PR Marketing Strategy PR Marketing Strategy Archives - CarsonPR
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Instagram

Social media has become complex and not easy to attract customers. In just a few short years we have over a dozen ways to communicate online. And just like any media, you need to know the audience and why they are using that form of communication. Your PR Marketing Strategy should outline the different social media and how they function.

Instagram is one of the more popular social media. So businesses are trying to lure customers through Instagram, but many are finding it is not working. Why? Because what works for one media isn’t the same for all. You run a different campaign for Facebook than you would for LinkedIn, or Twitter. You need to understand why consumers use a particular social media, and then after you figure that out can you create a successful campaign.

Ok, so let’s discuss why your campaign in Instagram is a flop and how to correct the problem.

I came across an article by Blaise Lacey, senior content strategist at Bitly, who explains his 7 reasons why your ads aren’t working in Instagram. To read his complete article click here. This is a short summary of what he explained.

1- The ad looks too professional. He makes a great point saying that Instagram is like YouTube, it consists of user-generated content. Businesses, and ad agencies try to create clean, white looking ads that turn off Instagram users.
2. Your ad doesn’t tell a story. Most ads have a flashy logo, a brand name, or catchy tagline and a picture. These give the impression of a “banner ad.”
3. Loud call-outs & banners. People go to these social media apps for entertainment, to connect with friends and learn. Keep in mind, mobile screens are smaller than a monitor, so your ad could look like a big banner, or pop-up ad.
4. You feature shadowy and/or generic people. If you are trying to create compelling images, don’t use “stock photos” or something that could look like a stock photo.
5. Your product is just sitting there. Show your product in use, put it in context of what your product relates to.
6. Too much text. This is one I strongly agree with Blaise. He says “Text is a natural enemy of the mobile user.”
7- You’re not trying video. You are limited to 60-seconds, make it entertaining and show your product in use.

As you can see, Instagram is not like the other social media, and neither should you treat all the other social media the same. Learn why your customers use them and then create the campaign for each. That’s how to be successful.

If your PR Marketing Strategy campaign needs help, give George Carson a call for a FREE non-nonsense review of your campaign. 949-477-9400.

 

Are you a person or company that does a lot of postings? Are you aware that there are best times and worst times to post content? If not, read on. Why, because your pr marketing strategy can be a success or failure if you don’t know when your followers are interested in their social media. So make sure your followers/readers are seeing your posts, otherwise you are wasting your time.

I came across this great article and graphics from Richard Brownell, so thanks to Richard for making this simple to understand. Ok, lets start with the more staple social media. That would be Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These are the more popular and better know social media for businesses. Below is a chart that illustrates what days of the week and times of the day that you should be posting, and when not to.

Social media do's and don'ts

When to post on social media

On Facebook, which is one of the most frequented social media sites, you should be active between 1pm- 4pm and the best day/time of the week is Wednesdays at 3 pm. Avoid weekends before 8 am and after 8 pm. I would stay away for weekends if you are a business, unless you have a retail store that is open on weekends. Twitter has a great readership Mondays-Thursdays from 1 pm – 3 pm. Almost the same time as Facebook followers. The peak time is Monday-Thursday from 9 am til 3 pm. Twitter readers move on to other things after 8 pm everyday and on Friday, so avoid any tweets after 3 pm. Probably they’re off to a party or fun weekend stuff. Now let’s look at LinkedIn. Seems Tuesdays-Thursdays are popular and the best times for the day are noon and again at 5 pm-6 pm. Most business people are not active Monday and Friday from 10pm-6am. Hey you gotta sleep sometime!

Other social media like Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+ have a different schedule that people use. For example Pinterest has heavy viewing on Saturday mornings (well, that does make sense) and the worst time is during work hours. Now Google+ is different with their community of followers. Everyday between 9 am-10 am (short window isn’t it) is the best time and Wednesdays at 9 am is peak times. But then again, similar to Twitter, Google+ is for short messages. You want to know quickly what’s happening and move on.

