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What the heck is TikTok?

Just when you were getting the hang of Instagram stories, along comes your teenage kid talking about something called TikTok. So just what the heck is TikTok, anyway? And as a small business, should you be considering it as part of your digital marketing strategy? TikTok is like a combination of the two social media apps, Dubsmash and Vine. Originally called Musical.ly, Tiktok is an app where users can share videos of themselves dancing or lip-syncing to songs or audio clips. Unlike social media channels like Facebook or Instagram, TikTok has an unweighted algorithm that shares videos in chronological order based on when they were shared. It also offers the ability to add hashtags to a post without bans or slowing down the videos.  Currently, TikTok is available in 154 countries and has about 500 million active users. But how are brands using TikTok? According to Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner, “Most marketers haven’t moved to TikTok in massive packs yet so it’s still a little isolated and more like the Wild West.” Most brands weren’t on Facebook, Twitter…

Rewarding Your Social Following

With so much negativity on social media, seeing a positive comment is a breath of fresh air. Though social media is becoming a place for consumers to vocalize their complaints it is also an outlet to share their enjoyment and appreciation for your store. You can reward those consumers socially. Here are five ways to reward your consumers socially. Exclusive Deals This is probably the most obvious way to reward your online shoppers. You can feature an exclusive sale on social media to your online consumers. Try offering an exclusive coupon link and make it printable on your website.  The ultimate goal is to have your social consumers become repeat customers in your store. Contests Contests help with engagement and growing following. AWG Brands’ social platform frequently offers product giveaways to feature products and encourage engagement. Offering free stuff is a great way to grab the attention of an online consumer. But a better approach is to generate user content. Sure, you can offer a free product giveaway, but pose a question about your store to enhance content. For example,…

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Lots of Dads use Pinterest

I know! Right? Since about 2012 I have loved Pinterest. I like the layout, the search bar, I especially like how each image has a different background color while it’s loading. But this is all typical since I am female AND a designer who loves color. While minding my own business at WordCamp 2019, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard about how Dad’s use Pinterest Now! Later on, what goes through my mind is – “this makes sense, after all, today there are lots more Dad’s who are responsible for getting their kids ready for the day.” Dads on Pinterest make high salaries. 82% find new products on Pinterest, and 45% make over $100,000 per year while raising kids. Dads on Pinterest truly want to know… they search 50% more than the average user. “Home” is the biggest category for Dads on Pinterest. They are looking for indoor and outdoor projects that are fun for the family. Some popular food related search terms Dads use on Pinterest are: Kitchen Appliances, Bar Ideas, fire pits, Outdoor kitchens and Patios.…

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Social Media Campaigns

If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you’ve probably noticed that I mention the term social media campaigns a lot. But what exactly does that mean? The word campaign might bring to mind images of Don Draper in “Mad Men” but you don’t need a New York ad agency to run a successful social media campaign. A campaign on social media can be as big or as small as you want it to be but it has the potential to make a big effect on your customers and your sales. An example of a small social media campaign is a recent meat sale campaign done by Murfin’s Market, an AWG member with four locations in southern Missouri. The store was having a one day meat sale at all four locations on the Friday before Father’s Day weekend. I helped them create a boosted post with a link to their ad on the website so customers could see all of the items available in the one day sale. Murfin’s spent $50 on that post and it ran the Thursday before and…

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Trending Now: June

The heat of summer has finally arrived as the season of the sun is in full swing. People are finding refuge in the air conditioning and with cold treats and drinks. With the kids home for the summer, families are looking for activities for the kids, which can include fun in the kitchen. However, bringing multiple kids to the grocery store can be a daunting challenge and some families are looking for ecommerce as an easy solution. Here’s a look at what we saw trending in June: Special one-day or two-day deals on bottled water and other refreshing drinks were and still are a good way to get customers in the door. A retailer recently sent a text offer for Best Choice Bottled Water 24-packs and the redemption rates were around 20%. When a customer redeemed the water offer, their basket sizes increased by 50% at one store and 62% at the other. With the kids home for the summer, it’s also a perfect time to have some fun in the kitchen while teaching them cooking basics. On your social…

