Category : Blog

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How to Perfect Your Media Pitch

If you’re in the public relations field, then chances are you’ve had to do a media pitch. Since reporters e-mail inbox is full of media pitches you want yours to stand out. Here are a few ways to make sure your story gets noticed:

Keep it short and sweet. Journalist and editors are constantly getting a new media pitch in their inbox. Chances are they won’t read your pitch if it’s too lengthy.

Get personal. If you have met this person then remind them. If they know you well then ask them a pertinent question (How is your wife Jane? Is your son enjoying soccer?). Briefly bring up previous and relevant work they have done.

Don’t send out a mass pitch. Make sure each media pitch is unique to the individual. Also, a personal touch makes a difference.

Be appreciative. In order to build a relationship with these people show your appreciation of their time. YOU NEED THEM!

Be persuasive. In addition to building a relationship, you want your story covered. Be clear and know your story. Give them something they can’t say no to.

Hook ’em! Grab their attention with an interesting hook or curiosity arousing line.

First paragraph. In 3 to 4 sentences get to the point. Tell them the what and why. This is where you explain the benefit of this person covering this story.

Second paragraph. Here’s your chance to give background information on the organization you’re representing and their coverage worthy event or product.

End with a call to action. You are responsible for following up with them. Instead of asking them to “let you know,” tell them when you will get in touch with them. In the meantime, provide them with all materials and links they may need if they are interested.

The real key to perfecting your pitch is to practice. By following these guidelines you can ensure your media pitches are checking all the necessary boxes. Always know your story and stand behind it. Happy pitching!

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Social Media Impacts Your Company’s Brand

Nowadays, it’s incredibly common for people to check out an organization’s Facebook page before buying its product or service. As we know, first impressions are crucial even on the web! The messages an organization frames on social media can receive heavy traffic so they must accurately portray it.

Branding in the Age of Social Media

Facebook has become a mecca for updating where you are and what you are doing there. You might discover a new restaurant when your friends tag themselves there for a romantic dinner. You may learn of a new place for your kids to play when a fellow mom posts pictures of her kids having fun there. Now more than ever, we have access to information on organizations.

We want to go to a company’s Facebook page to find out more about it. We can read reviews, see images, and find links to its website.There is this increased desire to share our experiences, good or bad, with each other. People can get passionate about their like or dislike for a brand. With the help of social media people can share those strong feelings. An online review and rating can make or break a person’s decision about a brand.

So does this make branding easier or harder?

The answer is not so simple. The ability to build brand awareness may be more achievable. However, it is challenging and time consuming to maintain relationships with the public. Studies done by the Pew Research Center say that 69% of Americans use social media.  These numbers continue to climb. According to a survey by Cone Communications, 93% of those people expect companies to have a social media presence. 

This doesn’t just mean Facebook. It includes all of the main social mediums, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

It’s not as simple as having a social media presence. The goal is to use each form of social media in the best ways to frame effective messages that reach consumers. There is a science behind when and what to post. It’s usually connected to an overall larger communication plan that is carefully crafted based on research. Social media also provides an opportunity to connect with the public in a personal way and respond to customer complaints.

This is why it is crucial for an organization to have a social media expert on it’s PR team to represent the brand.

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Local SEO Service and It’s Integration with Public Relations

If you have been in the world of PR for the past few years, you know how drastically it has changed. There are fewer journalist on the payroll and much of the writing is done by folks in content marketing and not those in public relations.

Clients are asking for more content writing and are expecting more results from PR and media efforts.

The explosion of the age of technology has made it critical for public relations specialist to have the desire and ability to incorporate the tools utilized online (think productivity trackers), content marketing, and social media into PR strategy. Not only are these new strategies working to advance sales, produce leads, and grow brands, they do so with trackable results! This is a breath of fresh air to the PR managers of the past who had trouble identifying where their ROI (return-on-investment) was coming from.

Become part of the media.

If you want the media to work for your branding efforts, you must become part of the media. Invest in high-quality content. Great content spreads like wildfire online. You draw the attention of clients, other companies, and huge publishers that want to share your content, therefore sharing your message. Hire professionals to write content for you.

Take advantage of Google tools to optimize SEO content to earn your placement online.

While PR projects may utilize offline publications and they certainly have their place, they must join efforts with marketing and ensure everyone is pursuing the same goal.

Publishers are marketing their work.

In recent years, publishers have taken to marketing their work.

