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Campaigning With Social Media

romanempireThe word “campaign” originated in ancient Rome. It stems from the name Campania, a region in southern Italy where the Roman army completed training and prepared for battle. Military campaigns are planned and executed to achieve a particular resolution, and your social media campaign is no different. Like the successful and driven Roman army, your Orlando social media campaign needs to define a clear set of goals and methodology.

Social media differs from traditional advertising because it allows true communication between companies and their customers. You’re not just broadcasting a message–consumers can react, comment, question, and, most importantly, make recommendations. The results are visible and unquestioning. You no longer have to guess about your campaign’s ROI. Are you looking to launch a social media assault? Here are the elements that make up a successful Orlando social media campaign:

March toward victory. Start with a defined and concise goal. After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? Do you want to reach loyal customers with a special offer? Do you want to collect information about potential customers? A clear call to action (CTA) is the first step toward success.

Identify your targets. You can’t hit something unless you aim at it. You’ll need to identify your audience. Who are your best customers? What products do they buy–and how can you encourage them to buy more? Your campaign needs to match your audience and their needs, so do some recon and know everything there is to know about your audience.

Plan your attack. Social media encompasses a number of different networks, giving you different avenues to approach customers. Facebook can help you start conversations, allowing you to interact with customers. Instagram allows you to use imagery to build your brand and promote your products. Twitter lets you broadcast promotional offers. Tailor your content to your channel as well as the audience on that channel; don’t charge in blindly and get your followers list blown to smithereens.

Supply yourself with content. With social media, it’s tempting to approach your campaigns the same way you use your personal social media account. Rather than posting things you care about, you need to post things that your audience cares about. Position yourself as a source of important or interesting information–post things that will encourage your audience to like, comment, and share with others. Remember, content isn’t just verbal, so use photos and videos whenever possible. Spark conversations by encouraging satisfied customers to share their opinions.

Analyze the intel. Once your campaign is under way, you need to monitor your results and adjust your campaign accordingly. Which posts worked best? What is your audience saying? Which social media channels were most effective in delivering your messages? Once you understand what approaches work best, you can tailor your efforts to reach your ideal audience.

A successful Orlando social media campaign will keep you in front of your customers and remind them why they should be using your products. Your goal is to be remarkable, and to inspire your audience to start a conversation. If you need help designing and executing a social media campaign, contact On Target Web Solutions at 407-830-4550. We can help you execute your campaigns with military precision.

Have you seen a memorable social media campaign? Share your favorite social media campaign with us. Tell us why you think it’s successful and what you like about it.

On Target Web Solutions, Inc.
1051 Winderley Place, Suite 307 MaitlandFL32751 USA 
 • 407-830-4550

Men Are From … LinkedIn, and Women Are From … Facebook?

Men Are From … LinkedIn, and Women Are From … Facebook?

Battle Of The Sexes On Social MediaEverybody knows women and men are different. In fact, there have been a number of studies across the years examining the psychological differences between genders, including author John Gray’s bestseller, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” So it should come as no surprise that men and women approach social media from different perspectives.

New information published on FinancesOnline.com(1) highlights some of the differences in the way women and men use social media and mobile technology. Drawn from Nielsen and Pew research studies, the researchers found:

•    Men are more likely to use social media for business or dating. Twenty-seven percent of men use social media for business, while only 22 percent of women do. With dating, men are at 13 percent, while only seven percent of women use social media for dating. The goal of communication for men is to achieve something, and as you might expect, men see social media as a way to attain goals.

•    Women are more likely to use social media for relationships, sharing, entertainment, and self-help. For example, 65 percent of women using social media to stay in touch with family and friends, while 53 percent of men do. This finding generally agrees with gender research. Women tend to communicate through dialogue and discussion.

