Tag: social media

You know how they say, “Someone’s always watching.”? Well, that same idiom goes for social media and online marketing. And that person “always watching” is me (along with the rest of Team Exakt)! I wanted to put together a list of my top social media pet peeves so anyone out there who is also watching and perhaps, exploring and evolving can take a step back to look at their brand on social media.

  1. Unresponsive Brands- If you have someone capable of tweeting or scheduling tweets, Screen shot 2013-09-19 at 1.19.43 PMthey should be able to respond or at the very least, throw me a ‘favorite’. Push notifications make Twitter very user friendly! Red Bull Tampa rocks on social media.
  2. Untimely Brand Posts- If I’m checking my social media accounts in the morning (as I always do… morning routines FTW) and I see your happy hour specials at 7 a.m., I’m uninterested. Let’s see those specials 1 hour or less before they start. Like many others, I have a lot going on each day and I’m going to forget about your specials or event postings if they come earlier than your business even opens. Plus, those awesome happy hour specials that you’re posting will get lost in the abyss that is the news feed.
  3. Facebook Links on Twitter- You may have, at one point in time, scratched your head and thought, “My Facebook fans are much different than my Twitter followers.” And you thought right! Connecting your Facebook to Twitter may seem convenient but it is not attractive in the least. Facebook allows you to bare your soul and be as descriptive as possible with your posts while Twitter does not (140 characters or bust, baby). Twitter users are kind of like Jimmy Johns customers, they like it fast. Get your message out there and put a creative brain behind it so it sounds awesome and you can rack up those retweets! I solemnly swear to never click a Facebook link on Twitter, who’s with me??
  4. Automated Direct Messages on Twitter- I truly dread seeing a direct message notification pop up because 80% of the time it’s a spambot telling me how they lost 15 pounds (by the way, I report you!) and the other 20% it’s from an account that has a populated Followers list. Either way, I don’t care about that message and I know there are others who support the idea that this technique of thanking your followers is an annoyance. You know what will really say, “Thank you for following me, we think you’re awesome too!”? An interaction.
  5. Brands Stealing Photos- I know at this point in the Internet’s life, all photos seem “up for grabs” but something just makes me want to hide when I see a brand using a photo that isn’t theirs. First of all, copyrights do still exist. Second, many a time I see these photos they’re not even good quality or they’re in poor taste. Be honest: Did that stolen meme or “someecards” image really sell a bottle of wine at your restaurant the day of posting? I get that for some business owners who are also running their social media, it’s important to get your personality across so your brand doesn’t look dull. I just think there are better ways to accomplish that and social media is after all, a form of restaurant marketing.

I hope that these social media pet peeves have helped you or at the very least entertained you! If you think I’m way off or have a bigger pet peeve to share, let’s tweet about it.

P.S.- Red Bull Tampa Bay did end up bringing Red Bull to the office! Thanks again!

As fitness marketing professionals we stay in tune with social fitness trends. There are some social media fitness trends that you should familiarize yourself with in order to achieve an online presence that fosters unique experiences.

  1. Prompt questions that members may have — and answer them! Some may call this “Q & A” but if you come up with a creative way to introduce questions they won’t get mulled over. Post just one question per status or tweet in order to get a true, organic conversation going. It wouldn’t hurt to get involved in a TweetChat about fitness either: check out FitFluential on Twitter.
    Where This is Important: Facebook + Twitter.
  2. Customize the material you post. Recycling generally rocks but don’t snatch up other’s health + fitness material and reuse them with the simple copy and paste. This is especially true when dealing with photos. Don’t use a photo if you do not have the rights to it (with the exception of ‘sharing’ or retweeting).
    Where This is Important:
     Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
  3. Organically stay on top of fitness trends or movements, i.e: Paleo diet, themed races, Warrior Dash, CrossFit, etc. Do your own research on what is up and coming and create a way for your members to get involved or at the very least, talk to them about the trend.
    Where This is Important:
     Everywhere
  4. To supplement #3, you should quietly and carefully observe your competitors. If it happens to be that they are ahead of the game with social fitness trends, it’s better to know than not.
    Where This is Important:
     Everywhere
  5. Listen, yes really listen, to what your members are saying on social media. Companies listening and responding via social media is a trend in itself and you don’t want to lose members because you’re not doing that. Questions, comments, and concerns on social media can and should be addressed in real time.
    Where This is Important:
     Facebook
  6. Photos have been hot for a while, but short videos are also inspiring. Take the time to do a photo shoot or video shoot with one of your trainers doing a particular exercise, a trainer leading a group fitness class, or all of your trainers talking “fitness.” Utilize your ability as a fitness center owner or manager to access free marketing.
    Where This is Important:
     Facebook, Instagram, Vine (if you haven’t yet, check it out)