So there you have it. A quick insight on when to post and not post on your social media accounts. If you are developing a pr marketing strategy for the next season, keep these times and days handy so your social media campaign will have a greater impact. If you want more insights, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. He’s probably writing a post right now, but I’m sure he’ll take your call.

Handling your company publicity

Know what to do before it happens

Although you might believe this will never happen to you, I’m sure Donald Sterling and Brian Williams had that same thought until it happened to them.

There are a few basic things you can do now to prepare for a crisis situation with your company, or you personally. Having a  PR Marketing Strategy isn’t enough to prepare you for a negative situation. These four steps are designed to get you to think and are a good basis to create your crisis plan.

1-IDENTIFY THREATS BEFORE THEY HAPPEN
Think of any possible threats you or your company may face. It is impossible to predict if someone says a racial slur, or make up a news story, it is still important to have a proactive strategy when it comes to a crisis management situation.

Once you have identified these threats, develop a response matrix for each and every potential threat you listed. The worksheet should have strategies to help minimize damage and identify any key personnel who will develop and deliver the response to the media. It is ok to have a publicity person, but you or someone you assign should be the primary contact, not a pr person.

2-HAVE PREPARED BLANKET STATEMENTS
This is the time to get an attorney involved. If your company has an attorney, discuss with your legal counsel the statements written to get their approval. Make it easy on yourself; develop each potential situation with a statement that has easy-to-fill-in placeholders. When a crisis happens, this will allow you to be responsive quickly to the media. Plus, it will tell the media you are willing to address the situation vs hiding from it.

3-BE HONEST
Ok, I did say that step # 1 was probably one of the most difficult, but this might be as difficult if you are a person who doesn’t like to take blame, or always points the finger at other people. When confronted by the media, be straightforward and remember these 5 NEVERS:

• Never Lie
• Never Speculate
• Never Lose Your Temper or Swear
• Never Say “No Comment”
• Never Lose Eye Contact

4-KEEP YOUR MEDIA RESPONSES CONCISE
Are you a “talker?” Do you not know when to stop speaking because you want to make sure your point is

Have a crisis plan

Prepare for negative publicity

noticed? It’s time to break those habits and listen closely if so. Think in short 30-second sound bites. Have your three most important messages memorized. Don’t try to explain your entire side of the story. Use carefully worded messages when speaking to the media. It is ok to pause and collect your thoughts before talking.

Being prepared can minimize any negative impact or unfavorable situation and keep you from humiliating yourself or your company. To learn more about preparing for a pr crisis situation in your company, give George Carson a call, before it’s too late!

As much as we all love and use Google everyday to find information, we are slowly becoming dependent upon them to guide us to what we hope is all the information.

Choices, are they getting limited?

Choices, are they getting limited?

I truly believe Google is actually controlling what information they want us to read about. Yes, you can say that about any search engine, like Yahoo as well. But if you recall when we all began using Google it was because of their ability to provide more listings of places, people, and information we were searching for.

I do like them, and Google has been perfecting their searches, but are you aware of the recent changes to their algorithms? If not, then before you plan your pr marketing strategy be sure read this blog. The past updates have hurt and destroyed many websites who rely on the traffic from the searches.

I recommend that you don’t only rely on Google alone, but use other sources, search engines, to get a good cross reference of information. Just like getting more than one doctor’s opinion, do the same with your searches.

You might recall when Google launched its Panda update four years ago. It had a terrible affect on thousands of websites. You probably noticed that Google is providing more and more content directly on its search pages. Yes, that is good, but it reduces the need for users to click over to the websites, therefore reducing traffic to other sites. To take this a step further, are you aware that Google is showing lyrics in search results? They will show part of the lyrics and then insert a link to their Google Play if you want to see the entire lyrics. Isn’t that more control Google has on us by directing you to where and who you get information from? I think this is pat of their marketing strategy and it is doing more harm than good, in many cases.

