Why companies should outsource digital marketing!

In recent years, companies have begun to outsource in order to limit their spending in order to invest more in lead generation. A major vehicle for lead generation in 2016 is digital marketing!

Digital marketing is an industry that requires marketers to consistently learn and add new offers to help clients advance ahead of their competitors, online. This is because customers base their purchases from what they see online. This blog will provide insight to your business about how outsourcing to digital marketing companies will generate new leads, prevent financial losses and help you advance ahead of your competitors in 2016.

Cost:

By going in-house with a digital marketer your expenses have already increased. Why? Not only is your business paying a salary with benefits for a full-time digital marketer, but also, you have to factor in your advertising budget. For instance, if you are paying $50,000 for an in-house digital marketer, you are going to need AT LEAST an additional $50,000 for an advertising budget to operate online ad campaigns. The less funding that you have to advertise online, the less prospects that you have to convert into paying customers.

The point is that a digital marketing business may be able to do the same work for $35,000 or less. Thus, your business would have more to invest in advertising and you have professionals that are more advanced with new apps and resources. Also, digital marketers will monitor your competition, collect data and online customer feedback.

Knowledge:

The truth is companies hire employees that don’t have the advanced skills they were hired for. Sometimes, it is months after an employee was hired that management learns the truth. For instance, an employee can be a skilled graphic designer, but they have no idea how to make a website, build an app or operate an ad campaign. By going in-house you're losing opportunities to gain new revenue streams by not partnering with digital marketing companies that have expertise and resources to convert online followers into customers. Also, since digital marketing companies are consistently adding new customer service items, you can gain more revenue because your competitor will have less time to keep up with new trends due to their in-house digital marketer.

Training:

Digital marketing is a dynamic environment. They are constant changes to consider. Keeping your digital marketers sharp on new tactics can be expensive and time consuming. The truth is that many employees care about improving their skills as much as they care about earning their paychecks. Unless you are going to put in the hours to train your employees every time a new app or digital feature is rolled out, then your employees are not going to go the distance. This is because they are not able to advance as other digital marketers are advancing in the industry. In short, you can skip having to spending money to train employees to keep up with the industry, when you have digital marketing professionals available that are prepared to handle your business needs.

Availability:

Digital marketers - app/web developers, search marketing experts, pay-per-click gurus and designers handle a lot of intellectual property. What happens to your tasks when they aren't available to you? Does any digital marketing get done when your digital marketer is on vacation? What if they get into an accident and they are now out of commission for weeks or even months? Awful and sad of course, but there goes your digital marketing person. The point is that your business can lose a valuable employee at any time. With a digital marketing company, you have a partner that can provide multiple specialists to handle your business needs on a consistent, affordable basis.

Summary:

Any process or service that doesn't directly improve customer service or generate new leads should be outsourced. It's more affordable and convenient to outsource to a digital marketing company that is available to address your questions and concerns, every day.

5 Digital Marketing tips for Nonprofits to grow in donations and membership!

1.     Encourage donors to share their personal experiences with the organization!

A key ingredient for success in fundraising is having your board members and donors give testimony about the organization. You must showcase how the organization has helped people overcome a problem or how the organization has helped them grow, personally and professionally.

a.     Produce an ad campaign on social media

b.     Create a YouTube channel and produce videos that highlight success stories

c.      Start a group discussion about services and support networks

2.     Identify what sets you apart from other nonprofits and market your value!

It’s very similar to selling something. Donors want to know what sets you a part from other nonprofits and community organizations. They want to know about how not having you in the community would be devastating to many people from all walks of life.

a.     Produce short videos that highlights the staff, culture of the organization (i.e. discuss what you provide)

b.     Provide client testimonies about what the organization has done for them!

c.      Discuss milestones and programming successes

3.     Storytelling!

One of the most important elements of digital marketing is storytelling. Online users love people who tell a story about their journey and how a nonprofit was THE bridge to help them go from point A to point B. Remember, avoid too much self-promotion. It’s a turn-off, but tell your story!

a.     Discuss the highs and lows of your story! Utilize pictures and videos!

b.     Have your friends join in the discussion and talk about how the organization has helped families as much as the recipient of services

c.      Supporters can talk about the negative impacts of not having your organization in the community. Remind them of what’s at-stake!

