1. Social media is popular — really, really, popular

You don’t need to be a dedicated reader of tech blogs or an expert in online marketing to know that social media is really popular among consumers.

According to the Pew Research Center, 65 percent of American adults use social networks, which means that social media will touch nearly every customer that walks through your door.

Having a social media presence that’s accessible via mobile can improve the chances of your business getting found when someone is searching for a place to eat or a product to buy, while on-the-go.

 

2. Social media helps you gain valuable customer insights

Social media generates a huge amount of data about your customers in real time. Every day there are over 500 million Tweets4.5 billion Likes on Facebook, and 95 million photos and videos uploaded to Instagram. Behind these staggering numbers is a wealth of information about your customers—who they are, what they like, and how they feel about your brand.

Through daily active engagement and social listening, you can gather relevant customer data and use that information to make smarter business decisions.

 

3. Social media reaches all ages and demographics

Social media defies age barriers. A 2015 Pew Research Center study found that 65 percent of US adults are using social networks.

Between 2005 and 2015, usage among ages 30-49 has increased by 69 points from 8 percent to 77 percent. So, no matter how young or old your target audience may be, chances are most of them are already logging on and waiting for you to get started.

 

4. Social Media increases brand awareness and loyalty

When you have a presence on social media, you make it easier for your customers to find and connect with you. By connecting with your customers on social, you’re more likely to increase customer retention and brand loyalty. A study by The Social Habit shows that 53 percent of Americans who follow brands on social are more loyal to those brands.

 

5. Social media users are active

One thing you have to know about social media users is that when they say they are on social media, they are really on social media.

Social media users in the US check their accounts 17 times a day, according to an Informate Mobile Intelligence report. While a customer may visit your store once a week, they could see your social media posts in their feed multiple times during the week.

 

6. Social Media provides rich customer experiences

Even if you aren’t on social media, most of your customers expect you to be. Over 67 percent of consumers now go to social media for customer service. They expect fast response times and 24/7 support—and companies that deliver win out. A study by Aberdeen Group shows that companies engaging in social customer service see much bigger annual financial gains (7.5 percent YOY growth) vs. those without (2.9 percent)

 

7. Social Media helps generate higher converting leads

Social media increases sales and customer retention through regular interaction and timely customer service.

In the 2015 Sales Best Practices Study from research institute MHI Global, world-class companies rated social media as the most effective way to identify key decision makers and new business opportunities. In the State of Social Selling in 2015, nearly 75 percent of companies that engaged in selling on social media reported an increase in sales in 12 months.

 

8. Social media is cost-effective

Social ads are an inexpensive way to promote your business and distribute content. They also offer powerful targeting options so that you can reach the right audience. 

For example, if you run an ad campaign on LinkedIn, you can segment by things like location, company, job title, gender, and age—the list goes on. If you’re running a Facebook ad, you can target based on location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and connections. You can track and measure the performance of your social ads in real time.

 

9. Social media can make a big difference for your email marketing

Social media has completely changed the game when it comes to how small businesses think of email marketing. Sharing your email newsletter across your social networks can open your content up to a whole new audience and generate the type of buzz you’ve been looking for.

Not only that, but you can also use sites like Facebook to attract more readers by including a Join My Mailing List link right on your Page.

Together, these two powerful tools have reshaped the marketing landscape and have really leveled the playing field for small businesses trying to better connect with current customers and reach new audiences for their business.

 

10. Social Media helps build relationships

Social media isn’t about blasting your company’s sales pitch on social, it’s a two-way channel where you have the opportunity to enrich relationships with your customers. It gives you the chance to engage and interact directly with your customers to build a bond.

For example, social media allows tourism brands to create dialogue with travelers, therefore creating relationships with customers before, during, and after they have booked a trip with the company. This kind of social media dialogue between brands and customers is something traditional advertising cannot achieve.

https://blogs.constantcontact.com/why-social-media-marketing/
https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-for-business/

Phoenician Awards art

Introducing the 2013 Annual Phoenician Awards debuting on October 2nd at the Arizona Historical Society Museum. This magical event will benefit the Banner Health Foundation/ Cardon Children’s Medical Center. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this amazing event! Here are all of the details: 

 
WHAT: TMG Entertainment will present the inaugural The Phoenician Awards ceremony hosted by Multi Emmy Award Winning Actor Ian Buchanan (General Hospital, Bold & Beautiful) recognizing excellence and exemplary achievement by individuals and companies throughout the Greater Phoenix area. The Phoenician Award is a “True People’s Choice Award” – voting has started and will end on Wednesday, September 18th. No Purchase or payment of any kind is required to vote, be nominated or to WIN.WHO: Over 300 prominent Arizonians will join to honor the nominees and winners in 35 categories from the Arts, Leisure, Hospitality, Entertainment, Retail, and Real Estate industries. Individual honorary awards (non vote), including the “Visionary Award” present to Bob Parsons, Founder & Executive Chairman of Go Daddy, “Lifetime Achievement Award” presented to Mary Manross, former Scottsdale Mayor and “The Humanitarian Award” presented to Debbie Gaby and Ed Sandidge.

