3 Creative Pinterest Campaigns to Replicate

Here’s an industry secret: looking at the strategies and campaigns that are working for other brands is one of the best to brainstorm what will work for yours. While Pinterest is often overlooked in social media marketing strategies, it actually has a diverse audience, can improve your site’s SEO and it drives a significant amount of ecommerce activity.

 

screenshot of pinterest analytics

Each one of your pins should included a branded hashtag and a link back to your website–that way you know that every person that sees your pin has been exposed to your brand name and has the opportunity to convert to web traffic on your site.

Pinterest boasts an impressive 150 million users, 87% of which have purchased something that they have seen on the platform. Pinterest users consist of mostly women (45% women to 17% men), but 40% of new signups are actually male.

 

Every once in awhile, we see a campaign that really takes advantage of the benefits Pinterest has to offer. Below are three campaigns that have inspired us and might do the same for you!

Campaign 1: Mastercard – #AcceptanceMatters

It all began with NYC Pride in June of 2013, when Mastercard used a sort of play on words with “acceptance.” Mastercard has been accepted everywhere for over 25 years, and they wanted to make the conversation around acceptance more dynamic by asking their customers via social media to tell them why #AcceptanceMatters.

Our idea was straightforward and organic to the platform: Develop inspirational word art that evoked the spirit of #AcceptanceMatters and partner with some of the platform’s most prolific pinners to spread the content,” wrote the marketing team behind the Pinterest campaign. Mastercard kept their content simple yet aesthetically pleasing, making sure that it resonated with the already-active Pinners.

mastercard in woman's wallterThe result was incredibly successful. They had 13,000 repins in just nine weeks, and their Pinterest board gained 171 followers. The pins continued to circulate through 24 levels of repins, and 15 influencers shared their content.  People throughout the world connected with Mastercard’s message of tolerance and acceptance. Not to mention, the pins were a perfect addition to the thousands of “inspiration” boards already out there!

Even if your brand is much smaller than Mastercard, you should still be able to identify a core value that will resonate with people. Remember, when Mastercard began their campaign on Pinterest, they had no followers. Influencers played a huge part in helping to spread their message throughout the site – your brand can find influencers, too!

 

Campaign 2: Uniqlo Hairdo

Uniqlo Hairdo Campaign exampleUniqlo is a Japanese clothing company who took to the feminine appeal of Pinterest to market their fall and winter 2014 fashion line in a unique way. DIY hairstyles have always been an incredibly popular topic throughout the Pinterest world, and were also a hit with Uniqlo’s target audience. With this in mind, they created 16 DIY hair tutorials and paired the end result with the clothing that they thought best fit the look.

The board gained nearly 15,000 followers by assimilating a trending topic into their content. Lovers of hair and fashion came together to follow and repin their Hairdo board. It became what their marketing agency called a “social style catalogue” and helped women think of “head-to-toe outfits.”

Although Uniqlo doesn’t sell hair products, they combined an aspect of Pinterest that already had high popularity with their clothing line to gain more views and repins. Staying up-to-date with Pinterest’s trending topics, from DIY ideas to Star Wars, can be incredibly helpful for your business to find new content opportunities and capitalize on relevant trends. Get creative!

 

Campaign 3: Honey Bunches of Oats, Happy Mother’s Day – The Pinterest Way!

Honey Bunches of Oats has always promoted kindness. In their Mother’s Day Pinterest campaign, they continued on that path by giving Pinterest users the option to give their moms the gift of a personalized Pinterest board.

To begin, they created boards full of fun Mother’s Day graphics, such as quotes, different ways to say Mom, designs, flowers and even a board of 250 popular names so that users could add Mom’s name to her board! Additionally, they provided a unique service: if a user didn’t see their mom’s name in the board, they could send a note or email to Honey Bunches of Oats and they would create the graphic. Once users populated their own unique Mother’s Day boards, they were encouraged to send the boards to their moms.

This brand created over 300 requested name pins and provided something of value to their followers. It was not overt advertising, but giving something in the spirit of a holiday.  If you have the resources to offer something digital and/or customized to your audience, you can give back to your followers in the same way. Bonus points if you can tie in a holiday relevant to your brand!

screenshot of top audience interests on Pinterest

Here are some of the top interests of the Pinterest audience to get you started!

