This week we look at some of the most popular social media and digital marketing articles:
- How to Make Remote Work Actually Work.
- 4 Statistic-Based Strategies For Reaching Millennials via Social Ads.
- 6 Key Notes on Managing a Digital Crisis via Social Media.
- Why Bad Customer Service Is Burning Your Bottom Line.
- What Should Your Content Marketing Priorities Be in 2016?
How to Make Remote Work Actually Work
May 23, 2016 by Corey Wainwright
On Setup & Technology
I have very little in the way of tech savvy, but I do know that a good operational and technical foundation helps remote workforces stay productive. This is where two key teams come into play: Finance & Accounting and IT... Read More Here.
The best IT setup in the world doesn't help unless we're all using it toward the right ends. At the risk of being trite, the most successful relationships between in-office employees and their remote team members comes down to good communication from both parties. And figuring out what good communication means is kind of a beast. So bear with me while I try to break it down to its most pertinent parts for our purposes here.
When communicating without the benefit of body language or tone, clarity with written and verbal communication is more important than ever. In an ideal world, everyone's already really good at finding the right words to say what they mean. But that's not reality, so we're left with a few options here:
1) Try to be better at it. If you're writing an email, take a beat to reread what you've written. See if you've really communicated what you're trying to say clearly and succinctly.
2) Know that reading comprehension matters. If you're on the receiving end of a com... ask clarifying questions before responding with an equally confusing answer.
3) Avoid reading into tone. People's tones suck sometimes. Especially over email. If a typically bubbly person didn't include a barrage of emojis or explanation points, they're probably just running late, or feeling stressed ... or something else that has nothing to do with you.
If managers are interested in hiring remote team members, they'll have some specific responsibilities to keep things chugging along nicely. Most of this is just about setting the right precedent for how to think about remote work for your team -- I've broken it down into the stuff you need to do proactively, and what you need to squash.... Read More Here.
After you've got the infrastructure set up, to me, most of this really comes down to good hiring. Get the right person, for the right role. If you've got capable people you can trust in a role, you should be able to trust that not only are they doing good work, but that they'll let you know if and when they need something different from you.
The right person can make even roles that you don't think will work in a remote scenario, work. (Unless that role is chef. Then you definitely need to be at work.)
4 STATISTIC-BASED STRATEGIES FOR REACHING MILLENNIALS VIA SOCIAL ADS
May 26, 2016 by Carolyn Berk
It's undeniable that the Millennial generation will shape the economy for years to come. With over 92 million Millennials in the US alone, the generation born between 1980 and 2000 is the biggest in US history. And according to a Goldman Sachs survey, Millennials are turning to social media when making purchasing decisions - which means brands need to explore social advertising in order to reach this group.
Here are some strategies to help ensure your social hit the mark with Millennials.
1. BE MOBILE-MINDED
Millennials are massively mobile. In fact, one in five Millennials access the internet exclusively through mobile devices. If marketers want to get in front of this group of smartphone fanatics, mobile advertising is the way to do it.
Travel company Booking.com features several elements that read particularly well on the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones in the Facebook ad below.
The ad uses vivid imagery and bright colors to create an interesting visual effect that leaps out at users as they scroll through their Facebook News Feeds. The ad also sticks to a simple theme of letting users choose between two trip activities - this theme's easy to understand and doesn't require reading a convoluted wall of text, which can be a difficult task on older devices like the iPhone 4. Yet this concept also communicates the wide variety of activities that millennial audiences can access when they use Booking.com to plan their trips.
2. PROVIDE SOCIAL PROOF
Millennials value the opinion of their peers. According to eMarketer, nearly 70% of Millennial social media users are at least somewhat influenced to make a purchase based on friends' posts.
Providing social proof of the quality of your product or service is vital for winning over young consumers. Therefore, it's important that you prove - not preach - why audiences should be interested in what your company has to offer by sharing customer testimonials or enlisting the help of social influencers.
Secondhand clothing retailer thredUP uses the power of social proof in the Facebook video ad above. The ad features a compilation of current thredUP customers singing the company’s praises. Instead of dictating to audiences about why it’s so wonderful, thredUP lets actual customers advertise the company in a more relatable, realistic and resonant way. Millennial audiences who view this video will be tempted to learn more about the service after seeing real social proof that thredUP is worth their time and money.
3. OFFER HELPFUL CONTENT
When it comes to crafting ads that appeal to Millennials, it helps to be helpful.
64% of Millennials respond positively to content that they find useful, and 31% say they are more likely to buy from a brand that delivers interesting content that teaches them something. Ads that provide handy relevant information to Millennial audiences won’t have a hard time catching their interest and attention.
Samsung uses Instagram’s new video carousel ad unit to reach young audiences looking to capture brilliant pictures to post to the image-sharing site. In the video portion of the ad, Samsung subtly promotes its phone camera functions by showing off tricks and lighting techniques from professional photographer Matt Doscher. The video organically showcases the camera features that come with the phone while providing helpful information. The copy of the ad also avoids the hard sell, instead inviting audiences to click through the ad to learn even more tips from Matt.
4. BE RELEVANT - AND IF YOU CAN, BE FUNNY
Millennials are much more likely to connect with your brand and increase awareness among their peers if you can provoke an emotional response with your ads – and that includes amusement. According to NewsCred, 70% of Millennials say their main reason for sharing content is that it makes them laugh. Music streaming service Spotify tailored the Twitter ad campaign below to put a humorous spin on a popular discussion. After the Super Tuesday primaries in the United States, Google searches for “how can I move to Canada” surged.
Spotify took a cue from this trending topic and designed an animated Twitter ad offering playlists of Canadian music that audiences should listen to if they decide to go ahead with their relocation up north.
