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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.…

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…

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…

Blog Spelled With Scrabble Tiles

Blogging For Your Business

Blogging isn’t just a hobby for parents sharing meal prep ideas or dedicated fans giving their insights on the latest YA fantasy novel. Some people have turned blogging into a lucrative business. Additionally, already-established businesses can use blogging as another digital marketing platform to share their story and connect with customers. Even small businesses can use this platform and see the benefits of it if they put the work into creating and maintaining it. Getting Started Decide on a platform Talk to your website developer or designer about how to integrate a blog platform onto your store’s website. Find your voice Your blog voice will tie into the overall brand voice you have for your store. It’s the same voice you use in other forms of digital marketing like social media, website and email. Ultimately people like doing business with other people so find a voice that captures your business and shows the personality of your brand. Set a schedule Decide how often you’re going to publish blog posts. Do your best to stick to that schedule so your readers…

Online Shopping Digital Marketing

How to Promote Your Online Shopping…Online

Does your store offer online shopping? Do your customers know about the program? …are you sure that they do? Online shopping is part of the future of grocery retail. In 2016, one in five shoppers had an online purchase and that will likely increase to one in three this year. Yet in a survey of 500 consumers, 41% of shoppers didn’t know if their stores offered online shopping (2017 Online Shopping Forecast). As Kate mentioned in a recent blog post, online shopping isn’t an “if you build it, they will come” program. When launching an online shopping program, your marketing and advertising campaigns need to inform your customers about the program and teach them how to use it. Kate also noted that digital marketing is key to these campaigns. While in-store promotion is necessary, digital marketing will point customers directly to the online shopping platform and that gives them a chance to see it and hopefully try it! Here are some examples of AWG retailers who are using digital marketing to promote their online shopping programs: Website Do more than…

Wendy's Logo

“How Wendy’s Squashes Beef in Social” – AAF-KC Recap

Even if you aren’t on social media or don’t use it very often, you’ve probably heard about the unique brand voice of Wendy’s. The brand has been getting a lot of media attention over the past year for their marketing campaigns and digital presence, particularly their Twitter account. Recently I attended a presentation from the two people responsible for that unique voice and attention-grabbing social presence: VML social strategist, Christina Miller and VML community manager, Matt Keck. They shared their approach to social engagement at a professional development breakfast hosted by the Kansas City chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Miller and Keck discussed the strategy behind the viral sensations surrounding Wendy’s marketing campaigns, while also providing high-level ideas and tips that other marketers could take back to their organizations. When Wendy’s became a VML client, the team noticed that the company already had a dedicated following of brand advocates who grew up with Wendy’s, loved the restaurant and regularly showed that love on social media. Miller and Keck talked about how the team started with a campaign built around…

Screenshot of Royals Danny Duffy video.

Social Media Tips from the Kansas City Royals

The goal for brands on social media is to create a community for its fans, customers, and potential customers. When you’re a beloved Major League baseball team, it’s not hard to get fans to interact with your brand on social media, but it still takes a lot of work to produce content. As a lifelong fan of the Royals, it was interesting to hear Daniela Duron, digital & social media coordinator for the Royals, speak at a recent Social Media Club of Kansas City luncheon. Although a Major League Baseball team is quite different from a grocery store, Daniela shared a few concepts that retailers can take into consideration when using social media. The main goal for the Royals is to make their social media followers feel as though they’re a part of the team. As a retailer, you want to make your customers feel like they’re a part of your family. The Royals do this by giving followers access to behind-the-scenes videos and pictures that they can’t get any other way. They let players take control so fans get…

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