Social media has taken over the world. We can all agree that sometimes its ubiquity can border on obnoxious. Everything’s being recorded or photographed, your grandparents are on Facebook, and the term “selfie” is in the dictionary. But even if you’re not updating your Instagram every five minutes, you can still find a way to make social media work for your company. Here’s why exploring this method of marketing might benefit your business:
- Brand awareness (for free). Social media is one of the few avenues through which you can influence a large audience without spending a cent. You can familiarize your fans with your name, logo, and mission all just by creating and maintaining a profile on Twitter.
- Easy access. You can reach your audience instantly. That next brilliant idea or marketing tactic can be tested out immediately, and you’ll know nearly as quickly if it will garner the desired reaction.
- Choice of audience. If you’re willing to pay for it, many social platforms make it easy to target your advertising, ensuring that you’ll reach the demographic you want to. On the flip side, you can be pretty sure that people who bother following your company want to see the content you post.
- Freedom of content. Something like a Facebook profile gives you the opportunity to show your customers that your company isn’t all business all the time. You guys like YouTube videos of cats, too! So go ahead, share one on your Facebook wall every now and then and let your fans relate to you.
And remember: should you prefer to keep your personal distance from social media upkeep altogether, just pass it off to the pros. We’re here for you.
Like many other apps, Snapchat started off as a fad. The entire purpose of Snapchat is to provide something temporary: a photograph, a video, a message that’s there one second and then gone forever. But considering the air of impermanence permeating both its foundation and its industry, Snapchat has done a pretty good job of maintaining its value. A few weeks ago, Snapchat launched Discover, a new media hub feature with the potential to turn the app into a marketing destination. Here, we examine just a few of the ways Snapchat is brilliantly positioned for success with its new addition.
- Advertising. Brands have been using Snapchat in some capacity for a while now, but Discover could make Snapchat a vital part of the advertising industry. Discover allows users to watch media content (refreshed every 24 hours) from partners such as ESPN, BMW and CNN.
- Appropriate timing. Snapchat is the perfect offering for this age of short attention spans. The app practically demands engagement by requiring that users press and hold on their content to view it. But what it doesn’t do is force content down its users throats; people get to choose what they view on Discover. It allows impatient users to see the ads they want in the way they want to see them; i.e., quickly and painlessly.
- Audience. With around 100 million active monthly users, Snapchat offers brands an appealing channel through which elusive young millennials can be reached effectively.
What’s interesting is that, as opposed to its platform, Discover’s content is not based on social media. Its content is curated by industry experts. Snapchat already has the manpower and the capital to back Discover; now, it’s only a matter of whether the feature’s traditional method will appeal to Snapchat’s very modern demographic. But as long as the app continues to evolve as it has, something tells us that Snapchat will do just fine.
To discover how to keep your company relevant, contact us today!
Copywriting is tricky. There’s a fine line between persuasive and pushy, and striking that delicate balance can be challenging for even the most seasoned wordsmith. Not to mention, there are those fussy technical details that the modern copywriter has to address. Here are a few things to keep in mind during your journey to first-class copy.
- Tell a story. Treat your readers as if you’re engaging them in conversation. Don’t be afraid to have a voice, an opinion, maybe even a sense of humor. Of course, keep in mind that the appropriate amount of each is dependent on the product you’re representing.
- Integrate your copy with the web design. Many of our clients don’t realize how important it is for the content on their website to mesh with their image. When writing copy, remember that it needs to reflect the tone of the site. For instance, the aforementioned humor and/or opinion might be much more appreciated on a Buzzfeed sister site than by the curators of an esteemed law firm’s website.
- SEO before you go-go. Don’t underestimate the importance of SEO keyphrases, but don’t let them drown your copy. Density isn’t as vital as it once was, and nobody likes to read an article with abundant, obvious keywords. Make sure to choose proper keywords and handle them delicately. Also, try to avoid terrible jokes like the one that started this paragraph.
- Elicit a response. The point of copywriting is to inspire action. By the time they’re done reading, your audience should know what you want from them and they should actually want to do it.
Finally, put yourself in the shoes of your reader. If the copy speaks to you, you’re off to a good start. Best of luck! And if you need an extra nudge in the right direction, we’re right here.
My experience of people first thing in the morning is this: They do not want to be messed with.
They want their coffee, they want to get to where they’re going as quickly as possible, and frequently, they want their Egg McMuffin.
Unfortunately, McDonald’s lame “Pay With Lovin’ ” campaign (more like a social experiment), seems determined to hinder, embarrass and infuriate customers precisely at a time when McDonald’s needs all the help it can get, and at a time of day when people have no patience to be toyed with.