 

Unique Pinterest campaigns are a great way to get organic followers for your brand. Pinterest users appreciate well thought out and visually appealing content, so if you have developed an idea that will resonate with your audience and can tie in with the current trends on Pinterest, you can create a hit!

If you get stuck, or need help coming up with a creative Pinterest strategy unique to your brand, contact us! We’re happy to help!

 

Are your Social Media Efforts Paying Off?

One of the most common questions we receive about social media marketing is, “How can I tell if it’s working?” It can be hard to measure the success of social media because it can be a challenge to track goals like brand awareness and credibility. We offer our clients complimentary analytics reports every month to show them exactly what their social media efforts are accomplishing for them and how they can quantify the return on their investment–but if you don’t have an awesome team like ours measuring your success, how can you be sure you’re doing the right thing? 

There are several things you should take into account when doing an audit of your social media marketing efforts. They will, of course, depend on your goals as a business, but there are many standards that apply across industries.

The first thing you should think about: is my audience hearing from me frequently and consistently? This is an important thing to take into consideration whether you are trying to establish yourself as a thought leader in a certain field or attract customers to your diner. If people are following you on social media it’s because they want to hear from you. Providing regular updates is a big part of keeping your following happy and informed.

The next thing to check out is your branding across platforms. We see brands having major troubles with consistent branding. If you are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, your users should be able to identify you by a username pretty close to your business name and a logo that looks the same (but hopefully cropped and resized according to different platform requirements) across all your accounts. This helps users quickly identify that they are looking at the correct person/business/organization and cannot be understated in importance.

Another aspect of social media posting that we focus on is post appearance. All social media is visually-driven and there really isn’t room for silly mistakes like bad formatting and incorrect grammar. Formatting posts across platforms is not something that comes naturally to anyone–it’s a matter of knowing the intricacies of each platform and tailoring the posts to look as visually appealing as possible. Contact us if you need formatting help, we have a beginner’s guide that will show you everything you need to know!

The last element we’ll cover in this blog is engagement. Many people think that as long as they reply to comments and messages on social media then they are doing their part in engaging with their audience. But really, engagement encompasses a lot more than that.

The power of social media is its social aspect. Just posting to your profile is usually not enough to spark high levels of interaction with your customers, and for good reason! People like profiles they follow to chime in on conversations they care about, not just promote themselves all day long. This means joining in on relevant Facebook groups, Twitter chats, LinkedIn groups, trending Instagram hashtags, etc etc. If you aren’t interacting on social media then it’s unlikely that people will be interacting with you!

Sometimes it can be hard to step back and critically evaluate what you should change about your social media marketing efforts. That’s where we come in! Sign up here for a FREE, full social media audit so that our team of professionals can give you some expert insight into what’s working and what isn’t.

Tutorial: Create a Snapchat Geofilter

You’ve probably seen Snapchat geofilters before. They are the creative frames and location-based titles that you can swipe through every time you take a picture on Snapchat. Snapchatters use them to add context and originality to the stories they post or the pictures they send. But did you know that you can actually pay (on average about $15 – $20 per day) to have your company’s own geofilter appear on people’s Snapchat pictures?example of a geofilter over a picture of latte art

Creating a geofilter for your business is easier than you might think. Although any business can create a geofilter, they are better suited to certain types of businesses. Companies that have physical locations, and target a younger, mobile audience are well served by advertising on Snapchat.

Imagine you own a local coffee shop and your baristas make beautiful latte art for patrons every morning. It’s likely that your customers are already taking pictures of your product because who can resist adorable foam creations? With a Snapchat geofilter, your customers can take pictures of your drinks on Snapchat and swipe to overlay your brand on the picture. That way, whoever they send it to will see exactly where these artistic drinks are coming from. You’re basically enabling your customers to become part of your marketing strategy!

If you think your business might be the kind that could benefit from a custom geofilter, keep reading! We’re going to break down exactly how to create one.

Step 1: Design Your Filter


To begin making your own filter, visit the Snapchat Geofilter website. Here, you can choose between a community geofilter, personal, or business. Because the Business section allows branding, that’s the one to choose.

This is where the creation process begins. Here, Snapchat has plenty of pre-made templates for your business. At the top left, you can scroll through their categories and see the templates below each. Once you choose one (we chose just text) you can edit certain elements. By double clicking on the text, a menu will pop up giving you the option to change the color or the font family, give it a glow, or delete it altogether.

