social media social media Archives - CarsonPR
instagram

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.

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.

There are a lot of conversations (noise) in social media. If you just try to follow only a few like Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, you will get drowned in all the conversations. So if this is overwhelming to you, then lets look at how to make people listen.

bigstock-Businesswoman-With-Big-Ears-10623491First of all, building a social media network is very important for pr clients. Before starting any social dialogue, these are some of the questions you need to ask when doing your conversations. Does it stimulate your customers to do the action you desire? Is it building brand loyalty? Are you creating any dialogue for people to interact with your conversation?

Major brands are using “conversations” to further build their pr visibility and brand. Companies like Coke, Pepsi, Microsoft, Apple among many others are aggressively “talking” to their consumers. But are their customers really listening? Some of these brands use Facebook and Twitter to get people to participate in contests, or engage them into a discussion. These pr marketing strategies are good, if understood. Sometimes the results are very small when you look at the overall numbers these social media have in comparison to those people responding. Does this mean they should not continue their publicity campaign? Of course not. You need to have a plan, just like a marketing plan, or media plan, you need to develop a publicity strategy of where, when and the topics you want to start. Just because the immediate followers or those responding might be small, you are developing a massive exposure about you and your brand. And the same is true when you ran a print or TV campaign. The exposure is always greater than those directly involved in your message. This is part of building a brand.

I read a recent article by Barry Levine that sums it up  “ Social media conversations are a whisper not a shout.”

That means you need to know who are your customers, know what they like on social media, what they enjoy Social meida-penguinsdoing and how often do they engage in the social media that you want to connect with them. Seems like a lot of research, and it is. But once you have learned this about your customer, then you can begin the “conversation.” With that said, it is important to have a true conversation, not a sales pitch, nor how great your company or brand is. Just like you would discuss a topic with a friend, keep your conversations friendly, and point out the good and bad about something. Get people to interact. That’s why so many brands use contests. Unfortunately, that is now getting overused and should be done on a limited basis, not become your main reason to have the conversations.

In summary, are conversations being heard? They can be if you are active in conversation with your customers and start topics that they would like to discuss. Remember, postings are good in social media, but that isn’t building a brand unless you get people involved in conversations. Then the word will spread beyond the social platforms, that’s how to create the buzz in the industry.

If you are ready to continue the conversation, 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.

It is almost impossible in today’s competitive environment to keep our daily activities organized in one place.Calendars are good to know what to do that day, but you probably have other “reminder” systems in place to coordinate all your daily activities. If your business is large enough, your secretary or assistant might be that organizer for you. But not always is that person at your fingertips.

Time Management System

Organizing Business Activities

I came across a few APPS that could help you organize your activities all in one place, making life just a little simpler. I am sure there are other apps being developed during this writing, maybe even something completely different will become available making all these apps obsolete. So for now, lets look at these 5 apps.

Recently Google launched an app called Google Keep. Like many of Google’s products, the “Keep” will sync your notes with Siri (iPhone users) and Google Drive. It will color-code them for easy retrieval, construct to-do lists, compile photos, and archive notes for later viewing. If you have used Evernote, then you will most likely want to try Keep. Google is constantly improving this app to become the choice for people on the go.

Jumpchart is slightly different. For example if you are redesigning your website, Jumpchart helps you plan your website layout, view the most recent content revisions, and a lot more, all in real time. Although this app is free, the more advanced features are at a cost up to $50, but worth it if that’s what you need to help keep things organized.

For those who are concerned about accounting and billing might want to look at Harvest app. This is a time tracking app program that will help you see where your staff is spending their hours, based on time spent on each task. If you use QuickBooks, you can export these reports into that program to keep real-time reports for billable hours. Another feature of Harvest, you can create invoices with your company logo and offer clients to pay invoices online.

Here is something that many active social media people will find useful. Hootsuite. This app helps you manage all your social networks, such as Linkedin, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace, WordPress, Facebook and Mixi accounts. It’s a great way to track your brand mentions and analyze your social traffic.

What's next?

What to do next?

If you are truly a busy entrepreneur who just cannot remember to take your iPhone charger with you, or pick up your cleaning, or need to locate a restaurant for a client lunch meeting, then look no further than WunWun. This is not free. It’s a concierge service to make sure all your needs are met and on-time. WunWun is a 24/7 service that cost $2.50 for every 5 minutes of service, or you can choose $20 flat fee for deliveries.

I am still trying to find an app that just lets me be alone for a while. Seems our lives are so packed with things to do we just cannot tear ourselves away from not knowing what is happening in the world, or what our competitors are doing next. If I find an app that lets our devices all fall asleep at the same time, I’ll pass that along to you. For now, keep organizing.

