The AD Leaf Marketing Firm The AD Leaf Marketing Firm

social media content calendar

What Time Should I be Posting on Social Media?

If you’ve been managing any social media campaign, you’ve probably asked yourself this question a million times. You’ve probably heard that posting times are irrelevant now, with behavior-based algorithms having been rolled out among most platforms. While it is true that behavior-based algorithms have affected optimal posting times, it’s ignorant to think that when you launch your content does not affect your engagement rates, visibility, or the number of impressions generated. Are all hours and minutes equal in the eyes of the algorithm? The short answer is “no.” Let’s talk about why.

Is There Really a “Best” Time to Post? 

While most newsfeed algorithms are behavior-based, a few platforms take “recency” into consideration due to social media trends moving so quickly. In-the-moment updates and news are important in gauging whether or not your content should be shown to an audience, so it makes sense that they consider recency. 

As you might have guessed, there’s no one “right answer” or a “one-size-fits-all answer” to this question. The most important thing you can do when determining what time of day to launch your content, is to pay attention to your own analytics. Every target audience is different, and beyond that, every platform is different too. 

While you can apply some generalizations, like “the best time to post across industries is 9 a.m., when people are just starting work and going online for the first time” (Hubspot), it’s essential to understand that your followers could be online at a different time based on their personal attributes. 

If your target audience is mothers with young children, 9 a.m. might not be when they’re active online. They’re likely getting their kids set up for the day, so they may not be on social media until the youngsters go down for their mid-morning nap around 11 a.m. If you’re posting your content at 9 a.m., you could be missing that key audience. 

This is where your social media analytics will come into play. You need to monitor your content and pay close attention to when your audience is online and interacting with your content. You may be surprised to find out when your audience is genuinely online. 

How Do I Find Out When My Audience is Active on Social Media? 

Facebook

Facebook makes it relatively easy to figure this out. When looking at your Facebook Page, you’ll see a list of options on the left-hand side. First, you’ll select the option titled “Insights.” From there, you’ll select “Posts.” Then, you’ll see a graph at the top of the page detailing when your audience is most active. For those that are visual learners, here’s a step-by-step:

Based on the data provided above, we can see a few key points:

  • Our audience is most active on Sundays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
  • Our audience is most active between the times of 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.
  • Our audience is also reasonably active between the times of 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. 

After looking at this data, we should optimize our content to launch between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. throughout the week. If we wanted to switch things up, we could also launch our content between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. This will help our campaign connect with most of our audience as it may be different target audiences who are active in the evening hours versus the engaged audience in the morning hours.

Instagram

When looking at your Instagram profile’s main screen (hint: make sure your profile is converted to a Business Profile), click on the “Insights” button. From there, ensure you’re looking at a 30-day overview as 7-day analytics can provide a false positive or a false negative. The more data you’re taking into consideration, the better. Select “See All” next to the “Your Audience” section. Then, scroll down to the bottom, and you’ll be able to see the Hours or Days your audience is most active. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown for my visual learners:

In reviewing the analytics from our Instagram profile, here are a few key takeaways:

  • In terms of daily activity, our audience is pretty even across the board. There isn’t a specific day that stands out significantly. 
  • Our audience is most active between the hours of 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. across the board. 

When optimizing our Instagram content, it would serve us well to launch our content within that time frame each day. This will capture the bulk of our audience. In looking at the last graphic, it appears our audience is equally as active around 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. as well, so if we wanted to test our strategy against itself, we could choose one of those times to post as well. Like our Facebook strategy, it’s essential to consider multiple audience groups and determine which posting strategy captures your most active audience. 

This is just two out of the many social media platforms that exist now, so you can imagine it takes a significant amount of time and effort to track peak activity times across multiple platforms. As an agency, we have access to various tools that allow us to compile, track, and present this data to you, along with a comprehensive social media marketing strategy that takes all of this (and more) into consideration. If you’re looking to streamline your social media strategy, email us at info@theadleaf.com or call us at 321-255-0900 to get started with your unique social media strategy today. 

What Is Backlinking?

What Is Backlinking?

Chances are if you’ve been talking about SEO you’ve heard the term “backlinking” more than once. Backlinks can also be referred to as “inbound links”, “incoming links”, or “one-way links” and they are links that go from one website page to a different website’s page. Search Engine sees a backlink and considers it a “vote” in favor of the web page. Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to have higher organic search engine rankings.

Why Is Backlinking Important?

