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Fresh Thinking

Category Archives: social media

The Power of #: Using Hashtags to Heighten Marketing

The Power of #: Using Hashtags to Heighten Marketing

By | Content Marketing, Digital advertising, Social Marketing, social media, Twitter | No Comments

Once upon a time (aka 2006), using “#” in a sentence meant that you either (1) neglected to check it for typos or (2) were referencing the number of typos you made in the aforementioned sentence.

Flash forward ten years, and hashtags have become a truly unavoidable aspect of life. They’re everywhere: in movie titles, on magazine covers, sprinkled into casual conversation (#seriously). Twitter was the first platform to hyperlink hashtags to search results, and that practice has since infiltrated the digital marketing world. Of the world’s top Interbrand 100 brands, 97 percent had embraced the hashtag by 2015.

As a small business owner, it’s unlikely you have the cash to fund a massive marketing campaign. Hashtags are free, fun, and a truly valuable method of connecting people with your brand. Case in point: Tweets with one or two hashtags show 21 percent higher engagement than those with none.

  • Come up with a unique hashtag and ask your employees/clients/friends/family to use it whenever they mention your company on social media.
  • Hashtags enable users to categorize an often overwhelming amount of content. Use the same hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to identify and organize posts about your company retreat, conference or other special event.
  • Ride the wave of an already-trending hashtag. Check Twitter for a popular tag that relates either directly or abstractly to your business and join the party! But be careful to research the context first – you don’t want to follow in DiGiorno’s footsteps.
  • Make your hashtag actionable. Audi’s wildly successful #WantAnR8 campaign encouraged car enthusiasts to use the hashtag for a chance to get behind the wheel of an R8. Even if you don’t have a $160,000 sports car to use as bait (which, unfortunately, most of us do not), you can still offer your customers incentive to use your hashtag.

Still want help nailing modern usage of the symbol formerly known as “pound sign”? #CallCounterintuity!

Caring for Customers in 2016

Caring for Customers in 2016

By | Business Etiquette, Customer Service, Email Marketing, Social Marketing, social media | No Comments

Some say the customer is always right. We say the customer is always important – and if 2016 is going to show us anything, it’ll be a shift toward an even more customer-centric marketing world. Here’s how…

  • Apps. We’re all aware that there’s an app for pretty much everything – there’s even an app for tracking your apps – and the great thing is, many of them are free. As a marketer, be sure to take advantage of apps that can help you manage your business and improve your customer’s experience.
  • Social media. A quick peek at your customers’ social media activity can provide great insight into what will hold their interest. From their location to their job title, a great deal of useful information is often available even on a public profile.
  • Interaction. Today’s consumers are used to a high level of personalization, and one might argue that privacy concerns have them hoping for less, not more – but that doesn’t mean they want boring, static content, either. 2016 will see many marketers venturing into games, calculators and other interactive content to increase engagement.

Need help keeping up with your customers? Let Counterintuity come to the rescue! Contact us today.

Image by Dariusz Sankowski is licensed under CC0 Public Domain.

Getting Weird with Social Media

Getting Weird with Social Media

By | Facebook, Social Marketing, social media, Twitter | One Comment

You must admit, the concept of social media is kind of weird. The selfies. The “Show My Location” feature. The ability to sort through the photographic evidence of another person’s existence from the comfort of your bedroom at 3 AM. But that’s not where the weirdness ends…and we guarantee that the following will make your ex-boyfriend incessantly poking you seem normal.

  • Finding an organ donor. Facebook is a wonderful place. It’s perfect for stalking old high school friends, securing invitations to the weekend’s best parties, and finding a fresh kidney. Wait…
  • Engaging in voyeurism. Network Effect, a sort of social experiment by artist Jonathan Harris, allows you to toggle between different actions (chew, argue, jump) and subsequently be bombarded with YouTube clips of people engaging in your chosen action. The intended effect is “total information overload,” and is meant to convey how much precious time we’re all wasting snooping around the lives of strangers.
  • Selling…. stuff. So you get on Tinder, hoping to find the conveniently located person of your dreams, and your first match is…a bag of weed. Apparently, “salespeople” have begun turning to such people-finding apps to push their product. Try introducing that to your mother.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever encountered on a social media platform?

Image is licensed under Creative Commons Zero.

