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By Fer Wang, VP Strategy


For experienced marketers, social media strategy often feels like a grapefruit spoon. At first glance, it seems superfluous. You already have plenty of ordinary spoons, forks, and knives — between these standard utensils, you’re pretty sure you can figure out a way to subdue half a grapefruit. The moment you pick up a grapefruit spoon, however, and slice it through without spraying acidic juice everywhere, you understand its value. Similarly, using a strategy or campaign designed specifically for social rather than repurposing what you’re doing on TV, print, or even digital, makes the difference between success and mediocre results.

So how do you do it? Start by avoiding these five mistakes: 
  1. Don’t approach social as a platform just to generate engagement. Start with your business objectives and determine what you think social can do differently or better than all the other media you’re investing in. Sometimes that means engaging with customers, oftentimes it’s not. In the past several years, one of the key evolutions of social platforms is to align more closely with traditional marketing tactics and metrics. That means driving awareness, running DR campaigns, tracking ROI, etc.
     
  2. Don’t write off Facebook because it isn’t cool anymore. Not only does Facebook still have the most reach among all age groups, but Facebook almost always delivers the most efficient media results as well. There are exceptions, of course, but defaulting to Facebook is often the safest starting place. 
     
  3. Don’t bank on earned media or going viral. Unless you have a fan base that’s millions strong, organic reach is going to be negligible on social. Even if you are one of the lucky few brands that can still rack up numbers without paying for it, organic reach is still limiting your brand to previous or current customers. You aren’t finding or converting new customers or households at scale, and you aren’t able to measure or quantify the value of the people that you do reach via unpaid means. In sum, if you’re going to invest time and money in creating social content, you need to set aside some dollars for paid distribution too.
     
  4. Don’t limit your target to fans and followers. Targeting on social media can be extremely granular — boomers who shop at luxury department stores in Lewis Center, Ohio; men who graduated college in 2012 with an interest in skiing. Furthermore, social has evolved so much in retargeting, remarketing, and audience building that it is on par with the most sophisticated digital tactics. That includes building audiences from CRM lists (top customers, lapsed users, etc.), creating lookalikes of audiences, using pixels to assemble audiences based on site traffic and activity, and even using in-network activity to establish audiences off of things like video views, engagement, and even just attention. Before you set your strategy, think broadly about the types of people you want to convert, and all the various tools you have to build targetable audiences.
     
  5. Don’t plan to create a few posts to last the entire year, but don’t plan to have a post every day either. Instead, come up with a thoughtful campaign that delivers enough content to feel fresh to your customer depending at the reach and frequency you’ll achieve with your paid budget, no more, no less. Quality content, which is not necessarily expensively produced content, is a crucial factor in ad performance. Social platforms penalize bad content with expensive cost pers and sometimes refuse to serve the ads at all. They reward good content, however, with highly efficient results, a longer shelf life, and earned media. At the very least, that means visuals that command attention, copy that clearly outlines the action you expect, and a sensibility that feels native to the platform. 

By integrating this thinking into your social strategy, you will be able to take better advantage of all the social networks currently have to offer, and make your social efforts more impactful too.


If you are looking for some help developing a more comprehensive social strategy, you may be interested in our Likeable Playbooks or Audits. Please contact us for more info!

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By Christina Sirabella, Junior Copywriter

Long gone are the days when simple text or image updates made for effective social content. As new technologies emerge and online demographics shift, tactics that worked five years ago ― or even one year ago ― are rapidly becoming obsolete. So, to keep your brand content on the cutting edge, here are some trends to stay ahead of as we look to 2018:

1. Live Streaming

It’s no secret that video has become essential to any marketing strategy in the past few years, but live streaming is the most recent video application to take social media by storm. Between current devices’ increased streaming capabilities and the continued focus on video content, live streaming has already grown tremendously. Currently, live videos are broadcast on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and even Tumblr ― but with 82% of audiences preferring live video to social posts, expect this tactic to gain even more prominence next year.