For every high-quality backlink you have pointing at your site that is essentially telling google “This website is trustworthy and has good content”, the more of these high-quality links you have the higher search engines will want you on their search results. While backlinking as a whole is not a new thing it still is a vital part of SEO and a very good way to improve your rankings. Google has actually confirmed that backlinks are one of their three most important search engine ranking factors.

Are All Backlinks The same?

No, they are not! A lot of backlinks can actually be detrimental to your SEO. If you want to increase your SEO you need to focus on HIGH-QUALITY backlinks, but how do you dictate what websites are high quality? The first thing to look at is if the incoming link is from a trusted source, let’s be honest we are sure you’d prefer to have a backlink from Yale instead of a random spam page. The concept itself of getting high-quality links is actually referred to as “Domain Authority” if you have a link coming from a website with a high domain authority google puts a massive emphasis on it because it is prioritized as a source of links.

What Is Anchor Text And Is It Important?

Anchor text is the visible part of a text that is linked. But how do you use anchor text to your advantage? Well, a best practice for SEO is to have an anchor text that includes your target keyword. IN fact, there was a study that found a direct correlation between keyword-rich anchor text and higher search rankings.  But you also have to be careful with your keyword-rich anchor text and try not to go overboard with it, Google has a filter in their algorithm that’s called “google penguin” and what this update does is filter out a lot of backlink building strategies and has a focus on sites that build backlinks with an exact match anchor text. But a good habit to have when backlinking is ensuring that the website and page you are linking to your website and page are related to the content you have on your website. Google will heavily prioritize these websites because not only are the links coming from reliable sources but they are within the same niche.

Contact Us

If you want more information on how backlinking works or if you want to start backlinking on your own website then reach out to us today on our contact us page.

What Is Bounce Rate?

Bounce rate is one of the most important factors when it comes to your SEO. But what exactly is it? How can I improve my bounce rate? What are the average rates? These are questions you probably have regarding bounce rate. So, what is it?

Defining Bounce Rate

The term “bounce rate” is a marketing term that represents how many of your site visitors are coming to your website then bouncing or leaving it without going to other pages. The higher your bounce rate is on your website the worse that is for you, it not only could affect your SEO but it means something is in disarray on your site itself. But before we determine what a good or bad bounce rate is let’s first determine what the average bounce rates are for different industries. Your niche plays a big role in what your rate is, as an example of that, say someone has a very specific question about your niche. They would go to that page and then have their question answered and leave the site. If you are wondering what your average industry bounce rate is, refer to the infographic below.

What is bounce rate?

How Do You Improve Your Bounce Rate?

The best way for you to improve your bounce rate is to first find out where everyone is leaving and then try and determine what could be the cause of it. For example, if you notice a lot of people are leaving within a few seconds of being on your website that could be due to many different factors from loading speeds, to the visuals of the site itself, being ranked for misleading keywords (they can’t find what they are looking for), wrong or misinformation, etc. One of the best ways to determine your bounce rate is to put yourself into the mindset of incoming new visitors. What would you want to see for your niche? What questions are you asking as a new visitor that you answer? Is there enough information? One of the best ways to capture a new visitor is with visuals like pictures, infographics, or videos. Anything you can do to capture their attention is a great way to make sure their eyes stay on it.

Attracting The Right Visitors

Traffic as a whole can be amazing, but not if everyone is leaving as soon as they arrive. Ensuring you have a good rate means that your content is not just getting in front of eyes, it’s getting in front of the RIGHT eyes. To do that when it comes to targeting keywords and rankings you need to envision yourself as the person coming in. If I was looking for “Tile Roofing” and only tile roofing and someone ranking for “tile roofing” only did metal roofs, I would have no reason to stay on that website. One of the best things you can do to optimize your rate is to make sure you have high-quality content that makes people stay. If you have any more questions or want to discuss how we can help your rate improve visit our contact page!

Understanding Google’s SMITH Algorithm

Google’s Latest SMITH Algorithm – What We Know So Far

SEO SpecialistsThe infamous ALGORITHM. An algorithm is just a set of rules that a program or calculation follows. But when someone says “THE Algorithm”, it’s the Google algorithm most people think of. The latest update is the SMITH Algorithm. Google’s search algorithm is a mysterious set of rules that decide which sites to display on the coveted first page of Google’s search results. This algorithm is always changing. But the more we learn about it, the more effectively we can use it to our advantage. Here’s what we know so far about the latest SMITH algorithm.

What is the goal of Google’s algorithm?

