Why You Shouldn’t Give Up on Email Marketing

While many companies are focusing on integrating social media into their marketing strategies (as they should), they are tending to also over look tried-and-true practices to reach customers, one of which is email marketing. While other online medias, such as Facebook and Twitter, continue to grow in popularity, I think that there may be a growing assumption that email marketing is becoming passé. But, this is assumption is very far from true. Email usage and reach is actually growing and is still a powerful tool for any marketer, and can still offer companies various insight into their marketing efforts, including: Continue reading

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Social Media’s Biggest Blunders Infographic

With millions of people using social media every day and growing, it is more crucial than ever that you are prepared for any difficult situations that may arise, such as Facebook post or Tweet that was never supposed to have been published. Luckily, there are a many examples of social media screw-ups that we can learn from. Continue reading

Agile Marketing: What is it and Why is it Important?

The following is my most recent blog post for Mudbug Media entitled “What is Agile Marketing and Why is it Important?”.

Agile Marketing…Is it just a buzzword or a new way of marketing that could have a big impact on productivity and creativity?

Agile originally began as an approach to software development, but the ideas and practices have been adopted by those with a variety of skill sets, including design and marketing. By using an Agile approach, marketing becomes about being adaptive and responsive. The following are a few of the key components of the Agile approach to marketing: Continue reading

The Power of Social Media for Small Businesses

Manta recently completed a survey of 600 small businesses across the United States to determine level of activity from small businesses on social media, and how valuable it is to the growth of their businesses.

The following infographic breaks down the findings of the small business social media survey, including: Continue reading

The Challenge of Creating a Connection Between Multiple Brands

So you have been developing your online brand identity, making sure that your website is both enticing and user friendly. But, now imagine this challenge:

“There are five brands within a larger corporate brand. Each brand is required maintain their own online identity, but must also stay connected to the parent company.”

Yeah, I would define that as a very large, but very exciting challenge.

However, this is only one scenario for a company comprised of multiple brands. For one company it may be better to keep the brands separate (not creating any connection between the online identities of each brand), while for another company it may be best to completely intertwine all the brands under one umbrella. There is not a single answer for if and how a parent company should connect their various brands online, but below are a few examples of possible routes. Continue reading

Top 10 Restaurant Chains on Social Media

top 10 restaurants on social media

 

We all love to eat. While we may not agree on which is better, spaghetti or tacos, we can agree that food is generally a very popular topic and may be one of the most popular topics on social media

What do I want to eat? I will just Tweet out the choices and see which wins.

If I check-in to this restaurant on FourSquare could I get a coupon?

I’m such a good cook! I’m going to post a picture of what I made for dinner on Facebook!

Where should we eat for dinner? Let’s see what has the best reviews on Yelp!

I would totally make this awesome dish on Pinterest, and it would look JUST like the picture!

These are statements that we have probably either said ourselves or heard someone else say. Social media has become so engrained in our lives, that it can even become part of our dining experience. Whether it is choosing what/where to eat, sharing a great meal with all our friends/followers, or browsing for fun new recipes to use in the future, social media is creeping into our kitchen’s territory.

Check out the infographic below to find out what restaurant chains are most popular on social media. The infographic breaks down the top 10 limited-service restaurant chains by social media platform, including: Continue reading

All Marketers Feel the Ups and Downs at JC Penney

Brianna Smith:

JC Penney has been going through a lot of changes lately, and that is an understatement. After changing their logo, leadership, strategy, and pricing model, they have been losing both their identity and their customers.

But, they may have a plan to turn it all around. Check out this great article by Lisa Arthur about the renovation of the JC Penney brand. I really enjoyed her analysis of the different and creative ways that JC Penney is re-branding themselves moving forward.

Do you think that they can create a clear identity that their customers can connect to, and turn around their sales numbers as well?

Originally posted on Lisa Arthur on Marketing:

jcp logoInvestors are worried about JC Penney’s ability to turn itself around.

Marketers are, too.

After all, it’s no secret traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are undergoing significant upheaval. Convenient and compelling digital shopping experiences offered by online giants like Zappos and Amazon have shrunk offline sales, and marketers around the globe are now scrambling to create the winning formula that will get customers off laptops and tablets . . . and into their stores.

