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FROM THE FORTE

Perspective from Double Forte Public Relations and Marketing

Month

December 2014

Top 5 Social Media Trends to Watch in 2015

2015 social trendsAs you finalize your plans for 2015, factor these social media trends into your marketing blueprint for your best year ever.

  • Emphasis on Content Marketing. Content marketing may not be a new concept, but it will be a focal point in 2015. Expect to see brands creating more original content to better tell their story, engage customers, and create a unique experience.
  • Increased Visuals. With the popularity of apps like Vine, Instagram and Pinterest, it’s important to note the role that visual elements play in social media. Research overwhelmingly shows that images generate more engagement from social media fans and followers.

Quick visual tips for the New Year:

– Only post images that you’ve created or that you have a right to publish.

– Mix up different types of images (e.g., banners, infographics, photos, memes, etc.).

– Take impromptu photos on your smartphone and post them in real time.

– Share “Caption This” photos – post a funny picture on your page and ask fans/followers to offer their best caption for the photo.

– Avoid “selfies” unless you’re posing with a celebrity.

– And of course, remember to include relevant links with your images, to ensure that you’re sending all that traffic back to your company’s website.

  • More Mobile Options. Not only is mobile more convenient for the on-the-go lifestyle that Millennials have made standard throughout our culture, but being plugged in at all times is becoming essential, and the most effective way to do that is with a mobile device. Make sure all of your online efforts are mobile responsive.
  • Shopping on Social and Mobile. Expect e-commerce and social media integrations to deepen in 2015. Think gamification, special offers and integrated e-commerce and content sites.
  • Measure, Measure, Measure. More, More, More. The top social analytics companies in play include Hootsuite, Google Analytics, Buffer, Radian6, Topsy, Sysomos and Sprout Social.

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Own It: 5 Tips for a Smart Owned Media Strategy

Own ItA recent Harvard Business Review article states, “If you want to truly be disruptive, it’s time to rethink owned media and make it a more strategic part of your marketing mix.” We couldn’t agree more.

Unlike earned or paid media, or social (which many confuse with owned), owned media gives a brand control over its message and unfiltered access to its constituents. Examples of owned media include your website, blog, newsletter, app and products.

Owned media is the ideal place to build a community, because unlike on social media, you control the “algoritihm” – you decide how your content is served up and how your customers connect to you and each other.

Here are 5 tips to remember when planning your owned media strategy:

  1. You own it but don’t try to control it. Yes, you control the message, but a smart owned strategy encourages customer involvement. Solicit feedback, guest posts and questions.
  2. Map your content to the channel. Your website should answer questions; your blog should raise them.
  3. Seek balance. Audit your owned content; is it mostly marketing messages or do you share a fair amount of editorial? People react to stories differently than they do straight facts. Make sure you have a mix.
  4. Gain influence through influencers. When you interact with industry influencers, you become more influential. Send them your content and share theirs.
  5. Watch your mouth. Find an effective voice and stick to it. Make sure customers know what to expect when they interact with you.

It’s The Most Wonderful time of the Year: For Social Media

socialholidayOver the holidays, social habits change. Users spend even more hours on social media, making December a great time of year to connect with your audience.  This doesn’t however mean you have to spend extra time posting and Tweeting instead of celebrating. Follow our four easy steps below to help schedule your social media posts.

Step 1: Pre-plan what to post

  • Taking an hour to schedule your posts now will save you hours of time in the future.
  • Focus on fun, entertaining and non-intrusive content and remember that a picture is worth a thousand words.

Step 2: Learn how to post effectively

  • We recommend utilizing the (free) social media management tool Hootsuite to follow updates and share content with your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts. To schedule a post, type it in the composition area, select the accounts you want to post to and then set your time and date in the calendar. Of course, during any kind of local, national or world crisis, cancel all scheduled posts.

Step 3: Decide when to post

  • The day and time you post to social media will have a definite impact on the amount of impressions and engagements that your content receives. For example, if you want to schedule a post for Christmas Eve day, choose the morning instead of early evening when many families will be eating dinner and are not likely to be surfing the Web.

Step 4: Keep it real

  • Be prepared that opportunities from real-time events can increase exposure and keep your content relevant. If time permits, pay attention to your notifications and respond in real-time to your followers when they interact with your brand. Create calendar alerts or phone reminders to help you remember when to incorporate real-time posts into your holiday social media strategy.

photo credit: Bill Selak via photopin cc

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