3 Ways to Build a Brand Personality

It’s been said again and again: A successful business must differ itself from its competitors on social media. Determine who your audience is and speak to them accordingly. Be present on social media so your customers can find you.

BUT, a company needs much more than just a presence on social platforms. A successful company will have a brand personality that draws a customer in and keeps them engaged to retain them as a loyal fan of the brand.

Here are 3 ways to build a brand personality online:

1. Know who you are. 

You, above everyone else, needs to know what your brand represents. Take a day and discuss the following: What is our unique selling proposition? What specific demographic are we targeting? Where is our demographic on social media? What content would our demographic want to engage with?

By getting to know your brand BEFORE setting up a social presence, you’ll be on the right track to creating a personality that will resonate with your fan base on a deeper level. This foundation is key to any company hoping to infiltrate and stand out among the millions of other messaging on social media. Plus, it’ll give your fans a connection to your company that they’ll remember.

2. Have a strategy.

Once you’ve established who you are a brand, it’ll make strategizing that much easier. At this point, take time to document a solid digital marketing plan. Then, think about how you can incorporate a successful content marketing, social media and paid support strategy.

Remember that these documents are not final. They should always be evolving as your company, brand and product evolve. Having said this, each strategy should be thoroughly thought through and executed as accordingly to who you are as a brand.

3. Hire the right team.

Don’t wing social media, especially with a brand new personality. Trust us, it won’t end well. If this is not your strong suit, trust someone with experience to handle all digital marketing so that you can focus on other things.

Who can you hire? A social media director, a digital strategist or a community/brand manager will do the trick. There are so many names for people who do the same type of work that it’s dizzying. No matter who you go with, make sure that they’re comfortable on social networks, can create quality content to help your brand stand out and know how to read metrics to understand what’s working and what’s not.

No matter if you’re a newbie or highly experienced within the space, building a brand personality is key to running a successful company online. With knowledge of who you are as a brand, an overall digital strategy and the best team to help execute your ideas, you’ll be well on your way.

Tell us: Does your business have a brand personality? If so, what is it?

– Samantha


3 Quick Tips to Be Successful on Tumblr

1. Be Authentic. Although this is nothing new, it is a good reminder for brands who try to push to many brand-centric messages to their fans. Instead, try to be real with people!

2. Test and Learn. Another important piece of all social and digital marketing, but one that is not implemented as much as it should be. Don’t fall in love with one idea — or get upset when something doesn’t work out as planned. Be flexible, learn & move forward.

3. Focus on Images. Although having great copy is always a must, making sure your images are just as amazing is important as well. Make your creative interesting, unique and eye-catching to get people to truly engage with you brand.


Brand New Look for Facebook Brand Pages

New Facebook PagesIf you haven’t noticed already, Facebook has started to implement a brand new look for brand Pages (on desktops) that allow users to more easily access information — and help administrators behind each page find the tools and analytics that they need the most.

First, Facebook has updated the overall Page timeline. Now, you’ll see a column on the right side of the timeline that shows all of the brand’s posts. On the left, you’ll find a new column housing all of company’s important info, such as hours of business, phone number, location and website.

If you’re an admin, you’ll love how easy it is to view information about current ad campaigns, unread messages and notifications. There are new options at the top of the page that will make it simpler to view current and past activity, insights and settings. Additionally, there is a new Pages to Watch feature, which permits admins to create a list of Pages similar to the brand at hand to compare performance and engagement rates.

New Facebook Pages to Watch

For more about the updates made to Pages, check out the link here.

— Samantha

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Social Marketing Optimization

Social Media Optimization

SEO (search engine optimization). Many of us have heard about it, but are you actually changing your social media content to make sure your brand makes the most out of SEO? As a quick refresher, SEO typically speaks to link-building. The higher number of links to (and from) your content, the higher it’ll be ranked in Google search, which means more eyes on your site or content.

While these links are important to consider, Google’s latest “Hummingbird” algorithm update in August forced brands to take a second look at optimizing their content for social. For example, Google +1’s rank in the top valuable factors in SEO, which automatically increases the value of all other social shares — Likes, Shares, RTs, etc.

