It has been a while since our last blog about LinkedIn. The professional networking site has always been an interesting medium, and has allowed many to connect and communicate with fellow industry members, or whoever they liked, whether or not they knew them personally. L.I. is also often used to share work stories and advertise for roles. So what’s coming next in 2017?

More pictures! Just like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, LinkedIn will now allow users to post multiple photos per post. This can be an advantage as it allows employees and business pages to better showcase events or team/office photos. Will businesses change the way they share visual content?

Videos! Users are expecting to be able to record videos from mobile devices straight onto a LinkedIn post. However, this should NOT be treated like a Facebook video or IG story. We are sure company policies will be strict in the way videos are filmed at the office or events – “no crazy video selfies”.

 

 

Offsite. When you want to read an article outside LinkedIn, but are being ask to logon back to the app to view the article, it’s irritating! It appears L.I. will take that restriction away and be open to its users viewing specific articles elsewhere.

Shared proofreading. Just like Google docs, L.I. will allow content teams on business pages to edit articles written on behalf of their business.

Monitoring engagement. If you don’t want people commenting on your article, LinkedIn allows you to disable comments. It’s a good way to avoid any kind of negativity but sadly, compliments or any kind of positive conversation will not be permitted.

Besides video and visuals, writing is still a fundamental aspect of online marketing, and given the competitive nature of social media and SEO for organic reach, the quality of writing only needs to get better for everyone involved in this industry. What are some of the ways the copywriting competition can be taken up a notch?

1. As they say, you cannot please everyone! Your page has a following and a target market, so it is best to consistently please the audience that already appreciates you, and tailor your content to elicit a reaction only from them. You can please hundreds and thousands, but everybody? It’s hard!

2. We understand you want to be creative and witty with your words, but often, you have to pretend a 10 year old is reading this and they need to understand it from the first glance. Keep it simple, concise, and to the point. Trying too hard to be cool will only backfire.

3. We are going through a phase where disagreements on anything are more common than not. If you’re going to be ‘politically incorrect’, make sure there is evidence to back up your claim. You don’t want to lose your audience over something controversial.

4. In any kind of writing, the first and last paragraphs are the ones that will stick the most with your readers, so make sure they are the best parts of the copy. In many cases, a ‘right hook‘ will be thrown to boost sales, and you’d want a good conversion rate.

5. Editing is more important than writing. The first draft will never be usually the published version. If you are struggling with content, write until you’re out of ideas, and seek help from your team in the process. The editing part becomes more important because you are just polishing the initial ideas into something more tangible. You’ll find yourself removing more words than you know, but nothing to feel bad about.

6. To complement the above point, everyone may have a different way of editing their articles, and as they also say, ‘You do you’.

 

7. And to complement #5 and #6, double and triple check everything you have written. It’s better to publish late because of editing time than publish early with some small but horrible mistakes. Once it’s online, you can sometimes never take it back. Save yourself some blushes and proofread as much as you need to!

Please feel free to contact us if you have any more questions on copywriting!

This week, we carry on discussing successful social media campaigns conducted by brands around the world and the results they gained. We find this fascinating and want to share the stories in the simplest way possible!

5. Play Melbourne

A tourism agency in Melbourne, Australia, wanted foreigners to see the authentic side of their city. The unique part of their campaign was their dependence on Periscope for its entirety. We have often discussed how live videos is a great way to engage your audience in real time, and Visit Victoria did a brilliant job with it.

Result; over 40 live broadcasts, more than 28,000 views!

6. Hungry Snickers

Another example of being creative around restrictions. Because Facebook auto-plays videos without sound, Snickers used this ‘problem’ to stun viewers in line with their campaign slogan. They created music videos that look like normal music videos when they are played without sound, and had a call-to-action to tap to hear what hunger sounds like.

When people tapped on the video and the sound is turned on, funny music played that one wouldn’t expect from the looks of the video. For example, one of their videos featured a rock band singing The Wheels on the Bus!

Result; over 16 million views!

7. Starbucks RedCup

Co-creation is the most interactive form of marketing, but isn’t used enough by big brands in their campaigns. Allowing the audience to be a part of the marketing itself can create overwhelming engagement.

Every festive period, Starbucks gives the chance to its followers to design and submit their own #RedCup on Instagram, and hands out prizes to the best ones.

8. Krylon & Pinterest

The spray paint company has a strong Pinterest presence and wanted to do something unique. The social media network recently added a feature that allows users to shop! Krylon employees filmed themselves buying old items at a yard sale, spray painting and then reselling said items for double their original price; on Pinterest!

Result; a massive increase in traffic to Krylon’s Pinterest page and millions of dollars in earned media.

