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The Wilbert Group Hosts First Social Media Breakfast

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0N5A5301 copyThe Wilbert Group Hosts First Social Media Breakfast

The Wilbert Group this week hosted our clients and friends at our office for breakfast and a discussion about the benefits of paid social programs. The wide-ranging discussion was led by our firm’s president Caroline Wilbert and our digital strategist Sabrina Harvey. Below is a glance at some of the highlights from our discussion including why organic is no longer enough, what platforms make sense for which brands, examples of successful campaigns Wilbert has executed for clients, and best practices for creating compelling content.

So, why is organic no longer enough?

Organic reach on social platforms has continually decreased over the past several years. For example, Facebook organic posts only reach two to six percent of the audience that already likes your page. Companies need to leverage paid social options to heighten engagement with compelling content, which consumers still find valuable, and eventually “convert” by clicking links.

For a more detailed explanation, see the video below:

Which platform is right for my company?

This all depends on your audience. Consumer-facing brands should be focused on developing strong Facebook, Twitter, and potentially Instagram (for brands with strong visuals) audiences to engage with people who could potentially interact with your brand and purchase what you’re selling. For B2B companies, LinkedIn is the obvious platform to focus on. Users there are expecting to see business content, so they’re much more prone to be interested in news and data concerning your industry and company.

The good news here is that these platforms allow for highly targeted demographics and psychographics within advertisements, including differentiation within income, location, age, interest, behaviors and more. Facebook allows you to upload excel spreadsheets with “warm” contacts so advertisements will be sure to reach them.

BN7A3467 copyWhat kind of content will perform best?

The big picture here is your paid campaigns should revolve around your strategic business goals. Are you trying to get people to show up for an event? Or are you building your social audience and establishing your brand? This will also vary depending on industry and whether your business is B2B or B2C.

But in general, you want to find the value propositions that bring your audience something that makes them consider you. Instead of posting a 100-page white paper, it’s probably better to pull a graphic with some statistics for your audience to quickly digest and pique their interest. Visuals are also very important for social media; video drives 24 times more engagement than other content.

Ok, so where’s the proof this is worth it?

Wilbert ran a highly successful campaign to reach prospects of a high-end luxury residential brand in Buckhead. The team leveraged the company’s robust email database to reach over 330,000 qualified luxury buyers and encouraged them to contact the sales team. This resulted in about 13,000 conversions, all in eight weeks’ time with a small budget.

This goes to show that with a high level of detail and focused strategy, companies can reach a large number of people that have similar interests to your company with a relatively small amount of money. 

Any last thoughts? 

  • All boosted/paid content should be proprietary content
  • Range of social advertising spend from Wilbert clients is $500-$2,500 per month
  • Social media is a balance of art and science. In order to be successful, companies need to trust their social media team to run test ads and use the data to make informed decisions on what ads will be best to reach the right people in the right place at the right time.

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Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 3/14/17

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  1. 17021416_1767730463252565_373011565381298796_nSt. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and Colony Square had reports that a leprechaun known as “Colin” was on the loose! It had been spotted at different areas around the Square leading up to last Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. To learn more, head over to CBS46, which featured an interview with Colony Square’s marketing director Carla Toro about all of Colony Square’s shamrock festivities.
  1. Hip-hop icon Common helped teens and Chicago police build better relationships earlier this month at the Boys & Girls Club of America’s annual Keystone Conference presented by Aaron’s, Inc. This CBS Chicago clip details Common’s speech to about 2,500 teens from all over the world. These teens came together with Common to discuss bridging relationships between teens and police, building trust, and not relying on stereotypes. Also standing on stage was Chicago Police Deputy Chief of Community Policing Eric Washington.
  1. Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 10.34.26 AMAccording to a recent Eater Atlanta article, Alpharetta’s Avalon development will unveil a slew of new restaurants next month. North American Properties announced that seven new projects will come online April 13 as the development officially unveils its Boulevard East expansion. The openings include Barleygarden Kitchen & Craft Bar, Brine Seafood Shack, MF Bar and much more.
  1. There’s lots of talk about what the United States can expect from President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch. But how will this justice, if confirmed, affect employers across the country? Albert Brannen, managing partner of the Atlanta office of Fisher Phillips, penned a recent op-ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution describing how Gorsuch would treat workplace law cases.
  1. Are you thinking about freshening up your home this Spring? Whether you’re preparing to sell your home or just want an overhaul, a recent Atlanta Journal Constitution article has three ways to upgrade your home’s walls, featuring advice from Megan Harris, director of design at Edward Andrews Homes. Harris recommends using wallpaper with bold prints in areas like the foyer, a guest bathroom, a media room, or even as a focal point behind the bed.