In essence, as far as anyone can tell, Google’s goal for search is to provide the most relevant content possible. In a perfect world, this relevance would be judged by humans themselves. However, with billions of websites online, this would be an impossible task. Search algorithms are designed to leverage real human interaction and draw conclusions about the relevance of a site by analyzing different metrics. Based on these metrics and other factors, the algorithm calculates what would be the most relevant pages for a given search term or keyword. The exact, specific details of this calculation are only held by Google. We only know what information they reveal and what we can interpret on our own through testing and experimentation.

What algorithm does Google use?

Google doesn’t say exactly what they are using and how they are using it, but they do give us hints. If we knew exactly what it was, we may be able to “beat the system” and outrank the competition. Unfortunately, once everyone caught onto this, they’d all be doing it. The whole point of organic search results would be compromised; it would just be a race to the top. Google is constantly evolving their algorithms to understand language and web content in a more and more human way and deliver search results that people actually want to see.

What DO we know?

The latest update to Google’s algorithm is called SMITH. We don’t know a whole lot about it so far, but it seems like it is picking up where BERT left off. The last update was called BERT and it was not so much an algorithm itself as it was an ingredient or tool to the existing algorithm. The purpose of BERT was to increase “natural language understanding”. This means that instead of relying on specific keywords, Google’s algorithm can actually interpret the meaning and intent of the words.

So, if lingo or wordplay is used, the algorithm could detect their meaning and serve up search results that apply to the meaning of a keyword, not just the actual text. For content writers, this is great news. If Google is able to understand clever and more subtle language use, you won’t have to go out of your way to “please the algorithm” with your content. You can write more naturally and have more fun with your language without worrying about Google’s judgment as much.

The SMITH algorithm

SMITH takes the next step in understanding language. BERT increased the understanding of individual words, but SMITH can interpret entires passages. Basically, if BERT was for words, SMITH is for sentences. This opens up huge possibilities and takes the understanding gained by BERT to the next level. This means that SMITH will excel at interpreting long documents when compared to BERT. The longer the document, the more SMITH outperforms.

While Google has not officially announced that it is using SMITH, it makes sense they would add it to BERT to help understand large pages online. Until that time, we can only speculate. But if SMITH is beating BERT in testing, it would be surprising if Google didn’t add it to their algorithm. This could mean a big leap in Google’s ability to understand the content. If your website writes great content already, this could be good news for you. If your content is weak, however, you might want to consider improving.

 

SMITH algorithmThe AD Leaf Marketing Firm has a team of SEO experts who stay on top of Google’s algorithm. If your business’ website is struggling to get traffic, contact us to find out how we can help you!

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Let’s Talk Marketing

There’s a lot of jargon thrown around in the world of marketing. As the owner of a plumbing company, hair salon, or landscaping company, you might feel overwhelmed and out of the loop when you’re on the phone with your marketing team and they’re talking about things like CPCs, Bounce Rates, and CTRs. If you’re not sure what these mean, that’s okay. Let’s talk marketing.

 

Commonly Use SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Terms

  • Bounce Rate

This is when someone visits your website and immediately clicks the “back” button on their browser or exits out of the page before giving the page a chance to load. This occurs when a user accidentally clicks on your link or your website takes too long to load. It’s normal to have bounces happen as it’s simply a mis-click in most cases but the goal is to keep that number as long as possible. 

  • Title Tag

This is the main thing that appears in a Google search. The headline or main text you see before reading the description. This should be optimized to catch the attention of a quick browser. 

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  • Meta Description

This is the quick snippet below your title tag. This should be optimized to fit your target keywords as well as support the users’ readability when they’re browsing search results. 

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  • Keywords

Speaking of keywords! Keywords are individual words or phrases that someone might search in order to find your product or service. Your title tags, meta descriptions, and website content should be optimized to support your focus keywords. It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and imagine what they would be searching for and not what you would search for. You’re knee-deep in your industry so the terms of verbiage you would use to discover your own company might be lost on the typical user. 

  • Domain Authority

This refers to how a whole domain (like www.theadleaf.com) will rank on search engine results. It’s typically calculated by a combination of things like link metrics, root domains, number of other links, and other things on a 100-point scale. This measurement is used internally by Google to see how your website compares to others in regards to your keywords. 

 

Commonly Used Social Media Terms

  • Engagement Rate

This is the rate at which your followers share, like, or comment on your content. This is a great way to determine whether or not your content resonates with your follower base. A quick way to calculate this is to take the average number of engagements you’ve received on a singular piece of content (like a post) and divide it by the number of followers you have. 