Below you’ll find a few ways to better your social marketing optimization or SMO:

  • If applicable, use a catchy title that is optimized specifically for SEO. Focus on long-tail keywords that will help you better understand user’s intent — and be sure to come up with a few shorter copy options to use on social media platforms.
  • Edit, edit, edit. Make sure all included links are working properly and that all copy has been reviewed multiple times to avoid spelling mistakes.
  • Use images! As we’ve stated time and time again, posts with creative imagery will typically receive the most engagement. Make sure to keep actual post copy short and eye-catching too!
  • Keep engagement numbers high with captivating questions or other CTA’s (call to action’s) like “watch this video” or “click to read more.”

Tell us: Does your business pay close attention to SMO?

— Samantha

4 Tips for Better Facebook Posts

Making a Facebook page for you company is one thing. Taking care of it to encourage growth and brand awareness is a horse of a different color! In order to succeed on this mega platform, you have to use some elbow grease and a knowledge of your audience.

Here are a few tips that will put you ahead of your competitors:

  1. Use bold imagery. If you want to get your fan’s attention, use bright, colorful, striking photos. In fact, photos receive 5x more engagement than links and those featuring faces rate even higher. It’s no wonder why Facebook paid $1 billion to purchase Instagram!
  2. Keep copy short & include a CTA. About 70% of fans access Facebook via mobile, so you should be motivated to write short & concise copy. As we’ve seen many brands do, a paragraph of text simply don’t work & you’ll lose your audience before you even get their attention. Try to include a question, fill in the blank or simply request people to ‘watch’ or ‘share.’ Be sure to make it a low barrier so the customer can actually do it with ease.
  3. Figure out what works. Check out your Reach and Engagement numbers (in Facebook Analytics) to gauge what post are doing well — and which are not. After a few weeks of consistent posts, this data should help you figure out what your fans like engaging with so you can do more of that in the future!
  4. Target & boost posts. When you can (& if your audience is large enough), try targeting your post by gender, location &/or language. By doing so, you’re narrowing your target to a specific demographic, which could mean more eyes on your content (versus throwing a ‘big net’ & hoping for the best). Lastly, consider a bit of paid support via boosting posts to counter Facebook’s recent algorithm changes. Do it early — within the first 24 hours — and make sure you’re pushing posts that received high levels of engagement early.

Got a tip to add to the list? Tell us below!

— Samantha

3 Things to Do Before Launching a Social Initiative

Social KPIs

You’ve successfully created one or more social platforms for your company and even built a loyal community online. You’ve made tracking your social growth a priority and now you’re ready for more! It’s time to launch your next social campaign (contest, giveaway), but what do you determine the objectives and keys for success?

Figure out your objective of the campaign. This part is important because without an objective, you won’t be able to drive the overall strategy. An objective is the reason WHY you’re launching this social initiative to begin with! For example, is it to drive brand awareness? Increase engagement? Get more fans and followers? Although each company’s campaign initiative will be different depending on the idea, make sure you choose one (or more) that you want to achieve!

State how you’ll measure success. Also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), these metrics are what you and your team will use to measure success with the campaign at hand and what will ultimately help determine your goals. Make sure that your KPI’s align with your overall objective. We suggest looking at Comments, Shares, Likes/+1s to start, but other indicators to think about include:

  • Overall views & unique views
  • Time spent on your site/page
  • Engagement rate on social platforms
  • Contest entries
  • New fans, followers
  • Newsletter/email opt-ins

Set goals for your campaign. At this point in the process, you need to develop a set of goals which will help determine a return on investment (ROI) after. To get you thinking, talk with your team to understand how long the campaign will run for, what will drive traffic to the campaign (including a specific number of posts/tweets and possible paid support), what are possible conversion numbers (entries, shares) and how much fan growth is expected.

Once you’ve completed all three steps, you’ll be able to better track your campaign online. Repeat this several times and you’ll add an economic value to each indicator to truly help you measure the value of the initiative in relation to how much you’ve already invested.

Got questions? Let us know below!

— Samantha

2014 Online Marketing Infographic

You’ve heard it a million times. In order to be successful in today’s day in age, businesses must make a play on social. In 2014, the majority of brands are online, so it’s only makes sense to research and find out how to beat the competition with a solid social marketing strategy. Here’s a great infographic from the InfoGraphic Design Team of the 2014 online marketing trends:

2014 Online Marketing Trends— Samantha


The 2014 State of Digital Marketing (Infographic)

What are many marketers planning for 2014? A team at webmarketing123 surveyed 500+ digital marketers about their top goals and challenges when it comes to social media.