BENEFICIARY: Banner Health/Cardon Children’s Medical Center, “The Phoenician Awards” will donate 100% of the ticket proceeds to directly provide tools and resources to benefit families in the Phoenix Arizona area.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. Business Attire.

WHERE: Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park
1300 N. College Ave Tempe, AZ 85281

TICKET PRICE: $30 – (100% from each ticket will be donated to The Banner Health Foundation/Cardon Children’s Medical Center)

 
To find out more information, vote, and purchase tickets click on the awards link below:

 

 

Hashtag2

Most communications specialists know how to take advantage of hashtags, whether it’s to optimize your posts, follow industry trends or keep tabs on a topic or event.

However, there are several ways PR pros can benefit from hashtags that are often overlooked, including:

Following the Right Hashtags

While trending hashtags get a lot of mention in the press, Ciaran Blumenfield notes they’re not always the most relevant to your company. 10 Hashtags Your Business Cannot Ignore identifies the categories of hashtags that are important for any business or not-for-profit organization.  They include:

  • Competitors
  • Industry topic
  • Industry experts
  • Industry conferences
  • Trade organizations
  • News
Analysis

Each business should then identify the hashtags specific to its industry and issues. Useful Twitter Hashtag Analytics Tools reviews three tools to identify influencers, find useful links and references, analyze trends and more. Among the tools listed:

  • Tweetbinder, which allows you to analyze chats to see who is engaged in conversations, who is most influential and which tweets and links were shared.
  • Tweetcategory, an iPad app that organizes your tweets around topics and hashtags.
  • Hash Tracking, which provides hashtag analytics like tweets, reach, number of contributors and their followers.

Benchmarking

How to Use Hashtags for Competitive Analysis delves into one key application of hashtag monitoring: benchmarking. If you’re tracking your competitors (and you should be) it’s also a good idea to evaluate which hashtags they’re using and how they’re performing, Blumenfield affirms. She includes the types of hashtags to keep an eye on:

  • Brand and Campaign
  • Events
  • Alliances and Partnerships
  • Community Conversations
  • Pop Culture

Measurement

Though not specifically about hashtags, 10 Ways to Measure Twitter Audience beyond Follower Count shares methods into measurement of reach and influence of tweets. As Nate Smitha explains, measuring your follower count helps you understand your Twitter audience and how to grow it more effectively. Measuring the reach and engagement of your hashtags is good practice to test what’s working and what isn’t.

 

For more information: http://www.cyberalert.com/blog/index.php/4-beneficial-ways-to-use-hashtags-in-pr/

kaylee_Intern

Meet our newest intern, Kaylee! Here are some fun facts about her:

Major(s): Public Relations and Advertising

Minor(s): Electronic Media & Film

School: Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff

Born: April 28th in Mesa, Arizona

Favorite color: Pink!

Favorite song: Right now? Like Jesus Does by Eric Church

Favorite food: Pizza. Any kind of pizza.

Best memory of 2013 (s0 far): Traveling to Europe with my younger sister for two weeks! The culture is amazing!

Why she likes social media: It’s great to keep up with whatever is trending and see what other people are interested in!

fridayhardwork

Here we go again: 5 reasons hiring a good PR firm is smart business

Here we go again: 5 reasons hiring a good PR firm is smart business
May 10, 2013 11:34 AM
Patrick Ward

I feel like I have this same argument at least twice a year when a disgruntled entrepreneur lambastes PR agencies. And I am invariably bemused when I dig deeper only to find the complainer has poured a bunch of negative experiences into a collective bucket and thrown the PR industry baby out with his or her personal bathwater.

So, following Kevin Leu’s recent post on “5 reasons you’ll regret hiring a PR firm for your startup,” here I go again, but this time I’ll mirror his points with my own five reasons you won’t regret hiring a good PR firm for your startup.