4.     Create content that will make people fall in love with you!

This is when you showcase your volunteer efforts in the community! The key is to document and record how your contributions have made someone else’s life better. People love to hear how someone overcame hardship and it was because of your contribution, that it was made possible for them to do so. Also, talk about prizes and gifts that family members can receive through raffles and how proceeds benefit programs that aid people to overcome their own personal hardships.

a.     Recipients can talk about their hardship(s) and how they developed new friendships and a support network, long-term

b.     Promote fundraising events that allow children and families to participate

c.      Promote silent auction events that give away big prizes!

5.     Partner with Brand Influencers!

It’s great to partner with a celebrity, but it’s more impactful to connect with a recognized and respected community leader or business leader in your neighborhood who has a lot of contacts that can relate to your mission.

a.     Encourage your partner to post consistently and to complement programs, staff and personnel of the organization

b.     Task your partner to gather other partners to write positive reviews about services and the culture of the organization.

c.      Offer your partner a free promotion as gratitude for their partnership. Produce a video or post that thanks them for their partnership.

3 characteristics of top selling digital marketing campaigns!

1.     Authenticity

a.     Be Relatable: You’re not looking for the “I wish that was me” response, you’re looking for the “that’s SO me” reaction.

b.    Be Yourself: Every content post should in some way tell your brand’s story. This story has to be consistent, positive and engaging. When you post something that has nothing to do with who or what you are, you lose your loyal followers and repel others from joining your crowd.

c.    Define your Brand: It’s okay to be inspired by what others are doing, but do not attempt to become the idol that you emulate. Be yourself. Post about what your team offers and share about what you do that makes you different from your peers.

2.     Spectacle:

a.     Emotion: Sometimes, you have to produce something that will touch the hearts of clients and prospects. For example, if you are running a digital marketing campaign for a charity, produce a video that shows a human testimony about how the charity has improved lives.

b.     Big Reveal: To build momentum with fans, run a campaign that teases fans. More specifically, conduct a countdown sequence to remind followers that in a day, week or month, something is about to happen.

3.     Expertise:

a.     Reviews: Reviews are more powerful than ever. For every client that responds well to your services, ask them to write a positive review and share with community groups. Your supporters can highlight your expertise by discussing what you are capable of doing for other clients and explain why you are the "go-to" in the community.  Out of a 100 followers in a particular group, perhaps 3-5 of those followers will meet with you.

b.     Geography: Run a campaign to establish your business as the “go-to” in a particular area. You can do it by researching other businesses and peers in your community and begin reaching out through private messaging to set up times to meet and exchange information. This takes time, but don't be discouraged. If a prospect doesn't buy from you now, they may instead refer you to another interested prospect or return to close a deal with your business at a different time.

9 ways social media benefits communities in crisis situations in 2016

Every year, disasters and terrorist threats occur in homes, offices, college campuses and other community areas. From Hurricane Sandy in 2012 to mass shootings across America, social media has played a significant role with exchanging information. This blog post will focus on how social media can benefit us in crisis situations.