Why is this? There are several reasons.

The competition for writers has gotten thick in the past few years. With more people freelancing and more professionals using their work, there is a surplus of good content. In order to get your content seen, you must market it. There are companies that specialize in providing content. There is no reason not to have good quality material.

How are public relations specialist integrating social media and content marketing?

As PR pros are reaching out to marketing, they have incorporated a lot of tools that are allowing them to merge public relations, social media, and content marketing. Here are a few examples:

  • Growing networks on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, and YouTube.
  • Creating and participating in forums that help promote their brand and allow them to converse with their target base.
  • Creating social ads. Ads on Social Media are big business. PR has a lot of control over where their social ads pop up. People spend a lot of time online. There are thousands of websites, willing to place your ad for you.
  • Investing in social content and incorporating social listening. PR pros agree, in today’s market one must create content that grows their brand, get it to the right social sites to have it seen, and respond to customers who take their time to comment. If a customer praises your brand online, thank them, If a customer is having a problem, resolve it. Pay attention to social conversation and react as needed.

These are just a few tips for today’s integrated PR pros. Don’t hesitate to contact your marketing experts any time for more information!

 

Author Bio

Wendy Dessler

Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMama

Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Towering SEO who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.

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Optimizing your Social Media Presence

Effective use of social media is a necessity in today’s business landscape. All forms of social media provide opportunities to get in touch with customers in a quick and relatively inexpensive way. Jayson DeMers recently wrote about optimizing social media profiles for Forbes. In this post, we’re going to share some of his tips, as well as our own, to help get your social media presence on Facebook into tip-top shape.

Visuals
The cover photo is the perfect place to get creative and to express the essence of your business. For example, restaurants might want to choose a picture that features a signature or popular dish. It is also important to consider that mobile devices account for 65 percent of all digital screen time. Therefore, be sure that your cover photo will format well on computers, 828 x 315 pixels, as well as smartphones, 640 x 360 pixels.

Information
Customers will often seek out information about a business on social media before using any other avenue. Use the ‘About’ section of Facebook to your advantage by providing as much information as possible in a clear and concise manner. Include any external website addresses as well as hours of operation and physical location. In regards to content, don’t just share products or services. Add value by sharing articles, videos and photos that relate to your business and its lifestyle.

Interaction
Creating an online presence for your business does not have to be time-consuming. Set aside a certain amount of time each day or week to respond to inquiries and schedule posts. Interact with your followers by sharing behind the scenes information and company news with them. Respond to comments and questions with an upbeat and friendly tone and re-post positive reviews from satisfied customers. In order to encourage more interaction from your followers, consider running a social media contest or creating a unique, business related hashtag.

Remember, it is worse to have an inactive social presence than none at all! Starting with these tips should put your business on the right track. Feel free to reach out to us on social media for guidance or help getting started.

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Geo-filtering Between the Lines

Social media has changed the way we communicate with everyone from Grandma Marie to little cousin Kaylie. From Facebook to Pinterest to Instagram, we’re on it all. But what about Snapchat? Who uses it and what’s a geo-filter? We’ll break it down for you.

Snapchat is a messaging app that’s all about posting photos and videos. It’s THE network right now. Over 70% of Millennials use Snapchat and the figure only continues to grow. One of the defining features of Snapchat are its geo-filters. “What’s a geo-filter,” you ask? It’s a special filter that provides a location (city, business or event) on top of your photo. But did you know that you can create your own filter?

Here’s how to make your own Snapchat filter, according to their website:

  1. Visit geofilters.snapchat.com to download your 1080 x 1920 Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop template. Create a design and/or logo to incorporate into your filter and drop it into the template. The design must adhere to Snapchat’s guidelines and fit into the template. Snapchat offers two types of filters – business (for businesses and brands) and personal (ex: weddings or graduations).
  2. Set dates and times for your geo-filter to go live. Filters can only be scheduled on an hourly basis (and remember to check your am’s and pm’s!). The geo-filter can be live for a max of 30 days.
  3. Draw a fence around where you’d like the geo-filter to be visible – you can cover anywhere from 20,000 square feet (minimum) to 5 million square feet (maximum). Keep in mind that the longer your geo-filter is up or the larger the area it covers, the higher the cost may be. Visit Snapchat for more information on pricing details.
  4. Check-out: verify order details and enter credit card info before submitting the order.
  5. Snap away!

