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4 Ways to Tank Your Social Media Campaigns

Posted by Jenna Bruce on Thu, Jun 01, 2017 @ 04:11 PM

Reaching and engaging customers via the proliferation of social media channels has become a huge priority for most businesses. And yet many of these companies create and post pointless, promoted posts, sharing information none of their customers really cares about.

The result: wasted ad spend on campaigns that fail to cut through the digital noise and drive action.

How do companies tank their social media campaigns over and over again? By making one or more of the following mistakes:

  1. Having No Strategy

It’s said you can’t get to your destination without a roadmap. You can, as long as you don’t know where you’re going.Business man pointing to transparent board with text What's your Online Marketing Strategy?.jpeg

While you don’t have to plan out every single tweet or Facebook post verbatim, you DO have to plan what content and events you are going to create content around.

You also must do a bit of research to determine which channels are the right ones for your business. Despite what you may think, you do not have to have a presence on every single social media channel. Trying to maintain myriad SM accounts will spread your marketing team too thin and waste precious resources.


Instead, determine WHO your customers are and WHERE they choose to get their information. If you’re a B2B company, you may find you only need to be on LinkedIn to get excellent reach. Other companies may find Facebook and Google+ work well, while others Instagram and Youtube.

  1. Not Acting Like a Human Being

If you’ve been focused on traditional advertising channels like newspapers and TV ads, you may stumble a bit when first using social media. That’s because traditional advertising incorporates one-way messaging. You talk – they listen.

But social media is a digital conversation. This means you have to be the HUMAN behind the company and engage with your customers, not sell to them all of the time. This will entail listening to their problems and offering real help, or just offering a smile in the form of a funny photo.

With social media, you want to throw a party, invite all of your prospects, and then be the life of your own party.

  1. Not Bothering to Automate

You probably already know this, but it bears repeating: social media marketing isn’t something you do once a month. It’s definitely a commitment of time, and since so many small business owners have very little time, the best thing they can do is prepare a chunk of content ahead of time, then load it all up into a robust automation tool like Hootsuite or Buffer. A set-it-and-forget-it approach will help you be consistent with posting.

Just be sure to spend a little time each week (or assign the task to someone else) responding to comments and answering any customer questions that may pop up.

  1. Not Bothering to Measure

How do you know if your social media campaigns have been successful if you don’t measure them?

Besides reach, one of the other main benefits of social media is it can be predictably analyzed. SM can be easily broken down into analytical definitions like retweets, replies, mentions, and engagement.

It’s important to set some realistic metrics for your campaign (150 retweets) before you launch, then see if you were successful or not. If not, tweak and refine your content strategy and check to make sure you chose the right channels and right time of day to reach your audience.

Social media can be a great addition to an integrated campaign, but if you want this channel to work for you, you’ve got to read this post one more time to ensure you don’t make any of these common mistakes.

Topics: online, social media, online advertising, social media engagement, integrate print and digital, Twitter, Facebook

Power Your Retail Business With Content Marketing via Vine

Posted by Scott Olson on Mon, Dec 09, 2013 @ 02:21 PM

Stores and online retail heavily rely on social media to promote sales, gain new customers and show off new merchandise. Reaching out on Facebook and Twitter is ideal because the costs are nearly non-existent for significant returns. Now stores have a new way to engage an audience with Vine.

By now, you're probably familiar with Vine, a mobile app that records six seconds of video and shares it to a social feed similar to Twitter. Most of Vine's base consists of amateur users making funny videos to share with friends, but now with the new editing and draft features, businesses and retail companies are using Vine to create a whole new level of marketing.

How It's Done

Photos via Apple App Store

Vine videos are usually short clips stitched together to create the final six-second product. Originally,you could tap the screen to create dozens of separate shots or hold it down for just one take, but once the video is finished there is no editing. What you shot was what you got. But now, Vine has been updated with two new features, editing and drafts. Drafts lets you save up to 10 Vines at once and editing enables rearranging of clips.

It will take a few attempts at first, but don't be discouraged. Making the perfect Vine is just like anything else — it takes practice. There's no better place to draw inspiration than companies already on Vine. Here's a stop-go video from JC Penney promoting in-store deals:

How It's Shared

A great benefit to sharing videos on Vine is it's directly tied to Twitter and Facebook (Twitter actually owns Vine). You don't need to build a new following with your Vine account. The existing base on other social networks will see your videos without ever using Vine in the first place. On the other end, following a variety of brands on Vine is a great way to gain a sense of what methods work best for engaging audiences with this new social network. Follow companies like Lowe's, Urban Outfitters and Gap to see different videos other businesses are coming up with.

