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Is your online presence ready for 2018?

Social Media Trends for 2018

It can be tough to keep up with the changing platforms and trends of social media marketing. For this reason, CC Communications has researched the following trends in order to help you continue to grow your brand online – here is a rundown of what to expect in the early onset of 2018.

Video Content Dominates

Customers recall imagery and videos better than text. Video content is therefore on the rise. If you only post text updates to your Facebook page, get ready to change your social media strategy.

Live features on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat have popularized video options from covering live events to announcing new products. We predict that next year, your social timeline will include even more visuals, including GIFs, videos, photos and animations.

Chatbots become Essential

Social media is where many customers go to get answers to their product questions and inquiries. Consumers demand quick answers  and chatbots help facilitate this. Chatbots allow you the opportunity to reply to customers instantly through social media messaging if you are not online or when a message is received outside of business hours.

A well-maintained conversation with your customer after a “cold chatbox introduction” is made should become a number one priority in order to #ConnectMORE with your target audience. A social media manager should follow up with all leads and inquires received to ensure that customers questions have been properly answered.

Mobile Use Continues to Skyrocket

Most social media sessions are accessed through mobile devices. Facebook reported 1.23 billion daily active users as of December 2016, with 1.15 billion of those coming from mobile devices. Taking the time to ensure that your ad is well-designed is important, however, a great ad design will not help if customers are directed to a website with slow load times and a difficult navigation structure. Prevent this by making your website mobile-friendly, user-friendly, and accessible.

Stay ahead of the curve by building a strong online presence now. Build an effective social media strategy before the ball drops in 2018 by booking your FREE 30 minute consultation with CC Communications today!

Online Branding and YOUR Business

As consumers are less frequently using traditional forms of advertising, it is important to start building your online presence now.

Google searches have replaced the need for a phone book and social media marketing has become an effective way to virally-expand your brand’s exposure on an epic scale. Compared to signage, social media marketing allows you the opportunity to record data regarding those who have seen and interacted with your advertisement.

Taking the time to build your brand’s presence online is a worthwhile investment. You will gain access to valuable analytics while opening a door for communication to your customers.
 
This opportunity to #ConnectMORE with your target audience will help you build trust with your customer and help your brand build a loyal following. Taking an online approach for your future marketing pursuits can also result in the following:

An opportunity to Build a Following – People are searching for you…
 

The sooner your business is online; the sooner people can find you. People are searching for your brand on social media channels and Google. It might start with just a few friends liking and sharing your Facebook page, but that leads to a wider audience being exposed to your brand.

Remember, word of mouth advertising is now spread online! Once you have a captive audience of social media followers, it’s easier to spread your messages to them and convert your audience into customers.

Own your own advertising goals

You are not limited to local reach when using online marketing tools. Your target market can be isolated or you can choose to expand globally.

The option for reaching a segmented audience is limitless and the data recorded for such marketing initiatives will help you plan for future campaigns and/or promotions.

Claim your keywords and hashtags!

Your brand’s hashtag is important, so make sure to claim your own before a competitive businesses does. Your hashtag helps your audience connect with you overall brand and helps people discover your brand to further your reach on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and more!

Getting your brand online leads to more exposure for your business and, as a result, can help boost your online and in-store traffic.

Join us at CC Communications’ Online Branding and YOUR Business Introductory Seminar on November 28th at Solo Trattoria in Sault Ste. Marie.

From 5:30 until 7:00 pm, you will learn how having and maintaining an online presence can take your business to the next level and help you #ConnectMORE with your customers!

Delicious appetizers from Solo Trattoria is included with your $45 ticket.

Get your tickets today and reserve your spot by clicking here! 

 

Secrets to create Engaging Social Media Content

Over 76% of marketers report that finding quality content is the greatest marketing challenge. Posting regularly to social media requires research, familiarity with trending topics, strong communication skills and brain power!

Today, we are sharing three of CC Communications secrets to keep your social media content engaging:

Start a Conversation to #ConnectMORE 

Social media is the perfect place to #ConnectMORE with your audience and “get social” with your customers. Try posting content that is interactive. For example, ask your audience questions about their preference or personal opinion to entice a conversation.

Once your followers have started to engage with you, it is important to respond. Social media platforms make it easy to respond to followers by replying to their comments or by using the “@” symbol to speak directly with them. Other users are more likely to participate in the conversation when they view responses from the company.

In this post to the left, it is clear that the company has not made an effort to converse with their audience. Such posts are ad driven to increase sales but fail to start an interactive conversation.

If a social media user is interested in the product, they may purchase the item, however posts such as this fail to encourage conversation or social interaction. This is a disadvantage because social media interaction through the form of written conversation often spurs interest from other users who could become potential buyers of such products and/or services. 

