5 Common Social Media Questions – Answered!

1. Do I need to be on social media?

In short, YES.

You don’t have to be on every network, but you do have to be somewhere. People are probably already talking about your brand anyway, so you should have your say in that conversation.

Facebook is a good place to start, considering 1 out of 7 humans in the world are on Facebook. That equals about 1.9 billion people – so there’s a pretty good chance your audience is there.

If you have the content and resources to do so, you can expand to more platforms. Share a lot of photos? Try adding Instagram. Share a lot of breaking news or trendy content? Consider Twitter.

2. What should I share?

The rule of thumb in the industry is that your content should be 80% helpful and 20% promotional. To most business owners, 20% doesn’t seem like much, but social media is social for a reason. It’s about being present in the conversation and engaging with your consumers. Users will see right through posts that are sales-y and promotional, and want to see content that’s interesting and shareable. And don’t shy away from showing your personality! Red212 can help you create a strategy to find the right balance.

3. How often should I post?

It depends. For Facebook, the ideal amount is once a day, but you have to find your sweet spot – the balance between quantity and quality.

post every day but have bad content, you increase the risk of becoming too “spammy” and might lose a lot of your audience. If you post really great content but only once a month, your brand isn’t staying top-of-mind for consumers and you lose the opportunity to build loyalty.

An easy solve for this is creating a monthly content calendar to easily monitor what and how much content will be posted for the month to manage both quality and quantity. Or just hire an amazing agency like Red212 to do it for you.

4. Do I have to pay to boost my posts?

Do you have to? No. Should you? Yes.

The Facebook algorithm will typically only show your posts to 1% of your audience. ONE percent. That’s not very much. It truly is a pay-to-play world now. The great thing about advertising on Facebook is that you can set your own budget. Start out small, run a couple tests, and grow from there. Read more on Facebook promoted posts here.

5. How do I know it’s working?

If your profile is set up as a business page, most platforms have analytics built directly into their site. Facebook and Instagram call them “Insights.” This data can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for, but focus on the metrics that align with the ultimate goal of your business on social media. If you’re looking to grow awareness of your brand, you’ll probably want to focus on Reach. If your most important goal is to build loyalty, you should probably focus more on Engagement Rate.

From strategies to content calendars to analytics, social media can be a daunting task and a full-time job in itself. Red212 can help with all of these needs and more. Give us a call!


Free Mobile Apps to Up Your Social Media Game

1. Canva

We live in a visual society. Though video reigns supreme, content with an image performs much better than a post with just text. But if you don’t have a team of designers, creating an image for every post can be a big job. That’s where Canva comes in – a free way to design posts efficiently.

Easily create graphics that are pre-sized for the platform you need, with a library of templates, photos (or upload your own), stickers, borders, shapes, and more. It’s as easy as dragging and dropping. If you upgrade to the premium subscription, not only do you gain access to even more photos and elements, you can use the “Magic Resize” option so you can take one design and easily transform it to the right size for all platforms.

2 & 3 Facebook Pages Manager and Facebook Ads

Attention: Facebook has more than one app! If you manage a page and/or an ad account, the amount of information you can see in the standard Facebook app is very limited, but these two apps give you access to almost everything you could see on a desktop. Monitor and create ad campaigns, manage your page and community, and view insights all from your phone. These apps make on-the-go social media management a breeze.  

4. Feedly

Social media is all about being present in the conversation (that’s why it’s called social media, after all). The general rule of thumb in the industry is that 80% of your content should be helpful, informative or entertaining, and just 20% should directly promote your business. It’s easy to get overwhelmed trying to find and provide that much relevant content, but Feedly is a great way to do it.

According to its description, the app is connected to 40 million online news feeds and sources and aggregates into one. You tell the app what categories or industries you’re interested in, and it provides you with article after article of relevant content you can share to your social media. It even integrates with the social media platforms, so you can easily share directly from the app.

5. Splice

This all-in-one video editing app from the geniuses at GoPro makes it easy to create professional-looking videos on your iPhone or iPad. So how does it work? Simply load your clips and start making magic. The easy-to-use tool allows you to create a fully customized video – trim and crop, adjust the speed and volume, and add filters, titles, animation, transitions, and more – in literally minutes. You also get access to Splice’s “huge library” of fee-free music and sound effects. Looking to add a voiceover? Record it live inside the app. Splice proves you don’t need a big budget – or a budget, period – to produce beautiful content.