By contributing to a conversation that’s already happening online, providing a silly take on politics, and posting an ad on a primarily mobile, news-focused channel like Twitter, Spotify is able to become a part of the discussion in a way that Millennials will appreciate.
6 KEY NOTES ON MANAGING A DIGITAL CRISIS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
May 27, 2016 by Steve Poole
Data breaches have become more common than most industries care to admit. The aftermath of high-profile cases like Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase and Heartbleed have resulted in digital communications teams rethinking their crisis communications plans, especially via social media.
Having been in the trenches, the biggest challenge is often consumer perception. While some consumers understand that a breach is often third-party related, many others simply point their fingers at their financial institution. They assume their bank is at fault because their account was hacked and money is missing or compromised.
Luckily, a strong, comprehensive crisis communications plan can help address this issue, as well as many other problematic conversations that take place on digital channels.
From credit card hacks to stolen identities, integrating social media into your crisis communication plan will help you even the digital playing field during an emergency.
Here are six key tips:
1. MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA PART OF YOUR PLAYBOOK
While it seems almost elementary, many organizations still don't have a defined plan that details when or how social media becomes part of the data breach communications strategy.
In today’s world, Facebook updates and tweets are just as important as media releases and member communications. While a reassuring and informative phone call or email is preferred, it’s not always possible - more and more consumers are turning to social media during a digital crisis. As a result, questions and conversations will need to be addressed within the channel they originated. Following a more traditional crisis communications plan and simply issuing a press release does little to help calm customers who are actively tweeting away or posting on Facebook.
Tip: A standard best practice should be to keep the content and messaging brief, yet reassuring and informational.
2. GATHER THE FACTS
In the event of a data breach crisis, your internal team will need to act fast. Immediately get your internal stakeholders together, whether it’s in person or over the phone, and discuss the crisis. Gather the facts quickly, and discuss how your company and customers will be affected by the breach. Make sure the entire company is on the same page internally. Once the facts are straight, prepare the narrative you wish to communicate to your customers and execute any existing crisis communications plans.
Tip: Social media managers should use monitoring tools to search for specific mentions of the issue across digital channels, but hold off on engagement until facts are collected and the appropriate responses are ready.
3. COMMUNICATE TO EXISTING CUSTOMERS FIRST
While social media is an important facet of digital communications, it’s important to leverage internal customer communication first. Whether it’s a phone call or email, communicating your narrative to your customers first will pull you ahead of the situation. Be sure to act fast once your narrative is in place because the last thing you want is your customers finding out about the breach somewhere else.
Being proactive in these situations is the best route you can take.
Tip: It’s important to remember that any private customer communications will likely end up in a public domain, either via social media or another medium. Make sure you’re comfortable with your materials being shared.
4. SHARE UPDATES IN PUBLIC
Once you’ve proactively communicated the agreed upon narrative to your customers, it’s time to take the conversation to social media. Before posting to your social media channels, it’s extremely important to cancel any existing updates. Your customers and the public won’t care about updates unrelated to the digital crisis. You should focus your posts on the breach or crisis for a few days until it’s behind you. In addition to your narrative, consider posting additional tips about how to protect your personal information for the future.
In addition to posting updates on social, putting a message on your website in a prominent area will be beneficial to your communications plan.
Tip: When posting to social media, it’s important to tailor your messaging to each channel. Social media was built for brevity - less is often more, even on networks with no character limits. Approach each channel with information the average consumer will understand.
5. RESPOND AND COMMUNICATE ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS
Customers who've been the victim of a data breach or digital crisis are often very emotional. When dealing with these issues, be overly empathetic. Your social responses cannot be the same canned response when addressing their concerns. Always address questions, comments and concerns with a customized, empathetic response. This helps you avoid looking like a robot and shows your customers you understand their worries and frustrations.
If a customer becomes irate on social media or asks too many technical, industry-specific questions about the data breach, politely take the conversation offline. Ask the customer to private message you their phone number or email and let them know someone from your management team will reach out shortly to speak with them.
Tip: Never argue or debate with a customer on social media, it'll only hurt your brand. In the same vein, long conversations on social media about the tedious ins and outs of a specific issue can sometimes be harmful when you’re still navigating through the issue yourself and don’t have all of the answers.
6. UPDATES ARE KEY
Keeping your customers up-to-date with the most recent information about the digital crisis is key. As new details emerge, repeat the initial steps you previously took to inform your customers and the public.
Tip: Be as transparent as possible, but not overly technical with details that could confuse the average consumer. Sharing consistent, constant communication will gain the respect and trust of both your customers and the public.
From crafting your message, to keeping your customers up-to-date with the most recent knowledge, integrating social media communications into your crisis communication playbook is a vital part of effectively handling a digital crisis. It'll benefit both you and your customers by providing transparency, access and support during a digital crisis. It could even end up saving your company’s reputation.
Why Bad Customer Service Is Burning Your Bottom Line
May 28, 2016 by Verónica Jarski
What Should Your Content Marketing Priorities Be in 2016?
May 29, 2016 by MICHELE LINN
Your order may be a bit different, based on the maturity of your content marketing program. However, you can use this list, which starts with the activities most organizations should be prioritizing. However, what you rank as important in your organization may vary, so use this list as a guide so you can have conversations with your team on what you should prioritize so you are all working toward the same goals.
- Better understanding your audience
- Creating more-engaging content
- Better understanding what is and isn’t effective
- Finding more/better ways to repurpose content
- Content optimization
- Creating visual content
- Becoming better storytellers
- Becoming a stronger writer
- Content curation
- Content personalization