5 Ways to Kill It on Google+

Over the past few years, new information and analytics have determined that creating a presence on Google+ is a smart move for any business wanting to grow and engage with fans online. Whether you already play in this space or not, here are the top 5 ways to be successful on Google+:

1. Try embedding Google+ posts directly onto a site. 

Everyone is familiar with embedding a tweet or Facebook post onto a website, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you can also link your content from Google+. Although it’s a tad more difficult to do than other social platforms, click the arrow button in the right hand corner of a post and click “Embed post” from the drop down. The code comes in two parts — one that is added within a HTML template, the other that can be used anywhere!

How to Embed a Google+ Post

2. Use a catchy headliner.

What’s great about Google+ posts, is that each one is similar to a blog post. There is ample room to write copy, editing options to make your content count — and the ability to add a captivating headline. Because the headline is pulled into the title tag of the Google+ post and because this is what shows up in Google search results, having a good headline is very important for SEO purposes.

3. Know what and when to post.

Thanks to a lot of great research by the folks at Quick Sprout, there are five types of content that are inherently preferred by Google+ users including, questions, quotes, video, animated GIFs and of course, images. Animated GIFs often garner the most +1s, while questions get the most comments from users.

Top 5 Pieces of Content on Google+

4. Use Google+ hashtags in every post.

Thankfully, Google+ makes it super simple to add hashtags to your posts — and even goes so far as to recommend which ones to use. Put 2-5 appropriate hashtags directly in the copy or include it at the end of a post. Either way, keep an eye out for trending hashtags in order for your business to stay relevant and to create more engagement with conversations that are already taking place online.

How to use hashtags within Google+5. Know how to use Google+ circles effectively.

Google+ circles gives businesses the chance to interact with a targeted group of users or on a larger scale, community groups. Because circles are manually created, your business is can market to a list of top followers or to an entire group, depending on your strategy. Continue to build relationships with your circles to increase engagement and better determine what content is sticking and what is not.

Google+ Circles

Is your biz on Google+? If so, what do you do on the platform to be successful?

— Samantha

 

Sweetgreen: How Social Built A Restaurant

Sweetgreen Restaurant

We’ve all heard how important social media can be to a company’s marketing plan, especially for start-ups trying to make a name for themselves. Although social triumphs in retail and consumer-based industries are all too common, such success within the food industry sometimes flies under the radar.

Well, we’d like to introduce you to Sweetgreen: a start-up restaurant that utilized social media to its full potential and truly came out on top. Making salads cool, Sweetgreen was able to transform itself into a lifestyle brand, rather than simply a place to pick up a healthy lunch.

By taking advantage of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, Sweetgreen generates content containing much more than your typical “food-porn.” Such engaging content include helpful yoga tips, cool new music selections and even upcoming sustainability projects which ultimately keeps fans engaged with this salad company time and time again.

We think this is an impressive social strategy that everyone can learn from.

Take a look at the full story below:

— Mike & Samantha

Choosing Which Platform is Right for Your Brand

Jumping into social media can be a scary thought for any brand. There are so many options these days, from Facebook to Pinterest, where do you start? For example, you want to do some research like identifying where your customers are. This is not a new concept, just like in print advertising, you want to go where your target audience is. If you are selling custom NFL grill covers, it is probably not a good idea to advertise in People Magazine. Just like magazine readers, certain demographics gravitate to specific social media platforms.

There are a lot of factors to consider before setting up your social media presence. Just because social media is mostly free, that doesn’t mean you should take it lightly. After all, you would never start an expensive print ad campaign without doing extensive research first. Choosing that social media platform that is right for you is paramount, but how do you know which one is right? Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Who is my target demographic?
  • What are my objectives? (Improve SEO, Increase site traffic, Increase brand exposre, etc)
  • What platforms are my target demographic using?
  • What skills do I have that I can leverage on social media? (Copywriting, Graphic design, Photography, etc)

Now that we have you thinking a little more in-depth about social media and how it can help your business, take a look at this infographic by Social Barrel. Take it step by step and figure out exactly what platforms you can leverage for the best results.  Don’t waste your time and resources by investing in the wrong platforms, if you can successfully grow and cultivate your social presence, the results can be exponential.

how-brands-can-choose-the-right-social-media-platforms-for-their-goals-infographic

 

-Mike

Better Facebook Posts in 10 Easy Steps

One of the most common mistakes businesses make on Facebook, is underestimating they strategy needed for a successful post. In order to achieve a truly engaging post, a business needs to do a certain amount of research and understand the best practices involved for each post. The infographic below, created by Shortstack, highlights 10 simple, but effective, ways you can improve your Facebook status updates.

facebook-status-update-infographic

 

-Mike & Samantha

Price Alerts Coming to Pinterest

pinterest-new-features

For some reason, it doesn’t seem that Pinterest gets the respect it deserves. Many people thought it was just a fad and would bring little to no benefit to their business. With 70 million users and growing, it looks like Pinterest is here to stay. Retailers have the most to benefit from Pinterest, and with their new price alerts feature being released, they have even more to gain. In the near future, when a user pins a product, they will get an email alert whenever that product goes on sale. According to Pinterest, it will look much like this:

pinterest_price_alerts

Since many people use Pinterest as a type of “dream board”, posting items they would like but most likely couldn’t afford, this is a fantastic feature. A user may never consider buying that $500 pair of shoes they pinned a few weeks ago, but once they get that email alert letting them know they are now 50% off, the chances of that user buying those shoes just went up exponentially.

Don’t forget that benefits this new feature will bring to your business’s email marketing. This new feature basically supplies you with personalized, targeted emails to your most engaged users, without you doing any of the work! If you haven’t already, get your business on Pinterest, it is here to stay and only getting bigger.

