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    Why Social Media is Essential for Your Business

    #SocialMedia #SocialAllyShopping online is nothing new and this behavior is encouraged with the addition of convenient buying options available on social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest. This serves as an opportunity to not only increase brand awareness but generate sales. However, don’t expect social media to replace your sales staff! Social media is rather an avenue for your business to communicate 1:1 with your audience about your brand. We encourage you to reflect on these questions:

    1. What value does your business offer?

    2. Where do those in most need of your services congregate?

    3. What stories do you want to share with them to promote your passion and purpose?

    In one of our earlier posts on understanding what makes YouTube videos go viral, we noted that emotion is the driving force for sharing content and thus increasing reach. It’s no different for content that goes on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. pages. The more connected you are with your audience, the more likely they will trust your brand. When followers trust you, they help you. Typically, by purchasing, re-purchasing and raving about the product to their social circles. Another way to look at it according to Peg Fitzpatrick, social media director for Canva, is to view social media content as mini-commercials for your brand. What is it about your post that they’re going to want to share with everyone?

    Additionally, social media has done most of the work categorizing specific groups that are interested in your very business.  You can join these niche hubs and build a rapport with those active members. This is more so about relational marketing, that is, sharing informative and entertaining content without pushing a promotional agenda.   Keeping in mind that social media serves as an outlet for customer service. Social media is fast-paced and your customers expect a rapid response within 12-24 hours. By doing so, you build trust and good reputation with your niche audience.

    More importantly, social media is a source for SEO. In our previous blog post regarding SEO and social media we explain that social media increases your authority, which corresponds with an increase in Google rankings. What does that mean? It means that the likelihood of your business popping up on a Google search query are heightened, in turn building brand awareness.

    So you see, it’s no longer a question of “IF” you will be present on social media, rather, the question of “WHEN”.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244383

    Written by: Alyssa Guzman
    Social Ally Social Media and Branding Agency  

     

    12 Tips to Googling the Right Way

    12 Ways to

    What’s often overlooked these days to the average person is using the advanced search options when searching on Google. Luckily, Google is smart enough to understand layman’s terms. Yet, it’s still helpful to use advanced search tactics to narrow your search and find what you’re looking for. So, here at Social Ally we’ve conducted a list that we use ourselves when “googling” trends and relevant topics for our clients.

    1. To find an exact phrase, use quotation marks. This way Google will pull up sites that have only ‘social media,’ not ‘social’ and ‘media’ thus narrowing your search results. Example: “social media”
    2. To ignore particular words or phrases, use the dash symbol (-). This method rids your search results of unwanted material. Example: “social media” -facebook
    3. To search similar sites to a particular site, type related and the domain. How is this feature helpful? Well, let’s say you’re researching a particular topic and come across a website full of amazing content. However, you need another source but hope to find a similar site. That’s when this tip comes in handy. Example: related:buzzfeed.com (No space in between the colon and the site).
    4. To search for word(s) in a text (e.g. website, PDF document, book, etc.), you can do this one of two ways. You can either search one or multiple words in a text. This means that Google will restrict your query with specific keywords that appear on a page. Example: allintext:hot trends OR intext:coffee
    5. To search via title type allintitle or intitle and the following keyword(s). This option restricts your search query to terms in a title of a text. Example: allintitle:super fun ways to play cards OR intext:cards
    6. To search for a file type (e.g. pdf, doc, jpg), type filetype and the type of file. Example: filetype:pdf
    7. To search for either word, type in OR (must be capitalized) between the terms. This expands your search results because it shows pages that have either term. Example: iPhone OR android
    8. To search a current time in a particular city, type time followed by the city or zip code. This is helpful for traveling to different time zones. Example: city Phoenix OR city 85009
    9. To use as a calculator, type any of the following mathematical operations (i.e. +-/*) and numbers. Example: 2+2
    10. To find restaurants, type whatever type of food you have an appetite for and the zip code or ‘near me.’ This is great for when you’re new to an area or just need some ideas of where to eat dinner close to home. Example: pizza 85719 or pizza near me
    11. To look up a definition of a word, type define and the word. This one is a personal favorite of mine. This is great for expanding your vocabulary and comprehending content. Example: define extol
    12. To set a timer, type set timer and the amount of time. The timer begins as soon as you hit enter. Example: set timer 45 minutes

