It’s All About the Numbers…

 

Analytics provide a measure of how a company is performing in a given capacity. As per this week’s lecture, “Any type of data you are looking for, can probably be found through analytics.” Accordingly to Social Media Today, “, social media analytics aggregates and analyzes online conversations (industry, competitive, prospect, consumer, customer) and social activity generated by brands across social channels, while enabling organizations to act on the derived intelligence for business results, improving brand awareness and reputation, marketing and sales effectiveness, and customer satisfaction and advocacy.”

It would make sense a company would want to take full advantage of any type of analytics to which they would have access in order to use this valuable tool to help further grow their business.

XYZ Company is a heating and cooling company (HVAC) and in Western Massachusetts. They provide installations, maintenance and repair. In addition to this Facebook page, XYZ Company has a website,Twitter account, Yelp page and Google+ page. This is a recently launched small business so all of these channels are being fine-tuned as this is pretty much a husband/wife team. Facebook is one of the primary ways they are advertising in addition to sending direct mail to a 30 mile radius. They do not have an email database yet.

As a strategic marketer working closely with start-ups and other small businesses, it’s always a challenge to help companies find the right mix of integrated marketing communications to help them grow, particularly when the budget is an issue.

Though XYZ Company is small and relatively unknown, thanks to social channels such as Facebook, it is possible today to grow a small business at an affordable price level where they will be able to not only generate buzz, promote their business but do so without breaking the bank.

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The above screen shot provides data on Facebook activity for one gathered over one week. Here, we can see everything from the amount of “likes”, “reach” and “engagement” particular posts obtained. Facebook provides excellent analytics for a company to analyze in order to improve their goals for their posts on that platform.

Let’s have a look at the analytics on this page.

Key Findings:

While the page likes are increasing, post reach is down dramatically. Paid media reach is not necessarily consistent, but it does average around 500. Paid posts also have a much impactful reach than organics posts placed on the page.

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Mobile users outnumber desktop users.

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Fans view the page for the most part around bed time, later in the day.   Fridays, Sundays and Wednesdays are the fans’ most active days of the week.

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The vast majority of the fans are women between the ages of 35-44. Women between the ages of 45-54 represent the next group of fan popularity. Males between the ages of 25-34 represent the next most popular group of fans.

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The fans are mostly located in the Massachusetts area. They are mainly English speakers with a few Spanish speakers as well.

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Below, I detail a strategy in order to help improve the numbers the above screenshot analytics provide.

Recommended Improvements:

Firstly, from the Facebook analytics, we know when fans are most active online and when posts receive the best engagement. So, posts should be placed later in the evenings on Fridays, Sundays and Wednesdays.

Each post should be accompanied with keywords being hashtagged.

Hashtag use helps SEO (search engine optimization), the ability to improving the possibility to be found online. When a user is searching in the Facebook search bar, and they place that hashtag, chances are that post will appear along the search results. Hashtaggin also helps achieve better Google search results.

Facebook also makes it possible to generate ads with very specific audience target detailing geared to increase reach to a particular demographic who would be searching for these types of services.  Ads can be made to target potential future fans and clients with very specific interests in heating, cooling, a/c or heat repair, duct work, etc., This feature offers detailed targeting which would be very effective in helping to grow their business.  Since we know from analytics that mobile users outnumber desktop, the ads should be more so geared to the mobile feed so as to increase ROI and use dollars where they will have most reach.

Along with this, XYZ Company could also generate those detailed targeted ads with a promo code offering a discount back to their company via a landing page specifically detailing the services to which that promo code would apply. This discount could be used for any type of service the company would be offering, again, in an attempt to generate business and grow their client based. In this manner, through these detailed targeted ads, a current new clientele can be reached to broaden the number of fans and potential clients XYZ’s Facebook page has.

