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Measuring Value

7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impact (Webinar Recap)

So your store has a Facebook business page, and maybe an Instagram and/or Twitter profile…but are you regularly monitoring the analytics for those profiles? Do you use a monitoring tool to “listen” to what customers are saying online about your store(s) outside of your social media profiles? If not, you’re missing out on a key component of your digital marketing strategy. I recently watched an AdWeek webinar called “7 Ways to Use Social Analytics to Maximize Brand Impacts.” It was sponsored by NetBase, a social media analytics platform, and hosted by Paige Leidig, CMO of NetBase, and Mike Baglietto, Director of Product Marketing at NetBase. Leidig and Baglietto emphasized that monitoring social media analytics is not something you can do on your own. As a small business, you might be able to manage and monitor your own social platforms easily enough. But once you start looking into analytics and trends that will help you take your digital marketing to the next level, you will need to consider looking into a tool that can help. Depending on your budget, you might…

Trending Now

NEW BLOG SERIES: Trending Now

We’re excited to announce a new blog series here at AWG Sales Services. Each month a member of our social media team will publish a “Trending Now” blog post, highlighting the food trends we are seeing online that month. What better way to start than with a quick overview of 2019 food trend predictions! After researching multiple sites and articles, I found a few major themes for the food trends you are likely to see in 2019. Plants: Meatless Monday is more than a hashtag. More consumers are turning to plant-based foods or even plant-based meat alternatives, even if they aren’t strictly vegan or vegetarian. Whether it stems from a personal choice to not eat meat or reduce the meat in their diet due to environmental impacts, customers are adding more plant-based foods to their shopping carts. Protein: Despite the growing interest in meat alternatives, protein is still a high priority for consumers as paleo and keto diets continue to grow in popularity. Higher protein and lower-carb are the main focus of these two diets and customers will be looking…

Instagram Strategies for Small Businesses

Quinn Tempest Later Lecture Recap

Quinn Tempest, who you might recognize from previous posts on this very blog, recently wrote a blog post and created a video for Later as part of their Later Lecture Series. She tailored her regular Instagram marketing presentation to small businesses, which appealed to me as someone who has been helping a few of our members launch Instagram accounts over the past several months. Quinn is often highlighted on this blog because she regularly travels to Kansas City to speak at marketing and advertising professional events. There’s a reason she is asked to come back again and again. She offers insightful yet practical advice related to digital marketing and content strategy for businesses big and small. She regularly focuses on Instagram marketing. I want to share some of what I learned from her Later Lecture because I think she provided some great insight! Quinn emphasized multiple times in this lecture the importance of balancing visual and strategy on your brand’s Instagram profile. AWG members often focus on item and price, which makes sense in grocery retail. And while grocery retailers…

Controlling Your Online Presence: Why Your Business Needs a Website

Before I begin, let me answer the question I know some of you already have. No, having a Facebook page for your business is not the same thing as having a website. This is the mistake some of our members make when deciding on a digital marketing strategy. They assume a Facebook page will work just the same as a website and, even better, Facebook is free! I’m here to tell you, it’s not the same. While some might argue that they can’t afford to pay for a website, my response to that is you can’t afford to NOT have a business website in 2018. And yes, you may recognize me from previous blog posts highlighting the importance of social media, especially Facebook. So you know that I’m by no means against Facebook business pages. However, I think it should be one of many instruments in your digital toolbox. I worked with our web design team and reviewed customer feedback on Facebook from some of our stores’ pages to develop a case study comparing websites versus Facebook business pages. I…

Sendible Logo

Introducing: Sendible for AWG Members

The AWG digital marketing team is excited to announce a new social media option for our members! Sendible is a social media content management and reporting tool. We have expanded our offerings beyond managing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles for retailers. Sendible is for AWG members who want to have access to a curated content library and vendor-sponsored promotional content. With Sendible, we supply the content, but you can choose what to post and when. While retailers can work directly with Sendible to sign up for the platform, we offer it to our retailers at a group discount, plus full access to our digital marketing content library. An AWG Sendible login provides you with: A library of engaging social content created by AWG Sales Services. This also includes AWG Brands content. Access to vendor promotion content. This includes SEP NOW content that highlights specific digital coupon deals. The ability to create reports for your digital channels and customize the data to fit your goals. Monitoring tools showing what customers say about you online other than what’s on your social media…

