Content, Engagement + Growth = Social Media Success

ModernOats-Hoodoffair

At Sircle Media we believe that social media efforts need to be equally distributed between content, engagement and growth tactics. It is our religion and we work diligently on this approach for our clients on a daily basis.

The collage above is an excellent example of how the three all work together and result in a smart and well rounded social strategy. On a recent call regarding content direction with our client Modern Oats, they really wanted us to focus on helping better craft their content message, as a product for the explorer/traveler/adventurer set.

We decided we would do a deep dive on Instagram to look for some content inspiration and source some influencers who we felt embodied this lifestyle and who had a sizable following from that demo.  We followed a couple of users who we felt had the right vibe and engaged with some of their content to get on their radar.  As a result of this engagement tactic, we found @_hoodoffair_ and reached out to him to start up a dialogue.

We asked if he would like to try our product and he said that he would love for us to send him some. This was done with no promise of anything other than him sampling it and providing feedback. For a photographer on the go, especially one shooting content outdoors, this product makes a lot of sense. We sent some out for him to try (and he loved it) and as a result we landed not just one, but three (one, two, three) free content posts on his account.

In the end, a content strategy call, led us to first deploy some down and dirty engagement tactics. The posts earned 8987 LIKE’s, thousands of impressions and 150+ new followers, all nice growth metrics. To take it full sircle, we also landed three beautiful images that we could then repurpose into our feed, rounding out our content efforts.

We call it: The Sircle of (social media) Life. ;)

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Pay to Play on Facebook: Does it Pay?

2015_facebook_is_Pay_to_play

Facebook is a beast of a marketing platform, that drives amazing results. Period, end of paragraph.

Brands still struggle to get their head around this for some reason.  Facebook (like most platforms) gave “the goods” away for free at first (and for a long time) and once they grew up and decided it was time to make some money, people freaked out. This is a mistake, because A) of course that was coming, B) you just need to be nimble and adjust and C) if you aren’t taking advantage of this paid platform, then you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

I just think everyone needs a reset of sorts, to help them reassess Facebook in general. There is nothing more powerful in your arsenal and you must incorporate it into your digital plan. Remember, when you pay Facebook, you are unlocking their awesome targeting opportunities and you are guaranteeing delivery of content to a specific audience. Not partaking because you are angry that Facebook transitioned to a pay to play platform is the definition of cutting off your nose to spite your face. DON’T DO IT!

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 1.54.57 PM

Take the image to the left for example. This client was running a special on Good Morning America and offering a limited time offer of 50% off, as a way to generate e-commerce sales and acquire new customers. They have a very high retention rate (because their products are awesome) and they wanted to bring in revenue to their site (for a short term $ boost) and to help create some new user profiles, that would likely translate to long term and repeat customers. It is all about Life Time Value (LTV).

To help stoke the flames of this offer, we decided to boost this timeline post to two strategic audiences for $50 each. Fans of the brand (many of whom might not have purchased on the website before) and website visitors, who had not yet purchased on their website. This means they had been to the site, but never consummated a sale.

The results: 22,000+ reached, 378 clicks and (not seen here) $953 in revenue from this one post.

This was a solid investment from an up front ROI point of view, and an excellent way to initiate the life time funnel. Now we can implement some email CRM sequences and engage them in a much deeper conversation with the brand.

Did it pay to play?  Yessir.

 

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Chirp-Chirp: Are You Listening on Twitter?

13501786_1156139544448026_1069453187647699541_nWe are big buyers of Twitter these days and that is because it is the best place to go fishing for opportunities with people who might not already be following or engaging with your brand. By rolling up your sleeves and putting in the work, you can unlock real revenue driving engagements like the one above.

Here we curated the hashtag #caffeine in a Hootsuite stream which we regularly monitor for potential engagements with users on the platform. This person wrote a pretty straightforward and innocuous Tweet about needing “copious amounts of coffee” to presumably power her through her Tuesday.  Because we are on the ball and watching these things closely for our client Avitae, we replied swiftly and put their brand in front of her as a healthier alternative for her caffeine consumption. She replied almost immediately, and kept the dialogue going.

