Monthly Archives: February 2013

When to Outsource Social Media

Social media should be a critical part of your company’s marketing strategy. Through each network, you have the opportunity to present an image of your company, in hopes that you will positively influence the customer’s perception of your brand. The image you present through your social media campaigns, therefore, should be just as well devised and prepared as the image you would present in any other advertising pursuit.

When to Outsource Social Media

This may sound insane, because it’s 2013 and social media is no longer in its infancy stage—but far too many businesses get on the social bandwagon simply because their competitors are doing it or because it seems like something you ought to do. However, simply being online isn’t enough – you need a sense of direction, a clear understanding of what your goals are. What do you hope “getting online” will achieve? Opening up a few social accounts without mapping out a clear strategy is completely useless to your business.

When it comes to social media, you cannot afford to make mistakes or refuse to do it at all. When thinking about whom to assign to your campaign, as with any job, you need to find the person or people with the relevant skills and experience.

I wouldn’t trust my social media campaign to a junior
member of staff because they mentioned they are bored
and have a Facebook page.

Using social media for personal purposes is a completely different ball game. The people you trust to speak on behalf of your company, your brand, your product, and your service should have more than just a passing familiarity with social media. Knowing how to tweet, post, like, and re-pin, is child’s play. What about tracking your company’s analytics, ensuring stellar search engine results, maintaining daily interaction with thousands of fans and followers, generating unique and compelling content, and producing return on investment metrics?

While you may be able to find a candidate to do this work within your marketing department, often times it is wise to branch out to an agency that is prepared to handle the workload. You need to choose people who understand your goals, have a passion for customer service, and hold creativity as their main priority when coming up with ideas on how to engage current and new followers.

Effective social media takes imagination, superior
interpersonal communication skills, and excellent grasp of
business objectives.

When to Outsource Social Media

Although, you may think it’s clever and cost efficient to assign the management of your accounts to several employees, and while this may help spread loads of content, it can also create incoherence and confuse your customers and followers. For many small businesses, handling social media activity internally isn’t always an option because they do not have the time or expertise. Calling in the services of a knowledgeable social media marketing team may be the smartest way to go.

A good digital marketing firm will offer extensive experience working with clients across multiple sectors and will be able to use tried and tested techniques. If you offer the agency additional insight into who your target audience is, and what you want to achieve with your campaign, outsourcing social media to an expert will pay off, big time. Rather than taking on the stress of managing hundreds of your own accounts, you can work with your marketing agency to create a cross-platform message that is genuine and true to your brand so that your customers feel like they can trust you.

A social media marketing agency will know how to protect your cyber privacy, and how to subtly include sales promotions without bombarding your followers with advertisements. Once you establish a good line of communication with an agency, you can go over all of the details of your strategy including how consistently you want to post content and when you want to engage with your audience. You can then trust your social media campaign to a competent team of marketers who will dedicate their time to constructing a strong digital marketing campaign for your business.

By Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing
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Social Media Management Apps Are a Great Resource – Just Sayin’

Social Media Management Apps Are a Great Resource – Just Sayin’Have you ever read a tweet or meme and heard the inflection of a specific voice in your head? We all have a friend, relative, or coworker with such a distinct voice, that we can hear them above all other sounds– even in a packed, noisy bar or in the airport. Have you ever logged into Twitter to see two celebrities locked in an argument or battle of wits? You secretly wish, “If only I could hear this, instead of just reading it!” Well, now you can! Never miss another nuanced expression, a sarcastic exclamation, a silly impression of the president, or that exclusive celebrity interview with this new social media management app!

Comedian Ricky Gervais recently collaborated with David Hayden, CEO of the voice-technology company, CloudTalk, to release a new mobile app called Just Sayin’. This app uses a voice-recording tool to let users post a combination of spoken updates, images, and videos to Facebook and Twitter via their iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.

The way the app works, is that you post voice-recorded messages onto the platform similarly to the way you would post an image on Instagram. Like Instagram, the audio and video messages can then be sharedvia Twitter or Facebook. Your followers can now hear yourtweet as well as read it!

