5 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Audience Organically

Author: Cynthia Chen

When choosing between multiple social media platforms to promote your business, why does Facebook stand out? According to Buffer’s State of Social Report, today 93.7% of businesses have a Facebook page set up. Compared to the second most used channel, Twitter, Facebook is still far ahead in terms of business adoption. 

While some may consider Facebook to be a dying platform, it continued to maintain 2.32 billion active users in 2018 with an average daily view time of 35 minutes per user. According to Pew Research, 68% of Americans use Facebook, and 51% of them open the app more than once a day. That being said, the most significant advantage of promoting your business through Facebook would be its exceptional ability to reach a broad audience.  

Facebook provides a system for marketers to reach a considerable audience that may not otherwise see your digital campaign. Now that you know your potential is of growth on Facebook is virtually limitless, let’s take a look at how to grow followers on the platform.

1. Set Logical Goals

You should not start a business without a plan, as is the same for your Facebook page. Whether your goal is to increase sales, brand awareness, grow strategically, etc., make sure that your plan is well thought out. 

Although almost every business’s ultimate goal is to increase sales, we highly recommend you not set it as your only goal in this process. Over advertising is not going to cut it in 2019. Due to the overflowing social media platforms and content, audiences have started developing antipathy towards generic campaigns and are now looking for authenticity and originality. Most importantly, they are looking for a purpose-driven brand – brands with a story or mission that inspires individuals above transparently trying to just push a product.

 A successful local bakery’s marketing director, Tarah Boyleston, explained, “No one wants to follow a brand that is only trying to sell them something. We share personal stories, family recipes, and behind the scenes imagery of our lives at the bakery”. Eventually, you’ll have to build a community around your brand in order to develop a stable relationship with your customers. So first you should focus on increasing awareness rather than getting into a dead-end with setting sales or traffic goals for every post. Secondly, make sure your message is clear and meaningful. After all, the objective of using social media is to interact with people online. You want to post content that can spring a conversation so you can gain visibility. Lastly, keep in mind that building a community takes time. We suggest you keep your brand value authentic and consistent. Keep your customers happy and be patient.

2. Know Your Target Audience

There is no way that you can efficiently market a product without knowing your target audience. First, you should understand the general demographics that use Facebook. If your target audience is not in line with these demographics, you should consider switching your focus to other platforms that may resonate better. 

After making sure your target audience uses Facebook frequently, you should start to analyze your Facebook Page Insights or other data tracking apps and revise your marketing plan in accordance with these insights. Besides data tracking apps, you can also effectively gather insights from surveys, emails, interviews, conferences, etc. 

3. Publish Engaging Content

You cannot possibly ignore the fact that video content has become one of the most popular types of content to attract views in 2019. Analyzing from a total of 777 Million Facebook posts, BuzzSumo found that video content had the highest engagement rate with audiences in 2018.

If you are wondering which type of content can bring the most impressions and engagement to your channel, data showed us that the most popular reactions on Facebook are LOVE and HAHA.

Apparently, the general audience prefers content that is either funny, heartwarming, inspiring or a mix of all the above. Despite what some sources may say, don’t be too stressed about hitting all your goals for every post. Remember that a person’s reaction towards a post is subjective. A post that receives many “HAHA”s could be considered sad to other people. After you have determined which posts are the most important to your brand, Facebook provides an option for you to pin it on top of your feed. This way your viewers will be greeted with the specific post when first visiting your page. 

Another effective way to stimulate engagement with your audience is employee advocacy. From the data that SpoutSocial gathered, 72% of users experience more trust and connection with a brand when employees show their support.

Scheduling the right time to publish content can be daunting. Below is a Facebook engagement graph from SpoutSocial for you to take into consideration when posting content. Since the chart applies to Facebook’s general users, we strongly encourage you to look into your page’s insight to study your target audience’s most active times.

No matter what, you should continue to regularly research the current trends to beat the ever-changing digital media landscape. Don’t forget to look back to your own posting history to reflect on whether you are presenting what you really want the public to see.

4. Paid Ads Have Their Place, Too

In most of the cases, we strongly encourage you to reach your goals organically for a more stable relationship with your followers. However, if your brand has a time-sensitive deadline, a paid advertisement can be a shortcut. After all, Facebook and Google are currently the largest channels for online advertising. In the case of Facebook, marketers have struggled to gain organic engagement since their algorithm for users’ feeds has changed to mainly focus on personal related content. In return, the platform does reward paid campaigns heavily. A benefit of using the platform’s ads manager is that it allows you to track your performance in detail so you can make adjustments if needed. We do want to warn you that while paid advertisement may sound convenient, DMR’s study showed that out of more than 4 million paid Facebook campaigns, the average click-through rate was a mere 9%. The main reasons behind the low click-through rate are from its competitive nature and in need to advance targeting audiences and setting your correct objective.

5. Analyze The Data 

The most efficient way to grow your Facebook audience is to reflect on and learn from your mistakes. Refusing to analyze your campaign is like throwing away the feedback you received on your highschool paper. It’s wasted insight. A successful campaign has to be repeatedly analyzed and adjusted. It is always useful to research successful content as well as your competitors’ to see their success and to compare to yours. After doing so, you will be able to pinpoint new strategies you can adopt.

Conclusion

Facebook’s constantly amended algorithms may make marketing difficult on the platform. Nevertheless, the channel maintains a huge potential to help you achieve your desired reach. To do this, you need to ensure that you are consistent in establishing a clear plan and making improvements from you and your competitors’ data. Moreover, don’t forget to add your company’s social media links in emails and send them to all of your professional contacts in order to further encourage impressions and awareness.

Did this article help you gain information that you don’t already know? Comment below to share your favorite tip for growing your following organically on Facebook!

