Start Getting Serious About Social Media, Or Lose.

4-steps-social-media-strategy

It is mind boggling to me how some brands and businesses are still debating whether or not they need a social strategy.  I hear things like “it doesn’t apply to my industry,” or “it doesn’t sell product or create revenue,” or “my client base doesn’t use this network or that,” etc. People…you are over thinking it. If you have set out to be in business, then you need to define your goals as a company and then layer in a social strategy that is consistent with them…This is fact, not fiction.

Social media is the internet and the various social networks are just a part of the ecosystem.  Look around; are people using computers, tablets and smartphones everywhere you look?  Trust me, you will be interacted with online and to not have a real, make sense strategy in place is detrimental to your business.  Stop the insanity.

Social media helps with branding, partnerships,  improved search rankings, lower marketing costs, better customer service and generating qualified leads and sales. These are just some baseline reasons, as to why you need a social presence and social minded strategy coming from the very top.  It is mission critical to stay the course on your social efforts if you ever plan to reap the benefits listed above.  It does not come over night. It requires time, energy and effort.  It is an undying commitment to be a good company and a provider of positive interactions.  If you are genuine in this approach people will take to it and they will buy.  Marketing costs will go down, sales will go up and your economic model will benefit greatly. Faking it will lead to clean up work, customer service issues and will be counter-productive to your company’s goals.

Each week you need to drive the message and focus on all of the benefits listed. It is not a marketing campaign that you run for 2 weeks and then review ROI’s and KPI’s on a spreadsheet.  Some success will be measured by gut, while some will be in responsiveness.  Some will change on a dime based on pivots in your industry or your business.  You need to define what is important to you (aesthetic? service? troubleshooting? interaction?) and then execute a plan that is consistent with any and all of those.

It is a living and breathing thing and will develop with your brand.  It is not a silver bullet, it is a suit of armor that will allow you to be strong and win online. This social media plan must be planted, and then you must nurture it and let it grow. Then you will be the beneficiary of a business built to last.

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Developing Loyal Customers

customer-service.0822.12

Social media has given brands the chance to get to know their fans and customers, and to build relationships with them. It can also help brands to cultivate loyal, long-term customers if they use the platforms correctly. Take a look at some tips from Social Media Examiner to grow your brand’s relationship with customers.

1)   Personalize the experience. Make each and every fan feel like they matter to you, because they do. End your posts with your name, so they can see that there’s a human behind your brand, or try allowing fans to personalize products.
2)   Reward them. Give your entire social media following a discount code, sneak previews, or contests to let them know you appreciate them.
3)   Give them a surprise. Whether it’s a discount code for reaching a social media milestone, an unexpected birthday gift, or a holiday surprise, do something kind to shock and delight them from time to time.
4)   Remember to listen. Engage with your fans, hear their complaints or suggestions, and take action. Let them know you value their opinion.
5)   Be knowledgeable. There is so much information on the Internet, so make sure you can offer your fans something they can’t find. Know your products and services inside and out so you can assist them with anything they might need.
6)   Don’t forget to follow up. Even if you’ve already answered a question for a customer, make sure to follow up with them at a later date. It’s important they know you value their experience.
7)   Build trust. Keep your promises to fans and always make sure to be transparent. If you make a mistake, own up to it and apologize. People will respect the honesty and will trust your brand even more.
8)   Share values. Every brand has core values they were built on, so share them with your fans. Nothing will create a long-term relationship with a customer faster than knowing you share their values.

The most important thing for building long-term relationships with customers is for the customer to know they are valued. Follow these tips to grow these relationships with people who respect and trust your brand.

Add a comment

Tags: ,

Sircle Media- Mobile Tour Design For Ginnybakes

Screen shot 2015-05-12 at 10.01.14 AMWe are always “all in” with our clients and willing to do what is ever needed to help them win online.  Sometimes we also get involved in the offline world to help them get more social with their branding and collateral materials.  Recently our client Ginnybakes asked us to create a design for a van for the company’s Summer 2015 multi-state sampling tour.

Our Art Director, Carlos Palacios took the lead on this project and handled everything from ideation to production.  When it came to creating the design, Carlos said he knew that he wanted to make sure the final product was unique, but still fit the vision of the client and appealed to the target audience. The client had a “colorful 60’s theme” in mind, so Carlos took that and ran with it.

“Both the client and I agreed that pink should be the base color as that would stand out the most, but [pink] would also be a great launch into that 60’s theme,” he said.  At the end of the day, his main focus was making sure he could create an attractive and recognizable design that would help create better brand awareness for Ginnybakes.