 

9. Know your lemons

A woman who sadly lost her grandmother to breast cancer decided to put her design skills to use by illustrating signs of breast cancer using lemons. A simple graphic that went viral because many understood them.

Result; 166 million views in one month alone.

10. ADT Monitoring

A security company made the most out of a young boy’s request due his fear of ghosts by asking customer service to monitor his room one night. The full ordeal was recorded and then turned into an animated video, which was then posted on National Ghost Hunting Day.

It’s always a good idea to post company material at the same time as national/international events that are relevant. It’s likely to create plenty of positive engagement.

Result; 130,000 impressions and 1,000 clicks to ADT’s website.

Managing social media pages and running social media campaigns are not quite the same thing. What we do as an agency is the former, and upon client request we would run a campaign that would last a short while. Campaigns that big brands have undertaken can teach everyone, including us, how to take it to the next level. By writing this blog, we are also educating ourselves!

Eurostar, with the help of an agency, had created a campaign through Instagram with about 200 images and animated videos. They even created a separate account with the name of the campaign (La Vie on Board), and attempted to dazzle followers with visuals as well as subtly offering special ticket prices to destinations in London and Paris.

Their campaign was successful because they created something so unique within an existing platform. They managed an additional following as well as plenty of engagement.

Music.ly is an emerging platform that is generating plenty of buzz, although it’s not for everyone. If you are into music and make your own videos, hop on to it NOW.

Coca Cola is known for its tasty beverages, but even more for it’s amazing marketing campaigns. Following up on ‘Share the coke’, they had started a new campaign in China, which they then brought into the US. Their campaign was called “Share a Coke and a song”, where they targeted music.ly as the main campaign platform and got some famous artists to collaborate. A contest was hosted which invited their followers to create music videos with the songs on the bottles and share them on Musical.ly.

That, too, went very well! 900,000 new music videos and over 100 million views and a trendy new hashtag, #ShareaCoke . Coca Cola specifically wanted to target teenagers passionate about music, and there was a platform exactly for that!

Are you a Taco fan? If yes, you’ll enjoy this segment of the blog. Taco Bell and an LA Agency partnered up to create…. a taco emoji! This was a Twitter campaign that was based on audience engagement with emojis, and Taco Bell would respond with a GIFs whenever they got a tweet. However, to keep up with demand, TB automated the responses, but the campaign was very successful too.

 

 

What does a brand do when a competitor sponsors an event they want to get their name into? AirBnb had to get creative around its limits around the Oscars, which in a way turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Their hashtag #LiveInTheMovies encouraged followers to suggest what movie they would have liked to be in during that weekend. AirBnb was NOT even allowed to talk about the Oscars.

Things worked out just fine for the big brand and showed that there is always a way to think outside the box when limitations are imposed.

These stories will carry on over the next couple of weeks. If there’s a social media campaign that recently caught your attention, feel free to share it in the comments! We have already learned so much from this! 🙂

This weeks’ blog is set to be a bit different. Even though we are a social media agency that helps small businesses grow their presence online, we are a startup ourselves. We care about the businesses we work for and how they develop and sell their products/services. This blog is aimed at companies who aren’t just starting, but also those who are trying to rebrand.

First meetings

The first important meetings should discuss what makes the business unique, and how the heads of businesses are going to convey that to the public – solving this issue is important because it puts you in a clear direction. It can change the focus and change the approach.

So the question they should be asking themselves is “Why are we doing this?”

 

Effective leadership

Passion begins from the top.

The owner and CEO need to create a united team out of their employees to have the best chance of moving forward. Leadership needs to inspire everybody on a daily basis and allow employees to feel important.

There is no need for the most beautiful office if the people can be the priceless assets. It’s all about create a fun, productive and strong culture at the office to make everyone feel at home, outside of their home!

 

Recruitments

The hiring process should take its time, and find the perfect people for any openings. People who will be a good fit professionally and personally, and who will get along with their co-workers. And most importantly, these new recruits must feel the passion towards the company mission and vision. They will put in more effort than they are asked for!

The wrong people will not stay long and will risk destabilizing the business.

Are you ready to get going now? 🙂

We are approaching in the middle of 2017, and social media can take different twists and turns every week; it can often be unpredictable, but there are always certain ways to stay in control of one’s brands, despite what can happen at anytime.

1. Jumping on trends

As mentioned time and time again, your brand shouldn’t be commenting or participating on every trend that is taking place on social media. New things happen everyday that turn into a popular hashtag, but if it’s not relevant to your industry, or politically controversial, it is best to stay away, for the sake of your following!

2. Millennials

Not all are the same. Each generation is behaving differently, although there are some important similarities. Be cautious with how you communicate to all of them, in general.

