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The Future of Social Media Marketing & AWG Social Media Program

As the AWG social media program coordinator, I definitely have a specific theme to my blog posts. That theme has narrowed down even more in the past few years as social media continues to evolve. With that evolution, I regularly remind the audience reading our blog that dynamic, engaging and even targeted social content is essential. It’s always been important but as social media channels become more and more saturated with brand content, and as Facebook continues to update its algorithm, it’s becoming more vital for brands and businesses to be as strategic as possible with their social media marketing. With that idea in mind, AWG Marketing recently rolled out a new service structure for our members who are on our social media program, specifically those who use our services for their store’s Facebook page(s). We used to offer three separate tiers with various levels of involvement and posting frequency for three separate prices. But after a year or so of this structure, we realized it’s not to the benefit of our members to be on the two lower tiers.…

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)…

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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…

Person taking food photo on phone

Visually Advertising on Pinterest & Instagram

Luckily for grocery retailers and brands, food is visual, and people on social media are passionate about capturing it. Consumers enjoy posting their own food photos, while also looking at those of others, including brands, for recipe ideas and inspiration. Retailers can amplify their own food photo reach through social media advertising. We’ve talked about paid advertising on Facebook and Twitter in the past, but what about other popular social media networks like Pinterest and Instagram? These sites have grown enormously in the past several years and play a pivotal role in the foodie culture. I’ve recently been researching the opportunities grocery retailers and brands have available for advertising on these visually heavy sites that are already loaded with food photos. Let’s start with Pinterest During a recent #CoffeewithCART call, my attention was drawn to an article that was shared about Pinterest’s new ad-targeting tools that CPG and retail brands (including grocers) are utilizing. Pinterest’s advertising platform is now open to all brands, not just large partners like in the past, which means smaller businesses can dive into this advertising…

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2016 Business Communicators Summit Recap

On Tuesday I attended the 2016 Business Communicators Summit (BCS), sponsored by the International Association of Business Communicators (Kansas City chapter). More than 100 local business communication professionals attended lectures and breakout sessions led by a group of highly successful business communicators who shared their knowledge and expertise. The BCS continues to be a great professional development resource for all types of business communicators, including social media marketers. Several speakers at this year’s event discussed social media and digital marketing in their presentations and offered great insights to the audience. In fact, the keynote speaker was social media speaker, trainer and author, Peg Fitzpatrick. She presented her “power tips” for social media marketing. She covered three main topics: building your foundation, attracting more followers and feeding the content monster. Build Your Foundation Fitzpatrick highlighted the importance of optimizing your social media profile. You should have a quality profile picture and cover photo. It should look professional but relatable. For individuals, she even recommended that selfies are perfectly fine for professional profile pictures. So snap away! Another important focus on your…

Four Major Social Media Channels and Logos Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest

AWG Social Media Webinar Recap

Recently I hosted a webinar for AWG retailers to share with them the best strategies for marketing on social media. I covered the basics elements of marketing on the four major social media channels that are currently being used by our retailers: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. First, I discussed the most ideal content to share on each channel. Facebook Pictures (graphics, in-store pictures, photo albums, etc.) Links (pay attention to the picture and text on the link previews to make sure they look professional) Text (make sure it isn’t too long) Post once (no more than twice) day Twitter Links to long articles, web pages, etc. Short engagement questions or quotes Pictures Tweet as often as you want…within reason. REMINDER: Twitter accounts do well in areas with a younger demographic, like a college town. Instagram Video (users are limited to 15 seconds but promoted posts are allowed up to 30 seconds) No links (you can only include hyperlinks in your bio) The text caption for you picture will truncate after several lines so try to keep it short. Besides,…

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Conneting the Dots: Social media as part of an integrated marketing strategy

So you’ve finished a marketing plan and you’re ready to start implementing it. But wait! You forgot about social media! Oh well — you can just put up a few posts and tweets about it, right? Wrong. Sarah Cucchiara, senior e-commerce strategist at DEG, recently presented about this very concept at the KU Digital Marketing Summit sponsored by the University of Kansas Business School. She shared insights about the important role of including social media in an integrated marketing campaign from the beginning; as opposed to an afterthought once the planning is complete. Marketing has become a 24/7 consideration due to social media. These channels must be fully integrated as part of a company’s marketing strategy. Consumers are constantly exposed to media (TV, radio, social, podcasts, etc.) and they expect a “unified and personalized brand experience.” For the average customer, social media is a part of their regular lives and they interact with it seamlessly throughout their day. Companies and marketers, however, are still trying to figure it out. Many brands are still working through issues like: where social media…

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

With everyone yelling their marketing messages all over the place, it’s become easy for customers to simply ignore it all.  To get their attention, you have to entertain them. How do you entertain them? Visually. Visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text, so in our world of short-attention spans, the phrase “a picture is worth 1,000 words,” has never been more true. There are plenty of ways to capture the attention of your current and potential customers using digital images. Instagram is a photo & video-sharing app that has more than 300 million users who are sharing images and videos with each other daily. Pinterest is another app with a heavy focus on visuals. It’s more than 70 million users share links to articles, websites, recipes, etc. with a heavy focus on images. Cara recently wrote a post about using Pinterest as a small business. YouTube has become one of the most popular websites in the world with it’s video sharing capabilities. Lisa recently talked about using YouTube on our blog. So how can you use these tools…

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Putting your eggs in the Pinterest basket

Diversify. You’re told to do it with your finances, but did you know you also should diversify your social media strategy? Although every social media platform is not recommended for every retailer, Pinterest is a great one to consider. The Basics Think of Pinterest as a digital corkboard. It allows users to discover and save ideas from the web in a simple, visual way. Instead of printing out the idea or ripping it from the pages of a magazine, Pinterest users virtually “pin it” to their Pinterest boards. Visual is important here, because the phrase, “a picture is worth 1,000 words” rings just as true in social media as it does in any other form of publishing. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text, which allows Pinterest users to absorb a lot of information and ideas quickly. Simple is also an important aspect of the Pinterest platform. The website and mobile app are easy to use, which is why its user base is growing rapidly. It is already home to 70 million total users! Pinterest as…

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Make It Go Viral!

What do The Ice Bucket Challenge, Alex From Target, and “The Double Rainbow Guy” all have  in common? They were all part of a viral social media post/campaign. You’ve probably heard the phrase “go viral” as it relates to sharing information online. But just in case you haven’t, it means to “become very popular by circulating quickly from person to person, especially through the Internet.” But how do you create something that will go viral on social media? Some might tell you that there are tips and tricks to make something go viral, but the truth is that you never know when something will hit a nerve with people. You can’t necessarily predict what will motivate them share something, causing it to spread across the country or even around the world! Sometimes it’s not even something you posted from your company’s profile. It might turn out to be a post to your company’s page that’s suddenly a big hit! Just ask Schulte’s Fresh Foods in Jefferson City, Mo. A customer posted on the store’s Facebook page about something she saw…