Below are some visuals that showcase the various POV’s we created for the vehicle

Sircle-Post-ginnyVan-02We then brought the tour to life on their website with a map that we designed and coded so they could showcase their map and tour dates.  Check it out here: Ginnybakes Tour Map.  Stay tuned for other great design projects coming soon.

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Sircle Media Showcase


On Tuesday, April 8th, Sircle Media held a showcase promoting 4 of our Consumer Package Goods brands; Modern Oats, Avitae Caffeinated Water, ginnybakes and Veestro. Modern Oats, the modern take on old-fashioned oats with a burst of flavor is gluten-free, vegan, and non-gmo. A healthy breakfast option with six different flavors. Avitae, a purified water with natural caffeine, with guess what? Zero calories is the best way to wash breakfast down and give you that extra energy for the day. Everyone has a sweet tooth, right? So indulge mindfully with a crunchy, yummy, and healthy snack, ginnybakes, which is also gluten-free and organic. Ready for lunch? Try Veestro, all-natural, preservative-free food that’s high in protein and fiber, packed with nutrients and simply delicious – straight from your refrigerator or freezer.

We held the showcase at the WeWork 42nd street. The communal working environment that WeWork strongly promotes gave us the ability to enlighten and introduce these brands to working men and women. Each brand was a huge hit amongst members and we are happy to say that sales were made. We were thrilled to see people taking to social media and the internet to highly praise our products like Giorgia, who fell in love with Ginny Bakes!

unnamed

Because of the great deal of success from our first showcase, Sircle has decided to host other events at different WeWorks! Stay tuned to our blog and social media for updates and information!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a comment

Tags: , , , , ,

How To Best Use Pinterest For Your Business

Pinterest_Logo

 

Pinterest isn’t always the first site that comes to mind when someone mentions social media, but it has become an important way for brands to bring their products attention. The site is known for its organic marketing, and using these seven tips from Social Media Examiner will make it easier to increase your brand’s visibility.

Try out promoted pins: Unlike most other social media sites, promoted posts on Pinterest receive just about the same amount of engagement as organic posts do. Promoted pins are a new feature of Pinterest, but one worth trying out.

Use rich pins: The standard for visuals on Pinterest is very high, so it is important for your pins to be high quality to stand out. The site has six different types of rich pins: app pins, place pins, article pins, product pins, recipe pins and movie pins. Product pins can be used for brands to provide a “Buy Now” link, as well as a price and a promotion to help sell their product.

Teamwork: One of the best ways to get more views and engagements on your pins is to collaborate with other popular pinners. You can invite other brands to add their own pins to a common board.

Be recognizable: Most Pinterest users follow multiple brands and users, so it is important that your content stands out as your own. Pick a style and stick with it so your pins are always recognizable to your followers.

Stay relevant: Tweak your pins to stay up to date on the latest trends. Staying with the trending and popular topics means they will appeal to a larger audience and garner more attention and engagement.

Don’t be afraid to re-pin: Even though you’re promoting your specific brand, Pinterest warns against never re-pinning other users’ content. Don’t re-pin content from direct competitors, but re-pin posts that complement the overall mood and value of your own product.

Remember mobile: According to Pinterest, 75% of users access the site from mobile devices. If images and posts are hard to see on smaller screens, your engagement will suffer. Make sure your pictures are big enough to still be viewable on phone screens.

These are just seven ways to optimize Pinterest usage. Implement these tips and see an increase in your user engagement and the attention your brand gets.

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Big Brand Theory: Deepa Gurnani

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.40.02 AM

Instagram, as we have talked about before is a great platform for brands, even if it is not a big driver of e-commerce. While it does not directly drive sales, it does allow a brand to tell a story and reach fans in an engaging way. One of our clients, Deepa Gurnani-a jewelry and accessories designer, has been very successful on Instagram since they signed with us in February of this year. We are very proud of the progress we have made on their account!

When they began with us, they had a little over 1000 followers on the platform and their numbers have grown steadily and continue to do so every day. Even more important that follower count is that they have found their voice on Instagram, which is not always easy to do. They employ a nice balance of product and lifestyle shots in their rotation. They also take advantage of filters to spice up their photos and make them attractive and fun to their audience, rather than just using a plain white background. The jewelry images show their product(s) in a clever and attractive way allowing them to really tell their story in the process.

