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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…

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,…

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…

Sendible Logo

Introducing: Sendible for AWG Members

The AWG digital marketing team is excited to announce a new social media option for our members! Sendible is a social media content management and reporting tool. We have expanded our offerings beyond managing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles for retailers. Sendible is for AWG members who want to have access to a curated content library and vendor-sponsored promotional content. With Sendible, we supply the content, but you can choose what to post and when. While retailers can work directly with Sendible to sign up for the platform, we offer it to our retailers at a group discount, plus full access to our digital marketing content library. An AWG Sendible login provides you with: A library of engaging social content created by AWG Sales Services. This also includes AWG Brands content. Access to vendor promotion content. This includes SEP NOW content that highlights specific digital coupon deals. The ability to create reports for your digital channels and customize the data to fit your goals. Monitoring tools showing what customers say about you online other than what’s on your social media…

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Inblog

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.…

Social Media Giveaways Breakfast

Social Media Giveaways & Contests (Recap)

I know what you’re thinking. “Didn’t Melanie just tell us that we can’t have contests on Facebook anymore?” Yes. Yes, I did. However, the latest Social Media Club – KC breakfast, “Social Media Contests and Giveaways,” was about more than the “Like, Comment, Share” Facebook contests I was referring to in that blog post. During this Q&A panel, Kasim Hardaway (founder, TKC Agency) and Brandon Painter (content manager, Barkley), discussed the various ways you can use contests and giveaways on all social media (not just Facebook) to build a following, gather information and analytics, and even generate content from your customers! Here are some of the highlights. Be Prepared, Have a Plan & Communicate Kasim recommends having a clear strategy for your social media contest or giveaway. Don’t have a contest just for the sake of having one. Do you want to increase your followers on a social platform? Do you want to collect email addresses for your email database? Do you want to gather user-generated content (UGC)? Determine your end goal for the contest and start from there. Kasim…

Social Media Marketing

What Makes Social Content Great?

In the 4 ½ years I’ve worked for AWG, it’s been surprisingly difficult to get content consistently from the retailers I work with on digital marketing. Whether I’m working with a store owner or director, a department manager, or an up-and-coming associate, I often hear, “I’m not sure what to send you for social media content.” And you’d think it would be a no-brainer. Take pictures of food, of course! Food pictures are all over social media, right? But that’s part of the problem. Even when I do receive content from stores, sometimes it’s just a little too generic. You may have a beautiful produce display that makes for a great picture, but what differentiates it from any other produce display at a grocery store? The more popular social media has become, the more “noise” there is on every channel. You have to make your content stand out so that customers can find it through all that noise. Using these different types of evergreen content can change things up and help you stand out on social. Timely Content Like I…

Content Marketing Demystified

Content Marketing Demystified (IABC Summit Keynote Address Recap)

If you work with me or any other AWG digital specialist on your digital marketing, you’ve probably heard us discuss content marketing. But what exactly is content marketing? It’s not just about the content we post on your social media profiles, your website or your blog. It’s the strategy behind the content that’s being posted. I recently attended the 2018 Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC. The keynote speaker was Quinn Tempest, a digital marketing strategist and graphic designer from Phoenix. Her presentation was titled “Content Marketing Demystified” and she covered the myths of content marketing and the lessons she’s learned about content marketing throughout her career working with various companies and individuals. Quinn describes content marketing as “the art of providing relevant, useful content to your prospects without selling or interrupting them.” She asserts that instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your audience more informed before they buy. The goal is to deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information your customers/prospects so that they will ultimately reward you with their business…

My Thoughts on How Social Media is Changing

Recently I wrote a recap about a webinar that covered social media trends to look out for this year. Last month I wrote a blog post about Facebook’s major changes to its News Feed algorithm and how that will change how businesses use the platform. For this post I want to share with you what I’m seeing in social media trends as both a consumer and a digital marketer for independently-owned grocery retailers. First and foremost, social media isn’t going anywhere. For better or for worse, it has become so ingrained in our lives and society that it isn’t going to magically disappear. What is going to change is how we use it. It’s already changed significantly since the days of MySpace and Facebook in the early 2000s. Social media trends move at a very fast pace. As new features are released and people experiment with these platforms, the ways in which we use them can vary from year to year. An extremely popular platform one year could be gone by the next. #RIPVine We’re also seeing the owners of…