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April Digital Updates




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 Instagram takes on yet another rival network: Pinterest.

Instagram is already encroaching on Snapchat’s territory with its popular Stories feature – which succeeded in stealing Snapchat users – so it makes sense that the photo-sharing giant is now going after Pinterest with its latest update. To the joy of its users, Instagram introduced the ability to save posts earlier this year. Now, you can sort those posts into “collections” that are eerily reminiscent of Pinterest’s boards. This update makes it more important than ever for content creators to create truly valuable, save-worthy content to allow it to live a second life for a user, whether it’s a recipe, design inspiration or a secret menu dish at a restaurant. As Engadget sums up the opportunity for businesses: “If you can create your ideal outfit by saving posts into collections, you might be more likely to buy that outfit.”

#2 LinkedIn continues to undergo a complete makeover.

LinkedIn’s facelift is in full swing. While there isn’t one noteworthy update to include here on the blog, I wanted to touch on this because, as social media managers, we’re constantly learning and relearning how to keep our client’s content fresh as LinkedIn shifts seemingly every day. Important changes for content creators include: The ability to use video, new photo sizes and filters and a new algorithm for the feed. LinkedIn also plans to revisit its publishing tools, including the ability to save articles for later and improved tagging, ultimately making the blog posts look much cleaner and full of dynamic content like photos, block quotes and graphics.

#3 Snapchat is reaching an increasingly older demographic.

Snapchat isn’t just for millennials anymore. The app – which recently made its IPO – is experiencing increased usage in those ages 25 to 44, far from its typical younger audience. Forty-one percent of users ages 25 to 34 used the app more often today than during Jefferies’ first survey last June. Forty-four percent of the 34 to 44 demographic use Snapchat more now, the firm said.

It’s not atypical for older users to follow typically young early adopters to new platforms – just look at Facebook and Twitter. However, that migration sometimes drives the younger users away because the platform isn’t cool anymore, or because grandma and grandpa are now able to view their content. This shift may be a ways off for Snapchat, but something the app should consider moving forward. Hopefully, they can continue to provide content – from news stories to fun face-altering filters – to keep their original base happy while expanding to new audiences.

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.

BN7A3456 copy

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.

Five Social Media Updates You Need to Know About


by M.C. Rhodes

Here at The Wilbert Group we pride ourselves in staying in the know, and we want to keep you up-to-date on the latest social media happenings too. Recently, there have been a number of changes to our favorite social media sites.

Here are five changes to watch out for:

#1 A streamlined Facebook. Does your Facebook timeline look a little different? Facebook is rolling out a new streamlined design for both personal and brand pages. The changes to brand pages will allow fans to see company information (such as phone numbers and hours of service) right next to posts. The design will also be helpful to us PR pros who use admin features often.

These changes come in addition to changes in brand visibility we reported on last month.

#2 Who’s viewing you on LinkedIn. Public relations relies on connections, and LinkedIn is now making that easier. You’ve been able to see who views your profile, but now you can track your weekly views and see how your activity is increasing those views.

#3 Ideas for increasing engagement. LinkedIn also now gives you a way to build your thought leadership in your industry. It gives you custom recommendations for increasing views; for instance, it recommended me sharing a story on Google’s new search updates for a 230 percent increase in engagement.

The “Pulse” feature on the top of your homepage is also a good place to look for shareable information that is customized to your industries and interests.

#4 A new look to Google searches. Google is also experimenting with a minimalist approach. This week some changes to its search function were revealed for desktop users. Font sizes are increased, links are no longer underlined and AdWords-targeted ads now appear without shading behind them and instead a smaller ad marker.

These updates come on the heals of recent mobile changes, which Google Search Senior Vice President Amit Singhal described as being “cleaner and simpler…so you can focus on the answers you’re looking for.”

One has to wonder if the new ad layout makes for better sales, though.