Red212 named Certified B Corporation

Red212 is very proud to announce that it has been named a Certified B Corporation.

The agency is just the third Greater Cincinnati-area business and ninth in the state of Ohio to earn Certified B Corp status.

Certified B Corporations are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Currently, there are more than 1,600 Certified B Corps from 42 countries and over 120 industries who are part of the global movement to use business as a force for good, including Stonyfield, Patagonia, and Method Products.

“We are proud to be a part of the B Corp community. It is an honor to be listed among the many great companies across the U.S. and around the world whose mission is to use business as a force for good. It is part of our DNA here at Red212 and our team could not be more excited,” said Anne Chambers, co-founder and CEO of Red212.

For more information on B Corp, visit www.bcorporation.net.

Why We Celebrate Bill and Warren Day

On June 25, 2006, Warren Buffet, one of the most successful investors in the world and the world’s richest person at the time, made a huge announcement. Buffett pledged to give the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 10 million Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway through annual contributions. The first year’s donation was equivalent to about $1.5 billion.

Red212 celebrated. This extremely successful businessman was making a commitment to create a better world, using business as a force for change.

One year later, no one was talking about it. We thought, “This is crazy.” So, we created Bill and Warren Day, a national holiday that honors the spirit of giving back.

In 2008, we hosted our first Bill and Warren Day celebration. Since then, we’ve welcomed a number of esteemed guests from other mission-driven companies to help us celebrate the holiday including Jonathan Greenblatt, founder of Ethos Water, and Neil Blumenthal, Co-CEO and Co-founder of Warby Parker, who even set up a pop-up shop in our conference room.

In 2010, Gates and Buffett created The Giving Pledge, an effort to help address society’s most pressing problems by inviting the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes, either during their lifetime or in their will. The idea behind it was to encourage people to talk about giving more openly and create an atmosphere that will encourage philanthropy.

There are now 158 pledgers, including notable names like Richard Branson, Diane von Furstenberg, George Lucas, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg.

Bill and Melinda Gates recently published their 2017 Annual Letter, titled “Dear Warren,” thanking Buffet for his contribution in 2006 and reflecting on the impact it has made on issues ranging from malnutrition to women’s rights to polio.

“This expanding capacity gives us a chance to solve mysteries and save lives – and that lets us end our letter with a bright look ahead,” the couple wrote.

We look forward to celebrating Bill and Warren Day again this June and further encouraging and atmosphere of giving and social consciousness. Stay tuned to find out more about our celebration, and we invite companies and individuals to pledge to celebrate at their place of business as well.

Facebook Promoted Posts

Pay-to-play is the name of the game now when it comes to social media marketing. Promoting your posts on Facebook can make a world of difference in reach and engagement. Typically, a company’s post will only reach about 1% of its followers – unless they put some money behind it.

Facebook’s algorithm is built to benefit everyday Facebook users, tailoring the content that shows up in their feeds based on their interests for the best possible experience. Facebook shows users content they want to see. When a post starts to generate a lot of activity and engagement, Facebook recognizes it. This tells the algorithm that this particular piece of content is interesting to a lot of people, so it should be shown to even more.

Because of this, promoting posts not only grows paid results, it increases organic results as well. Promoting a post means you’re paying Facebook to favor your content over others, so it will show your post to more people which should naturally increase engagement. With the increase in engagement, Facebook sees the content as more valuable organically as well and it naturally starts to show up in more feeds.

Below is an example from one of our clients who has about 298,000 followers on Facebook. We didn’t do any kind of promotion for the Cinnamon Apple Smoothie recipe, and it got results that were about average for an organic post on this page.

apple smoothie Facebook organic post









Organic Results: 
  • 1,177 People Reached
  • 36 Reactions
  • 1 Comment

Then we posted a similar smoothie recipe, but this time we promoted the post and we saw both paid and organic results grow.

peanut butter smoothie promoted post Facebook









Organic Results:
  • 29,069 People Reached
  • 974 Reactions
Paid Results:
  • 163,840 People Reached
  • 5,355 Reactions

That’s an increase in people reached of 191,732 just from promoting the post.

Results will vary based on amount spent, targeting, and of course, “Content is king.” If you aren’t providing valuable content that people want to see, a great promotion strategy can only take you so far. Results like these, however, are hard to ignore.

