Monday, October 3, 2016

Capitalizing on Viral Trends

"The brain wants to have fun. If you keep thinking about that every day, you’re always going to be interesting and relevant. The brain hates boring and expected."
                                                                                 Linus Karlsson
Have you ever planked? Maybe you’ve tested your fortitude with the cinnamon challenge. How about grooving out with your favorite touchdown dance? Don’t be ashamed, millions of people have and had a great time doing it.
These examples are drawn from viral events and in marketing, catching a ride on a phenomenon sweeping the globe is like winning the lottery – if it is done properly. As for creating a viral event, that simply doesn’t happen. Not consciously, anyways. Viral happenings come from out of nowhere and organically attract a following. A video that has 6 million views on YouTube isn’t viral, unless of course those 6 million hits come all at once.

viral marketing

Put the idea of creating your own viral phenomenon out of your head – statistically, you have a better chance of being hit by lightning twice while a shark is nibbling on your toes.
Your best bet is to learn how to recognize a viral event and utilize it for your own benefits.
Trends such as 2016’s Pokémon Go craze are not always as obvious as they appear. Viral happenings occur overnight and last as long as the public’s attention is fixated on them. The dance craze’s of the 1920s can be directly attributed to lower prices in radios to spread the style, and television in its heyday created more than its share of national fervor – elevating social protest in the 60s, spreading pop culture through MTV in the 80s, and redirecting a generation toward online communication in the 90s.
Today, social media is the single most significant driver for culture. We are constantly a short tweet or text away from investing our interest in one another’s daily activities, catching up on breaking news, or winding down with some streaming videos. The more interest an event garners, the more it is transmitted, re-tweeted, liked, and shared until the steamroller of popularity puts it on everyone’s radar. No matter how disconnected they might be from the mainstream.
keep calm gangnam
Think of a viral idea as a pebble that starts to roll from the mountaintop - as it gains momentum, it bumps into and dislodges more pebbles, creating a force that now can dislodge and start larger rocks to rolling downhill. This momentum compounds until nothing in its way can go undisturbed, continuing on until it comes to rest at the bottom. Your message might not be that first pebble, but by keeping a watchful eye you can certainly throw your weight into the avalanche as one of the first.
Keeping up with trends can be extremely beneficial to a small business as it allows you to keep in touch with today’s common rhetoric. Consumers are infectiously intrigued by popular trends, sometimes even more so than their interest in the video, product or idea itself. By joining a movement, they become part to something universal and wide sweeping, feeding a deep-seeded desire to belong.
Political candidates use this psychology of inclusion as an integral element in their own marketing campaigns. Candidate X says, "WE Stand Together Against Y,” and candidate Y says, “Only Together Can WE Change America.” Both messages insinuate that not agreeing with the message makes the voter an outcast - not cool.

Trends become trendier just because they are trending. In the marketing world, this equates directly to traffic - traffic equals business, and subsequently, money. When consumers are in constant contact through social media apps, they discuss how and where they are retroactively affecting the performance of these trends through likes, comments and shares. The phenomenon of social media use goes back to our primal search to feel good – when another social media user reacts, the original poster’s endorphins go nuts, flooding their body with serotonin.
Simple as can be.
The first step in staying in tune with social media and that rock slide of viral fervor is to become a permanent resident in the online social sphere. Choose what platforms to subscribe to and keep at it with a consistent message and plenty of interaction. When an event occurs that you want to jump on board with, you will have a ready-built audience to help carry your modified message outward.
watch me whip
cinnamon challenge
Primarily, your strategy will revolve around a loose formula: four parts interaction (socializing), one part calling to action, and one part selling. For each of these elements, attach some indicator of the viral event: mention it, share it, re-tweet it, takes pictures of it… simply talk it up. Incorporate it any way you can along with your message branding. A good example of this in practice is a tweet we sent during the Pokémon Go craze:
Rare Pokémon captures with each free SMM consult. Contact us to book a guided, downtown safari! #pokemon #gottacatchemall #consulting #smm
Whether you blog about the viral phenomenon from an outsider’s point of view, take pictures of others participating in the event to post on social media, or directly participate and promote the heck out of yourself doing it, being associated with a viral trend is simply good business.
Stay in the social media stream and jump on a viral happening as soon as you come across a good one.
It will definitely pay off.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Instagram for Business Marketing

Marketing With Instagram
Success for brands on Instagram takes more than publishing attractive images—it is the product of thoughtful strategy, a well-defined brand identity grounded in visual creativity and effective community management.
                                                                                 Alicia Johnston