If you have any questions about the social media fitness trends that we’ve picked up on and how to apply them to your online presence, please feel free to reach out via TwitterFacebook, or call me directly!

You won’t drive sales by posting on Facebook. In order to have a successful restaurant social media presence, you’ve got to lay off the sales push and focus on your relationship with your customers. Sure, on the surface social is a great avenue to promote upcoming events, specials, deals, etc. But it goes beyond that.

Your absolute main focus should be customer service and the experience that you’re creating for customers online. You’d think that this would be obvious to professionals in the restaurant industry, but it’s not unlikely to see restaurants on Facebook sharing their “daily deal” and then disappearing… leaving customers with unanswered questions, concerns, and even compliments – I can’t take it any longer! So, I had to share what must have been a secret. 😉

If part of your restaurant marketing strategy is to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., you’ve got to realize that getting word out there is just half of it; your response to those engaging customers is the other. Here are a few tips to keep in mind after that post gets blasted to the social media world.

  1. Acknowledge as many customers individually as you can. Whether it’s a “like” or a personal shout out, make them feel special and build that relationship! The stronger the relationship, the more likely they’ll think of you next time they’re looking for a restaurant to go to.
  2. Don’t let too much time pass. Let’s say you post a photo of one of your appetizers on special that night and a customer responds with a question and then no one replies… you just missed a huge opportunity to engage and influence that customer! (Example to the right is from the Green Lemon in Tampa.)
  3. Be human. Don’t be afraid to use “I” instead of “we” and let your personality come through. Customers will feel much more connected to you if they know a person is behind the scenes.
  4. Download social media applications so you don’t miss out on an opportunity! Facebook Pages, Twitter and Instagram all allow you to set up push notifications so you know what your customers are saying in real time.

Of course there is always the issue of time, but if you’re going to post, you better have a reaction plan in progress! If you cannot personally commit to looking after your restaurant’s social media presence, turn to a trusted employee or social media marketing professional.

And the thought I’ll leave you with tonight is… no one likes to be ignored, especially when it comes to an industry where customer service could make or break you. So, like your mama always said, “treat others the way you’d like to be treated!” and if yours truly could add to that… “this includes online!!”

Ciao!

As the popularity of social media continues to skyrocket in 2013, more and more companies are joining in. If you are the owner of a company, a social media presence can be a great opportunity for you to get in touch with customers. Being on social media sites means much more than simply having a page. During my time as a Social Media Marketing Intern at Exakt Marketing, I have learned crucial strategies we use so our clients can harvest the benefits of social media while avoiding social media flops. Here are three strategies that Exakt uses to make our clients’ social media presence blossom:

1.      Stay True to You: Every brand, like an individual, is unique with its own personality and tone. This is reflected in a brand’s audience. Something that customers of one company get excited about could seem dull to another company’s audience. We take a strong look at each client’s followers, determine who we are talking to and figure out what would interest them. It is important in social media to be authentic when managing a brand’s personality. For some clients it is appropriate to make jokes or talk about pop culture while others can be more professional. No matter who the client is, knowing who their audience is and what will draw their attention is a must.

2.      Make Conversation: Social media is a different experience than traditional media like television or radio because it is inherently interactive. This is why many people enjoy social media; they know that they can avoid advertisements. In order to not seem pushy, we make sure to use a conversational approach with our clients’ customers. We are able to engage customers by providing them with information as well as responding to comments and posts. Making conversation with customers illustrates that the brand is likeable and approachable.