13509046_1156139541114693_7777122107093051556_n

We then took the client to a DM (Direct Message) and inquired about her zipcode and once she replied, we teed up various places where she could go purchase the product in her area.  This particular client doesn’t promote E-commerce (at least not yet) and instead relies heavily on social media to help support their wholesale business and to help facilitate foot traffic and improve velocity reports to keep them on retailer’s shelves. This was a really solid win in that regard, and now their sales team can use the evidence of this type of “ground support” from their social team, to help sell the brand into other retail locations too.

Good strategy + the use of the right social media tools + good old hard work and hustle = social media success!

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Gifting: The gift that keeps on giving…

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 6.54.11 AM

Gifting influencers can really throw gasoline onto your social media efforts, if you are smart about your approach. Tactically, we are always looking for exposure opportunities to expand our reach and engagements for our clients and people with influence (fans and followers) in tow, afford brands an opportunity to land grab a bunch of both, with very little effort.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 6.48.03 AMAbove you can see the impact of just one tweet for our client, Black Halo. They gifted the actress, Jennette McCurdy @jennettemccurdy and then tweeted out an image of her wearing their product. She went ahead and retweeted it to her 6.3million+ followers and it earned a ton of exposure and interactions. Just look at the metrics in the shot above and you can see the power of this one piece of communication.

We have advocated before that you shouldn’t sleep on Twitter as a powerful marketing tool. Every platform has its own place in your messaging plan and it just comes down to understanding how to natively communicate and navigate each. If you remain committed to the long game and don’t get lost in the clutter and confusion of the short game, then you will reap the benefits.

Above and beyond the amazing reach and exposure this brought us, we are especially interested in the small ball, one-to-one engagements it surfaced. You see the goal was not just to get eyeballs, the hope was to drum up a dialogue that could lead to sales on the website.

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 7.01.21 AM

To round out the strategy, you need to have someone closely monitoring Twitter on the daily to seek our conversations like the one above. This user (who has 4800 of her own followers mind you) engaged with our media and is clearly interested in the product. Important to note that she is a follower of Jennette’s and not Black Halo, which means that our gifting and Twitter game played out perfectly. This user most likely knew nothing about this brand prior to this interaction, but as a fan of the influencer and how our client’s product looked on her, we now have created a positive impression with this user, for their products.

Who needs TV commercials and magazine ads, when you can make that happen with just one Tweet?

 

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Win of The Week: Revenue In 140 Characters or Less

FEATURED-TWITTER_Loss-01-1200x630

Don’t sleep on Twitter. The micro-blogging platform has taken a lot of body blows over the past year or so, both on the street and in the mind’s of marketers. Whereas many of our clients and prospects used to have Twitter in their “Big 4″ (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest) many are now questioning whether or not they should even be active on it at all.  FYI: They should!

Twitter is the only true, real time purveyor of news and information out there. When things are unfolding in the world, both tragic (shootings, earthquakes etc.) and positive/entertaining (awards shows, TV/movie/streaming service episodes etc.) people turn to the bird, to get their immediate fix of what is happening in the moment. Yes growth has stalled, and other platforms are taking marketshare, but Twitter still has 310million+ active users and is a direct line into people’s mobile devices, where 83% of active users are.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 7.17.41 AM

We like Twitter for SMB’s and brands, because it is an excellent tool to find eyeballs and serve up branded content (like you see above) and/or marketing messages to potential customers. We encourage at least 100-150 outgoing Tweets a month (3-5 daily) and ideally most will drive traffic back through your domain. As marketers continue to try to prove the value of social in the marketing and ROI funnel, it is important to have as many tools at your disposal as you can.  Twitter is a very valuable asset in this regard.

There is a lot of noise on the platform so it is important to be regimented and consistent with your output, which can be daunting to most. It seems like a lot of heavy lifting, but sometimes you have to put in the work if you want to get the sale. What is more important than that?

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 7.25.26 AMHere is an exchange from the Tweet listed above for our client Veestro. This user saw our content and replied with a simple innocuous message, that it “looks delicious.”  We kept the conversation loop going (the foundation of social media) and immediately replied with a positive and non-salesy message to her. She then went ahead and confirmed that she would try the product and that she was so “glad she saw our tweet.”