We are also committed to being timely and keeping up with what is going on in popular culture- i.e. “Ellen’s selfie” from the Oscars.  We are also using NYC as a backdrop as this is where the brand is primarily based. There is a real connection to the city and it is therefore a must that we weave it into our conversation. By posting these types of lifestyle posts we are able to share more about who the brand is, without directly “selling” the consumer. This is all about brand building, and it is going really well thus far!

To see more of how Deepa Gurnani is owning Instagram here!

Add a comment

Tags: , , ,

Facebook Reach: Learn The Basics

US-Map-and-Facebook-Like-600

Facebook is always rolling out new features, but does it benefit you as a brand? Let’s discuss!

Facebook reach is the number of unique people who saw your content. That’s not all. The reach affects every other metric that you can track including comments, clicks, engagement, and likes. There are different kinds of reach as well — post, page, organic, viral, and paid. Let’s first talk about those.

  • Organic reach: The number of unique people who saw your post in the news feed or on your page, including people who saw it from a story shared by a friend when they liked, commented on or shared your post, answered a question or responded to an event.
  • Paid reach: The number of unique people who saw your post through an ad

Note: Viral reach is now counted as part of organic reach.

You will also see something in your insights called “impressions”. Impressions are the number of times a post from your page is displayed, whether the post is clicked on or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. For example, someone might see a page update in the news feed 1x (or more), and then a second time if their friend shares it.

Note: The reach will most likely will be lower than impressions, because it cannot reach someone multiple times like an impression.

Should you pay to reach more?

Paying to promote the right content in order to reach more people in your target audience (fans or not), can have it’s benefits. It is recommended that you adopt a pay to play mentality in today’s Facebook Ecosystem.

5 ways to maximize your reach:

1. Know your audience

Study your fans and know what they want in terms of content. Get into Facebook insights and really look at what your fans are responding to. Do they like video? Do they like two posts a day rather than one? Are they online at a specific time? What kind of content are they interested in sharing with their friends? Once you know your fans better and what they like/don’t like, etc. you will be able to get better results in a variety of ways.

2. Be relevant, brief AND timely

Your audience does not want to see paragraph long posts. It’s a fact, they are indeed turned off by it. They are more apt to read posts that are short, accompanied by a picture, and a link (bitly). If you’re sharing content, make sure it is up-to-date, especially if it is regarding your product in the press, etc.

3. Quality, quality, quality!

Quality content is going to get your posts even further. As long as you provide valuable information to your audience, your reach will be higher as fans will be more likely to share the content as well. Ask questions, conduct contests, and involve your consumers as much as possible.

4. Turn your fans’ friends into fans themselves

Facebook insights provides admins with the “Friends of Fans” metric, letting them know how many people they can potentially reach organically. Friends of fans are extremely important — they are more likely to visit a brand’s Facebook Page or website, purchase a brand’s products and become fans themselves. Organically, these Facebook fans can easily be reached through the Facebook Ticker, which tracks all user activity. Keep your fans interacting with your brand, and their friends will see all “liking” activity, comments and posts in the top right of their news feed.

5. Engage!

Fans love to know their favorite brands are listening and interacting with them. Sometimes social media managers overlook this very simple task, but it means a lot. Whether it is to say “thank you” or “have a great day”, consumers respond best to brands when they know they are being heard and responded to. Make sure to mix up your responses. Just don’t overdo it!

To read more about Facebook reach, click here!

 

Add a comment

Tags: , , , , ,

How to Drive E-Commerce (Indirectly) from Instagram

We at Sircle Media provide an in-depth audit and social media plan for each client and the question that always comes up is “are we on the right platforms?”, “are there platforms we are not on we should be on?” “which platforms drive sales?”. The biggest platform that drives e-commerce is Facebook, as well as Pinterest. Twitter can be included as well. Instagram, however, which you might have recently read is bypassing Facebook with it’s popularity and user base, does not drive sales. There is no link back to the website, but it is a very good platform for branding and engagement. If your number one goal as a brand is to drive e-commerce, Instagram is not where you want to put your time, although it is very important. Although Instagram has yet to come out with a way to drive sales, some retailers have figured out  a way to drive sales indirectly from the app.

Retailers like West Elm and Bauble Bar are using widgets to drive conversion from user photos. The widgets will pull in Instagram photos that are tagged with a determined hashtag to the retailer’s site, where it can be linked with a product for sale.

Screen-Shot-2014-02-18-at-3.19.04-PM

For example, BaubleBar uses the widget on it’s front page to show customers Instagram selfles displaying their products. As you click on the photo, a pop-up window shows the jewelry within the photo and links to a page where online shoppers can buy.