    Written by: Alyssa Guzman
    Social Ally Social Media and Branding Agency

    5 Ways Google is Smarter Than You

     

    Google-Blue-Wallpaper-Backgroud

    Well folks, it has finally happened. The computers are becoming more intelligent that human beings. You don’t even have to look in an amazing high-tech facility to find them. In fact, one of the most intelligent computers is available on every computer, Ipod and cellphone: Google.

    Now don’t worry: computers are a long way from rising against us and Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t be appearing in a ball of light anytime soon. Humans are still the only ones able to create, invent and innovate. However, we don’t have a brain quite like Google and most of us can’t do math problems with more than 2 digits in our heads, don’t know the exchange rate for a Russian Ruble, and can’t list every Meryl Streep movie ever made at the top of our heads. For times like this, Google has created some very useful tools that can help you get the answers you need.

    1. Google Can Calculate Tips

    How much should I tip for that $56 dollar haircut? Am I really supposed to tip that awful waitress 20%? Now, you don’t have to around and guess anymore. Just type ‘Tip Calculator’ into Google and this handy tool appears. Simply enter the percent of the tip and the amount of the bill and google will do the rest.

    Google Blog Social Ally

    1. Google is a Dictionary

    Whether you are trying to impress that girl at the bar or just winning an epic game of Scrabble, a dictionary in your pocket can be very useful. Next time you have to decide if an ostracism belongs in a zoo, just search in Google with ‘definition’ or ‘define’. Google will give you a definition, pronunciation, even common synonyms. Now, impress everyone you know with your sagacity and panache! (Bonus: Google also has a sense of humor if you ask to define ‘Anagram’)

    Google Blog Social Ally

     

    1. Google Can Convert Currency

    Who can honestly be expected to keep up with the ever-changing rates or currency around the world? Now given, this will probably not be the function you use several times a day, but it can be very useful in a pinch. Just type the amount and the currency you want to exchange and Google will do the rest.

     

    Google Blog Social Ally

     

    1. Google Can Do Your Math Homework

    This one would have been seriously helpful in 9th grade. Whether you are doing basic multiplication or trying to ‘Solve a Circle’, Google has you covered.

    Google Blog Social Ally

    1. Google Can Tell You The Meaning of the Universe

    For all of our Hitchhikers out there, don’t worry. Google has your back and won’t let the mice get to you.

    Google Blog

     

    Written by: Jared Doles
    Social Ally Social Media and Branding Agency 

    5 Common YouTube Questions and their Answers

    YouTube Social Ally

    Hello YouTubers! Are you frustrated with trying to share your videos? Do you need help with all the technical stuff? Are you overwhelmed by the dozens of buttons you see on your page? Well you are in luck! Here are some of the most common questions about the video giant that we’ll compiled for your convenience.

    Should I use YouTube or Vimeo

    Good question! Both sites are popular for hosting video, but the platforms have a very different purpose. Vimeo is a hosting site that allows you to upload higher quality video, make it private or password protected, and even download videos from your channel. It is great for sharing videos within your company, proposals or works-in-progress. YouTube, in contrast, it meant to be a community platform . Is it built so strangers can watch, share, and comment on your videos. If you are looking for marketing, not just sharing an occasional project, then this is probably the platform for you.

    How Do I upload a Video

    Uploading a video is easy! If you’re logged into your YouTube channel, you simply find the button at that says ‘Upload’. Then, you simply drag the video you want to use onto the screen and Voilà! You can also use the following screen to add descriptions, tags and links to our video, or add your video to a playlist.