3. Customer service is important

Nowadays, most of the customer service is done on social media, especially Twitter. There will always be someone trying to be a troll or a credible complaint, so make sure the comment is properly analyzed and responded to promptly. A response can make or break a brand’s reputation – so some not-very-nice people can be a blessing in disguise, if attended to properly!

 

4. Live streams

Get on it. We’ve spoken about them before. It shouldn’t be done too regularly, but a good opportunity once in a while to engage with your audience. Even if you can’t respond to all the comments, get up close and personal with your following; it’s never a bad strategy. But before you record a live, do some planning but keep it as natural as possible.

5. Influencers

We think this has been their year. They are becoming ever more important for brands to collaborate with, and their endorsements of anything can change a business’ life. As long as they are offered something tangible in exchange, you may have a lot of joy getting big influencers to collaborate with you!

6. Creative leads to growth

Brands always need to test out different things, to see what works and doesn’t, so that they can grow. Everybody is going to fail at one point or another, but as long as the damage is minimal and the experience is learnt from, the next phase will be very positive!

7. Engagement

Engage, engage, engage. Being active on social is often trying to have a conversation on a daily basis with all your followers. It’s the best way to grow fast, because you are being valuable and customers like that. You are not a robot who just pushes out content. Relationships have to be built and maintained, in order to form new ones.

 

 

This weeks’ blog is shorter than usual but aims to discuss why it’s important to keep a brand coherent across social platforms and how to do it. The most popular networks allow people and brands to communicate in different ways, but how do they stay true to their voice?

1. Consistent look

This is supposed to be the easiest one to execute because it is literally and only about design! LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter allow a profile picture as well as a cover photo. The key is to keep them all the same across all three. As for Instagram, the profile picture should be the same. You easily want to be recognized wherever users try to find you.

2. Authenticity

With so many trends on social emerging nowadays, it’s easy for brands to drift off from who they are and the type of messages they communicate. It can completely backfire if they go off course so it’s best to have a certain style for all means of communication. You don’t need to comment on all trends and attempt humour/sarcasm especially when it could go very wrong.

3. Who’s your audience?

You should know who you are communicating to, and how (and how often) these people respond to your posts on social.

4. Use a dashboard

Like we mentioned in the e-commerce article, monitoring all accounts through a third-party website can be very helpful in coordinating everything. It can save alot of time and potential gaffes. Hootsuite is one of the most popular ones around, but there are alternatives you can use.

 

2017 has been showing us that social media is mainly all about major news, animal and baby photos, as well as celebrity gossip. Social media also helps businesses grow online through branding and engagement with the many people that use social. However, this blog will focus on the business side of things, e-commerce.

E-commerce businesses are so focused on what they do that they forget the need to engage with their community through social. Especially in a time where organic reach is declining and competition is fierce, ignoring active behaviour on social media can be detrimental to sales.

1. Why does social media even matter?

As a business owner, it’s easy to be completely distracted by all the other responsibilities that are associated with e-commerce, such as sales, inventory, finances, orders, customer service, and the rest.

According to the Pew Research Center report on mobile and social media usage:

– 72% of online adults are Facebook users, amounting to 62% of all American adults.

– 31% of online adults use Pinterest (up from 15% in 2012), and 28% use Instagram (up from 13% in 2012).

– 59% of Instagram users are on the platform daily, including 35% who visit several times a day. This 59% figure reflects a 10-point increase from September 2014 when 49% of Instagram users reported visiting the site on a daily basis.

– 70% of Facebook users log on daily, including 43% who do so several times a day.

Social media will likely never go away, even if it fades a tiny bit. It is the era we live in, whether in a personal or business capacity. The more people gain access to internet and a smartphone, the more accounts are going to get opened. However, the networks are making advertising on their sites slightly more complicated, but that’s for another time.

Business owners are making a mistake by not investing on social media – missed opportunities with many potential customers, especially with a very good product or service.

2. Platform choosing

Being an e-commerce business owner means you may not be very familiar with using social media for business purposes. The problem that these businesses have is jump on every platform to try and develop a presence in. It is not necessarily a good idea!

Unless you have a team managing social media presence, being consistent alone, on all platforms, is going to be very difficult. Pick your networks wisely so that you save time and dedicate your effort for a couple of platforms only. Your customers will also only be using a couple of platforms, so make sure you post content where they can see it.

At the end of the day, you just want to make sure you reach current and potential customers, who will also play their part in helping your business grow.

3. Building the presence

Once you have started setting up your business accounts on social, you need to figure out how to build the presence – this is done through the content, both written and visual, as well as the brand voice. If you have a team managing the pages, make sure you have set policies on what you’d want, otherwise giving an individual too much power can take you in a direction different to the one you desire.

The first weeks of starting social media accounts will keep you busy, so get the most out of it while you’re building a community.

