All posts by Stephanie Masood

Social Media Trends to Watch in 2016

2016 is almost here! At Yearick-Millea we’re starting to map out next year’s social media strategy for our clients and taking a look at some things we believe will be important come 2016. Here are some of the things we’ll be keeping an eye on in the upcoming year:

  •  The continued rise of advertising – The importance of advertising on social media will continue to grow throughout 2016, as social media will become more “pay to play” than before. The good news is that ad targeting will keep getting more drilled down, resulting in more effective ad campaigns.
  • Periscope – The live broadcasting app owned by Twitter will be a huge part of social media in 2016. It has been used in the obvious ways – news and sporting events – but in 2016 it will replace video in some cases to create an exclusive feeling for content.
  • User-generated content – We will continue to see a rise in the use of user-generated content for social media, especially for retail brands. Customers trust the word of other consumers far more than the brand, so creating a trust based on how other customers feel and interact with your brand will be vital.
  • Quality over quantity – Create quality posts with thought and strategy behind them instead of large quantities of simple posts that don’t provide quality information or contribute to your overall brand strategy.
  • A move away from clickbait-type headlines – The backlash from “You’ll never believe what happened next…” type headlines will grow on Twitter and Facebook. In 2016, we’ll see a shift from headlines written for clicks back to informative headlines that rely on the piece’s quality.
  • Expanding integration of e-commerce – Everywhere you look on social media you can find one-click buying and donation buttons. This proliferation of e-commerce on social media channels will continue to expand throughout 2016. The real question to determine their success will be if people trust the security behind these easy shopping shortcuts or not.

What do you predict will be the social media trends during 2016? Let us know in the comments.

How to Keep Up With Changes in Social Media

The world of social media is constantly changing—with new platforms starting and big changes happening to existing networks. For example, Twitter might be changing its 140 character limit or the much-maligned, maybe hoax app, Peeple, has been making headlines. So how is one supposed to keep up with all of these developments? Here are a few tools we use to stay on top of things at Yearick-Millea:

  • Industry Websites – Websites like Social Media Today, Mashable and Social Media Examiner are all helpful sources to peruse a few times a week to see if there is any pertinent industry news. Setting up RSS feeds for the websites you find most useful can make finding helpful articles even easier.
  • Google Alerts – Set up Google alerts for terms about social media networks to get relevant news delivered to your inbox every day. Just make sure the terms you select are specific enough or you will get buried in emails.
  • Twitter Lists – Curate a list of social media reporters and influencers in a Twitter list to easily browse for the latest breaking news. You can go so far as creating multiple lists for different social networks to keep tabs on them individually.
  • LinkedIn Groups – Join LinkedIn groups for social media and digital marketing to stay up-to-date on the latest industry news and trends, and participate in discussions about them.
  • Social Media – Twitter is one of our favorite sources for breaking news of all kinds, so it will often be the first place to check for news about social media.

What are some of your favorite ways to keep up with social media changes? Let us know in the comments!

Choosing a Profile or Cover Photo for Your Brand on Social Media

Your profile and cover photo represent your company or brand on social media so it’s important to pick out the best possible one to attract fans and followers. Here are a few tips to pick out the best photos:

  • Size – Size requirements vary for each social media platform. Tailor your profile picture to fit these size requirements for the highest quality and best looking photo. Keep in mind that your profile picture will appear smaller in news feeds and when you comment, but it can also be viewed as a large image, so it’s important to account for recognition and photo quality.
  • Text – Keep profile pictures and cover photos as visual as possible. Too much text can be confusing and distracting for users. As mentioned in the previous tip, text can also be hard to decipher in the small scale of a profile picture in a news feed.
  • Up-to-Date – Make sure your profile picture represents your company as it is currently known. Update your profile and cover photos for important campaigns, product releases or news. Just don’t change them too often or you risk confusing people.
  • Consistency – Keep your profile and cover photos consistent across all social media platforms to help people know they are looking at the right brand. Consistent images will also help build brand recognition on social media, which is hugely important to building an audience on social.
  • Complementary – While there’s no need to go as far as making your cover and profile photo appear to be one photo—even though it looks great—they should complement each other; meaning similar color schemes, font and feel.
corona

Corona’s Facebook profile shows an example where a profile photo and a cover photo appear to be one.

