Tag: social media marketing

Start Pinning With Pinterest In 2015

By Peyton Smith, Consociate Winter 2015 Intern

Raise your hand if you love a lazy Sunday morning flipping through magazines and dog-earring the pages of recipes, outfits or home improvement projects you aim to take on? Me, too.

That’s also why I love Pinterest. Admittedly, Consociate’s Founder Steph Heinatz calls it the “social media vortex,” because once you log in it’s hard to log off! It’s that addicting…and why it’s also a great place for brands to showcase their looks, tips, ideas and newest creations.

And yes, Pinterest, just like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, is a powerful way to market brands and engage with customers.

How? Here are a few of our best tips for making the most of your Pinterest account, boards and pins.

Happy pinning!

Know your brand.

Keep your Pinterest boards focused on things relevant to you and your company. People looking at your boards won’t learn about the company if you are pinning things that aren’t relevant. The Inn at Warner Hall, for example, doesn’t pin things related to clothing. They focus on history, food and hospitality.

Specify and organize.

Label each board and pin things on that board accordingly. For example, Lowe’s has a board titled, “Grillin’ and Chillin’” with different recipes, grills, and chillin’ ideas. Having clear title makes browsing easy.

The more the better. (When it comes to Pinterest!)

Pinterest users like to browse, therefore the more pins and boards, the better. It allows users to stay on your page and browse longer. The key to having more is to keep everything organized. Refer back to the previous tip!

The name says it all.

Looking for a creative title? Ask Whole Foods. This grocery store chain is the master of titling boards. “Cheese is the Bee’s Knees” lets us know exactly what that board is about, while attracting us to it with the clever name.

Pin Placement.

Research shows that the pins placed front and center are the ones that receive the most views. Pay attention to where your pins and boards are and organize accordingly.

Connect to your web site.

Be sure to have a link to your Pinterest page easily accessible on your web site – footer and header, for example – and give people an option to easily pin things from your blog by adding the PIN IT button.

Pin regularly.

This is important to remember. It’s not about pinning a lot one day and then being idle. Pinning regularly keeps your profile’s pins in the feed of each pin’s category. This will help grow your followers…and business.

Need help starting? Contact us today! We love Pinterest!

Please like and share:

Read Further

Get Insta-Famous in 2015

By Peyton Smith, Consociate Winter 2015 Intern, and Stephanie Heinatz, Consociate Founder

What do pictures, hashtags, locations, tags and filters all have in common?

Yes, Instagram!

But the answer we were looking for is the key to your social branding in 2015. And we’re not just talking for business to consumer focuses companies. Instagram is emerging as a KEY SOCIAL MARKETING PLATFORM for business to business, too.

This growing social media platform, owned by Facebook, has more than 80 million active users…and adds more each day. It’s mobile only, which makes sense given that more people every day are accessing their social networks on their phones only. And it taps into a younger demographic. Even if you think that your target market is a 55-year-old man, this is still a platform we are telling ALL client to get involved with in 2015. Why? The 30-year-old that’s on Instragram now is your customer for tomorrow.

Plus…it’s just fun! Here are some things we’re tapping into on Instagram for ourselves and our friends.

Tell a story with images.

Balance fun pictures as well as pictures from your business. Check out the Consociate Instagram page for examples. You’ll find pictures of the kids of Consociate at birthday parties with images of our team in action interviewing and writing powerful stories. Severn, our office dog, makes quite a few appearances, too!

If there are just pictures of your products or business, that’s not telling a story about your company. Show a “behind the scenes” look to give users a different view.

Fun pictures allow your followers as well as other Instagram users to see what kind of business you are, so make sure your pictures tell that story.

Get followers.

It’s simple: the more followers you have, the more people you will have view your business/company. Use relevant, popular hashtags to attract users to your account. You can also increase your followers by being social yourself and following others and liking their photos.

Reward followers.

Offering rewards to your followers is a way to not only increase followers, but also business for your company. Retail brands can reward their followers with promotions or offer a discount code when they follow. More followers and more business? That’s killing two birds with one stone!

Host contests.

Who doesn’t want to be Insta-famous? Hosting a photo contest on your business’ Instagram account is a way to keep fans engaged and keep them coming back to your account. Trivia questions, photo-of-the-day or random winners are all ways to engage with your users, and have them engage with you, too.

Want some more Ista-tips? Contact us today! We love a good brainstorming session with business owners!

Please like and share:

Read Further

Boost Your Facebook Page In 2015

By Peyton Smith, Consociate Winter 2015 Intern, and Stephanie Heinatz, Consociate Founder

Two years ago, as we started working with brand new businesses, we spent most of our time educating entrepreneurs on why having their brands and storefronts on Facebook was an integral part of their social marketing strategy.