Now that your geo-filter is up, you want to take a peek at the analytics. How do you do that? Visit geofilters.snapchat.com and click on your username in the upper right-hand corner, selecting, “My Orders” from the dropdown menu. The analytics (aka metrics) will appear below. The metrics are usually available about 24 hours after the geo-filter has ended. A delay with the metrics listed is possible.

This short video explains the submission process, as well.

Happy Snapping!

Sources:

Snapchat.com

http://www.firebrandgroup.com/snapchat-geofilters-definitive-guide/

http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/snapchat-statistics/

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Let’s talk about the ‘gram

Over the past couple weeks, Instagram has made some major announcements.  We break down what’s going on with the ‘gram below.

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First off, let’s talk about the new update, which was announced last week.  One of the most noticeable changes is the logo. The signature camera & rainbow remain in the app’s new flat-design logo. The company’s other apps (Boomerang, Layout, and Hyperlapse) also underwent logo re-designs.  The app also received a re-design, from the brand’s classic blue and white combo to a muted black and white.  This new re-design reflects Instagram’s idea to let the photos really shine through.  The outcry across the Internet has been mixed, with many preferring the old logo – many people either love it or hate it.  Just this week, Forbes shared some designers’ interpretations of a logo re-design.  On the flipside, Instagram recently shared users’ interpretations of the new logo.

Photo via @paulodevalle

Instagram made the following statement on its blog last week:

The Instagram community has evolved over the past five years from a place to share filtered photos to so much more – a global community of interests sharing more than 80 million photos and videos every day. Our updated look reflects how vibrant and diverse your storytelling has become.

The ‘gram faced similar backlash when the algorithm change was announced a few months ago.  Those changes have yet to go into effect.

This past week, Instagram also made an announcement that many business owners and brand managers are happy to hear about – the company has announced that it is testing analytics offerings.  In addition to maps and contact info, some of the offerings include:

  • Demographics
  • Impressions
  • Reach

Many social media managers (including all of us at Social Drive) have been patiently waiting for this update.  Recent updates — especially view-counts and 60-second video — have been beneficial to brand marketers.  Instagram has not divulged how much of its user base is testing the new business tools but has stated that it is “testing new business tools coming to Instagram in a few months.”  These new updates mirror those of Facebook’s brand pages.  As for additional changes, we’ll see what the future holds.  The one change we’re patiently waiting for:  in-app or desktop scheduling for brands.  Are you listening, Instagram?

For more info on all the recent updates, visit Forbes, TechCrunch & Entrepreneur.

Welcome Diana Rodrigues to the Social Drive Team!

Diana RodriguesDiana joined us in December of 2015 and has been a great addition to the Social Drive team.  Diana brings with her experience in the social media marketing world.  She enjoys following social media influencers, like Gary V and Carlos Gil, and integrating their thoughts and ideas into her daily routine. She is always curious to learn more about social media and be the best marketer she can be. She is a recent graduate of Suffolk University, where she studied marketing and international business. As a junior, she studied abroad in Rome, Italy at John Cabot, where her passion for travel truly blossomed. These days, you will find her tweeting, Instagramming and blogging her way through her latest and greatest adventures.

Diana is an avid live-poster and loves to share events in real-time. If you can’t attend an event, she feels you should be able to experience it through social media. Diana also loves to follow brands on social media and always says, “People are behind the brand – Make it fun, interesting,  and most of all, personable. You’re talking to another person, not a robot.”

Her interests include:

  • Event marketing and management;
  • Live-posting;
  • Brand management; and
  • Personal branding

Diana is also an active member of the local Portuguese-American community, volunteering her expertise in social media marketing toward preserving and promoting culture. She works with many organizations, including the International Portuguese Music Awards, the Boston Portuguese Festival and the Young Portuguese Americans organization, based in the Bay Area of  California.

Connect with Diana on Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat at @diana_rdrgs or about.me/diana_rdrgs. Welcome to the Social Drive Team!

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How To: Organize your Content

Creating a Monthly Content Calendar

We hear from a lot of small business owners who understand the value and importance of social media but don’t know how to keep up with it. How many times have you gone to a business page to see that sure, it’s been created but the last post was published over a year ago? We hate to be dramatic but honestly, from a marketer’s perspective, it’s the worst! It can look lazy, unpolished, and simply-put, unprofessional – especially if there are comments/questions that have gone unanswered.

