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Connect via Hootsuite

Recap: Connect via Hootsuite – Online Social Media Conference

Last week I walked into work, turned on my computer, popped in my earbuds and attended a free, online international social media conference, the annual Connect via Hootsuite conference. It was a first for me and definitely the most unique conference I’ve attended in my career. As I listened to multiple industry leaders present on the latest social media trends and strategies, I noticed two topics that came up regularly throughout the day: metrics and advocacy. Social Media Metrics If you aren’t already using your social media metrics to guide your overall strategy, you should be. The top social media platforms provide detailed metrics for company/brand pages. These metrics can provide you with high-level demographic data of your fans/followers, which posts they’re engaging with, and even what time of day they are online so you can post your content at the optimal time for them to see it. While these metrics can be extremely useful to businesses, it’s important to use the metrics wisely. Vik Kambli, Western Canada Region Head at Facebook, asserted that clicks on social media posts (likes/reactions)…

Smartphone with Social Icons

Recap: Social Media is Changing (Greater KC PRSA Luncheon)

Social media changes so quickly that sometimes it’s difficult for consumers and businesses to keep up. However, the trends in social media often change gradually over time so we don’t always notice them. At  a recent professional development lunch for Greater Kansas City PRSA, Justin Goldsborough of Fleishman-Hillard discussed the five changing trends he’s currently seeing in social media. Media Consumption is Changing Goldsborough cited that 75% of a person’s waking day is spent consuming media. A large part of that time is spent on digital media. The rise in popularity of the smartphone has created over one million hours of potential reach for businesses each day in the U.S. It’s not just a passing fad and it’s no longer a “nice to have” option that only some companies use. Facebook Organic Reach is Dying “Just because you post it doesn’t mean I see it.” This one simple sentence perfectly sums up Facebook marketing in 2017. You don’t have to pay for every Facebook post to be boosted for higher engagement. But it’s no longer an option to include Facebook…

Google My Business logo.

Claiming Your Google Places Listing

How often do you Google a local business in your area? Your customers are doing the same thing with your grocery store on a regular basis, so it’s important for you to be able to control what they see when they Google your store. But how do you do that? How do you manage the information that comes up on the most popular online search engine? The answer is: Google Places. Google Places allows you to list the exact location and address of your store on a map in Google, with all relevant store information to help your customers find you when they are not only looking specifically for your store but also when they are looking for specific services your business provides. According to Google, “simply being listed gives you a boost in rankings for your main website and therefore leads to more traffic.” Google gives you the option to include as much or as little about your business as you want on your Google Places listing. This includes coupons, special offers, videos, images, opening hours and preferred payment…

Angry stick figure glaring at computer

Customer Complaints on Social are Good for Business

When I speak to retailers about social media, it’s almost inevitable that they will ask me about how we deal with negative comments posted on our retailers’ social media profiles. In some cases, the possibility of negative feedback is such a major concern for a retailer that they don’t even want to bother with social media because of it. However, as I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, negative feedback on your business’ social media page is an opportunity to change the story with an unhappy customer. Mike Blumenthal of Get Five Stars, a company offering a platform to automate the customer feedback process, wrote a blog post about why an unhappy customer can actually be good for your business. Four out of the five points he made in that post can be directly applied to negative feedback on social media. Most unhappy customers don’t complain, they just don’t come back. Ever. Even in the digital age, most customers aren’t going to take the time to go to your social media profiles and write out a complaint. Many of them will…

Introducing Social Media Tiers from AWG

Introducing: Social Media Tiers from AWG

The social media team at AWG has made a few changes to the offerings we provide to our retailers. We recently stopped offering profile management for Pinterest. Additionally, we’ve evolved from a one-size-fits-all approach to our Facebook program, to a customized program with tiers that’s designed to better serve our clients. The four different offerings for AWG retailer Facebook page management are: Social Octane: A subscription based program featuring weekly tips, ideas and images for Facebook in an easy-to-post format. We supply the content, you post when you want. Ad Posting & Monitoring: Don’t have time to send us content each week? This option is for you. We’ll post your ad on time each week and monitor mentions of your account, contacting you when necessary to answer customer questions. No additional content is included. Content Management: Mixing store-supplied content and general information, this option enhances your social media presence. We work with you to make sure content resonates with consumers and draws them into the page and the store. Linking to weekly ad is included. Socially Savvy: Want to take…