You can also choose to upload your own photos to the filter, so long as they comply with Snapchat’s submission guidelines. At the top right there is an ‘Elements’ section. This would be a perfect place to upload your logo as a .png if you have one!

 

Remember that you can click and drag your text and elements around the screen template. You can also add as many as you would like and resize each to your liking.

If you’re curious as to what your geofilter looks like with an actual picture in the background, don’t worry! Snapchat covered that, too. Just click the left or right arrow next to the phone and they have an example photo. This is a much more accurate representation of your geofilter, instead of looking at it over a boring gray box.

Step 2: Schedule Your Filter

Once you’re happy with your template, you’ll move on to the next step: dates. This is where you’ll decide how long you want your geofilter to run.

Deciding how long to have your geofilter active is going to depend on what its purpose is. If you are using it for a business event, such as a fun run for charity, you may want to have an event geofilter start 30 minutes before your event and end 30 minutes afterwards. If you’re promoting something coming up, you may want to run your geofilter for a week or so before your event.

Snapchat also has an annual option that will automatically renew. The benefits of the annual geofilter (besides the discount) are the reporting and metrics. You can also change your geofilter at any time to align your branding with timely events or trending topics.

Step 3: Map Your Filter

The next step is drawing a fence around where you want your geofilter to be applied. You can enter in an address to get the map centered around the location, and then click the “Draw Fence” button at the bottom of the map. Drawing a fence isn’t as simple as clicking and dragging; it’s a matter of placing four or five dots around your area until they all connect. In this example, we’ll use Arizona State University as our location.

You’ll know that your fence is complete when the area inside of it turns green. If it’s red, this means that your fence isn’t large enough – Snapchat has a 20,000 square foot minimum for their fences. Keep in mind that the larger your surface area, the more costly the geofilter will be. You should draw your geofence a little bigger than your business, to make up for the sometimes inaccurate technology of geofencing. However, your geofence only needs to cover your specific location. The idea is that people in a targeted area will be more likely to use it because it is more relevant.

Step 4: Pay and Enjoy!

Once you’re happy with your price, selected area and times, the final step is the payment. When the payment is received, Snapchat will review your filter to make sure it is within their guidelines and within a few days, you will have your own Snapchat geofilter!

If you find yourself struggling to get your Snapchat geofilter just right, you can contact us and we will help guide you.

September 2017 Trending Social Media Holidays

If you’re not able to invest in paid social media campaigns, you may notice that getting the type of exposure and reach you want is a bit difficult. Certain social media platforms are increasingly pushing down organic content in favor of sponsored posts. One way you can capitalize on the organic reach of your posts is by leveraging content tailored to trending topics and holidays.

Now, we aren’t talking about bank holidays. In fact if you’ve paid attention to the “Trends for You” section on your Twitter feed, you may have already noticed that on most days there is at least one social media holiday trending.   Trending topics and social media holidays are a great opportunity to either leverage your existing relevant content or to create additional content with a call to action.

You may run into danger if you’re trying too hard to relate yourself to each holiday. Not every social media holiday is right for each business, but do take advantage of those opportunities that do overlap with your messaging and goals. For example, if you’re in the education market, you may want to create a creative campaign around “International Literacy Day” on September 8th. If you have an original podcast to promote, September 30th’s “Podcast Day” is a great chance to market yourself.  Keep those and the rest of these September 2017 dates in mind when putting together your content calendar this month.

We’ve also included the popularity score of a few related hashtags (courtesy of Hashtagify.me) to keep in mind when writing your posts.