In addition to generating ads, XYZ company can also use the ads feature through promoted posts which are of particular interest. Promoted posts actually have a better success rate than created Facebook ads. They cost less and have a better reach.Since their paid post reach is much more successful than the organic, it would make sense to continue to boost posts to the current likes, friends of likes and even a separate target audience.

How-to videos of no more than 30-60 seconds in length can also be posted here which could even be cross-promoted together with YouTube and Vimeo. Videos are very popular with people. Moreover, these videos could even be further promoted through promoted posts.

Help from Other Channels:

The company has a website, Twitter, Yelp and G+ pages.

XYZ Company can cross promote all their posts to their different social media channels. They can link their Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and G+ pages by placing social icons on each page leading the user back to their pages. This costs nothing to them and it’s free advertising. Google Analytics can then track later which one of these referrers brings people to their website. XYZ Company can then focus on whichever referrers are engaging users with more traffic and thereby better promote those pages. Sharing content is ideal and an effective strategy that has been proven to work.

Reviews / Testimonials Tab on website and social channels. Clients adding reviews and testimonials is a powerful way to attract new potential business, too. Nothing speaks higher to a company’s credibility than word of mouth, whether via a friend of someone or a complete stranger. I would have XYZ Company encourage their loyal clients to please include positive responses on their Reviews/Testimonials tab on both the website and all social channels.

Future campaigns and posts:

XYZ Company can offer potential seasonal deals. Massachusetts has four distinct seasons. They could offer a different valuable coupon or offer for each of these seasons and promote accordingly via press releases, blog entries, Facebook promoted posts and ads, along with cross promoting to all their digital channels. On print media, they could advertise in home improvement magazines, particularly the Flyer, which has an extensive reach. All advertising, whether on print, or digital, should send the user to the company’s Facebook page by including the Facebook icon accordingly.

XYZ Company could also run a contest with the Top Fan app geared to counting who Likes, Shares and Comments the most with a suitable prize making it worthwhile to participate.

I would have XYZ Company add a YouTube page, too. Here, they could have a series of 30-second how-to videos so the homeowner may refer to for future knowledge. Properly tagging these videos will also improve XYZ Company’s organic search results. Again, hashtagging also helps.

While creativity plays a role in marketing in general, there are simple steps which can be taken to increase brand awareness, particularly through all the channels available today.  In today’s varied sophisticated digital society, it’s never been easier to grow an audience with few dollars.

WPPI 2016

For the purpose of my University of Florida Multimedia Communications class, my task was to follow, observe and critique the Wedding and Portrait Photography Expo (WPPI) which took place this past week (March 7-9) at the MGM Grand Las Vegas.

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As per the WPPI website, “The WPPI Wedding & Portrait Photography Conference+Expo is the premier industry event for photographers and filmmakers specializing in the creative and business aspects of wedding and portrait photography and filmmaking. Each year, nearly 13,000 professional and aspiring photographers and filmmakers attend WPPI to learn new techniques from industry leaders, build new relationships to grow their business, experience new products and solutions from major manufacturers to improve their productivity, and enjoy the many attractions in Las Vegas. WPPI is a week-long event combining educational seminars with a major industry trade show and networking events, all designed around learning the latest techniques, building new relationships and growing a business in a friendly, fun environment – all at one time, in one place.”

 With the advanced registration available to those who have pre-registered, significant discounts can be taken advantage of. Additionally, as per the WPPI website, “New for 2016, PHOTO+ Members (WPPI, PhotoServe) Get a FREE Full Platform Pass to WPPI 2016! ”

Even like this, though, non-members are not disenfranchised but allowed to purchase a “Full Platform Pass,” allowing the access to over “80 Platform Classes.”

The three-day expo offers an array of what’s latest and greatest in all things wedding, video, photo and film related.   Anyone who makes a career from these venues would benefit from attending this trade show event.

A video promoting visiting Las Vegas is highlighted as one of the very first posts on their website, showcasing the host city.