#5 Faster Instagram. If there’s one thing we in PR can appreciate, it’s fast social media apps so we can update clients’ accounts quickly. Instagram for Android has been updated with improved performance. And again we see the trend towards simpler, cleaner interfaces.

Five Communications Strategies Used By Brands During the Super Bowl


by Caroline Wilbert

The Super Bowl offers further proof – not that we needed any – that integrated communications and marketing is here to stay.

The Super Bowl commercials themselves are no longer the end-all-be-all. Sure they reach a lot of people (although last night’s game was soooo boring ad buyers who picked the fourth quarter must be kicking themselves) and they cost a lot ($4 million for 30 seconds), but they now are just the centerpiece of an integrated program. That program includes media relations, social media, contests and events.

Five trends to consider:

#1 Start early. Because the surrounding PR/social media has become more important than the advertisement itself, brands now release their Super Bowl commercials early to start getting buzz, in both traditional and social media. Volkswagen was the first advertiser to release its Super Bowl ad online before the game in 2011 – and it’s now common practice.

This year, Axe was the first Super Bowl advertiser to share its commercial. Released Jan. 16, the spot steadily gained more than 3.5 million views and had been shared almost 15,000 times by the time the game started, according to Social Media Today.

#2 It’s all about the hashtag. Hashtags were used in 57 percent of nationally run Super Bowl ads, up from 50 percent in 2013 and setting a new record, according to Marketing Land. Some favorites:

  • Chevy: #SilveradoStrong
  • Bud Light: #UpForWhatever (Shazam)
  • Red: #Connect4Red
  • TMobile: #nocontract

Chevrolet used #SilveradoStrong to increase engagement on Twitter during the Super Bowl.

#3 Beyond the hashtag. Advertisers also used social media to stage contests and other promotions – most of which started before the game and will end after. Axe is letting people submit photos of themselves kissing, some of which are being broadcast on a huge screen in Times Square through Feb. 9.

Old Spice gave away Super Bowl packages worth more than $20,000 to people who called a phone number written on a legal pad by an actress in its Super Bowl commercial. The contest wasn’t promoted, but the company expected people to call. Two lucky dialers were surprised by Super Bowl trips. A follow-up tweet said: When you get a lady’s number, you call it. Congrats to the fans who scored our super secret Super Bowl tickets.

#4 Social Wars. Advertisers are not the only ones trying to leverage the Super Bowl for a competitive edge. The social media networks themselves pulled out the stops, as they vied to be the predominant “second screen” for Super Bowl watchers. According to a recent Reuters story, Facebook is aggressively trying to take “second-screen” status from Twitter. One of its tactics was to team with Fox Sports to showcase pre-game chatter from Facebook and Instagram users alongside typical game stats.

#5 Stay true. Representing the brand is still important. Every year some marketers just try too hard to be clever and forget all about brand message. This year, I loved the Coca-Cola commercial (and not just because the company is a client). The spot celebrated diversity and happiness – two attributes of the Coke brand. Of course, I immediately tweeted #AmericaIsBeautiful.

Five Ways To Get Involved With NAREE If You’re Not Attending


by Jamie Lewis

Next week kicks of the 47th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference, hosted
by the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE). NAREE’s conference, titled “Designs on the New Urban Grid,” will bring some of the top journalists from around the country to Atlanta June 5 -8 to focus on housing, commercial real estate, and urban planning. If you’re unable to attend this year’s conference, have no fear! We’re taking to social media to document this year’s conference and make sure everyone can follow along with the panel discussions and Q&A sessions. Here are five ways you can get involved even if you’re not attending — or make sure you don’t miss a single thing even if you are there.

#1 Follow the official NAREE Twitter account: naree10. This is where we’ll be tweeting out information from the panels, answering questions, and sparking conversation about new and emerging trends in the real estate journalism industry. Keep an eye out on Twitter for instagram and vine videos too!