4. Content type

When a new business begins sharing content on social media, they need to be aware of what they are trying to achieve with each message. We have mentioned in previous blogs that making the content all about your products and services will push people away and not get you the clients you need.

The objective with social media is to bring value to the followers through education and entertainment. This does not mean you should not promote the business itself – it should be minimal. The content is meant to be more about the public than about you.

5. Community management

This is becoming the most important part of social media. The best thing any kind of business can do is engage with the public consistently. It shows a human side to the brand and people will appreciate it more. Magic won’t happen overnight, but as long as you are consistently good, your efforts will be rewarded eventually! Do not get discouraged.

 

6. Third-party tools

These help make social media management easier, but are not necessary. They are useful to track metrics for the website as well as social media insights, as well as scheduling posts in advance.

“If you want to stay in the game, you have to participate.

If you want to win the game, you have to dominate.”

Last time, we covered the first stages of the email marketing process and how it would be maintained. This weeks’ blog will give you pointers as to how to keep it all in check, as you go on month by month.

Editing. Every draft needs a proofread, no matter your role in the writing of the newsletter. Once the email is sent out, there’s no fixing it anymore. Anything with poor grammar or style doesn’t look good on the company either.

 

Testing. Before you send out your very first newsletter, make sure there is a phase where the email is tried and opened on different devices, so that clients opening the letter on a tablet, smartphone, or desktop will all get a version that is readable and well-presented. A person who can’t open a newsletter on their phone will eventually start ignoring and end up unsubscribing. There’s nothing wrong in making sure the system becomes flawless.

Mobile devices. As mentioned in the last paragraph, it would be no surprise if the majority of these emails are opened on mobile devices, whether the person is in or out of the house. The present is mobile and that’s where all the attention is. Make sure it is working best there, by using a template that’s responsive on mobile.

Spam! It’s the one thing that annoys everyone, so make sure you follow some rules before it potentially gets ugly on your subscriber list. Don’t send the email to people who didn’t sign up to it in the first place, and always make sure the newsletter has a clear unsubscribe button.

Shareability. When subscribers voluntarily share your newsletter with their networks, it’s a sign of a job well done! You want to make sure the content is so compelling that it is routinely shared and new subscribers join in because their friends referred them to it. Social media links to LinkedIn and Facebook would be a good idea too.

Metrics. Stats don’t lie, so a monthly checkup on the newsletter performances should give you an idea of the direction you should be taking it next, but that can be a very good thing too! But if the important numbers are low, redefine your strategy.

Personalization. Many companies send newsletters that sound very automated. Make sure you personalize it as much as you can, with an informal, friendly tone of voice.

Something to say. Content strategy is important here. Don’t send a newsletter if there’s nothing valuable to share with your subscribers, because you’re wasting their time, and yours.

Just like the previous two weeks, the next two blogs will cover yet again another aspect of digital marketing (that also happens to be a part of our services) – email marketing. It is also another good tool to reach customers, although usually less popular than social media. This two-part blog will hopefully point you in the right direction if your business is already engaging, or plans to, in e-mail marketing.

1. Subscriptions

You want to gain as many subscribers as you can, so make it easy for people to do so. Asking for few basic pieces of information that will take someone only a couple of minutes to get signed up. It would also be useful to advertise said newsletter on your social media accounts, perhaps once a month?

2. Subscriber expectations

In the signup process, give as much detail as possible on the content that this newsletter sends out, so that the receiver isn’t surprised and then opts out of signing up, because they don’t like the ideas.

 

 

3. Welcome email

A new subscriber always wants to feel important. A warm welcome and a show of enthusiasm for the adventure that is to follow could make them pleased they signed up in the first place. A welcome email can also be a thank you email.

4. Newsletter design

Don’t forget that the newsletter is part of the brand’s ‘product’. Make sure the design and template are aligned with the brand’s look, so that it’s not completely different. Readers will notice and appreciate the effort.

 

5. Easy on the eye

Remember, your subscribers are likely very busy people, so getting their attention for a short time even a couple of times a month can be tricky. Try not to make the content too long, and make sure it’s presented adequately while including images and maybe GIFs. It’s an experience they want to enjoy, and look forward to opening your next email.

6. Desirable content

Depending on the software you use to create and send your newsletter, make sure you give subscribers a choice on the content that you offer – as it is possible to segment it; the software may offer features like groups and segmentation to help make the content relevant to the subscribers. This segmentation allows to target certain subscribers on your list without assigning them to a particular group, especially if it’s a store sale in a specific area code.

 

 

7. Publishing calendar

Starting and maintaining a newsletter is a commitment, so make sure you publish content a couple of times a month to stay relevant to subscribers, so that they don’t forget about and neglect it in the future if you can’t maintain the regular publishing.