4 Ways to Grow Instagram Followers Organically 2019

Author: Cynthia Chen

Why do you need organic followers for your business when buying followers and bots are much easier and faster? (Note that I say faster but not more efficient) It’s best to think of your social media profile as a customer service window. Having a huge amount of followers on social media accounts may seem glamorous.  However, under the current climate, audiences can often see through inauthenticities and develop a negative impression of the brand. So why spend money to buy followers when it will work to your disadvantage in the long run? Besides- you want to foster these early relationships and map the customer journey so you can scale that activity in the future.

Building a community around a brand can be time-consuming, but ultimately, organically growing followers is more effective if you’re seeking genuine engagement with your audience. Making a real connection with your customers will allow you to promote your product to people that really care – leading to increased sales. 

Now let’s take a deeper look at the social media platform that is known to be crowded with fraudulent engagement – Instagram.

1. Visuals

As a platform that doesn’t allow users to post without an image or video, having strong visuals is everything. The way that the platform is configured gives users room to express their aesthetic. Its grid format requires users to create content in an unconventional way relative to other major platforms like Twitter or Facebook.  The advantage to this, though, is that it allows audiences to quickly view an account’s vision in its entirety. Therefore, in favor of the algorithm of the platform, it is optimal to publish vertical images instead of horizontal ones. Additionally, you want to focus on the aesthetic of the grid on your profile using extensions such as Preview to envision curated content as a whole. Also, know that your image quality has to be exceptional to step up your game on Instagram since the channel has more than 100 million uploads per day. 

Video

In 2019, video content has become one of the users’ favorite forms of content. Now, Instagram has made the one-hour video limit feature, IGTV, that can preview on your follower’s feed. It is easy to watch and eye-catching by presenting a whole view of your content while increasing the time followers spend on your channel.  

Story

When producing consistent content on your feed, consistent stories is also essential to increase impressions. You’re probably wondering why this is the case as the feature is not necessarily affected by the platform’s algorithm. However, according to TechCrunch, Instagram’s story feature does manage to reach more than 500 million users per day. The reason for their popularity is that people are willing to display a more authentic form of content as the content is deleted after 24 hours. It updates faster than a traditional feed and allows the newest story to be pushed right in front of your followers’ feed. So why not produce both traditional feed posts and story content to maximize your results? 

2. Content

SEO

On a platform that values visual content as much as Instagram, it can be tempting to post content without meaningful captions. However, you should never slack off from crafting your bio, captions, and even location because it does advance your SEO on the platform. The more information you put in your bio the easier users are able to find you through their search engine and writing captions that connect with your audience is the key to spark meaningful conversations.

Hashtag

Everyone knows including hashtags is one way to increase your exposure, but do you know the technique behind using hashtags? Logically, we should mix hashtags with both wide and narrow audiences and rotate them from post to post. Using generic hashtags does risk your content being pushed back from other popular or newer posts. Rotating hashtags between posts is crucial to help you reach different audiences that are following the content of the specific hashtag. Hashtags are supposed to make exploring the platform fun so use diverse hashtags to draw in new followers!

3. Timing

When your post remains crucial though Instagram changed its algorithm so that the order of feed depends on the content you may engage with the most. The combination of high-grade content and timing will boost your post to the top of your audience’s feed. When different accounts have different groups of audiences, it is highly encouraged to study your data in order to know what time to post will help you reach the most audience. Always remember quantity over quality if your account is for business purposes. For those with more than 5000 followers, we recommend you post 2~3 times a day.

4. Engagement

Audience

Have you noticed that all of the techniques mentioned above are essential for the purpose of building engagement with the target audience? To increase sales, a business’s social media account helps build brand originality and loyalty to attract customers through engagement. There are many ways to increase engagement with audiences such as holding contests and giveaways. Another technique is to use the polling feature on story, providing an even faster way for accounts to interact with users and gain their input. 

Community

Ultimately,  after gaining a certain amount of loyal followers, business accounts are looking to continue to build a powerful community around the brands. We recommend you to follow, like, and comment on relevant user accounts or 10 ~30 big accounts every day to increase your visibility. 

Your audience is looking to interact with you on this platform. So be present, be social, be engaged. (And, if you can’t do that, hire someone who can do it in your style and tone. Not responding to customer queries is leaving money on the table and can lead your loyal fans to become dissatisfied.)

The Takeaway

It may seem like there is an overwhelming number of factors to be taken into account when it comes to gaining followers organically. However, by following these steps, the audiences you gain will be more stable and loyal, and the experiences you gain will inform your company’s strategy as you scale. Keep in mind that although it is good to have a profile of your business on every social media platform, you want to focus on the ones your target audience uses the most. Despite the fact that Instagram is one of the most influential social media platforms at the moment, the majority of the users of the platform are aged 13~ 29. Therefore, if your target audience is older than that demographic, focusing your marketing on Instagram is doomed to bear a limited result.

Has this article inspired you to work to build your organic Instagram following? Comment below to let us know your thoughts or tips that have worked well for you!

That Awkward Silence

You’ve been there before.

The epic road trip, half a can of pringles rolling on the floor, no breaks since sunrise, all the playlists worn to shreds, and the conversation has been on mute for hours. All that can be heard are the tires grabbing the road in that endless charcoal hum and the occasional whoosh of a passing eighteen-wheeler.

Photo by Luigi Manga on Unsplash

Words won’t embellish on the moment. It’s in this silence that deep connection is formed. The conversation between the words.

In this palpable listening there is magic.

What can Marketers learn from Silence?