Can you spot the difference in this Coca-Cola post for example?

It makes a point to engage followers by asking them a question, while still promoting the product.

Represent Your Brand

Sharing and reposting existing content is part of a good social media strategy, but the majority of your content should be unique and relevant to your overall products and services. People will follow your social media pages to view content that represents your business and brand.

To accurately represent your brand and preserve your image, you should avoid “clickbait.”

Clickbait is the posting of articles with attention grabbing headlines that are designed to urge users to click on a link. Due to their frequent use, Facebook officials have altered their algorithm to reduce the viewership of “clickbait” articles. This recent change was made as an overall initiative to provide the Facebook community with organic and authentic content. Have you been a victim of “clickbait?”

Think Outside of the Box and Make it Visual 

Keep your content fresh! Research and capitalize on trends people are socializing about. Include visuals that represent your brand. In doing so, your social posts become 80% more interactive according to Facebook analytics.

For example, by adding this image of a quote to the Facebook post it has become more visually stimulating and might encourage viewers to remember it’s positive message (and your brand in association).

For commercial photography, consider utilizing the photography services of CC Photography, a division of CC Communications. Also book your FREE 30 minute consultation  as our agency is driven to provide business owners with the opportunity to increase their brand awareness and build community through interactive and conversational content.

The Power of the #Hashtag: 3 Ways to Promote Your Brand

Once seen only as your phone’s pound sign, hashtags now have a powerful role on social media platforms.

If you attended our #ConnectMORE Social Media Seminar in May, you would have learned that using hashtags can expand your brand’s reach by bringing attention to your social media platforms through the use of innovative and creative hashtags. Hashtags are words or phrases that are preceded by the “#” symbol which act as links to related content. This helps string related content together on various social media platforms and provides social media users with a unique opportunity to receive a substantial amount of information by clicking on a hashtag. For this reason, utilizing hashtags can do wonders for your online presence, if used properly and in moderation.

For example our #ConnectMORE hashtag is used to reference CC Communications unique capability to provide online content for your website and social media platforms that is both engaging, conversational and relationship building.

On Instagram, posts with at least one hashtag receive nearly 13% more engagement than posts with none. Adding a hashtag to your tweet on Twitter or your post on Google+ is also statistically proven to give you twice the amount of engagement compared to posts that do not use hashtags!

Here are three ways you can you use #hashtags to promote your brand:

1) Be Specific

The more specific you are when using a hashtag, the better. It is always good to use a hashtag that is unique to your business. Find one or two existing hashtags that will help serve to explain your services and or product.

One prime example is Guinness: the brand uses very specific hashtags on Instagram to maximize their digital reach. To promote their new ale, the brand strategically “hashtagged” certain words that were relevant to their content. They leveraged the existing popularity of the #BeerandFood and #Dublin hashtags on Instagram to ensure that users who searched for those hashtags or utilized regularly would come across their branded content.

2) Be Unique

Come up with a snappy, easy-to-remember hashtag for special events, deals or promotions to facilitate easy sharing. Some of the most used hashtags are popular because they are easy to remember, or funny.

Destination British Columbia used the easy to remember hashtag #exploreBC when sharing photos of the province as an initiative to help promote tourism. The hashtag ended up being a way for tourists and residents to share their own photos of British Colombia. By clicking on the hashtag, social media users were able to browse photos others took in the area.

Lay’s Potato Chips encouraged people to pitch their best potato chip flavor ideas for their “Do Us a Flavor” contest. With the goal to engage users and collect ideas, consumers were invited to submit their flavor ideas on Twitter and Instagram along with the hashtag #DoUsAFlavor. By creating this unique hashtag, Lay’s was able to easily track contest entries and provide contestants with the opportunity to view other entries. 

During your FREE 30 minute consultation with us, CC Communications will show you more examples of unique hashtags and give you tips on generating your own brand-specific hashtag to increase engagement with your customers!

This brings us to our final tip:

3) Do Your Research

Take the time to discover the most popular hashtags on a specific subject for each social media network.

Before creating a hashtag specific to your business, be sure to do a search of the hashtag to make sure it is not already in use by another organization and that it does not have any alternative meanings that could obscure your brand’s message.

However, finding the most relevant and useful hashtags to promote your content can be tough – if you would like some help from the experts at CC Communications, drop us a line to find out more about our social media management services and our ability to create a unique hashtag for you!

Remember to be specific, be unique and do your research first! If you would like to learn more about social media and hashtags, join us at one of our Social Media seminars – sign up here to be the first to know when new seminars are announced.