3.      Keep It Interesting: If what you posting isn’t interesting, it will get lost in your audience’s news feed. In a worst-case scenario, people who at one time chose to follow your posts would “un-like” and move on. One of the first things I learned at Exakt was to put my posts through a ‘why would I care?’ test before sending them to the Internet. While our clients are on social media to promote their brand, we recognize that it is important not to bombard your audience with ad-like posts. If I know a certain audience is interested in television or music, I can catch their attention through common interests and engage them rather than commanding them to buy a product.

Think your company’s social media could use some revamping? Contact Exakt Marketing and find out exactly what we can do for you!

As a senior in college, and a current intern at Exakt I know first hand the pressures of the competitive job market and the stresses of trying to get a foot in the door. With over a thousand students graduating from my university this year alone, the biggest question on my mind is: How do I make myself stand out? Just having a degree in hand no longer seems like enough. I believe the answer to this question lies in creativity and personal branding, which might be able to take a resume from the middle of the stack to the top of the pile.

With the modern explosion of social media outlets such as LinkedIn and Twitter, there are more opportunities then ever before to get in direct contact with potential employers. Some innovative individuals are using these opportunities to break away from the conventional resume and cover letter in order to get themselves hired.

One great example is Philippe Dubost, a Web Product Manager from France who was interested in finding new career opportunities abroad. He made himself stand out by turning his online resume into a strikingly accurate mock Amazon webpage, which allows potential employers to read his ‘ratings and reviews’ or contact him by clicking ‘add to cart.’ This resume speaks for itself as it bursts with creative potential and expresses Dubost’s unique personality. Rather then being dull and overlooked, his resume went viral and resulted in more then 1,000,000 page views and over 100 job offers throughout Europe and Asia.

Another creative job seeking effort comes from Steven Severn who used social media to go after his dream job at Saatchi & Saatchi. Severn used Facebook advertisements titled ‘Saatchi Hire me!’ to promote his personal LinkedIn page and targeted the advertisements to show up on current Saatchi & Saatchi employee’s newsfeeds. Spending only $3.43 in advertising costs, the technique scored Severn an interview with his dream company.

It seems that in order to compete with the high number of people searching for jobs today, one may need to think outside the traditional resume and cover letter box to get noticed. With interactive social media and other new developing technologies, the possibilities for inspiration seem endless. Especially when looking to work in a creative field it may be helpful to let your resume truly showcase your talents and personality.

Have you seen any interesting, creative or outlandish resumes? Would you hire someone who used a creative approach or do you believe traditional methods still reign supreme? Leave a reply and let us hear your opinion!

Now that it’s 2013 you’d think that almost everyone would know what a blog is. But did you know that businesses that blog 4-5 times a week generate 5 times more traffic than those that don’t. Now there’s a good reason to start blogging! Having a blog is essential and extremely beneficial to all businesses, regardless of your industry. So for all you graphic designers who aren’t blogging, you may be missing out on some of the greater values in blogging besides sharing your thoughts. There are a lot of reasons that designers should blog and here are some of the best perks and benefits of being part of the Blogosphere.

Blogging Can Boost Your SEO: By frequently blogging and putting out fresh content you can boost your SEO ranking and drive traffic directly to your site. Be sure to use keywords and links in your content to ensure that search engines will crawl your site more often. And always make sure you post your blogs to Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter. This way your blog will appear in more than one site and reach all your customers.

Blogging Expands your Knowledge Benefitting Yourself and Others: Blogging is a great way to engage readers in your products and services and what you do best. But it’s also a great tool to use to educate yourself as well as your customers. By researching the latest trends and topics of your industry and sharing them with the world you will see how valuable blogging can be to yourself and give you an edge over your competitors.

Opens Doors to Meet Future Partners and Customers: Blogging enables you to connect with others within your industry and develop relationships. If you’re having a tough time seeking new clientele or deciding on a new design try putting out a blog to help answer those difficult questions. You may also be lucky enough to find people to collaborate with on projects and find people who have skills in other areas you are not as strong in.