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Making News: Our Clients in the Headlines 11/3/16

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  • screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-2-28-02-pmThanksgiving is a day for being grateful for family and friends and this year, Atlantic Station is urging its stores to close on the November holiday. In a recent memo sent to its 48 retailers, Barbara Garret, the general manager of Atlantic Station, encouraged stores to “prioritize time spent with friends and family.” Garret continued, “Closing on Thanksgiving will not only boost employee morale, but also allow our retailers to refocus efforts on Black Friday, a more lucrative shopping day for our retail mix.” To read more about Atlantic Station’s decision, check out this 11 Alive article.
  • The Atlanta Apartment Association’s 29th Annual Food-A-Thon capped off this year’s drive with a big parade last month. The event is in partnership with the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Organizers said the goal is to help provide food to hungry families in metro Atlanta and north Georgia. Fox 5 Atlanta has a great photo gallery of the parade, which raised enough money to provide 7.8 million meals to the hungry.

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  •  Amazon’s business model is rubbing off on retailers, and changing the way we shop in traditional brick-and-mortar stores. In late September, Bed, Bath and Beyond began testing a beta version of its new “Beyond+” loyalty program, which takes a page out of Amazon Prime’s handbook, offering perks that include free shipping and 20 percent off every purchase, for an annual membership fee of $29 per year. According to a recent Business Insider article quoting Revenue Analytics’ Jared Wiesel, “The success of Amazon Prime has permanently altered customer perceptions about paying for shipping.”
  • Hoteliers are concerned about slowed revenue growth matched with increasing expenses, particularly as the industry cycle nears its peak. David Marvin, founder and president of Atlanta-based Legacy Ventures, shared his strategies for how to control costs as revenue continues to grow, though at a slower pace. Speaking with Hotel News Now, Marvin said the recovery has been anemic. Demand has slacked, but is growing, and supply remains within the long-run averages. Therefore, he expects the industry to bump along at its current level of revenue per available room with some slight improvement in the future.
  • Did your office have a Halloween party this year? Hopefully you avoided this potential pitfall to the scary fun. According to a recent 11 Alive article quoting Fisher Phillips Josh Viau, “Halloween parties often do not get as much attention as other holiday celebrations in the office, but the costume element actually adds an extra element of risk for employers.” Viau continued, “To address this added element, employers should be sure to clearly communicate their expectations beforehand.”

Media Moves: Brenda Wood to Retire from 11Alive

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brenda-wood

Veteran news anchor Brenda Wood of 11Alive recently announced plans to retire from 11Alive in February of next year. Wood stated on 11Alive’s blog that she has, “. . .decided to finally follow my passion, to pursue my longtime dream to develop, produce and give creative voice to new and meaningful artistic projects outside of news.”

She has been with the station for the last 20 years of her 40-year career and has interviewed an array of public figures from President Jimmy Carter to civil rights icon Ambassador Andrew J. Young to Cher.

She has won more than 20 Emmys and was named the 2014 Atlanta Press Club Hall of Fame recipient, among other awards. Prime time specials hosted and produced by Wood include: “Remembering the 1996 Olympics,” “A Conversation Across America,” “50 Years of Change,” “Mission of Hope,” and multiple editions of the Emmy winning magazine show “Journeys with Brenda Wood.”