But, if retail icon JC Penney –under the leadership of Ron Johnson, the former head of Apple Stores –can’t get traction with the brand renovation it launched earlier this year, what does that say about the future of brick-and-mortar retail, in general? With the omnichannel revolution underway, how much leeway do brands have to try to connect with today’s empowered consumers? Which missteps are forgivable . . . and which are potentially fatal?

Many contributors at Forbes have…

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The Pluses and Minuses of Google+

The following is my most recent blog on Mudbug Media’s Blog au Roux about how to determine if Google+ could benefit your social media strategy.

The buzz about Google+ has revved up again lately, possibly due to the negative press that has been recently circling around Facebook, like the sharks in shark week. The press around Google+ is also driven by recent changes to the social media platform, including custom URLs, social integration into Chrome iOS app, and the debut of the “slider” feature, which will unclog homepage feeds by allowing users to choose what and how often new posts from other users they have circled appear in their feed.

Even though Google+ is a known and changing platform, there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to using it as a tool for marketing businesses and brands. Google+ is still a fairly new social media platform, finding its footing and place in the social media community. In addition, business and brands have only been on the social media platform since November, when Google+ unveiled Google+ brand pages. Even now, we are continuing to learn how best to use Google+ as a tool for connecting with customers.

So, how do you know if Google+ is right for your business?

The following breakdown of some of the pros and cons of using Google+ brand pages will hopefully help you decide if this tool could help promote your business.

Pros of Google+ Brand Pages:

  • Hangouts: Businesses can use video chats to talk directly to their customers. Hangouts can be used as a customer service tool to assist customers when they have questions or conflicts, as well as add a personal touch to customer service.
  • Circles: This allows businesses to target customers by demographic, interests, etc., so that they can better target promotional information and posts. Circles allow companies to reach the “right customers” with the “right message”.Google Plus Video Post
  • Posts: Google+ posts are much larger in size than Facebook wall posts, which is beneficial for posting images and videos, items that frequently increase user engagement. For example, videos in Google+ posts are full sized, and do not have to expand in order to be viewed.
  • Google Search Results Love Google+: Using a Google+ brand page to promote your business has the possibility of a very positive impact on your position in Google search result:
    • Google+ brand pages are indexed by Google’s search engine
    • +1 clicks on your Google+ brand page can help to increase you search engine rankings because Google ranks +1 items higher
    • Connect your Google+ brand page to your website by adding a Google+ Badge, a customizable widget that helps grow your Google+ audience and shows more recommendations for your page in Google search results
  • Social reports: Google Analytics is connected to Google+ pages. The social reports in Google Analytics provide metrics and insights into brand page activity.
  • Google direct connect: If your business has a Google+ brand page and someone types “+Company Name” in the search box, it takes him or her straight to your Google+ brand page.

Google Direct Connect Search

   Google Direct Connect Results

Cons of Google+ Brand Pages:

  • Limited Audience:While the Google+ audience consists of almost 40 million users, only 17% of those users are considered “active” or “frequent users”
  • The Google+ Demographic shows over 60% of users are male
  • Majority of users are between the ages of 25-34
  • Largest group of Google+ users is males between the ages of 24 and 25
  • While circles allow brands to separate customers into targeted groups, brands are only allowed to “circle” customers who have “circled” them
  • Google+ brand pages are tied to ONE personal account and additional admins cannot be added, so it is critical that companies carefully consider who will “own” the brand page because transferring or changing the connected account is not allowed. Ask this question: “What will happen if the person whose account is connected to the brand page leaves the company?”
  • A verification process for Google+ brand pages does not currently exist, so it is possible that someone else or competitor could create a false brand page for your company

Weighing the Benefits of Google Plus

Like other social media platforms, Google+ has its limitations and challenges, but it also offers features that other platforms do not. This changing platform can help businesses connect with customers through features like Hangouts, and understand their customers with Social Analytics. Based on the demographic of your customer base and social media goals,  Google+ may be a perfect match with your current social media strategy.

If you think that Google+ may be a beneficial component of your social media strategy, check out my post on creating an integrated social media strategy for your company. Also, check out more great articles on design trends, application development, and marketing strategy on Mudbug Media’s Blog au Roux.