    YouTube Social Ally

    How Do I Customize my Channel

    ‘Everyone else has channel trailers and cool stuff. Why doesn’t mine?!’ Don’t worry, new YouTuber! Customizing your channel is easy. First, go to the top right and click on the dropdown menu. Then select ‘My Channel”. This is the page where you can make all those changes. Simply fill in any of the blanks on the page, or go to the ‘Channel Tips’ box on the right hand-side to get a walkthrough of suggested changes.

    YouTube Social Ally

    How often should I post videos?

    Experts often disagree about this number, citing the exact frequency, times, etc. ideal for posting new videos. Chances are, though, that you aren’t a famous vlogger with a million subscribers. Stick to once a week and you’ll be fine. The BIG key here is consistency. Set a schedule and stick to it.

    Why does my YouTube channel keep talking about Google+?

     

    This confuses a LOT of first-time YouTubers. I try to change my name, my picture, but it keeps asking me about Google?! Well, YouTube was bought out by Google in 2006 and since then the two sites have been linked closer and closer together. The reason you keep getting asked is because your info is linked to your google account and vice-versa and the info on one will have to be changed for both. But don’t fret! Having a Google + account is never a bad thing.

    YouTube Social Ally

     

    Written by: Jared Doles
    Social Ally Social Media and Branding Agency

    What makes your YouTube video viral?

    What makes your YouTube video viral? The answer is a lot simpler than some may take into consideration. However, it doesn’t work like a strict, magic formula either. So, what is it? What makes your YouTube content share-worthy? According to Jonah Berger, a professor at Wharton and author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On it’s, wait for it… 

    Emotion.

    In other words, you need to appeal to the consumers’ emotions. Make them angry, sentimental, or ecstatic. Whatever you choose, just as long as it’s in alignment with your brand and message. However, the emotion needs to be so intense it motivates them to share the content and soon enough it may go VIRAL. To go more in-depth, Berger researched this phenomenon and found that emotions that increase physiological arousal (e.g. anxiety, amusement) are more likely to be effective than low-arousal emotions such as sadness or contentment. In fact, it’s merely just that. Berger tested participants in a second experiment through exercise. After they finished exercising, he provided his subjects a neutral news story and 75% of them actually shared the story! As opposed to the 33% who sat still.

    Oh, but there’s more!

    LikeAGirlVideos that are emotionally intense and execute a POSITIVE vibe such as the inspirational “#LikeAGirl” campaign by Always will generate more visibility. A study conducted by Karen Nelson-Field, a marketing researcher from the University of South Australia, found that videos that evoke a strong emotional response were shared twice as much as videos that drew out a less intense emotional response. Additionally, she found that positive videos were shared 30 percent more than negative ones. One interesting little tidbit though is that men were more likely than women to pass on a video eliciting fear or disgust.

    So there you go! Get those creative juices flowing through your brain to start your next viral YouTube campaign.

     

     

    Source: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/11/why-youtube-videos-go-viral.html

    Written by: Alyssa Guzman
    Social Ally Social Media and Branding Agency 

     

    3 Ways to Put the “You” in YouTube for Business

    YouTube is the perfect content platform for business. Why? It’s owned by Google. Creating and maintaining an informative and interactive YouTube channel can boost your SEO ranking and add value to your business. What’s more, connecting your YouTube channel to all of your other social media platforms strengthens your web of social networks, and Google approves! But, just creating a page won’t do you or your SEO any good unless you put effort into its appearance and pay attention to its following.

    • Assemble With Care – Don’t sweat the technique…

    YouTube set-up is trickier and less user-friendly than other social platforms on the world wide web, but don’t let that discourage you. There are plenty of resources online that you can use to learn how to create a YouTube channel by looking up basic setup articles.

    Aside from the nuts and bolts, be sure to remember to make your YouTube Channel page an expressive and interesting reflection of your business itself. Focus on including interesting or captivating images, graphics and logos. When customizing, implement your company’s overall color tone and keep it consistent. If your business has a slogan, consider creating and uploading a custom graphic with the slogan, location and any other pertinent information.