1.     Reach a massive audience

a. Inform neighboring townships and counties of what to expect with storms and emergencies that may be heading for their community

b. Send pictures and updates to local news studios to share with viewers

2.     Send and receive emergency alerts

a. Law enforcement can send texts and messages online to local community groups on social media

b. Online users can take and submit pictures of suspects at-large to local online groups to warn families and residents

3.     Monitor conversations

a. Government agencies can monitor discussions and immediately respond to growing inquiries and concerns in the neighborhood

b. Local residents can start conversations about concerns and initiate a town hall meeting circuit in the community to address concerns

4.     Real-time situation updates

a. Residents can share pictures of storm travel patterns

b. Local police can share real-time updates of a suspect’s arrest to inform residents that a crisis situation is over

5.     Communicate with Emergency Personnel

a. If power lines are down, online users can login and report power outages to local authorities

b. If a shooter is moving in a specific direction, then online users can use their phones to post or text where a suspect is moving to warn others

6.     Social Media complements, not replaces, other channels

a. Online users can build on discussions and share new tips and strategies to prepare for a crisis

b. It’s cost-effective to post online rather than pay for printing ads and brochures to inform residents of how to prepare for emergencies

7.     Shelter notifications

a. Emergency personnel can post where shelters are located to allow neighbors to evacuate as quickly as possible

b. Local authorities can post what roads are safe and what routes are available to expedite evacuations.

8.   Safety tips provided by law enforcement agencies

a. Local authorities can post video presentations to limit marketing costs about how to respond in a crisis situation

b. Law enforcement can offer tips to people about how to protect yourself from criminals, predators and how to respond while a terrorist attack is in progress

9.     Provide anonymous tips to law enforcement

a. Online users can reach law enforcement to report a crime anonymously via messaging.

b. Build trust between the police and the community

In 2016, online users check social media for news updates regarding a crisis situation in progress. Law enforcement agencies and rescue personnel rely on community groups and individuals to post pictures, videos and comments. In return, community groups and individuals expect emergency personnel to keep them posted about latest updates and how the public can better prepare for the next crisis. It’s a new information age where the government can connect individuals and groups to emergency and safety services.

Leverage Social Media to Promote Public Health!

Healthcare affects everyone, regardless of identity and geography. Social media is THE modern way to inform and to reach the masses. You will learn about the P.O.S.T method and 4 different ways to connect people to healthcare services in your community by using social media. The goal is to learn how to leverage digital marketing tools to promote public health in 2016!

 Building a Social Media Strategy: P.O.S.T Method

People- with whom do you want to communicate?

Objective-what do you want to accomplish and what’s your timeline?

Strategy-how will you ensure your strategy will be successful?

Technology-which social networks will you use?

The P.O.S.T. method is applicable to any social network; however, it’s more efficient to use the P.O.S.T. method on more interactive channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. The more interactive you are, the more answers you will have. Once you have answered all four points of this method, you have identified what it takes to achieve your mission of promoting public health.

 4 ways to use social media to promote health topics:

Share and Exchange

  1. Post articles that educate followers about how to avoid diseases and what action steps must be taken to remain in good health.
  2. Tag your post with a hashtag that is relevant to health and wellness
  3. Share tips and strategies on your blog and ask other health professionals to share

Interact with Followers

  1. Publish pictures that show healthcare professionals, government agencies and community stakeholders meeting with residents to address health concerns
  2. Post videos of health-related presentations and testimonies
  3. Host an online chat to exchange health information, bulletins and tips
  4. Like, friend and follower other online users that share a similar interest

Post Content

  1. Discuss achievements and milestones with your own health center
  2. Publically recognize a healthcare professional that deserves a shout out for their work, treatment of patients and accomplishments
  3. Publish statistics and improvements made in the health industry in your community compared to neighboring towns and counties
  4. Post a questionnaire to evaluate the responses of your followers and what they share and offer your organization

Release Ad Campaigns

  1. Release ad campaigns on peak days and hours
  2. Titles of the campaign must be short and concise
  3. Create an ad budget. You must pay a few dollars to stay in front of your followers and prospective followers
  4. Use words like “Discover”, “Prevent”, “Breakthrough”
  5. Acknowledge community stakeholders and leaders

Summary:

In short, public health centers, organizations and agencies can use social media tools to interact with the community. The truth is that when followers online are starting to provide their input, you are then building on a discussion that leads to answers that can prevent diseases and illnesses. In addition, you can recruit followers to join your campaign or mission to exchange answers, promote healthcare options for neighbors and to connect people to healthcare professionals.