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  • Pixel

If you’re running Facebook Ads and have a large ad budget, this is necessary to build strong audiences. A Facebook Pixel is a tracking code added to your website that tracks and monitors the users that visit your website as a result of Facebook. You can use the data from this Pixel to build Lookalike Audiences and build Remarketing/Retargeting campaigns. 

  • A/B Split Testing

Another fun one for when you decide to start running paid advertising on social media! A/B Split Testing is the practice of taking two different types of ads that have one variation between them. For example, you may create Ad A with a caption, graphic, and budget. To successfully conduct an A/B Split Test, Ad B should vary one of those items. If you’re stuck between two different graphics/images, run Ad A with Graphic 1 and run Ad B with Graphic 2. This will allow you to test the variables against each other and see which one was more successful. 

  • Boosted Post

You’ve probably heard this term before if you’d ever taken a peek at Ads Center on Facebook. This function allows you to “sponsor” a top-performing post and get it in front of more users. This is done primarily to grow your audience and increase your engagement. It will show it to more of your current follower base and may be shown to users who don’t follow you. Boosting posts is very different from running high-level ads as the targeting options are very limited and the capability to be creative is limited. 

  • Evergreen Content

This type of content is crucial to your organic social media campaigns. Today, most social media algorithms are based on activity and not based on chronological posts. You’ve probably noticed that if you like a post about a movie theater or a pair of sneakers, all of a sudden your whole timeline is filled with other local movie theaters or other sneaker brands. This means that content that’s posted can essentially “live forever” on social media. It’s important that you incorporate content into your campaigns that are applicable to your target audience whenever they see it, any day, any time, any season. This type of content is “evergreen” because it’s always green and is applicable year-round. 

 

Commonly Used Email Marketing Terms

  • Hard Bounce

This is what happens when an email campaign is returned from an email address you sent it to because the email address is either incorrect or no longer active. This does count against your domain’s quality score if you have too many hard bounces. 

  • Soft Bounce

This is slightly different than a hard bounce. This is what happens when an email campaign is returned from an email address due to a technical error like the recipient’s email inbox is full or their server was down and unable to receive emails for a period of time. This doesn’t count against your domain’s quality score because these are unable to be controlled. 

  • CTRs

This stands for Click Through Rate. This is the number of people who click on a link, button, or icon in your email campaign and end up on your desired landing page. An easy way to calculate your CTR is to take the number of users generated from your email campaign and divide it by the number of emails you sent. The final number is your CTR. Generally, you should be aiming for a CTR between 10-15% but this may vary depending on your industry. 

  • Open Rate

This is the number of recipients who open your email. It’s important to keep track of your open rate so you can determine whether or not the campaigns you’re sending are relevant to your audience. The way you calculate this is similar to your CTR. Take the number of emails opened and divide it by the total number of recipients on your email list. 

  • List Segmentation

Segmenting your list is incredibly important. This is the practice of taking similar groups of email recipients based on a variety of factors and creating a new list with just a select number of emails. You may want to create a list based on a recipient’s geographical location (like what State or Town they live in), the company/industry they work for, their age, their gender, or any other qualifying factors. This will allow you to craft campaigns that are unique to each subset of your email list. 

 

Don’t feel overwhelmed if you’re talking with one of our team members and you don’t understand a term we use. If you’re not sure what we’re talking about- ask! We love getting to talk through the terms we use and explain what they mean so you can fully understand the services we’re providing for you. We want you to feel comfortable knowing exactly what we’re doing for you! If you’re ready to get your marketing campaign started, give us a call at 321-255-0900 or email us at info@theadleaf.com and we’d be thrilled to take you on the journey with us! 

Digital Vs Traditional Marketing: Who Will Win?

Digital Media: 

Since the rise of social media in the early 2000s, marketers, and companies saw a new avenue to market their products and services to a much larger audience. An audience much larger and easier to reach than traditional marketing channels. Social media gave marketers a fabulous way to measure the success of paid media campaigns: analytics. Analytics has given marketers a unique tool to see tangible evidence that their efforts are having an impact.

According to the 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Marketers have identified two key benefits to social media over the last 5 years. 

86%  of marketers found their social media efforts have generated far more visibility

78% of marketers found their social media efforts have led to more traffic to their brand’s social media.

Digital marketing has been on the rise as technology becomes more apparent in our daily lives. Digital marketing will only become the dominant form of marketing in the years to come as technology advances. As it is only 24% of Gen-Z watches cable tv and Millennials only 41%. 