Do you have any additional advice for brands picking out profile or cover photos? Let us know in the comments!

Contact Yearick-Millea to learn more about how we can help with your social media strategy. 

How to Advertise on Twitter

We covered advertising on Facebook in an earlier blog post, but today we’ll be discussing the basics of advertising on Twitter.

There are three basic types of Twitter advertising:

  • Promoted accounts that show up in the “who to follow” section
  • Promoted tweets that show up in a user’s timeline
  • Promoted trends that are listed in the “trends” section

The most commonly used type of ad is a promoted tweet. These ads can target Twitter users based on a multitude of factors depending on what you’re looking for, including keyword targeting, interest targeting, location targeting and gender targeting.

Pricing for Twitter advertising is based on accomplishing your chosen “objectives.” Objectives can include followers, web clicks and conversions, engagement, app installs, and engagement and leads. Under the current “objectives” structure, you’re only charged for your ad when your objective has been met. For example, if your goal is to get followers, you’ll be charged for each follower you gain from your ad. You can still use the old structure that is not based on objectives; however, using the objective-based advertising method is generally the best way to get optimal results for your campaign.

Twitter objectives

Similar to Facebook ads, promoted tweets should use clear, concise ad copy and intriguing creative. Twitter’s advertising platform will help guide you through creating your ad based on your chosen objective. Twitter ads have both the advantage and disadvantage of blending in better with a user’s timeline than an ad on a Facebook newsfeed. This can be advantageous because users may not realize it’s an ad, therefore, they will be more likely to interact with it. On the other hand, it can be a disadvantage because it is more likely to be scrolled over, as lots of tweets are.

To achieve success with a Twitter promoted tweet ad campaign, we recommend running a different mix of copy and creative to determine what works best for you and attracts customers.

Contact Yearick-Millea to learn more about how we can help with your social media strategy. 

How to Advertise on Facebook

Advertising on Facebook is now an essential part of a brand’s strategy to get their message out on the social media platform, due to the way Facebook’s algorithm has impacted organic reach (the number of people who see unpaid brand content). If you aren’t already using Facebook advertising for your brand or business, you may be wondering where to get started.

Here at Yearick-Millea, we have a few recommendations for brands that we help to effectively advertise on Facebook:

• We generally recommend using two types of ads—a page likes ad and web traffic ad—but that essentially depends on what your business goals are. For example, if you are an e-commerce site, your goals could be tied to pushing a specific product instead of general website traffic.

• Use eye-catching creative and interesting, informative copy to encourage people to click on the ad – your ad only has a brief period of time to grab the attention of your targeted audience.

• Monitor ads and make necessary changes to images, copy or target audience if the ad is not performing well enough. However, let ads run for at least a month before making hasty changes. Also, keep in mind that your ad performance will depend on your ad budget – Don’t expect to double your audience size with a small budget.

Facebook ads are a relatively cheap way for companies to advertise online compared to other services such as Google Adwords. A budget of $200-$300 a month for a smaller business can provide a decent return for the chosen business goals.

Contact Yearick-Millea to learn more about how we can help with your social media strategy. 

Social Media Trends to Explore in 2015

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 2015! Here at Yearick-Millea, we’re starting to think about trends we should be exploring for our clients in the new year. The following are a few trends we think will be important on social media in the upcoming year:

  • Instagram – If you have clients in retail, beauty or other visual industries, it’s time to make sure they’re on Instagram! Instagram continues to grow—it just surpassed Twitter in users—and it is the most popular visual social media network. Also important to remember is that unlike Pinterest, Instagram’s user base is more diverse.
  • Facebook – Unfortunately, being successful as a brand on Facebook in 2015 will mean paying more for ads and even post views. With post views continuing to drop as result of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, brands will need to be creative with their ad spend. Good content will remain a must, but it’s looking more and more like paying to play is, too.
  • Ello – Keep an eye on Ello in 2015 – the newest social network is still in beta, but it continues to grow each day. However, before you consider it for your brand, remember that Ello is meant to be the “ad-free” social network to counter Facebook. A careful strategy with a focus on conversation and engagement, not selling, will be vital to any brands trying to use Ello.
  • Customer service – Social media has been the go-to option for customers for some time now, but in 2015 expect customers to want faster response times and more personalized responses. It’s important to map out your response procedures and determine who is responsible for customer service to be prepared for this. As you know, a negative customer service experience gets more press than a positive one.
  • Analytics – Social media analytics will continue to grow and delve deeper into customer behaviors online, allowing brands to better target new customers and retain old ones.
  • E-commerce – With the development of “buy” buttons on Facebook and Twitter, social buying is something retail brands should monitor as they become available. It’s not yet known if these buttons will be popular and seen as an even easier way to purchase items or as an invasion of privacy that people will be uncomfortable with.