How It Helps

Once you have a grip on how Vine works and feel comfortable creating videos, there are several ways to make it work best for your retail store.

Intuit, which offers accounting and payroll solutions for small businesses, suggests using Vines as "mini ads" to market your company. It is a cost-effective and lucrative way to reach an online audience. According to Intuit's blog post, "when it comes to digital advertising, people tend to prefer brevity." Highlight your workplace culture, various products and services or encourage video participation from customers.

A great way to include followers in your videos is to interact with your audience via your account.

This Vine from Diabetes UK acknowledges a follower who donated to its cause. Videos like these are a good way to go above and beyond a simple thank you email because it give public recognition to donors.

The idea behind Vine is just like any other social network — to engage an audience — but here you have the opportunity to show instead of tell. Vine is another example of a place for advertisers to reach consumers digitally. If you're looking for tips on local digital advertising, check out our eBook titled 'The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising.'

Download  The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising



1. Capitalize on Black Friday with Social Media

2. How Social Media Has Changed Advertising

3. 3 Ways Marketers are Trying to Buy Social Media Love

4. Social Media Strategies: Not Your Grandma’s Internet, or Is It?

5. The Best Advertising Campaigns Drive Social Traffic

Topics: digital advertising, social media, digital publishing, social media engagement, content marketing

Capitalize on Black Friday with Social Media

Posted by Scott Olson on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

Any American business knows the value of drawing customers to their doors (or e-doors) on advertisers can capitalize on black friday with social media and mobile marketingBlack Friday and Cyber Monday. Last year, the National Retail Federation reported that Black Friday recorded nearly $60 billion in sales, with the average shopper spending more than $400. Some retailers have found the best way to maximize sales is to open the doors earlier and earlier, but crafty businesses have found a way to utilize social media to draw in customers without needing to extend their hours. How can social media work for you on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Make It Mobile

Between deal-seekers waiting in line on Black Friday and keyboard warriors clicking around on Cyber Monday, more companies this holiday season will be investigated via social media on a mobile platform than ever before. ComScore notes that Facebook recently took the No. 1 spot for mobile apps, leapfrogging arch-rival Google. Make sure your social page shows up on iOS, Android and Blackberry mobiles, with streamlined features that don't take too long to load or reply to. If you can release an app for your company's shopping, that’s even better. A simple app that allows customers to easily navigate content or find a store is ideal and lets your customers know you are available for them on any platform.

Use Every Platform

Your company likely has a Facebook page for users and customers to connect, and perhaps a Twitter account to directly send updates out to followers. While these two social media titans deserve the most attention, your company should pursue every social media avenue available to get the most viewers. Pew Internet reports that between six to 20 percent of adults use secondary social media sites like Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Instagram. While this is only a fraction of the users for Facebook and Twitter, it represents an additional audience that you can connect with once you have filled your customer's feeds up to the brim. Create relevant and interesting posts that will keep customers loyal and draw in a new audience. Pay close attention to your social media presence. You can even promote sales, specials and exclusive content for fans.

Create Social Media Displays for Waiting Customers

Waiting in line to get into a store is a Black Friday tradition for the shoppers who brave the cold and the crowds to get great deals. While they are eagerly awaiting your store's opening, create interactive social displays for them to either connect to on their mobiles or keep advertisers can engage with consumers on black friday by creating unique hashtagstucked away in their memory. Retailers like Macy's use these displays for Black Friday marketing, so that customers who shop at Macy's get firsthand info about new deals. These retailers' interactive displays include Twitter hashtag searches for new products, Instagram pictures on rotation, YouTube videos about products, QR codes that lead to a mobile site or information, Vine videos or a running tally of Facebook likes.

Respond Early and Often

Some social media updates merely throw a product description out into the world without care for its responses. Even if your social media team is swamped come Black Friday or Cyber Monday, posts without follow-through represent a lost opportunity. The fewer responses a company provides to their customer's inquiries, the less these customers want to buy the product. New York consulting agency Mr. Youth released an infographic study noting that only half of all brand statuses reply to their followers. A company that does its best to reach out, update information and thank customers gets much greater social interest than the digital equivalent of a dial tone. Ultimately, the more versatile and accessible you are to your customers, the happier they will be and the bigger your holiday season revenue.