    *NOTE* Like all social platforms, YouTube has its own ideal photo size resolution – you’ll want to size your photos/graphics for “Channel Art” YouTube Social Allyaccording to this. Here is a helpful graphic detailing the appropriate resolution:

     

     

     

     

     

    With videos being the content, consider turning subtitles on. YouTube defaults to “off” and it’s important to offer this accommodation to your users. Get this out of the way during the initial set-up so that you won’t have to revisit in the future. Subtitles are not the same as annotations. Annotations are small pop-ups that appear during your videos. As a rule of thumb, annotations should be used sparingly – they tend to appear ad-like and spammy.

    • Be Channel-Worthy – Don’t “hang loose” on your airwave…

     

    It all begins with a catchy title and a great description. Entice your viewers with alliteration, humor and word play in your titles. Consider using questions, open dialogue and links in your descriptions. The idea is to make the video shareable. Even if your business’ services convert the most (seemingly) boring content on social media, like HVAC services or Home Security, creative writing and well-designed graphics can make all the difference.

    Use YouTube Categories and Tags when uploading videos. Don’t forget that these are important features for labeling your services and allowing key words to categorize your business accordingly on YouTube/Google. You want your users to be able to find your content based on their simple & generalized search terms.

    Think outside of the box and research what’s trending. For example, the Ice Bucket Challenge was trending not too long ago. That’s a great viral movement for a company to take part in, especially since it’s for a good cause.

     

    YouTube Social Ally

     

     

    Allstate Insurance uses humor in their campaign alongside 30 second informative video spot.

     

     

     

     

    • Tune In Regularly – Don’t just catch up mid-season…

    Consider creating a “Meet the Team” or “Behind the Scenes” introductory video to humanize your brand. Let your followers see your company in action. Great video content ideas are anything from Q&A’s, Employee Highlights/Bios, Guessing Games (Guess who’s office space? Guess the baby photo?), etc…

    YT1

     

     

    Coca Cola Zero uses Behind The Scenes footage from their successful “Unlock the 007 In You”

     

     

     

     

     

    Be mindful that YouTube comments are linked to your company’s Google+ profile automatically. Inevitably there will be traffic there; customize your Google+ page during YouTube set up by using the same graphics and color schemes, that both of your pages are ready before you start interacting.

     

    Subscribe to other companies your business supports. Collaborate with them in a video or back and forth response for a special event. Keep the content streaming. The recommended amount of content on YouTube is 1 video per week.

     

    Connect all of your social platforms to each other. When you post, tweet your followers or update the company’s Facebook Fanpage. Provide a link to your new YouTube video. Consider using the YouTube video as your company’s next blog subject.

     

    Great social media posts serve as a connection between business and customer; therefore it is imperative that you connect by interacting regularly. Your followers and subscribers want to know that there is a face behind the business and that there is a trusted online platform for them to have their questions answered and their compliments received. Taking that extra step to put the “You” in your company’s YouTube will put you on the path to surefire social media success.

    Written by: Lauren Clark
    Social Ally Social Media and Branding Agency 

    5 Twitter Facts and Why We Care

    In a world where Facebook and Google are leaders for customer feedback and selfies from the Oscars can literally break the internet, it’s important for marketers to take Social Media seriously – That’s right, capital “S”, capital “M”.  No site personifies marketing potential more than the microblogging giant, (yes, the oxymoron was intentional), Twitter.

    While using Twitter for marketing is not exactly a new idea, many brands still don’t understand HOW or WHY they are using the site, besides the huge numbers of potential customers of course, and the results are a cumbersome digital billboard for their company.

    In honor of this, we have compiled 5 facts about Twitter to help you next time Ellen DeGeneres ask you to take a picture.

    Twitter Blog Social AllyFACT: 32% of all internet users are on Twitter

    WHY WE CARE: This stat adds a lot of perspective for the market. When thinking about 7 billion people on earth, 140 million users sounds like a relatively small chunk, but for our friends in the software, data, tech or dozens of similar industries, this is literally 1/3 of all the customers you could ever get ever. And you have an intern tweeting for you?!