1. They will keep your story honest

I have always been a PR agency guy and have been working deeply with startups for almost my whole career — starting with companies like Sun and Autodesk in the late 1980s through launching Digital Chocolate and Webroot 10 years ago to companies like Evolv today. I have never met a CEO or founder who thought his or her product was anything but newsworthy.

Good PR agencies temper that enthusiasm and ingest some realism. No one wants to hear their company isn’t newsworthy, but some companies just aren’t. Good PR agencies keep it real and really good ones find other creative ways to communicate the company’s brand value. Bad PR people feed egos and apologize later — that serve’s no one’s interest. You want unfettered praise about your product or your company, it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, ask her. The more sober and honest you are about your story and your media goals, the more strategic you can be.

By the way, anyone who thinks a press release is anything more than search engine fodder isn’t paying attention. Releases have value, but no reporter worth his or her salt gleans stories from press releases. Press releases are for your web site and other, let us call them, receptive audiences (again Mother’s Day is Sunday). You want to tell a story? Write three good lines in an email to a reporter whom you know covers your company or industry. If you can’t hook them in three lines, you’ll never hook them. And if you don’t know who to send the email to, well then let’s move on to Point #2.

2. Their past experience means they know the right reporters and outlets

I have worked with Pulitzer Prize winners. I’ve worked with arrogant sloths. Some of my best friends are reporters. I’ve hung around them since my days drinking with the staff of Electronic News in 1986. That means my experiences color, influence, and inform every client engagement I take. My past successes don’t mean I can always make a future client successful, but they do mean I have access. If the story is good, it will get a hearing — and that’s a valuable thing in this competitive world. If it’s bad or even mediocre, all the contacts in the world won’t help. But if the story is good, then they can help immensely (see Point #1).

3. They may not know everything, but just might know more than you

There is something in the coffee at many PR agencies that makes junior and mid-level staff think they know much more than they sometimes do — but I’ll take a confident staffer over a tentative one any day. And remember one thing: they do this everyday, all day. So when an entrepreneur is dealing with QA or buying Aeron chairs, or in a board meeting, your PR agency is doing PR. So when they say it’s uncool to send a gift to a reporter after a story has hit, don’t send it. When they say is TA-reese, not TA-rez-A, listen to them. And when they say that your enterprise software story won’t work in TIME Magazine, they’re right. Oh, and don’t always assume they don’t understand sometimes arcane technology — like what a software abstraction layer is. Sure, some PR people are, shall we say, over-extended, but others are brilliant. Again: babies and bath water.

4. They’re thinking beyond publicity

The more brilliant ones are starting to think beyond publicity. Clients complain about inflated clip reports because that’s the only measure some smaller-minded clients can think of. Here’s a fun fact: According to a Pew study a few years ago (and it’s absolutely trending this way even more now), about 10 companies represent more than 40 percent of all tech press coverage. You know which companies they are; there in the press every day.

So guess what, your media chances just got sliced almost in half. Moral of the story: you had better find another way to communicate with your audiences. The good PR agencies are doing just that. But if a client insists on making buggy whips, well guess what, we’re going to show them how many horses there are on the street. And I can guarantee you, the most carefully crafted ideas — at this time when communications are undergoing such rapid change – are not going to come from the PR manager at your new startup.

5. They’re a better value than an internal employee

That brings me to my final point. Anyone who thinks a PR manager can do the work of a PR agency is either cheap, has never had a good PR firm, doesn’t really care, or some combination of all of the above. And don’t give me some financial analysis that shows an internal hire is cheaper. If that were true, you’d have formidable accounting and law departments at every company in the US and fewer accounting and law firms. And the fallacy that a $100,000 PR contract is better spent on one or two employees is especially ill-conceived. With payroll taxes and benefits, any employee actually costs about 20 percent more than a service contract.

But, here’s the real kicker: When you hire an employee, you only get that individual’s personal experience. When you hire an agency, you get the whole team’s perspective and background.

Finally, what do you think happens to that PR manager after six months? He or she realizes that the growth path inside the company is outside PR and he or she starts to attend a bunch of meetings to demonstrate their other skills and assess where they might contribute to the organization in a larger, more lucrative role. Then, they turn to you and say, “You know, with all the other stuff I’m doing beyond PR, I’m really not getting to my core function and I think we should consider hiring an agency.”

There are business reasons to hire or not hire a PR firm. Many reasons are valid. But to dismiss any option categorically or to blithely substitute one’s own poor experiences as a reflection on an industry is questionable advice.

Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/05/10/5-reasons-why-hiring-a-good-pr-firm-is-smart-business/#BZFJhRIT5kfE84CL.99

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