 

Registration information is detailed on the home page of the WPPI website as indicated by the following screenshot:

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The WPPI social media management team went above and beyond to post accordingly onto all the sites.  Posting multiple updates regularly to both their Facebook and Twitter pages, the frequency of posts using “#wppi2016” along with consistent branded content allowed for even a non-attendee as myself to have a strong grasp on what was taking place daily throughout the event.

Additionally, Facebook and Twitter were the  social media channels mostly used prior, during and after the show to showcase the different activities taking place along with connecting and engaging with the customer. Before the event, their Facebook page, showcased specials that would be offered during the event from not only sponsors, but also event attendees.   Here’s an example of such a post:

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While their Twitter page posted non-stop before, during and after the event, their posts seemed to be most prevalent during as in  LIVE tweeting, particularly during their awards ceremony event as evidenced by this post:

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The sponsors, among them, SmartAlbumsKodak PixproCanon,  together with many others each have their logo featured on the bottom of the WPPI website in a rotating style with dedicated informational links back to a landing page detailing their show information along with a link for a contact at that respective company, with full address details and their Facebook page link as well.

Other examples of IMC included a sign up for their email marketing newsletter in addition to a link to their Photoforward blog, where posts and content were updated several times daily showcasing events taking place along with exhibitors and sponsor activities.

A mobile application download was also made available providing access to quick mobile updates.

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Though they included their YouTube and Instagram page links, in this respect, the team failed as they did not post any videos or images to these sites of the events, sponsors or participants taking place that week.  If they weren’t going to post videos or relevant images, and be current, then they should not have included those social icons to the site. That’s something that disappoints me regularly when visiting company websites.  Companies should not include social icons where regular activity and engagement are not being demonstrated.

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A Few of My Favorite Things…

As per Wikipedia, Internet Marketing Communication or IMC is “an approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign through a well-coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other.”   Furthermore and very key in IMC, “Instead of simply using various media to help tell a brand’s overall story, with IMC the marketing leverages each communication channel’s intrinsic strengths to achieve a greater impact together than each channel could achieve individually. It requires the marketer to understand each medium’s limitation, including the audience’s ability/willingness to absorb messaging from that medium.”

So, when brands take an IMC approach to reach a particular audience on various channels, they must understand that their potential audience is found across various channels, but each channel, according to the above definition, has different uses and thereby, limitations.

Let’s further delve into three brands of which I am a regular customer, Nordstrom, The Luxury Closet and most recently, since I’m deep into renovating my new house, tilebar.

NORDSTROM:

Nordstrom has a comprehensive website with an active and user-friendly e-store. The Nordstrom website sets the tone. Currently, they’re running their bi-annual Anniversary Sale. With the website setting the tone, the social sites should follow accordingly with that message.

They generally post once daily to their Facebook page. They receive many comments and respond to them in a timely manner. They also respond with a specific team member, adding personalized attention to the experience.

Here’s an example of this:

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While Nordstrom tweets more often than they post onto Facebook, they have similar posts, extending and showing consistency between channels.

With their 441k pins across 67 boards, they don’t show one board at all for their signature Anniversary Sales events on Pinterest. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is held twice yearly, once in the summertime, the other, early in the year, following the Christmas holidays. The same holds true for the Instagram account. Many posts, though not one with these two particular blue shoes as pictured below show advertising the Anniversary Sale as they do on Facebook and Twitter. They should have such a pin on Pinterest and post on Instagram so that it will fall in line and be consistent with their most recent messaging on Facebook and Twitter. YouTube displays several recent videos, all within the last two weeks, yet these are not associated with the same message throughout.

Nordstrom uses hashtags (#) exclusively on Instagram. They not only fail, but miss a great SEO opportunity here. According to seoperson.net, “You will be able to promote products and services much more effectively, making the most out of this powerful social networking tool in order to attract new customers and maximize profits.”

Overall, while Nordstrom is active throughout various social media channels, only 2 of their various social sites are reflecting the message being displayed on the website right now. All platforms should reflect the same message. Per Silverpop, “When you build consistency across all marketing channels — with a cohesive voice and brand appearance — you’ll build trust and pave the way for stronger engagement and increased sales.”