You work hard to create your content – don’t let it get lost in the sea of organic posts. Promoting your posts gets your content where it needs to go.

Red212 in Rio

We had an inside scoop at one of the biggest marketing events in the world: The Olympic Games. Our Social Media Coordinator, Katie Normand, visited Brazil during the games. Here’s her take on what she saw…


When the 2016 Summer Olympics kicked off a few weeks ago, Brazil shocked the world with a controversial Opening Ceremonies, addressing colonialism, slavery, and global warming. It was a portrayal of the greater theme that’s plastered all over the streets of Rio: “Um mundo novo” – a new world.

Before visiting the country, I would’ve scoffed at the idea. Brazil has been notorious for corrupted business, political unrest, deforestation, and, of course, the Zika virus. But I have to admit: the country really surprised me.

I traveled around for about a week and a half until finally ending up in Rio on the day of the Opening Ceremonies. One of the stops was Bonito (which translates to “beautiful”), a small town, but a major hub of eco-tourism in Brazil. From the town, we were driven on dirt roads out into the country to snorkel in the river, climb waterfalls, and explore caves.

We were told that we were not allowed to wear bug spray or sunscreen while participating in these adventures, as the oils would contaminate the water. I was shocked, but when I saw how beautiful and clear the water was, I understood. This was not something I expected from a country in which you can’t drink the tap water.



(And for all those who are curious: even while swimming in a river with no bug spray, Zika was not an issue. I never got so much as a mosquito bite, and my sister, who constantly gets bitten, has lived in Brazil for a year and has never gotten the virus.)

When I finally arrived in Rio, strangely, one of the first things I noticed was how many trash receptacles there were in the airport. They had different sections for every type of recycling, and one section for non-recyclable trash. I’d seen this in the US, but not to this extent. As I explored the city, it was actually harder to find a trash can than a recycling bin. Coca Cola, one of the biggest sponsors of the Olympic Games, even had a Recycling Team that walked around Olympic Park collecting litter.



Then, right in the middle of the Olympic Boulevard, just around the corner from the Olympic torch, stood a funky looking building called Museo d’Amanha, or “Museum of Tomorrow.” The museum was all about our world’s progress. In their own words:

“We live in a new era in which all human activity has become a force of global impact. We are capable of intervening at the molecule and continent levels. We deal with atoms and create microorganisms. We divert the course of great rivers, change forests, influence the atmosphere, and transform the climate…The Museum of Tomorrow, offers a narrative about how we can live and shape the next 50 years…Guided by the ethical values of Sustainability and Coexistence, essential to our civilization, the Museum also seeks to promote innovation, disseminate the advances of science and publish the vital signs of the planet. A museum to expand our knowledge and transform the way we think and act.” – Museo d’Amanha

The museum was fascinating, discussing where we’ve come from and where we’re going as a planet. Though seemingly hypocritical from the country responsible for some of the worst deforestation in the world, it sent such a powerful message and reached a huge number of people from all over the world, as the crowd from Olympic Boulevard poured in.



When I was asked to keep an eye for efforts in sustainability, I was worried that I’d have nothing about which to write. But Brazil came through for me. Even the Olympic medals are also the most sustainable they have ever been. These are small steps, but it was nice to see that the message they were trying to send with Opening Ceremonies and the “New World” theme weren’t just for show. Overall, despite their current issues, Brazilians really do love their country. It was nice to see there are still good people working hard to preserve what they have left.



A few marketing observations:

  • Visa was the official card of the Olympic Games, which means it was the only accepted card within the stadiums and parks. No Visa card? No food, drinks, or souvenirs.
  • McDonald’s had full restaurants in the Olympic Park.
  • Nissan had cars whose doors and hoods opened and closed, in sync with music and the dancers out front.
  • Coca Cola had the most disruptive marketing by far. As people waited in a line for a half hour or more to get into their booth, they had entertainers running through the line dancing, pretending to play different sports, singing the “Taste the Feeling” song from their commercials, and shouting “Isso e oro!” (“This is gold!”) They got their hands on 3 of the Olympic torches used to bring the flame from Greece, and allowed visitors to take photos holding them. Plus everyone got a free, “exclusive” gold bottle of Coke.


The SOCIAL-ization of Rio 2016

It’s not uncommon for ad wonks to trade in hyperbole. Call it an occupational hazard. But when Brian Yamada, chief innovation officer of VML, ad agency of the International Olympics Committee, recently dubbed Rio 2106 the largest social media event ever, it’s hard not to believe the hype.