Engaging with affluent audiences can be the key to your Black Friday success. Take a look at why you should be targeting boomers and the most effective methods for reaching affluent and educated consumers.

Download The Benefits of Marketing and Advertising to Baby Boomers

Download Proven Methods for Reaching Affluent and Educated Consumers


1. Give Thanks for Mobile Coupons

2. Retail Advertisers Can Apply the #Hashtag to Maintain Momentum

3. Newspaper’s Integral Role in Black Friday Advertising

Topics: social marketing, social media, black friday, social media engagement, social media advertising

How Social Media Has Changed Advertising

Posted by Hannah Hill on Tue, Oct 08, 2013 @ 11:07 AM

Social media has been evolving since its inception. From MySpace to Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest and so on and so forth, social media platforms just keep popping up all around us. When’s the last time you went 24 hours without checking your news feed, composing a 140-characters-or-less tweet or pinning a recipe for molten lava chocolate cake to your dessert board? Here’s the answer you are too embarrassed to admit: a long, long time ago. Because social media has become such an integral component of our lives (and a total time suck), advertisers want in on the action.

How Social Media Has Changed Advertising How Social Media Has Changed Advertising describe the image describe the image describe the image describe the image

Recently, Facebook announced it would be updating its algorithm to increase the relevancy of its News Feed ads. "For marketers, this means we are showing ads to the people who might want to see them the most," the company wrote in a blog post. "For example, if someone always hides ads for electronics, we will reduce the number of those types of ads that we show to them." I’ve been known to hide an ad or two because it lacked relevance. So with this update comes the ability to more effectively target Facebook users and gives advertisers a better chance of conversion.

According to Nielsen, nearly one in two smartphone users said they use their phones while watching TV. Based on the amount of time we spend on social media each day, it can be inferred that most of these users visit a social media platform while watching their favorite shows (or during the commercial breaks). Civolution created an infographic detailing the rise of social calls-to-action in television ads. Nearly 10% of TV ads contain a Twitter hashtag, URL or logo. For Facebook that number is 6.4%. The top three brands utilizing social calls-to-action in their ads are Walmart, Warner Bros. Pictures and DQ, while the top three product categories including those calls-to-action are department stores, theatrical movie releases and beverages. As you can see from the infographic, social calls-to-action can be used in virtually any industry, and they are becoming increasingly more popular in today’s advertising as they promote engagement.

The Portland, Oregon startup company Chirpify created a solution for advertisers looking to reach social users. Chirpify defines itself as “a social conversion platform for multi-channel campaigns” that drives second-screen conversions through action-based hashtags (i.e., #donate, #buy, #subscribe). An action-based hashtag, when paired with a campaign tag determined by the advertiser, is the recipe for a successful purchase via Chirpify. After yourChirpify created a solution for advertisers looking to reach social users first purchase you receive a message from Chirpify with instructions for payment, but once those settings are saved, feel free to go wild with those hashtags and spend, spend, spend. CEO Chris Teso had this to say of the startup, “We wanted a way to enable advertisers and their consumers to convert in the moment on their mobile device, no matter what they were doing.” All a business needs to do is display an ad on television or online (or even at a live event like a concert or football game) with hashtags specifically created for the campaign and then just wait for a viewer to publish a tweet containing the appropriate hashtags. Early adopters like MasterCard, Adidas and Forever 21 are already using Chirpify for business, and they are sure to be joined by other big brands in the near future. If you’ve made a purchase or donation via Chirpify, tell us about your experience in the comments section. We’d love to hear what you think.

As social media continues to evolve, advertisers will figure out ways to incorporate the latest innovations into their campaigns. If you’re interested in optimizing Twitter for business, grab this FREE checklist titled “8 Steps to Increase Advertising Success via Twitter.” You might also be interested in learning about the advantages of local digital advertising. If so, download ‘The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Local Digital Advertising.’

