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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…

Trends: A Look at Today’s Grocery Shopper Webinar Recap

State of the Grocery Market: 86% of all adults now say they have at least some of the responsibility for household grocery shopping. This is an important change because it is bringing in more consumers to the grocery retail world. In the past grocery shopping was fulfilled by one person, now that is only the case in 25% of US households. So, 75% of US households split the grocery shopping responsibility in some way making it a team sport. Sharing the shopping responsibility didn’t affect the number of trips like you would think. That number is around 1.6 trips per week and has remained fairly constant over the past 5 years. However, these lifestyle changes have made the biggest impact on trip frequency. Increases Trips: Reduced planning for meals Urbanization (People live, work, play, eat and shop all in the same neighborhood) Desire for freshness Decreases Trips: Sharing the shopping responsibilities Migration to online Increased reliance on food services The average weekly spend for a household is $113.50 which aligns with inflation. Of the shoppers that were surveyed only 13%…

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,…

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…


The Future of Retail

If grocers could look into a crystal ball to see what the industry is going to be like one year, two, five or even ten years down the road, what would they see? The Future of Retail study tries to answer that question each year. The 2018 edition was recently published. Here are some important pieces that I wanted to share after reading the study: Consumers are quickly embracing voice-activated interactions via digital assistants and hand-free devices, like Amazon Echo and Google Home. The key to success when it comes to customer data will be for brands and retailers to use this data to power more immersive experiences – without compromising consumer trust. Amazon’s dominance forces competing retailers to evolve. On average, two in five consumers (41%) receive 102 packages from Amazon per week. That number jumps to half for consumers ages 18-25 and 57% for consumers ages 26-35. Social media has grown as a commerce channel… new and more integrated forms of social shopping, like Instagram ads, have been a key tool for retailers. (54% of consumers report using…

The Mindful Millennial and Cause Marketing

Two of the biggest challenges facing grocery retail in 2018 will be millennials and mindfulness. With unlimited technology literally sitting in most customers pockets, mindfulness is going to be one of the biggest trends in 2018. Pew Research Center has predicted that millennials will surpass baby boomers as the largest living adult generation in 2019. This is changing the landscape of how grocery stores market themselves and do business. Price and quality are very comparable nowadays and millennials look to support causes when they shop. Visibility into the practices of businesses is the clearest it has ever been, so customers (mainly millennials) are now holding stores and companies accountable socially and ethically. 80% of consumers believe that businesses must play a role in addressing societal issues. So what does this all mean for grocery stores?   Two words: Cause Marketing. What is cause marketing? Cause marketing is when a company partners with a charitable organization to address a social or environmental problem. 91% of Americans want more products to support causes. So what can you do? AWG has the partner…

Word cloud of food words

Some Tips for Your Store to be Easily Found Online

At WordCamp 2018 I attended a session presented by Alyssa Murfey about how to use Google Trends to create a strategic content strategy. “Why do I need a content strategy,” a storeowner may ask? So your customers can find your store’s information easily online. Alyssa has worked with Wendy’s and Tropicana with the same goals in mind. Her approach works well when trying to communicate with the public: leave breadcrumbs behind and customers will think they found you by themselves. She has found a few items to keep in mind that work well together, knowledge of search and social trends, and a general knowledge of popular traffic patterns on your website. Alyssa showed us a free tool to help gain this knowledge about search queries that I hadn’t heard of: Google Trends Type in a subject, find out what words people use related to your subject when doing a search, when and where. For example I typed in “grocery” and found people are searching the term “Convenience store” in Utah during the past day. They are also looking up “camping grocery list”…

Grocer Pod – Episode 6

 I was able to to sit down with many great people Tuesday, March 26 at the AWG Innovation Showcase for the latest episode of AWP. We covered a wide range of topics. See below for contact info for each guest. Eric Qualman (0:37) – Digital Leadership Polly Schau, Wells Enterprises (8:05) – Ice Cream Doug Baker, FMI (11:37) – Smart Label Chad Fowles, Unilever (16:44) – Frozen Novelty and Personal Care Pat Hughes, eGrowcery (23:33) – Online Shopping Jim Lukens, MSC (31:15) – Digital marketing with Media Solutions Larry Elias, Retail Profit Solutions (43:37) – Labor Management Mike Kienzlen, WheresMyShrink.com (49:41) – Shrink

Hootsuite 2018 Social Trends

Recap: “Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018”

In the rapidly changing changing world of social media marketing, it’s important to stay informed about the latest and upcoming trends. To learn about how social media marketing is changing, I recently attended a Hootsuite webinar called “Social Media Trends to Put Into Practice in 2018,” hosted by James Mulvey and Amber Naslund of Hootsuite. Mulvey began the presentation by discussing the major social platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn), the recent updates that have been made to the platforms, and how brands will use them differently in the future. I’ve highlighted the three platforms we support for retailers at AWG. Facebook Mobile Video: As more consumers watch videos on mobile devices, social networks offer new opportunities to add to traditional TV content and create new forms of entertainment and news programming. Messenger Ads: Facebook now offers brands the ability to create ads that are sent directly to a customer’s inbox. Facebook Groups: Facebook created Brand Groups and they’re going to be a key marketing opportunity for brands. Brands can create groups on their business pages where audiences can…