According to GlobalWebIndex, the London-based firm that provides the ad-biz with detailed market research into the behaviors of online consumers, 85 percent of the Summer Games’ expected 3.6 billion viewers will watch with a mobile device in their hands. Those “second screens” mean a mega-boost to reach, impressions and engagement not only for Rio 2016, but also for the many brands that happen to be tagging along. Now toss in the rabid fans around the globe who rely on social media to engage with one another as the Games progress, and the conversation about the Olympics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like is, well, #Gi-freaking-nourmous.

All of this, and we’ve yet to mention the athletes themselves. Over 11,000 have poured into Rio for the Games, each, no doubt, with his or her own multiple social media accounts, and now with access to Snapchat, Persicope and Facebook Live. Rio 2016 has instituted strict rules for athlete’s use of the live video platforms, partly to protect them from themselves. For the athletes, a misstep on social media can be as dangerous to their medal hopes as a tweaked hammy. Remember the two athletes who were expelled from the London Olympics for making poor choices online? Neither do we. And that’s the point. It’s bad for them, and particularly bad for their sponsors. That’s why big Olympic advertisers such as Visa actually train their athletes in the proper use of social media. Hopefully a part of that training is how to negotiate the dangerous waters of the IOC’s Rule 40 which prohibits the athletes from promoting non-Olympic sponsors during the period of the Games. That sticky wicket has caused headaches for more than one Olympic medal hopeful, including U.S. swimming hero Michael Phelps whose pose next to a Louis Vuitton bag (a non-sponsor) was leaked online. Uh, … oops.

So, have your phone in hand and tablet at the ready? Fingers and thumbs properly limbered up? Perfect. It’s time. Let the Games—and the Tweets—begin!


Social Entrepreneur Spotlight: Daymara Baker

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” – Dolly Parton

In April 2015, Daymara Baker noticed some changes taking place at a company where she held a corporate role. She didn’t like what she saw. She repeated to herself the Dolly Parton quote about paving new roads and decided to take a leap of faith.

She left her job on a Friday and by Sunday, she was on a plane to see her family in Venezuela. On the last leg of the trip, as she thought about what her next move would be, she had a vision.

“It was like a movie playing in my head,” she explained. “I wanted to do something different – something more sustainable.”

She had a dream of a bakery that would bring in revenue through the baked goods sold, but would also have a way to help others.

“As soon as I made the decision, stars began aligning.”

In her previous job, Daymara had worked with and become friends with Red212’s CEO Anne Chambers. When Daymara made the decision to make her vision a reality, she called Anne. Anne connected her to the Sixteen Bricks Artisan Bakehouse in Cincinnati, and after a bit of formalized training, Daymara spent a week with Sixteen Bricks, learning the ins and outs of the bakery business.

“I was quite aware of my weaknesses,” Daymara said. “I’ve never worked in a restaurant. To minimize the risk, I surrounded myself with people with knowledge.”

Along with the Dolly Parton quote, Daymara also uses an Eleanor Roosevelt quote as a source of inspiration: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

“It’s about using your mind, but also following your heart,” Daymara added. “I had a vision without experience. Every time I start thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ I think about that quote.”

Thus, the Rockin’ Baker Academy was born.

daymara bread

The bakery has two arms: a benefit corporation (a for-profit business driven more by a mission than profit) and a non-profit arm which trains “cadets.”

Daymara partnered with the local university to allow students in the culinary program to earn credit hours working with her, and she also works with local groups like Good Will to provide internships to people who are economically challenged. It’s a nine-month program, allowing those who come through to learn valuable life and job skills, so they can eventually get better jobs to support themselves.

“There is an opportunity for organizational businesses to take a more proactive role to be change-makers in their community. In the end, we all live in the community and have to make it better…We have a big social mission of helping other people.”

Sound familiar?

“The biggest roadblock was to overcome the fear,” Daymara explained. “I have to confess I was uncomfortable. Anne [Chambers] was one of those people that really encouraged me to make the jump. She said, ‘It’s going to be hard but you’re going to be fine!’ and she was right!”

Daymara Baker exemplifies the idea that one person, one vision, can make such an impact on the world, and we could not be more excited for her and all involved with the academy.