This sale is a direct result of Twitter activity and is proof that the work can indeed payoff. We think it is worth the time to generate the revenue from this customer, and given the retention rates of this client, we’d assume that the lifetime value and continued revenue makes this a home run.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 7.26.02 AMThe cherry on top of all of this, is that this particular user is an influencer on the platform, with 12K+ followers which brings us free exposure to her audience. She is also a plant based eater, who talks and writes about excellent customer service – something she experienced first hand here. = GRAND SLAM!

 

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Facebook Marketing + Messaging = “A Must” To Win Online

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 10.42.00 AM

Facebook is such a powerful advertising medium for any brand looking to share their story on the web.  It offers unprecedented targeting, very cost effective reach and is a proven winner when it comes to driving clicks and conversions on an e-commerce website. We have clients leveraging all three on the daily and are driving ROI’s as high as 13X their spend.

Paid social is a beast, but there are many who are still sitting on the sidelines.  As a result, they are missing out big time!  Many brands abandoned Facebook completely, when it went to a “pay to play” model and we have always run in the opposite direction of those people. We are all in on Facebook Marketing and have talked about our POV on it here in this blog.

Sometimes it is as simple as leveraging page post engagements (boosting posts) to your fans and their friends.  If you have a brand that makes great products, has strong customer service and in turn actually has a community of fans, then no other platform corrals them for you like Facebook. It tees up an opportunity for you to share a message and guarantees delivery to (a grip of) them if you want to put some funds behind it. Why is that a bad thing???

Our client Bombas, is a brand with awesome products, epic customer service and their fans absolutely love them. We chose to leverage the pretty piece of content you see above, showing off their new line of products by putting a nominal spend ($20) behind it and simply targeted their fans and friends of their fans. This $19.83 spend directly translated into $1,721.35 in revenue.  Seems like a good investment, wouldn’t you say?

13312802_10157236483295643_6659417588289018313_n

As a cherry on top, you can see the comment from one of their fans on the post, thanking them for “listening to their customers” and rolling out these new colors. They clearly exhibited that they care about their community, and implemented changes and improvements based on their feedback.  That is the whole point of social media, isn’t it?

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Win of The Week-Influencer Programs Ring The Register

Deliver-Lean-600x238

Our client DeliverLean has been relying on social media to be a resource for branding, awareness and exposure since it’s inception. As the company has evolved from just a concept to an Inc 500 list member, it has continuously looked for different ways to use social to help advance the company.

In 2016 we turned to a more aggressive paid social plan, including a full funnel clicks and conversions strategy, a very successful lead ads campaign and the use of Instagram Ads too.  They are a local brand, looking to target various health, diet and fitness subsets within a defined geographic region, and nothing is more well suited for this than The Social Network.

In a different type of “paid social” effort, we also have deployed an influencer program that leverages local users who have big followings, to help them spread the word and convert new customers. We offer a monetary reward for each new user earned from that person, as well as a discount on product for them to enjoy too.

DL Influencer grid

These efforts are incredibly effective because you now have the endorsement from a “trusted individual,” at least in the eyes of their follower/fan base. We like this strategy with this client in particular, because they aren’t just posing with the product- they are actually using it themselves and are actual customers of the company.  You get their stamp of approval, and with images like the ones above, you are also painting a desire picture (two super fit people eating their product) which helps convert users subconsciously.

We have talked before about how social media is not a marketing vertical and shouldn’t only be evaluated by ROI and KPI terms, but that being said most brands still lean that way. This is is an example where you can directly attribute revenue to social media efforts and the return is tremendous. It is not the only reason you embark on a long term social media plan, but it is definitely one that will keep the client, especially the one’s in the C-suite happy.

 

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Win of The Week- Instagram Small Ball Tactics = $ales

sircle-instagram $

Instagram is a fantastic social network and brands in all industries (especially fashion) have taken to it as a way to story tell and display their style.  It is easy to use, mobile based and is a direct line to people’s pockets.  We like Instagram, because it is another platform to help brands sell product to customers.

13094164_10157120301910643_1420516118054586280_n

Here is a screenshot from one of our client’s Google Analytics dashboards, showing traffic over a the month of April from the link in their bio. Most brands think that Instagram is not a facilitator of traffic, and that is just not true. Here you see a healthy flow of users to their domain, an “off the charts” low bounce rate and these users are staying for 2+ minutes and visiting 6.5+ pages per session. These are unbelievable numbers!

