Tag Archives: social media

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!

How to Take Your LinkedIn Profile from Beginner to All-Star in 7 Steps

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking service on the Internet. It can help users explore job opportunities, be seen by potential employers and network in their field, but it takes more than just signing up for a profile to get results. Here are seven tips to help you take your profile from beginner to all-star to make the most out of your profile.

  1. Have a professional picture. It is important to remember that LinkedIn is a professional platform, not a social one like Facebook where your picture can be casual.  Your picture should portray you in a professional light and make future employers take you seriously – no selfies or beach pictures please! Also make sure that you are the only person in your profile picture so there isn’t confusion about which person you are.
  2. Make an in-depth header. Fill in every field in the header with specific and accurate information so your profile stands out to the right people. Include your industry and location, as well as current position—highlight other previous positions if you’ve been in the industry for a while. If you’re new to the working world, include your education and/or internship experience.
  3. Create an interesting summary. The summary is one of the most important parts of your profile. Its job is to interest the reader enough that they want to learn more about you. Spend time determining what you want your connections to know about you and what you think your strongest characteristics are.
  4. Sell yourself. It is important that everyone looking at your profile knows your skill sets and accomplishments. When creating your skills and experience section, add all of the programs you have worked with and all of the characteristics you have. You should have at least three skills listed, but once you get started you will see how much more you can do.
  5. Make connections. The entire website is dedicated to making professional connections. If you don’t make a network for yourself, no one is going to see your profile. If there aren’t many people you know to connect with, try joining groups and participating in discussion boards. Get your name out there and you will have more connections in no time.
  6. Include attachments and visuals of your past work. When listing past job or internship experiences, add a project you are specifically proud of. If you want to include an uploaded version of your resume and references, then go ahead! These are the kinds of things that will set your profile apart from the others.
  7. Publish posts that interest you and that are relevant to your field. When you publish posts, it is another way to get your name out there and get people to see what you are an expert in.

Even if you make an all-star profile, you’ll need to be active to remain relevant, so make sure to frequently update, connect and post to get the most out of your account. Can you think of any other ways to improve your LinkedIn profile? Let us know in the comments below!

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. 

Face-to-Face Time with Clients Still Matters

It’s no secret that our world is technologically-driven. Long gone are the days where face-to-face—and even telephone—interaction was the preferred way to communicate with others. Now we email, text, tweet or send Facebook messages to coworkers (even if they’re sitting a few feet away), clients, reporters and other contacts we might need to speak to.

Communicating this way is convenient; it makes it easier for you to keep written records or to refer back to older messages; and a lot of times, it’s the best way to get a hold of someone who has a really busy schedule or isn’t in town.

The public relations industry is based on communication, engagement and relationship building. While emailing or texting have become more popular, face-to-face communication is still crucial in the industry for quite a few reasons:

  • You make deeper connections: Having a face-to-face meeting allows you to connect with clients or reporters on a more personal level because you’re taking the time to have a conversation outside of a superficial email setting. It gives you the opportunity to get to know the people you are working with, and on the flip side, they get to know you. Meetings like these have the potential to create lasting relationships with clients or other contacts because you’re working with someone beyond the computer/phone screen.
  • You come to quicker solutions: While it’s true that sending an email/text is convenient and fast, that’s often not the case when you’re dealing with a complex issue that needs a solution. There’s a bit of disconnect when you’re communicating via email. Nonverbal cues and tone are absent, so there’s more room for miscommunication or misinterpretation. Going back and forth to explain an issue or a solution to that issue in an email chain often is more difficult and more time consuming than talking about it in person. If speaking face-to-face isn’t possible, talk on the phone or have a FaceTime session! You’ll be on your way to a solution in no time.
  • You stay focused: If your client is going to work with you on a big project, invite them to an in-person meeting. In this instance, email would be fine for sending important documents and information that are essential to the project, but go over those documents in person to make sure that everything is covered and all of your questions are answered before you begin working on it. Email and telephone follow-ups are inevitable, but the initial communication about an important project should be more focused and personal.

Meeting with someone in person is definitely worth the effort. To make the process a little easier, talk with your clients about getting together in person once a month or every few weeks. Try to schedule the next meeting at the end of each one. Other plans and projects come up, of course, but penciling in that face time is a step in the right direction.

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. 

The Ever-Evolving Marketing Industry

“Whatever happened to traditional marketing?”

If you’ve been working in marketing and advertising for more than a decade, you’ve probably asked yourself that question once or twice. The simple answer: data sophistication. Several decades ago, businesses and organizations had access to a short-list of techniques that could help them promote their businesses. However, today’s marketing industry is constantly evolving with data sophistication, and in order for clients to achieve success, individual agencies must do the same.

There was an era when advertising agencies merely matched a radio or TV station’s ratings with their demographics and then placed the ad schedule for their clients. As the industry evolved, media buying became super-categorized by market share, programming, demographics and more. With buyer profiles and habits, household incomes, and so much more, marketing professionals began to have the capability to tally quantitative and qualitative data for use in their clients’ marketing plans, strategies and campaigns.

The industry is currently experiencing the power of the internet, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which can help marketing professionals target a diverse audience for clients. We now can learn about our audience’s online searching and buying habits, as well as social and engagement trends. These outlets have opened communication channels between brands and their audiences, keeping them totally connected 24/7.

Compared to all the data and statistics available these days, marketing research back then could be considered “cut-and-dried.” And over the next decade, even our current marketing strategies and techniques may seem ancient. That could seem a little intimidating, but there’s a reason why agencies like Yearick-Millea offer services to help businesses and brands make sense of this information in order to craft a successful marketing or public relations campaign. The industry is changing by the minute, and we are responsible for changing along with it.

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. 

Four Ways Public Relations & Social Media Should Work Together

It’s no secret that public relations and social media are (or should be) a crucial part of a company or brand’s strategy for success. Though both areas are different, they share the common goal of positively communicating on behalf of a company or brand, and both are becoming more and more intertwined.

Here are a couple of ways that they can work hand in hand:

  • Public relations professionals work hard to pitch ideas and content to media outlets on behalf of their clients. If pitches are successful and clients/products are featured in a news article, magazine, TV spot or blog post, share those successes on social media. Not only do you maximize exposure to that content, but it’s a way to make a connection with the media outlet that published it.
  • If your client has an online newsroom, share links to distributed press releases on their social media profiles. If you want to take it a bit further, repurpose the content in the press release. For example, if you distribute photo caption sheets, take some of those stellar images and post them on Pinterest while linking back to the release.
  • If your client is hosting an event, chances are that you’re distributing press releases, fliers and calendar postings to alert the masses. Consider creating an event on Facebook and inviting fans. You can gauge how many people are interested based on the RSVPs, and it’ll give your client, as the host, an opportunity to engage with the audience and answer any questions people might have. If your client is gearing up to attend an important industry event—like a trade show or expo— your press release might announce their attendance, but this is a great opportunity to make the announcement on LinkedIn or encourage them to join an existing event/thread on social media to make connections before they even get there.
  • Great engagement on social media profiles can lead to amazing public relations opportunities. Having a real conversation with someone and creating a relationship is what public relations is all about. These days, reporters and other media outlets can generate an entire story based on the conversations and communication they see on social media sites. Don’t be afraid to issue statements on your profile, and don’t be surprised if a media outlet highlights it in an article.

How else do you use public relations and social media together? Feel free to share in the comments section!

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!