Safe is Risky

Safe is Risky quote

I meet with brands each week and nearly every single meeting comes down to a conversation where they know they need social media, but they just aren’t ready to really pull the trigger in a meaningful way.  They see that retail is hurting and they agree they need to do more web business, but it is less than 5% of their total revenue.  They don’t have a digital strategy (let alone a social one) and they think that somehow it is going to change. News alert…it wont!

The problem is that they dont understand digital so it scares them.  They instead choose to “play it safe” and advertise on traditional mediums like TV, outdoor and mailers (that don’t work) OR even worse they don’t market at all.  I would argue (and I think Seth Godin would agree) that this safe approach is the riskiest of all.  Failure to act, is an act of failure.  Brands need to start changing this mentality, before they go extinct.

If you had a heart attack today and survived, it would most likely cause you to assess and adjust things right away. You would start taking better care of yourself, would consult with experts on how to get there, read blogs and articles for ideas on how to incorporate for yourself personally and would generally take a much more serious stance on your health and well being. It would be a catalyst for you to start doing what you aways knew you needed to, but just didn’t.

So, imagine that your business had a heart attack today and get going on improving its health now. Stop wasting money on things that you cannot track and don’t work. Stop procrastinating on social media and stop putting your fate in the hands of ill equipped junior staff members, or worse in a marketing department that doesn’t believe in or understand it.  Start capturing emails and communicating with your customers in a smart and strategic way.  Start creating content that they care about and want to read.  Start spending advertising dollars on highly trackable platforms such as Facebook and Instagram now.

As we have said before, social media is just a new term for the internet and social networks are just part of the ecosystem. Not using the internet and/or thinking about how to engage people on their mobile phones (where the focus and attention clearly is) in 2016, is like eating bacon and ice cream 7 days a week and never working out. Some people might survive, but the vast majority will drop dead too soon. Don’t be part of the latter group.

Playing it too safe, is super dangerous for your (business’) health!

 

 

 

 

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$ocial Media

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Social media generates revenue, that is a fact.  I think so many brands cannot get their head around that and are almost looking to prove the opposite to be true.  The same people who tell me how they know they need a social media strategy, constantly say things like it is “a lot of fluff that doesn’t really move the needle.” (an actual quote). They downplay the value of the efforts and think it is all about a bunch millennials in hoodies taking selfies all day.  It is like they need to be in it, just because their competition is, but not because it actually makes money.  Ludicrous!

Now it might be that they are employing a very myopic view of social media.  If they are trying to track how their Facebook post on February 2nd directly lead to a sale, then they are going about it all wrong.  It is much bigger than that. Not only is it a function of a much deeper Facebook strategy, but Facebook (and other social networks for that matter) are just a part of the ecosystem. They need to be looking at onsite content, emails, search, retargeting, display, Ads (of various kinds) and social monitoring and messaging when assessing if their social strategy works. Too many companies have different departments, often with conflicting agendas overseeing these efforts and/or are using different partners for these services.  This silo approach sets them up to fail.

We recommend you have them all “under one roof” and working in sync to glean the most value and results from all of it.  Each little step is part of a bigger journey and it works best when you don’t have too many different agendas and personalities involved.  You need to make a threshold decision to win online, create a roadmap and then get to work.

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Here is a screenshot from an actual report we provided to a client today.  In June of ’15 they fired their AdWords Agency and their “SEO guy” and they turned over all of the social/digital efforts to us.  We handle content creation and strategic distribution through social, email, retargeting and social advertising and we actually paused AdWords efforts (other than a minor spend on their brand name). Not that AdWords don’t work (they do) but because they just weren’t right for them, at least for now.  We worked hard to generate website traffic (check out their sessions) and then convert that traffic through a smart and streamlined follow up strategy, employing all of the tools at our disposal.

The results: we doubled monthly revenue, from $60,000 to $127,000.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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#SircleSquad Spotify Take Over: Alexis Futoran

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Here at Sircle Media we are all about music and we jam all day long while working hard for our clients.  We have some crowd favorites that get us all singing out loud; think Journey, Billy Joel and we all seem to really dig Ed Sheeran. We also each have our own style and unique tastes, so we thought we would share some of the songs we are really feeling with you our fans and clients.

To do this we are going to have a monthly DJ takeover where a member of The #SircleSquad will share their very own Spotify Playlist.  First up is Alexis Futoran.  Listen, enjoy and critique if you feel so inclined.

Just click on her mug to play:

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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.

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How To: Increase Engagement on Twitter

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Twitter is more than just 140 character messages. It’s a way to share content, spread news, and market your brand. It is more than having tens of thousands of Twitter followers, but rather having content that your followers will actually pay attention to and interact with.

There are many different ways users can interact with a tweet. The obvious ones are by favoriting, retweeting, or replying to a tweet. However, users can also click your hashtags, @-mentions, links, pictures, white space to expand the tweet, your Twitter handle to view your profile, or the follow button.

Generally the most important click is the click on a link. According to Hubspot Blogs, link clicks account for 92% of tweet interactions. Link clicks give you the best chance of gaining views, shares, and traffic on the content you post.

Gaining clicks on Twitter can be done if you’re willing to put the work in. Here are some quick tips to get the most out of Twitter:

1)   Make sure your language is clear and to the point, don’t be ambiguous.