This infographic is especially interesting because 41% of B2B marketers noted that generating leads is their biggest goal in 2014, while a close 40% percent of B2C marketers say driving sales is what they hope to focus on. What surprised us the most was that only 25% of digital marketers are planning to invest their budget online in 2014 — much lower than we’d expect. Having said that, measuring ROI is still an issue for many marketers and will continue to be so into the future — a big factor that’s inhibiting many companies from investing in a strong digital/social strategy.

With the continued growth of social media, we’re hoping that more and more brands will become better educated of the benefits of a digital marketing strategy in terms of building an engaging community vs. measuring a direct ROI. Time will tell what will bring in the new year, but we’re excited to see what’s to come!

— Samantha

2014 DMR Infographic

1% of Sales Powered by Social Media

Black Friday Online Shopping

After one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Black Friday sales numbers are officially in. According to IBM reports based on all 800 U.S. retail sites, social media pushed only 1% of all online sales on Friday. In other words, just 1% of all online orders on Friday came from users who had just visited a social platform.

Shocked by the low number? Don’t be. As we’ve known for several years, it is difficult for digital professionals to directly measure a return on investment from social media efforts. According to Jay Henderson, the strategy director at IBM Smarter Commerce said “Social doesn’t have the ability so far to drive traffic or sales directly to the site. It tends to have more of an indirect influence on purchases.” Of course, most community managers would agree with this statement as the majority of social efforts are designed to build overall brand awareness and keep a business top of mind.

However, there’s no need to be nervous about your company’s social strategy! Instead, understand that users are inherently going to multiple websites when surfing the web, including yours. Just because they aren’t buying immediately after visiting your Facebook page or tweet, doesn’t mean that your messaging didn’t stay top of mind or that a product is not being bought later. In fact, this lack of tracking simply means we need to work on finding a better way to measure the initial engagement with branded materials affecting the future purchase.

The good news is that the most online conversations were about “Black Friday” versus “Thanksgiving Day.” Adobe Digital Index discovered that “Amazon was the most referenced retailer for the two-day period with 450,000 posts, followed by Walmart with 300,000 posts (Mashable).” Both companies experienced a large number of business transactions yesterday, but it’ll be a bit longer until we can figure out what our social media posts and tweets are doing on a more exact scale. 

Henderson said, “Our ability to attribute success to the influence of social media will improve over time. As long as you can show the influence that social media is having on the eventual purchase, that should be more than enough too justify the investment that marketers are making in those channels.”

Tell us: Did your brand successfully track purchases and engagement on Friday?

— Samantha

Pinterest’s Place Pins Help Tell a New Social Story

Place Pins on Pinterest

This week, Pinterest added a new type of pin called Place Pins, which allows users to utilize the actual locations of the items they wish to pin on their boards.

Similar to other tagging services on social platforms like Instagram, if a user pins a picture of their snowboard from a day riding at a ski resort, they can then add the resort’s location to a map on their pinboard. Additionally, users can “add a map” on a board to start designating Place Pins through a search bar, similar to Google.

Many social experts believe these new location pins will help users design boards for planning a vacation, showcasing a favorite part of the neighborhood and much more.  As pinners will most likely want to share these newly styled boards with other users, Pinterest has developed a new “send” rollout that will help such direct shares between users.

As of today, Pinterest doesn’t give marketers the option of advertising (other than Promoted Pins), but there is a large opening to do so with Place Pins. Since users would be directly tagging businesses and services, information could be shared including specific locations, telephone numbers and even reviews and offers later down the road.

Overall, Pinterest continues to be a contender for most shared content across the digital space. Although the majority of users are females, adding an equally attractive pinning option that aggregates restaurant and store locations across the world, could increase numbers of male users, therefore defining an environment that draws similarities from other sites like Yelp, Facebook and Twitter. We’re interested to see where such mapping stories will go. For now, it looks as if this platform is successfully helping users tell a more holistic story online.

Tell us: We think place pins could really help small businesses. Do you agree?

— Samantha