     

    Twitter Blog Social AllyFACT: ¾ Twitter users are not Americans

    WHY WE CARE: English does not have the corner on the market. For local businesses, this may not matter, but if you are a national or international brand, you had better been accommodating our non-english speaking friends. Other popular Twitter languages include Russian, German, Spanish and Chinese.

    Twitter Blog Social Ally

    FACT: 3 The Three Most Retweeted tweets in history were all happy ones

    WHY WE CARE: Ok, so most of the Oscar photo success probably had to do with a post-trip Jennifer Lawrence, but the fact is that the list of the most successful tweets in the sites history are almost all happy ones. People really don’t enjoy you ranting about that guy in traffic or complaining about your $6 Starbucks drink. Be positive and you will endear users to your brand.

     

    Twitter Blog Social AllyFACT: 1/10 users access twitter through an outside app

    WHY WE CARE: This fact is not included to impress the importance of social media. It’s there to scare you. 1/10 users are accessing social media through outside sources like the Social Ally Dashboard. That means that 1/10 users are focusing on social media for marketing purposes. You have a lot of competition up against you. Are you using the strategies and giving the consistent attention necessary to rise about the rest?

    Annd Finally….

    Twitter Blog Social Ally1,440 hardboiled eggs are eaten every week at twitter headquarters.

    WHY WE CARE: We don’t really have a reason for this one, except to say that is a LOT of eggs!

    And, for what it is worth, showing the personal side and humanizing your brand does catch others attention – as this stat caught ours!

     

    Written by: Jared Doles
    Social Ally Social Media and Branding Agency

    Twitter Lists Should be at the Top of Your “To Do’s”

    What’s the point of using Twitter lists?

    Well, when you’re following more than 100 Twitter users or so, your news feed may become overcrowded. So, it helps to organize your feed into categorized interests and people. With Twitter lists, you are able to create a feed with just your closest friends and another for your favorite publications.

    Now, how do you create one?

    1. Log on to your Twitter account and click on the icon with your profile picture on the upper right corner.
    2. Select Lists.
    3. Click on “Create new list.”
    4. Type in the name and description of the list and whether or not it’s public or private. A public list allows for other people to follow your list.
    5. Click Save. The page should look like this…

    TWITLIST

    6.  Type in the users you wish to add to the list.

    Bonus Tip: For social media managers, use these lists to find inspirational content for your account. For example, let’s say you’re managing an account for a pizza restaurant and you want to scope out the competition. Creating a Twitter list with all the local competition allows you to see what they’re doing on social media.

    Written by: Alyssa Guzman
    Social Ally Social Media and Branding Agency

    Needle in a Nest Stack… “Twitter Search” Helps Your Business

    If you have a Twitter account – or multiple accounts – are you using Twitter Search optimally to connect your brand with your like-minded community and potential customer-base?

    Did you know there is an advanced search on Twitter to help you do just that? There are certain combos of words users can type in the search bar of twitter to specify results.

     

     

    You can find the search box at the top of your page on twitter…

     

     

     

     

    …or go to Search.Twitter.com:

    Twittter Sear URL

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Here are some ways you can use twitter search effectively!

    Don’t want certain phrases or topics to come up when searching a multi-meaning or popular term? Use the minus symbol. Lets say you wanted to search for shoes but you don’t want men’s shoes to come up in the search, then you would type this is the search bar…

    • Example: “Shoes –men”

     

    What about if you just want to search for tweets that have links in them? Just type in the topic you want to search and then type “filter:link”

    • Example: You are looking for articles that talk about women’s jeans “Women’s Jeans filter:link”

     

    If you want to look for tweets from a specific company or person, type “From:(twitter user name here)”

    • Example: If you wanted to see what people are saying to one of your leading competitors, then you would search “From:@JeunesseGlobal

     

    Maybe you want to find the tweets that were sent to a company or person, type “to:(twitter user name here)”

     

    Want to see what’s going on with the weather in a certain area? Use “near: (insert city here)

    • Example: Lets say you have a meeting with a potential client and you want to know what the weather is like, type “Raining near:Huntington Beach”

     

    Want to get even more specific?