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2)   Good headlines make the best tweets
3)   Use verbs and the active voice
4)   Don’t overload your audience with statistics
5)   Experiment to find the optimum time to send out tweets for the most interaction
6)   Use images to grab people’s attention

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7)   Spread your tweets out over time, don’t bombard people’s timelines
8)   Use hashtags, but only a few

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9)   Call people to action, ask them to do something

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10)  The link can go in the middle of the tweet instead of at the end
11)  Get people’s attention by mentioning Twitter
12)  Use infographics
13)  Double check that your links work

These tips are based on studies to help maximize your Twitter potential and get the most success possible out of using the social media site to grow your brand. Give them a try and see your engagement grow.

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Meet Sircle’s Newest Member: Sara Lerner

526596_10201668954578732_305305388_n Name: Sara Lerner

 Where did you grow up? Solon, Ohio

 How old are you? 24 but turning 25 in December.

 Where did you go to college? DePaul University in Chicago.

What made you get into social media? I had an internship my sophomore year of college that really  opened my eyes to the idea that you can  have a career in social media. I graduated from college with  a B.A in English which is extremely useful since a major part of this career is writing, reviewing and editing.

In 2012, I was hired by a small advertising agency in Chicago where I worked until I moved to New York. I learned so much about myself and my skills at my previous job that it made me fall even more in love with social media.

 If you were on a desert island, what 3 things could you not be without?
1. Sunscreen 2. My Best Friend 3. Netflix

Favorite T.V Show? 
I like to say that I only watch “good T.V” right now I am watching Boardwalk Empire and Homeland. And Gilmore Girls since the entire series was released on Netflix.

Starbucks? Dunkin’ Donuts? Or the local coffee shop?
Starbucks because you can find one on any corner and I am always desperately in need of a cup of coffee.

One celebrity you would take on a date?
Adam Brody, even though he is married. Since his days on the O.C I have been in love with him!

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How Video Helps Brands Build Their Audience

More and more we begin to see advertisers utilizing Facebook to reach out globally with their marketing efforts. Companies have even begun to look beyond traditional forms of Internet and social media marketing with the help of Facebook’s new video advertising capabilities.

Facebook video ads are tailored so that they are shown to individuals within a specific target market that a company intends to reach and who are most likely to watch and engage in the ads. In addition, the videos also give those who are watching access to a more in-depth experience by attaching links at the end of the videos that enable the viewer to replay, learn more, visit the company website, etc.

Facebook video advertisements also have reach and frequency buying capabilities which allow advertisers to see who is viewing their video ads and how often. That being said, advertisers can more efficiently regulate the reach and frequency to determine the effectiveness of the video ads in regards to the audience and viewing numbers. With all these new features, Facebook video advertisements are truly a game changer for the business world. Click here to learn more.

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Danielle Stevens Jewelry New Website

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New Website Launch, daniellestevens.com : “Danielle Stevens is an independent, costume jewelry company based in New York. Founded in 2001 by designer Danielle Zackman, the company has emerged as a leading jewelry brand in the US, recognized by its uniquely trend driven and affordable designs.”

Danielle wanted a new website that offered a better user experience to her customers. She also needed a content management system that was easy to use so she could upload press and content on the fly. We created this website on the WordPress Platform and we employed Responsive Design so her fans would have a great experience on any device.

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Vilebrequin Design and Development

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Custom Facebook Design and Development Project: Vilebrequin has been a client of ours for over 6 months now and we have worked intimately with this amazing brand on their social/digital strategy development, new ecommerce website launch and their day to day community management.

They have a very passionate and loyal following and they have established themselves  as a global leader in men’s fashion in and around luxury beachwear. They wanted to enhance the user experience on their Facebook page by providing some brand curated content that their fans could engage with. Check out their  Custom Spotify Tab here (their most trafficked tab on FB)

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Facebook Terms for Contests and Promotions Get a Facelift

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Facebook recently announced guideline changes to their policies regarding running contests on The Social Network. Businesses can now run their promotions directly on their actual business page and no longer have to find a 3rd party to run their contests for them, like Wildfire, Woobox or Zeus. This new feature allows data to be collected by having users post content, comment, directly message and/or even “like” content on the business page and these actions can now be considered as entries into a contest.

With this new update, businesses can now quickly put together legitimate and approved (by Facebook rules) contests on their timeline. All you have to do is make a quick post to launch the contest and ask the users to submit through comments, and let them vote through likes. It’s as simple as that. Using a contest within a post will get a lot of engagement, especially if it is eye catching and offers compelling incentives!  This is very helpful if you are looking to boost the EdgeRank of your fan page.

One additional benefit is that now your contest is mobile friendly, and we all know that many people are coming to you via their phones these days. Remember, Facebook apps are not visible from your phones making that a big negative when running a promotion on an app.

There are some drawbacks to running contests on your timeline and Community Managers will need to be on their game. By using this method of promoting, businesses are not able to collect vital marketing information like emails. It also may be quite time consuming for the administrators if the post ends up getting a lot of engagement. The Page Admins will need to manually moderate entries and choose winners. This update may end up getting you’re business in some trouble if you don’t abide by the laws. You must know your local, state, and regional quidelines when it comes to running contests and follow them closely.

In the end, all businesses want to boost their engagement and their fan base on Facebook. This new feature offers a step in that direction. Learn more about this update here!

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