•    Social media platform use reflects those statistics. Twenty-four percent of men who go online use LinkedIn, while only 19 percent of women do. Facebook is used by 76 percent of online women, as compared to 66 percent of men. (2)

•    Men prefer quick access to deals or information. For example, men are more likely to scan codes for coupons (56 percent to 39 percent for women).
•    Women are more likely to follow a brand. The difference here is staggering; 71 percent of women have followed a brand to get deals or information, while only 18 percent of men have.
•    Women ignore social media ads and text ads more than men. Forty-eight percent of women ignore social media ads, while 42 percent of men do. Fifty-nine percent of women ignore text ads, compared to 52 percent of men.

This information has a lot of implications for social media marketing. Certain social media platforms and types of campaigns appeal more to one gender over another, and you should factor those differences into your social media strategy. The content of your ads should be tailored to your audience, as well. Women prefer more sentimental ads with family-oriented themes, while men like cars, sports, and action. Both sexes, however, appreciate humor, celebrity endorsements, and value-oriented advertising.

The gender differences extend to how women and men use their technology, as well. Startlingly, 38 percent of women use their smartphones for games, compared to 28 percent of men. That may be because men have other gaming platforms that they prefer. Women are more likely to message, take pictures, visit social media and websites. Men are more likely to watch video, listen to music, and take advantage of GPS. Which just illustrates another point: Men still don’t like to ask for directions.

1. http://reviews.financesonline.com/review-of-social-media-and-smartphone-usage/
2. http://reviews.financesonline.com/most-popular-social-media-sites-review/

Thanks for reading and sharing!
Tom Jelneck / @TomJelneck

4 for All and All for Social Media Part 4.

4 for All and All for Social Media

Part 4 of 4: Earn More Traffic than Downtown Rush Hour with these Social Media Channels

Alas, our time has come to a close. This is part 4 of our 4 part blog series, “4 for All and All for Social Media.” To learn about the best social media platforms for customer interaction, click here.

We hope that you have gained tremendous insight during this series on how your company can best use social media to grow your brand. To bring our series down the home stretch we are reviewing which social media platforms are in the fast lane, and which ones may take you a while to get to your final destination.

To truly get your brand in the fast lane of social media you must keep in mind the power of Google and how it drives traffic to your business. Its recent updates for crawling and indexing algorithms have placed a focus on social media posting and interaction. Indeed, regular updates across a variety of social platforms can help increase your rankings within search results.

In terms of traffic generation, which social platforms will lead to empty avenues and which ones will bring the equivalent of the 5pm commute?

Empty Avenues:

  • Instagram’s primary currency is pictures and videos. Beyond that, it provides no means of creating referral traffic. Links are not clickable within Instagram posts, which can ultimately cost your brand opportunities for generating traffic to your website or company blog.

  • Slideshare can generate referral traffic to your brand but the entire means of compelling viewers to get there is not as seamless as it is on other networks. For best results, embed links to your brand throughout your presentation to encourage viewers to visit your website.

Steady Flow:

  • Google+ is steadily inching upwards for generating traffic to websites. During the last half of 2013, Google+ delivered an increase of 19% in referral traffic, and additional reports indicate that this trend will continue.

  • LinkedIn, the professional social network, does generate a decent amount of referrals for users; however, it is not the top-ranked source for such.

  • YouTube still holds out over Google+ and LinkedIn, but its referral traffic took a nosedive of about 35% in 2013. The key to YouTube success for traffic generation is by optimizing your channel with meta-tagging and keywords.

5 PM Commute:

  • Facebook has steadily maintained its top position as a website traffic referrer. The network employs a special algorithm within the social platform that actually pushes engaging content higher within users’ news feeds.

  • Pinterest has made great strides in producing website traffic in the past year. Recent reports indicate that Pinterest’s referrals to websites rose by a whopping 89%. This puts the site on the fast track to getting your brand going in the right direction towards traffic generation.

  • Twitter is still a top contender for delivering referral traffic. Its influence is actually continuing to grow in this area. The use of photos and videos in Tweets is leading to a considerable increase in click-ability.