Gen – Z is becoming known as the “cord-nevers” since they are the first generation to grow up in a purely digital age. They don’t watch cable because they grave content and are more likely to grave videos over other forms of content. Which puts traditional media outlets in a precarious position. 

Traditional media:

While traditional marketing is still effective (for now) it is however nothing new. We have seen it in one form or another whether it’s from a tv commercial, print material in big box stores, a billboard while driving, or a magazine in the doctor’s office when our cell service won’t connect. 

All though traditional media has evolved over the last 20 years the fundamental aspects remain the same and it still remains limited in the digital age and with an evolving consumer base. Some forms of traditional marketing will outperform others, radio segments and podcast advertisements will outlive tv commercials as more people move to podcasts to get updates on current events in the world instead of the mainstream media. As it is, over 63 million Americans listen to podcasts each week. This presented a greater opportunity for podcast advertising. Currently, Podcasts are projected to generate 1 billion in revenue by 2021; according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). 

Who Will Win?

Both traditional marketing and digital marketing use the 4 P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, Place. 

Traditional media uses this as an integral part of creating a sales funnel and planning marketing campaigns. While traditional media can do well with price, product, and place it lacks in the fourth P: promotion. It’s too easy to ignore it and it doesn’t connect with people, it’s just there. Digital marketing, on the other hand, is very different and it uses the 4 P’s of the marketing mix effectively and in a unique way and at most times better than traditional marketing. 

The drawbacks of traditional marketing are that it does not reach about 50% of its audience, it’s more costly, you can’t measure your ROI, and can’t measure consumer feedback. As it is more marketing across all industries are shifting their efforts online, most consumers now do their product research online before making a purchase.

No matter what industry your business is in you will need to establish a digital presence and actively work to build your digital marketing strategy. We have already seen big box stores such as Sports Authority, Toys R Us, and Sears file for bankruptcy because they could not understand the importance of Digital Vs Traditional Marketing.

The History of Social Media

3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the History of Social Media

People seem to have a love/hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, humans are social beings. We crave interactions with others, and relationships play big roles in our everyday lives. Social media allows us to easily connect with friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers. This can be construed in a positive or negative light depending on who you ask and when you ask them. Whatever your thoughts on social media are, it’s pretty clear it’s here to stay in one form or another. So, how did social media even start? Was it when the first cave painting emerged? When the first telegraph was sent? Did it start with the invention of the internet? The answer to this question isn’t clear cut, but there are plenty of interesting facts about the evolution of social media along the way! Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about the history of social media on the internet.

 

1. CompuServe was an early online service provider that used a method similar to time-sharing.

CompuServe Information Service, a.k.a. CIS, was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1969 as a subsidiary of Golden United Life Insurance. Initially, CompuServe had two objectives. The first was to provide computer processing support to the company, and the second was to sell excess computer capacity to other corporations through a kind of time-share system. In 1979, it began providing dial-up online information services to the owners of personal computers. CompuServe is known as the original online portal, offering message forums, online chat services, software libraries, and even online games! It grew in popularity in the 80s and 90s and was sold to AOL in 1997 with WorldCom acting as a broker for $1.2 billion in stock.

 

2. One of the first social media services was SixDegrees.com.

This social network site was named after the six degrees of separation concept, which is the idea that people have an average of six degrees of separation from each other. SixDegrees was founded in 1996 by Andrew Weinreich, and the website launched in 1997, making it one of the earliest social media sites on the internet. SixDegrees allowed users to create profiles, list their friends and acquaintances, and interact with other users. At its peak, SixDegrees had about 3.5 million registered users. Just two years after its launch, it was sold to YouthStream Media Networks for $125 million. SixDegrees was short-lived, though, in part because of the limitations of internet connectivity in the late 90s and early 2000s. It shut down in 2001. 

 

3. Users could rate the attractiveness of strangers on AmIHotOrNot.com.

James Hong and Jim Young, both engineers based in Silicon Valley, disagreed one day over whether or not a woman they passed on the street was attractive. Their solution? To create a website, of course! In October 2000, the two friends launched AmIHotOrNot.com. The site allowed users to voluntarily submit photos of themselves to be rated on a scale of 1 to 10 by others based on their attractiveness. It went viral. Within one week of launching, the site had reached nearly 2 million daily page views. The site incorporated dating and matchmaking elements.