Know Your (Social) Audience

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Social media can be an incredible tool for a company to engage with its audiences and gain recognition. As companies become more social media savvy, there’s a natural desire to have a dominating presence on every social media channel. However, a platform that makes sense for one company might not make sense for another.

For example, many of The Wilbert Group’s clients are in the real estate industry. When we begin a social media program, we work with the client to identify who the audience is and what story the company wants to tell. We then make recommendations around which social media networks make sense for the company, and develop content that appropriately speaks to the audiences using those networks.

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For residential real estate, varying price points mean completely separate audiences. If the homes are targeting millennials, a strong Instagram presence is key. On the luxury side, those buyers may be Baby Boomers, who are more active on Facebook. For commercial real estate, a retail developer potentially has a need for a business-to-consumer strategy while a brokerage firm is likely targeting potential clients. While one client might have a need for a Facebook page, another should be focusing its efforts primarily on LinkedIn.

Social media can be time consuming and costly from an advertising perspective. With an increasing number of social media networks out there, it’s important to identify where your primary audience is spending its time to create a strategy that’s purposeful.

PR Lessons I Learned from ‘Shark Tank’

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14175093191_9c5cffdf72_bHi, my name is Savannah, and I’m addicted to Shark Tank. I watch old episodes, new episodes and Beyond the Tank. At least one TV in our house is turned to CNBC to catch reruns at all times. I buy products and eat at restaurants (and food trucks) solely based on their involvement with Shark Tank. In short, I am an addict.

While Shark Tank helps force me to think creatively — and always makes me wonder what my million-dollar idea will be — I started to realize over time that many of the show’s lessons are actually applicable to public relations. Below are my top four takeaways.

  1. A good, solid pitch is a must. Having a pitch that’s dynamic and gets to the point quickly is key in capturing the Sharks’ attention, the same way a pitch must quickly garner the interest of a journalist. It has to be just the right length while effectively conveying your message. If it’s too long or not getting to the point, you’ll lose interest. 
  1. Know your clients – their audience, competition and industry. The entrepreneurs on Shark Tank must know their business from top to bottom. Similarly, PR pros must know the ins and outs of their client’s business as if it were their own. If you don’t know your client’s target audiences, how can you create a plan to reach them effectively? If you don’t know their competition, how will you be able to differentiate them? If you don’t know their industry, how will you effectively tell their story? All of this is paramount to PR success.
  1. Confidence is key. Anyone who watches regularly knows that the entrepreneurs who enter the tank with confidence are already more likely to get a deal. Like Shark Tank, confidence can make or break you. Clients are looking to you for your expertise in PR, and if you’re unsure of yourself it shows. A PR pro that’s always second-guessing themselves and their decisions can make a client nervous, and ultimately cause them to seek other PR help. 
  1. Hire people smarter than you. It’s completely OK to admit that something isn’t your area of expertise and hire someone who knows more about something than you do. Entrepreneurs are always seeking out partnerships with Sharks who can help them with a part of business they are struggling with, whether it’s manufacturing or marketing. As the PR landscape continues to evolve, companies are going to rely on and hire experts, like social media managers, for example, who can help a company continue to expand its offerings and grow.

Perfecting Your Pitches: Tips from The Wilbert Group Pros

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As a recent college grad, I came into the working world excited to use the skills I had acquired in school. However, I also was fully aware I still had a lot to learn when it came to the PR industry. Thankfully, at The Wilbert Group I have the opportunity to work alongside industry experts and former journalists who have years of experience building relationships with reporters and successfully placing stories. My colleagues have provided me with tactics to improve my pitching strategy. So for all those who are looking to sharpen your skills, here are some pitching tips from The Wilbert Group pros:

Don’t be afraid to put in extra work: Journalists are always looking for trends, so next time you are pitching, think about the bigger story. Instead of solely focusing on your client, do some research for the journalist and roundup some additional sources or examples of companies participating in the trend as well. Sure, it may be more time consuming, but the payoff will be worth it! Reporters will be more likely to run the story, and they will see you as a valuable insider. Plus, it is a great way to foster partnerships with others in the industry.

