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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.…


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,…

Trending Now

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…

Grocer Pod – Episode 12

On this month’s episode Sean talks New Year’s resolutions. He also sits down with Jeni Ganzman and Cara Mahon to talk about the upcoming VMC show.  To register for the VMC show email vmc_shows@awginc.com Next, Melanie Isenmann joins to talk about social media marketing. There are some new offerings as well as a new focus by the digital marketing team at AWG.

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…

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…