Creating a social media presence isn’t hard; it’s maintaining and growing that presence that can be time-consuming and tricky. But we’re here to save the day (or try to!) and share some of our favorite tips with you 🙂 Let’s get to it…

  1. Organize a Daily Topic List – Determine which days you will be posting on and designate certain topics for those days. For instance every Monday, being an online marketing company, we might decide to share our favorite marketing quote, and every Tuesday, link to an interesting marketing related article. Determining topics for posting days will make creating content much easier for you and take less time.
  2. Create an Editorial Calendar – At the end of every month set aside some time and create an editorial calendar for the following month. One of the hardest things to do is find time every day to post, it’s often put on the back-burner and never returned to. Which is why creating all the month’s content ahead of time is VERY helpful. You can simply setup a word doc and organize it by dates.
  3. Schedule Content Out Ahead of Time – Even if the content is already done it can still be difficult to find time to schedule it out, so we suggest you do it all at once. Using a third party app like, Hootsuite, or if it’s just Facebook you’re managing you can schedule it out using their scheduler. *Note: If you’re using an app like Hootsuite, pay close attention to how you tag pages – the tag does not always carry through properly to social channels.
  4. Turn On Notifications – Now that your content is being automatically published it can be easy to forget about the pages and what sort of activity might be happening on them. Neglecting to respond to comments and questions by your audience is a big no-no in the social media sphere so we suggest you adjust your page settings to ensure that whenever someone comments or engages with the page you get notified of it.
  5. Keep your Website in Mind – Lastly, if you ever find yourself having a hard time coming up with unique or interesting content take a look at your website – it’s a great place to gather information!

OH and just because you have content scheduled out does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t post real-time content. Sometimes this is the content, the spur of the moment posts that are the most engaging. Now go master that online presence!

Introducing…

Jay Joseph, Google SpecialistJay Joseph, the Newest Addition to the Team!

Jay joined the Social Drive team in mid-2014 (our apologies for the delay on this, Jay!) and has proved himself to not only be a valuable team member but also an awesome person to work with. Jay’s specialties lie in:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
    • Which includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email Marketing
  • Paid Search
  • Online Reputation Management
    • Particularly, Review Management
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Web Design

These are his areas of expertise, and trust us; he seriously knows what he’s doing. But to really expound on what truly differentiates Jay from the somewhat crowded world of online marketers, we thought we’d create our very own “bulleted list” of why Jay rocks. So here goes…

  • Excellent Communicator – This is harder to come by than some might think. Not only is he extremely timely and professional in all internal/external communications but he’s clear and straightforward. This is something the team appreciates, and more importantly, our clients appreciate.
  • Goes Above and Beyond – We give our clients the best and sometimes that means we give them more than required (we’re people pleasers!), so it’s important that all team members are willing to do that. Jay is always thinking of what the next best move is and how we can make it a better, smoother more effective experience for the client and their audience.
  • FUN – Jay is a total joy to work with (insert *aww*). He’s quirky, sarcastic, witty and is a total dork who fits right in!

We could go on and on about Jay but instead we’ll leave you with one of his favorite quotes…

“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”

— John D. Rockefeller

To learn more about Jay go here.

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Marketing with Merch: The Customized Experience

Merch BrosThe interwebz has given the world a whole new lease on life in terms of marketing. There’s impressions, cost per clicks, and Search, BUT the only thing that can’t be replicated is a physical experience. Many companies these days may have cut back on print ads and billboards, but promotional merchandise is still a strong multi-million dollar industry. Just take a look at any company you’ve worked for or a charity you’ve participated in. There are branded pens, thumb drives, wristbands, and of course, the mighty mighty branded t-shirt. A t-shirt goes a long way – even in 2015.

Today we want to focus on the need to promote your business, but not just in the online world; in the real world. We’ve all seen companies on Shark Tank innovating picture books, custom sneakers, and so much more. If you don’t have customized goods, how will you ensure that people can “take” you home with them? We’ve found a local company based in both Massachusetts and New York that takes the web and promotional merch to new heights. Introducing our friends at Merch Bro! With one look at their website and their blog, you’ll see that they take the efficiency of web technology and the popularity of customized t-shirts, wristbands, and other merch and combine the two in a unique supply company. They’ve worked with some big names our there in the band merchandising front, as well as many popular charities. Follow their guided merch app or just let them do the designing for you – either way it’s a win-win in your search for great customized merch!