Today’s Wall Street Journal contains this personal story of someone asked to dance with other strangers at a McDonald’s in exchange for a free Egg McMuffin. Me? I’d rather pay the two bucks, especially if it’s at any time before 10 a.m.
Is asking people to perform personal missions in exchange for free fast food a different idea? It sure is. So is asking people to show up for funerals in clown costumes. But in neither case is it a good idea. Part of brainstorming creative marketing ideas involves free thinking–but the crucial next part involves winnowing out the bad ideas before it’s too late. Which is something that should have happened with this one.
What should they be marketing? That Egg McMuffin in the morning. How easily and affordably it’s gotten, and how wonderful it tastes. Sometimes it really is that simple.
If you’re looking to cut back on web traffic, take a page from one of these sites:
- It’s an amazing thing to find a website this outdated.
- Mama’s Cheesies – where cheesy websites come to shop.
- This may not be the worst website in the world, but any site that puts dark blue text on a black navigation bar deserves a spot on our list.
- Translating the text from Norwegian actually doesn’t make this site any easier to understand.
- On the Mr. Bottles homepage, a tiny man will pop up in the corner to show you around and coin the phrase, “Stay glassy.” Seriously.
- What is this website trying to say? Unclear. But when in doubt, definitely use five text colors in one sentence.
- Allegedly, you can purchase a vehicle from this website. Not sure we’d trust it with our credit card info, though. Or the rooster.
- How could we not include this gem? The World’s Worst Website Ever purposefully encompasses virtually everything that could go wrong with a website. Well done, guys.
Don’t sell your site short. Enlist our award-winning website design services today!
Facebook won’t stop at Facebook; they’ve got some big plans for 2015 and have already taken steps toward their future goals by investing in some unexpected companies this past year.
- Facebook surprised many by dropping $2 billion on Oculus Rift, a company that makes virtual reality headsets. While Facebook admits the benefits of this acquisition are not immediate, they predict that in time consumers will have a desire for the service Oculus provides. Acquiring Oculus also upped Facebook’s credibility among its peers in the developer community.
- Even more unusual is the fact that Facebook acquired U.K.-based aerospace company Ascenta for $20 million. As a part of its Connectivity Lab project, Facebook hopes to use drones to provide wireless Internet access to the two thirds of the world without it.
- In addition to these less conventional acquisitions, Facebook has snapped back from Snapchat’s snub by purchasing messaging app WhatsApp for $16 billion and launching a company called Slingshot, meant to serve the same purpose as Snapchat. While its efforts in the field of ephemeral messaging have yet to reach the same success level as Snapchat, it’s unlikely that Facebook will easily relinquish that share of the market to its competitor.
As a company, Facebook realizes how important it is to stay relevant no matter what the landscape. As well as meeting their clients’ needs today, they’re anticipating their prospective needs. Ask yourself: what do your clients expect from you? Better yet, how can you exceed those expectations?
Here at Counterintuity, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of Facebook technology and keeping our clients informed on the latest trends so that they’re best equipped for success.
Want to know more? Shoot us an email.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Ninety percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, which means a single photo can say far more than its description. If your brand has a new product, photograph it. Don’t just talk about its merits; show someone using it. Better yet, show the sides of your brand your products can’t. Post a photo of your employees, hard at work (or not so much). Give your followers a behind-the-scenes look into your company and what goes into making that newest product. Make them feel like they’re a part of the process.
Pick a favorite all-purpose hashtag and use it.
Brand recognition is often achieved via repetition. Frequently using a token hashtag leads followers to associate it with your brand, and they may even use it to connect with you as well. Once you find one that works, consider registering it. While that can’t stop others from using it, it can show them that you’re serious about what those words mean to your brand.
Post regularly but responsibly.
It’s important to recognize that your followers primarily use Instagram to keep involved in their friends’ lives. Limit your brand account to no more than one high-quality, interesting image per day and write succinct captions.
For inspiration, here are a few brands that do Instagram right:
With 3.5 million followers and more than 650 posts, Starbucks has an impressive presence on Instagram, exceeded only by its customers’ enthusiasm for its products. Starbucks both posts original content and reposts Starbucks-centric images from customers, showing that its brand truly is known and loved all around the world.
Timberland uses Instagram and the hashtag #inmyelement to showcase its popular shoes and outdoor wear.
GoPro is the go-to brand for outdoor adventure enthusiasts. This Instagram account primarily serves as a place for intrepid fans to share photos of their recent excursions while conveniently showing off the capabilities of their HD cameras.