September 2017 Social Media Holidays

September 3 – World Beard Day

#WorldBeardDay

Popularity score: 41.2

#BeardDay

Popularity score: 21.2

September 4 – Labor Day

#LaborDay

Popularity score: 59

#LaborDayWeekend

Popularity score: 51.5

September 5 – International Bacon Day

#BaconDay

Popularity score: 37

#InternationalBaconDay

Popularity score: 32

September 6 – National Read a Book Day

#ReadABookDay

Popularity score: 30.6

#NationalReadaBookDay

Popularity score: 28.5

September 8 – International Literacy Day

#LiteracyDay

Popularity score: 35.1

#InternationalLiteracyDay

Popularity score: : 34.7

September 12 – Video Games Day

#NationalVideoGamesDay

Popularity score: 29.6

#VideoGamesDay

Popularity score: 28.7

September 19 – International Talk Like a Pirate Day

#TalkLikeAPirateDay

Popularity score: 53.6

#TLAPD

Popularity score: 29

September 20- National Grandparents Day

#GrandparentsDay

Popularity score: 40.1

#NationalGrandparentsDay

Popularity score: 26.3

September 21 – Day of Peace

#InternationalDayOfPeace

Popularity score: 37

#DayofPeace

Popularity score: 22.7

September 22 – First Day of Fall

#Fall

Popularity score: 66.4

#FirstDayofFall

Popularity score: 37.9

September 30 – Podcast Day

#PodcastDay

Popularity score: 34.6

#InternationalPodcastDay

Popularity score: 34.5

How Facebook Targets Ads to You

For paying advertisers, it just wouldn’t be enough for Facebook to pick up on your patterns of clicking on funny dog videos (guilty) and show you more of them. To be valuable to their advertisers, Facebook actually segments your interests by topic. It guesses what business and industry topics you follow, what hobbies and activities you enjoy, the news and entertainment you watch, the food and drink you consume, the fashion choices you make and even more than that.

You can see a cojohn's ad preferences screenshotmplete list of what Facebook has determined about your interests in their ad preferences section (you must be logged into your account to see this), and you can even help Facebook out with its guesses about you by removing things you aren’t actually interested in. Facebook gathers this information based on ads you’ve click on, apps you’ve installed, pages you’ve liked, and sites you’ve visited.

A couple sections down from “preferences” you’ll find an innocuous-looking section called “Your information.” You’ll probably recognize these categories as things you’ve told Facebook pretty consciously. Schools you’ve attended, your relationship status (it has to be Facebook Official, right?) and your job title. But notice that tab next to “About you” that’s called “Your categories.” Facebook says it’s added you to certain categories “based on information you’ve provided on Facebook and other activity.” I recently posted some road trip pictures from a vacation I took a couple weeks ago and now Facebook has categorized me as someone “away from family” and “away from hometown.” Too funny. Most of these guesses are pretty innocent, but it shows just how much Facebook is listening to you.

The next section down is called “Ad settings” and this will actually give you the opportunity to tell Facebook how it can and cannot advertise to you. This is a good option if you get a little weirded out seeing laser-focused ads on your newsfeed, but you should also note that turning off any of these settings does not stop Facebook from collecting the data.

I have the “Ads based on your use of websites and apps” featured turned on because I’ve found it useful in the past. This means that when you’re searching for a product online (not necessarily on Facebook), Facebook gets to use that search information to show you ads pertaining to that search. So if you’re browsing winter boots online through Amazon, you’ll likely see ads in your Facebook feed for winter boots later on.

I also have “Ads on apps and websites off of the Facebook Companies” enabled. This has to do with Facebook’s “Audience Network,” which is a fancy name for sites that Facebook has partnered with so that Facebook advertisers can have more ad real estate across the web. All this preference means is that the information Facebook knows about you can be used for ads not just on Facebook, but on other sites as well. It means that ads across sites you visit will likely be more relevant to you since it’s not just a guess coming from other generic data like your gender or location.

example of amy's fruitcake adNow we get to the one feature I make sure to have turned off. It’s called “Ads with your social actions” and it almost means that you are letting Facebook use you as a means to advertise to your friends. You may have seen ads like “Joe Smith likes Amy’s Fruitcakes” appear in your newsfeed. This is an ad paid for by Amy’s Fruitcakes and Joe Smith has agreed to let Facebook use his name to help promote the store. By disabling this feature, you basically remove Facebook’s permission to use your account in conjunction with these types of ads. I don’t consider my actions on social media to be an endorsement of anything, so this is a feature I have turned off.

Remember that turning off any or all of these preferences doesn’t mean that Facebook isn’t tracking what you’re doing and constantly trying to figure out more about you. But, it does mean that you can choose the ads you see. Turning off all of these preferences would likely just result in Facebook showing you a bunch of ads that aren’t relevant to you at all. I figure that since you’re going to see ads anyway, you might as well see ones that might be useful. But it’s up to you to make that decision!

You can learn more about how Facebook reports their ads to work on their website, and for more expert insights you can always ask the pros here at Buzzly Media! We provide social media management for organizations and businesses of all size and are happy to provide free consultations.