Ok, need more proof? A list of the top “Falling Stars for 2014” by SearchMetrics shows in terms of search visibility and various lyrics sites that made the list. For example, LyricsMode and Sing365 both fell 60%. That’s a dramatic decrease. The hardest hit in this category was eLyrics.net which fell 92%. Here is the link to the full list of falling stars: http://bit.ly/1uLdfHt

Many of these and other business sites can only survive with the flow of traffic. We are seeing many of these online lyric sites decreasing staff in order to survive. I am sure this is also true for other online businesses. So what is the solution? Well for now, in my opinion, I suggest when you develop a social media campaign strategy, you do more than hope you get listed on Google, but include a wider array of social media to keep your brand and message in front of potential and current customers. I also recommend an on-going publicity campaign to keep your brand highly visible.

If you are experiencing this problem, or want to prevent Google from dropping your rankings, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. Don’t wait until something happens, as the doctor would say, use preventative measures.

If you answered yes, then maybe you never considered blogging as a vital component to the digital world we live in. Or maybe you feel that blogging is for people, not business. If that’s the case, you are ignoring something that can increase your company’s visibility and traffic, which could lead to an increase in sales. It is still amazing how many PR Clients do not understand the power of blogging.To Blog or Not

So why am I asking such a question if the simple answer is to say, “blogging is important and not something of the past.” Well, glad you asked. There are different approaches to blogging and where your blog is located. No, not a geographical location, but where your blogs are posted. For example, is it part of your website, or just hanging out there? Blog posts are usually more powerful if directly linked (part of) to your website. PR Clients should have an on-going blog program.

Another reason to keep blogging is to stay in touch with your customers, and to build credibility with potential customers. Unlike having a Facebook (business) or Pinterest, or Instagram accounts (which I feel are all still powerful when incorporated properly into your pr marketing plan), blogs allow you to express an opinion, talk about market conditions and have customers make comments. It’s a way to keep in touch with your market and get feedback as well. Hey, this is a better way to know about your customers than having it become a negative review on Yelp.

Blogs should not be a sales pitch, nor be a bragging area about your company. The big difference from other social media where you would show and tell about a new service and products, blogs should be more informative. Talk about your industry and what might help improve it. You can mention that your new product has helped shaped a market or industry, but don’t go into a sales pitch. The content you write is important and using links to credible sites help re-enforce a statement. Make sure your content is relevant to your industry, and not political.

Another reason to blog, it can give your business an identity, a personality. People like to know that a company has “people” running the business and not robots. And of course, blogging does improve your search engine rankings.

Lastly, how often should you blog? If you are just starting out, I would recommend the first 4 months you blog at least twice a week. Then, after that, cut to once per week. If you have the time to blog more often, go for it.

So I ask, will you be blogging anytime soon, or are you still in the mindset that this too will pass?

Need help with your blog program, or how to make a social media campaign successful? Then stop reading this blog and give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400.

Maybe the question should be: If you are not actively involved with your customers (whether they are B2B or B2C) on a daily basis, do you know if they will continue to buy your product or service next year? 

Social networking is powerful

Face it; social media isn’t a fad that will go away anytime soon. You can only ignore progress for a certain amount of time. Then you need to either accept the realities of how to make social media be your partner to succeed, or you wake up one morning wondering how your business suddenly is loosing sales. If you have a solid PR Marketing Strategy, it should include social media.

I’m sure you heard this lecture before, but now is the time for PR Clients to become very active with this media. Before you jump up and down saying, “show me the secret to social media success!” first lets look at some current statistics.

Over 30% of US adults get their news updates from social media. Of those people, 66% use their smartphone or tablet to access the news. If your target audience is 18 – 29 year olds, 71% of them use the Internet as their main source for information. To put this into perspective, a consumer will talk to others (using various social media like Twitter, Facebook, personal blogs, Instagram, yelp, etc.) about their experiences. Over 90% will use some sort of social media while 27% will talk to an actual person, usually on the phone about their experience. Also, social media is a quick and instant method of making people aware of what they like, or hate. This is another reason why your PR Marketing Strategies need to be current with today’s forms of communication.