2. Augmented and Virtual Reality

This year, an estimated 40 million people in the U.S. have engaged with some form of augmented reality at least monthly. With its lens features and real-time virtual camera effects, Snapchat has made the biggest push into this sphere. Mobile gaming applications like Pokémon Go have dabbled in AR as well, but in 2018 the widespread availability of AR and VR will create new opportunities for marketers to make their content on social platforms more interactive as well as engaging.

3. Chatbots and Messaging

Personalization is key in the current social media landscape, especially with regards to messaging. Two billion messages are sent each month between people and businesses through chatbots, which are relatively simple AI interfaces specializing in natural language processing ― think Siri or Cortana, but less sophisticated. They live on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp and provide an automated but (ideally) satisfying way for companies to answer individuals’ questions or provide information. When done right, bots allow businesses to message audiences in a more immediate way, on a more personalized level, at scale. For brands, messaging apps have mostly been for early adopters till now, but expect that to change in 2018.

4. Influencer Marketing

It’s imperative for brands to access and tap into consumer trust, and one of the best ways to do that is through influencer marketing. 45% of online shoppers say they are influenced by the opinions of others, and 84% of millennials do not trust traditional advertising. In 2018, more brands will partner with influencers and embrace this tactic across channels as a more authentic way to build customer relationships.

 

What social media trends do you expect to see in 2018? Share in the comments, or contact Likeable Media to find out how we can transform your social media strategy in the new year.

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By Lindsay Cosner, Strategist

LinkedIn is the world’s largest social network for working professionals—there are a total of 467 million LinkedIn users and nearly half use the network daily. If you are reading this blog, odds are you’re one of them. There are many advantages to being a member of this professional social network, but a few impactful mistakes can be holding you back from getting the most out of the platform. LinkedIn’s own Senior Account Executive, Erica Pyatt, helped us compile a list of the top three mistakes individuals make on LinkedIn and why you should stop.

Mistake #1. Accepting every connection request, or connecting with people that you do not know.

The average number of connections per LinkedIn user is 400, but large follower counts can actually detract from your success on the platform. More so than for other social networks, LinkedIn is all about quality over quantity. To maintain the power of your network, Erica advises that users “only connect with people if they know them well enough to comfortably and confidently make an introduction for them or to them.” In networking, avoid thinking about people as contacts—a Rolodex entry you only reach out to when you need something—instead, truly think of them as connections. Connections are two-way relationships where you give as much as you receive and stay in touch. Valuable connections require care and maintenance, and you can’t do that well with people you only know online. 80% of LinkedIn members consider professional networking important to their career success—all the more reason to do it right.

Mistake #2. Leaving your profile incomplete.

The richer and more personal your profile is, the more impactful it can be. Complete profiles add a human element to the platform, separating valuable connections from bots. Erica explains, “A LinkedIn profile should not be treated like a static version of your resume, but a mode of professional, self-expression that informs not only your next job opportunity but your next meeting. This is your opportunity to show people what you’ve accomplished, who you are and what value you can bring—going far beyond the roles and responsibilities neatly arranged on your resume.” Attention to these details pays dividends. Profiles with photos receive 21 times more profile views and 36 times more messages. Profiles with skills listed receive 13 times more profile views than those with that section left blank. And the simple act of keeping your position up-to-date attracts eight times more profile views.

Mistake #3. Not engaging with the platform.

“If you are not sharing, liking, commenting, and otherwise engaging on LinkedIn and its content, you are missing out on the richness of the platform,” said Erica. Over 1M professionals have published a post on LinkedIn and members publish 160K long-form posts every week. The content is there, worth engaging with and trusted by 71% of professionals as a credible source. Being engaged on LinkedIn builds and nurtures your network while making the important designation that you are interested in more than finding your next job. Members see 15 times more content in their feed than job postings and at any given time, only about 30% are looking for a new job. The other 70% are building and continuing relationships, positioning themselves as thought leaders in their industries, and putting in the work that prepares them for success when they find themselves looking for a new opportunity.
 