If you want to learn how to make your business more productive, then call George Carson at Carson Marketing, Inc. 949-477-9400

 

Everyday we are challenged to find better methods to increase revenue for our businesses no matter the situation of the economy. If you are an out-of-the-box thinking executive, then you already are on the right path to increased profits.

Social and soft skills

Using your soft skills with social media are powerful tools

So you might ask, what is the secret, or winning formula to be successful in this economy? Actually, there isn’t a secret or magic bullet. What you have today are many excellent marketing tools that did not exist 5 or 6 years ago. Some of these tools are being used by your competitors, and too often they are not savvy enough to fully understand how to utilize them to their advantage. Incorporating these tools into your publicity campaign is a must.

What I am referring to is a combination of soft skills and  social media. No, not just the kind of social media that says by creating a Facebook business page, or writing a company blog you will reach your customers. Also, having a website doesn’t mean that your business will automatically increase sales. Social media goes much deeper. It needs to be incorporated into a company’s corporate culture. It needs to be an active part of your business plan, marketing plan, and your publicity plan. That’s where the soft skills (social skills), when combined with social media, can explode a company into profitability when you understand how to incorporate these powerful tools.

Social media is the general term used today to describe a wide range of different methods to “communicate” to your customers. Whether you are a B2B company, or B2C or both, using the social media tools correctly (just like buying the correct print/broadcast or online media) can change how your business will grow, or fail. Every company likes to think that they are current with social media, because they are either online or have a social presence. Businesses fail mainly because they do not have a long-term commitment when implementing these forms of communication into their

Corporate Culture and Social networking

Social Media Tools

marketing/publicity strategy. A teenager can probably do a better job of communicating to your customers using the vast forms of social media because that is part of their culture. Soft skills are the other half to creating a successful business. Knowing how to listen to your customers, how to write proper business emails and knowing the how to handle customers (this is more than being a sales rep) are just a few of the many soft skills that are lacking at most businesses today.

Smart executives will accept their weaknesses and find the solutions to improve a company’s performance. If you are one of those people, then re-evaluate your business and be objective or you too won’t see nor understand why your company is slipping into the red while your competitors are moving forward, passing you along the way. Need help in getting to that next level, or just want to know how to increase your company’s bottom line? Give George Carson a call. It’s free and do it before your company gets passed by. Call him 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.

Blogging is still one of the most required media when creating a social network program. PR Clients need to make sure their blogging is done on a regular basis. Business blogs are necessary and helpful. Companies can control what is said about their people, products and services and can use their business blog sites to better understand the needs of employees. When done correctly, business blogs can help pr clients target thier customers needs by “listening’ to what is said. In turn, pr clients should respond to any negative or positive comments so customers feel a connection, which builds trust.

So what is different from a business blog vs a typical blog site? blogging

This important pr marketing tool helps you to communicate more effectively to customers and potential customers as well. Last year in April, a blog I wrote listed of a few companies’ that have business blogs. These will give you an idea of how other company’s use blogging to improve their position and image:

Gizmodo

Google Blog

Loosetooth.com Shop Blog

 If you need more reasons why a business blog can improve your company’s position and image, give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. It could be the best call you make this year!

Publicity is everywhere! And that is why social media is one of the most successful resources to get publicity quickly in front of your potential customers. Ok, I will now get into why LinkedIn has actually become a solid pr marketing tool.

Unlike Twitter (which should be part of your pr marketing campaign), LinkedIn is purely a businessperson’s social media. Yet, too often it is thought of as a place for job hunter’s or those looking for people to add to their company. In the past this was how LinkedIn was used, but it has grown more as a means to build traffic to your web site. Why is this a good thing? If you own a business, or are a VP or manager of a company, it can be a place to create topics, and discussions among peers. It can direct them to your site and establish business relationships that can lead to more networking and sales. Linkedin

Without trying to give you many examples, just visit Chris Crum’s article on this topic. I was glad to see and read his article because finally someone else recognizes the value and maybe pr clients will listen to a different person who sees this as a major opportunity to build traffic to your site. As many of you may know (at least I hope you know) LinkedIn announced it is now integrated into Microsoft Outlook. This is a big deal for LinkedIn! So now you should more than ever take advantage of this powerful social media and add it into your pr marketing strategy campaign.

If you do not have the time, or the staff to handle a social media campaign, then contact a social media company that could get you started. Don’t know anyone? Then call George Carson at Carson Marketing, Inc. – 949-477-9400.