Email is an early form of social media. Today businesses cannot think of how to communicate without using email. Savvy PR Clients know that Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin are quickly

Publicity is part of social media

becoming the choice for businesses to stay in touch with their customers and end users. You get immediate feedback on your products and services when using social media. This allows a company to make the adjustments needed to maintain a good position in the market. No longer do we need to do a focus group, only to then wait about a month to get all the data and then act accordingly. That process is too time-consuming, and becomes “old news” very quickly.  If you rely on that form of testing, then you might go out of business before you know it.

With the upcoming holiday shopping season, retailers are pushing hard with their social media to get customers to buy from them. Case in point, Walmart uses Twitter to talk about how their competitors are not stocking certain items, and they publish (re-Tweet) complaints by people about other retailers. Some refer to this as Twitter hijacking. It isn’t. It’s just smart marketing and knowing how to use social media to your business advantage. Facebook is another social media that Walmart has profited from. Other retailers are using this strategy to cut through all the clutter this season.

As you can see, social media can improve sales, create positive awareness, build your brand, and all this can be done quickly (as compared to a print media campaign). Don’t spend valuable time learning how to use this powerful media, instead interview companies that specialize in this media and hire the one that best fits your needs. If you are open minded and willing to embrace social media correctly, then what are you waiting for, your competitors to jump ahead of you?

Better yet, get the jump on your competitors, call George Carson today at 949-477-9400.

First we must ask ourselves is social networking for everyone, and is it right for my business? That may depend on your knowledge of this expanding media. Not knowing the benefits of the different networks or how they can help you could be critical when making a decision. Just because many businesses are using some of the popular networks such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, you need to determine if these are the right pr marketing strategies for your business.

It can IMPROVE your business

So how do you know if your business is ready for social media publicity program? How do you get started? And most important, which social networks will work for your business?

To answer these questions, you need to look at your industry, know your competition and what social networks relate to your market. Not an easy task, nor should it be. Too often companies will jump in because they don’t want to be left behind. The same is true about companies who get into social media, but after a few weeks, push it aside because it requires more work to maintain than they anticipated. It doesn’t matter if you are a local business or a national company, a social networks program can improve your business. This is a good form of communication that has powerful results, just like a publicity campaign.

Below are a few guidelines to help you decide on a social network program.

1- Does your business offer a service or sell product(s) that appeals to a limited market?If yes, determine the size of your potential market. Or, if your business provides the service/product to a broader spectrum, start with the top 2 or 3 markets that are the most profitable.

2- Do you have a sales team? Whether it is one salesperson (outside of yourself) or a dozen sales teams, choose a region to target. This can consist of an area such as the 7 western states in America, or a smaller region such as one specific state. You can grow the area after you have implemented the social network program.

3- Do you have the support staff that can dedicate the proper time to develop and maintain a social network program? If not, you can hire an outside firm.

 4- Does your business rely on walk-in customers, or online sales, or both?

5- Is your business B2B, or a B2C?

6- Are your business goals and objectives to increase sales, or increase profitability?

7- Do you have an advertising or publicity budget? Is it realistic with your sales projections?

8- Are you a start-up, or an established business (been around for at least 3+ years)?

Most businesses can benefit from a well-planned social network program. If you are prepared to take on the task of implementing a social network program, it is now time to see what is available. Here is a short list of other social networks to consider (these are in addition to those mentioned earlier):

Bebo—an AOL network that consumers can share photos, communicate and express themselves. A longer version of Twitter and similar to Facebook.

Focus—this is a B2B network mainly geared for the high tech industry. Companies can get experts to answer or solve their business questions.

MeetTheBoss—a great international network for business and financial industries. Consists of Fortune 500 CEO’s who discuss Leadership, Sales, Innovation, Technology, Marketing, Strategy, Human Capital and Governance.