Today, everyone knows that and as a result Facebook has become very loud. Lots of posts. Lots of things to like. Lots of people to compete with.

As we dive deeper into 2015, Facebook marketing is contingent on bringing something of value to your clients, to your customers, to the world. You have to stand out and not just be part of the crowd.

By applying those basic tenets to a Facebook strategy, companies on Main Street can compete more equally with brands managed on Wall Street.

So what are the tactics you can use to accomplish this?

Spark conversation on your posts.

Social media, whatever platform you are using, is meant to be social. Don’t just tell people what your company is doing. Ask them what they’re doing? Engage your audience. Get their feedback. Give them a reason to have a social conversation with you. Post a picture of a new designer’s tops you’re carrying in your boutique and ask what people would pair it with. Weekend on the way? Ask folks what their plans are…and share your own.

Be visual! Photos and Videos! Post them!

Although this may seem simple, remember to post pictures and videos, especially funny ones, to increase your number of “shares.” We are visual people, as a rule. And when you think about how people use Facebook most today – on their Smart Phones – it will be a picture or a video that will grab their attention first. This doesn’t have to be complicated, either. Do a quick virtual tour of your shop. Take a picture with your iPhone, put a cool filter on it and post.

Be a source.

Don’t try to sell, sell, sell. That’s not why we use social media. We use social media to connect. To get smarter. To stay in touch. Use your Facebook page to give tips, to educate, to show people that you have advice to give and it’s worth listening to by sharing your knowledge and not just telling people you have it.

Spend time online.

We’re saving the best and most important for last. SPEND TIME ONLINE. Don’t just post and walk away. Remember that tip above that social media requires you to be social? This is what we’re talking about here. This is an important tip that often many companies forget. And, quite honestly, it’s where the time commitment to social media really comes in. If you are asking people what they think, you are going to need to respond to them. This is where you can really connect with your audience. A few extra minutes spent online can give your brand an extra boost. It will also show your fans that you care enough to talk to them. If they walked in your store and said hello you would say hi back, right? Social media is no different. Whatever you do offline you should do online, too.

More questions? Contact us anytime for some tips! Or sign up for our newsletter!

Please like and share:

Read Further

Exploding Coupons and Snapchat


Article by Hannah Gatens

Snap back to late 2012 when Evan Spiegel was a student at Stanford University — the prestigious university near Palo Alto, California. The very campus that housed the likes of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, business moguls Doris Fisher (the co-founder of Gap) and Reed Hastings (the co-founder of Netflix). Sports professionals like John Elway and Tiger Woods passed through Stanford. As did sought-after faces in pop culture like Reese Witherspoon and Sigourney Weaver.

No, that was not an excuse to name all of those folks in a blog post. Rather, it’s meant to set you up to understand that Spiegel will likely go down in history as being among that elite group of achievers who came from Stanford.

Spiegel is the 23-year-old co-founder of Snapchat, one of the most popular (among younger demographics) and booming social apps for sharing photos and videos with friends.

Just like every other form of photo-sharing social media out there, right? Not quite. Snapchat shares photos privately. Yes…privately.

Is there such a thing as privacy when it comes to social media? Well, kind of.

Sure, nothing is completely private, but Snapchat has accomplished some degree of privacy, at least much more so than any other form of social media to date. Previously called “Picaboo,” Snapchat has taken the social media world by storm, but in surprisingly different ways than people have come to expect from social media.

What’s all this matter for a Consociate blog post?

Sidebar: When Stephanie Heinatz hired Hannah Gatens, she did some social snooping to learn more about the Christopher Newport University grad. There wasn’t much on Facebook, Steph said, because she would learn that Hannah, like her 20-something peers, uses Snapchat.

Snapchat has us wondering if it can be used as a marketing platform in the same way that we use other social media outlets — like Facebook or Twitter, Instagram or Google+, and Pinterest — to share information and connect with the community.

What exactly is Snapchat?

Snapchat. Identify it by its yellow, white and black ghost-themed logo.

How does it work? Snapchat is a totally mobile social application (as opposed to Facebook, which you can use on your desk and laptops, too) stands out as different because when a user sends a photo, the receiver has anywhere between one and 10 seconds to view the photo before it is permanently deleted by the app. More on that later.

It also offers the ability to draw on photos, choose different filters, and include the time, the temperature and even how many miles per hour you’re moving. Have you seen Facebook do that?

