The Wilbert Group Blog

Posts tagged Social media

April Digital Updates

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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

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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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Twitter’s New Moments Page Represents a Bigger Change in Newsgathering Habits

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If you graduated with a mass communications degree, you probably remember a class in theories. One theory that sticks out is the gatekeeping theory – the idea that journalists are gatekeepers of the news. They decide what is newsworthy and what is not. Journalists make these decisions carefully and with journalistic integrity. They have a responsibility to uphold to keep the public’s trust and deliver the news accurately, fairly and without bias. It’s a job the media takes very seriously.

 

These media decisions impact public knowledge – we the people don’t decide what’s front page, what’s on the 6 p.m. news, etc. But, with the explosive growth of social media, that model is changing. More and more are getting the news from social media where there are options to customize news interests and define the types of stories we want to read about. And with Twitter’s new Moments page, that paradigm shift is clearer than ever.

Twitter Moments

Twitter Moments

Let’s start with what the new Twitter Moments page is.

 

Twitter Moments are meant to represent the latest conversations happening around an issue regardless of who you follow. The new Moments page resembles a mobile news site with a selection of stories and topics. Slate gives a good example of how it works:

 

“For instance, if you follow a story about the South Carolina floods, Twitter will automatically drop new tweets from that story into your timeline as it develops. Once the story is over, you won’t have to unfollow it—you’ll just stop seeing those tweets.”

 

The main difference between your regular Twitter feed and Twitter Moments is the Moments are editorially driven. You can read more about Moments from Twitter here.

 

Who creates these Moments?

 

As of now, only identified Moment creators can add to the feed. Launch partners include the New York Times, Buzzfeed, Entertainment Weekly, Fox News, NASA, The Washington Post and Vogue. Twitter says it wants to work with a wide variety of publishers to contribute to the Moments page. Yes, these creators are the new digital gatekeepers and they are accountable to the same journalistic standards as traditional media.

 

The cool thing is the end-user (you, me, etc.) has control over what is newsworthy on an individual level. Do you want to read about world news? U.S. news? Politics? Sports? Entertainment? Or perhaps all of the above. We can follow a variety of stories from different beats without having to flip TV channels or thumb through newspapers.

 

What does this mean for traditional media?

 

Social media is taking the news seriously. Twitter has invested big-time in an editorially driven section. And they aren’t the first. Think about SnapChat and its Discover feature. Our newsgathering habits are changing to be more interactive and personalized, and the news will continue to be shared across a multitude of both traditional and untraditional platforms.

 

What does this mean for our clients?

 

Social media is a serious communication tool that will continue to build its presence in the market. As part of your organization’s communication strategy, it’s important to consider a multifaceted approach that includes social media.

 

To see Twitter Moments live, visit https://twitter.com/i/moments.

 

Digital Updates: Tech News to Know

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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.

Content is Still King

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It’s true, content is king and has been since social media came to town. But what’s different is how public relations professionals are now tasked more so today than ever before to produce that content. We’re media relations strategists and crisis navigators + a little bit media pitchers + a little bit social media experts + lot bit content producers.

If you haven’t evolved into a digital storytelling agency or PR expert, the time was yesterday. We must think about pitching journalists differently and think about stories from different angles (will that story resonate to their audience on Facebook?); we must use new storytelling platforms that help us widen our PR net; and lastly, we have to work with our clients to set our social / digital storytelling goals and create basic measurements to help track success.

 

Over the last few months, a few brands I follow really struck me as excellent content producers, and got me thinking about the PR engines behind that content. Here are three that are doing a top-notch job:

 

  1. The Humane Society of the USA This nonprofit is truly embracing the digital storytelling world, with YouTube videos that could have you tearing up one moment or signing up the next moment to have a homeless puppy delivered to your door. The content machines at this organization are on point, pushing out relevant and informative information to its audiences multiple times per day and through a variety of channels.
  2. Salesforce.com does one of the best jobs I’ve seen producing content and engaging employees (and us non-employees) on LinkedIn. For some reason I followed them a few years ago because they posted an article that I found relevant that popped up in my news feed, and they’ve hooked me ever since. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks so; they were ranked by LinkedIn as a top 10 best-in-class content producer.
  3. The Nature Conservancy. The takeaway here is that beautiful images often speak louder than words. From the company’s LinkedIn page to its website to Instagram posts, photos are the kings of content for The Nature Conservancy. The images also relate perfectly to the content they’re posting, making it even more powerful.

