The Wilbert Group Blog

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The Wilbert Group Hosts First Social Media Breakfast


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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Digital Updates: Tech News to Know


We’re all about keeping up with the digital world at The Wilbert Group and leveraging the newest technologies to help our clients tell their stories. Here’s the latest:


#1 Brands are using Snapchat as a digital marketing tool.

Snapchat is huge with the millennial set, and brands like haute couture giant Burberry are using it to promote events and products, including their spring 2016 collection. Fans were invited to follow Burberry on the photo-sharing app to enjoy a virtual front row seat at London Fashion Week, where the line premiered. While there are sophisticated live-streaming apps like Periscope, Snapchat is a smart choice for brands seeking to give a large range of consumers a peek into their inner workings and a preview of what’s to come. With 100 million daily active users, Snapchat has a wide audience and is easy to use. Other brands frequently sharing Snapchat stories to the masses include Taco Bell and Major League Baseball.


#2 Facebook is trying to lure journalists away from Twitter.

Twitter has become the news platform du jour, with a whopping 62 percent of users reporting that they have gotten news from the site. As such, it’s become the social home for many journalists looking to share or hunt down scoops. However, Facebook is trying to change that trend with Signal, a free newsgathering tool that makes it easier for journalists to find the content they want. The tool offers a dashboard where journalists can follow hot topics and track public perception, factors that could also be helpful for PR pros looking for emerging trends. This initiative comes on the heels of Instant Articles, another news tool from Facebook, signaling that the social network is committed to edging out Twitter as a news source.


#3 Twitter users can now pay with tweets, thanks to a partnership with Square.

Twitter is aiming to increase customer engagement through a partnership with mobile payment company Square by allowing users to make political campaign donations and buy products directly with a tweet. The new feature – cleverly dubbed “cashtag” – requires users to visit a site to enter debit card information once. After that, they’re free to make payments with a few clicks. This lucrative initiative will likely bring a variety of retail partners to Twitter.

Digital Updates: Tech News to Know


We’re all about keeping up with the digital world at The Wilbert Group and leveraging the newest technologies to help our clients tell their stories. Here’s the latest:


#1 You can now stream video live from Facebook…if you’re famous.

Comparable to live-streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat, Facebook’s newest feature “Live” allows celebrities to give their fans a peek into their lives via their news feeds. Currently, only verified users like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Serena Williams can try out this service, but Facebook says that they plan to make this experience available to all users as they fine-tune the product. Public figures already have massive Facebook followings, so their audience on Live will be much larger than on a less established app.


#2 Instagram quietly removed the option to add photos to a Photomap.

With its latest update, one of Instagram’s key features, the Photomap, was removed due to concerns of stalking when celebrities neglect to turn off the feature. While it seems to be a wise move on the company’s part, Photomaps were a visually pleasing way to display a user’s journey, and could be used for social media contests, scavenger hunts, and other fun ways to get users to interact with organizations off their smartphones.


#3 Getting your news from Twitter is now easier than ever before.

In 2015, many people turn to social networks to get their news fix, so it’s no surprise that Twitter is capitalizing on this trend with a “News” feature. The new tab, located in the bottom center of the Twitter mobile app, highlights stories from a number of mainstream media partners including USA Today and The New York Times. The service is similar to Facebook’s “Instant Articles,” however where Facebook hosts articles on its website enabling them to load quickly, Twitter only shows an excerpt of the article with a link to the full version.

Digital Updates: Tech News for Your Business


Digital PR is an ever-changing landscape. The Wilbert Group stays up-to-date on everything social media and tech so we can use that knowledge to arm our clients with the best digital strategies.

#1 A Change for Marketers. Facebook recently announced that it will change its timeline algorithm to reduce the amount of overly promotional posts users see in their newsfeed.

David Vanderpoel, senior director of product innovation at our client Sparks Grove, spoke to TechRepublic about how this will influence brands.

#2 Automatic for the People. In recent months, Twitter has amped up its ad program and allowed brands to share videos to users’ timelines. Now the platform must weigh the question: to autoplay or not to autoplay?

The answer could have a significant impact on whether Twitter keeps up with the growing influence of Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, says AdWeek.