The most important thing to keep in mind when trying to increase your website’s traffic is that your audience will only trust an expert. Make sure all of your content is relevant, engaging, and thoroughly proofread to help gain more website visits.

Social media is a resource-rich tool to help your brand grow online. Gaining direct customer interactions,  strengthening SEO, and establishing brand awareness are among the top reasons why your company should employ a strategic social media plan. Learn more about what social media marketing can do for your brand today with On Target Web Solutions.

Thanks for reading and sharing!
Tom Jelneck / @TomJelneck

4 for All and All for Social Media Part 3

4 for All and All for Social Media

 Part 3 of 4: Getting Personal: The Best Social Networks for Customer Interaction

Welcome to the third installment of our four part series titled, “4 for All and All for Social Media.” To learn about the best social media platforms to increase your brand’s awareness, click (link to blog).

One of the main reasons to open social media networks for your business, whether you’re selling cupcakes or cars, is to interact with your current potential customers. It’s all about authentic engagement.

Communicating directly with your target audience develops a sense of trust. When done correctly your viewers are more likely to identify you as a reputable expert within your industry. Beyond that, you have the opportunity to work with influencers and gain positive reviews and referrals.

It is crucial how you identify the best social media platforms for your brand. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses that you should be aware of, as well as understanding how they can work for or against your brand where customer interaction is concerned.

Here is a quick rundown of the best and the worst when it comes to customer interaction on the most popular social media networks.

Communication Breakdown:

  • Slideshare: Beyond sharing links through your uploaded slides, customer communication is not this social media platform’s forte. To best grab the attention of customers through this platform, include an eye-catching slide with your contact information. This at least leaves the impression that customer satisfaction and outreach is important to you.

Can You Hear Me Now?:

  • Google+:This up-and-coming platform gives users an easy way to join communities of like-minded individuals and businesses. Still, most customers don’t seem to use Google+ for customer service purposes. If you are using Google+ as part of your social media marketing strategy, if would most beneficial for you to establish your expertise on Google+ and chat with customers and clients on another winning platform.

  • Pinterest is also just so-so in the customer interaction department. Repinning and commenting is a solid way to communicate with customers; however, there is no private message system which limits possible interactions between you and your customers.

A Clear Connection:

  • Facebook: Over 75% of all customers who seek customer support through social media platforms report doing so through a company’s Facebook page. With private messaging, areas for commenting, and the ability to communicate through other forms of media, Facebook takes the cake (or the cookie[link to previous series post]) for customer interaction.

  • LinkedIn is right behind Facebook with roughly 50% of consumers using the site for customer support. LinkedIn gives customers the ability to join relevant communities and professional groups. This is a prime area for brands to interact with customers and build relationships.

  • Instagram is another strong platform for interacting with audience members. Fairly recently, Instagram has introduced a few additional communication updates. They include private messaging, advertisements, and video. Studies have shown that videos and images attract the greatest volume of traffic on social media, so start grabbing the eyes and ears of your customers today.

  • Twitter is also a strong contender as a social platform for customer interaction. It is quickly becoming the most relied-upon site for business to customer interactions. Conversations can take place publicly or privately and are done quickly and efficiently. This leads to faster customer satisfaction, which can shape brand loyalty.

  • Last, but certainly not least, YouTube is a clear winner for customer interaction. It is extremely user friendly and is the perfect environment for building authority in your niche and engaging in conversations with your customers, simply because it is a visual medium. Visuals tend to really get people inspired to react to your brand with comments and questions, and YouTube is where you can really use this to your advantage.

To truly stake your claim in the hearts of customers, stay in touch with them and build a solid, loyal, following. Remember, “social” is a part of social media, so keep in mind that communication is extremely important.

In our final installation of the “4 for All and All for Social Media” series, we’ll take a look at the best social platforms for site traffic. Vroom vroom!

4 for All and All for Social Media Part 2.

4 for All and All for Social Media

Part 2 of 4: Which social media cookie do you want to dunk in your brand milk?

