by Karisa DanleyImage

As the mother of 2 girls, I have spent their early years encouraging them to be outside, playing with friends instead of watching TV, playing video games & being on the computer. I have set rules to keep computers in the common areas of our house and discouraged social media at young ages. We were the last of their peer group to have Wii, DSI & any of the “I” products.  I’ve tried to keep them a bit sheltered as to what is out there until I felt like they were ready.

As you may have guessed, just as it is difficult to keep your kids from recognizing the McDonalds sign, so it is with social media & technology. It’s for this reason my current position as the Director of Interactive Marketing, seems so ironic to me. My past experience was more in the traditional roles of advertising, but going back to work for an ad agency where digital marketing is the name of the game, has proven to bring a whole new element to what I knew and needed to know. Now, my kids are watching me on the computer in the evening, on Facebook, Pinterest, reading blogs & more. It’s exciting to plan campaigns involving an array of mediums and how social media can bring it all together by filling in the missing pieces, getting your brand in front of a whole new demographic. I love it! Social Media is about promoting a company’s brand and culture through new technologies and non-traditional platforms all while interacting with current and potential customers. What works for one business may not work for another. Discovering the right mix is like a giant puzzle and there is not a cookie cutter answer. But when people start interacting with the brand, success is achieved, and that for me is when social media becomes fun.

What do social media analysts do while their friends are pinning vacations, recipes & outfits?

The first thing each morning, usually early morning, they spend their time checking all social media channels for each client. Just because my lights may be out for a few hours, social media lights are never out. There is real time sensitivity to this activity, so timeliness is priority.

They spend time researching stories, writing blogs, planning campaigns and reaching out to clients to ensure strategies are on track. A portion of their day will be spent on reading trend reports to stay in touch with the latest technologies.

Just as will any marketing position, reporting is a huge part of any campaign. Analysts track basic stats, but also monitor conversations happening around the brand on and off pages and structure responses that are in-line with the company’s response.

What I have found now that I have a pre-teen, is that this job not only allows me to work with companies promoting their product, but it has opened up lines of communication about safe social media, the pros and cons. My daughter actually feel I know what I am talking about – shocking! Some parents may have the intentions of monitoring their kids on social media, but honestly, it is time consuming. This allows me to stay ahead of the trends, if I’m keeping up with my job, and play a role in something that is and will continue to be a large part of all our lives.

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YouTube has turned into an incredible search engine for people to find funny, engaging videos that can tell visual stories about your business. YouTube user demographics are evenly distributed between men & women as well as all ages.
YouTube has become more than just a place to house millions of videos. They have made is easier for video creators to have subscribers. Get creative with your videos. Use them to educate, review products, tell a story, and take people behind the scenes or answer questions. A series of videos is a great way to keep people coming back for more. YouTube’s Channel discovery feature recommends channels based on existing subscriptions & viewing behavior.

If you haven’t considered using YouTube as part of your social media plan, now is the time. Below are a few key points to consider to get you started.

  • Create a branded channel by customizing it using specific colors, information and links to your website and other relevant social media pages. YouTube is great way to showcase your company culture, newest products and services and expertise so when people search for keywords related to your business, your videos appear.
  • Optimize your channel title and channel description using relevant keywords related to your business. Start your descriptions with a full url and be descriptive and key-word rich in your video titles & channel title.
  • Keep your videos short, sweet and professionally produced if possible. 60 to 90 seconds should be enough time to get your message out there and ensure you’re keeping your audience’s attention. The only exception may be your how-to videos.
  • Make sure your videos can be found by posting on other platforms.
  • Participate with others on YouTube. This means answering comments just as you respond on other social media platforms. Spend time engaging with others and visiting the competition to keep up with what they are or aren’t doing so well.

YouTube is a great place for any business. So go ahead and start your video camera now!

Less Can Be More

March 20, 2013

Can you say what you want to say in 140 characters or less? Do you believe less is more? If the answer is “YES” then twitter is for you. Twitter allows you to update your followers from anywhere you can get to the internet, which means access to a lot of people throughout the day. Twitter has evolved into a major social media player. As a business, you can use Twitter to attract potential clients and lead them to your other content on the internet such as your website, other platforms, and your bricks and mortar business, if you have one. Twitter can also facilitate excellent customer relations as well as help avoid poor customer relations. You must plan your campaign and create quality posts that interest people and make them want to follow you.

We’ve given you 4 details to consider, so you’re not just tweeting blind!