Chances are the thought of using Instagram as a business networking application hasn't crossed your mind.
There's no shame in that - very few small business users of the popular social app effectively apply its potential toward projects. By providing creative and interesting content that engages readers, an Instagram account can be just as effective as a 30 second commercial on network television.
Instagram users make up 24.2% of the online population (eMarketer 2015). That equates to 77.6 million users altogether. The effect of using Instagram cannot be denied. It is a visual media powerhouse. Instagram is the platform of choice for teens and millennials, and this demographic cannot be disregarded in your marketing campaign.
The focus should be on originality and eye appeal, drawing on the strengths already inherent in the application. Instagram enjoys wide-spread use, crisp resolution, and fast load speeds. Pairing these with short and punchy copy can capture the imagination of your followers, transmit your branded message and prompt customers to interact.
Marketing posts aren’t much different from personal posts on Instagram. What a focused business networking post does is use the tools available to reach your target audience. Instagram, and Twitter for that matter as well, both have a built in targeting feature called the hashtag, often seen as "#". By determining exactly what audience you wish to engage with is as simple as choosing the right hashtag for the biggest bang.
But in the battle for practical application, Instagram wins over Twitter hands down. After creating the mandatory visual image, the typing field will inform the user of the popularity of the hashtag being typed, while at the same time suggesting similar tags.
For example, if you choose to post an image of the dinner you are about to eat and want to share it with the largest appropriate audience, spend a few moments thinking of possible hashtag communities that might enjoy the image. Good examples are #Food, #Foodie, and my favorite, #Foodporn. A recent post using these tags showed 210,340,675, 34,068,828, and 92,545,997 posts, consecutively. I also like to use #MMM at 3,735,238 posts, versus #MMMM at 700,364 - or even #MMMMMM at 291,724 posts. The more posts a hashtag has, the more followers pay attention to posts in that community. This translates to more views of your business networking application.
Using the post counter that populates below your message drafting space will help utilize valuable real estate on posts to gain the largest audience with the smallest and most concise selection of hashtags. Though there is a greater amount of space in an Instagram post versus a Twitter post, you still want to be aware of your 140 Twitter character count as you can create one post on Instagram and share it via Twitter. It’s a real time saver.

At the prompts asking you to tag people or add your location are a selection of five social media platforms outside of Instagram's control that you can post to. These are Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, Swarm and the inevitable Twitter. Simply activate the platforms you wish to share with and your message will be forwarded to those accounts. Be wary, however, as the one fault on this sharing is that those social media platforms will not post exactly the same way. Though Twitter will post your message, it will do so as a link back to Instagram in order to see your image, meaning your audience will need to actively engage in order to see your full message.

Keep your message concise, engaging and accessible and you’ll get the hang of Instagram in no time.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Small Business Tactics for Facebook

Facebook is a tried and true social media platform that businesses love to use as it’s very intuitive and requires only a few baseline perquisites, unlike other networks such as Pinterest that can be a little labyrinthine. Though Facebook is relatively a great deal easier to use for your business, many small operations make a grievous mistake of being overly promotional. This projects a distasteful image that can make potential clients shy away.

Don’t forget the purpose of social media; to create content that engages users on a personal level, not sell them product directly. You focus is to grow interest in your brand through social interaction and then direct them to your sales space. In order to do this effectively, there are four basic principles to keep your business on the positive side of consumer opinion.

Build a Killer Facebook profile

If Facebook is reminding you about adding a cover or profile photo, it’s because they are trying to help you improve the visibility of your company. If use the tools at your disposal, you can succeed. If you succeed, you remain a loyal Facebook member. If you do that, Facebook comes out a winner. However, adding a cover or profile photos is just the beginning, and after that initial step it’s time to get the real branding accomplished.

Your page descriptions are significant elements in your Facebook presence - optimizing them for SEO helps to make you visible as well as clearly defined by visitors. Remember that you are allowed just 154 characters for the basic description, and keeping your message tight will encourage more traffic and greater visibility in search results.

Use this section to convey a clear message to your customers about what you do. Keep location details, hours of operations and other details away from the basic description, because there are separate sections for that on your page.

Beyond this primary section, your Facebook settings will determine how well your small business page is optimized. Fill your categories and sub-categories wisely because that’s how your product or service will be found by Facebook users.

