Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

Social Media Image Sizes

I got tired of looking up what the optimum sizes are for images for the most popular social media – from headers, to profile photos, to channel art. So I created this handy chart of the image requirements for the various social media sites. I hope you find this chart helpful.

Social Media image sizes

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5 Blog Tips that Get Results.

  1. Blog best practiceThe title needs to contain the “keywords” that people use when searching for your blog topic. the closer the keyword is to the front of the title, the better the SEO results.
  2. Repeat the keywords in the text. Once the title is set, the keywords need to be used in the blog at least three times.
  3. SEO for phrases and keywordsSearch engines will show about the first 40 characters of a title, depending on spaces and punctuation. To make sure the audience knows what the blog is about, put the key info in the front 40. (The length of this blog title is 38 characters).
  4. Reader attention span: The blog needs to be more than just interesting to read, it needs to consider the interest level and the state-of-mind of the audience reading your blog. Go easy on the story telling – I recommend getting to the point very quickly because people are busy and most likely want answers – quickly!
  5. blogsHow long is the ideal blog? About 250 word is ideal – this one is 250. Extremely short and long blogs are not SEO ranked as high as blogs around this optimum length. Plus, the average length of time people spend reading a blog is around 90 seconds. A longer blog of around 350 words gives those who want detail to get their fill, shorter blogs around 150-200 words are more “newsy” and people typically will read the entire thing. So it will be best to mix the length up a bit.

Is Social Media Marketing a Cost-effective Way to reach new customers?

Social media networksHere’s the million dollar question: If you invest money in social media marketing, how many leads will you generate or products will you sell?  Hmmm – What social media does most effectively is create brand recognition and keep your name in front of the people you’re trying to reach.  And, of course, through that process it should definitely have an impact on your sales – if you use a call-to-action directive. But it also has an “unseen impact” not just direct-response sales or leads.

Seinfeld TV showAn unseen impact? The popular TV show “Seinfeld” was often referred to as a “water cooler show” because the morning after a new episode aired people would chat about it with their co-workers. So, even those people who never watched an episode of “Seinfeld” learned about the Soup Nazi, puffy shirts, shrinkage and sponge worthy. They became part of our culture at that time … and still are!

The same water-cooler-type moments hold true with social media. When people see something on social media that strikes their fancy, they’re likely to share it on their social media and or mention it in real life to friends or associates.  It could be a restaurant, a video, or a new store that opened in their neighborhood.

include social media plans for mobile devicesHow does that water-cooler-type moment help you? Even if the person who saw it on social media isn’t a buyer at that moment, when they mention it to a friend who is in the market for that product or service, there’s a good chance that friend becomes a potential customer. But guess what happens when your survey asks this new customer how they heard about you? Their response will be: “From a Friend.”

Justifying the costs and value of social media: In these cases, you won’t be able to make a direct connection to your social media campaign, yet your social media campaign is what prompted the sale. People who follow you on social media will often share your interesting posts or tweets with their followers. Then those people can share it with their followers, and so on. Ideally one or more of your followers who shares your post has a really large following of their own.

It’s a numbers game. The number of people who see your post through this sharing process has now exponentially increased and somewhere down the line you’ll have new customers as a result.  This all ties back to your social media marketing, and an ability to tell your story so it resonates, but there’s no way you’ll ever know it!

If you’re selling a big-ticket item, social media is a way to build brand equity with prospective customers and a way for prospective customers to learn all about you and decide whether they want to do business with you. That’s why the quality of your posts is so important and needs to be professional, as you’re continuously building trust and credibility with your followers (and their followers) whether you realize it or not.

Social media marketing

All those people see your posts again and again – like the drivers passing the billboard – and when the time comes to do business, you’re the one who comes to mind!

best practice email campaignsCall to action: If you can’t devote the necessary time to it, you might consider finding a professional whose job it is to make you look good – by taking the time to post quality content and interact with your followers. Gary Greer comes to mind, at 727.409.2326.

You’ll benefit from what social media has to offer – building your brand and keeping your name out in front of the people you want to reach – even when the impact is unseen!

 

Are you a political news addict? Here’s how “the addiction” engages the audience.

CNN news I am a political news addict, and I’m trying to kick the habit. There I admitted it. News addiction? I did some research – and here’s the most powerful drug ever: the visceral gut feelings of outrage relieved by the most powerful emotions of all . . . the thrill of your tribe’s victory over its enemy and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Movies and TV shows use that psychological formula to engage the audience – so why the news?
Because it’s done for ratings: The outcomes of news debates are carefully fixed by the producers – whether you watch CNBC, CNN or Fox news – it’s fixed so the home team has the best chance to win. That keeps viewers coming back again and again, which means more advertising dollars. How to apply that addiction to social media marketing? Stay tuned, it’s a little later in this blog.
Neuroscience has known for years that “news junkies” or “political junkies” were in fact addicts… junkies …who got their addictive dopamine hit from the emotional roller coaster of unbridled outrage followed by the dopamine releasing experience derived from the thrill of watching the victory over your ideological enemy tribe.
Does your product appeal to everyone? Does your product have an enemy you can identify? Can you target a specific demographic that can emotionally side with your product versus your competitions product or service? Can you develop a tribe-like addiction to your services or products?
Are you or your client are willing to play an aggressive role, like a politician or news channel, and possibly at the expense of “your brand?”  If so, then just maybe you can create addicts to your services or products. I’m not condoning the approach, just engaging news addicts …

How technology lowers our productivity and provides “short-burst” branding opportunities in social media.

