Which Social Site

Love this Infographic from Neil Patel. I’ve written about the importance of not getting totally carried away and joining every social site here, here and over here too. Obviously new channels Snapchat and What’s App and a few other developing sites are not on here yet, and the stats are a bit out of date, but this is a nice overview of the largest platforms.

info on socil

It’s tempting when you look at big brand sites and see them all over every platform to try to be there too. But, social media is like any media and is growing more like them every day – there are a multitude of choices, you need to pick the ones that work for your product and  target market. This is particularly critical due to the total time suck that social media can be, whether you are a billion dollar company or an entrepreneur…especially if you are trying to grow a company.

Taking the time to think through a strategy and decide which platforms are best for your brand can make a big difference in your marketing program and is you are a do-it-yourself-er…your life.

 

professional content creationMARYANNE CONLIN IS AN CPG TRAINED MARKETER AND AN AWARD-WINNING DIGITAL EXPERT. SHE SPECIALIZES IN HELPING GROWING BRANDS DEVELOP STRATEGIC  MARKETING PLANS AND EXECUTE THEM EFFECTIVELY. 

CONTACT HER AT REDROPESDIGITAL.COM

FOLLOW HER  ON TWITTER @maryanneconlin

 

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5 Tips for Travel Industry Brands

It’s seems like infographics, though trendy will remain in the digital marketer’s toolkit for the foreseeable future. I’ve made several for clients using Canva – time consuming, but a great way to provide information in visual form.

Here’s one that I really like that covers the basics of where to invest in digital this year. It’s similar to a post I did for LinkedIn last week – Digital Checklist for Real Life Brands. I was actually thinking about a hospitality industry client I have when I wrote it!

 

Travel Marketing Budgets 2016 #InfographicYou can also find more infographics at Visualistan

Big brands already have a team and a strategy in place to implement these key strategies but, small and medium size organizations, especially those not specifically in the digital world will find both this infographic and my post good starting points for developing a plan.

Thanks to MGA advertising for this infographic. Nice job.

headshot newMARYANNE CONLIN IS AN CPG TRAINED MARKETER AND AN AWARD-WINNING DIGITAL EXPERT. SHE SPECIALIZES IN HELPING GROWING BRANDS DEVELOP STRATEGIC  MARKETING PLANS AND EXECUTE THEM EFFECTIVELY. 

CONTACT HER AT REDROPESDIGITAL.COM

FOLLOW HER  ON TWITTER @maryanneconlin

 

3 Brand Best Practices In a Natural Disaster

 

As hurricane season starts in Florida and wildfire season continues in the California drought and tornadoes barrel through the Mid West, it is tempting to capitalize on the news event in social media. This is of course what trips up brands on a regular basis.

Social media managers around the world wake up each morning trying to figure out the best way to make their brand relevant that day, putting brands squarely in the middle of the challenge traditional media has struggled with for years- if you’re not a hard news site, what do you talk about when everyone is focused on a natural disaster.

In the food industry, it’s tempting to post, bone warming recipes and tips explaining why your product is just the perfect one to stock up on in the case of an emergency.

Try to restrain yourself.

Instead follow these three tips for posting about your product when everyone is thinking of something else.

  1. Be subtle . Yes, it is correct to let consumers know you are aware of the situation, but not by tying your product into the emergency. Offer your thoughts and/or prayers, but don’t sell.

 

  1. Be Relevant without being pushy. If your product IS one that is typically, emphasis on typically, included in an emergency situation ( canned soup, bottled water, dry foods) offer your audience tips. …but focus on the bigger picture and include your product in an entire list of  emergency products.

 

  1. Enter into the conversation only when invited. It’s tempting to jump into a conversation with the hashtag du jour, but when lives and livelihood are a stake, even a simple, ”be safe” can be misinterpreted. Stay on the safe side and acknowledge rather than drive the conversation.

Does this post capitalize on the current situation? Possibly. It was on my mind this morning as I made my morning posts. Hopefully I’ve shared appropriately. You can let me know.

Maryanne Conlin, CEO of RedRopesDigital likes maintaining relationships especially when they lead to good conversation    and good food.

What Home Depot’s Tweet Tells Us About Staffing Social Media

home depot2Once again, a major brand gets in trouble over a tweet. In case you missed it, Home Depot posted an extremely offensive tweet yesterday which they of course then promptly took down and marshaled their PR force to apologize profusely across the media sphere.

Since the tweet was posted by Home Depot’s outside agency, you wonder whether the same people were deployed to apologize as posted the offensive tweet in the first place. It’s really a bizarre world that we live in now where brands pay outside agencies to handle their social media and then have to pay again to field a crisis campaign to apologize for their mistakes.