 

6 Social Media Mistakes You Might be Making

Social media is an alluring way for businesses to advertise, but it also comes with many pitfalls that you may not expect to encounter. Each platform has its own preferences for post types, image sizes and even search optimization. Without a pretty good grasp on the intricacies of each platform, you may be making these mistakes and making your company look less professional and even a bit silly.

Screenshot of Digiorno's tweet reading: "A million apologies. Did not read what the hashtag was about before posting."

An embarrassing (and easily avoidable) mistake made by a big brand on social media.

  1. Rushed posting. One of our cringiest pet peeves is when it’s obvious that a page has posted something that was not looked over or thought out. You can end up with typos, inappropriate hashtag use or just messy-looking posts. Make it a rule that at least one other person looks over a post before it goes live, you can save yourself a lot of grief over little mistakes. Similarly, you also always want to check what trending hashtags relate to before using them in your own messaging. You don’t want to wind up with a debacle like DiGiorno’s mistake in 2014 where they used a trending hashtag relating to domestic violence to advertise their pizza. One tweet may not seem like a big deal, but if you make a mistake it can turn into bad news for your organization.

    Graphic reading: The 2017 SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE SIZES CHEAT SHEET

    Please refer to this when you are sizing images for social media!

  2.  Incorrect formatting. Take advantage of the plethora of social media cheat sheets for image sizing. If you’ve sized a cover photo for Pinterest you’ll have to change it around for Facebook so it fits. Similarly, a long vertical picture will work great on Pinterest but looks bad on Twitter. Just keep in mind what works best for the different platforms so that your posts are as visually appealing as possible.
  3. Inconsistent voice. We frequently see companies that just allow all their employees to have access to their social media accounts and post whenever and whatever they like. While this is a nice thought, it leads to a distractingly inconsistent voice and tone across your posts and makes you look pretty unprofessional. You don’t want to give your followers whiplash from all the different types of posts going up on your pages. Try to stick to one voice, one tone and one theme across posts. This can be achieved by having only one person in charge of the account or by hiring professionals like us to manage it for you!

    Graphic reading: "We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you'll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you'll remember 65%."

    Everything you post on social media should include a visual.

  4. No visuals. If there’s anything worse than formatting images incorrectly, it’s not even having visuals in the first place. Text-only posts are boring. Facebook has tried to spice them up a bit by making short text posts bigger and by allowing users to put pretty colors behind text posts as well. But business pages can’t use the color feature and often the 35 character limit is usually just too short for you to get much across. The only weapons left to get people’s attention are visuals. Video is taking over and posting relevant video content will always perform better. But if you don’t have a video to go with your post then at least find a license-free picture somewhere to make your post pretty! By 2017, video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic. Get ahead of the curve!
  5. Platform misuse. Pinning 50 different things to a Pinterest board every day is totally acceptable. But sharing 50 different things to your Facebook page is going to make you (and your company!) look a little crazy. Similarly, you should absolutely be hashtagging your posts on Twitter and Instagram. But for Facebook and LinkedIn this practice is pretty much useless and it makes you look like a novice if you’re using them. LinkedIn won’t even acknowledge your hashtags and Facebook will make it look like it’s using them (they turn blue) but Facebook posts without a hashtag fare better than those with a hashtag. It’s true. Learn about your platforms before posting anything.

    Graphic of the top 10 hashtags related to dogs. Screenshot generated by Hashtagify.

    Some quick investigation into relevant hashtags can make it much easier for a search engine to find your content!

  6. Disregard of search engine optimization (SEO). To piggyback off of platform misuse, we have to talk about disregarding SEO. Social media is a treasure trove of SEO. You should be researching what keywords and phrases people are using for your brand and paying attention to high-performing hashtags you can use. There are great tools for doing this, Keyhole can give you a good idea of good hashtags to use and even Hashtagify. You should save room in your tweets for at least two to three hashtags and put up to 30 hashtags at the end of your Instagram posts. Even Pinterest is hashtag-friendly! If you’re trying to reach the biggest audience possible you need to take the steps to help search engines find your content.

 

So there you have it. A basic overview of six mistakes you might be making on social media along with some ideas on how to fix them. If you’re still struggling with getting a handle on the intricacies of social media marketing, we offer training and comprehensive social media packages. Send us an email at info@buzzlymedia.com if you’re ready to hand over the responsibility to the experts.