Aspects of Hot Or Not impacted later dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid. The site was even said to have influenced Mark Zuckerburg to create FaceMash.com, where Harvard students could rate the looks of fellow students based on their student ID photos. Unlike Hot Or Not, FaceMash did not allow users to submit photos voluntarily. FaceMash received major backlash, both because students felt it violated their privacy and because it was seen as a copycat of Hot Or Not. After being called before the school’s administrative board, Zuckerburg took the site down. Hot Or Not was sold for a rumored $20 million to Avid Life Media in 2008. 

 

There are plenty of interesting stories when it comes to the history of social media. From computer time-sharing processes to rating the looks of strangers, there is a lot to learn about how social media has evolved. If you own a business, you probably know how important it is to be able to connect with your customers, whether it’s through an interactive website or your social media channels. If you’re looking for a marketing company with a stellar reputation to assist with any aspect of your digital marketing, look no further than The AD Leaf. We offer web design, search engine optimization, email marketing, social media management, digital advertising, and more! Give us a call today at (321) 255-0900 to learn how we could help you grow your business.

Promoting Positive Customer Reviews on Social Media for Your Businesses

Every business owner knows how valuable positive customer reviews are. Customer reviews have become one of the number one ways that drive new customers to businesses. All it takes to find reviews is a quick google search, and a lack of positive reviews can just as easily take potential customers away. But getting past customers to post customer reviews or give positive feedback of any kind often feels like pulling teeth so what can you do to drive your customers to give your business positive feedback. Research has shown that one of the best ways to get positive feedback and reviews for your business is through social media. Here are some ways you can drive your customers to give you good reviews on social media platforms so you can drive new customers right to your business’s door.

  • Encourage user-generated content 

User-generated content on social media means that your customers will be posting their experience at your business on social media. Most people like to put their best foot forward on social media so it is not uncommon for customers to post a positive experience at a business on social media. Encourage your customers to take pictures of your business, of themselves at your business, or of the services your business provides. You can even ask to take the pictures yourself. Customers will usually oblige, and may even ask that you share the photo with them if they are in it. The more content you can get a hold of, the better the chance of them sharing their experience online, and the more content you will have for your own social media posts.

  • Post Interactive Stories

Stories have become more and more popular in recent years. Almost all popular social media platforms now have the option to add stories, but the best thing about stories for businesses is that they can be easily interactive. Stories have options that allow your customers to directly ask you questions, take polls, rate what they like and what they don’t like, and so on. The possibilities are endless, and it often takes less than a few minutes for a customer to give their feedback. Just like customers prefer speed when coming to your business, they also prefer speed when it comes to giving feedback. Stories are the perfect way to do this, and you can post them whenever and however you want. 

  • Post about your customer reviews and your customers’ experiences

If you see a great review online why would you want to keep that to yourself? Your customers want to be heard, and posting their experience can be a perfect way to make sure that happens. A great way to share your customer reviews is by creating a graphic template where you can easily copy and paste your favorite reviews to be shared on your social media or website. You can also repost photos that your customers took at your business or photos that your customers took of your business’s product or services to show your appreciation. Tagging your customers can show appreciation as well. Social media users often want to gain a larger following and more exposure. By sharing their content, you are showing them that you value their social media posts which can be a great ego boost for many people. Be sure to request permission before posting a photo that isn’t yours and before tagging a profile to make sure the customer is ok with it. 

  • Try to leverage video testimonials

A great and unique way to promote your business while also getting positive reviews is by asking for video testimonials. Video testimonials are when customers make a video letting people know how much they love a business service or product. This is something that you may want to ask a friend who has been a customer in the past to do because it takes a little bit more time, and not everyone enjoys being shared on video on social media. But regular customers who have told you how much they love your business in the past are also an option. Regular customers and friends have probably established a close enough connection with you and your business to where they would feel comfortable doing this. You could even ask to record the video yourself. Make sure you let them know that if they don’t like the video you won’t post it. Videos like this often see a large increase in business and social media engagement.

  •  Create weekly customer features

Weekly customer features can show your brand’s appreciation for your customers and can create more customer engagement. Using customer content, tweeting about customers you appreciate, promoting reviews, and sharing positive customer experiences are all ways you can feature your customers on your social media platforms to promote more customer engagement and feedback. If your customers are expecting their experience to be shared because you share customer experiences on a regular basis, they may be more inclined to share their experience in hopes of getting a shoutout. This will increase your business’s feedback and once you share a customer experience, there is a chance that they will reshare your post because it includes them in it which will increase engagement. The more you reach out to your customers and show your appreciation, the bigger the chance of them showing appreciation back. 

