5 Reasons Every Business Should Be on Twitter

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The internet is full of social media platforms and it seems difficult and sometimes impossible for a business to keep up with all of the latest trends. To make matters more difficult, social media consultants never seem to agree on what the best approach is for a business, which adds another level of complexity. When determining the best social media strategy, many business owners fail to realize that Twitter can be one of the most powerful tools to use.

The List

  • Branding: Twitter is very personal. Presenting information in 140 characters or less is not always easily accomplished, which makes tweeting a creative process. By using Twitter properly, a business owner can greatly enhance and build upon its brand’s image.
  • Viral Promotions: Though social media isn’t always the best at new client acquisition, Twitter’s unique structure can actually help bring people in. With the social aspect of Twitter and the re-tweet feature, customers can share promotions with their friends on Twitter, which can actually help to draw in new potential buyers.
  • Competitive Insight: By monitoring the Twitter feed of competitors, an individual can see what that company’s clients are saying about its services. This can allow a business owner to tailor his or her own marketing and branding efforts in a more effective fashion.
  • Build Loyalty: Once again, Twitter is a personal platform. Staying in touch with customers in this fashion helps people feel closer to a business. Rather than seeming like a distant company, people begin to perceive these brands as unique individuals capable of personal communication.
  • Receive Immediate Feedback: Because of its unique presentation and personal feel, Twitter allows for immediate feedback from clients. By simply putting the “@” symbol before a business’s Twitter handle, an individual can tweet directly to that business and say whatever he or she wants. Unlike an e-mail or phone call, this makes the customer feel like he or she is directly in contact with the person that matters.

Understanding the Importance

For most businesses, these advantages can be a significant game changer, especially if it involves repeat business. The reality is that most social media platforms will not directly affect new client acquisition very much, but it can make a real difference in keeping existing clients. Furthermore, it can build awareness for what your company does on a daily basis, which can go a long way to helping your business grow.

Email Newsletters: Less is More

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Email newsletters, thanks largely in part to smartphones and popular subscription services like Constant Contact, have come back bigger than ever. Every brand wants an email newsletter of its own to play a vital part in its content marketing strategy. Yet our collective enthusiasm for email newsletters can be cause for excess. Packed with too much information and sent several times a week, email newsletter overkill is on the rise. Here are a few ways you can avoid it:

Save Some for the Next Issue: Problem numero uno with overdone email marketing begins with too many articles. Marketers tend to have a “more is more” attitude with nearly everything, but with email marketing, “less is more” is a better rule of thumb. Consider that when opening emails of your own, you want the sender, whether it be Barnes & Noble or your mother, to get to the point. With too many articles and blurbs in your newsletter, you run the risk of boring your reader and causing them to unsubscribe. We all just want easy-to-read newsletters that are informative and short. Pick out your ten best blogs, new product photos and videos and leave it at that.

Images in Focus: Snazzy, sharply-designed newsletters are sure to stand out in the inbox, and great images play a huge role. But don’t load your newsletter with images just because you can. Remember, depending on what email server your followers use, lots of images can make newsletters annoyingly hard to open. Instead, edit your images like you would your text — stick with the logos and great graphics that make sense for that particular issue and leave the rest.

Make it Worth Their While: Lastly, make your newsletter stand out by offering something you don’t offer on social media or on your website. Studies have shown that the most popular email newsletters are the ones that give readers something extra. Coupons, freebies, interviews and exclusive videos are just a few things to include to make your newsletter special and worth opening again and again.

Five Things You Might Have Missed!

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Where, oh where is a busy mover and shaker like yourself supposed to go to get the latest in online marketing news? Look no further. Our weekly list of five marketing news stories you might have missed has everything you want to know in an easy-to-read, condensed list! Let’s get started, shall we?

1.) Hashtags are #Everywhere: When hashtags are showing up in restrooms, you know we’ve officially crossed over. Attendees at Wednesday’s CMT Awards were greeted with messages like, “Hopefully your tweets are better than your aim. #CMTawards” when visiting the restrooms at Bridgestone Arena. Since the awards were voted on by fans, CMT encouraged attendees to tweet and use the hashtags throughout the show.

2.) I Can’t Believe it Took So Long: We don’t know why it’s 2013 and only now is Paula Deen getting her own brand of butter. But we do know somebody on Team Deen must have figured out that when its comes to Paula the brand, we like her better with butter. This new line of finishing butters will be sold at — wait for it — WalMart. Again, duh.

3.) PR Stunts at New Heights: To promote video/social media/mobile app Vine, founder Jack Dorsey went straight to the top. Dorsey climbed to the top of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge and filmed a series of six-second videos which feature jaw-dropping views and more than a couple of scares.