5 Insider Questions to Ask Your Social Media Agency

Wondering if the social media agency you’re considering hiring (or have hired…) can be trusted with your brand? Obviously you need to grill them on why they are qualified, how often you can expect them to be posting, etc etc. However, if you feel like you’re missing something, check out our insider questions that you definitely need to be asking.

  1. Do your employees actually write the social media postings and blog content? One of the biggest loopholes in the industry is for an agency to hire someone cheaper to write content for them. They will then resell this content to you, the client, at a higher price. This practice is called whitelabeling and if you are considering hiring an agency that does it you need to really scrutinize if the rest of the package is good enough to make up for the fact that the content you are getting is produced by someone working for a lot less money than you are paying.
  2. Do you track analytics? A company that is posting across social media platforms but not analyzing the success of each and every post is only doing half its job. Each and every post needs to be under a microscope so that the strategy can be tailored to what is working. You should expect quarterly (if not monthly, as provided by Buzzly Media) analytics reports detailing the success of the agency’s efforts.
  3. Are you using scheduling tools to schedule out all the content posted? If so, how far out do you schedule? While scheduling posts is not necessarily terrible, it does have a couple downfalls. First, if an agency is scheduling weeks and months of content out in advance, that means they cannot be using analytics on previous posts to improve each one that comes after. The furthest out day to day posts should be scheduled is about a week. You want your agency to be constantly adapting and reanalyzing their strategies online. Additionally, we have pretty good evidence to indicate that scheduling on certain platforms (we’re looking at you, Twitter) is punished by the platform itself. Of course, social media platforms prefer unique, off the cuff content. They know that’s not what they’re getting when content is scheduled. While it’s fine to have a separate bank of approved content ready to go, it’s advisable to have a real live human post it at the time you want it to go out. Another advantage to this is that a real live person can be watching various platforms for things that are “trending,” and can post something relevant on your profiles that may surge if it’s in line with what’s going on at that moment.
  4. Is this your full time job? Okay, okay, a little personal. But important. You want the agency you hire to be at the ready at all times to post fresh content, respond to people who comment on things, and monitor what’s going on. If you’re hiring an agency with a bunch of part-time staffers, things can get lost in the shuffle and you know they’ll be leaning heavily on things like scheduling content way out in advance. This is a question closely tied to the amount of work each employee is responsible for. No one person should be managing more than five clients at a time. It just won’t be good, believe us.
  5. Where do you get the images/graphics you will be posting on our profiles? If you want to post something about dogs and just google “dogs” you will get an abundance of adorable pictures. But you can’t just download the first one you find most adorable because copyrights exist! Even if a picture is on the internet, it can still be protected under copyright, and you can get in huge trouble for using someone else’s picture to promote your brand. Agencies should have a few solid sites or resources at their disposal for quality photos and should ideally be creating their own graphics. (Our favorite source for license free photos is Unsplash!)

Not getting the answers you want from any of the agencies you’re thinking of hiring? Buzzly Media is a social media marketing agency with an expertise in nonprofit branding. Drop us an email; we’ll respond with surprising speed.

6 Essential Marketing Channels for Nonprofits

Marketing in the digital age gets more and more complex every day. There are new platforms to consider, old platforms to throw out, and overall way too many things for one person to think about. If you’re wondering what marketing channels you shouldn’t be ignoring, you’re in the right place! We’ve elaborated on “The Big Six Channels” put forth in the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report.