  •  Create a rewards program to incentivize reviews 

Sometimes simply asking for reviews isn’t enough. Customers often need an incentive to give reviews, and while social media exposure and recognition is enough for some customers, others may not feel the same way. Creating a rewards program to encourage your customers may just be the extra push that your customers need. Offer a complimentary product or service from your business or some other type of reward system that motivates your customers to leave reviews online. The most successful reviews are ones that are authentic and relatable so this is one of the best ways to create growth online and in your business. 

At The AD Leaf ® Marketing Firm, we know how difficult it can be to get the engagement you are looking for when it comes to your business, especially online, but that is why we do what we do. We are the experts in our field, and we have the research and knowledge you need to make sure your business continues to progress in an everchanging online world. If you’re running a business, the last thing you want to be worrying about is how many followers you have on social media, but your social media following still plays a huge part in the business world today. Let us help guide you through so you can worry about what’s really important to you. Call us today at (321) 255-0900 for more information or email us at info@theadleaf.com

E-Commerce: No Longer Just for Corporations

When you think about e-commerce, the first companies that pop into your head are probably popular retailers like Amazon, Sephora, Chewy, or Target. For years, these companies have paved the way for online shopping; they have developed easy to use websites that let you order products straight to your door with just a few clicks of your mouse.

 

E-commerce is nothing new to Americans, but the way it’s being used is rapidly changing, especially in light of complications from COVID-19. Previously, e-commerce was a tool only for large companies willing to spend great sums of money building out online platforms. It took a lot of capital to convert a business model to be online shopping friendly. 

 

This all changed beginning in 2004 when a little company called Shopify began doing business in Toronto. The goal of Shopify was to make e-commerce more accessible to businesses of all sizes. In 2010, Shopify went mobile, and in 2015 the company started trading publicly at $28 a share. Today, Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world. It has pioneered the way for other e-commerce companies to thrive and provide solutions to thousands of businesses.

 

The beauty and brilliance of platforms like Shopify, 3dcart, WooCommerce, and others is that they are available to businesses of all sizes. Mom and pop shops can use e-commerce platforms just as affordably as more major operations. No matter your business model, if you have products to sell, e-commerce platforms can help you.

 

In light of closures and complications caused by COVID-19, many businesses have found themselves trying out e-commerce for the first time. With brick and mortar storefronts currently closed in many states nationwide, e-commerce has become a lifeline. Businesses are amazed by how easy it is to set up e-commerce accounts and start selling products previously offered only in stores. 

 

E-commerce platforms are constantly innovating to better serve their clients. For example, this month Shopify launched its own email marketing software that allows businesses to easily integrate their products and services into email campaigns.

 

At The AD Leaf ®, we work with many clients who utilize e-commerce platforms to do business. Our team is consistently impressed with many aspects of these cutting edge tools. Here is a list of some of our favorite things about e-commerce:

 

  • E-commerce platforms help businesses break geographic barriers. Whereas brick and mortar storefronts are confined to one location, e-commerce allows companies to reach people across the country and around the world!
  • E-commerce drives more customers through SEO. E-commerce platforms help companies develop search engine visibility so new customers can find products.
  • E-commerce allows businesses to be open 24/7. Customers can connect with businesses at any time of the day or night!
  • E-commerce helps provide markets for niche products. Does your business exclusively sell World War II memorabilia? With e-commerce, that’s no problem! Online platforms help businesses cater to specific customer bases.
  • E-commerce offers huge amounts of valuable data. Platforms allow businesses to track what products sell best and customer buying trends, among many other analytics.

 

In business, adaptability is one of the factors that determine whether you survive or close. This is a harsh reality, but thankfully today there are myriad tools for companies to use to help stay afloat and prosper, even in uncertain times. E-commerce (and effective marketing) can make a huge impact on small, medium, and large businesses!

 

It’s easy to see why e-commerce is revolutionizing the way we conduct business around the world. If your business is looking to switch to e-commerce, we can help! Our team can answer any questions you may have and help you make the transition. 

Connect with us! 321-255-0900 | info@theadleaf.com

10 Tips for Communicating on Social Media During a Crisis

In times like these, the role of social media is taken to an unprecedented level. Recently, we saw a statistic that said 55% of Americans get their news from social media. While first-person accounts and opinions break up the newsfeed and shape narratives, the general user will turn to businesses for fact-based updates and solid information. This means your social media campaign must be strong, accurate, and adaptable as the environment changes. 

When the world is in a tailspin, what role does social media play in your crisis communications plan? 