8 Steps to Increase Advertising Success via Twitter Download  The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising


1. Top Advertising Tips for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

2. The Best Advertising Campaigns Drive Social Traffic

3. How Social Media Advertising Really Won Super Bowl XLVII

4. Social Media Strategies: Not Your Grandma's Internet, or Is It?

5. Target and Facebook Team Up to Take Digital Retailing to New Heights

Image credit: The Digital Bus

Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, inbound marketing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

Topics: social media, social media advertising

3 Ways Marketers are Trying to Buy Social Media Love

Posted by Scott Olson on Thu, Sep 26, 2013 @ 10:50 AM

Companies, organizations and governments of all shapes and sizes are all atwitter about social media and determining the best way to get engaged. The social media platforms are many and continue to expand. Gone are the days when most people were on Facebook, a few on Twitter, the professionals on LinkedIn and the soccer moms on Pinterest. Now each platform has millions of users around the world and we have Google+, Instagram, Snapchat and Foursquare in the mix.

With all these networks, and still only 24 hours in the day, it’s hard for any organization, but especially smaller organizations to determine where to spend their time, effort and dollars, since each platform has their own ad networks and opportunities for advertisers. Because of this scarcity of time but perceived requirement to have their name published and network expanded, some organizations are determining how and if they can outsource a social presence to buy themselves recognition. The tough part is, buying love isn’t easy, as we learned from The Beatles.

Below are three methods companies are using to build their social media presence when they can’t find a way to do it themselves:

  1. Outsource – This past summer Constant Contact surveyed 1,305 small business owners to determine how they engage with social media. The result was that 19% of respondents said they would like to outsource social media, but only 3% are currently using a third-party to expand their social reach. The reason: money. The Constant Contact survey found that 36% of those who said they’d like to outsource social media but can’t are keeping it in-house because they can’t afford it. Another 12% responded that they don’t have the internal bandwidth for social media and 6% stated an inability to find “effective external resources.”
  2. Create viral content – Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: How do we create the next Gangnam Style?
     Who knew Grumpy Cats or Ermahgerd would take off? I’ll tell you who: nobody. You can’t exactly predict how things are going to get shared, but you can keep trying until you find something that gets passed on. One way is to submit your ideas or content to ‘Seed Groups,’ to get the sharing process started. The idea goes like this: share your content with a targeted list who would be susceptible first to your message, and second to sharing it. Once they share it, assuming they have enough interconnectedness among them, the rest of the group will hear the message and then pass it along. It’s like the telephone game, except the misinterpretation of information hopefully isn’t as bad. What the study from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s Network Science Center also found was that it doesn’t matter as much who shares the message (i.e., famous people or celebrities), it’s more about how many, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise.
  3. Hire the masses – MediaPost reported last week that the Turkish Government, who had previously called social media a ‘menace’ and a ‘curse,’ has since changed its tune. The majority party in the country has ‘hired’ “6,000 social media activists to help influence the public opinion in the digital arena.” While technically these Turkish social media representatives are volunteers, Israel has taken a bit of a different route. The Israeli government announced a plan to hire college students to counter anti-Semitic sentiment and share pro-Israel messages. In return for their efforts, students will be granted partial or even full scholarships, which isn’t a bad deal for a few 140 character messages a day, especially when they probably don’t even have to write them.

What it comes to is that engaging in social media comes in many different forms, so it depends on your goals and what you hope to get out of it. If you’re looking to get in touch with local audiences, there are plenty of options for that. We have even written blog posts about that specifically and you can take a look at those through the links below. If digital advertising and engagement on a higher level is more of what you’re looking for, we have an eBook for you. Check out ‘The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Local Digital Advertising’ now and let us know when you’re ready to reach local audiences.

Download  The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising


1. The Best Advertising Campaigns Drive Social Traffic 

2. User Preferences for Social Media Engagement 

3. Target and Facebook Team Up to Take Digital Retailing to New Heights 

4. Social Media Strategies: Not Your Grandma's Internet, or Is It? 

5. Social Media's Role in Botching the Boston Marathon Bombing Reporting

Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions. His career has spanned marketing positions in the non-profit, software and utility sectors providing various marketing experiences. You can connect with Scott on FacebookGoogle+Twitter or LinkedIn.

Topics: social media, social media engagement, advertising campaigns, mobile social marketing

Social Media Strategies: Not Your Grandma’s Internet, or Is It?

Posted by Scott Olson on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 @ 12:33 PM

Despite popular opinion, social media isn’t just for the kids and the Millennials. And as we at Mediaspace are wont to do, we like to challenge traditional thinking and assumptions, which is why we’re going to just come right out and say it: when you put together your social media strategies, you need to include the age groups beyond 34.