Social Media Giveaways Breakfast

Social Media Giveaways & Contests (Recap)

I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t Melanie just tell us that we can’t have contests on Facebook anymore?” Yes. Yes, I did. However, the latest Social Media Club – KC breakfast, “Social Media Contests and Giveaways,” was about more than the “Like, Comment, Share” Facebook contests I was referring to in that blog post. During this Q&A panel, Kasim Hardaway (founder, TKC Agency) and Brandon Painter (content manager, Barkley), discussed the various ways you can use contests and giveaways on all social media (not just Facebook) to build a following, gather information and analytics, and even generate content from your customers! Here are some of the highlights. Be Prepared, Have a Plan & Communicate Kasim recommends having a clear strategy for your social media contest or giveaway. Don’t have a contest just for the sake of having one. Do you want to increase your followers on a social platform? Do you want to collect email addresses for your email database? Do you want to gather user-generated content (UGC)? Determine your end goal for the contest and start from there. Kasim…

Finding Success on Facebook for Your Small Business with a Team of One (Recap)

All AWG retailers are independently owned and many are smaller, one-store operations. They often don’t have the resources to manage large-scale social media strategies with expensive agencies so they come to us for help. Or they hire a marketing professional to work for them in-house. Either way, many of our stores work on small budget with small teams, sometimes even a team of one. I recently attended a Social Media Club of Kansas City professional development breakfast with guest speaker Travis Pflanz, owner of WebWorks of KC. His presentation, titled “Finding Success on Facebook with a Team of One,” highlighted strategies and tools small businesses can use to maximize their Facebook marketing with small teams and small budgets. Travis drove home one point throughout the presentation. All businesses should focus on their website and any other non-social digital properties they own before even considering Facebook or social media in general. He reminded the audience that your business doesn’t own Facebook, but you do own your website. Make sure you have a strong content strategy on your website first. You can…

Smartphone

Facebook Advertising 101

I regularly write blog posts about what our retailers can do to increase organic reach on Facebook. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of paid Facebook advertising, which includes Facebook ads and boosted posts. Paying for additional exposure on Facebook is becoming more important as you try to stand out among all the clutter your customers see in their Facebook timeline. Since this is my first post about how to use Facebook advertising, I’m going to keep it pretty high-level and focus on the most common questions I get from retailers who don’t have much experience with this digital marketing strategy. Why Should I Use Facebook Advertising? Despite the ongoing rumors that “Facebook is dead,” and even the recent controversies surrounding the social media platform, two billion people still actively use it every month. And while it isn’t as popular with people in their late teens and twenties, you can focus on that demographic with Instagram. Here are a few tips from one of my recent blog posts about Instagram strategy. You can use paid advertising on Instagram…

Social Media Marketing

What Makes Social Content Great?

In the 4 ½ years I’ve worked for AWG, it’s been surprisingly difficult to get content consistently from the retailers I work with on digital marketing. Whether I’m working with a store owner or director, a department manager, or an up-and-coming associate, I often hear, “I’m not sure what to send you for social media content.” And you’d think it would be a no-brainer. Take pictures of food, of course! Food pictures are all over social media, right? But that’s part of the problem. Even when I do receive content from stores, sometimes it’s just a little too generic. You may have a beautiful produce display that makes for a great picture, but what differentiates it from any other produce display at a grocery store? The more popular social media has become, the more “noise” there is on every channel. You have to make your content stand out so that customers can find it through all that noise. Using these different types of evergreen content can change things up and help you stand out on social. Timely Content Like I…

The Art + Strategy Behind an Effective Instagram Account (Webinar Recap)

Quinn Tempest, freelance graphic designer and digital marketing strategist, started out her webinar about Instagram with this simple quote. It’s a simple quote for a simple social media platform. While the platform is simple, your Instagram content strategy should be anything but. According to Quinn, there has to be a balance between the art of content creation and content strategy for your business Instagram account. Instagram for business isn’t just about pretty pictures. Quinn started with some stats about the current growth and success of the Instagram platform: At the end of 2017, Instagram was at 800 million active users. Growing at 100 million users per four months, Instagram has 500 million daily active users.  300 million of the daily active users are daily active Instagram story users. At the end of November 2017, 25 million businesses were on Instagram 200 million people actively visit a brand’s profile daily. If these numbers aren’t enough to convince you to get an Instagram account for your business and get serious about your strategy, I don’t know what will!   Quinn emphasized the…

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