Most marketers treat their job like the kid who always wants to know if you can come out to play, when you’ve made it clear many times, you’re not going to jump makeshift ramps on your BMX any more, Ralphie! They just keep knocking, instead of moving on, or waiting patiently for you to change your mind.

But, there is a predictable and calculable digestion phase where an informed consumer needs to connect on a deeper level with your offer. Sometimes, this quiet reflection and connection period is complete by the time a buyer arrives at your website or place of business. Other times, they’re just looking which really means, they want to feel heard enough to determine if this is for them.

Photo by Ocean Biggshott available on Unsplash

Effective marketing includes effective listening. It’s being quiet enough to create the connection. Most marketers think of listening as data-gathering, or indexing social channels via hashtags, and those are some ways to listen. But real listening includes giving people time to ask one more question, try something on again, wallow in the vision of their life after the purchase.

Let them explore their imagination. When you listen closely enough, you can hear the spark of inspiration that started it all for you, the inventor, creator, investor, business leader, or salesperson, you can hear it take hold in your customer. When you’re building a community, listening is essential.

Okay, so face-to-face, listening is a learned trait, one that many salespeople and marketers develop over time, but…

How do you build listening into your digital funnel?

First, add time. Remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder. In the reduced attention span moment we’re sharing, that can be a 3-second pause on your bot, a 22 hour “technical” delay on your special-offer email, or a week between sending a promo-code and it unlocking savings or coins or points.

Remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder. In the reduced attention span moment we’re sharing, that can be a 3-second pause on your bot, a 22 hour “technical” delay on your special-offer email, or a week between sending a promo-code and it unlocking savings or coins or points.

Why? Because that’s how the mind and heart works. You’re interacting with people. They have lives. They like to be remembered and, reminded that you remembered.

Most marketers call that a follow-up, add-on, or upsell. But bake some time into your funnel and watch your initial close rates go up.

Second, use surveys to really listen. Most folks only think of surveys as surveys when you call them surveys. So, don’t call them surveys. Call them forms. Just remember that you’re asking questions which by nature require some follow-through.

Do not use forms to let data die somewhere. Unless you hate your prospects and yourself. Forms, surveys, whatever, they’re ears for the internet and they only work when you read the answers, summarize the data, extract insights, and share the experience with your audience. Remember, they’re listening too!

Last (this is so important, I’m repeating it from the paragraph above), share the experience with your audience. No one knows you heard them unless they can see you hearing them. In written communication, that means parroting back what they said, plus, sharing how it impacted you, changed you, effected you.

Photo by Gabriel Gabriel on Unsplash

When people can see your transformation as a result of your listening, they can’t help becoming magnetically drawn to you.

If you can think of ways to build real listening into your digital marketing efforts that we left out, by all means, add them to the comment form below. We check back often and promise, we take all the comments (even the 44 spam/mo on average) into consideration.

7 Brand Accounts Went Viral on Twitter

Author: Cynthia Chen

Social media marketing has become a powerful tool to generate engagement with consumers, but when every brand is using social media to market its product, what makes an account stand out from the others? For a platform as tricky as Twitter, successful brand accounts choose to engage their followeres through humor. Yet, while posting entertaining content can be excellent for brands to set a tone for their culture and to promote their presence, a lousy play may bring tragic marketing fallout to an organization. Let’s take a look at what can enliven an account in a challenging landscape like Twitter.

Wendy’s – Bold

Every active Twitter user knows that Wendy’s Twitter game is on fire in recent years. Whoever has been running their Twitter account has vastly increased their follower-count through bold, witty responses. In the current climate of users having multiple social media platforms, marketers merely have a few seconds to grab audiences’ attention. And Wendy’s has managed to build brand loyalty around their playful tweets, making a blast whenever they reply to tags. 

Another interesting tactic that Wendy’s uses to start off conversations is to call out their critics and competitors by tagging them in sassy responses. 

Wendy’s moves on Twitter may be somewhat extreme, but it works wonderfully when consumers are looking for amusing content. 

KFC –  Trendy

Do you remember KFC’s tweet went viral in 2017 when fans noticed the brand only followed Twitter accounts for six men named Herb and 5 Spice Girls to mirror their famous recipe? Since then, KFC has been well on top of their Twitter game by keeping up with current trends on the Internet. When they found out that gamers love fast food, they leaned into that fact and the @KFCGaming account was born. This spin-off Twitter is devoted to producing content targeted directly to gamers. In one of their efforts, the brand even developed an animated dating simulator for the face of their brand, Colonel Sanders.

In addition to @KFCGaming, KFC has created other offshoot Twitter accounts such as @KFCBarstool, @KFCradio to attract diverse and young groups of audiences. And in order to stay relevant, the accounts also show their familiarity with current meme trends.

People go crazy about world cups. As a result, KFC’s regional account, @KFC_UKI, invented “The KFC Chicken World Coop#KFCWC19 by holding polls for KFC products for two weeks straight. A brilliant move like this was able to effectively increase engagement while gathering data and customer feedback on products at the same time.

Funyuns – Eccentric

According to Social Baker’s statistic, Funyuns’s Twitter account experienced rapid growth in early 2019 with nearly 8k new followers within two months. The reason is obvious if you take a look at their account. The content that @Funyuns publishes is unexpected and entertaining, setting them apart from other brand accounts. For example, on Valentine’s day, they created a post to call out retweet for a limited edition “Flammin’ Hot gift box”. On top of this, @Funyuns has also produced a series of posts dedicated to the merchandise solely for display on social media. As it turns out, Twitter users appreciate this type of content and find it amusing. 

Steak-ummExistentialist

A frozen beef sandwich company Steak-umm has been taking a surprisingly philosophical approach to getting eyes to their Twitter account, successfully stirring up discussion in multiple threads. The philosophical posts mostly address issues regarding Millennials’ dilemmas in daily life. @Steak-umm received a substantial increase in engagement by capitalizing on the trend toward social media users being young and frequently discussing Millennial culture.  