Opportunities and Exposure: Getting your name out on the web is vital to success and a blog allows you to reach clients and contacts on a global scale. By showcasing your skills and products you can receive feedback from each corner of the world. You’ll be surprised where the unexpected may lead and you never know where your next big opportunity may lead you.

One thing I love about social media: it’s always changing.  As of January 2013, I have a handful of predictions that I consider to be “unavoidable” this year.  I write this post knowing that tomorrow could be a whole different story in this ever-changing social media world that we live in and I welcome any predictions or feedback you may have in the comments below!

  1.  It’s all about photos. This should come as a shock to no one. We learned early on in 2012 that people wanted to see pictures when photo-based sites like Instagram and Pinterest skyrocketed. It wasn’t long before businesses started to join users on the sites and now, more than ever, it’s important for brands to show rather than tell their story. After all, brands are competing with newsfeeds full of adorable babies and hilarious someecards – you’ve got to up the ante and great creative!
  2. Content is the whole damn castle.  You’ve heard the saying, “Content is king, links are queen and social media is the prince/princess” well, I think this year will be the year of content – not just any content though, engaging content. (Duh, right?) I predict that in 2013, if you’re just posting blogs for SEO purposes, your readers (if any) will begin to smell the BS. In order to stay relevant, you’ll need to first and foremost produce content that is interesting, unique and engaging. The more comments and distribution your blog gets, the more success it will have. The only way to get comments and distribution? Engaging, interesting content. You want that user to come back so don’t give them content that they can find everywhere else.
  3. The fall of Foursquare. Sorry Foursquare, but I’m predicting your extinction in 2013. As someone who was very much a Foursquare advocate a little over a year ago, upgrades to what used to be complementing social networks have stolen your thunder. Why go the extra step to check-in on Foursquare when you can accomplish the same on the sites that some of us check more than our own personal email – Facebook, Instagram. Not to mention, the two mentioned platforms allow for lots of  “likes” and “comments” resulting in one happy ego! Yes, the occasional free shot at the neighborhood bar was nice but you don’t need Foursquare to do that. If you want to offer a check-in special, I suggest going with Yelp. Reward those users who contribute to your online reputation on one of the biggest online review sites. Which leads me to my next point…
  4. All hail the Yelper. In 2013, there is no more hiding from it… Yelp is here and it’s here to stay. Some business owners automatically think Yelp (or any online review site) is nothing more than a forum for people to go complain. But the reality is the majority of Yelp is made up of potential brand advocates. So why wouldn’t you want to tap into that community? Of course, you’ll find the random Yelper here and there that has only left one horrible, awful review but you’ll also find a community full of potential customers and influencers. (Hint: the biggest influencers will have an “Elite” badge on their profile. Impressing them is definitely a great goal to set!) Jennifer recently wrote a great blog about responding to online reviews that I encourage you to check out when you have a minute.
  5. Survival of the fittest. People will begin to realize that social media does not follow that “if you build it, they will come” motto. Companies need to put time, effort and expertise into a social media campaign if they want it to be successful. The marketing strategy that you currently implement should absolutely transcend into the social realm and an effective way to do so would be to engage your social media company in more than just social media. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it forever – if social media is being operated in a silo, it will not work. Having a team of professionals who can cover all of your marketing ground (digital, traditional, print, etc.) creates a seamless experience for not only your company but your audience/customers as well.

What do you predict will happen in social media in 2013? Please share!

We’ve all been there. You hear the rumors, you notice the whispers, maybe you’ll even participate in the gossip. But, when it’s about you, how do you respond?

We all want to defend our reputation. We are proud, we care, and we want everyone else to love us too. So, what do you do when this reputation is about your restaurant? When you notice that negative review (that is bound to pop up) on the various review sites that everyone participates in?

