Social Media Don’ts

Ever heard the saying “some rules are made to be broken”?  While this saying shouldn’t apply to everything (cough cough breaking the law), when it comes to being creative in marketing, some rules are meant to be bent so that you can be innovative.  With social media however, this isn’t always the case.  Due to its immense impact on today’s marketing and advertising campaigns, successful social media marketing strategies can go one of three ways: amazing, so-so and downright ugly.  To help you avoid the pitfalls of a social media blunder, here are 4 solid don’ts when creating content to share with your fans and followers that you should probably avoid breaking.

  1. Personal ideological views. Staying abreast of current events is a good thing.  It keeps you in the know of what’s being discussed and what is viewed as hot topics.  What you shouldn’t do is share your personal opinion on “hot topics” such as politics and religion.  Yes, your opinion matters, but when it comes to your stance on certain issues, we can all agree that sometimes we will disagree.  You should think of your business’ social media pages as neutral territory for sharing thoughts of interest.  The last thing you would want to do is inadvertently isolate certain groups of potential/current customers by creating opposing views that could very well offend a person.  By sharing views on issues that have nothing to do with your business may seem like honest personal self-expression to you, to others it can be a deterrent and make them view you and your company differently – in a much more negative way.
  2. Retaliations. Let’s say someone has some not-so-kind words that they decided to share publically on social media.  No matter how much your blood may be boiling, the WORST thing you can possibly do is start a “war” on social media; hold the sarcasm, hold the sass.  Not everyone is going to be happy with your services or what you say, even with the best of intentions it’s just how some people work –glass half empty if you will.  It takes being the “bigger person” and addressing your opposition with words of understanding.  Simply sharing that you value a person’s opinion, no matter good or bad, can show your fans that you are listening and actively taking action instead of blowing up; keeping it classy if you will.
  3. Blatantly obvious advertising. Native advertisements have taken some harsh criticism as of late and consumers are more privy to knowing when they are blatantly being sold a product.  Some of them aren’t happy about it.  Social media is a way to connect with your customers on a more personal level and they may lose interest in everything you have to say if they think you’re just showing them products or services simply so they will make a purchase.  Customers want to feel like they are an integral part of your brand whether being a part of a greater cause or along for the experience.  They don’t want to seem like simply a source of profit.  It’s nice to offer suggestions of products/services that you like with infrequent, promotional type of posts here and there, but it should stick to your overall voice.  If it feels foreign to how you generally speak, then chances are your customers will pick up on this and find another brand that appears genuine.
  4. Personal information. This may seem like common sense, but it never hurts as a reminder!  Sharing the location of your new office or where you’ll be volunteering with your team over the weekend are acceptable posts for social media.  Sharing your home address, personal telephone number (if not used for business purposes), social security/credit card information or where your children attend school are just a few things we wouldn’t recommend sharing.  If you’re going out of town on a vacation, share with everyone photos after the fact because it not only gives you great visual content that fans enjoy but it also helps to avoid any unwanted, surprise visitors.  Your personal social media pages should be separate from your business pages altogether.  It also wouldn’t hurt to up your privacy settings to protect yourself and others from having information easily available to strangers who may have ulterior motives completely unrelated to your business.  If you wouldn’t want the average Joe to know certain information in every day settings, then it’s probably best not to share it.

Perhaps you have heard of a company who fell victim to hitting enter on a social media post before giving careful examination.  All it takes is one person to see the post, take a picture and share it before it could become viral and a headache that could have been avoided.  Share practical social media guidelines with your staff so everyone is on the same page as to what is an acceptable post for your brand and what isn’t.  If there is ever any question, seek the opinion of an outsider to see what their take is on something before posting.  Most importantly, just always err on the side of caution.  Especially if offering any advice of a personal nature  as it pertains to an individual’s specific health or legal situation.  For more tips on successful social media practices or for help in growing your social media platform’s potential, contact McCauley Marketing Services to get started.  We’d love to hear from you; share with us some of your best social media practices on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

Heightening Your Social Network Security

Social media has drastically changed the way we interact with one another and social media marketing become an absolutely vital avenue for entrepreneurial expressionism.  Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn make it easier to connect with current and potential clients and allow more people to see your information in a shorter amount of time.  Unfortunately, having an active presence on social media also inevitably makes you a target for security threats.  Social sites are one of the most common avenues for malware infiltrations that could allow hackers to access sensitive company information or even post inappropriate content, damaging the brand reputation you have worked so hard to build.  Fortunately there are a few simple steps that you can take to help keep your network and your reputation secure.

