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Shop Local

Digital Storefront: Keeping it Local on Social

You’ve probably heard the term “shop local.” It encourages consumers to support local businesses in their area rather than larger national chains. This is an idea that AWG independent grocers embrace and it extends to their social media platforms. I regularly tell the retailers I work with to look at their social media platforms as a “digital storefront.” While it’s a good idea for a grocery store to include product/pricing on their digital platforms, social media is also the perfect place to tell your story. It’s a great place to show support for your community and even show off that support every now and then. Just don’t “show off” too blatantly or too often. It will start to come off as insincere and end up having the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve with this type of content. In a Progressive Grocer article, Randy Hofbauer cited a recent study that found “nearly nine in 10 supermarket shoppers regularly following one or more social media sites” but of that group “only one in four…claims to be friends with or connected to…

Connect via Hootsuite

Recap: Connect via Hootsuite – Online Social Media Conference

Last week I walked into work, turned on my computer, popped in my earbuds and attended a free, online international social media conference, the annual Connect via Hootsuite conference. It was a first for me and definitely the most unique conference I’ve attended in my career. As I listened to multiple industry leaders present on the latest social media trends and strategies, I noticed two topics that came up regularly throughout the day: metrics and advocacy. Social Media Metrics If you aren’t already using your social media metrics to guide your overall strategy, you should be. The top social media platforms provide detailed metrics for company/brand pages. These metrics can provide you with high-level demographic data of your fans/followers, which posts they’re engaging with, and even what time of day they are online so you can post your content at the optimal time for them to see it. While these metrics can be extremely useful to businesses, it’s important to use the metrics wisely. Vik Kambli, Western Canada Region Head at Facebook, asserted that clicks on social media posts (likes/reactions)…

Smartphone with Social Icons

Recap: Social Media is Changing (Greater KC PRSA Luncheon)

Social media changes so quickly that sometimes it’s difficult for consumers and businesses to keep up. However, the trends in social media often change gradually over time so we don’t always notice them. At  a recent professional development lunch for Greater Kansas City PRSA, Justin Goldsborough of Fleishman-Hillard discussed the five changing trends he’s currently seeing in social media. Media Consumption is Changing Goldsborough cited that 75% of a person’s waking day is spent consuming media. A large part of that time is spent on digital media. The rise in popularity of the smartphone has created over one million hours of potential reach for businesses each day in the U.S. It’s not just a passing fad and it’s no longer a “nice to have” option that only some companies use. Facebook Organic Reach is Dying “Just because you post it doesn’t mean I see it.” This one simple sentence perfectly sums up Facebook marketing in 2017. You don’t have to pay for every Facebook post to be boosted for higher engagement. But it’s no longer an option to include Facebook…

Collage of social media icons.

Time for some spring training

Spring training isn’t just for baseball players. It is also a good time to learn new skills. Brush up on Twitter best practices. Refine photography skills. Learn to code. Each years digital skills are being democratized more and more. Tasks that were done only by professionals with expensive equipment can now be done by following simple tutorials on YouTube. Use the skills below to jump start your own spring training. COB – No, this has nothing to do with corn. It stands for Cut Out Background. Ever wonder how the Crying Jordan face gets added to things so fast? COB is the answer. Removing the background from an image can be a good idea for highlighting individual items. It may not be a skill that you use all the time. However, knowing how to do it will save you a ton of time. Photoshop allows for the most control. The more precise the cutout the better the final product will look. There are at least five different ways to cut out a background in Photoshop – here is one. This…

Angry stick figure glaring at computer

Customer Complaints on Social are Good for Business

When I speak to retailers about social media, it’s almost inevitable that they will ask me about how we deal with negative comments posted on our retailers’ social media profiles. In some cases, the possibility of negative feedback is such a major concern for a retailer that they don’t even want to bother with social media because of it. However, as I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, negative feedback on your business’ social media page is an opportunity to change the story with an unhappy customer. Mike Blumenthal of Get Five Stars, a company offering a platform to automate the customer feedback process, wrote a blog post about why an unhappy customer can actually be good for your business. Four out of the five points he made in that post can be directly applied to negative feedback on social media. Most unhappy customers don’t complain, they just don’t come back. Ever. Even in the digital age, most customers aren’t going to take the time to go to your social media profiles and write out a complaint. Many of them will…

Man in front of screen that says The Human Side of Weather: Using Social Media to Build Trust with your Users

Trust-building In Social Media: How Grocers Can Learn From The National Weather Service