But, it’s really less a bizarre strategy than it is a result of the short-sighted way that social media is staffed. I wrote here about  lunacy of having interns and lower level employees be responsible for strategically deploying the brand’s message out to millions of consumers every day and in the case of Twitter, to thought leaders in those communities.

In no other part of marketing do we expect  entry level employees to  have the strategic experience to broadcast the brand message without supervision. It’s not fair to the employee and it certainly does very little to help the brand.

headshot newMaryanne Conlin is an award-winning social media expert and CEO of RedRopes Digital, a consulting firm focused on building strong digital brands. You can access her Sept 27 presentation at ExpoEast on Social Media Marketing for Socially Conscious Brands here  and connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin

Don’t Let An Intern Handle Your Social Media

internIn the early days of social media, when it was difficult to measure engagement levels and platform analytics were sketchy, it may have made sense to devote the least number of labor dollars on social media. No one really understood this new tool and what role it would eventually play in the marketing mix.

As the medium has evolved, though…management practices haven’t.

I’ve often heard the excuse that interns and lower level marketing folks are “digital natives” and take to the social media more easily. I think we can put that one to rest after almost a decade of social media.

But now, when the Internet is The Leading Influence in consumer purchasing choice… trumping all other sources, including advice from friends and family having perhaps your most important consumer contact handled by your least experienced person doesn’t make a lot of sense. In fact having your social media updating divorced from the brand management function, silo-ed all by itself or worse handled by one junior person who manages the function for a number of brands almost guarantees missed opportunities, garbled messaging and loss of focus.

Instead, let’s think about a different strategy. In our agency, the brand team has social media site updating as part of their account management responsibilities. Immersed in the brand essence, they are fluent communicating the brand message through copy and images to a variety of audiences because they work closely with the client and creative teams to do so in a variety of different forms.

Mid-senior level managers are the only ones with the experience with legal issues that can crop up, wording that works or doesn’t work for the brand and a real understanding of the target market, through the research they analyze and use to develop all of the creative programs for the brand.  More experienced managers are focused. They work on one or maybe two brands, so are immersed in the brand(s)…unlike a social media intern or community manager who may work on 5- 10 brands performing one function of the marketing mix. Mid and senior level managers by stint of years of experience in marketing, can think strategically about posting and responding and creating community in the social space.

So, as we have more mid and senior managers do final edits on copy and review final creative and really write up any sensitive communication that needs to be explained to upper level management, shouldn’t we use those skills to communicate with the most important person in the mix, the consumer?

(And just to put a plug in for the intern – internships are supposed to be about learning from more senior managers. Get your interns involved in helping you do the tasks on your plate so they can learn. Having them take over the entire social media function doesn’t help the brand or the intern.)

(Photo credit http://blog.onthebar.com)

headshot newMaryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Marketing, a consulting firm focused on green and sustainable industries, fresh produce, food, Hispanic marketing and marketing to Moms. You can access her Sept 27 presentation at ExpoEast on Social Media Marketing for Socially Conscious Brands here  Connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin

Social Media Marketing For Socially Conscious Brands

Just returned from the Natural Foods Expo in Baltimore. What a great show! I’ve been attending the Expo West show for the last 5 years or so and have watched it explode until now it is bursting the seams at the Anaheim Convention Center. It looks like Expo East is headed in the same direction!

Lots of interesting sessions and some innovative new products. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to be part of the program and talked about my approach to social media – Integrated Digital Branding, in this presentation. Thanks @momcentral for attending and the kudos after the session. A special thank you to the man in the back of the room who yelled out, “this is the clearest presentation of social media I have ever seen!

Success and Fun with User Generated Content

UGC is such a techy sounding term for asking fans to send in what makes them love your brand. (UGC) User Generated Content, at its core is people sharing their personal stories.

Mashable’s story today on UGC, concentrated on fashion brands, with a CPG, feel good campaign thrown in as well, but some of the real opportunities are for food brands, though, most every B2C brand can benefit.

User generated content, is tapping into the vast number of users of your product and letting them share how they use it. Trust me, they’ll think of ways you never even considered!

Here’s an example of a program we ran on Pinterest for Avocados from Mexico to generate recipe ideas. I would have thought of avocado chiffon pie?

 

ugc pinterest shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And consider The Pillsbury back-off – probably the first large scale example of UGC

pillsbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to a successful UGC campaign in the social world is 360 integration. Create your campaign. Be creative and integrate as many of your social sites into the program as possible. Have a sharing option on Instagram; enter through Facebook; encourage photos and video on Twitter.