Ning—You can create your own custom network, and community website.

TalkBizNow—This is a comprehensive interactive business network that allows users the ability to network, advertise their business, etc.

Tumblr—Similar to Twitter that started in 2007.

EONS.com—For the Baby Boomers (40+) Internet users.

Athlinks—For the sports enthusiasts who enjoy swimming and running.

Ryze—Looking to find other new entrepreneurs? This is the place.

Other networks and productive tools to consider are: Ogoing, Pinterest, Dropbox, Twitxr, StumbleUpon. If you use social networks properly, you can reduce your marketing costs while increasing your profits. For example, did you know that Twitter has a search tool to find companies or related businesses that you can follow? Ok, now it’s time to plan a social network program that will meet your company’s goals and objectives.

If you need help, contact George Carson for a FREE Consultation at 949-477-9400.

Update news. I’ll keep this short, as there isn’t much to say after I make my statement. wave, email

It was just over a year ago when I wrote about Google’s introduction of their WAVE concept. At the time, it was going to change how email and social media is used by business and consumers. The article I wrote titled: Is your PR  Marketing Strategy ready for the next “WAVE” was written in May 2009. Today, Google announced it was canceling the program by the end of this year.

Seems that even the people with all the money just can’t demand to change things if people are not willing to accept it. A lesson I hope was learned by Google. So what then happens to all these followers who jumped in? They will just have to go back to the old fashioned email programs that they have been using for the last 15 years.

So if you are a pr marketing person, or a pr client who thought this would change how we communicate, dust off that old email account and get back to business.

Is email part of you PR Marketing Strategy, or do you only use Social Media?

There have been a lot of discussions about the future and what role email will be playing. Some people, even the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, thinks email is on its way out and people will rely on social media to communicate. This could be possible, but not in any near future. I doubt in my lifetime this will happen. As some writers said, like Chris Crum at WebPro News, all (most of them) social media requires an email to subscribe, or become a member. So that doesn’t sound like the system of social networks has or is ready to abolish email as the means to communicate.email and social networking

We can only wait and see what new methods of communication develop over the next decade. Who knows, we may soon just think our thoughts and send them through brain waves. “Beam me up Scotty!”

Ok, enough said. This now brings me to the second part of this blog. How involved are your PR Clients with social media? Do you have a plan? Do you have a campaign in place? Writing one blog, or using twitter once or twice a week is not getting involved in social media. Social media can become a powerful marketing tool for any pr marketing strategy. If and when done correctly, results can be very positive. If you need to refresher course, just refer to some of my blogs that discuss “How to Use Linkedin to Increase Traffic“, or “Learn How to Use Social Media for PR Clients“. Or just click on the archive files to see many other related topics.

When you are ready to begin and implement a campaign, then give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. It’s the social thing to do!

 

If you haven’t done any web marketing on your web site in the last 8 to 12 months, then you probably think Google’s PageRank is important. Brace yourself folks, it isn’t any longer. Actually, it hasn’t been a tool that Google has relied upon for a year. 

A Google Webmaster Trends Analyst stated “We’ve been telling people for a long time that they shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much; many site owners seem to think it’s the most important metric for them to track, which is simply not true. We removed it web marketing PageRankbecause we felt it was silly to tell people not to think about it, but then to show them the data, implying that they should look at it.”

If this doesn’t convenience you to change your pr marketing strategy and re-work your web site, then you may just want to close your eyes and let the competition take away your market share.

 

Here’s an inside secret, Google is probably going to re-brand PageRank because a lot of people still use the PageRank in the tool bar. Why? Because some people still use PageRank as their final analysis for web sites.

 

If you need to hear this from the top people at Google, then watch this video – it is an interview with Norvig. Still need more? Ok, visit the WebPro News article from Chris Crum.

 

When you are ready to make things happen in a positive way with your website, contact George Carson at Carson Marketing, Inc.