  • DEFINE YOUR PURPOSE AND GOALS
    If your primary goal is to drive people to your website, Twitter isn’t the platform for you. People on twitter want conversation with real people, not just to be pushed to your site. Do you want to keep customers aware of your daily specials or events you’re planning? Your goal is to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Plan your campaign to include all of your social media platforms, blog as well as your website.
  • ASSIGN THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO TWEET
    The person in charge of your tweets should be knowledgeable and dedicated to listening to your community chatter. They should understand the culture in your company and be someone you are comfortable with talking about your brand. It’s very important on Twitter to respond to messages in a timely manner. That’s what users expect. Real people want to know they are talking to other real people. If your company name is your twitter handle, you should list in your profile the name of those responsible for tweeting. Employees can identify themselves by including a carrot (˄) and their initials, such as ˄KD.
  • FOLLOW THE RIGHT PEOPLE:
    Quality outweighs quantity. Find connectors who post relevant content you will want to retweet with our followers. Look for people who post frequently about your business. Use the search bar often to see if anyone new is tweeting you want to follow.
  • HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR:
    Twitter is a perfect place for your company’s personality to come through. Don’t be afraid to use humor, as long as it is business appropriate.

These are just a few basics to get you started. Once you start tweeting you can find a wealth of people to follow. Businesses have come up with very creative ways to say more with less, and customers appreciate that! If you want to learn more, we invite you to our social media seminar on April 3rd, 11:30am-12:30pm. Give us a call for more details (432)218-6736

Who’s on Facebook now? Why do I care? Why do they keep changing things on me? How can I keep up? We know these are the questions racing through your mind on a consistent basis in order to keep up with your social marketing plans.

We know who isn’t on Facebook. The teens & tweens have moved on to other platforms, ones that they perceive to be parent free. They have moved on to image rich platforms with little content. Eventually parents will follow, and some already are.

Why should you care? Because if you have a business, social media should be part of your marketing mix, and it means the adults are still on Facebook and it’s a great place to reach them.

Why do they keep changing things? Facebook knows that people are moving to the platforms that highlight image based stories vs. content, so they have drastically overhauled their news feed to accommodate that need.

How can I keep up? Read, read, read and enlist the help of people who can focus on your social media and develop your plans to maximize your exposure. Facebook states people will start noticing the changes over the coming months. The best move to is start rethinking your strategy and implement your plan of action today.

People will have a choice of feeds and the ability to toggle back and forth between different feeds: NEWSFEED, ALL FRIENDS, MOST RECENT, MUSIC, PHOTOS, GAMES AND FOLLOWING. Business pages will now fall under the “Following” feed. As a business owner, you don’t want to stay hidden, so, below are recommendations on how to keep your content in front of our audience:

  • Images, images, images, that’s what you need to focus on. According to research by Hubspot, “photos generate 53% more likes than average posts and 104% more comments that the average posts” (average posts included text, links & photo posts). As a company you will need to invest time in creating and sharing captivating visuals.
  • You’ll need to focus on publishing more visual content not just in your status updates, but ads as well.
  • Keep your copy short. Captions will now overlay images, instead of under your images.
  • Write compelling content. Facebook will highlight shared stories from your friend’s feeds. Utilize your blog as a means to share these stories on Facebook.
  • Integrate Pinterest with Facebook.
  • Influence check-ins. When a person checks in to your location it shows up in their Newsfeed.
  • Continue to increase your likes. Anytime a new person likes your page, your business cover photo shows up in their Newsfeed. Another great reason to be sure your cover photo is set to influence the friends of your new fan.

The popularity of more image based platforms have influenced the changes that Facebook needed to make to keep their platform strong & valuable to its user base. Are you confused, yet? We bet “Yes”, and if you don’t have the right people in place to navigate and utilize all of the new and older platforms, your efforts will not be seen. For more information on how your business will benefit from social media, we invite you to our Social Media seminar on April 3rd. Call SDB Creative Group at 432-218-6736 for more information.

Just when you thought people couldn’t or shouldn’t share anymore, up pops another social media platform. With a few tweaks even the ones you know become new again, and you have to relearn the basics.  Previously,  new platforms would emerge every few years, today new social media platforms emerge in a matter of months. How do you keep up with the changes to current platforms and the newest game changers? Take a look at these new platforms, some of which your kids are already using.

media confusion

Pheed: It’s all about pictures and making money with Pheed, where celebrities and other entertaining types have the option of monetizing their photos, videos, and even live broadcasts for a monthly subscription fee.

Thumb: Have a question about what to wear, or what color to paint your room. Enter Thumb, your personal crowdsourcer. Upload a picture to Thumb and get thumbs up or down including comments from the network’s active user base.