Now, while I consider myself to be a fairly convincing person (except when arguing with my boomers are engaged in social media, and there are multiple people who are studying it, not just Mediaspacewife, of course), I think it might be more effective if you heard from some other sources as to why you need to keep generations born before 1975 in your social media strategies. Reason being, I was born after 1975, and as a 33-year-old father of two who likes to ride bikes and coach youth sports, you might not be convinced by anything I say about my elders. So instead of spouting off about my parents and grandparents texting, fully engaging with Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and creating their own Spotify stations, I thought it might make more sense to cite some other people, including one not in the United States.

Let’s start there. Just last week Danny Bradbury at theguardian.com wrote an article titled ‘Marketing to the silver surfer,’ in which he wrote, “Six in every ten 50-64 year-olds use social media.” Not bad, considering that’s an increase of 10x in eight years. The thing is, while we continue to see an increase in the number and prevalence of boomers and the senior audiences online, the advertising that’s happening isn’t targeting these groups. Bradbury goes on to talk about the scarcity of ads targeting a group who, it turns out, has an abundance of disposable income and purchasing power. Those who do, he notes, are pandering a bit too much to the norm or expected, which includes assisted living facilities or home care tools.

Research shows boomers are using social networking sites more regularlyWhat we should point out here is that the boomers and seniors who are most active online are more likely using the World Wide Web for shopping, research, banking and many of the same activities, may I dare say, ‘kids these days,’ are engaged in.

Clearly there are multiple media choices for engaging the boomer and senior audiences, and you have choices to make. As the Pew study referenced above points out, digital display is going to continue to become more targeted and consume a larger part of marketing budgets. While the audience might be smaller, as Rachel Stelmach of GlynnDevins points out, it’s a “much more engaged and qualified audience.”

This is all great news for digital marketers as we are able to reach a broader set of demographics and demonstrate to our clients their ability to reach whoever they want with the right type of campaign. What we have to hope doesn’t happen is that social media becomes such a large part of all our lives, including the boomer and senior audience, that we all become Parasomniacs, engaged in social media while we sleep. As Erik Sass of MediaPost points out, it’s bad enough some people are so hooked they’re interrupting, or maybe not interrupting, sex while managing social media. Talk about a new definition for ‘sexting.’

Clearly the Internet continues to become more popular, and audiences of all ages and ranges are engaging more and more in all it offers. If you want to find out how to become a smarter online marketer, check out our eBook ‘The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Local Digital Advertising.’ Once you’ve read that, give us a call and we’ll help you engage with your audience, regardless of when they were born.

Download  The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising


1. Don’t Overlook Seniors in Your Next Digital Advertising Campaign

2. Local Digital Strategies to Improve Your Online Reputation

3. Are Banner Ads Worth Your Advertising Dollar?

4. Local Marketing Strategies for Advertising Success

5. Who you tryin’ to get crazy with ese? Don’t you know I’m local?

Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions. His career has spanned marketing positions in the non-profit, software and utility sectors providing various marketing experiences. You can connect with Scott on FacebookGoogle+Twitter or LinkedIn.

'Convincing' image courtesy of Inkjot Comics

Topics: social media, social media engagement, Boomers, millennials

The Best Advertising Campaigns Drive Social Traffic

Posted by Hannah Hill on Tue, Jul 16, 2013 @ 12:05 PM

Have you ever visited a brand’s website or social media platforms as a result of being exposed to a television, magazine or digital ad prompting you to take either action? If yes, you’re not the only one. If no, you’re probably lying based on the following statistics. According to a study conducted by Burst Media, digital ads (61.0%) and television ads (58.7%) are most effective at driving interaction with a brand’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms.The Best Advertising Campaigns Incorporate Social Media Print, radio and outdoor advertising also spark social interaction, though at lower rates. Two-thirds of those surveyed between the ages of 18 and 34 claim digital ads with social media prompts inspire them to take action, and it won’t be long until social traffic increases even more.

Super Bowl 2013 hashtagsBrands continue to increase their visibility on social platforms in an effort to drive interaction with consumers. The companies that invested in Super Bowl 2013 advertising took advantage of the big game’s captive audience. More than half of the commercials contained a Twitter hashtag. Sysomos analyzed the hashtags used during the game and found that hashtags containing a brand name were mentioned in the most tweets. Let that be a lesson to you. The top performers were #doritos (33,323 tweets) and #CalvinKlein (29,381 tweets). Incorporating social icons, hashtags and the like is a step in the right direction for brands who wish to increase favorability in the eyes of consumers.