4.) Wrapping Up Hunger: Soup Kitchen Stockholm found a cool way to show that in order to fight hunger, you don’t necessarily need money. The non-profit printed sandwich wrappers with the message, “We don’t want your money. But we want your bread.” The creative and cool campaign, according to creativity-online.com, “encourages people to make an extra sandwich, wrap it, and give it to a homeless person, with the aim that they get involved in the issue of homelessness, and break down prejudice by spending five minutes talking to homeless people.”

5.) Mystery Solved: Know what makes Grumpy Cat grumpy? According to this new billboard created by high schooler JT DeMarco, drinking at prom is behind that sourpuss. A junior from Elizabeth, Pa., DeMarco beat out dozens of other student-created campaigns by using America’s favorite foul feline. DeMarco didn’t, however, get permission to use Grumpy Cat’s image for the billboard, so we’ll see if a copyright dispute goes from grumpy to downright ugly.

Five Things You Might Have Missed!

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Feeling overwhelmed and out of the loop? Take a break and catch up with five fantastic stories from the worlds of online marketing and digital branding! Grab a coffee and enjoy our weekly list of five things you might have missed.

1.) Awareness, Orchestrated: In an effort to raise money, CRIS Against Cancer organized a classical music concert in Madrid. According to I Believe in Advertising, “The idea was that the orchestra played the 9th Symphony of Beethoven according to audience response. But, each bar of the score corresponded to a seat in the National Auditorium, therefore any un-sold tickets would mean an unplayed bar, and silence in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony score.” This incredible video shows what happened.

2.) Bestseller Blogs: If you are an indie author planning on using blog marketing to help sell your latest book, this article from Huffington Post is a must-read. In it, the Writer’s Relief staff outlines three essential blogging tips for any budding writer wanting to grab the attention of readers and publishers alike.

3.) Disappearing Ads: If, even as a marketer, the ads on Facebook Mobile drive you nuts, we have some good news. In a story you might have missed, Facebook mobile now lets users hide annoying and plentiful advertisements that pop up on our smartphones. The innovation comes right on the heels of an article from The Atlantic which griped about the irritating ads.

4.) Skinny Machine: “Never underestimate the power of style” is the moral of this little soda story. Diet Coke’s “Slender Vender” is one of those clever marketing ploys that plays perfectly with the brand’s image while producing a memorable visual. The thin, silver vending machine looks as cool and stylish as Diet Coke’s new bottles and cans. Plus, the song in the video is super catchy, too.

5.) A Mother’s Day Marketing Miracle: Finally, we think there’s no better illustration of how to use social media marketing to put your tiny, homespun business on the map than JumpSacBaby. This incredible article from Mashable is as inspiring as it is inspirational for anyone trying to use social media to grow their business and find ways to give your brand a social media makeover.

What’s the Secret to Blockbuster Viral Videos?

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Blockbuster Viral Videos

Original, memorable online video creation at times feels impossible. With the sea of new branded video content making waves on YouTube everyday, even getting views is an uphill battle, right? Perhaps, but we believe there are some easy things brands of all sizes can do to get noticed in the viral video battle. So how does a normal video made by a small company achieve YouTube greatness?

While there isn’t a straightforward secret formula when it comes to online videos, including humor is one way to insure a good number of views. The fact is, we the people love to laugh. Therefore, video content that can make us laugh is the kind of thing we forward to friends, post to Facebook and watch over and over again. It’s pure gold. Check out this commercial for Dove men’s shampoo for further proof of how funny works.

It doesn’t matter that this Brazilian commercial isn’t in English or that it’s directed at the tough market of men’s hair care. The fact is it’s funny and memorable. In one minute and eight seconds, Dove has done more for this product than any social media campaign could ever do, and it’s all because the video is hilarious and a little weird. Appealing to your followers’ sense of humor doesn’t take boatloads of cash or a fancy agency, it just takes some great writing and creativity. Creativity when paired with online videos can help consumer change their minds or think of new ways to use your products or services. This ad for Salvation Army is a terrific example of that.

But videos can also be helpful for giving your brand a new narrative. No other platform can express who your company is and what you’re all about faster than video. This is incredibly helpful for brands trying to reintroduce themselves to new customers like childhood favorite Kool-Aid recently did.

There may be no secret formula to creating the next viral hit, but we do know that humor, a strong narrative and creativity certainly help. Also, good video campaigns require a lot of help and fresh ideas (something we can certainly help you with). And if all else fails, go for juvenile and ridiculous. This Kmart ad, posted last week and already boasting over 9 million views, proves that our inner 12-year-old is alive and well and ready to watch videos online.