Welcome to part 2 of 4 of our blog series, “4 for All and All for Social Media.” To learn about the best social platforms for SEO benefits, click here.

Like any tool, depending on how you use it, social media can either help nail down your marketing strategy, or strip it like a screw. If your strategy involves creating brand awareness (which it obviously should), then there are several objectives you need to consider when choosing your social media outlet.

Cookies, Milk & Social MediaThink of social media’s influence on your brand awareness as a cookie. Having no cookie at all certainly won’t satiate your audience’s voracious appetites. However, some cookies stand out while others crumble. Whether your marketing objective is SEO-driven (link to previous blog), or focused on increasing your brand’s appeal, social media can be a powerful component.

We’re going to look at the social media outlets, or cookies, that are more beneficial to raising your organization’s brand awareness, ranking from mediocre packaged treats to the scrumptious delights everyone craves.

The BOGO cookies in the brand awareness mix:

  • Facebook: It may come as a shock to many companies that are trying to build an online presence that Facebook’s organic reach is limited. A recent survey indicated that its reach has fallen 49% since October 2013.

  • YouTube: Getting buzz for your brand on YouTube takes time. It’s a channel capable of uniting your audience around targeted and relevant content, but pairing your videos with pre-roll advertisements can cost you viewers and limit your brand influence.

Grandma’s Homemade Magic On The Brand Awareness Plate:

  • Google+ presents a higher overall exposure factor for your brand compared to the social media platforms above. It favors higher placement for branded web pages, as well as the authors of those pages.

  • Instagram is highly visual, simple and clean. This social media platform is being used by more than 70% of the largest brands in the world. The opportunities for brand building on Instagram are limitless, considering how visually driven consumers are.

  • LinkedIn business pages carry considerable influence. Strong optimized posts give brands many opportunities to increase brand awareness on the platform and across the web overall. New paid features added in February give organizations even more reach.

  • Pinterest gives brands an opportunity to be creative when promoting their brand. They can even fully repackage their brand while users scroll through scores of other pins by adding content styled in different ways that will still all lead back to their main website through embedded links.

  • Slideshare serves an advantage in being able to deliver slide presentations to a mass audience all in one place online. Companies can use Slideshare to further brand themselves by embedding links throughout their presentations that lead viewers back to their website or company blog.

  • Twitter applications such as HootSuite and TweetCaster allow brands to consistently place their message at the most opportune moment to truly capture interest and engagement. Twitter also offers sponsored tweets, which can be used to highlight a company’s overall brand message to its followers and target market.

The bottom line is that you never want to put all your cookies in one jar when building brand awareness. It’s a best practice to utilize multiple social media platforms to gain new and existing customer interest. Create a persona in your audience’s mind of what your brand is all about.

To learn the best social media channels to increase customer communication, stay tuned for Part 3 of our “4 for All and All for Social Media” series.

To learn more about SEO, Social Media and all things Digital marketing and how it can impact your brand, give us a call. In Orlando, 407-830-4550.

4 for All and All for Social Media

Social Media & SEOThere is simply no way around it. If you want your business to stand out online, you are going to have to dive into social media. Obtaining success requires brands to be strategic in their efforts. Google is the captain of the ship for steering online traffic to your site, and their recent updates truly reward active, content-rich social pages with higher SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rankings.

So how do you get your brand to the top? It’s an extremely important question to ask. Not all social media channels are equal. Different ones are going to deliver different results. You must be clear on your business goals and needs in order to explore which platform is going to work best for your brand.

Our 4 Part Series, “4 for All and All for Social Media,” breaks down the strongest and weakest channels for your company, especially as they relate to SEO, customer interaction, brand awareness, and increasing website traffic.

Part 1 of 4: Social Media Channels and Their SEO Benefits

It’s no longer all about SEO through a highly optimized website; now more than ever, brands need to be maximizing several social media platforms to really gain awareness online.

Having just a company Facebook account or Twitter account is no longer enough.