"We found that marketers who use social sharing and action prompts within advertisements create authentic interactions that drive further engagement," said Mark Kaefer, marketing director at Burst Media, an online media company. "On the digital front especially, display, mobile and sponsored online content campaigns that include social media prompts can virally and exponentially extend campaign reach through consumer status updates, likes, tweets, pins and more."

Dr. Pepper’s “Always One of a Kind” commercial sparked a lot of Twitter talk in early 2012.

The ad featured people in red shirts proclaiming everything from “I’m a control freak” to “I’m a cougar” and everything in-between and concluded with the hashtag #ImA to continue the proclamations online. Because the hashtag was open-ended, many people engaged in conversation with Dr. Pepper. It doesn’t take a whole lot of thought to complete a sentence that starts with #ImA which is why this push to social media was so successful at increasing interaction and driving social traffic for Dr. Pepper.Dr. Pepper

Dodge Ram released an ad during the 2013 Super Bowl that generated more than 402K social media comments, 288K more than last year’s top performing spot. (Social comments were measured for both ads during the same 45 minute time period after they were initially aired.) Interestingly enough, “Farmer” did not include social media icons or hashtags, and it still drove an insane amount of social traffic. However, this isn’t common. Unless your ad is top notch (or controversial), you aren’t going to experience this kind of social buzz without providing some sort of social media call-to-action.

The best advertising campaigns drive social traffic and word-of-mouth marketing. The next time you sit down to watch your favorite TV show or read your favorite magazine, pay attention to how many ads push you to a social networking platform. I think you’ll be surprised. Before you strike up another conversation with your Twitter followers, download the “8 Steps to Increase Advertising Success via Twitter.” If you missed the Facebook checklist we released earlier this year, download it now. While your checklists are printing, download The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Local Digital Advertising to learn how online media consumption has evolved across local markets and the benefits of local digital advertising.

8 Steps to Increase Advertising Success via Twitter Download  The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising

Hannah Hill is a marketing specialist at Mediaspace Solutions. Her marketing experience includes writing, inbound marketing, social media and event management. You can connect with Hannah on LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

Topics: social media, social media engagement, advertising campaigns

Local Digital Strategies to Improve Your Online Reputation

Posted by Scott Olson on Thu, Jul 11, 2013 @ 12:28 PM

There’s no doubting the power of social media platforms and their ability to make or break a company’s reputation online. Whether it’s a service business relying on Angie’s List, a angie's list can be a key local digital strategy for smart online marketers looking to manage their reputationbusiness-to-business organization looking to improve its position in the search results, or a local restaurant doing its best to ensure people keep filling the tables, online reputation plays a key role.

The question is, how do companies engage with their followers or encourage consumers to leave responses, preferably positive ones? This past Saturday the Star Tribune published a story, both in print and online, about how restaurant owners and managers engage their consumers in an effort to keep the happy customers happy, and turn the frown upside down for those who had a negative experience.

The tough part is that often the people who actually take the time to leave comments are the ones who had a negative experience, and if that’s all you have, you need to figure out what else you can do to improve your reputation, and what local digital strategies to employ. One restaurant owner interviewed for the piece responds to every comment, positive or negative.  “If a guest takes the time to give us feedback, we will always take the time to send them a message back,” said Frederico Navarro, owner of George & the Dragon. That’s a great start, but it might not always be enough.

Yelp has established itself as a go-to resource for local digital marketers and consumersFor restaurants in particular, Yelp is the go-to site for savvy foodies. They know they can see the reviews from both the old pros and those with less established palates; the tricky part is that everyone gets the same platform and ability to post. Marketers need to go further with their local digital strategies.

Reason being, social reputation, which is one of the biggest factors in any business’s onlineinfographic social commerce reputation, is big business. Check out this infographic (click the image or the link for a full-size version) from Levelwing on the impact of social media on commerce, which is more than just purchases made through social networks. Social commerce includes the research and sharing done via the networks big and small. For instance, “78% of online Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 agreed that online reviews influence their purchasing decisions.” The dollars associated with social commerce in 2012: $1.8 billion. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

In an effort to determine what your reputation is, helpful tools are available. Jeff Bullas put together a nice list of Twitter analysis tools you should consider to determine your credibility on that platform, and also how to make it stronger.

local digital strategies should include twitter and the analytics that go with itAnother opportunity for you to improve your local digital strategies is by engaging on the sites focused on local businesses. Have you claimed your Patch and Places for Business from Google? If not, that might be something you get on top of right away. If people can’t find you on some of the local sites, chances are they won’t be picking up the phone or walking through your doors.