 

Are there other brands you think that are doing a great job with content? Let us know @TheWilbertGroup

Dragon Con – Starring PR as one of the Super Heroes

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How does one bring 70,000 people to the city of Atlanta? Enter the phenomenon Dragon Con.

 

Dragon Con Attendees Showing Off Their Costumes

Dragon Con Attendees Showing Off Their Costumes

A huge emergence of sci-fi and fantasy, gaming comics, literature, art, music, and film gurus, Atlanta is taken over by this special universe during Labor Day Weekend as attendees transform the city, traveling in costume acting out their superhero powers – and attending the convention.

 

As a public relations professional, I could not help but think about the PR campaign behind this sci-fi and gaming spectacle.

 

Dragon Con’s team created a smart Facebook media relations page and website devoted to media relations and awareness. Of course, those elements were just part of a multifaceted approach. From strategy to implementation, a PR campaign starts early and doesn’t end until the hard results come in – how many people did we reach, who covered the event, where are the opportunities for the next campaign?

 

Dragon Con Visitors in Batman Costumes

Dragon Con Visitors in Batman Costumes

Dragon Con’s record attendance speaks volumes about the effectiveness of the public relations team. After all, great PR drives more than media hits; it drives measurable results.

 

It takes the hands of many to pull off Dragon Con, but our role as PR professionals is and will always be to bring heightened awareness of an event, business, product, or campaign – and if we do it well, 70,000 Dragon “Con-ians” may just show up.

Digital Updates: Tech News to Know

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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.

New Report Shows Americans are Increasingly Getting News from Facebook and Twitter

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I first found out about yesterday’s attacks in my hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Twitter. And I clicked on stories from multiple news organizations in my feed to get additional information. I searched #Chattanooga.

 

Americans are increasingly getting their news on Twitter and Facebook, according to a new report released this week from Pew Research. Sixty-three percent of Twitter users go to the platform for news, while only 52 percent said they were doing so in 2013. On Facebook, 63 percent of users now go to the platform for news, up from 47 percent in 2013.

 

As a public relations professional, I have to ask what this shift in the media landscape means for my clients. I think it fundamentally means two things:

  • Companies can and should be their own media companies. If organizations are putting out content that is useful and engaging, people will read it. We just launched a new blog and Twitter feed for our client, Marlin, and I think/hope it will become a meaningful resource for small business owners across the United States.
  • Traditional media still has inherent credibility, but people may be reading a story from The New York Times in a Twitter feed instead of in the actual paper. When we secure good hits for our clients in traditional media, we strategically amplify those hits on social and digital channels. We launched a program this year called Wilbert Amplify focused on pushing traditional hits onto social channels; after all that’s where Americans now get their news.

Digital Updates: Tech News To Know

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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 Facebook is testing a new floating video feature.

A new feature in which videos stream as you scroll is available on some Facebook accounts, allowing users to watch videos as they scroll through their friends’ status updates. This multi-tasking update lets users click and drag the video anywhere on Facebook’s homepage. The idea is that it will increase viewership on videos and please marketers who want their videos to be streamed for longer than ten seconds. Similar concepts have previously been used on Samsung’s Galaxy S3 phone, YouTube’s app for Android, and Tumblr, and will be included on Apple’s iOS9 for iPad.

 

#2 You can now hashtag emojis on Instagram.

In a recent update, Instagram introduced hashtag-able emojis, opening up a new channel for social media branding. Emojis come in many shapes and sizes, including animals, food, buildings, and technology, so by combining one to three emojis, PR practitioners can create a unique hashtag for their clients, or use them for events. For example, a horse emoji and a rose emoji hashtagged together can represent the Kentucky Derby.

 

#3 Microsoft’s new app Tossup makes casual event planning simple.

Long group texts arguing about where to go to dinner may be a thing of the past with Microsoft’s new app Tossup, designed to poll your friends and streamline planning for everything from vacations to brunch. Simply ask a question – i.e. “where should we go for lunch?” and select polling options from Yelp or write in your own, and you’re on your way to an easy group outing. Friends can discuss the decisions in a group chat, or simply add options to the poll. The app, which can be used for any type of polling in addition to event planning, emerged from Microsoft Garage, which allows the company’s employees to turn their own ideas into real-world projects such as apps.

7 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand

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by Liana Moran

ICYMI: The Wilbert Group’s Liana Moran spoke at PRSSA Regional Conference, Brand Yourself