The Rockin’ Baker Academy is currently undergoing the last few renovations, and is set to open at the end of September.

starry night bread


Making Moves to Close the Gender Pay Gap

Gender Parity

The numbers are sobering. Though women make up half the workforce and receive more college and graduate degrees than men, on average, they make only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men. In fact, the annual report prepared by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research reveals that women earn less than their male counterparts in virtually every occupation. That gender pay gap extends even into the hallowed, oh so modern, and—one would expect—enlightened halls of the tech industry. One woman, however, has put the pay disparities of the Silicon Valley giants directly in her sights.

Recently, Forbes magazine profiled the efforts of Natasha Lamb, director of equity research and shareholder engagement at Arjuna Capital, the activist arm of Boston investment firm Baldwin Brothers Inc. and a shareholder in many of the country’s biggest tech companies. Prior to proxy season, Lamb filed shareholder resolutions with nine tech giants proposing equal pay transparency. Amazon, Expedia, eBay, Google, Adobe, Facebook, Microsoft, Intel and Apple were the companies in her crosshairs. Their reactions to the possibility of having to publish their internal gender pay data were, as you might expect, mixed. Some revealed their data preemptively, prompting Lamb to withdrawal Arjuna’s proposal. Amazon filed a petition with the SEC seeking permission to leave the proposal off its annual ballot. It lost and released its figures six days later. Others dragged their feet in responding. Will they allow the proposal to go to ballot?

Natasha Lamb’s goal was to shine a spotlight on the gender pay gap while illuminating the power investors have in advancing social causes. As she stated in the Forbes article, “Our clients are interested in investing in such a way that they’re having a positive impact on the world with their money.” Here at Red 212, we’re always interested in celebrating strong women who are taking actions that can really make a difference. Thank you, Natasha Lamb, for your hard work on this important issue.

Happiness & Cows: Mental Health on the Job is Good for Everyone

If your boss handed you stock options in the company, would that make you happy? 
The stock is based on your years of service, with the goal of providing you a stake in the company you helped build. The owner believes your contribution is important and wants you to enjoy the benefits of your labor. 
The 2,000 employees of the Greek yogurt company Chobani had that happen in April. All full-time employees received a stake in the company, calculated by tenure. If the company is sold or goes public, those shares can be retained or sold. The staff was surprised (there was no advance announcement) and most were decidedly happy. That, according to scientists, is good for mental health…and business.
This kind of thing doesn’t happen often, so it got a lot of attention. But Chobani is a rather unusual company. Their approach to business? “A cup of yogurt won’t change the world, but how we make it might.”
·         Chobani donates 10% of its profits to charity
·         1/3 of their workforce is made up of refugees 
·         They purchase from a local network 900 cooperatives and farms
·         They work to ensure humane treatment of cows
·         They use hormone-free dairy products
This commitment to people (and cows) is an important part of job satisfaction and overall mental health, because it reflects how a company and its employees connect: shared values and guiding principles. Employees are more engaged, and therefore happier, in an environment that reinforces their own values and beliefs.
Research proves that people who experience job security are healthier – mentally and physically – than those who worry about losing their jobs. Depression, anxiety and insomnia are some of the common mental-health issue employees struggle with when financial worries loom large. One way to mitigate that stress is “allowing greater employee participation in workplace decision-making,” according to the Institute for the Study of Labor, a non-profit economic research institute that analyzes global labor markets.
Employees who share their expertise and participate in developing workplace policies are happier and more productive. Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and chief executive of Chobani, is leveraging that concept to make sure his staff is happy. The privately-held company doesn’t disclose financial data, but it’s estimated that up to 10% of its future value of could end up in the hands of employees if it goes public or is sold. The money is good, but it’s the tangible commitment to his employees that research says is the game-changer.
There are any number of ways employers can improve the happiness-quotient within their corporate culture. But it can only happen when employee satisfaction is truly valued. Happy people are more productive, committed to their work and more likely to stay. 

If stock options aren’t a possibility, here are some steps any company can take to ensure the happiness of their entire staff – from CEO to interns:
·         An effective recognition and reward system that promotes employee engagement. Recognition is frequent and recognizes worthy actions of employees.
·         Shared values and guiding principles: Engaged employees thrive in an environment that reinforces their values and beliefs.
·         Demonstrated respect, trust and emotional intelligence on the part of the employee’s direct supervisor.

Check out a fun infographic here