Taco Bell – Relevant

Another fast-food brand, Taco Bell, understands that its consumers want captivating, authentic content. This type of approach has proven to work well for the brand, helping them reach 2M followers. The main reason for their success aside from using humor is their writers’ ability to humanize the brand through their posts.

Old Spice – Humorous

Old Spice – the brand known for its exaggerated style of comedy in commercials – has brought that experience into their social media. On their Twitter account, Old Spice has maintained its lighthearted approach in its interactions with other brands. An example of this was seen when @OldSpice tagged @TacoBell to criticize their fire sauce, accusing them of false advertisement for not containing actual fire in the sauce. These types of unconventional moves have helped them stand out in the saturated landscape of Twitter’s big name brands.

Oreo – Timing

The winning edge to Oreo’s Twitter account is in its smart timing. The best example to demonstrate their efficient response would be their Twitter post for the Super Bowl during the blackout in 2013. Within just a few minutes of the blackout happening, @Oreo published an image with a dark background and a single oreo cookie reading “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark.” with the caption “Power out? No problem.” The combination of efficiency and entertainment pushed the post to go viral within one hour. The result of the particular tweet proved to be more effective for sales than its multi-million dollar Super Bowl commercial.

Do you feel like you’re ready to start a Twitter war after you’ve finished reading this article? Although the mentioned brands received plenty of coverage on Twitter, this type of technique will not apply to every business model, especially if the product is relatively serious or the goal is to attract an older group of audiences. Above all, your key to success is to develop a unique brand voice that can attract your target audience to boost engagement. 

We found seven brands worth following on Twitter. What are your favorites we missed? Tag them in the comments below and we’ll compile a Part 2 for the series, maybe, if they’re funny enough. And if you want to see how funny we are on Twitter, follow us here.

7 Tips for E-commerce Marketing

Written by Connor Woods-Tutson

With an estimated 1.92 billion global digital buyers in 2019, there has never been a better time to start an online store. With the digital shopping boom, the amount of E-commerce businesses has followed suit. Shopify, the biggest E-commerce platform, currently has over 820,000 different merchants. With every store wanting to increase traffic and conversions, we have come up with seven tips to increase traffic and sales for your business. 

Credit card inserted into wireless payment device

1. Construct A Content Marketing Strategy Before You Begin

It’s always good to have a plan before you jump into anything. By creating a marketing strategy, you can know your goals and what deserves the most focus. It can be as simple as writing a list of all the methods you plan to reach out to customers. Checking on your marketing strategy on a routine schedule can help you evaluate your plan and see what is working and what needs improving. 

Your Marketing Strategy should never be set-in-stone, but instead always evolving to improve your business continuously. 

2. Know Your Target Audience

You can have the most elaborate ads, but if you are showing it to the wrong people, it won’t mean anything. Figuring out your target audience and making sure you’re focusing on them is something that many businesses overlook.

When creating your ads, it’s also essential to address the needs of your potential customers. Instead of just telling them what you offer, tell them how your product can improve their way of life. When you give potential customers a reason to buy your product, you will see an increase in clicks on your ads.

3. Create A Personalized Campaign

Personalizing your marketing campaign can drastically improve traffic to your website. There are many different ways to customize your marketing campaign to see the most significant boost in sales.

By addressing people by their name in your email marketing campaign, customers feel a sense of connection to your company. This alone has been proven to increase traffic to your company drastically. 

You can also personalize your marketing campaign by looking at the location or past actions of potential customers. By using behavioral data, you can give each visitor to your website a unique experience, increasing the likelihood of a sale. 

4. Implement A Loyalty Program

By rewarding your customers for their business, they are more likely to become a recurring customer and tell their friends about your business.

Return customers account for 22% of retailers’ revenue while making up only 11% of the total customer base, according to Stitch Labs, and the same return customers spend 15% more than new customers on any given order.

Through a loyalty program, both you and your customers can benefit. Choosing how to reward customers and for what actions is up to you. One example of a loyalty program is a point-based program, which allows customers to use points for discounts.

5. Develop An SEO Strategy

Building an effective Search Engine Optimization strategy can seem time-consuming initially, but it allows you to develop predictable web traffic. SEO’s goal is to have your company as high up as possible on the organic results page. 

A study found that only 4.8% of searchers make it to the second page of search results. With barely anyone making it past the first six results on the first page, the goal in SEO is to have your company appear high on the first page. 

Ecommerce SEO is a process that can seem challenging but does shell out results. For a full guide on E-commerce SEO, you can click here

6. Lower Your Abandon Cart Rate

Every time that a visitor abandons their cart, you’re losing money. According to the Baymard Institute, 69.23% of online shopping carts are abandoned.

One effective campaign that companies are implementing to reduce the frequency of abandoned carts is an email recovery campaign. The goal is to convince your visitors to return to your site and complete their original purchase. 

Abandoned cart emails bring in the big money that every entrepreneur yearns for. According to a study done by Klaviyo, customers in their data-set brought in more than $60 million in sales directly from their abandoned cart emails. 

7. Utilize User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content is a great way to increase the reliability of your products with social proof. Potential customers gain confidence when they can see people who purchased your products and are happy with them. 

According to Salesforce, 54% of consumers trust information from online reviews and recommendations, while only 20% trust the brand itself. 

User-Generated Content is a big umbrella that differs from business to business. Product reviews fall under User Generated Content, but the most effective type of UGC is photos of customers using your products.

