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
  • 11 Shares

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
  • 74 Comments
  • 196 Shares
Paid Results:
  • 163,840 People Reached
  • 5,355 Reactions
  • 126 Comments
  • 969 Shares

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.

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!

Successful Content: 5 Ways to Measure Results

 

We don’t just create content, we create a strategy that delivers results. Measurable marketing is the only way to market. Recently Search Engine Watch outlined 25 tips for measuring success in content marketing. Here’s how we use them at Red212:

The Obvious Metrics
This is the easiest set of data to measure. Google Analytics can determine if there is an improvement in metrics like traffic, page views, unique users, average time on site or pages and average number of pages per visit. Even if you get thousands of visits to your site, are they the right people? While it’s great to show an uptick in traffic as a result of increased content creation, the real goal is delivering the right content to the right people. More isn’t always better.

Engagement and Social Metrics
Thanks to social media, we have much more insight than we used to on how interested your audience is. If no one is liking, sharing, or commenting, your content probably is not reaching the right people or it is just bad. Keep your business objectives in mind when analyzing engagement metrics as well. You may have posted something really controversial about our current presidential candidates and stirred up a lively conversation. But if you are trying to sell baby blankets, and sales haven’t gone up, you might be “conversating” for the wrong reasons. It’s also important to know that not all engagement leads directly to sales. If the sales-cycle is long, and the purpose of your blog is to gain subscribers, keep producing content that earns their trust. Eventually they will convert.

Search Metrics
With our long history in SEO, this is our favorite area of data analysis. With the majority of users starting an online search for something on Google, it’s critical that you appear at the top of search results and drive quality traffic that converts. Did your Google traffic increase after a series of blog posts? Are you driving more traffic for more relevant keywords? Are other relevant sites linking to you and sending traffic to your site? Then your content is starting to hit the mark.

Brand Metrics
Are online users searching for your brand more often than they did before? If your brand messaging is clear in your content, and your goal is to raise awareness, you better have the numbers to show that the content is working in your favor. Reputation is also a very important factor. Some say even bad press is better than no press at all. But online, in Google’s world, their ability to detect sentiment can have an adverse effect on your traffic. Google knows if users are not happy with your brand, and they will rank or not rank you accordingly. Don’t just throw content out into the interwebs – make sure you know what people are saying both on your site and off. Ensure that comments and engagement are positive or that you’re addressing any negativity that arises.

Content Performance
The most important piece of measuring your marketing campaigns is the ROI. Ultimately, you are in business for a reason, and it’s just smart to make sure that your marketing efforts are getting a return on your investment. Is your content driving users to purchase or inquire for more information? Are you improving the user experience in some way? Whatever stage of the funnel you are trying to reach, or whatever the objective, measuring your success is critical.

When you know the data inside and out, you will know the effectiveness of your content. More importantly, you will be able to deliver content that is useful and drive conversions. Remember, we’re here to help people, not just to play the numbers game.

 

Marketing Trends Here to Stay

While we may not have any fortune tellers or psychics at Red212, we have a good idea on where marketing is going this year.

    1. Measurement dominates:
      Data analytics tools are ever-growing and provide deeper insight into target markets. Brands are expected to spend 73% more on analytics in the next 3 years. It improves effectiveness by measuring results and allowing marketers to understand what works best, and thus maximizing Return on Investment.
    2. Relationship marketing drives content:
      Great content won’t go far without a community that wants to read it. By focusing on the relationship first, marketers can better understand consumer needs and wants, and then provide content that fulfills them.
    3. Increase in transparency:
      Trust is key in relationship building. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding of authenticity. The Internet has empowered consumers to be choosier than ever, no longer limited to what is physically in front of them in the store. They want to know a brand’s values match up with their own, and now more than ever, they have access to that information through a quick Internet search.
    4. Brand ambassadors become more wide-spread:
      95% of Millennials say their friends are their most trusted source of product information. Brand ambassadors add this human element to a company or product, making it seemingly more accessible and therefore, more trustworthy.
    5. Ad blockers:
      As more people adopt ad blockers onto their computers and phones, we will see a decrease in interruptive marketing (traditional display ads). Marketing will have to become more relevant and personalized to reach the consumer on their terms.
    6. Mobile becomes the center of everything:
      According to Think with Google, 87% of people have their phones by their side day and night. 30% of all US eCommerce comes from mobile shopping. Everything is become more and more interactive, turning something as simple as ordering pizza into a digital experience.
    7. Micro-moments:
      Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to their device to act on a need – to learn, to watch, or to buy. Wall Street Journal reported that 91% of smartphone users look up information on their device in the middle of a task, and 82% consult their phones while standing in a store trying to decide what to buy. Marketers need to connect with these consumers at that moment – delivering exactly what they’re looking for the moment they’re looking.
    8. Location-based marketing:
      From text alerts when the consumer is in proximity of a store, to RFID chips at events, this is a new technology that’s only going to grow in popularity. We can’t wait to see how it evolves in 2016.
    9. Wearable technology:
      Marketing will adapt to the increasing adoption rate of wearable technology such as the Apple Watch, Google Glass, and Fitbit. It’s time marketers take advantage. For example, here in Cincinnati, the company Strap is using “Human Data Intelligence” to power email marketing campaigns. As the consumer hits certain goals such as number of steps or active minutes, they are sent reward coupons that correspond.
    10. Account-Based marketing:
      The new “it girl” of Business to Business Marketing. Gone are the days of a single decision-maker in a company. While account-based marketing has been around for a while, it has been picking up speed lately. ABM makes it easier to reach the collective decision makers without multiplying the effort.

Is a brand worth 140 characters? Or more?

Red 212 twitterEarlier this month, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted out that a change could be coming to the social platform. What’s predicted is Twitter will allow users to post long-form text (up to 10,000 characters) on its platform as early as March.

Social networks evolving to serve up more content is nothing new. In fact, Twitter may be a little late to the game. Facebook is already rolling out Instant Articles to attract publishers who want larger audiences and are fearful of ad-blockers. This is a win for the social networks as well. By hosting more content, the more time people will spend on the platform versus clicking off to a website.

However, Twitter’s limited character count still offers something. In fact, in Dorsey’s announcement, he said the 140 characters has “become a beautiful constraint.” Adding that he loves the way it can inspire creativity and brevity.

He’s right. Less definitely can mean more, and consumers are already easily distracted. Twitter’s limited characters challenge brands to be sharper and more concise, which can really bring out some great creative work.

Twitter’s auto-play video feature is also a great tool. The limited character count isn’t so daunting when you can create striking, eye-catching videos your followers will see as they scroll down the screen without having to click off to another website.

What also makes Twitter’s short-form approach attractive is the instant nature of it. It’s the place where brands can react to real-time events better than any other platform. Plus, it allows users to read and share quickly. If your message is short and easy to digest, it’s ultimately more engaging, too.

In short, short-form content still has value. But no matter the character count, brands should still evaluate how they’re using Twitter. What approach will give you the most engagement? Will your followers find value in long-form content on Twitter? Or does it make sense to keep it short and sweet and drive to your website instead? #TwitterStruggles