#3 Hashtag Controversy.  Ahead of its “Cops Under Fire” special, CNN asked Twitter users to tweet a question they would pose to a police offer and use the hashtag #AskACop.

Because of recent news events, users flooded the hashtag stream with outrage and made it the top trending hashtag in the U.S.

#4 Easier Analyzing. LinkedIn is rolling out a newly redesigned homepage that puts your analytics front and center. It also makes it faster and easier to see what your connections are up to and view trending articles and Influencer posts.

#5 Free Analyzing. SlideShare has made its analytics free to all users, letting you view where, when and how people are viewing your presentations.


Digital Updates: What’s New in the Tech World


by M.C. Rhodes

At The Wilbert Group, we’re always trying to stay in the know about what’s happening in the digital space. From social media to tech tools, here’s what you need to know.

#1 Blackout. All Taco Bell social media channels went silent this week – Twitter account locked, profile photos turned to plain black boxes. What was the reasoning? Taco Bell released a new mobile app to make ordering easier.

On, fans were met with this message and a link to the app. A similar message greeted fans on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

It was a risky move by Taco Bell to shut down social channels on the day the app launched, but it certainly got us talking. What do you think about the move?

#2 The next generation of chat rooms. Facebook launched a new app called Rooms, which allows users to join groups based on a common interest – from beekeeping to beat boxing.

Users can use pseudonyms to identify themselves within the “rooms,” which each display a newsfeed with photos, videos and text updates. Is Facebook trying to target real-time conversations as it competes with Twitter?

#3 Easier photo sharing. Facebook also launched a new app to help users quickly organize and post photos from their phones.

#4 Mobile on the rise. Facebook now has 1.35 billion monthly users, a third of which are on mobile-only.

#5 But not a lot of growth for Twitter. The stock market is reacting negatively to Twitter’s third-quarter financial report. Turns out, the social platform isn’t gaining many new users.

Nate Elliot, a social media analyst with Forrester, points to lack on innovation to explain why Twitter remains stagnant.

The bright spot for Twitter is it saw a huge increase in revenue during the third quarter. Thanks to advertising, revenue doubled to $361.3 million versus a year ago.

Digital Updates: What’s Coming Up in Social Media


by M.C. Rhodes

At The Wilbert Group, we know traditional and digital public relations should be integrated for every client. We also know that keeping current on what’s happening in the digital space helps us create more comprehensive communications plans.

Here are five recent digital happenings that you need to know about:

#1 Hello Ello. Coining itself the “anti-Facebook,” social media site Ello launched in March, but has had a recent surge in popularity. But is it too good to be true?

On Ello, content is king, and developers claim they will never show users ads or mine their data.  A couple catches: it’s in beta at the moment so it can be pretty buggy and you need to be invited to join.

#2 Amped up app. Twitter updated its iPhone app to allow users to see more of a profile before moving to a different screen. User profiles display bios and photos more prominently and show a longer timeline of recent tweets.

#3 A roadmap for advertising. This week, Facebook plans to launch Atlas, an advertising platform to help marketers target and measure the ROI on ads they buy. Check out what The Wall Street Journal says marketers need to know about the tool.

#4 Wi-Fi for all! Facebook is moving forward with plans to use drones to bring Internet connectivity to all corners of the Earth.

#5 #Selfielapse. Wishing you could use Instagram’s Hyperlapse app to take videos of yourself? Your dreams have come true. Selfielapse mode adds a new button to the time-lapse video app so that users can easily flip between front and rear cameras. Get ready to hashtag!

Digital Updates: What’s Going On in Social Media


by M.C. Rhodes

At The Wilbert Group, we’re always trying to stay in the know about what’s happening in the digital space. From social media to tech tools, here’s what you need to know.

#1 Taking analytics to the next level. Thinking of putting an ad for your product on Facebook? Now you can see a report showing how often ads drive users to buy your product on a different device.

#2 More good news for advertisers. Twitter is testing promoted video ads as part of its Twitter Amplify platform. Video ads are currently available for brands, publishers and a subset of verified users. The ads use a cost per view model.