Conclusion

With the implementation of the tips listed above, your business should jump to the next level. As E-commerce is booming as an industry and the number of digital buyers the highest in history, it’s only right that your business joins in on the action. 

3 Up and Coming Social Media Platforms – Tik Tok, Monkey and Yubo

Written by Connor Woods-Tutson

For the past couple of years, social media platforms at the top have not changed. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have been the most prominent players in the field, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any competition. Below we talk about three up and social media platforms that could give these powerhouses a run for their money.

Man holding smartphone

Monkey

What is it?

Monkey was released by the HOLLA group in 2016. Monkey is an app that allows people to video chat with someone for 10 seconds. If both parties agree, they can add additional time to chat for longer. Monkey’s goal is to connect people by allowing them to video chat for a short amount of time, allowing them to move on to meet a new person quickly. It took Monkey about two years to grow, blowing up in 2018. Throughout 2018 and 2019, Monkey ranked in the top 20 social networking apps and reached its peak at #4 on April 7, 2019. In January 2019, Monkey passed 15 million downloads. Monkey has also partnered with celebrities to bring more attention to their app. The app even boasts about a “Famous Mode,” which allows people to have conversations with their favorite celebs like Cardi B, Kim K, and PostMalone. 

Controversy

On the other hand, Monkey has had its fair share of backlash. Nicknamed “Chatroulette” by parents, Monkey’s biggest problem is keeping explicit content off the app. Monkey’s average age is 23, but due to their marketing campaigns, the majority of their users are children. “These are virtual playgrounds for children which (potentially) become a vehicle for pedophiles to prey on their victims,” according to Mr.Carr-Gregg, one of Australia’s highest-profile psychologists. Monkey’s community guidelines strictly prohibit any bullying, threats, or explicit content, but have yet found a way to enforce these guidelines truly. Monkey is a “self-governing” app which relies on users to report any infractions of the guidelines. This strategy requires Monkey to rely on users to report violations of the rules, and then review all of the reports. Monkey has taken steps to figure this out by hiring a 24/7 moderation team that sorts through all the reports.

As of the time of writing this article, Monkey is the #9 social networking app on the app store and is still going strong. Successfully finding a solution to their problem can potentially give Monkey the boost to truly become mainstream.

Yubo

What Is it?

Yubo is a social discovery app, launched by French startup TWELVE APP in 2015. The central concept of Yubo is to allow users to have a live stream with up to 10 friends of the same age. There can be an infinite amount of viewers who can interact with the streamers. This concept resembles Instagram live, except with the capability of having ten streamers instead of two, with all the users being of similar age. Yubo also provides a feature where users can swipe on potential friends of the same age and message. Yubo currently has over 20 million users, with close to 1 million users who use the app daily. The company is also growing at 10% month-over-month. 

Controversy

The common perception of Yubo is that it is a dating app for kids. With its swipe feature that is similar to tinder, both kids and parents have this perception. Yubo’s response to this is that a vast majority of users never meet up in person, and is instead about finding long-distance friends. Yubo has had its fair share of controversy. In January 2019, a 26-year old and a minor were found having unlawful sexual contact in a parked car outside of a church. The two met through Yubo, sparking outrage from parents and critics of the app. In response, Yubo partnered with YOTI, which uses their age estimation technology to analyze people’s faces and estimate their age. The goal is to weed out people who have lied about their age while using the app. According to YOTI, they have already checked more than 20 million users and removed a “few thousand” profiles belonging to under-13s. Since its partnership with YOTI, Yubo has not faced any considerable controversy and seems to have temporarily fixed their issue. 

TikTok

To consider TikTok still up and coming is scary. Formally Music.ly, TikTok has already taken over the world and does not look like slowing down any time soon. The app allows users to make 15-second video clips, soundtracked by music. TikTok has its share of celebrities who use their app such as Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, Jonas Brothers, and many more. With TikTok only starting in 2016, it has taken off like a rocket breaking countless records for downloads in such a short period. In Q4 of 2018, TikTok surpassed Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook in worldwide app downloads. (media kix) In January 2019, TikTok passed the 1 Billion mark for global installs and was the 3rd most downloaded app in Q1 2019 with 188 million new users, growing 70% from just a year before. TikTok has been able to achieve these record-breaking numbers by being genuinely global. TikTok is in 150 different markets and 75 different languages. With TikTok being a truly global force, it looks at the top of social networking sites as its goal.

Controversy

In February of 2019, TikTok was hit with a record fine of $5.7 million by the US Federal Trade Commission. The charges were that TikTok illegally collected personal information from children. The FTC also says that in their investigation, they “uncovered disturbing practices, including collecting and exposing the location” of young children. Despite receiving thousands of complaints from parents, the company failed to comply with requests to delete information about underage children and held onto it longer than necessary, according to the commission. A day after the lawsuit, the company implemented a new app experience for younger US members, which limits the capabilities. The restrictions include not allowing them to share their videos on TikTok, comment on others’ videos, message with users, or maintain a profile with followers. In July 2019, the UK is investigating how TikTok handles children’s data and whether it ensures safety on its platform.

Conclusion

As these platforms continue to grow, you can expect to hear about them, whether it be from colleagues or your kids. Interestingly, all three platforms target kids as their primary audience; and because of this, they have run into controversy. Successfully controlling an app with both kids and adults has proven a challenge. With no lack of users, once these apps figure out the solutions to these problems, there’s no limit on their potential.

3 Strategies to Market Specifically to Gen Z

For a long time, millennials stood out as a major focus of marketers’ minds. Now, however, the landscape is beginning to shift. Generation Z (born roughly 1995 onwards) is growing up and coming into their own purchasing power. Even the ones that are too young to spend their own money are important, as they have influence over their parents’ wallets. This is a valuable group for marketers to keep in mind because according to Bloomberg, Gen Z is set to outnumber the global millennial population by the end of next year.