Need help with your LinkedIn strategy? Contact Likeable Media to discuss!

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By James Reichert, Account Supervisor

It’s crazy to think that I just celebrated my five year anniversary at Likeable Media. Looking back, the reasons I joined the team are the same reasons why I’m still here. People ask what makes Likeable Media so different from traditional agencies and my answer is always the same: good culture, good people, and good opportunities for growth. To commemorate my five years at Likeable Media, Jessica Chen, a senior account manager at Likeable Media asked me a few questions.

Can you describe your Likeable Media career path to date?
I made a career change and started off as a 25-year-old intern. I knew social was going to be a growth industry, so I took a calculated leap of faith. I stayed on at Likeable Media growing into various community manager roles before shifting over to client services. I have been on the account team for a little over three years and currently have a managerial role, overseeing the junior team members. 

What has been the biggest change in Likeable Media since you started?
We didn’t have a creative department when I first started. Five years ago, social was a completely different landscape; there wasn’t an emphasis necessarily on telling a story via creative, it was just about quantity, not quality. Now, Likeable Media staffs the greatest and brightest designers, art directors, videographers, motion graphic artists, and much more. Seeing departments expand with more specialized roles over time shows you how we’ve evolved.

How do you think Likeable Media employees are different from other companies?
It’s pretty much a guarantee that I can at any point in the day, walk up to anybody, and ask them a question, and they won’t say, “I don’t know.” They’ll say, “I don’t know, but this person knows,” or “I don’t know, but let’s look into it together.” There’s a sense of camaraderie and a common goal.

What is your favorite Likeable Media tradition?
My favorite traditions are our themed potlucks, such as Thanksgiving, because it’s a good time to talk about various employees’ traditions and culture. 

What did you bring to the last Thanksgiving potluck?
I brought German potato salad.

How have you changed since you started at Likeable Media?
Professionally, I feel like I’ve always been challenged here, with either new responsibilities or helping out with different and new tasks. It’s pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me grow more than just putting my head down at my computer every day and going through the motions.

What’s a day in the life like for you?
My work day technically starts when I’m sitting on my train in the morning, around 7:30 or 8 a.m., where I check any late night or early morning e-mails, as well as my calendar/events for the day. I’m usually in the office before 9 a.m., where I make myself an espresso and triple check my to-do lists. As a manager, my day is comprised of attending necessary meetings and ensuring my team is supported, as well as tackling or delegating any incoming tasks that arise or come through. Pro Tip: Block off your calendar if you know you need to get something done before your day gets away from you.

Any forward-thinking ideas for Likeable Media?    
Yes. More in-house dog video shoots.
 

Contact the Likeable Media team to learn more about our agency life. 
 

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By Gillian Stippa, Photographer

Social media should be considered a supplement when it comes to cultivating actionable change. In order for there to be mobilization, there must be hybridity between virtual and physical space. That is not to say that sharing content on social platforms doesn’t play a part in spreading information that can eventually lead to change. However, there must be an interplay between the nominal and the corporeal if a social media campaign is to gain congressional traction. 

What does this really mean?

Slacktivism is a buzzword that arose to describe a social media phenomenon: getting “involved” solely through low-cost/low effort methods of engaging (e.g, clicking “share,” or “like”).  High-level engagement on the other hand, and what is meant by action in the physical/corporeal sense, is a more significant contribution, such as volunteering, donating, meeting, etc. These latter forms of engagement directly result in large-scale change. But in order to get to that point in the process, low risk engagement must occur. In short, both are necessary for the sustainability of an idea. There needs to be room for every type of engagement.

But that begs the question, is there really a method? Or can social media spur high-level engagement? Let’s take a look at some examples.

Social Change Spurred by Social Media

It’s safe to say at this point that newsrooms have been completely disrupted by social media. Today, 62% of people get their news from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The New York Times reported the election of Donald Trump as the “starkest illustration yet that across the planet, social networks are helping to fundamentally rewire human society.” Called the year of fake news and misinformation, 2017 has seen unprecedented societal change due to the pervasive nature of social media. 