#2 Check the hashtag #NAREE13. We’re encouraging everyone who attends this year’s NAREE conference to tweet about panels and Q&A sessions and engage with other conference attendees by using the official hashtag, #NAREE13. Tracking and using the hashtag is a great way to follow along and engage with conference attendees and speakers.

#3 “Like” The Wilbert Group’s facebook page! Throughout the week, we’ll be sharing recap blogs and vlogs (video blogs) from NAREE.

#4 Get visual! Maybe Twitter isn’t your thing and you prefer a visual format. The Wilbert Group will be snapping lots of pictures — a great way to see your friends and colleagues in action — during the conference and posting them over on our Instagram account. The username is TheWilbertGroup. You can also track the #NAREE13 hashtag on Instagram, too!

#5 Don’t forget the videos. We’ll be recapping the conference in video format over on Youtube. Keep your eyes peeled for daily and weekly recap videos, and Vine videos. You never know what the camera will capture!

We’re looking forward to this year’s NAREE conference and hearing all about trends in real estate. We hope you’ll be tweeting and following along with us!

This Year’s Media Game Changers


by M.C. Rhodes

It’s no secret technology has been a game changer for the media industry. With constant innovation moving us forward, the industry has had to reevaluate what constitutes news as well as the best way to get it to people. We’re taking a look at five important events in media from 2012 that demonstrate just how fundamentally and quickly the media landscape is shifting.

#1 Instagram Use Soars During Hurricane Sandy The massive “Frankenstorm” that pounded the east coast during October impacted the country’s biggest media hub—New York City—and underscored the importance of citizen journalism.

Those deep in the storm’s path reported exactly what was happening where they lived, without the help of fancy news cameras and professional reporters. Everyday people used Instagram, a photo-sharing service created in 2010, to spread pictures of the destruction.

Hurricane Sandy was called the biggest event in Instagram history, with 10 pictures per second posted with the hashtag #sandy during the storm.

#2 Social Media Changes Election Coverage The 2012 presidential election was a breakthrough in terms of how news outlets use social media to report news.

Twitter was barely a presence in the 2008 presidential election, yet played a huge role in this year’s election. Some of Twitter’s biggest nights in its history were around the televised debates.

The gap between what the media thought people are talking about and what they were actually talking about narrowed. Social media let journalists see exactly what topics, what quotes and what gaffes people found most interesting, driving (for better or worse) professional coverage of the election.

#3 Newsweek Goes Digital Only More publications are pulling their print editions and going only digital. But it was still a shock when Newsweek, in print for almost 80 years and one of the most popular news magazines in the world, announced it would be moving to a completely digital format.

As advertisers look beyond print to place their ads, we may see more publications following suit.

#4 Murdoch’s The Daily Fails The explosion in tablet use in recent years has driven most publications to at least consider a mobile presence. Rupert Murdoch took that idea to a new level, launching The Daily, the world’s first newspaper offered exclusively on the iPad.

The Daily was launched as an alternative to traditional journalism to lead us in the digital age, with some of the country’s top journalists on staff. The $40-per-year app was graphic-oriented and interactive in nature.

However, The Daily went under in 2012. The cheap subscription price could not support a staff of 120 producing all original content, because not enough people were willing to pay even $40.

In order to make money behind a paywall, publications must create exciting content that cannot be found elsewhere. It wasn’t enough for The Daily to use the hottest technology; it needed to have the hottest product as well.

#5 Twitter Needs Spoiler Alert for Olympics One of the frustrating parts of watching the 2012 Summer Olympics for many in the western hemisphere was that viewers knew outcomes before they saw the event. NBC chose to air many events in primetime in the United States, but in a world where information travels so quickly, the medal winners weren’t much of a surprise hours later.

Because of this, NBC’s live-streaming service was immensely popular, both online and through mobile apps. NBC’s Olympic app had 7.1 million downloads, the most downloads for any single television event. Twitter lit up during the opening ceremony, the most-watched Summer Olympics opening ceremony in history. Again the media industry saw the importance of social media and the Internet in modern-day coverage.