Top 3 ways to drive social media engagement!

According to Forbes (2015), there will be over 2.3 billion active social network users by 2017. The truth is that it’s not enough to create an online profile. The key to being steps ahead of your competitor is to create quality content that will appeal to your target audience. Here are 3 effective ways to drive social media engagement.

1.     Show your personality!

Your followers want to know that you and your staff are human beings. How can you prove that you are human?

a.     Publish posts that showcase community involvement

b.     Celebrate the accomplishments of your employees

c.      Post pictures of your staff interacting with each other and with clients

d.     Offer quotes of the day to show insight about company culture and principles

2.     Post contests, discounts and giveaways!

Every follower is always looking for new updates, deals and trends. Starting contests make things engaging and fun for the followers.

a.     Offer your winner a discount on their next purchase

b.     Offer free lessons. Often, that winning customer will sign up for more!

c.      Publish pictures of the prizes. Images matter!

3.     Be the Expert!

Social media allows you to prove your expertise of a particular subject and industry. It’s more important that you appeal to particular community and build on the discussion, instead of gaining random followers with no interest in your field.

a.     Publish tips and strategies on helping followers build on something

b.     Share breaking news stories about your industry

c.      Post blogs and articles about new developments in your field.

d.     Ask open-ended questions for your followers to build one.    

e.     Share posts from other industry leaders and provide your own input

In short, every business and organization must consider that posting quality content has to be consistent, clear and right to the point. Because of social media, you stay on top of your content marketing plan. Inform your target audience. The rest will take care of itself.

5 benefits for government agencies to use social media

In 2015, government agencies at the local, state, and national level are finding new and innovative ways to leverage social media platforms as a low-cost and effective communication tool. While there can be challenges, there are also benefits of using social media for government outreach and citizen engagement.

Before you discount social media as part of your communications strategy, consider these 5 benefits of social media that will help promote transparency in government:

1. Real-time data collection

Every hour, companies collect data to analyze where they are reaching online users and how. This concept is applicable to government. Social media is an effective way to gain information and feedback from constituents. Collect data and insights from your followers that can be compiled and analyzed to give directional insights.

Please Consider posting polls and survey questions, hosting a Twitter chat, or launching an interactive online program aimed at encouraging citizens to give input on various topics or initiatives. Don’t become discouraged if an idea doesn’t work out immediately. Social media is a continuous exercise to gain real results.

2. Transform public perception and maximize awareness of agency goals

If you asked the constituents you serve, would they say your agency is behind the times? Would they say your agency is transparent and honest? Would they even know what your agency’s mission and current initiatives are? If you answer is no, then social media is an avenue to take in order to transform public perception of your office.

Utilize social media as an innovative way to maximize awareness and citizen engagement. Constituents expect that their questions will be provided with real answers in a timely fashion. By keeping up with trends in digital engagement, government communicators and public affairs professionals can help transform public perception of the agency.

3. Drive Citizen engagement with limited resources and budget

Social media is an efficient and low-cost distribution channel. Driving true citizen engagement is more than just deploying information; it’s about creating a two-way dialogue and generating awareness and support of your agency’s initiatives. Social media is a fantastic platform for hosting relevant content, engaging discussion, and soliciting feedback from those your agency serves.

In addition, government agencies are now launching social media ad campaigns to promote sponsored projects and initiatives. For instance, Facebook, allows account holders to create, publish and control the settings to every ad. If you want to save money, then you can pause the ad at any time. By pausing the ad, you will not spend any money until you decide to resume your ad campaign. The ultimate goal is to promote your mission when there’s a maximum volume of users online in order to conserve your advertising budget.

4. Test your messaging and analyze results

The most critical component to social media is analysis. Before you analyze, create and publish content that includes pictures, videos and other relevant messaging. After you publish over the course of a week or a month, you will have data to use to expand your reach.