Another example of how social media sharing is causing real-world impact is in race relations. The death of Trayvon Martin and the much disputed Stand Your Ground law started as social sharing but soon manifested itself in high-level engagement – with images shared of people wearing hooded sweatshirts, active protests, and efforts to restructure the deep rooted biases in our current law enforcement system. 

How to do it? There isn’t a method

The answer to the question of methodology is that it takes a little bit of both: engagement exists on a spectrum. 

It starts by using social media to incite emotional connectedness. You need to create an emotion that causes action. However, knowing that you’re meddling in the world of emotions, personal perception, morality, etc., leveraging social requires moving purposefully but carefully. In terms of guidelines, there are only a few, and they are fluid. 

“Guidelines”
  • You must have a message – what’s your story, what’s the issue. It doesn’t matter if it’s clear, but it must evoke a reaction (preferably a good one). 
  • Focus your targeting. Let’s face it, some people just won’t care.
  • Make sure to leave room for discussion – let the people speak!
  • Use visuals - people scan before they look. Hard hitting visuals are often all you need to get your message across.
  • Be different, because you are. 


If you need some help in translating social engagement into action, contact the Likeable Media team to learn more!
 

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By Aaron Pfannebecker, Copywriter

After nearly 50 years in the business, Century 21 Real Estate was looking to refresh its image and establish itself as an innovative and relatable brand with respect to millennial homebuyers.

With 66 million millennials in the U.S., the median age for first time home buyers is 31. However, ⅔ of millennials haven’t reached home buying age. Millennials are renting for a median of six years before buying a home. Our objective was to position Century 21 as a resource for millennials who were curious about the home buying process. So, how did we bridge the gap between home buying and millennials? One word: Adulting.

We recognized an opportunity to position Century 21 Real Estate as a trusted resource for guiding millennials through the "adulting" process, culminating in the most grown-up of activities: buying a home. 

Channeling inspiration from academia and infomercials, we created an instructional how-to video series that showcased topics everyone must learn to conquer adulthood. Topics ranged from Mastering Business Casual to the Fundamentals of Picture Hanging, Host a Dinner Party Like a Boss, Medicine Cabinet Basics and more.  We repurposed the how-to videos in different video formats and styles including Boomerangs, Instagram Stories, and Canvas Ads. To strengthen the campaign, we created additional videos such as street interviews, real-life tutorials, adulting challenges, fail and success videos, and sponsored partnerships. 

We wrote articles on topics millennials need to know as they get older. These included life, work, money, and the home. We went into detail describing everything from budgeting basics, to networking, resume writing, and of course, home buying. To attract viewers and boost campaign engagement, interactive quizzes challenged and celebrated millennials’ Adulting skillsets. In total, we created over fifty articles and quizzes. 

By creating an in-depth guide to help millennials tackle adulthood, Century 21 Real Estate was able to become a trusted resource for conquering life’s big and little challenges. 

The Adulting campaign reached 6 times more people than Century 21 Real Estate did as a whole in 2016. 

The campaign generated 5 times more link clicks and 7 times more video views, and cost per video view actually decreased by 275% despite the larger audience. 

In the end, by committing to a 360 social campaign, Century 21 Real Estate was able to reach millennials where they live by engaging with a new and younger audience. 

  

Does your business want to extend an upcoming campaign to social media? Contact us for more information!

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By Emma Chainani, Senior Community Manager

It may be hard to believe, but GIFs first came into our lives in 1987. The simple animation quickly caught on with web developers and has since then become a default form of web humor. Facebook finally enabled native support for the format in 2015, and users were quick to take advantage of the change. As of June 2017, 13 billion GIFs were sent on Facebook Messenger in the past year, with 400 million GIFs sent just on New Year’s Day 2017.