Teen girl sitting on ledge

Members of Gen Z differ widely from millennials in which marketing strategies best resonate with them. This is because Gen Z has had different influences that shaped them. “Z” is the first generation to grow up in a world of widespread internet, social media, and smartphone use. On top of this, their early lives were impacted by the recession of 2008 and the “war on terrorism” following 9/11. These events, while they may not remember them, have had a substantial impact on shaping their worldview, values, and goals. 

Gen Z hasn’t grown up with faith in the American Dream the way their Gen X or millennial parents did. They understand that working harder doesn’t always lead to more financial success. Instead, they want to see campaigns that put forward authenticity and advocacy. In fact, according to Inc.com, 93% of Gen Z stated that their openness to working with a company depended on the way that company impacted society. What is the most challenging part of creating a marketing strategy for this generation? In a world of so much information, brands need to be able to captivate quickly; Gen Z has only about 67% of the attention span of millennials. 

1. Utilize an authentic brand voice

This generation cares about brands that are reflections of themselves and their values. They don’t want the manicured idealism that the previous generation sought in their ads. Instead, Gen Z wants to see brands that feature diversity and care about social change. Of course, this can’t feel forced, so focus on causes that make sense for your brand. This generation’s interest is peaked much more often by endorsements from people that look like them. A great way to integrate real people into your campaigns is to utilize micro influencers – individuals with followings ranging from a few thousand to tens of thousands. Often they have a stronger connection with their audience than larger influencers due to appearing more accessible.

2. Create content that sticks

It is estimated that the average person, this cohort included, sees upwards of 4,000 ads every single day. On top of this, the shortened attention spans of Gen Z makes it even more challenging for marketers to create stand-out content. How do you do this in a way that grabs the attention of the young and impatient? An infographic by Adweek suggests that up to 95% of Gen Z watches YouTube videos, so try implementing your brand on that platform or making short video ads. The short attention span of this group is another reason why you should also state your brand’s unique selling proposition right out of the gate. Bonus points if you can do this in a way that draws on powerful emotions like humor. Lastly, you want your content to stick for the *right* reasons. One major marketing faux pas is trying to relate to the modern youth but missing the mark completely (go check out r/fellowkids if you need some more context). Before you share your content with the Gen Z world, do your best to ensure that it’s still relevant and will be received positively. 

3. Market digitally

This is the generation that was born with internet technology seamlessly integrated and practically at their fingertips, so marketing to them should reflect this. According to a study published by WP Engine, 27% of Gen Z stated that they could not go more than an hour without accessing the internet. If you want a targeted focus, heavy-hitting social channels for Gen Z are YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok. On these platforms, gifs, memes, and emojis can make a great impact. Another important statistic to note comes from a study done by ContentSquare; It showed that Gen Z is twice as likely to convert on mobile than other generations. This means that brands should focus on optimizing for mobile use – whether it be websites or emails, expect that Gen Z is viewing your stuff on their phones or tablets. 

This has been just a small glimpse into what makes Generation Z unique among the generations that have come before it. With this new group of characteristics comes different needs that brands should put a substantial focus on if they want to see results.

5 Tips to Strengthen Your Email Campaigns

WRITTEN BY – CONNOR WOODS-TUTSON

Photo by Web Hosting on Unsplash

[Originally published on TechDayHQ]

When searching for ways to increase traffic to your company, the answer may be in an unlikely place: emails. It may surprise you, but for years, email marketing  has been a valuable tool to increase revenue and traffic to your business.

For every $1 spent, marketing through emails generates $38 in ROI (return on investment). When comparing email marketing to social media, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than twitter or facebook. (McKinsey)

Just like anything else, the better your strategy and execution, the better the results. Through research, our team has come up with 5 tips to strengthen your email campaigns to maximize results. 

Tip 1. Properly format your emails

Correctly formatting your emails is the difference between your email being read, or being put in the trash. 71% of people will delete an email immediately if it doesn’t appear correctly on their mobile device. (Litmus

Picking not only a professional template but one that is also mobile-friendly is crucial. 77% of email opens are on mobile devices, and yet businesses regularly overlook how their emails may appear on the mobile platform. Services like MailChimp ensure that your emails will display appropriately on different mediums. 

Tip 2. Constantly Test 

To ensure the effectiveness of your emails, it’s essential to continually test and look at the data to find your improvement points. Testing different subject lines and times of day for deployment can help perfect your email marketing campaign. Testing different deployment times can let you know the best time to send emails, and even what days customers are most likely to buy on. Messing with your subject lines, and maybe adding emojis, can also maximize the number of people that open your emails. Effective email marketers often use A/B testing to find the variables that cause the most change specifically. Through constant minor tweaks and tests, you can ultimately find the best conditions to maximize your email marketing campaign.  

Tip 3. A clear call to action

Having a clear call to action is vital in converting your email readers to customers. Email readers do not have all day to read through a long email to find out what you are offering or the reason you are emailing them. According to Milan Malivuk, director of Marketing at itracMarketer, you typically have about 5 seconds for the reader to find your call-to-action before they delete your email. Having one clear call to action will help you convert your email subscribers into customers. 

Tip 4. Personalize

Personalizing your emails can give your subscribers a sense of connection to your business. When readers are sent a mass email, they often won’t feel the need to open your email or give your call to action any thought. Even adding basic things like addressing the reader by their name or adding their name to the subject line will entice them to read and give your call to action more thought.

According to Experian, putting the readers’ name in the subject line increases the likelihood of the email to be opened by 26%. Following the one-size-fits-all model is no longer acceptable. In addition to addressing the reader by name, specializing the content of the email to the readers’ interest will also give them a greater sense of connection. Luckily with email automation, the task of creating these personalized emails is no longer difficult. 