  1. Websites. Please please please have a search engine optimized, easy to navigate and mobile-friendly website. If search engines cannot find your website, users may not be able to get to it in the first place! If your website is hard to look through, users will get frustrated and leave. And if your site is not mobile-friendly, you could be losing more than half your traffic. (Yes, according to SimilarWeb’s State of Mobile Web US 2015 report, an average of 55.67% of site traffic now comes from mobile devices.)
  2. Email. If you think email sounds old school and have shifted your focus away from it you are doing your organization a huge disservice. A recent survey by Adobe showed that even millennials are addicted to email, checking it more frequently than any other age group and even checking it while using the bathroom! (Gross, but true!) Email is a great way to directly reach your followers, but beware of fatiguing them with too much of it. 
  3. Traditional social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram… They’re all still extremely valuable to an organization looking to increase brand awareness. These channels will help make your organization become an authority in its industry and keep up engagement with followers. A Blackbaud study on the next generation of American giving recently found that “Nearly 60 percent of Gen Y identified the ability to directly see the impact of their donation as a critical part of the decision process – this tails off with the older generations.” More and more, people want to really see where their money is going. Social media is a great way to show people that. (And be sure to start focusing on visual social media, Instagram and videos are the ways of the future!) 
  4. In-person events. There’s nothing like humans telling other humans about causes they care about. Nonprofits cannot afford to eliminate events from their marketing strategy. Get on the mailing lists of local convention centers and check events on sites like EventBrite to stay up to date on relevant happenings your organization can attend! 
  5. Print marketing. That’s right, it’s still worth your time to print things onto pieces of paper. From printing beautifully designed event tickets to putting together newsletters, don’t write off print marketing just yet. Though many will claim that things like direct mailers are dying off, we know that mailings have grown modestly year over year and that people are indicating they do still read their physical mail. While your response from these efforts may skew towards an older demographic (55+) you certainly don’t want to ignore it as a channel. 
  6. Media Relations and Public Relations. According to Everything-PR, “Media relations can be described as a company’s interactions with editors, reporters and journalists.” You need someone in your organization to be connected to the news world and constantly be looking for opportunities to get your organization out there. Similarly, you’ll need some public relations people to effectively handle that communication and choose the message you want to send to the public. Without these two things no one will ever know what a great job your nonprofit is doing in the community!

If this seems like a daunting list then think about what is most important to your organization’s goals and try to prioritize from there. Also remember that you can outsource a lot of this to professionals–we’ve previously talked about some reasons to outsource social media! You don’t have to go it alone. Happy marketing!

7 Reasons to Outsource Social Media

    1. Social media people know what they’re doing! An outside agency is (supposed to be) staffed with people who are experts in their fields and have degrees as well as outside experience in social media management. They will find quality content to post across your social media platforms and be able to engage with your followers. If you contrast this with just having a member of your staff manage your social media, the difference is palpable. Not only will your employee be juggling the added social media responsibilities with his existing job, but he likely doesn’t have a very good idea of the job he’s supposed to be doing. Your existing employees are not experts and their work will reflect that.
    2. Hiring an outside agency is often very cost effective. If you were to hire a social media manager onto your staff, you will have to prepare yourself to pay them about $45,000 a year according to PayScale. Now for a little more math. Everyone knows that taking on a new employee comes with more costs than just their annual salary. We used the Real Employee Cost Calculator to estimate how much an employee paid at $22/hour for an annual salary of $45,760 would actually cost a company. The calculator factors in the employee’s insurance, annual bonus, payroll taxes and various infrastructure costs. For our example, it calculates the real cost of your new social media manager to be closer to $90,000. That’s a lot of dough.
    3. Less mistakes are made. Mistakes are more likely to happen with both other options we have mentioned (giving social media responsibilities to an existing employee or hiring someone new onto your staff). Why? Outside agencies have a series of checks and balances that EVERY SINGLE ONE of your posts goes through. At least two sets of eyeballs should be checking every post for accuracy, grammar, spelling, and common sense. Can your brand afford any mistakes?
    4. Social media matters. At this point you may be thinking: “Why do I have to pick any of these options? I don’t think I even need social media.” In almost every case, you would be wrong. The cost of ignoring social media is tangible. According to a report from the Pew Research Center put out in October of 2015, nearly two-thirds of American adults are now using social networking sites. Additionally, an infographic from CeBIT showed that 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions. Social media is not going away, and businesses that do not embrace its power will likely fall to the wayside.
    5. Your social media presence will stay active. While daily social media updates may become low on the priority list for an existing employee (or even a social media manager if they have a lot of other things going on), it will never be neglected by an outside agency whose sole job is up keeping up on it. Daily updates will let your customers know that your business is active and keep them up to date on real time happenings like promotions or events.
    6. Your customers will be able to interact with your business during all hours. A lot of activity on social media networks happens outside of business hours. For example, “The best times to post on Facebook are 1–4 p.m. late into the week and on weekend,” according to a post by CoSchedule on some compiled research. An outside agency plans for this and has people ready to post content and engage with your followers during the best times!
    7. Analytics reports allow agencies to adapt. Most (good) agencies will track analytics across your social media platforms and constantly adjust and rework your social media strategy so that it is as effective as possible. This type of calculated planning means that resources are used on strategies that work. Rather than hoping a certain strategy will pay off, agencies track success of campaigns and use analytics to gauge whether a campaign is successful, saving time and money.