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Trending Now: May

Food trends in May are all about Mother’s Day, warmer weather, cooler foods and drinks, campouts, and the unofficial start to summer, Memorial Day. Most people think of breakfast in bed or brunch when they think of Mother’s Day. But a lot of sweet treats popped up on the internet this month to help you show the moms in your life how much you care. Like these delicious Mother’s Day cakes or this beautiful edible bouquet. May isn’t just about moms. It’s also the time of year when everyone is preparing for summer. The temperatures get warmer and the food and drinks get colder. It’s the perfect time to start breaking out refreshing summer drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Expect lots of fun summer treats with boozy twists like these champagne popsicles. Or something fun for the kids like mermaid layered slushies. As the temperatures increase, more people are going outside to enjoy the sunshine. This means more cookouts and picnics. Flavorful fresh salads are a popular side dish at these outdoor events, along with other types of tasty sides…

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SMCKC May Lunch Recap: Making A Splash on Social During Large-Scale Events

Recently I attended a SMCKC lunch titled “Making a Splash on Social During Large-Scale Events.” It was a panel Q&A with Derek Byrne of Visit KC, Rachel Kephart of KC Film (a division of Visit KC), and John Kreicbergs of Propaganda3. While I work with retailers on digital promotions for their events, they aren’t the type of large-scale events that were discussed by the panel. But I found that a lot of what they advised to the audience can be applied to small-scale events and social strategy in general. For example, all three panelists discussed the importance of keeping attendees informed before, during, and after the event. Derek Byrne manages social media for all of the college basketball tournament games that take place in Kansas City in March. For these games, Visit KC is on social media all year long, announcing games when they are scheduled, helping people plan their trips, and giving them sightseeing ideas outside of the games if they’re coming out of town to visit. John Kreicbergs works on events like Boulevardia, a craft beer and music…

How to Tell Your Story with Facebook & Instagram Stories

In my last blog post I mentioned the growing popularity of Facebook and Instagram stories. If you aren’t familiar with how to create them, it might seem a little daunting. In this post I’m going to give you some step-by-step instructions on how to create everything from simple picture stories to more elaborate types of stories. How to Create a Story Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, the process of creating a story is similar across both platforms. Instagram has an option at the top left corner of the screen when you first open the app. It’s your profile picture with a plus sign on it. The text below it reads “Your Story.” Just click on the icon and it will take you to a camera setting where you can create your story. To create a Facebook story, the options will vary based on the app you are using. If you are using the regular Facebook app, go to your business page and scroll down until you see the “Your Story” heading. You will see your cover photo with a…

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Mastering your goals using KPIs

“Never believe that one number by itself can be meaningful.” -Unknown I recently attended a seminar hosted by emfluence called What Gets Measured Gets Done: How to Set Goals and KPIs for Your Campaigns. The speaker for the presentation was emfluence’s Customer Success Director, Joe Ramsey. Though the presentation was geared towards a marketing-minded audience, the lesson of measuring your goals is relatable to all. What is a KPI? Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) act as a map and a compass to determine your overview performance of a campaign or event. The purpose of a KPI is to alert you to potential problems and allows you to make the best decisions with data. What are you measuring? There are several things to measure when looking into KPIs. You could reflect on your audience or the impressions you have gained. You can focus on subscribers or engagement growth. Whatever you are measuring needs a why. Your “why” explains what is your reasoning behind seeking the information. It can also be considered as your goal. For example, if you are seeking to understand…

The Stew and What It Means for You

Sometime in December, New York Times food writer Alison Roman published a new recipe for Spiced Chickpea Stew with coconut & turmeric. By late January, it had gone viral on Instagram, gaining millions of fans who gave the recipe it’s own hashtag: #TheStew. What made people want to try this recipe and share this post? It’s easy to make, hard to mess up, uses ingredients that people have in their pantry or are easy to find in any grocery store and it looks pretty. But we can find a deeper meaning behind this. It turns out millennials are growing up and staying in more. For years, we’ve been told we those millennials that we thought were eating out all of the time are settling down, having kids, and looking to cook for their families. They want to create restaurant-quality dishes at home that are healthy, easy, and relatively quick. That’s good news for the grocery industry. Social media has transformed the once solo activity of home cooking into a social experience, shared with friends via Instagram pictures and Facebook posts.…