After you are done staring at the screen and willing the review to disappear, without success, it’s time to address it. Your handle on your business’s online reputation is key. Here I want to give you some advice for responding to reviews as a restaurant owner:

1. Stay calm and carry on – A common saying and for good reason. Especially as a restaurant, you will receive a bad review on Yelp, UrbanSpoon, etc, and the quicker you realize the inevitability of this, the better off you’ll be. We want everyone to love us, but all five-star reviews for one place is questionable to your audience. After all, nothing and nobody is perfect, right? Having a negative review isn’t the end of your world and in fact, should be viewed as the potential to turn that customer’s experience into a positive one on their next visit (that you should invite them to, see below), or learn from what the guest has to say.

2. Respond in a timely manner – The sooner that you acknowledge and respond to a review, the greater chance you have of making an impact on that reviewer. Besides the impact you make on the one who wrote the review, you’ll also show others who visit the review site that you are an owner who cares about reading the reviews and trying to make things right, if applicable.

3. Always give thanks – Whether positive or negative, it’s important to show your guests the value you place on their feedback.

4. Be personal – It’s easy to reply to all reviews by copying and pasting a standard response, but why not up the ante a little bit? Guests want to feel like whatever they say is appreciated and heard. If it is, you should show it. A simple, “I’m glad you enjoyed your burger!” will suffice and show that you actually read the individual’s review and want to start that interaction.

5. Make it right – Inviting in a guest who left a negative review for a meal on the house is a great chance to not only show your dedication to your customers’ experiences, but to gain a fan for life. More often than not, those guests who leave a negative review will be more than happy to try your restaurant out again and give you another, fair chance…and then write a positive review about the great time you are sure to show them! If the chance to make it right is not granted by the reviewer, respect their decision.

Here at Exakt Marketing, we are committed to assisting our clients with understanding the importance of reputation management and it’s a successful part of our marketing services.

Have you been managing your online reputation? What has been the result?

As we drift into the end of the month, and the end of 2012, I introduce Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 video.

I was in a journalism course in 2010 when my professor showed me the Google Zeitgeist for the first time. I was absolutely amazed and almost cried in class. The video was put together so flawlessly and it’s something truly meaningful that they give back to us. I believe that was also the start of success for One Republic’s ‘Good Life.’

Regardless, upon finding the Google Zeitgeist video in the Tech section on The Huffington Post, the article linked to “Golden Tweets of 2012: Twitter’s Most Popular Posts of The Year“.

Twitter made a similar move by creating a website dedicated to capturing “2012 Year on Twitter.” Yes, please!

Twitter executed this website beautifully and features “Golden Tweets”, “Pulse of the planet”, “Only on Twitter”, “Trends”, “New Voices”, and “Your Year on Twitter”.

Nice. When a powerful social media source incorporates what has happened on their website and in the world, it’s a beautiful thing.

In the “Golden Tweets” section, you see the tweets that boasted the most retweets of the year. At the top of the list, President Barack Obama’s “four more years” tweet with the photograph of him embracing Michelle Obama. President Obama earned more than 810,000 retweets along with his reelection. Mind you, this tweet was sent out before he even went on stage to affirm his reelection. Social media FTW. Twitter also provides you with the opportunity to reply, retweet, or favorite the tweet if you haven’t already.

Justin Bieber came in second place with his heartwarming tweet to fan, Avalanna who had passed away. TJ Lang of the Green Bay Packers, Team Great Britain, and anime voice actor Kouichi Yamadera were the other winners of Golden Tweets.

If you are an active member of the Twittersphere, you probably recognize some, if not all, of these hashtags or phrases:

  • #throwbackthursday
  • pretty little liars
  • iphone
  • #syria
  • Dark Knight Rises
  • coachella

Yep, I knew you would!

(And don’t worry– Starbucks, McDonalds, and Taco Bell were on the list in the Food category. Sounds like ‘Murrica to me.)

Twitter explains that rather than just choosing “what terms were consistently popular” they chose the hashtags or terms that caught our attention. The geniuses in Twitter headquarters have provided us with insight as to what we, social media participants have cared about in the past year. It’s a smart move and I love it.

 

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