Food is an important business. Grocery consumers care now, more than ever, about what they are putting into their bodies and those of their spouses, children, and even their pets. We’ve seen this trend through the growth of the organic category, ethically sourced foods, clean and clear labeling, and more. Therefore, consumer trust is big business not just for grocery food brands, but also for grocery retailers. How can we build this trust in an increasingly competitive marketplace? Last Friday, I attended the monthly Social Media Club breakfast, where the National Weather Service in Kansas City (@NWSKansasCity) suggested that social media is a great place to start. The @NWSKansasCity must be seen as a trusted organization for people to care about the information they are sharing. This is true for local grocers, as well. Advertising circulars can boast the lowest prices in town, but customers must trust that their local grocer will carry quality products at these prices and employ a staff that cares about the consumers’ needs and those of their community. Social media is another avenue to build…

Introducing Social Media Tiers from AWG

Introducing: Social Media Tiers from AWG

The social media team at AWG has made a few changes to the offerings we provide to our retailers. We recently stopped offering profile management for Pinterest. Additionally, we’ve evolved from a one-size-fits-all approach to our Facebook program, to a customized program with tiers that’s designed to better serve our clients. The four different offerings for AWG retailer Facebook page management are: Social Octane: A subscription based program featuring weekly tips, ideas and images for Facebook in an easy-to-post format. We supply the content, you post when you want. Ad Posting & Monitoring: Don’t have time to send us content each week? This option is for you. We’ll post your ad on time each week and monitor mentions of your account, contacting you when necessary to answer customer questions. No additional content is included. Content Management: Mixing store-supplied content and general information, this option enhances your social media presence. We work with you to make sure content resonates with consumers and draws them into the page and the store. Linking to weekly ad is included. Socially Savvy: Want to take…

5Reasons for Social Media

Children’s Mercy provides millions of dollars of uncompensated care to patients thanks to the generosity of their charitable donors. Children’s Mercy provides high-level care to thousands of children each and every year. They have journeyed a long way from their single bed beginning in 1897 to today, where they are building and growing relationships via social media. As with many businesses social media is a primary area of focus for Children’s Mercy. During a recent AMAKC event, members of the Children’s Mercy team outlined their 5R approach to social media. Their 5R approach was a key takeaway for me and can be associated to any business’ social media presence. This is how I view the relevance of each 5R when utilizing social media for business. Reputation: Social media delivers tons of information that affects how people perceive businesses. Companies are exposed more now than ever. It is paramount that businesses have a social media presence and dedicated personnel maintaining their platforms. Reputations are built, improved and destroyed in minutes due to the reach of social media. Referrals: Society is very…

Photo of trendy female riding a white kitten.

Picture perfect: Choosing images that get results

Last week Getty Images hosted a webinar by Creative Research Expert Jacqueline Bourke on how to select images what will increase engagement. In 2015, there were 1.5 trillion images were shot. That number will only continue to increase. The quality of those images keeps getting better and better. Consumers now expect high quality images in all their content. It is important that you select images that engage your audience’s emotions and senses. We are visual creatures. Ninety percent of information is transferred visually. Our audiences are being bombarded by an ever increasing amount messages. Visual images are processed 60,000 times faster than text.  A strong visual image will allow for our content to stand out from the crowd. Images are obviously crucial on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, but tweets and Facebook posts with strong visual elements have more engagement than text only counterparts. Below are some trends and examples of how they have been used:   First person: This perspective pulls your audience in and makes them a part of the image. It is much easier for them to envision whatever you are pitching…

InSean

Reaching your audience through social media

Today’s shift towards digital media has created challenges for retailers. In an attempt to help KCIABC and SMCKC teamed up to present a panel discussion on “reaching your audience” on September 15. The panel was moderated by KMBC anchor Kris Ketz. He was joined by KCPT’s Angee Simmons, Greg Farmer of the Kansas City Star, KSHB anchor Christa Dubill, and talk radio Rob Carson. Despite the panel’s journalism background the information presented was widely applicable. Farmer reminded the crowd that social media allows people to feel a part of something bigger than themselves. Retailers can harness this power by fostering that sense of community. Dubill had similar feelings. “Find your niche,” Dubill said, “and serve the people who you would have been serving anyway.” The platform really isn’t important. You know who your customers are and you can serve them the exact same way on digital as you can in print. The advantage of social is the connection you can make with your audience. “Social media can take down a lot of walls,” Dubill said. Sometimes in our efforts to make…