Who’s using Snapchat?

Young people. Snapchat began recognizing a pattern — the app’s usage starting peaking between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. — just about the time students roll into school and then leave. Snapchat basically created visual notes that students could “pass” back and forth discretely and quietly, and the best part for students (not parents and teachers)? No proof of any Snapchat exchanges, considering the photos terminate themselves in a matter of seconds.

Facebook, admittedly, has seen a decline in teenage users. Today, the average Facebook user is closer to 40, while Snapchat has seen a drastic increase in the number of younger users.

Compared to its beginnings, Snapchat has grown exponentially. As of June 2014, Snapchat has 30 million monthly active users on the app valued at $2 billion and growing.

All told, Snapchat users send 400 million photos and videos each day, matching the daily uploads to Facebook and Instagram combined.

What makes Snapchat different?

First of all, Snapchat claims to be a more intimate and exclusive social media platform. It’s harder to add users — you have to know someone’s username if you want any luck in “snapping” the right person. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, you don’t become Snapchat friends with just anyone. Let me guess, you’re Facebook friends with your grandma, maybe some long-lost elementary school friends, former professors, your yoga instructor at the gym, fellow PTA members, and the list goes on. But Snapchat offers a more intimate social media experience. Most often, users are only “friends” with people they actually talk to — as in, real life talking.

Second, Snapchat is distinguished as young, “hip” and “cool” — I think it’s drawn popularity, in part, because its main demographic is teenagers who can use it privately and away from the hovering eyes of parents or teachers, or their hundreds of Facebook friends with something to say. There is an appeal for younger people to be able to participate in an exchange without having “prying parents or future employers” watching — it’s nice to feel “unreachable” at times. Or so I hear.

Because photos “self destruct” after opening, Snapchat claims to allow people to use digital communication in the same way one used to use the telephone — “a way to communicate with little risk it will come back to bite you.” Right or wrong, it’s one of the reasons it’s become incredibly appealing for high school students looking for jobs or prospective colleges, and especially college graduates and twenty-something’s who are advised to be extra particular with what they share in an online sphere.

That’s not to say that the little risk isn’t there. Because it’s most popular among teenagers, it’s being used in some context to send and receive sexually explicit photos, an exchange that Snapchat is adamantly against.

While Snapchat does understand that there are ways to save the photos transmitted through the app via screenshot or by taking a picture with another camera, Snapchat has made it trickier—and more fun — to save or copy a picture by requiring users to hold a finger on their phone screens to view the image.

Exploding Coupons! Yikes!

In the case of Consociate, we’ve continued to play with Snapchat as a marketing tool. As are other marketing firms out there.

One frozen yogurt company, 16 Handles in New York City, has been dubbed the guinea pig for Snapchat marketing.

Here’s what they did. Their campaign came in three steps. First customers had to “snap” a photo of themselves trying out the yogurt at 16 Handles and send it to the Snapchat company account.

Second, 16 Handles sent a coupon back via their own Snapchat account.

And then? The user would have to wait to open the Snapchat until they were at the 16 Handles cash register and ready to redeem it because — typical Snapchat — you could only see the image for 10 seconds before it self-destructed and automatically deleted.

This particular marketing strategy offered coupons anywhere between 16 to 100 percent off the frozen yogurt purchase.

This practice, to some, has been coined as “exploding coupons.”

What does Snapchat cost companies?

Though Snapchat is a free app to users, like Facebook, Snapchat can charge businesses when they set up branded accounts. The New Orleans Saints, Acura and Taco Bell are a couple of companies using Snapchat to leverage their brand to their widest audience. The Saints use the app to show behind-the-scenes footage of the professional football team. Taco Bell and Acura debut new products and share information with their most loyal followers first.

Snapchat’s specific design — the privacy protection and disappearing images — are its core strength, and undoubtedly its strongest advertising flaw. Its ability to advertise is basically crippled because it doesn’t possess the target advertising functions that social media relies on.

Although, forget those aspects for just a moment, and recall that Snapchat has a major advantage over other social media outlets. Users have to keep their finger on a photo or video in order to view it, meaning that Snapchat is able to tell advertisers who do use Snapchat as a means to market, with “absolute certainty” whether their ads were viewed — “a useful data point in the metric-driven world of digital advertising.”

While Consociate hasn’t integrated Snapchat with any clients at this point, we’re testing out some ideas and will be back soon to report on our beta tests!

Learn more about Snapchat by visiting the app online at https://www.snapchat.com.






Please like and share:

Read Further

Whoops, you're not connected to MailChimp. You need to enter a valid MailChimp API key.