Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What are you doing to make it simple?

This week in my Social Media Strategy course we reviewed a case study by Kimberly Smith of MarketingProfs. In 2008, Adobe wanted to increase awareness and sales of their Student Editions product. To do this, as part of their campaign they created a unique Facebook game application that challenged users to determine if photos were real or Photoshopped. 

It was a brilliant campaign. In class, students discussed their key takeaways, including my favorite: Adobe met their target market where they were.

What do we mean by this? It's simple. They were listening to their target audience, so they knew, at that time, Facebook was their medium of choice. To reach college students, they used Facebook because students were already there. They didn't create a new medium or put up an obstacle of their target having to 'find them.' They made it simple to connect and engage. 

What are you doing to make it simple for your target? 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Community is Key

Spring semester started this week at Chippewa Valley Technical College. Through my experience as both a student and an educator, I have found a sense of community is key to success. 

Research and common sense reveal students - traditional and non-traditional - are more engaged and participatory in an environment where they feel safe to share. Safe to process their learning, even the mistakes. 

One of the techniques I use to help foster community in my courses is Facebook Groups. Each course has its own group. Students are required to join the group. I post relevant course information in it to add value, but the most value comes from students themselves. A student, or handful of students, will use the group to post questions about assignments, verify due dates, look for a buddy to attend a student event, or just vent. This encourages more participation and activity in the Group. Whatever it is, it extends relationships beyond the classroom. It makes everyone feel 'normal' and included. 

College can be intimidating, so I will do whatever I need to make it easier for my students. This is a simple way.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Why are we doing this?!

As successful businesses, we are expected to include social media efforts in our marketing. We post, tweet, comment, tag, snap, and hashtag like mad. But why? What are we hoping to accomplish?

Image result for social media planIf we don't create goals or objectives, how do we know what we're doing is actually producing results? I see so many businesses make this simple mistake when participating in social media - there's no purpose. Without purpose, there is no measurement to determine ROI. 

As you are finalizing your marketing plan for next quarter, or even next year, let's put some strong, simple objectives in place.

First, what is your purpose? Are you participating in social media to increase market share, gain followers, increase profits, build credibility, cement brand awareness?

Second, what is your comparison? Compare your results to a compatible time frame, whether it be last month, last quarter, or even a campaign.

Third, when do you want to complete this particular objective? The smaller time parameter you allow, the more frequently you will be able to review the results and adjust accordingly.

Here are a few examples:
  • Increase our Twitter followers by 10% over December 30, 2016's number by January 31, 2017. (Screen capture you Twitter follower number on the two measurement dates.)
  • Increase our Facebook engagement by 220% during the 2017 New Year's Sale campaign (December 26, 2016 to January 2, 2017) compared to January 2016's campaign engagement. (View your Facebook insights for engagement rate numbers.)
  • Increase our social media participation to five posts per week on Facebook, ten per week on Twitter, 10 per week on Instagram, two per week on LinkedIn, and one blog post per month compared to our previously unstructured participation between January 1 and March 31, 2017. (Review and estimate current activity. Create a calendar for activity during first quarter and check off when it's complete.)
These are basic parochial measurements that start us on the right track. Continually creating these objectives for each quarter, month, or campaign, helps us to create content that supports our objectives, therefore allowing us to reach our goals. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Training to Wear Hats

Image result
Like many professions, Digital Marketers are expected to wear a variety of hats. Considering we are responsible for creating profile and cover images, content for posts, and media graphics, it is no surprise the demand for design skills is one of those hats.

The Visual Design course is part of the Digital Marketing Program at Chippewa Valley Technical College

Visual Design (104-112) is a project-based course that develops career and communication skills in graphic design, illustration, print, and digital media, using Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat. Curriculum focuses on key skill areas of project management and collaboration, design, research and communication, and professional digital photography, illustration, and page layout. Each project adds more challenging skills to foundation proficiencies. Content prepares students to test for three Adobe Certified exams and Adobe Certified Associate Visual Design Specialist certification.

This course is available spring and fall semesters. There are a few spots still open for January 23 through May 18, 2017. The course meets Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00 a.m. to noon. Call Diane at 715.833.6346 to register today.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What's the Value to You?

This is an activity I do with students in my Marketing Principles class at Chippewa Valley Technical College. Need, want, and benefit determine the value we place on a product or service.

The catch is, value also has everything to do with our social media. Our followers engage with our accounts - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, whatever - for the value we provide them. If we stop providing value, we become irrelevant and they stop following.

Providing value is easier than you may think. Let's say I want to promote haircuts at my salon. I could publish a post about a sale or maybe cool new cuts. That would garner interest. BUT, if we want to take it to the next level and add value, we turn that post into something like, "Holidays are hard on all of us. One way we can survive is knowing we have the sassiest hair in the room. Show off your style to those annoying relatives with a new 'do. Make your appointment today by calling or texting 715-XXX-XXXX."

The post has personality, relatability, a little humor, plants a seed of need and want, and it provided direct contact information. Most of all, I didn't make the post about me and my salon. I made it about my followers.