Heightening Your Social Network SecurityFirst and foremost, make sure security is a priority and train your personnel to protect your systems from the latest threats.  Social media platforms are constantly growing and evolving, so giving your IT staff access to the most up-to-date information is vital.  Help IT understand how to protect the sites the company is using, and how to ensure threats don’t make their way into the business through employee pages.  A visiting client’s wireless device or even a few files transferred with a USB flash drive may be enough to transmit a virus into your network, so pay particular attention to internal wireless security.  While it may seem that simply disallowing and blocking social sites outright would go a long way towards protecting your company from attacks, this is highly inadvisable.  First, social media has so permeated our culture that people will inevitably find a way to access it, whether from their own devices or thru other means.  If they aren’t going through a company’s protected channels, then their connection is not secure and they are leaving your company’s computers vulnerable.  Second and more importantly, blocking social media also blocks incredible opportunities for your business, including competition research, customer relationship management, and targeted marketing approaches.  Employees intimately familiar with social media can be a tremendous asset.  Instead of locking out social media completely, institute policies outlining best practices, guidelines, and expectations for appropriate social media behavior.  List what platforms employees can access at work and explain that downloading files from certain sites can compromise your entire network’s security.  Help your employees not only understand which sites are disallowed, but why.  If employees understand your reasoning, they are far more likely to follow your guidelines.

Also, take some fairly simple precautions to make sure that your network and information remain secure.  Most social media sites come with privacy settings, but they are often difficult to access and remain inactive until specifically activated.  Teach your employees how to set the maximum privacy settings, as default settings leave you wide open to attacks.  Particularly astute users will even go further, using the privacy setting to protect brand reputation by controlling who sees what content.  Finally, even though it may seem trivial and aggravating, generating strong passwords can stop a myriad of problems.  Twitter accounts, for example, are frequently hacked simply because their weak passwords were easily guessed.  Don’t use your company’s name as your password, and make sure that all of your social sites have different passwords so that even if one site is compromised, the rest will remain secure.  Simply putting in a little bit of extra time to create a strong password that contains a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols can prevent hackers from posting all sorts of inappropriate links and comments and driving away your business’s hard won followers.

For more on the latest social media marketing tips and updates, follow McCauley Marketing Services on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

Interesting Facts about Marketing & Advertising

As technology continues to advance every single day and marketing strategies change frequently, we often stop and wonder where and when this internet frenzy first began. From content and email marketing, to mobile video and social media, there are quite a few interesting facts surrounding these mediums. After visiting various marketing and advertising websites, we’ve gathered a list of our favorite marketing facts that we wanted to share with you.

  • 20% of all internet page views come from Facebook.
  • Mobile video is the fastest growth sector in marketing.
  • 50% of clicks on mobile banners are unintentional.
  • Twttr was actually the original name of Twitter. A couple months before Twitter launched, the founders made the executive decision to change the name and rebrand.
  • Al Pacino’s face was on the original Facebook homepage, back when it was called The Facebook.
  • The first email ever sent was in 1971 by two computers that were sitting side by side.
  • To date, the most expensive commercial in history was Nicole Kidman’s Chanel advertising campaign in 2003 which cost $33 million.
  • 80% of small/medium-sized businesses don’t contain links to their social media networks on their websites—only 19.5% link to Facebook, and even less link to LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • On average, marketers spend over a quarter of their marketing budget on content marketing.
  • The 55-64 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic on Twitter.
  • Making up 57% of discussions, food is the most visited topic on Pinterest.
  • Though LinkedIn has a lower number of users than Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest, 2 new members join LinkedIn every second.
  • The average American spends at least 2 hours a day on social media networks from a computer, tablet and/or mobile phone.

As trends continue to evolve, we at McCauley Marketing Services pride ourselves on our ability to continuously adapt and utilize the most innovative marketing and advertising concepts and strategies which has kept us in business for a decade. We offer an extensive menu of services including advertising, social media, graphic design, writing/copy writing, public relations, SEO, SEM, and customer relationship management.

For more on the latest marketing tips and updates, follow McCauley Marketing Services on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest or contact us for assistance with your marketing strategy.

