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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.

 

Many of the social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are still useful media. And business networks like LinkedIn are very powerful, if you know how to use the tools effectively. Are you experiencing “APP Overload?” Confused what is the best platform to use in your pr marketing strategies campaign? You’re not alone.

Vine App

Vine App

It hasn’t been 2 years since marketers and advertisers were finally understanding how to use them in social media marketing, and now we need to learn all over again how to reach targeted customers. Let me explain. These social media platforms I mentioned are continually expanding their capabilities to be more productive. One in particular is Twitter. Two years ago they created a new app called Vine. The purpose of Vine was to give marketers, like Coco Cola, Dunkin’ Donuts, Target and publicity firms a way to post short videos (6 seconds in length). It was great for the first 18 months. Then competition from other platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube created their versions of short video formats marketers could use. But not all is lost. Still today, Vine has about 4% of all videos posted. This can be an effective platform for PR Clients when combined with others.

Allison Stern, founder at Tubular Labs commented about the decline-using Vine saying, “I assume that brands are having this platform fatigue”. I think that best describes what is currently happening with this app overload.

If you want to post something that is happening now, then you need to look at Periscope. That’s another Twitter app, which has become popular because it is a live video streaming app. They have a few cool features. When you tap the video (screen) it sends little “hearts” across the screen. It is their way of acknowledging, “likes” to compete with Facebook. Originally Periscope was developed in 2014 by another company and named it Bounty. Then in February 2015 Twitter saw the value and purchased the app, renamed it Periscope. To understand how fast this app became a hit, in less than 6 months of its release, Periscope had 10 million accounts.

So before you abandon any of your social media apps, just keep posting videos on all platforms, and write short Tweets, blogs and keep your brand in front of customers through all the different social media platforms, today and whatever develops tomorrow. Need help getting your social media campaign going, if so, call George Carson at 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.

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.

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.

Seems the popularity of Twitter is slowing becoming a follower’s site rather than a business site. Let me explain. Yes, Twitter is great for those who want to know what celebrities are doing, or what your friends are doing at the time. But for pr clients, it can be a great marketing tool to get higher rankings in Google, as well as get more traffic to your web site.social networking

The great thing about Twitter, you can be a local orange county business, or a national company, even a global business and get people to follow you. So why, if you are a pr client, wouldn’t you want followers? It is a great pr marketing tool! When done correctly, you can actually increase traffic to your site. But remember, the content in those 140 characters need to be inviting. Don’t try to sell junk, or build traffic to only sell ad space on your site. Followers can be an important factor in growing your twitter name and your business web site.

I read a study by Rapleaf stating “active” Twitter users studied (40,000) had this in their report: “The most followed users gained followers at a faster rate than less popular users, contributing to a growing ‘popularity gap.'”  Also, “Users in the top 0.1% have around 5x as many followers as users in the top 1% and about 40x as many followers as users in the top 10%.”

Basically this is saying that many top celebs are being followed faster, and that people are more interested in the following than building their own followers. One writer uses the words “popularity gap” to explain this. That’s where the business part is loosing ground with this powerful pr marketing tool. If you understand this, it can actually be a good thing. Because you can use Twitter to build an awareness campaign for your service or business before too many companies realize the “gap” in their pr marketing strategy. So all you pr clients, wake up. Now is the time to improve your branding and increase traffic with Twitter. If not, your competition will just “twit” past you and gain more market share.

It’s great to see when competition helps to change the Internet landscape. Since Twitter became an overnight smash, the big SEO’s like Google, and Yahoo are now learning their “searches” need to be more targeted. This is good news when developing pr marketing strategies, or a marketing and advertising plan. Have you checked out some of the new features that Google has added? If not, it is worth it.

Basically, you can now get more indepth info rather than surfing hundreds of  web pages. The new feature, listed near the top and next to the word “Web” is called Options.marketing strategy This neat feature will give you more options for your search. Such as, videos, forums, results in the past 24 hours, or up to a year ago. Then there is the wonder wheel. This is a circle with spokes that give you further areas to review and develop your pr marketing strategy. Let’s say you type the word “encryption”. With the Wonder Wheel, it gives you options that read: encryption samples, history of encryption, java encryption, and several others. If you don’t want all of these “options” you can click “hide options” and it brings you back to the normal Google search of web sites.

A writer pointed out that even Facebook is looking to Twitter to see how they can improve their pages to be more real time and usable. A WebProNews Blog Partner, Bill Hartz, commented “From what I am seeing, the ‘search engine optimization’ industry is actually turning back around to what it used to be: good old fashioned website marketing.” This again is good news. Search was getting confusing, because the way you received results was ovewhelming. Now the SEO’s are answering our needs, finally.

I have said this in past blogs, we are just starting to open the door of the Internet Future. Who knows what we will be saying and using in the next 12 months. I don’t know about you, but I sure am looking forward to this new passage.

If you have been reading my blogs you already know about www.cuil.com. It’s neat and has some great features to envy Google. But there is another search engine that most people do not even realize exists. It’s http://search.twitter.com

Yes, Twitter actually has a very good search and gives good results. You can get local publicity information. Unlike Google, or Cuil, or Yahoo, this offers a different type of searching. For example, an article titled ” Twitter Search Will Be Powerful” by Joe twitter searchMarchese explains his experience. When the earthquake happened in Southern CA the other day, he did a Google search to get more info. Joe had just landed and was eager to find more about the local news in Orange County and Los Angeles and level of the quake. Google provided hundreds of sites, but nothing current to that day’s event. Then he tried Twitter. The search allowed him to read people’s reaction to the quake. He was able to see/read the effects of the earthquake immediately. This is how local publicity in Orange County, or Los Angeles can be accesses immediately.

This is not to say Google, or Yahoo, or even Cuil cannot offer this information. It now shows us that search has become more than an encyclopedia of pages, but can now become a tool for other uses. Twitter is opening the door to new search. And according to Joe, he believes that Google (or someone else) will purchase Twitter to gain this feature it doesn’t offer. Sounds right to me. Joe wrote an article in March about his perspective on this.

Remember, what we thought was a new way to do things just a couple of years ago, actually just last year, is old news. This fast paced social media is teaching us that we are going to see new territories and discoveries opening up shortly. Who knows, this blog site just might become old news next year, and I’ll be communicating in a different platform.

If you want to keep on track with social marketing, do it now. Call George Carson today. 949-477-9400.

You can get caught up in the social networks and get the wrong type of publicity for your pr client if you do not know or understand how to use this powerful media. If you don’t believe me, just read a recent article in today’s LA Times that discusses the issues and problems using social networks.

For example, companies like Amazon and Domino have learned the hard facts and how to control your social networkingsocial network campaign, only after getting hammered by fans and other online followers. Remember, if you use this media, like Twitter, you better realize it opens you up to all sorts of people. You need to use the social networks as a tool to market your pr client or your products and services. But don’t treat these like a TV commercial. That isn’t why you have followers, or fans, etc. These can be your best approach to getting the word out, if done properly.

On the good side, look what Ashton Kutcher did for CNN. Yeah, he outpaced them with followers, but CNN got a lot of exposure and they used this to help strengthen their position by hiring the person who began the CNN “Breaking News” account.

If you want to start using this new and powerful social network (like Twitter), be sure to know the game.  It is best to get a professional to guide you in the right direction. Then you will be able to use it to your advantage; otherwise you can get destroyed faster than it was to build your company. Need help? Give George Carson a call at 949-477-9400. His company, Carson Marketing, Inc. can get you into the social game so that your pr client, or your company will get great results.