Tip 5. Segment/organize emails

One of the biggest things you can do to increase your email marketing campaign is segmenting your email lists. According to DMA, marketers who use segmentation in the email marketing campaigns yield a 760% increase in email revenue!!

By sending different emails to different targeted groups, you can maximize your email marketing campaign. Grouping your email list by different demographics such as age or location, gives your readers emails tailored to their interests. Different demographics can be interested in different products or offers, and figuring this out can create massive results. 

With the 5 tips listed above, you can turn your email marketing campaign from an add-on to your business to your primary source of revenue. With the constant evolution of technology, email marketing has stood the test of time and will continue to be a relevant part of a successful business. 

We always love to hear from readers and we’re excited to be posting here on TechDayHQ. What methods are you using to strengthen your email campaigns? Any we missed? Reach out with insights. Thanks for taking this in!

Three CBD Marketing Musts!

WRITTEN BY SERENA HUGHES, EDITED BY MacEWEN PATTERSON

If you’ve somehow managed to miss it: products infused with CBD aka cannabidiol have been massively on the rise in the past few years. If there’s a product that you can eat or apply, chances are there is someone out there who’s managed to add cannabidiol. This single ingredient is not just reserved for specialty health food shops – even major chains like CVS have begun to carry numerous CBD-containing products. The market is growing so rapidly, in fact, that it is estimated to reach $20B by 2024.

CBD… it’s everywhere!

If you’re not familiar with this term, cannabidiol is a chemical found in cannabis, alongside about one hundred others like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While the marijuana plant has more THC, the hemp plant contains majority CBD and minimal THC. In fact, to be classified as hemp, a cannabis plant can contain no more than 0.3% THC. To stay in line with current laws, manufacturers can only currently use hemp-derived CBD due to the lower THC content.

CBD has garnered a following from it’s reported ability to treat pain, anxiety, and a variety of other ailments without the high of THC. Last year’s amendment to the Farm Bill removed hemp from the schedule I controlled substances list, where it sat alongside psychoactive substances like heroin and LSD. Now regulation surrounding CBD is in the hands of the Food and Drug Administration, who had their first regulatory hearing on May 31st, 2019. The plan for these hearings arose after people voiced concerns. The apprehension surrounding CBD ranges from the side effects of regular exposure to unsubstantiated health claims attached to some products. With the increasing scrutiny on CBD, it is crucial to keep several things in mind when determining how you’re going to market your CBD product. 

1. Understand where to advertise…

Currently, the two major advertising giants, Google and Facebook, do not allow for the promotion of CBD products through their platforms. Don’t get defeated, though, as there are many alternatives to embrace. You may find that utilizing influencers in related industries such as the health/wellness communities is an excellent way to get your product exposure. These don’t need to be influencers with huge followings either – influencers with smaller audiences have shown to have up to 85% more engagement than users with large followings. 

Native advertising – i.e., ads that conform with the style of content of the publication in which they appear – is another great way to integrate your CBD products into the marketplace seamlessly. A surprising option is to leverage Amazon, which does currently for the sale of CBD infused products on its platform. If you’ve got a bit of extra cash, you can even pay to show up at the top of specific searches.

2. Check your language…

Over the past few years, the FDA has issued warning letters to several companies who manufactured products containing CBD. Due to the increasing scrutinization of CBD by regulatory authorities, it is vital to make sure that all of your branding and copy falls in line with the law. As it stands now, the FDA views CBD as a drug rather than a supplement and is not currently approved as a food additive for humans or animals. Though there is a lack of clarity in what is and isn’t okay, what is clear is that the FDA does not take kindly to companies who make health claims about products containing cannabidiol. To find out more about FDA regulations regarding CBD, you can visit https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-questions-and-answers#othercbdapproved . It is also advisable to speak with a lawyer who has experience in navigating the niche landscape that is bringing CBD products to market. 

3. Know your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)…

With so many CBD products in the market, it’s critical to differentiate yourself from the others. Is your product meant for the bougie connoisseur, or are you targeting the everyman?  Whether it’s the dosage, the mode of delivery, where the hemp is sourced from, etc. know what makes your product unique in the market so you can properly promote that. Everything from your packaging to your copy should be a reflection of who your brand is at its core. Again, though, in line point #2, make sure that what you’re saying about your product is in line with FDA regulations. Making health claims isn’t worth it if it means your company gets shut down. 

Our agency serves several brands in the CBD space and we effectively market them on popular platforms by adhering to the compliance guidelines set forth, and by focusing on outcomes. We work with our mutual teams to arrive at copy and creative that demonstrate how the product improves the customer’s life, which is what the shopper is ultimately curious about anyway. Removing trigger words, using landing-pages, and incorporating everyday images are all strong approaches to illustrating outcomes and working compliantly to market your products on large platforms.

The CBD space is continually evolving, meaning your marketing plan should be too. Find the right mediums by which to advertise and share your product, pay attention to the laws, and know what makes your product stand out. One way to do this is to find an agency that has experience in the consumer packaged goods business and can help guide you in the right direction for your CBD product. What’s your favorite CBD product right now? Who’s marketing stands out to you?

Let us know in the comments. 

Top Ten Emojis In Marketing

written By Serena Hughes & James augliera

It has been just twenty years since the first emoji was introduced into our vocabulary. Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita is credited with creating the first emojis, as part of the development of an interface for an early mobile internet platform by cell-phone carrier DOCOMO. The word emoji itself originates from Japanese, combining the words for “picture” and “character.” Since their inception in 1999, emojis have been widely adopted across various social platforms for their ability to convey what words cannot.