Pinterest Logos

To Pin or Not To Pin: Pinterest Marketing for Grocery Retailers

The AWG social media team recently stopped offering Pinterest profile management as part of our services to AWG retailers. We came to this decision based on the fact that it makes more sense for the store to manage these pages on their own. In addition, many stores don’t necessarily need Pinterest as part of their digital marketing strategy. Not familiar with Pinterest or how to manage a Pinterest profile for a business or brand? Cara wrote a great blog post about it a few years ago. While Cara provides tips for what to do once you set up a Pinterest profile, it’s also just as important to determine if it’s a good marketing strategy for your store to set up a Pinterest profile in the first place. A few questions to ask before you set up a Pinterest profile for your store: Does your store provide enough content on the store website for you to regularly update your Pinterest boards? If you have a recipe section on your website that you regularly update, this is a great source of content…

Graphic of film projector and film

Recap: Use Video Storytelling to Connect to Your Authentic Message (KC IABC BCS Summit Breakout Session)

Did you know that your brain acts the same when hearing a story as it does if the actions in that story were actually happening to you? It’s true. Storytelling has been a part of human culture dating back before the written word. However we’re only recently learning how stories affect the human brain. We use stories to convey many different types of information — from facts being taught in a classroom, to products and services being advertised on television. Jolean Olson, director of development for Scenic Road Productions, gave a presentation at the recent Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC about using video storytelling to connect to customers in an authentic way. And before you think this was some ploy to get people to hire her production company, she cited that 92% of people say they want brands to present their advertisements as a story. It makes sense that if just hearing a story activates our brains as if we were experiencing it, that seeing a story would increase that feeling even more. Not to mention…

Kansas City Logo

Recap: Connecting & Engaging with Residents on Social Media (KC IABC BCS Breakout Session)

I recently attended the Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC. One of the breakout sessions featured Chris Hernandez, the communications director of the city of Kansas City, Mo. He talked about connecting and engaging with their residents on social media. You might be wondering how this can apply to you as an independent grocery retailer, but hear me out! One of the best things about having a social media presence for your store is the ability to easily connect and engage with your customers. Use your social media platforms as a two-way communication with your customers and you will see an increase in engagement on your page, which often translates to more customers in your store and stronger brand advocates who will promote your store to their friends and family. During his session, Hernandez emphasized the importance of transparency and two-way communication with KC citizens. For example, the city created a First Fridays exhibit, called The Art of Data, that included graphs of city statistics. They placed it next to artwork at the First Fridays in downtown…

The Hangover Zack Galifianakis Equations

Leveraging the Facebook Algorithm

Retailers regularly ask me, “Why didn’t I see my store’s Facebook post show up on my timeline?” or “How do we get more people to see our posts?” I explain the mysterious, ever-changing Facebook algorithm and encourage them to either post within the current best practices for getting organic reach (which regularly changes), or I suggest trying a boosted post, Facebook ad or contest. But I’m going to change the way I approach the answer to this question from now on. Last week I attended an AAF-KC Accelerations Breakfast with guest speaker, Ramsey Mohsen of Did You Know. He broke down the best ways to leverage the Facebook algorithm so businesses and brands don’t always have to turn to paid promotions and contests. Some of you might be asking why Facebook even uses an algorithm to determine what content you will see. Put bluntly, when you have more than a billion people logging in to a platform, putting everything in the newsfeed is overwhelming. So Facebook uses a formula to determine what content will actually appear in your personal newsfeed.…

FB Banner vs. Location

Establishing a Facebook Business Page: Banner vs. Location Pages

Now that you know how to create a Facebook business page, let’s talk banner pages and location pages. If your store has multiple locations, you might be wondering if you should create one Facebook page that represents all of your locations (banner page), or a page for each individual location. Here are a few things to keep in mind for both. Reasons you should consider setting up a banner page: You offer the same thing at every store: same items, prices, sales, services, etc. You have a large number of locations and would like to keep your Facebook presence streamlined. Reasons you should consider setting up a banner page and location pages: Your products, services and messaging vary widely from store to store. You notice that customers are checking in to your store regularly and you would like to discourage them from creating a new location page while also managing the check-ins by specific location. (This could be helpful if you notice customers checking in at a store and complaining. If you know exactly which store is having this problem,…