Chirpify: For your shopping pleasure through Twitter or Instagram connects sellers & buyers. You reply with the words “buy”. The transaction is through your Twitter account. Chirpify can also be used for fundraising and giveways. Chirpify is free, but takes a 5% cut anytime you get paid.

Flayvr: Just like photo albums in your closet, if you take a lot of photos they can get lost in the mix. Flayver automatically organizes your photos into eye-catching album based on date and location.

Chirp: Chirp allows you to share photographs with any phones in audible range whether in a boardroom, crowded bar or even broadcast over loudspeakers. Your phone emits a high- pitched, two-second-long robotic squeak and any phone within sounds reach can download your photo. It can be even be embedded in YouTube videos or TV programs.

What do you think, are you ready to give some of these a try? Looking for the right mix for your business, but not sure where to start. Let SDB Creative Group help you.

History of Advertising Pt.2

February 13, 2013

Last week we looked at the history of advertising from the early Egyptians through the beginning of radio and TV commercials. Advertising in the 70’s became more emotional and advertisers began to use clever phrases and melodies to capture the consumer’s attention which helped make the advertising message more memorable. Some of the greatest jingles came out of the 70’s. See if you can remember a few of these from Dr. Pepper, Oscar Myer, Coca-Cola and Slinky.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvCTaccEkMI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmPRHJd3uHI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8H5263jCGg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X41Tq3svxNY

The late 1980’s and early 1990’s saw the introduction of cable television and by the end of the 90’s the internet opened a new frontier of advertisers. By 2000, search engines like Google and Yahoo offered new ways to advertise by specifically targeting what  the user  was searching for in their search engine. This type of interactive advertising lead to the new genre of advertising, Social Media.

Social Media is a type of advertising that involves unusual approaches to facilitate encounters with potential consumers. This type of advertising causes consumers to buy the product or idea. This idea furthers the trend of interactive and “embedded” ads, such as via product placement, having consumers vote through text messages, and various innovations utilizing social network services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.

In the 1020’s the main source of advertising for a new business was newspaper, signs on street cars and outdoor posters. By 1998, television and radio stood as a main way advertising dollars were spent by a business. The future is now the internet and unlimited possibilities it holds to market a business, not just locally, but  worldwide.  As we have seen throughout the past, advertising is always changing and at a faster pace that ever before. This can make keeping ahead of the trends even more difficult, but more important than ever.

A large majority of business owners find it difficult to have the time to run their business and successful marketing and advertising campaigns. Let SDB Creative Group give you some time back. Give us a call today!

Do you know what Facebook is? What about Twitter and Instagram? Well your kids do, even if other people in your house aren’t well versed on these communication phenomenons. Kids are way more technologically advanced than generations before. If you aren’t keeping yourself up to date and part of the conversation, you will lose important, teachable moments for your kids. Soon, your kids will be asking to set up accounts and their friends are probably already using them. Establishing guidelines or rules ahead of time can help avoid problems in the future. Below is a list of rules of engagement, that may seem like common sense, but can be easily missed:

  • Get permission from you before setting up a profile on any social networking site.
  •  Don’t talk to or accept any invitations from strangers to connect.
  • Never post private information like phone numbers or addresses.
  • Tell your kids to avoid questionnaires, giveaways or contests.
  • Block anyone who is being mean or harassing. But don’t delete conversations; if things escalate, it’s important to be able to show everything to an adult.
  • If you feel uncomfortable or bullied, talk to a parent or another trusted adult about the issue. (You can find more resources on bullying at StopBullying.gov and NCPC.org.)
  • Never engage in bullying toward other people online.
  • Always log out of your social media accounts when leaving a computer, especially a public or school computer
  • Never give out passwords to anyone besides a parent.

As a parent, don’t forget behind the scenes monitoring that can give you piece of mind in allowing your kids some “independence” with social media.

  • Check privacy settings on your computer and social media sites such as Facebook.
  • Keep the computer in a central location like the family room or kitchen. It’s much easier to monitor what your child is doing on-line when they are in sight.
  • Monitor what your child posts on-line from messages as well as pictures. Most kids don’t understand the permanence of negative posts and pictures of themselves that can have on their future.
  • Use filtering software to monitor your child’s Internet usage. Some software even allows you to view exact keys typed, time spent on-line and all computer activity in general.

Finally, you should get to know the sites that are out there accessible to your children. They pick up technology fast so as parents we must stay ahead of or at least keep up with the other people wanting access to our children.