-Mike & Samantha

Twitter Pulls Away From Rivals in Social Curating

twitter-superman-icon

We are all aware of the major social media platforms out there, from Facebook to Twitter, a successful brand must utilize them all. Each platform has its place in a successful marketing campaign, but new research shows that businesses are favoring one platform over the other, Twitter. According to social software startup, Livefyre, 93% of business are curating real-time, social activity from Twitter, while only 89% are using Facebook. Continuing down the social media ladder, 50% of business reported generating content from YouTube, and 41% are using Instagram. 

Why are these numbers so important? One of the biggest challenges for brands today is creating great content. A company can post content over all the social platforms 24/7, but if that content is not relevant to their target market, it is just a big waste of time and resources. Utilizing platforms, like Twitter, allows a brand to see what people are already saying about them organically. Once these trends are identified, a successful brand can leverage them to market themselves in a very authentic and poignant way.

Data from Livefyre’s research shows that:

  • 82% of businesses have increased user engagement from curating social activity.
  • 88% of the businesses leveraging real-time social applications, have increased user engagement.
  • 41% reported an increase in site traffic as a direct result of making their websites more social friendly.

We all know how critical it is for a business to monitor social media in order get a true feel for the public sentiment on their brand. What may not be so obvious, is how important social curating is to content creation. It is so important for a successful online presence to have relevant, engaging, and consistent content going out to its target market. What better way to create this content than leverage what is already out there, supplied by the customers themselves.

-Mike & Samantha

Nordstrom Utilizes Pinterest to Increase Sales

Although initially reported last week, more details have emerged on Nordstrom’s plan to leverage Pinterest in 13 of their retail locations across the country. Items being displayed, which for now will only consist of  dresses, shoes and handbags, will contain signage reading, “Top Pinned Items” and the Pinterest logo.

o-NORDSTROM-PINTEREST-570

Along with these new merchandising displays, Nordstrom will also have iPad stations to showcase what is currently the most popular items on Pinterest. One can only imagine the logistical nightmare of such a huge store trying to tailor their displays to the ever changing whims of social media. To deal with this dilemma, Nordstrom is taking each store’s inventory into consideration.  “We wanted to have alignment with what we show in that store and that department with what we have available to sell to the customer,” said Nordstrom spokesperson, Colin Johnson.

Not only will Nordstrom be pushing Pinterest in their brick and mortar locations, but they will also be adding  a “Top Pinned” link in the women’s section on their website. With Pinterest accounting for Nordstrom’s largest social following at 4.5 million followers as reported by Geekwire.com (2x the number of Facebook fans), it’s great to see them giving their customers what they want.

CaptureddddAlthough the measuring stick for this new program will be Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, which is scheduled to run from July 19 to August 4, it’s clear that Pinterest is one social platform that’s here to stay. We’ve seen companies take inspiration from the highly visual website over the past years through various marketing campaigns, contests and more, but a full translation into retail locations in an effort to draw attention to (and sell) the most ‘popular’ items is an innovative concept that many are trying to perfect.

We believe that this attempt to bring online behavior into the offline space is a natural next step in any integrated social media marketing strategy. Similar to written testimonials on many retail websites, Nordstrom is essentially adding a level of “social credibility” to their displays in hopes that customers who know and love Pinterest will be more attracted to the highlighted products and therefore, one step closer to purchase.

As the summer continues, we look forward to hearing the results of this marketing experiment and wonder if a simple reference to social media can truly alter a shopper’s buying pattern.

Mike & Samantha

Winter is Coming…

With all the different social media platforms out there, it may be hard to keep track of who is playing nice with who. HootSuite did a great job of detailing all social platform relationships in a way we can relate, Game of Thrones style. Check out this creative graphic below:

GoT-social-infographic-final-Mike

Social Media Crucial for Retailers

Social-Media-Phone

Everyone has been hearing about the importance of social media for the last few years, especially in retail business. Some businesses may have written off social media, not wanting to spend time and resources, thinking it is just a fad. Social media has officially been around long enough, and its importance validated enough, that we can all agree, this is no fad.

Speaking from a retailers point of view, more and more customers are using social media to stay informed and up to date on their favorite brands and retailers. According to Monetate.com, 80% of smartphone users access social media on their devices, and 55% of those users visit these social networks at least once a day. In addition to the social network activity, 96% of smartphone users have researched a product on their phone before purchase. With consumers relying so heavily on what comes through their mobile phone, it is imperative retailers take full advantage.

Although it is obvious that a retailer must commit to improving their online social presence, it is not always so clear as how to measure their return on this investment.   According to SocialBakers.com, here are a few social media metrics a retailer can use to measure the fruits of their labor.

  • Fan/follower growth: How many new fans are you gaining during a select time frame?
  • Engagement rate: The number of user interactions (likes, comments, retweets, replies and shares).
  • Response rate: The percentage of user posts or questions that the administrator responded to.
  • Response time: The average amount of time it takes for the administrator to respond to user posts or questions.
  • User activity: Identifying the hours and days of the week your users are engaging most frequently.
  • Shareability: The number of shares and retweets a post gets.
  • Interactions: The number of interactions that a page or post receives and the types of interactions (likes, comments, retweets, replies and shares).

Whether done in house, or outsourced, do not underestimate the power of social media and what it can bring to your business.

-Mike

What is EdgeRank?

You may have never heard of EdgeRank before, but chances are you interact with it every day. EdgeRank is the algorithm used by Facebook to determine what shows up on your News Feed and when. With 2,835,000,000 minutes spent on Facebook News Feed PER DAY, it is quite important for brands to understand how to get in front of their fans. Considering 96% of users never return to a brand’s page after the initial visit, taking advantage of the News Feed is crucial. The infographic below shows how EdgeRank works and how important it really is.

 

edgerank-101-972

 

-Mike