    • Example: “Raining near:Huntingon beach within:2mi”

     

    You can even search for different apps! Just type what you want to search for, followed by, “source: (then put what app you want to search for)”.

    So if you own a salon and want to keep up on the latest trends, consider …

    • Example: “Hairstyles source:Instagram

    instahair These tips will help you further define the search terms and results you desire for your respective niche community.

     

    Written by: Lisa Liguori
    Social Ally Social Media and Branding Agency

     

    Twitter Manners: Mind your Ps and Qs…

    1)     Keep Personal and Professional Separate

    …That’s not to say that you shouldn’t humanize your brand, but be mindful of inappropriate topics for posting via your business Twitter.

    Refrain from:

    – Aspects of your personal life

    – Inappropriate jokes

    – Personal interests or opinions regarding politics, religion or sex

    – Having private conversations on your Twitter page between you and another user. Your business account should be a public account, which means that all followers are subjected to any “mention” conversation you have with another account.

     

    #Twitter Manners: Mind your Ps and Qs...

    American Red Cross accidentally sent a personal tweet from their account, which is a big NO — but they recovered quickly and gracefully stating, “We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys”

     

    2)    Be Punctual & Mindful of Time

    “Punctuality is the soul of business.” – Thomas Haliburton

    Being mindful of how often you post, and how long it takes for your business to respond, shows respect for your followers’ time.

    Professional Twitter accounts should post tweets during work hours on weekdays, but look into researching peak times as far as lunch hour and after-work hours. Send out a couple tweets over the weekend; be sure the weekend times vary slightly from the weekday hours. What’s a quick tactic to tell peak weekend times? Think about when you check your own social media. Midday and evening are great times.

    Live tweeting for business should be minimal and heavily considered before posting. Ask yourself, “Is this event relevant to my business? Is it worth posting, beyond simply stating that I’m at this event? Is there a person I connected with at the event from my industry that my followers will appreciate? Is there a new collaboration in the works, a new product being unveiled, or new knowledge that I can give to my consumers?” Be aware that excessive live tweeting can make followers feel overwhelmed and uninterested.

    #Twitter Manners: Mind your Ps and Qs...

     

    Oreo Cookie tweeted a time-sensitive post in the 30-minute power outage during the SuperBowl. They took clever advantage of the opportunity to promote their product in a shareable way.

    3)     Quality over Quantity

    Remember the phrase, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all? The same principle applies to tweeting…

    Handcrafted, thoughtful content with language that has a more individualized voice does better than generalized “buy here, click now” language. Think before you tweet by putting yourself in your follower’s shoes…what would you like to read from this business?

    Content that is few and far between does better statistically than just quantity posts, generalized content or saturation of tweets.

    #Twitter Manners: Mind your Ps and Qs...

    Toyota created the “CamryEffect” campaign during the Superbowl 2009, advertising their new car contest. Meant to be a push for interactive conversation, Toyota directly tweeted at user with spam-like language, and was not received well. They over-tweeted with uninteresting conten, and even created multiple CamryEffect accounts in their attempt at engaging even more users to tweet at them.

     

    Sure, all this information is helpful, but how about an example of TWEETS DONE RIGHT?  See below for a great example when moving forward with your tweets:

    #Twitter Manners: Mind your Ps and Qs...

    Theresa Gregory is a public figure in the beauty industry. She is a top multi-level marketer and works for a company that specializes in anti-aging skin care products. Her tweets have variety and they provide shareable information and interesting content to her followers. She keeps the posting to a minimum – a handful, spread throughout the course of a day.

    Written by: Lauren Clark

    Social Ally 

    Social Media and Branding Agency