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In fact, 95% of internet users have used emojis at some point in their life. Many brands have begun to realize an appreciation for emojis as they’re humanizing – giving a brand personality. On top of this, emojis have been shown to massively increase engagement. For example, including emojis in posts has shown to increase Facebook likes by up to 57% and Twitter engagement up to 25.4%. With so many emojis to choose from (3,019 in the Unicode Standard to be exact!), though, it’s easy to get stuck when deciding which are the right ones to use for your messaging. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten emojis to use in marketing.

But before we get into the list, let’s take a look at…

Some pro tips:

  • It’s best to leave emojis in the subject line. Many email publishers were created when words were enough. Due to the way Mailchimp’s HTML code is set up, it doesn’t always properly support emojis in the body of text. Take a close look at your email publisher when considering the emoji-load you plan to employ.
  • Emojis do not render universally. In order to prevent miscommunications in your copy, avoid replacing actual words with emojis. Instead, opt to use them as accessories to your messaging.
  • Don’t overload on emojis. You’ve likely seen instances online where too many emojis result in an overwhelming eyesore. It’s better to be selective with what you choose to use.
  • Make sure you understand the context. Some emojis are relatively ambiguous in their meaning. For example the sign of horns emoji (🤘), often associated with rock culture in North America, is actually an offensive gesture in some Mediterranean and Latin cultures.

And now…

seven yellow emoji balls

World’sTop-Ten Marketing Emojis.

🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶

  1. 🔥 FIRE!!

The flame emoji is a great way to emphasize that something is hot or trending. It also works well when paired with slang, as in when people state that something is “flames” or “lit”. One of the top emojis on Emojipedia in 2018, it is also great for expressing warmth in a literal sense, such as when describing a product that will keep you warm in chillier months.

Example: “We’re loving these neon sneakers from our new collection 🔥. What do you guys think?”

2. 🚨 I think they have these things on the top of hockey nets.

While often described as a police siren light, flashing light emoji can be used to capture users’ attention (without needing to break any laws!). You might consider using this bold, red emoji when making a big announcement.

Example: “🚨Our biggest sale of the year is on right now! 🚨 No better time to grab things at 40% off!”

3. 🙌 If this emoji made a noise it would sound like a church choir.

The raised hands emoji typically denotes success, approval or appreciation. It can be useful for showing that you appreciate something, whether it be a comment from a follower or a new product your company is launching.

Example: “Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us @sarah! It means a lot 🙌”

4. 💥 A firework?¿?

With its bright colors and jagged edges, the explosion emoji aka the collision emoji, is perfect for showing that an exciting event is happening (ex. a sale), or to reveal a surprise.

Example: 💥💥💥Come check out our pop-up this week! We’ve got a giveaway for the first 100 people that show up.”

5. 🚀 Oh the rocket ship.

An emoji that was available in the first IOS version in 2008, the rocket emoji has the ability to emphasize that a new product or campaign is about to launch or has launched. This emoji is also great for expressing excitement (ie you’re ready to go).

Example: “We just launched 🚀our initial crowdfunding campaign. Check it out!”

6. ⏰ No one under 25 has ever seen one of these in real life.

The clock emoji can be used as a reminder that a campaign/sale is about to end, or that a product is almost out of stock. A version of this existed as part of Kurita’s 176 original emojis.

Example: “Time is running out to get your limited edition eyeshadow palette ⏰! Grab one now before they’re gone.”

7. 🙀 Be better than the cat.

The shocked cat face emoji can be used to indicate surprise, shock or awe. Try using it when you’re dropping a big announcement, like a sale, or new product/service.

Example: “🙀We’re moving! That’s right, we’ve got a new, bigger and better location at Westerfield mall. Hope to see you there!”

8. 🎉 A party popper!

The party popper emoji is commonly used in relation to a celebration. It may be useful when discussing a milestone or big event. More specifically, it can be used to express excitement for a particular holiday.

Example: 🎉We just turned 10. Happy birthday to us! We’re celebrating by giving all new members a 10% discount!”

9. 😍 This is what I send my girlfriend when I don’t feel like telling her I don’t care what color her nails are

Whether it be to show a great appreciation for a user promoting your products, or as a way to show your excitement for an upcoming event, the heart eyes emoji has many uses. One of the top 20 emojis on Twitter, this emoji is popular with apparel, payment card, fast food, and alcohol brands according to Brandwatch.com.

Example: “ 😍😍😍We love seeing people use our products. Share a picture with us for a chance to be featured on our page!”

10. 👇 *Boop*

A great tool for increasing engagement, the hand pointing down can be used to indicate that you want users to watch a video, click a link or comment below a post. This emoji is also great to include in calls-to-action.

Example: “Want to learn how to get the most out of our product? Take a look the video below to find out! 👇”

🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶🔸🔶

As you can see from the list above, there are a multitude of ways to include emojis in your messaging. The colorful images break up bodies of text and make what you’re saying more visually appealing. Whether it be at the beginning, middle, end of a sentence or including multiple in a row, emojis can add some extra flair. Of course, it goes without being said that the above emojis are not a comprehensive list of all the possibilities you can use to enhance your content and copy.

While the emojis listed provide some great options for communicating with your audience, it’s important to experiment with what works best for your brand’s voice and the context of the writing. It’s also important to keep in mind that emojis show up differently on different platforms (ex. IOS vs Android vs Facebook vs Twitter all show different versions). Be sure to make sure that the message you’re trying to convey still translates properly across different platforms.

If you get it right – by using emojis that suit your brand and the message you are trying to convey – you could see fantastic payoffs for your engagement. Now that’s something to get excited about. 👏🥂🎉