When it comes right down to it, the best way to develop effective local digital strategies is to work with a partner who knows how to reach the local markets. Mediaspace Solutions has been focused on local consumers for more than 10 years and has been on top of the emergence and hyper-targeting capabilities digital platforms offer. If you need a little more convincing on the power of local markets, or ideas on local digital advertising, we have a couple resources for you. The first is the 10 Benefits of Local Advertising and the second is The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Local Digital Advertising. Check them out, then give us a call when you’re ready to improve your online reputation with local digital strategies.

Download the 10 Benefits of Local Advertising eBook

Download  The Smart Marketer's Guide to Local Digital Advertising

Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions. His career has spanned marketing positions in the non-profit, software and utility sectors providing various marketing experiences. You can connect with Scott on FacebookGoogle+Twitter or LinkedIn.

Topics: digital advertising, digital, social media, local digital strategies

Social media’s role in botching the Boston Marathon Bombing reporting

Posted by Scott Olson on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 @ 12:13 AM

Just 10 days ago the city of Boston woke up to one of its most exciting days of the year: Patriot’s Day and the celebration of The Boston Marathon. Runners woke up, ate their pre-race breakfast and got ready to run in one of the most celebrated races on the circuit. Volunteers prepared water cups, orange slices and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The frat boys stocked their coolers and solidified the rules around their Boston Marathon drinking games. Everyone was ready. Twelve hours later everything had changed, and the news was flying so fast it was hard to keep up.

Just 10 days ago I was in a hotel in Florida at the Newspaper Association of America’s annual mediaXchange conference. Typically during conferences it’s difficult to keep up with the outside world. There’s so much happening right where I am that snippets of SportsCenter and the front page of USA Today, courtesy of the hotel, is mostly what I get. However, with accessibility of social media, and the selection of individuals and media outlets pushing tweets to my phone, I’m better able to stay connected. On this day, I learned of the bombings as my colleagues were having a meeting with the Boston Globe, and undoubtedly heard about it before anyone at that table. I can be so confident in that because the mood didn’t change. The meeting wasn’t interrupted, and everyone left the discussion without bringing up the latest attack on our country.

As soon as the explosions were reported, a number of ‘reporters’ were born. These were people just like you and me, who were watching Twitter and Facebook and getting their news and updates from people in Boston, then sharing with their followers and friends. And these reporters, no different than CNN, jumped to some conclusions:

in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, news was fast and furious on twitter, some accurate, some not so much

A couple things to notice in this exchange: First, social media allows the conversation and corrections to be made in real time. The distinction between three hours into the race and 4:09 is that the latter is one of the most popular finish times for the ‘every (wo)man,’ running the marathon. At this time the finish line would be more crowded with cheering fans, supporters, and runners. Second, as stated in the top tweet, while a lot of people assumed the explosions were bombs, the confirmation of that was not immediate.

Once the initial news broke and the world had heard of the events, social’s role continued to be important, but traditional media got in the game and was able to start actually verifying what was happening:

soon after the Boston Marathon bombings occurred, the Associated Press got in the game and started reporting the facts

The trouble is, even traditional media sometimes has problems with verification, and some outlets are so eager to be first, and beat social, they report false or inaccurate information.

The CNN Breaking News Blog reported this Wednesday, April 17: [Updated at 1:46 p.m.] An arrest has been made in connection with Monday's Boston Marathon bombings, sources tell CNN's John King and CNN contributor Fran Townsend. King's source is with Boston law enforcement, he said; Townsend's source is with federal law enforcement.

That’s more than 24 hours before the shootout in Watertown resulted in the killing of Suspect 1 and the fleeing of Suspect 2. Oops. Turns out even those making a living reporting the news don’t always get it right.

Now you’re thinking, ‘So what’s the point? If even CNN’s going to give me inaccurate information, why wouldn’t I just trust my twitter feed?’ Here’s why: social is taking over as the outlet for breaking the news, but the Associated Press and other media organizations are the ones doing the digging, filling the 24-hour news cycle with repeated information while they wait to break the next step. And sometimes that causes an over-eagerness and inaccuracies, but more often than not, traditional media are the ones getting it right.