Social media marketing

Have you noticed in the past few years how much shorter the lines are now at the grocery store, traffic light, doctor’s office, and restaurants?  Or, do the lines just seem shorter because you are now secretly enjoy waiting so you can browse Facebook, messages, emails or Twitter, with the thought, “What will I get?” When we unlock our smartphones, we subconsciously crave for variable rewards or something to occupy our minds. This yearning for variable rewards makes us refresh social media feeds and email inboxes – repeatedly.

social mediaHere’s an effect you may not have been aware of: According to neurological scientists, 10 minutes on social media can raise oxytocin levels by up to 13 percent, (a generosity-trust chemical in our brains). That’s a hormonal spike equal to what some people experience on their wedding day! People of all ages are addicted to the euphoria effect of their smartphones.

social media marketingPeople use their smartphones everywhere. In elevators, for instance,  I’ve seen people miss getting off their intended floors because of checking Facebook postings.  It’s the norm to use smartphones as we wait at banks, gas stations and even Starbucks.

Does social media technology decrease productivity or are we simply filling what was empty non-productive spaces in our lives?

social media marketing smart phonesIn a world where we brag about 24/7 connectivity, our phones keep buzzing. But we rarely receive calls. Social media notifications, useless emails, and instant messages have made us ‘multitaskers’.

But multitasking reduces our productivity by up to 40 percent. Each time we are interrupted, it takes us several minutes to refocus. Before those refocus minutes are up, we get distracted again. Is it not surprising that these are the least productive times in the history of mankind?

trump tweets

This social media phenomena  also provides opportunities for short-burst marketing and re-branding. The most famous re-branding person of our time? Donald Trump. He uses Twitter to “re-brand” his adversaries. It use to be, “Don’t judge people by what they say about themselves, but by what they say about others.” That still may be true for some, but unfortunately social media has made many believers in stories people want to hear or hope to believe.  Social media can now quickly cast false and deceptive re-branding of people and companies.

As a marketer, please consider taking the truth-road.  Check Snopes, PolitiFact or other “fact checking” websites before passing along juicy tidbits that could falsely re-brand companies, products or people that worked so hard to create value in their brands.

How these “simple tricks” get your emails read.

Whether you’re a millennial or an old dog, here are some easy and new tricks to get higher readership out of your emails.

tricks to writing emails

This blog’s subject line (which could also be an email), uses these 7 tricks that are likely to get more readership:
  1. Putting quotation marks around a phrase or statement increases readership
  2. The word “How” makes people think (rightly) that they will get some advice.
  3. The word “these” makes the advice sound specific.
  4. “Simple” makes it sound easy – and the word “easy” in the subhead also increases readership – because people hate hard work.
  5. “Tricks” makes it seem easy as well.
  6. The phrase “get your emails read” increases readership because it makes the sentence active – that simple approach does the trick.
  7. The word “your” helps, too, because people are interested in themselves.
Eight more tricks you can use …

marketing tricks1. When providing a list, use numbers instead of bullets to increase readership. Readers typically finish reading a numbered list to see if something resonates with them – and refer to the number of solutions or tips like I did using the number “7.”

2. Use the words “you” or “your” it’s certain to increase readership.

3. But that’s not all. (Use bold text for subheads or as an introduction to paragraphs like I did in this long-winded blog – it breaks up lengthy text and creates more visual interest).

Getting people to read your text4. The subhead needs to encourage people to start reading your full story – it’s a bit like an appetizer in a restaurant.

5. Does the use of questions keep people reading?  Yes, because they suggest answers to come, so does a list of specific examples – because when someone suggests something to you, you often say to yourself, “What do you mean?”

6. Did you notice that the paragraphs in this blog vary in length? One is only nine words long. The mind enjoys variety, and the empty spaces allows the eyes to rest.

7. “Use simple words everyone knows. Then everyone will understand.”

email tricks for readership8. Should the writing style be the same as casual chat? Typically it’s more formal – but writing is really nothing more than a well-organized speech. And when you write you have time to think things out and arrange them in ways you cannot in the rush of a speech.

Wether you are new to the game or an old dog learning new tricks, keep your message simple and to the point – because people have little time to dig for what they are looking for.

 

Why is the Sony Xperia phone ad so bad?

Sony’s ad is slick and well produced, but does it communicate its value to the consumer? No! When I watched the commercial, the main actor looks like a hit-man stalking a ballerina and getting ready to take her out. When the video shows a single ballerina dancing in the darkness be tracked by a phone-type device and the voice over asks, “Can you feel it — the power — all in your hands — trust the power”,  I realized it wasn’t just a phone but a targeting device for a drone. Does the Sony Xperia have more advanced and useful technology than the iPhone?  How would I know from that commercial?

Sony mentions these two features; curved glass and seamless metal. Ok, so show me – I didn’t see anything curved and was the closeup of a metal rectangle rising up from a brushed steel plate the high tech-desk of the hit man or his phone? And Sony never did tell me why those two features have value to me.  The art direction of the ad is so overproduced with effects, that I don’t know what the Sony phone’s camera can or can’t do. It seems it can shoot a ballerina jumping in midair and cowboys riding on horses, but what percentage of their target audience is shooting ballerinas and horses? And  what about all the other video effects in the ad, can it do those too? Sony creatives need to take a lesson from Apple and focus on the value to the user of what makes their phone useful and how it can improve their customer’s life experiences. Sony, listen up, you are not selling beer where you can get all creative and sell just your phone’s image, but you need to create an emotional connection with your customers that communicates how your phone can change people’s lives.