- National Geographic
Known for its breathtaking photography, National Geographic is a natural winner on Instagram, with more than 10 million followers. Animals, people and scenery from around the world fill this account. Posts are often accompanied by detailed captions that elucidate the story behind the photograph.
If you need more help establishing and strengthening your Instagram presence, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Over the holidays, we tend to play board games at our house. Popular choices for my wife, our 23-year-year old son, 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son include Cosmic Encounter, Risk, Guillotine and Oxford Dilemma. This year we found ourselves playing a game called TriBond.
TriBond, which is theoretically for ages 12 and up (and therefore theoretically suitable for the entire family), is a game in which players hear three individual clues and must analyze and determine what all three words have in common. Example: Delaware, today, and George Washington. (Answer: They are all firsts.)
Here’s one none of my children, ranging in age from tween to adult, could get: Fossil, Citizen and Timex. My wife and I were sputtering in confusion. How could anyone miss that? They’re all watches! Then I looked around and noticed that no one was wearing a watch: not me or my older son or my daughter (smartphones all) or my wife or our youngest. They didn’t know what a Fossil or a Citizen or a Timex was because they’d never worn a watch.
Here’s another one that my kids couldn’t get: Little, Sloppy, and GI. I know: They’re all Joes! This time I broke it down and asked all three kids who Little Joe was. No idea. (Bonanza having gone off the air in 1973, I barely knew.) Then I asked them what were Sloppy Joes, the curse of many of my grade-school lunches. Again, no idea, so I had to explain again. GI Joe, a staple of my childhood, they’d heard of, but never played with and couldn’t fully explain.
Then I looked at the box and noticed that TriBond, while renewed recently and purchased in a new edition, was “copyright 1993.” Which explained why all the cultural references seemed to be aimed at people in their 40s or 50s. Note to the TriBond guys: If you want teens and 20-somethings to play your game, it’s time to update the cards.
This made me wonder what else has changed at some companies that the people running those companies haven’t noticed.
Here’s something that we at Counterintuity find more often than you’d imagine: a client telling us that a mobile version of their website isn’t necessary. Then my business partner or someone else at Counterintuity will look at the client’s stats and let them know just how much of their traffic is from mobile. For a small manufacturer recently it turned out to be 17% — almost one-fifth of their traffic was from mobile. For a construction firm, it was 52%. They had told us that these “construction guys” are never on a mobile device, but when we told them that 52% of their traffic was from a smartphone or a tablet, they looked at each other and said, “Oh, right, they’re all looking at our website while they’re on the job.” And who is “they”? Their prospects.
It’s easy to not know what you don’t know. I taught graduate writing at the University of Southern California for 10 years, and one night during the seventh year bemoaned the fact that I was always paying for parking. One of my students said, “Why don’t you park on…” and named a side street near campus. I explained that it was metered parking with a limit of two hours, and this was a three-hour workshop, so I’d get a ticket. “There aren’t any meters there,” I was told. So after class I went and looked — and indeed, there were no meters there. Why did I think that street was metered? Because when I was a grad student myself at USC in the late 1980s — 20 years earlier! — that street was metered. But it had changed, and I had never thought to look.
Why is it easy to fall into this trap of thinking that things are set, that once you know something you know it for life? Maybe it’s because, for most of history, that was true. But no longer.
We live in the greatest period of change in human history. I am part of the last generation on Earth to grow up in a pre-Internet world, so we’re the fulcrum class: We fully appreciate the Internet, and know what it was like not having it. Everybody younger just expects it. Given how much change has occurred on our watch — just to start: the rise and fall of nations, the transformation of economies, instant access to more than one billion people across the globe, easy and seamless transfer of funds electronically, instantaneous and constant delivery of news — it would be naive to think that other things haven’t changed right within our own households and businesses and careers and communities.
What does this radical change mean? Among other things, it means that all of us are better served by questioning our own facts every day before making decisions that accidentally reflect times long gone.
In no particular order:
- Don’t know your numbers: what your expenses are, what your projected income is, your balance sheet, a cashflow, a profit and loss, and the number. (What is the number? It’s the easily-checked-in-on number that tells you at a glance how you’re doing. It might be a monthly sales target. It might be the number of bottles on a shelf at the end of the night. It might be the number of units moved.)
- When things change, don’t adapt.
- Provide bad customer service. Or just be inconsistent.
- Check out on your own business. Get distracted and stay that way.
- When you have a problem, don’t rally your team, communicate the problem, and search for solutions. Because they might have some.
- Just fret, and do nothing.
Any one of these is sure to help put you out of business. A combination of two or more? Surefire.
As we saw again yesterday, when we learned that a friend’s business had closed.