5 Refreshers for Writing an Impressive Press Release

Writing an effective press release is an essential skill for successfully marketing your business. In addition to thoroughly representing your brand, your press release should contain a few key elements in order to spark interest among your target audiences. The following tips can help you to convey your business’ message and establish a presence in the right media outlets and publications:

  1. mccauley servicesWrite a strong headline and utilize compelling keywords. Don’t try to be obscure or clever, your headline should be direct and grab the reader’s attention immediately.
  1. Your content should be unique and newsworthy. Ask yourself, “Does my press release have news value and do I have a human interest angle that will entice my readers?” Your content should be current; most individuals aren’t interested in stories they’ve already heard—picture yourself as the media reading this press release and ask yourself, “Would I find this interesting?.”
  1. Utilize the 5 W’s in your first paragraph. It is important to clarify the: who, what, where, when, and why. If you don’t grab your reader in the first paragraph, you are likely to lose them. Most people scan the first couple paragraphs of press releases, so it is imperative that you get to the point quickly and sufficiently.
  1. Include quotes. If you decide to add quotes to your press release, make sure they are concise and provide insight. It’s also imperative that you have permission if you plan to quote someone or you could end up dealing with copyright infringement or a potential lawsuit. If you’re planning on quoting copyrighted material, be sure to state the source clearly with all appropriate material such as the name, profession, title, and date or a link, where pertinent.
  1. Target your publications and media outlets. It’s essential to research the press and media you will be pursuing. Typically, a majority of journalists receive numerous press releases and pitches weekly and most end up unopened or deleted. By tweaking your release and doing the necessary research about the specific publication your pitching to, the more likely you are to spark their interest. Additionally, it is important to follow up with the media in regards to your press release, for example, in today’s society; you want to interact with your media on their social media to share your information, events, etc.

McCauley Marketing Services prides itself on the ability to identify each client’s individual needs and formulate a fitting solution that addresses those needs specifically. Our highly-trained staff of writers will thoroughly research your company’s respective service demographic and use an extensive network of print media resources and contacts to formulate a press release that maximizes your company’s exposure and profitability. With the rising popularity of online press releases as a valuable source of information, online press release distribution can also help to greatly enhance your online presence.

What would you add to this list? Head over to our FacebookTwitter, and Google+ pages and let us know. For more on creating engaging social content, contact us today and learn the latest in marketing trends and tools.

Email Marketing 101

When you’re in the beginning stages of planning your company’s marketing strategy, it’s important to include a variety of elements in order to reach a large target audience. Some of these elements include print and internet advertising, social media, and email marketing. Email marketing provides a convenient and inexpensive way to foster ongoing relationships with your client base. It should also be used as a tool to educate customers, announce specials, to maintain relationships, and attract potential new business. In order to be successful in email marketing, it’s important to understand the basics and properly utilize them.

email marketing in atlanta gaEmail marketing is not always an easy process. Without the proper knowledge, despite the best of intentions, your message can easily end up in the junk folder. Developing an e-newsletter strategy is just the first step. Next, compile your mailing list and choose the best e-newsletter service that works best for your needs. Finally, the most important part of the task is figuring out how to entice your subscribers to open or view your newsletter and keep them from opting out. Producing and sharing quality content is the basis for expanding your customer relationships with your audience which starts with your email subject line. The subject line is one of the most important essentials of your email because it’s what influences your recipient to actually open it. Your subject line should make an effective and thorough statement—you can be straight to the point and tell them exactly what they’re about to open, or come up with a catchy call-to-action.

Other components of your email such as your headline, personalization, images, and social media are just as important. Your headline is the next most important section of your email and it should clearly explain to your audience what you’re presenting. Adding a personal touch to your emails can also encourage your audience to want to keep subscribing, which can be as easy as just adding the recipient’s first and last name. Utilizing images in the body of your content can not only make your emails more visually appealing, but they also break up large bodies of text—it’s best to follow the 80/20 rule which consists of 80% text and 20% photos. Following this rule will also reduce the chance of your e-newsletter going into someone’s spam box. Finally, it is a good idea to include links to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms to open up all avenues of communication.

Implementing these basic fundamentals of email marketing will not only be beneficial to you, but your target audience as well and it can ultimately help grow your digital reputation. At McCauley Marketing Services, we help you develop email campaigns and create a stable email list and produce content that your audience needs while conveying your message efficiently. For more on the latest marketing tips and email marketing updates, follow McCauley Marketing Services on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

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