Offer reporters a digital tie-in: As people are changing the way they consume media, publications are looking for ways to adapt. Many news outlets have embraced social media platforms (event Snapchat!) to reach their audiences. Know what platforms the publication uses, and personalize your pitches. Many reporters are looking for ways to increase their social media presence, so provide images for Instagram or recommend creating a Snapchat story. By doing this, you can amplify your media hits and help your client reach a broader audience.

Make it personalBlog: Reporters receive hundreds of emails each day, so as PR pros, it is our job to help our client’s news stand out. Often times, that can be accomplished through a well-researched and personal pitch. Go beyond reporters’ beats- find out what they are personally passionate about and spark their interest. Read through their previous work and make sure to tailor your pitch to fit their writing styles. Not only does this method produce better media results, it also allows for more creativity and fun.

Of course, our industry is always changing, so it is crucial we stay on top of the latest pitching strategies. There will always be room to grow, but here at The Wilbert Group, we see it as an exciting challenge.

Top Six Takeaways from #NAREE16

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Wilbert Goes to Vegas for ICSC RECon 2016

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RECon, hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), is the top global convention for the shopping center industry and provides networking, deal making and educational opportunities for retail real estate professionals from around the world. An estimated 36,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors attend the conference each year.

With eight of Wilbert’s clients in attendance this year, Wilbert HQ sent Liana Moran to Las Vegas to show support and represent The Wilbert Group. Here are some of the stats from the last few days:

RECon by the numbers

What I Learned From a Night Out at Atlantic Station

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On May 4, Atlantic Station hosted its inaugural food blogger crawl. With the weather warming up, it was the perfect time to help a few of Atlantic Station’s most popular eateries unveil new menu items and springtime dishes. Primed with its distinct hashtag (#ASFoodieCrawl) and a list of top Atlantic Station restaurants, 10 Atlanta food and lifestyle bloggers and I headed to taste the new spring menus at Rosa Mexicano, California Pizza Kitchen, Chick-a-Biddy, and The Pig & the Pearl.

The cocktails were as visually pleasing as they were tasty, the food was a beautiful center piece at each stop, and the conversations never ceased. Overall, the night was a hit! Take a look at this social recap from the night Spring Food Blogger Crawl May 4, 2016 

Here are five takeaways for hosting a food crawl.

Send save the dates well in advance: Bloggers and reporters are busy. I had several people respond before and after the event and tell me they wished they could have participated, but already had something scheduled. Next time, we will send save the dates to the writers at least six weeks in advance.

Cap the attendance: Even though a lot of the writers we contacted had prior engagements, we still easily filled our quota. Our goal was to have no more than 10 writers on the crawl so it maintained an intimate setting where people would talk to each other. Ten was the perfect number. Most didn’t know anyone when they got there, but by the end of the night, everyone was talking and exchanging notes and business cards.

Presentation is everything: The restaurants did a fantastic job presenting the food and drinks. Every time a dish came out, so did the journalists’ cameras. Yes, that’s their job, but the plates were beautiful and everyone agreed. Some restaurants had servers deliver the food and explain the dishes, while some had the food already on the table, family style. Regardless, the restaurants focused as much on presentation as the quality of the food and beverages.

Know your audience: Name cards are on the list of things to add next time. Not only does it give a nice personal touch, but it’s a great way to note any participants who have allergies or who don’t drink alcohol. We had two writers who had special food requests – which the restaurants happily obliged – but having the servers know where the special dishes went without hesitation would have been easier with name cards, and would have been a nice touch.

Have something else going on: Atlantic Station hosts events in its Central Park year-round. When we were planning this event, we wanted it to be on a night where it was busy with people and activities. With the crawl starting at Rosa Mexicano, we had a great view of the park as it was kicking off Wellness Wednesday. The writers got a kick out of watching the yogis in the park, and after dinner we made a quick photo stop so they could all take pictures and jot down some notes.

The night wrapped up in time for another Atlantic Station signature event, Improv in the Park, which we encouraged the writers to attend as well. It was a fantastic event and such a fun way to spring forward into the warmer months.