In short—outsourcing your social media can benefit your budget and your customers. Keeping a strong online presence is key, and social media managers will ensure that your brand and your voice are portrayed in meaningful ways. And before you go Google “best social media managers,” save your time and check us out! Here at Buzzly Media we specialize in analytics-driven social media strategies and we would love to create a customized one for your business.

 

5 Myths About Public Relation’s Impact on Journalism

1. Myth: Journalists and public relations (PR) people are opposing forces.

Fact: The roles of PR people and journalists are very similar in nature.

Often, a PR person will do much of the journalist’s work and simply hand over what they come up with. This could be an idea for a story, essential facts of a story, pictures, multimedia and sometimes even a fully written article. When journalists are working with PR people they trust, they have no problem taking the content provided by a PR person, vetting it for accuracy and fairness, and printing it. In this way, journalists and PR people are really complementary in nature. One is on a deadline searching for relevant and interesting stories, and the other is working for companies that often are part of relevant and interesting stories.

2. Myth: With pressure from PR agencies, all the content getting published will be advertising in disguise.

Fact: A good PR agency would not try to pitch a journalist advertising and a good journalist would make sure that what they are publishing is truly journalism.

Reputable journalists abide by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics. The code mentions that journalists must “take responsibility for the accuracy of their work,” “resist internal and external pressure to influence coverage, and “distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two.” So fear not, citizens. The future of journalism is safe as long as journalists abide by these ethical guidelines. Additionally, PR agencies do not seek to corrupt journalism and expect the story ideas and press releases they submit to journalists to undergo rigorous scrutiny and fact checking before being published. And believe me, if a PR person sends any reputable editor a press release that resembles advertising it is promptly deleted.

3. Myth: PR people outnumber journalists almost 5 to 1 and will soon have complete control over the marketplace of ideas.

Fact: That metric is already questionable and when citizen journalists are included there is no way that PR people outnumber journalists that much.

The outnumbering ratio of 5:1 has been widely reported but actually originates from a report put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Occupational Employment and Wages for May of 2013. It measures the number of reporters and correspondents (43,630) against the number of PR specialists (202,530). This amounts to a roughly 4.6 to 1 ratio that has been rounded to 5 to 1. Note that the number of reporters and correspondents does not include writers or editors for media outlets, which would add another 189,680 people to the journalism number. This would mean that journalists actually outnumber PR specialists slightly. But regardless of the ratio, journalists are still acting as the gatekeepers in the marketplace of ideas.

The first job of a journalist as outlined by SPJ is to “seek truth and report it.” A professional journalist would never just perpetuate an idea that isn’t true to benefit a PR agency. One of my journalism teachers in college said that the truth has a way of getting out. There is a free market for the truth. If something is not backed up by fact then people won’t be buying it. So even if there were some large conspiracy between professional journalists and lying PR agencies, citizen journalists would still find the truth and a way to get it out.

4. Myth: With more PR people pushing a positive spin on things and fewer journalists around to challenge them, we will be inundated with press releases-turned-articles.

Fact: An ethical journalist would have several issues with just printing a press release.

The SPJ Code of Ethics specifically prohibits advocacy of something without labeling it as such. They also warn that “neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.” A good journalist would not just toss out a press release and call it journalism — no matter how pressed for time they are. Sponsored content should be labeled as such and native advertising should be labeled and used very carefully.

5. Myth: This is the collapse of journalism! PR is taking over!

Fact: The rise of PR is enhancing journalism and helping journalists who are pressed for time and ideas. There will always be a market for good journalism; you’ll just have to figure out how to know it when you see it.

Content on the Internet should always be inspected for accuracy, anyone can post anything on there, you know. And with the 2013 Pew Research Center State of the News Media reporting that 82% of Americans said they got news on a desktop or laptop in 2013, it’s clear that we need to be careful what we believe. Journalists are very aware that our trust as readers is hard to come by. They will continue to diligently label sponsored content and you will continue to make sure what you’re reading is true. Based on Website Traffic Spy findings the top myth-busting website, Snopes.com, sees roughly 5,335,182 unique users each month. Regular consumers of news are already suspicious; this is not the era for journalists to try to be sneaky with what they publish.