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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…

SMCKC Blog Recap Header

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…

Social Media Icons

Social Media Trends

I mentioned in a recent blog post that your social media plan “needs to adapt as the social landscape changes.” It’s helpful to know how changes and new trends might affect your strategy so you can determine if you need to course correct. Digital strategy shouldn’t be reviewed only once at your annual planning meeting. It should be an evergreen conversation to help you keep up-to-date on the tools and trends you can use to make your digital strategy as successful as possible. Here are some things I’ve noticed in the first few months of 2019: Using Stories to Tell Your Story Are you using Instagram and Facebook stories? The idea started with Snapchat, where you share an image or a short video that disappears after 24 hours. Both Instagram and Facebook have launched similar features on their platforms and they are steadily growing in popularity with users. Consider creating content that you can share across all areas of Facebook, including stories. Also consider using stories to help you create content that your customers will connect with more. Buffer suggests…

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.…

Audience

Talking to Your Audience Instead of Yourself (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions was called Talking to Your Audience (Instead of Yourself), presented by Priya Nibert, (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group). While the session was directed at business communicators, it’s an important lesson for businesses, in general, when planning marketing strategy. Don’t prioritize communication over the message to the audience. One size fits all communication never works.   Nibert emphasized that connecting to your audience is the key to communicating to your audience. Stop talking to yourself and prioritize the audience, message, and vehicle. Start by asking yourself the following questions: What’s in it for the audience? Is your message clear? What is the best way to deliver that message? First, start with your audience. Determine who they are and get to know them. You can do this a number of ways. An easy way is to pull demographic data from digital platforms like your social media accounts and your website. You can also conduct a customer survey. For grocery retailers, don’t make assumptions based on a limited…

Social Media

The Ever-Changing Landscape of Social Media (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

Social media used to be about grabbing your space on a platform, posting content and maintaining your presence on the platform. Some of you might be reading this and thinking “use to be?” I hate to break it to you, but the days of creating an account for your business and not thinking much about it are gone. If you are going to take the time to create a social media account and dedicate even the smallest amount of time, money and resources to it, you have to have a plan. And that plan needs to adapt as the social media landscape changes. I recently attended the KC IABC Business Communicators Summit and one of the breakout sessions focused on the ever-changing landscape of social media. Angela Crawford (communications consultant, Lockton Benefit Group) and Matt Staub (owner, Proxima LLC) discussed the ways social media is changing and how brands who want to succeed on these platforms need to change with it. Crawford started by outlining the three categories brands tend to fall into on social media: Brands that inform (news,…

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Trending Now: February

It’s time for our second installment of Trending Now! I’ll make this quick before something else takes the place of these items currently taking the internet by storm. I spend too much time on social media and follow a ton of food accounts, so I guess that’s not such a bad thing after all! Here’s what I’ve noticed lately: Rumors: Word is spreading that grocery ecommerce isn’t taking off as fast as expected and stores aren’t making as much as they had hoped. I have lots of thoughts about this. At the VMC show last week, a member said to me, “I know online shopping isn’t going away, this is a long-term play,” and he’s right. It’s definitely not a silver bullet to save a struggling store and it takes a lot of effort on the part of the store to make it successful. It’s not a “if-you-build-it-they-will-come” scenario. You have to let the right people know about it, entice them to try it, and then you have to impress the heck out of them to keep them coming back.…

Video on Computer

Facebook Video Options

We write about video a lot on this blog. Sean regularly posts about video creation tools and best practices. While I, on the other hand, usually include the importance of video content in my posts about Facebook algorithm changes and social media content strategies. But what if you don’t have the tools and expertise to create a professional video for your store? Not to worry! Facebook now offers several different options to help you create your own video with static images! The simplest option (also the only one that doesn’t require you to pay for an ad or a boost) is to create a slideshow in a Facebook post. It will display the images in order just like a slideshow, but it will post like a video and therefore will be given higher priority in the algorithm. You can post up to 10 images per slide show. Plus you have the option to have a fade transition in between slides and you can choose the length of time the slides appear (0.5-5 seconds). If you’re looking for something more personalized…

Curious Co-branding

Ever see a product’s advertising that infuses another brand and think, “that makes so much sense”? Things like Taco Bell and Doritos, BMW & Louis Vuitton, Apple Pay & Master Card, Boulevard Beer & Tech N9ne, wait…what?? Craft beer and hip-hop? Oh…that’s right, I forgot to mention co-branding doesn’t have to make total sense on the surface. Sure it doesn’t hurt to mesh Yum brands with bold delicious snacks or high end luxury with glam products, but if you eat Taco Bell you probably already eat Doritos and if you can afford a BMW likewise you know about or purchase Louis Vuitton luggage. However, it’s the outside the box brand collaborations that gain exposure to markets that previously might not have been available. For the content purpose of this blog I’m going to use the combo mentioned previously, Boulevard Beer & Tech N9ne (mostly true accounts from a speaking event hosted by KCDMA featuring Pat Mullin of Boulevard). Now I understand that some people reading this will not know one, if not either of these brands, so I’ll provide a…