The Luxury Closet:

The Luxury Closet is an online retailer selling second hand high-end items from Dubai, UAE. I’ve managed to buy many haute-couture brand items from this site with a much lower price than the actual retail. From experience, their customer service is excellent, they provide many images of an item so the buyer can make an informed decision prior to purchase. They follow through with consistent posting and email marketing campaigns.

With a website and blog that are updated regularly, the Luxury Closet shows consistency in its message. For example, entering the spring bridal season, from Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram, Pinterest and Tumbler, the Luxury Closet has posts and pins regarding weddings, sharing the same images throughout.

 

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Even their Google+ page is populated accordingly to match in consistency with all their other pages.  The Luxury Closet is a class act and one for other brands to follow as well.

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Tilebar:

Finally, since I’m all about house renovations to my recent home purchase, Tilebar has proven to be a good source of ideas. I may very well buy product from them as the finishes become ready to be added.

Tilebar posts regularly with a consistent message through all their social media platforms. The same posts are shared and carried across Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It seems organized and easy to follow, a definite plus.

They err, however, on their Google+ page by having a link to what may perhaps be their old company name. Check it out below. Not good. Also, though they display a social icon link to their YouTube, as evidenced by the below image, the page is blank. Hello? Why show a link, then?

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While they could improve on their hashtagging, as they only do so on Instagram, overall, they have a consistent message and IMC approach throughout their social media channels vis-a-vis their website as well.

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According to Business2Community, driving users to social channels, in general is simple. “Every time you share a link to your site on a social media account, you build links for Google to index. This also helps you boost your ratings in SEO, as social media accounts are considered quality sources. Of course, you want to make sure that your social platforms are of good quality and remain in good standing so as not to jeopardize your site’s ranking.” The more you post and share to other sites, the more engagement you can churn out. All three companies post regularly, unfortunately, not always with the same, consistent message.

Many of my business networking colleagues think social media’s just fun and games. There’s really nothing fun and game-like about developing a clear marketing strategy employing all the tools available today, fully recognizing that your competition may be using these tools more effectively than you, thereby, they’re gaining more market share, while you’re being left behind.

As we can see from the above examples of three tested and true companies, if it’s challenging for them to stay ahead of the game, being consistent with their message and posting, etc., imagine a small company operating within a limited budget?

Time to get with the program…

Looking to Grow your Digital Presence?

Velocity Social Media is a social media management company that takes the hassle out of customer relations on the internet. We build and optimize a great digital presence for you while you continue to do what you do best – run your business.

I’m Ana Veloso, Principal of Velocity Social Media.

As a tested and successful commodities trader, I grew an international cattle hide trading business from scratch.  While I’m now running an internet marketing company, I have the experience necessary to grow your business.

Here’s a recent video where you can get to know me a little better, my past business, obtaining a Master’s Degree in Social Media from prestigious University of Florida and how I’m helping grow businesses digitally today.

My introduction:


Want to see some examples?  Here are three examples where you can see our work in action.

Antigal Winery & Estates, Argentine winery with corporate offices in Miami, FL.

Here’s an Atlanta, GA based odor-eliminator, SCOE10X.  We’ve helped SCOE10x dramatically increase their business via both email marketing and Facebook advertising.

Did I mention we’re multi-lingual?  We operate in four languages: English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Have a look at this video for famed Miami personal injury attorney, Jose Francisco, catering to the heavy Spanish-speaking community.

Take a look at a sampling of our portfolio on Flickr.  Here, you can see firsthand our graphic design, sample of social media posts, photo images and even sample email marketing campaign letters.

Velocity Social Media moves your business forward in an age where digital presence dominates the internet. We focus on providing a full spectrum of social media management services to local and regional companies.  We thrive on helping your business with our personalized touch.

Contact me to further discuss strategies to grow your digital presence.