In government, you can leverage social media to get real-time insights into what information your constituents are interested in, where/on what platform they are most likely to consume that information, and what’s the best way to say it in order for the call-to-action to resonate with your constituents.

5. Improve your services and the constituent service experience

It’s important to recognize all feedback, even if it’s negative, as a way to improve government services. In most cases, if you ask, your constituents will tell you exactly what they want, need, and expect from your office. Leverage your social profiles as a way to interact with them and communicate directly with them. Lastly, the more consistent that you are with responding to questions and inquiries, the more likely they will share positive feedback with other community pages and friends.  

In short, social media is not only beneficial for the private and non-profit sector. Social media is what government will need to use to inform constituents about government services, functions and other relevant items in the 21st century.

Top 5 Social Media ROI Tips for Businesses

1.    S.M.A.R.T. Goals

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. You need to narrow down your target audience; establish criteria to monitor and measure the data that you collect, identify what is most important to you, be aware of your limitations and how much you can do to accomplish your goals and finally, set deadlines on your own assignment.

2.    Do what works best for your business

You know what is best for your business better than anyone else. This is key in digital marketing. In short, you must establish how you want to be portrayed online through visuals, literature and video. Remember, 74% of consumers base their purchasing decisions on what they see on your social media accounts (Forbes 2015).

3.    Focus on Long-term value

It is very easy to lose sight of the big picture. Once you establish a mission statement and your goals, it is important to stick with it unless you have an alternative solution that is feasible. It is more important that you attract 1,000 followers that have a strong interest in what you do compared to having 10,000 followers who lack interest in what you do.

4.    Track every step of your lead generation process

In order to generate leads, you must monitor your accounts, consistently. At Sociamerica, we provide our clients with an analytics report that details the volume of users that follow and engage with our clients’ accounts. In addition, Sociamerica can collect data that details the demographics of users that follow our clients and more. In short, always maintain an analytics system to determine if you need to alter your strategy to reach the maximum volume of online users that are potential paying customers.

5.    Don’t be discouraged

You will not receive the most desired results overnight. Period. Social media marketing is a process and it takes time to generate leads and make sales. The important thing to remember is that after you gather data on your followers, you can analyze the frequency of online engagement with your brand from followers and use these results to see what you can do to reach more users online. In time, your brand will reach your target audience and soon enough, your target audience numbers will grow, exponentially.

10 tips to grow your business following on Facebook

Ever wonder how businesses attract followers and maximize engagement? Did you know that Facebook estimates more than 30 million active small-business pages, worldwide? How will yours get noticed? How do you turn one fan into 1,000? These questions are important and Sociamerica will provide you with 10 important tips to multiply your business following on Facebook. Want revenue? Go social!

1. Make your Facebook page home.

Once you have set up a comprehensive business page, promote your new hub of business across your other social media profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter etc.). It’s key to identify on every platform that you are active on Facebook and will update followers and customers, consistently.

2. Analyze your advertising efforts.

Through the admin panel of your page, or the Adverts Create Tool, you can orchestrate simultaneous marketing campaigns on your budget. The benefit of Facebook advertising initiatives is that it tracks your customers' responses in real figures, particularly with demographics, locations, and interests.

3. Use Facebook Graph search.

This is your secret weapon. Imagine one of your fans at the center of a spider web. Graph Search enables you to learn more about them through the other pages they have liked. This information leads you to pools of like-minded individuals to target.

4. Add a Facebook "Like" button -- wherever possible.

You don’t need to be a coding wiz to embed a button on your website. Chances are, the person visiting your website is one of the 864 million who are already logged into Facebook that day, and may be inclined to click a like button, earning you a fuss-free fan.

5. Unite your channels.

Keep all of your social-media accounts on the same digital page by enabling integration, allowing you to post an image on Instagram that will automatically publish through your Twitter account. Save effort and promote your Facebook page concurrently.