#3 An end to Twitter bullies? Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda took to Twitter after her father’s recent death and was promptly attacked by various account holders, leaving some asking how Twitter can help protect users from abuse. The site says it will revamp its user-protection policies.

#4 Where does my content go? LinkedIn’s Feed-Mixer decides what each user sees on his or her homepage, said LinkedIn Engineering Manger Byron Ma in a new blog post. Ma explained how your published content is distributed to your network.

#5 We’re No. 3! Reaching out to Millennials with your social media campaign? Brands like Taco Bell and General Electric are already producing content specifically for Snapchat, and maybe it’s time for you to hop on the bandwagon. It’s now the third most popular social app in that age group.

Crisis PR: The Top 5 Public Relations Miscues of the Past Month


by Mark Braykovich

A poor corporate response to a crisis or major news often makes matters worse. The Wilbert Group’s Crisis PR and Issues Management team keeps its eyes open for such miscues – so that we and our clients can learn from others’ mistakes.

Sheryl Sandberg. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

#1 The Facebook experiment: A couple years ago, Facebook notified 689,000 of its users that it was locking them out of the social network because they were either robots or had used fake names. The users had to prove they were real to gain back their access. Turns out it was merely an experiment. Facebook knew all along most of the users were legit; the real purpose of the tests was to determine if users’ emotions could be affected.

Regardless of the business and/or ethical merits of this experiment, Facebook’s PR response when this came to light recently left much to be desired. Rather than issue an apology – which seems prudent when you have 1.3 billion users – Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said only that the experiment was “poorly communicated.”

Sandberg, the now famous author of “Lean In,” leaned away from an apology along the lines of “we’re sorry we did this.” Instead, she only apologized for the way users found out about it.

Sometimes, saying sorry is the best way out of a mess.

#2 Walmart’s snippy editing: Amid the ongoing debate over the minimum wage, New York Times columnist Timothy Egan wrote that Walmart “is a big part of the problem,” paying “humiliating wages” that “force thousands of employees to look to food stamps, Medicaid and other forms of welfare.”

“Working at Walmart,” Egan concluded, “may not make you poor, but it certainly keeps you poor – at the expense of the rest of us.”

Difficult words to swallow in the Walmart C-suite, no doubt. But if you’re the world’s biggest retailer and the nation’s top private employer, certainly you have the backbone to weather such blasts. Not necessarily.

Instead, Walmart chose a PR response that must certainly have felt good at the moment it was conceived and delivered. Walmart PR man David Tovar took a digital red pen to the opinion column and sent the marked up draft to Egan along with this note:

The problem with a “feel good” PR response is that it can backfire. Such as when it goes viral on the Internet and other journalism organizations start fact-checking your edits. Or when people complain that your response is snarky and insensitive toward your own workers.

Sometimes, silence is the best response.

#3 Waffle House shootings: June was a deadly month at Waffle House restaurants. On June 1, a 43-year-old off-duty police officer – and father of seven – was shot and killed outside a Waffle House in Griffin, Ga. Then, two weeks later, a Waffle House employee was charged with shooting and killing a customer during an argument at a Waffle House near Atlanta.

Surprisingly, in the resulting news coverage, Waffle House remained silent. Regardless of the possible legal issues, it seems some corporate response was appropriate.

Something as simple as, “We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss of life” would have sufficed, or “We are committed to the safety of all of our customers and employees.” Or both.

Sometimes, no comment makes a company look heartless.

Manu Kumaran, former CEO of Medient Studios, at the groundbreaking ceremony for its new studio complex. Photo: Steve Bisson/Savannah Morning News.

#4 Medient Studios’ Silence: The recent swirl of news around Georgia-based Medient Studios has been decidedly negative. The SEC suspended trading in Medient’s stock over questions of the accuracy of publicly available information about the company, and the former CEO sued to dissolve the company he founded –a lawsuit that came two weeks after he was fired in a leadership coup.

What does the company have to say about all of this? Nothing. If there’s any hope for survival, it seems somebody should be talking.

After all, this is the same Medient Studios that created a buzz a year ago when it proposed to build a massive filming complex near Savannah. And a company whose stock has tumbled to almost zero.