I woke up Friday morning, nearly a full five days after the blasts, to a tweet pushing me to this video:


Much has been discussed about this video, and the outcry about it was so much that the family actually had to remove it for a period Friday to let everything calm down, and get everyone to understand Sunil wasn’t actually one of the bombing suspects. That tweet, which started conversations with my wife and co-workers, has been removed. Social media allows erasures of our mistakes, while CNN and other traditional outlets continue to display their mishaps. We’re all after accurate, timely and breaking news, and with more sources than ever at our fingertips, it’s up to us to determine how much weight we put in each outlet. Traditional media is still the most trusted, regardless of some of the recent mistakes, meaning it’s still a good place for advertisers to be putting their dollars to reach their audiences.

If you’re looking for ways to maximize your dollars while staying out of hindering contracts with traditional media, take a look at our recent eBook on the benefits of non-contractual advertising.

Advertisers should stay away from contracts, this eBook tells them why

Scott Olson is the director of marketing at Mediaspace Solutions. His career has spanned marketing positions in the non-profit, software and utility sectors providing various marketing experiences. You can connect with Scott on FacebookGoogle+Twitter or LinkedIn.

Topics: social media, local media sources, Twitter

How Social Media Advertising Really Won Super Bowl XLVII

Posted by Scott Olson on Thu, Feb 07, 2013 @ 11:43 AM

Have you heard? The Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49er’s in the Super Bowl. What, I’m four days late? You’ll have to forgive me, we typically only post Tuesdays and Thursdays and already had an extra post scheduled for Monday so we didn’t want to inundate you with too many posts.

What you may not have heard is the other big winner in the Super Bowl: social media. That’s right, thanks to this emerging medium advertisers who chose not to fork out the $4 million for a 30-second spot still made some waves and had people talking come Monday morning.

But first, let’s go back to the game for a minute. Everyone who checked a second screen during the game (aka mobile phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, Palm Pilot, OK not Palm Pilot) raise your hand. Now that 98% of you have your hands up, let me ask you another question: how many of you tweeted, Facebooked, Liked, or YouTubed during the game? Yeah, that’s what I thought, all 98% of you.

Oreo took advantage of the Super Bowl blackout with this Twitter adAnd with the 35-minute blackout during the third quarter, as much as you wanted, there’s little chance you stayed away from your favorite electronic pastime. Speaking of blackout, if you’re on Twitter there’s a good chance you saw the Oreo ad which was quickly created and reached viral status in a very short period.

Talk about being ready for anything. The individual who came up with this deserves a raise, or at least a lifetime supply of the chocolate on the outside, cream on the inside cookie. [Cookie or cream? Let’s not fight about it, I’m just curious].

Speaking of Twitter, Wheat Thins created a Twitter campaign specifically for the San Francisco area to help comfort them after the loss by their favorite football team. Wheat Thins weren’t the only ones who put together online-only commercials to try to capitalize on everyone’s second screen interaction. Adobe also put together an ad based on their ‘Spend Wisely’ campaign. That’s a pretty good way to save all those pennies and keep the animals fed.


Just like all the ad news didn’t happen during broadcast of the big game, some advertisers chose to reveal their spots ahead of time, either discounting or enhancing their investment, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. We talked about that a few weeks ago and you can get all caught up right here.

Also trending during the 2013 Super Bowl was crowdsourcing and engagement. That is, after all, the goal with social media, is it not? Doritos, Pepsi and most famously during the game, Coca-Cola, all went the fan route to let you have input on their final output. The #CokeChase series was a great example of pushing people from the game to social media to get involved and determine which group would, in the end, be refreshed by the soft drink. I wonder if Zuckerberg paid Coke for that one, or if it was the other way around? Hopefully there was a Facebook ad credit in there somewhere.

What it really comes down to is that, as social continues to grow, and engagement increases during major events like the Super Bowl, you need to know how to take advantage of all those eyeballs paying attention to a second screen. We put together a few checklists we’ll be releasing during the next few months to help you stay on top of these social media outlets and make sure the next time the event goes dark, your social media presence can shine. The first of these checklists focuses on Facebook and includes some tips we gave you previously on how to increase advertising success via this outlet. And you don't need to fill out a form. The link goes straight to the checklist, so get it now.

Download the checklist '8 Steps to Increase Advertising Success via Facebook'

Topics: digital advertising, social media, super bowl advertising