Thank you for your time and I looking forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Ana Veloso

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out with the Old, In with the New?

In order to succeed in today’s competitive advertising and marketing space, as per Antony Young’s “Brand Media Strategy”, page 15, a company “must take full advantage of the Google and Facebook era.” Moreover, a company’s success is really “all about the branding.”

When comparing and contrasting the “Direction and Communication” aspect between classic marketing and social media marketing, it is important to consider that in today’s media marketing environment, by creating a personal experience for the customer, the customer ultimately becomes a “brand evangelist” as stated by Antony Young in Brand Media Strategy, pg. 13.

In the classic marketing strategy, the “Direction and Communication” regarding the brand was spread by the company with the company mainly listening. While yes, “word of mouth” as mentioned by Young in page 24 was valid in the past and continues to play a factor with consumers influencing their immediate sphere, beyond this today is for the customer to create the ability for the consumer to experience the benefit of the product being advertised. In this sense, the “social proof” mentioned by Young through not only the experience but by further testimonials and reviews, makes it much simpler for a future potential user of a product to feel they are making the right choice in the purchase experience.

While both aspects can work together, meaning, initially, the company may spread a message which will be successful through detailed targeting of a specific audience, ultimately, then with the consumer’s help through word of mouth and the sharing of their experience via a review or testimonial, the two may find a synergy enabling future success.

The only instance in where I believe the classic, unidirectional method of message dissemination may be more successful would be in considering a legal team defending a group of people where statistics or straight numbers are what matters. Oftentimes, when cases are in the middle of being deposed, much of the message cannot be made known to the public. So, brief numerical statistics are used to garner support. In South Florida, billboards, radio ads and bus benches are popular methods used by legal teams to reach this objective. As per the FindLaw blog of November 10, 2014, “This explains why so many lawyer billboards feature ads for — drum roll, please — DUIs and personal injury.”

Later, when a case has been settled, word of mouth through both traditional media as billboards, print and even radio, together with those digital today such as Facebook, Google Reviews, Twitter and testimonials are websites are used to further support for future efforts.

When comparing and contrasting the “Wealth of Experience” marketing aspect between the classic marketing and the social media marketing, in the classic, analog, where “similar campaigns and an assured legal position” were traditionally used, the fact this allows for little change puts this method in a clear disadvantage to the more alternating and innovative digital method, where “changing technical requirements, new marketing concepts and no assured legal position will ultimately allow for the ability where, as per Young in page 20 of Brand Media Srategy, “Marketers have been able to adjust a campaign as it evolves, fine-tuning efficiency and response. New media techniques have allowed marketers to test and improve each campaign over time…marketers adjust their campaigns more speedily now that they know what works and what doesn’t.”

Frankly speaking, with an ever changing demographic which is and as per Young in page 29, an “attention-elusive consumer”, not only is the new social, digital way more better and more effective, but the classic way may become, if not already, obsolete. These two cannot work together. Synergy does not exist. Marketers and companies must be able to spread a message quickly. Moreover, once spread, this message must be closely monitored through readily available analytics on digital platforms, where, studying these properly, the marketer can almost immediately gauge success and engagement.

Now that we’re in an election year, political candidates and their advertising quickly come to mind as a perfect example. As per the Washington Examiner’s piece “2016 Campaigns Using Social Media for more than Facebook ‘likes’” “ dated July 31st, 2015, “Most political campaigns will work with firms like Synthesio to grasp what Americans are saying about them and their policies and use the data that is gathered ‘in real time’ from sites like Facebook and Twitter to adjust their messages accordingly.”

And, as stated in the piece, Facebook and Twitter are examples of channels in which the alternating and innovative marketing aspect can be put to practice.

Depending upon the objective of the business, both classic and new marketing strategies may be employed. Sometimes individually, and hopefully, more often, than not using a combination of both. Both will prove to not always be successful. As with most business development strategies, trial and error will be used to ultimately find the best mix.