6. Give the VIP treatment.

Pave the way for "Likes" with real incentives. Offer discounts and deals to attract followers. The one thing to take away from this is be careful about who you are trying to reach. Everyone wants something for free, but the key to success is gaining the customer that will stick around beyond the discount opportunity.

7. Partnerships.

Find businesses with complimentary offerings to yours -- for example, a dog walker could form an alliance with a grooming service. Find businesses with the same amount of likes and approach them with an offer to cross promote your businesses, whether it be a joint offer, a competition or a mention. It’s the easiest way to double your following.

8. Talk the talk.

Facebook enables you to connect with your customers above and beyond an Instagram shot or a 140-character tweet. Pages are designed for businesses to engage in detailed discussions with their target audience, which generates word-of-mouth advertising. It all starts with content and then maintaining consistent communication with followers who have questions about what you are selling and how you can help them grow, personally and professionally.  

9. Be THE source.

Publishing factual and engaging articles via your Facebook Page will position your brand as a source of information, securing a following. You may not be the best expert, but a part of growing your following, is the initiative of appearing to be the “go-to” professional in your community.

10. Diversity.

When it comes to success with social media marketing, it is critical to diversify your posts online. The rule of thirds is your guide. Meaning, 1/3 of your posts should be about your company and what you are offering your clients. Another 1/3 of your posts should be about information and updates from leaders within your industry. The final 1/3 should be about the “human side” of your business. More specifically, companies are encouraged to share photos of the staff working together or the company’s participation on local community projects.

In closing, these 10 tips are not the only ways to grow your business following, but these are ideas to help steer you in the right direction. Customers expect you to be knowledgeable about your services and products, honest with them about prices and guarantees and to be generous with the community. If you want to exceed your company’s expectations and to maximize your profit line, go social and remain consistent with your communication.   

Welcome!

Why do business with Sociamerica?

What is the point of having an online presence? Why would Company A hire Company B to maintain Company A’s social media presence? Why is online marketing worth investing in? Why do people do business with Sociamerica? 

1. Customers base their purchases via digital media.

Today, marketing is still very much a business strategy; however, in 2015, the main challenge faced by marketers is how to effectively position their strategy in line with ever evolving standards of technology, particularly social media. As Forbes contributor Greg Satell puts it, humanity has forever shifted from “grabbing attention to holding attention”.

In essence, marketing is worthless without substantive content. Brand development has become more than designing a new logo and posting it online. Today, building a business brand is about marketing what you offer to followers in cyberspace to attract new business.

2. Data Check:

Interesting content is among the top three reasons why people follow a business on social media. Forbes reports that the average American spends over 50% of his or her time online. Social media and blogging are both practices that we view as essential to a thriving brand in 2015. Social media sites and blogs reach eight out of every ten U.S. Internet users and account for 23% of all time spent online.

Did you know that the United States as a whole conducts around 12 billion search engine searches each year? For your business to be truly accessible in these modern times, it needs to turn up in a basic Google search. To appear in a basic Google search, a business must become interactive online to have an increasing competitive edge in their respective industries.

3. Small business always benefit from an online presence.

Just because a business is small – or because it’s located in a small town – doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need an online presence. In fact, sometimes the biggest reason a business should have a website is because it’s located in a small community.

The less populated your location is, the smaller your target market is. That is, unless, you’re able to expand the number of people you reach by showcasing your business online. Some business owners are content with only a website. People like shopping online and they use social media to determine where and how much they will buy in the marketplace.

One substantive post on social media can persuade your follower to make a purchase without the pressure of a sales clerk following them. If you run your business with consistency and savvy, your reputation will grow and so will your sales.

Summary:

Sociamerica is about building and sustaining business partnerships. Sociamerica guarantees your business will have access to the brightest possible digital solutions. We exist to market your company online that showcases your image, what you offer and your accomplishments to influence followers to buy from you. You can spend more time focused on other tasks, while Sociamerica will leverage digital media to bring in new business.