximately 50 national brand clients, including restaurant chains,…

Shop Local

Digital Storefront: Keeping it Local on Social

You’ve probably heard the term “shop local.” It encourages consumers to support local businesses in their area rather than larger national chains. This is an idea that AWG independent grocers embrace and it extends to their social media platforms. I regularly tell the retailers I work with to look at their social media platforms as a “digital storefront.” While it’s a good idea for a grocery store to include product/pricing on their digital platforms, social media is also the perfect place to tell your story. It’s a great place to show support for your community and even show off that support every now and then. Just don’t “show off” too blatantly or too often. It will start to come off as insincere and end up having the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve with this type of content. In a Progressive Grocer article, Randy Hofbauer cited a recent study that found “nearly nine in 10 supermarket shoppers regularly following one or more social media sites” but of that group “only one in four…claims to be friends with or connected to…