What are your predictions for trends in social media during 2015? Let us know in the comments!

2015

The Benefits of Having a Company Blog

In this age of digital media, it has become an expectation for companies and brands to have blogs. While managing and maintaining a company blog can be time-consuming, we encourage all of our clients to put effort into having one for several reasons:

  • Drives traffic – Having a blog that is updated at least monthly creates more content for your website. This flow of fresh content will help your SEO ranking, making it easier for potential customers to find you in search results.
  • Complements your social media – Not only does blogging automatically give you good content to use on social media, it gives you a space to expand on ideas in a way that is not possible on social media.
  • Show off expertise – Whatever your industry may be, a blog allows you to establish your brand as the “go-to” expert in your field, potentially leading to new business.
  • Engagement – Having a blog offers customers more ways to interact with your brand, creating more opportunities to form a relationship. You may be able to transform some of these new relationships into brand advocates.
  • Cost –There are many great blogging platforms that offer free services – WordPress is one of the more popular options.
  • Additional content – Think of a blog as an extension of your website and your social media pages. It gives people more information about how your company operates, who the members of your staff are, what your philosophies are and your areas of expertise.

If you have a blog, tell us why you started one in the comments!

When Is Twitter Going to Add an Edit Feature?

Here at Yearick-Millea, we love Twitter as a go-to source for news, general information, laughs and more! With that said, Twitter needs to add an edit feature to help clarify tweets, whether it is misinformation from a news source, an accidental tweet from your phone or an embarrassing typo (like Delta’s typo last month).

Earlier this week, this tweet from the AP really demonstrated the need for the edit button on Twitter:

ap tweet 1

The wording in this Tweet caused quite a bit of confusion and horror, with people thinking the military plane had crashed. Though the AP delivered a correction moments later, the damage was done because people already had widely retweeted the post and taken screenshots of it.

ap tweet 2

The addition of an edit button on Twitter could help users fix their errors much more smoothly. Other social media outlets, like Facebook, offer similar features.  On Facebook for instance, users are allowed to edit their posts after publication and previous versions are visible to anyone who wants to see them.  There are obviously some logistics to work out with an edit button on Twitter – editing time frame after the initial post, the visibility of previous versions of the tweet, etc. –but it’s clear Twitter needs it.

Do you agree? Do you think Twitter needs an edit button?

 

 

Brand Engagement on Instagram

Recent reports have shown that brand engagement — the percentage of fans or followers who interact with your post — on Instagram is much higher than any of the other major social networks,  including Facebook and Twitter. Here are a few reasons why this might be the case:

  • Visual content: Instagram users share photos and short videos.  In general, visual posts tend to get the most engagement on all social media platforms, not just Instagram.
  • Visibility: There are fewer brands on Instagram than other social networks. Because of this, brands aren’t filtered out for more “relevant” content like they are on Facebook. This also means there isn’t an oversaturation of brands on the network to make people feel like it has become an advertising space. Also, almost all brand posts you see aren’t paid ads, whereas on Facebook, you are much more likely to see a brand’s post if it is an ad.
  • Time & Money: Brands have higher budgets and more time to devote to Instagram. Brands can take time to set up higher quality photos and put more thought into their short videos than the average user, making them more visually appealing and engaging.
  • Demographic: The average Instagram user is younger than the average Facebook user, and the younger demographic is more likely to interact with brands on social.
Red Bull has been said to be one of the top-performing brands in terms of engagement.

Red Bull has been said to be one of the top-performing brands on Instagram  in terms of engagement.

Is your brand using Instagram? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!