What we like to see even more than that, is the sale for $104 that came from these efforts. When we started with this client they actually said “Instagram wont make us money, but we think it is important to post photos just to stay relevant” and we said- trust in the fact that the hard work and exposure will pay off and will ring the register.  It is so satisfying to see that pan out!

We also manage Instagram Ads for this client and that has yielded much more revenue, but this organic, small ball sale is even more attractive to us.  It is a combination of hashtag stuffing, influencer tagging and honing in on the best time of day, frequency and cadence in our content delivery.  This surge in traffic and sale, came on a Saturday afternoon, from a post we made at an optimal time for this particular brand.  Goes to show you that paying attention to data, being active on a weekend and deploying smart tactics can pay off.

To seal the deal on Instagram for this (and most of our fashion brands) we implemented the ability to have “shoppable Instagram” and in this client’s case we set them up with Foursixty as a partner.  This approach has helped them convert a lot of business on the gram and proven out that this platform can be a real driver of revenue. Like anything in life, it is all about the execution!

 

Add a comment

Tags: , ,

Win of The Week- Customer Service 2.0

Sircle- Monitoring

With social media, the sexy topics are content creation, influencer collaborations and even the paid efforts that lead back to measurable KPI’s and ROI’s.  Those are the things most clients and prospects want to talk about and will ultimately use to gauge whether social media efforts are working. While they are both important, they are more about talking than listening, and it is in the latter category where brands should be focused a bit more.

We believe that content and growth efforts are 2/3 of the puzzle, but engagement is where you really can set your brand apart from the pack. One of the most important roles that a Social Media Manager fills is – Customer Service Manager. In today’s day and age, people will chime in and comment about bad (or good) experiences and it is mission critical to have your ears open to the feedback.

Our client Bombas cares very much about servicing their community, referred to as The Hive. Like any brand they have had negative and positive feedback and commentary, and together we remain committed to auditing, listening and tackling their needs head on. Sometimes it can turn a negative comment into a positive one, or even a sale.  As you see here:

C65BF14F-5B06-4116-B18D-B97F0068BFA0

Remember, your community is watching and sometimes they will chime in and have your back when others are complaining too.

13010903_10157097564330643_5146701155132170967_n

They appreciate authenticity and that a brand actually does care. This is the “blocking and tackling” component of social media and while it doesn’t show up on the scoreboard each day, it is everything if you want to win online.

13055588_10157097564335643_8406735152724636746_n

In general the commitment to being a great community and a brand who actually cares is a long play and not a short one. It is a daily grind and takes a lot of man hours and work, but in the end of the day it is all about creating something that is built to last.

 

Add a comment

Tags: , , ,

Win Of The Week-(Indirect) Facebook Advertising $ales

13001244_10154193874541424_8096010789379713630_n

We have a pretty robust Facebook Ads campaign in motion for our client Deliver Lean, that involves various components including clicks, conversions, lead ads and dark posting.  It has proven to be a very cost effective and targeted method for generating business, especially for this e-commerce focused and geography restricted company, out of south Florida.

The brand recently expanded their regions to go much further north in Florida and we were able to serve up Ads (like the one above) that specifically targeted fans of their competitors who lived within these new zones.  The primary focus is to get people in these cities to click thru to the site, so we can then build up our retargeting efforts with new ammunition and hit them with some additional, targeted content and Ads that speak to their specific needs.  Building this funnel takes a little bit of time, but it is very worthwhile to help convert brand new users to your product or service.

Very early on into this new campaign we had a comment on the Ad, which was a clear buying question and needed to be responded to very quickly. Our Social Media Manager replied and then teed it up to the client’s internal sales team to handle as a hot and viable lead. All the more reason why a brand needs someone managing the community and not just running Ads with “a set it and forget it” attitude.

12993453_10154193874811424_6026488238700935588_n

The sales team contacted the prospect right away and converted them to a new paying customer.  This is a clear Facebook conversion, but one that didn’t actually click thru to the site from the Ad. It might not show up in Google Analytics, but it is a Facebook produced sale nonetheless. We served an Ad, had an immediate inquiry and closed it out very quickly.  If we weren’t paying close attention, we might have missed it and that would mean lost revenue.  Social media is a full time gig and it needs to be monitored on a constant basis. In this instance, Deliver Lean (and Ashley) benefited from a social media team that was listening. #winning

Add a comment

Tags: , ,