Communicate Your Branding

It’s not homogeneity of products and services that help you thrive but your unique qualities and a healthy brand image. If you have been working on standing out from the pack, let your potential customers know how you are different from the rest; be it craftsmanship, business philosophy, lower prices, convenience, better customer support, or selection. Bring this to your Facebook presence and celebrate their superiority.

Build a Rabid Fan Base

Running a paid campaign and having thousands of followers is not the end-all solution for a successful marketing campaign on Facebook. If you traffic isn’t organic and interested in your message, your branding will fall flat. In order to achieve that, you have to be engaging with your customers. The quality of your fan-base matters as they are the ones who determine your lead- conversion ratio. Target users who will are willing to purchase your product or service, share your content and will be rigorously promote your product.

In short, when your followers speak, your responsibility is to respond. Keep the conversation going and help them learn more about you as you learn more about them.

Create Engaging Content

eBook  As with any social media marketing, if you want to succeed with a Facebook branding campaign, you need to create engaging content. This could be excerpts from your latest blog, celebrating promotions within your company, or re-posting current topics that everyone is talking about and sharing how it affects you. Even a simple status update or pictures from your last company picnic can draw people in and promote the very real and personal side of your small business.

Don’t sell, share.

Remember that you can very easily oversell and turn off potential clients. Be subtle and drive your traffic to your product with amazing content that they won’t resist sharing.

For more information about marketing on Facebook or other social media platforms, contact Spotlight Publicity for a free consultation; or, stay tuned for the release of Big Fish, Little Pond, coming via Kindle to your personal device!

Friday, August 19, 2016

How to Find Interns and their Benefit to You

how to find interns
Trying to run a business with a small number of employees and the lowest possible overhead costs is smart, but also can become very hectic and demanding. 

Maybe it’s about time you considered finding an intern. Internships are mutually beneficial programs that can reduce your workload with little to no cost. 

These are wonderful opportunities for both the employer and the student/intern, as both receive benefits from the relationship. As an employer, you provide the unique knowledge and training that will help prepare the intern for a job in the real world via experience, while in return you receive hard work and new ideas from a college undergraduate who is eager to begin working and building their resume.

How to find interns 
Internships give students the ability to show off what they have learned in school and how they can apply it to real life. Interns have something to prove and are obligated to demonstrate what they are capable of in order to receive proper recommendations for a future job they may be working toward.

Today, an internship is the best way to get one's foot in the door of the workforce, post-graduation. This equates to there never being a shortage of interns as they have more to gain then just professional work experience. Not only do interns learn the ins and outs of the trade, they also are receiving college credits required for graduation, saving them thousands in tuition costs. Even though you aren’t physically paying them, the internship has much more value as a whole.

Interns are not hard to find, you just have to make yourself available. Start by contacting career centers at nearby universities to see if they can add your firm’s name to their list. Then they will recommend students that may be a good fit for your company. According to The National Association of Colleges and Employers, the four most widely considered criteria for recruiting interns at schools are the majors offered, the college's recruiting experience, the quality of the programs and the school's geographic location. However, university career fairs and on-campus recruiting is not necessarily the only way to obtain an intern. Talk to your friends, colleagues and clients to see if they know anyone who is looking for an internship and could use the experience. Chances are, there are a handful of people out there determined to jump on the opportunity.

How to find interns
Internships offer employers insight of the potential value a new employee can bring to the workplace. Since the internship is rather brief, lasting only a couple of months, that time must be fully utilized. 

Think of the internship as an experiment to see if a particular intern is capable and comfortable doing your kind of work for a living. 

The (NACE) notes that “among responding employers, converting students who have taken part in an internship or co-op program into full-time employees is a primary goal for most programs.” Hiring is the goal, and proper training is the way

Use your time with the intern to challenge them. Make them work hard for their credits and give them extra responsibility they aren’t used to. Take full advantage of your intern and allow him to share the load of work. The more you have them do within their range of capabilities that pushes their comfort levels, the more they learn and the more experience they gain to bring with them to the private sector.

how to find interns 
Keep in mind that the intern is still learning and will likely make their fair share of mistakes. Be sure to check over all the work you have them complete for any spelling or grammar issues or other detail-oriented concerns. It is important to also go over those mistakes with the intern to teach them what mistakes they made, how to fix them and why. This is perhaps the most interactive part of the internship. Although you gain the responsibility of vetting and training someone, you could be taking care of it early on so that later they are strong candidates to be hired full-time by your company - having all of the required experience for an entry-level position.

For more information concerning growing your company or project, please contact us at Spotlight Publicity today.