Social Media Management Apps Are a Great Resource – Just Sayin’

While the app is currently being used largely for entertainment purposes, Gervais refers to it as a business app as well. The app’s co-founder, Hayden, believes that adding the human voice to social media is, “the next big thing.” He adds that news outlets could use it to broadcast voice interviews, celebrities could use it to interact with fans, politicians could use it for public statements, and the average person could use it to simply say what’s on their mind. This new social media platform offers a user the opportunity to voice his or her opinion and then engage in conversations with many others.

Gervais has been podcasting for years now, so for him, expanding the social aspect to voice recorded conversations was a logical next step. The entertainer appeared on USA Today saying that this new app, “will be to radio what Twitter was to newsprint.” His analogy references the way in which Twitter users, sharing images and stories of live occurrences from all around the globe, can directly affect media campaigns and news content.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs can use this app to record instructions, dogmas, daily musings, hiring requirements, and much more. You can offer employees the option of voice memos, digital meetings, and virtual water cooler conversations.

 Perhaps this app will encourage Internet gabbers to develop well thought out and interesting voice recordings– or it could lead to an influx of angst-y teenage rants about overprotective parents. Whatever the case, its developers believe it will turn out to be something really positive. Offering social media users a chance to use their unique voices, to really stand out and be human in a world of automation. The idea that millions of people will be able to engage in public conversations is, indeed, revolutionary and innovative.

By: Sasha Novikov, Creatine Marketing

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Facebook’s 20% Policy

Earlier this month, Facebook changed its policy regarding text overlay on images that appear in a user’s ‘cover photo’ and in News Feed advertisements. The updated policy limits the text in these photos to 20 percent of the surface area. In the past, Facebook restricted the use of “calls-to-action” and “price and purchase information” in photos because the developers wanted to prevent advertisers from sharing (and over-sharing) images that looked like typical promotional material. The guidelines were vague, however, which led to a lack of participation and enforcement.

The new policy states that advertisement photos are now permitted to include calls to action and purchase information as long as the text makes up less than 20 percent of the image. The cover photo specifications are considerably more restrictive.

Page Terms Section III. B reads:

Covers may not include:

1. Images with more than 20% text;

2. Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”

3. Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;

4. References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or

5. Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

Starting January 15, Facebook associates will begin reviewing images from page post ads that are eligible for News Feed. The company is developing a grid-based text overlay detection tool to identify non-compliant photos; a version of this resource will be available for advertisers and small businesses in order to help them determine, in advance, whether or not their images will be approved. It is important for advertisers and small business owners to remember that text within logos and taglines will also count towards the 20 percent limit. Also, there is nothing written in the rule that requires text to fit into a specific area, just that the cover image cannot be more that 20% text.

Facebook's 20% Policy

How will these changes affect business owners and entrepreneurs who depend on Facebook as an integral part of their social network advertising campaign? That depends on your perspective. Many business professionals argue that it is your content and not your cover photo that builds relationships. The cover photo may be an eye-catcher, but the page itself is what encourages customers to stay.

“Facebook people react negatively to content that they perceive as inauthentic or impersonal. Since text is rare in photos from friends, text in brand photos triggers negative emotions in people. Instead of introducing text in your images, choose photos that send a message or tell a story on their own without words.” 

Facebook’s Page Post Practices 

Rather than including deals and contact information within your cover, reserve that space for your company name, logo, and a catchy tagline. Or perhaps you could use your 20 percent to describe your unique services, features, or the benefits your organization offers. The main objective should be to keep it simple and focus on quality. Customers should be able to understand what your image represents without having to squint in order to read fine print.

In your ‘about’ section, be sure to emphasize your website address so that is prominently visible beneath your cover image. That way, if your customer is eager to learn more—he or she knows where to head next.

There are no limits to the number of photos a company or general Facebook user is allowed to post on their own News Feed, so remember to post plenty of photos of your products, staff hard at work, or services you’ve provided a client. Human beings are very visual creatures; we buy with our eyes—so the more photos, the better.

If you are still concerned about the new policy sabotaging your Facebook advertising strategy, keep in mind that you can purchase as many advertisements as you please. Each one can contain a separate, but related, message. Last year the ads were not allowed to highlight product cost or purchase information. Now that the advertisements can include a call-to-action, the price of a product, or information on an upcoming sale, your marketing campaign will be more effective.

By: Sasha Novikov

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