“Thirty to 35 percent of our online traffic engages with that widget on the homepage or on the product page,” said Daniella Yacobovsky, co-founder of BaubleBar. “We see conversion about four to four-and-a-half times higher with these people than from people who don’t engage.”

West Elm uses the widget to organize pictures on a subpage, called #MyWestElm. Consumers can sift through, room by room to see how other West Elm customers arrange their homes with West Elm merchandise.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 8.30.38 AM

Pau Sabria, the co-founder of Olapic, which provides Instagram widgets, recently told the New York Times that brands using the widget on average see visitors that turned into buyers increased by 5 to 7 percent and the average order value rose by 2 percent.

So, is Instagram creeping up on other social platforms in regards to e-commerce? We wouldn’t jump to yes, but there is potential. Instagram will grow and continue to be a driving force in branding and e-commerce in the future.

Add a comment

Tags: , , , ,

Social Content Playlist-From The Kitchn

We recently came across The Kitchn, a daily web magazine devoted to home cooking and kitchen design. The site publishes twenty short articles a day that inform and motivate every aspect of home cooking, “from recipes to cooking lessons to product reviews to kitchen design and renovation advice”. While this site is geared towards foodies and homeowners, they have gone outside the box and played up social content with their own original content, which we, here at Sircle Media LOVE and recommend to our clients.

 52fbcd26697ab07bf000281b._w.540_s.fit_

They released ’20 Songs for Dancing in the Kitchen’ using Spotify. Great idea, right? This is a great way to integrate something creative that is not directly related to their original content. By creating this they get readers more involved, and hopefully find new readers based on the playlist. They involve their audience when they ask them to share their favorite song to dance along to in the kitchen, which sparked engagement. Then they posted this playlist across their social media platforms, which made it easy to find and to get the readers back to their site.

It is very important for brands to step out of their typical content comfort zone and provide fans and consumers with articles, playlists, news, and quotes that are not directly tied to their brand, but relatable. Consumers want to feel as though they can connect with you and that can be done with these types of social content plays. We always advise that our clients think about what other content would be relevant and resonate with their consumers, outside of their product(s) that they are trying to sell. We love what they have done here not only because music is so universal, but they also leveraged Spotify, a social network in its own right.

Big Thumbs Up from us!  Don’t forget to check out The KItchn!

Add a comment

Tags: , , , ,

Facebook Best Platform for Brand Interaction

While social media is vital to a brand’s success, one platform might be better than another, based on the needs of the images-29 brand.  Whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, or Vine each one has it’s strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if the goal of a brand is to drive e-commerce, Facebook and Pinterest are the top platforms a brand would want to use. Instagram is very valuable for branding and the use of images, but it is not for driving traffic to a website.

“The majority of Internet users don’t use any of the popular social media networks at all to interact with their favorite brands. Of those who do, however, 34 percent prefer to use Facebook,” says a CBM Consumer Pulse study by Constant Contact. It is important to note that according to their study, 52% of Americans over the age of 18 spend at least one hour a week on Facebook. That statistic may or may not be surprising to you, but it is crucial to understand the importance of it with regards to the overall marketing tactics your company/organization is using.

The study showed that 34% of people that go online interact with their favorite brands on Facebook – compared to only 4% on Twitter and 1% on Linkedin. Even more important? A staggering 56% of those under 35 interact with their favorite brands on Facebook each month.

You might be asking yourself, WHY do these people interact with brands on Facebook? The study showed the following statistics:

58% – “I am a customer of the company”
57% – “To receive discounts and promotions”
41% – “To show others that I like/support this brand”
31% – “To be the first to know information about the brand”
31% – “Gain access to exclusive content”

facebook-fans-recommend-brand

 

Other useful information:

  • 78% of those who “Like” a brand on Facebook are fans of fewer than 10 brands; engagement is real.
  • More than half of fans are more likely to buy a product since becoming a fan.
  • Users spend 45% of their time on Facebook in the news feed.
  • Consumers most often “Like” brand pages because they are already a customer (58%) or want to receive discounts and promotions (57%). Less than a third are looking for exclusive information about the brand.
  • 76% of people have never “Unliked” a brand page.
  • More than half of fans are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a Facebook fan.
  • Brand interaction is most often a passive activity; 77% of fans read posts, news feeds, and offers posted by the brand, while only 30% share their experiences and news stories or post about the brand.

The takeaway? As many new social media platforms become popular and trendy for brands to try, Facebook continues to be the leading network for brand interaction.

 

 

Add a comment

Tags: , , , , , ,