Lead with Social Media

Lead with Social Media

By | Social Marketing, social media | No Comments

Sure, you use social media. You peruse Facebook and Twitter, post regularly enough, and have even been known to craft a hashtag or two (#madskills). But are you really making the most of it? Here are a few tips for turning those likes into leads:

  • Find more followers. This can be a frustrating process, but it’s also an important one. Note: buying thousands of random followers is not the goal here. The goal is a slow but steady increase in the amount of people interested in your content.
  • Get on Google. In other words, use SEO to optimize your posts for searches. The better your SEO, the better the chances that a customer will stumble upon your stuff and be compelled to engage with your company.
  • Be boost-worthy. Have a particularly interesting video, photo or article to share? Boosting that post on Facebook will ensure that it falls before more sets of eyes.

Above all else, have fun! If your audience gets the vibe that you actually enjoy promoting your business on social media, they’ll want to be a part of it. And you know what? So do we! Contact us today and let’s work those leads together.

Image by SEOPlanter is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

What's Your (Social Media) Type?

What’s Your (Social Media) Type?

By | Facebook, Fun, Social Marketing, social media, Twitter | No Comments

In today’s digital age, the sheer abundance of social media platforms is mind-boggling. So how do you know what’s right for you and your business? Here, we break down the primary purposes and benefits of five of the most popular platforms.

The almighty, unavoidable Facebook is a great place to get friends and family involved. In general, Facebook users are searching for personal connections, hoping to hear updates from their friends and see photos. Take the opportunity to engage your customers and get them involved in office happenings and contests.

Twitter moves fast, making it the perfect environment to share breaking news and updates about your company and the world around you. Twitter is also great for pinpointing and quickly addressing customer concerns and complaints.

Posting on Instagram is the perfect way to make a visual impression! Photograph office shenanigans and invite followers to share photos of themselves using your products or benefiting from your services.

This fast-growing platform offers a fun way to exhibit your style. Make a board for company culture, for your company vision, even for your office space. Pinterest also recently started experimenting with ads and promoted pins, making it possible for you to show off for the right audience.

LinkedIn is great for recruiting new employees and networking. You can also use this platform to promote your blog, share and request recommendations, and start groups.

Happy socializing, everyone! Have a favorite platform we didn’t mention here? Let us know!

Image by Amit Agarwal is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


It’s Not You, It’s Facebook

By | Facebook, Social Marketing, social media | No Comments

If your business’s Facebook page recently experienced a dip in likes, don’t let it get you down. It’s not something you said! On March 5th, Facebook began removing likes from inactive accounts and that means your numbers may be lower – for now. Facebook’s goal is to make likes more meaningful by verifying that data on Facebook is up-to-date. Now, you’ll know that the people who have liked your company actually like your company. And that, my friends, is a good thing. Here’s why:

  • More insight into your audience. You use your Facebook page to gauge the interests of your potential customers and how they react to your products, posts and plans. Now, you’ll know that this audience is genuinely interested in what you bring to the table and won’t be wasting time gathering details from dead accounts.
  • Targeted audience growth. This narrowed pool of likers will also make it easier for you to broaden your targeted audience based on the one you already have through tools like Facebook’s Lookalike Audience.
  • More consistent information. Facebook already filters out comments made by deactivated accounts from business page posts, so removing said accounts’ likes from business pages will ensure accurate, congruous data.

The good news is, if a deactivated account is reactivated it will be re-added to a page’s likers. But if you’re still a little wounded by the sudden drop in likes, we’ll gladly come to your aid – with a shoulder to cry on and a whole lot of social media knowledge.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


Seal It With a Smiley Face

By | Business Etiquette, Culture, Facebook, Fun, Social Marketing, social media, Twitter | No Comments

The smiley face: bet you’ve never given this little guy much thought. So you may be surprised to hear that a recent study by the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory showed a simple smiley face has the power to positively influence your social media presence and alter a reader’s perception of you. Here’s why you might want to give the emoticon a space in your daily discourse:

  • Scientists have determined that looking at a smiley face activates the same parts of our brain as looking at an actual smiling face. It’s an easy way to add a human element to your email. Interestingly, this only occurs when the colon is put first; parentheses first doesn’t have the same effect.
  • Emoticons suggest a friendlier, more competent person is behind them. Not only can emoticons increase the likelihood that your reader will like you, but they can help the reader more easily remember what you’ve said.
  • There is a strong link between emoticon use and user influence on social media. The more powerful the user, the more likely they are to use emoticons in their online communications.

Are emoticons okay to use in your work emails? That’s a judgment call. But research shows that the writer’s credibility isn’t affected by the use of emoticons. So if something makes you smile, don’t be afraid to show it!

Image by PublicDomainPictures is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal.

Social media mobile

Make Your Mark on Social Media

By | Social Marketing, social media | No Comments

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.

Image by Jason Howie is licensed under CC BY 2.0.