User generated Content stretches your marketing budget, drives organic traffic to your website and engages your fans. Yes, there are a number of legal hurdles, easy to address once you know the ropes. And coming up with a creative idea in a noise filled social media space can be challenging, but reaching out to fans is an easy way to accomplish two goals at once – engagement and content – UGC-E?

 

headshot newMaryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Digital and Partner Digital Strategy with 4GreenPs. She loves to create  content and read content that other people create.

Image Strategy The New “To Do” in 2013

Happy New Year!

Image Strategy
With New Year’s Day on a Tuesday, staggered returns to work seem to be the rule this year, which makes “3 Somethings for the New Year” posts rampant. So I’ll jump right in with my thoughts on 2013.

As noted in It’s Time For An Image Strategy, in social media, the image has become King. We’ve finally began to realize that a picture is worth 144 characters…or something like that. While it began to dawn on those of us who spend every day crafting content and pouring over analytics that posts, tweets, comments…you name it, perform better with a large juicy picture, the idea of an overall strategy is just beginning to take hold.

While getting great pictures, can at first seem frustrating, the sheer volume of user created content has made that less of an issue, with a little patience. The new demanding task is lining up the graphic with the message.

As we’ve learned, the key to an effective social media strategy, that extends from your website through all of your platforms is consistency. Develop a voice, create a series of messages, execute them in a variety of ways across channels.

Now add your images.

Turning that around and making images an integral part of your message strategy is the new task for 2013.

How do you plan to make that happen for your brand?

headshot new

Maryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Digital and Partner Digital Strategy with 4GreenPs.  She loves photos of good looking food and cute animals.

A Yummy Bi-lingual Campaign

It’s pretty awesome to see a write up on your work from a totally unexpected source! When I ran across this post A yummy bilingual social campaign and website, I Love Avocados / Amo Los Aguacates, I was happy to see our work for client, Avocados From Mexico highlighted by another agency. Thanks Content Hunting!

i_love_avocados

As noted in the article, we use two hashtags, one in English #Iloveavocados and one in Spanish #amolosaguacates and though not noticed by the author, we do both tweet and post on Facebook in both languages… though a lot more in English – reflecting the nature of the mostly 2nd and 3rd generation, English dominant, digital Latina.

amo_los_aguacates

Managing an effective digital campaign, requires looking at every piece of your digital program and integrating it into the program…times two if the campaign is bilingual! So, for Avocados From Mexico, each platform and each social media site gets in on the act on every promotion we run.

So nice to hear these words:

All in all, a very well managed campaign! And now I’m hungry…

headshot newMaryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Digital and Partner Digital Strategy with 4GreenPs. Contact her today for information on building better digital campaigns!

Drive Repeat Purchase With Food Fusion

 Since I work in the food industry, in particular with brands of less well known foods…by choice, I might add, I am always on the look out for ways to incorporate the unusual into the American diet.

I’m fortunate that I tend to work for truly healthy foods – but I get to use the “health” message, far less often than the “tasty” one. Wow – look at this delicious, delectable way to use fresh subterranean spinach pear … can you imagine how you will love biting into this? Incidentally, go ahead…it’s healthy too.

Sold!

Once!

Convincing trial is less arduous than one might think in this “Foodie’ culture of ours – people are willing to try. It’s helping them figure out how to actually use this new “stuff” they brought home, on a regular basis and put in their cabinet or frig that can be challenging.

So, I like to read articles, like this one in Fast Company: Dip Into Innovation: How Sabra’s CEO Is Going To Put Hummus In Every U.S. Fridge.

Cut to the chase here- the key to getting beyond trial and into the weekly menu is embracing “fusion”.  American consumers are so much more willing to add a new food to a beloved dish than they are to incorporate a new dish into their diet. Find a twist on any standard dish that drives the top chef in any household batty with its repetitiveness in their family’s repertoire and you have an almost guaranteed winner.

But getting there is not so easy.  It takes lots and lots of mouthwatering examples, otherwise known as recipes to hit on that combination of meal ideas that speak to the palate of target consumers.  It takes hours of recipe development and importantly visual and textual presentation on digital properties. In this age of social media, broadcasting is optimal…over and over on a variety of social media platforms in various guises…as a pin, as a post as a tweet .  It takes relationship building with the hundreds of thousands of chefs, dieticians, bloggers, foodies and household chefs to build an information web visible enough to change consumer behavior on an ongoing basis.