  • Communication of updates to your audience
  • Support for those who need info
  • Listening to understand what your audience needs from you and your business

Whatever crisis we’re facing, COVID-19 related or not, we hope it passes and that we will come out on the other side a better community. In regards to social media, that means your campaign should be focused on building trust and connections with your audience for the long term. 

So how do you do that? Here are 10 tips we’ve put together to help you execute your strategy effectively:

 

1. Review (and possibly pause) your upcoming social calendar

Take a look at what you have scheduled for the next couple of weeks. Is it still timely and relevant? Will it feel tone-deaf or insensitive amidst everything going on? A great example is KFC. Before COVID-19 reared its ugly head, they had a “Finger-lickin’ Good Campaign” planned for the upcoming months. A really, really clever team member perked up and said “STOP! An ad campaign about touching your mouth in the middle of a pandemic probably isn’t a good idea…”. Good on you, team member. 

 

 

Don’t fret that all of your hard work has gone to waste, just think of it as being “repurposed” for a later date. You’ll thank yourself for having a great campaign ready to go when things settle down a bit.

 

2. Have a strong social media policy in place

You might not be able to see a crisis coming, but you can be prepared for one. An emergency response policy should be solid, flexible, and information focused. You’ll want to ensure that you have an up-to-date emergency contact list, guidance on accessing social account credentials or other important login information, guidelines for identifying the scope of the crisis, an internal communication plan, and an approval process for a response strategy.

 

3. Know who’s on your “tiger” team

Some people work really, really well under pressure. You want your emergency response team to be comprised of these team members. They need to be quick responders, fast thinkers, and amazing adapters. While you should have a team of these people ready to go, it’s important to have a wider team in place that’s still responsible for the day-to-day monitoring and overarching campaign development. Both have their own time and place and you’ll need both to execute your strategy to the best of your ability.

4. Ensure employees are aware of your organization’s position 

Is the system through which you disseminate company information strong? Do you have a process for distributing information about relief efforts, donations, or other programs? Now is the time to make sure it’s bulletproof to ensure the right information is getting to the right people and your staff feel supported during a stressful time. 

 

5. Communicate with honesty, openness, and compassion

This is pretty self-explanatory. Our favorite example of a brand taking a minute to pause and re-orient comes from Chiquita banana. They did a great job of incorporating the #StayAtHome campaign while still maintaining their brand voice and identity.

 

6. Cite credible sources

Again, pretty self-explanatory. As a manager of a social media campaign, you’re responsible for providing information that is accurate and honest. Your audience trusts you to be providing valid information. In a crisis, bad information is not only irresponsible but it has the potential to damage your reputation. It may be tempting to share shocking statistics or a new update but do your due diligence in fact-checking and ensuring what you’re sharing is supported by data from reputable sources like government agencies or organizations.

 

7. Listen to your audience to stay informed

Monitor your content closely and be prepared to make adjustments based on how your audience responds. If you begin sharing about how your company is supporting relief efforts and your audience feels what you’re sharing is ill-timed, then it might be wise to pull that content and redirect towards something else.

 

8. Avoid jumping on the “trend train”

Don’t attempt to spin a crisis. Plain and simple, it won’t work and it will receive negative backlash. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t adapt to a new environment and rethink your business model to fit the situation. Recently, the factory that produced the uniforms for the Philadelphia Phillies was getting creative about what they could do with all the unused fabric they had laying around after the season was postponed. They decided to take that material and repurpose it for cloth face masks. There’s a national shortage and they felt it was their social responsibility to reallocate what they had to serve the greater good. This is a great example of how to take advantage of the situation without trying to spin it in your favor or appear profit-driven.

 

9. Make room for questions

People will have questions. It’s unavoidable. As situations become more tense and uneasy, your audience will become hyper-aware of your company and your product or service. They’ll ask incredibly specific questions that you may have never been asked for. Be prepared and don’t be offended. Remember that people are trying to navigate a new situation just like you are.

 

10. Don’t go off the grid

This is incredibly important. I know at the beginning we mentioned “pausing” your campaign. But this is a temporary measure in order to regroup and come back stronger. You may feel continuing a social media campaign is insensitive in light of the current climate, but that’s simply not true. Your audience is looking for dependency and certainty wherever they can get it. They want to see you stand your ground and stay strong. 

 

We know that crafting a social media campaign in the middle of a crisis is probably the last thing you’re thinking about or even want to be doing. You have a business to run, employees to take care of, and customers to support. That’s where we come in. Let us help you through this season and ensure you come out on the other side strong.