In the face of this massive popularity, and just in time for the 30th anniversary of the file format, Facebook rolled out a new GIF comment button. Users loved it, but brands have been hesitant to use it. It is, after all, a very informal method of communication. However, a GIF is often more impactful than words in accomplishing a key goal: getting your fans and customers to love your brand! If you haven’t tried the GIF reply, here are some tips for making sure the interaction is a happy one:

DO: Stay on Brand

If your brand is looking for different outlets to be more fun and conversational, using GIFs in responses is easy to implement. However, make sure your GIF of choice aligns with your brand voice.

 

pic.twitter.com/iSa5pTEbgg

— Netflix US (@netflix) October 27, 2017
 

 

DON’T: Skip the Research GIFs are a quick way to engage with fans, but make sure you do your research first. Always play it safe when responding with a GIF. Make sure you recognize where it’s from and confirm that it’s not referencing anything inappropriate. The last thing you want is for a fun response to backfire.

DO: Have Fun

GIFs are an opportunity for brands to have fun and show off their casual side. Take advantage of that and connect with your fans on a new level. GIFs are a chance for your brand to be more relaxed when there’s room to be.

 

We're no stranger to the show! pic.twitter.com/HIOf9ChDfv

— Stop & Shop (@StopandShop) October 30, 2017
 

DON’T: Overuse GIFs It’s easy to get lost in the world of GIFs, so don’t stray completely away from responding with text. Some comments from fans can be extra special and deserve a text response!

DO: Create Custom GIFs

Are you having trouble finding a GIF to reply with? Create custom GIFs! Brands, such as Starbucks and Denny's, are all about creating GIFs that tie into the fun of using them, but also stay on brand. Get those creative juices flowing and turn your product or service into a GIF.

 

Likeable Media, Lovable World. #HappyValentinesDay pic.twitter.com/0PW8ozpZ8l

— Likeable Media (@LikeableMedia) February 14, 2016
 

DON’T: Try Too Hard This goes hand-in-hand with overusing GIFs. If you find yourself searching high and low for the perfect GIF, stop. If you find the perfect GIF and the resolution is low, don’t use it. If you think it might work but aren’t sure, don’t force it. At that point, a clever test response will be the better alternative. Need more advice on implementing GIFs into your community management? Contact the Likeable Media team today!
 

Need more advice on implementing GIFs into your community management? Contact the Likeable Media team today! 

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Ivy Brown, the Vice President of Brand Marketing and Advertising at TIAA Financial Services, Her story is one of passion, launched from her high school days and her love of a specific clothing brand.

LISTEN NOWKey Topics
  • Ivy’s Career Story
  • Building Your Curiosity Muscle
  • Encouraging Engagement in Complex Industries
Key Answers

How do you make sure that you’re reaching the right audience?

We have a highly reachable and identifiable audience, and we are able to find them in pretty amazing ways with our various agencies partners in the digital landscape. We know that Google and Facebook have a highly targetable audience base and they are two key partners of ours as we build out our reach plans. The world has become more complex in the ways that you talk to your audience, how you engage together while still ensuring that you stay true to your brand. We’re all about being accessible, simple and authentic and we need to ensure that we continue to follow those brand principles on the various platforms we choose to be on. We use each channel to the best of its ability to achieve our business and brand objectives.  

How much of your marketing mix involves digital?

Digital today, is close to 70% of our mix. When you factor search, social channels, video, programmatic display, being mobile ready, plus a little room for experimentation across other emerging channels, digital does play a key role. Don’t underestimate the power of search in this kind of marketing. You know your audience is looking for key things. If someone has a great experience with us, they’re more likely to refer us to a friend. So that’s why it’s important for us to connect the dots between what we’re pushing out and how our audience is coming in and engaging with that.

Key Sound Bites

- Don’t look for an end point in your career. Look to build out your experience toolkit so you’re open to other opportunities.
- Being curious is a foundational element of how you grow, learn and develop.
- Using real-life personas is a great way to show that you understand your audience.

Resources

Website
Personal Twitter
Company Twitter
Personal LinkedIn
Company LinkedIn

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