Even if you are using all four of the major platforms, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube, your company must still have a game plan for how those channels will best serve your brand.

And even though the big four get the lion’s share of popularity and clout, there are still a host of other platforms that are just as robust, depending on your niche and audience.

Let’s take a closer look at the best social channels for your SEO efforts.

SEO Blunders:

  • Instagram is growing in popularity but it will not be an SEO winner for your brand. The platform doesn’t allow direct embedded links in posts by account holders. This presents a drawback from building links back to your company website, blog or store.

Valuable, but Not at the Top of the List

  • LinkedIn may not be a top influencer on Google’s social media checklist, but it does provide strong content that is both searchable and valuable.

  • Slideshare has also seen significant growth as a platform in recent years. Its premise is ideal for brand building. By being able to share professional business presentations with a wider audience, makes the site appealing. However, the SEO links that can be embedded into presentations do not produce as strong results in searches as other networks like Facebook and Twitter.

  • Youtube is simply a juggernaut where video rules. Brands can optimize their content fairly well on Youtube with tagging options. The biggest drawback, however, is that it is brimming with content from so many sources. The competition is stiff, making it difficult for brands to stand out or even be discovered.

SEO Winners:

  • Google+ is the most important social media site to Google, with the most SEO value of all social media platforms. Content with a significant amount of 1+’s is seen as more important and will be displayed higher on results pages than Facebook likes or Retweets.

  • Facebook is a content-rich platform as well. It allows users to share, leave comments, and like information. Those qualities alone make it one of the top SEO valuable social media sites. The only issue with this outlet is its limited organic reach in search engines.

  • Pinterest has been a real surprise in the social media world. Pinterest activity associated with a web page is one of the top 10 SEO influential boosters. Google values the fact that content supplied to Pinterest gives it a longer shelf life. A well optimized pin can essentially be pinned hundreds and even thousands of times, with each time leading back to an outside website or source, therefore signaling to Google that its content must hold significant value.

  • Twitter has grown in its SEO value from previous years. Web page specific tweets are increasingly influencing Google rankings. One estimate also names Twitter on of the top 10 most important Google ranking networks.

When choosing your company’s social media networks, don’t just settle for the obvious one or two platforms. Always do your research and look for the SEO rose among the weeds. Having a plan and knowing your social media goals is just as important as creating world-class content for your fans, clients, and customers.

Check back for part 2 of our 4-part series, “4 for All and All for Social Media.”

To learn more about Social Media, SEO & Digital Marketing and how it can impact your brand, please give us a call at 866-998-6886.

How to Use Google+ to Boost Your Content Strategy

How to Use Google+ to Boost Your Content Strategy

Google+Did you know that Google+ has recently surpassed the 1 billion registered user mark? Yet, many businesses are still somewhat in the dark on how to jump into the Google+ community and use it to their advantage.

Google+ provides organizations with a substantial audience, arranged in a targeted format based on interest. It is surprising that every organization does not create and maintain a Google+ account especially since Google pays the most attention to its own product above all other social networks. Not only is it innovative and targeted, but it also holds high SEO benefits.

For a little primer and best practices, try out these tips:

Use circles to target your brand’s message effectively.
To truly interact with an audience, you can also segment your target audience within your circles by existing clients and prospects for example. This allows you to share posts that are relevant to each, individual group. Not only will you increase brand awareness, but you will produce content that people in your unique circles will want to share

Produce diverse content
Produce diverse content  that speaks to your audience and don’t forget to share your content with them directly. Your content also needs to be relevant to your industry and valuable to the public. If your readers like what you’ve shared or posted then they can give it a +1, and encourage others to read it. Use hashtags and add that powerful +1 sign to content you find interesting as well.

Use hangouts for further engagement.
All you need is nine other people to create a hangout. The most common uses for a hangout include webinars, video chats, and Q&A sessions. It’s a great way to deepen your engagement with your target audience because it creates a personal and intimate atmosphere.
Post and share content consistently that is relevant to your industry and ask them what they want to know about. This will drive up your discoverability within the Google+ ecosystem.