Yet in the Savannah Morning News, this is what readers got a full day after the lawsuit was filed: “A spokeswoman for Medient said Tuesday the company was preparing a statement.”

Sometimes, silence is not golden.

#5 CDC’s anthrax response: It’s never good when your name is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the news is that dozens of your employees may have been exposed to anthrax. Just as troubling was that the CDC, an agency accustomed to crises, seemed ill-prepared to respond to one involving itself.

Many of the initial news reports in mid-June carried only a brief statement from the CDC, when a disclosure of such significance and seriousness clearly called for their leader to be front and center. But CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden steered clear of the media for several days, even when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a front-page article stating that the incident “is the latest in a series of safety problems” at the CDC in recent years.

Only after several days passed and the likes of NBC News, Reuters and the Los Angeles Times weighed in on the crisis did Frieden begin granting interviews.

Sometimes, your crisis PR plan isn’t as good as you think it is.

Digital Updates: What’s Going on in Social Media


by M.C. Rhodes

At The Wilbert Group, we’re always trying to stay in the know about what’s happening in the digital space. Check back often for the latest on tech tools and social media updates that will help you grow your business.

#1 Express yourself on Twitter. New features let you see more engaging content in larger font and filter tweets by their content. Redesigned profiles allow you to customize your look (great news for brands!).

The First Lady’s updated profile, via Twitter.

#2 A new way to advertise. Twitter is also taking adverstising to the next level with reportedly 15 new types of ads. It’ll be a whole new playing field for businesses to get their messages out.

#3 Major mobile milestone (say that three times fast). Facebook is claiming it has surpassed the 1 billion mark in terms of monthly active users on mobile. Still think your Facebook strategy is no big deal?

#4 The power of social media. Ever wonder what happens when a celebrity – say, Justin Bieber – follows you on Twitter? Mashable’s Kurt Wagner found out.

Kurt Wagner’s new followers, via Mashable.

#5 LinkedIn goes for a bigger piece of ad dollar pie. LinkedIn has launched Sponsored Updates Partners and Content Partners to boost brands’ ability to promote content.

Five Things We Are Betting on This Year


by Savannah Duncan

It’s started. It’s all over social media and television, consuming your mind and turning friends against friends, co-workers against co-workers. Yes, March Madness is upon us. Like most companies, The Wilbert Group has our own bracket competition going on, winner takes all. In the spirit of gambling, here are five things we are betting on this year:

#1 Advertisers continuing to find ways to use creative branded content. During the Sochi Winter Olympics, Visa took home to gold in advertising. Visa created a “Team Visa Mosaic” celebrating gold-medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White, using Twitter profile photos of people who tweeted using the hashtag #TeamVisa. Fans who used the hashtag received a tweet from Visa showing where to find their avatar within the image. Fans could also log on to a special website set up by Visa to find and tag themselves, as well as upload their avatar to the mosaic. The result? Visa received 78,627 social mentions from Feb. 7-23, 96 percent of which included a positive sentiment, according to Social Media Today.

#2 Social media playing a bigger role in live reporting. Move over live tweeting, there’s a new way for journalists to use social media to deliver almost instantaneous news updates. Big media outlets such as CNN, The Wall Street Journal, ABC and ESPN are using Tout, a mobile video publishing tool, to upload short sound bites from top executives, sports players and more to their websites and social media channels. More journalists are expected to use tools like Tout for on-the-go reporting.

#3 The media using interactive tools to capture our attention. When’s the last time you read an online story that was more than 300 words? The New York Times recently launched interactive stories on their website, designed to keep the reader scrolling through the whole story. By integrating moving photos and video clips into the text, the reader becomes immersed in an experience, making it harder to click out after only reading a few paragraphs. Check out “The ‘Boys’ in the Bunkhouse” for an example.

#4 Companies ramping up their social media game. Organizations like NASCAR and the NFL have created social media command centers staffed with people to track and respond to comments during live sporting events, according to NPR. And as everyone knows, a happy fan is the best marketing tool.

#5 More people needing PR services! PR helps to drive business and showcase whatever services or products you provide as the best on the market. In a world where everyone has an opinion and at least five social media platforms to express it on, public image is more important than ever.