Google+ is not just a sleeping giant anymore. It is a vibrant community that is witnessing exponential growth. Google designed their social media outlet with your business in mind. Don’t hesitate to set up your organization’s page because you think having a Facebook and Twitter is good enough. With the right strategies in place and commitment, you too, can use this content distributing tool to connect, nurture leads and build web authority.

Thanks for reading and sharing!
Tom Jelneck / @TomJelneck

A Hailstorm of Hashtags: Understanding Hashtag Etiquette

Before delving into the proper use and formatting of hashtags, it is important that you know what they’re used for.  Hashtags, which began on Twitter, are keywords designated by the hash (#) sign that link to active feeds within their respective social networks.  They are now usable across a majority of major social media channels.

That being said, chances are you’ve seen a picture or post in your news feed that has about 3,957 hashtags with no actual content or description of the topic at hand.  They may seem overwhelming, unnecessary, or quite frankly, annoying.  But when used properly, hashtags can help clue you into trending topics and connect you with a network of similarly-interested individuals.  Learn what to avoid in hashtagging:

Tagging Every Word. 
#If #your #social #post #reads #like #this, your audience will quickly lose interest and move on to the next, more coherent post.  Use hashtags in a way that is non-invasive, aiming to enhance your post with access to related content.

Jumbling Your Keywords.
It’s ok to use multiple keywords in a hashtag, but keep it short and be sure to differentiate between separate words without using space, i.e. #SochiParalympics or #StPatricksDay.  Stringing together too many keywords in one hashtag, however, can lead to difficulty discerning your purpose and a missed opportunity to connect with the community at large. #dontyouthinkthisisalittledifficulttoread

Unrelated Tagging. 
Writing about a trending topic is a great way to increase exposure for your brand, but don’t use the tag without the content to back it up.  When readers find that your content is not related to the promised topic, they will dismiss you as an expert in your field and look elsewhere for information.

Unnecessary Tagging. 
Not every hashtag has merit.  Discussing your latest and greatest idea on Facebook and then tagging it #idea is not going to get you any extra visibility.  Use your tags for relevant topics and subject matter, not so much as categorization.

If you use your hashtags properly (which includes correct spelling when relevant), they can help connect you and your brand to a wider audience and potential fanbase.  Don’t be afraid to write about trending topics, provided they are relevant to your company and your audience’s needs.  Tag events and inject a little humor, and your social followers will thank you.

Thanks for reading and sharing!
Tom Jelneck / @TomJelneck

Facebook Graph Search = Time To Clean Up Your Wall

Ever regret posting something a bit racy on Facebook? Ever get nervous that your boss could find you discussing just how much you hate him / her? Facebook Graph Search is coming and that means your boss, ex-wife, girlfriend, potential employer can find and see all of your shady shenanigans…. UNTIL 3 college guys developed FaceWash, a powerful tool that can help save your hyde. Fox 35 asked me to come speak about it on Good Day Orlando:

Thanks for reading / watching,
Tom

Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @TomJelneck

Social Media Trends For 2013 : Content Marketing Is Where It’s At.

Keith Landry from Fox 35 Orlando invited me on the Orlando Matters morning show to discuss the top trends to watch out for in 2013 in terms of social media.

I strongly feel that your business needs to have a solid focus on crafting and delivering solid content in order to grow and thrive in 2013. Consider sitting down SOON and crafting an editorial calendar of content and get writing.

Another huge trend in 2013 will be video. With YouTube scoring the second most used search box on the Internet, it’s also time for your business to start feeding your prospects and web site / social media channel visitors professional video content.

My team of SEO & Internet marketing experts at On Target Web Solutions can help your marketing team craft and execute a solid content marketing strategy. Give us a call to discuss before your competition gets the upper hand. In Orlando: 407-830-4550.

Happy New Year! Make it a great one.
Tom

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