Just Say “No” to Automated Twitter Messag...

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It’s a familiar story that Twitter users are all too familiar with. You login to the social platform to see that someone has followed you. Being the good Internet citizen you are, you reciprocate the follow – assuming the account doesn’t look too spammy. And then it happens: what you thought would be a mutually-beneficial Twitter relationship crumbles before it can even begin. You receive the dreaded automated direct message.

Smartphone

In most cases, the automated message includes a quick “thank you” for the follow and a shameless self-promotion link. The tone is unmistakably inauthentic and brazen. Brands and individuals alike loathe automated direct messages in equal measure. This begs the question: why are they still so prominent?

In short, Twitter direct messages, not unlike fairies in Neverland, have stuck around because some people still believe in them. This idea that automated messages will help you to achieve your goals stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of social media marketing. Even in this day and age, there are still some people who believe marketing is just getting your message in front of your audience. However, social media has changed all of that. On social media, you must create a relationship with your audience, and that relationship is largely dependent on your brand’s authenticity.

Imagine giving someone your phone number and then immediately receiving an automated phone call from that person. You answer and a recording says, “Hi! Thanks for giving me your phone number. You seem really interesting! Check out my Facebook profile for more information about me.”

Is there any chance you would pursue a relationship of any kind with that person? I’d bet not. However, this is essentially what brands that use automated direct messages are doing. Instead of creating meaningful connections with the audience, they are turning the audience away almost immediately.

Still not convinced? Even Twitter itself says that, “…most automation is detrimental to the user experience…” If you want to have more real people follow you account, you need to provide a good user experience. So, take Twitter for its word here and skip automated messages.

Of course, you still want to reach your audience and get the word out about your brand. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to achieve this goal without turning off potential customers. Here are a few ways you can use Twitter to market your brand without becoming a spammer:

  • If you’re still stuck on direct messages, send genuine messages that your followers will recognize as non-spam. The key is to personalize every message. For example, you can reference a specific Tweet you liked from them.
  • Use the “Favorite” button often, but not all at once. Favorite a Tweet or two, and then continue to favorite relevant Tweets as they are sent out. However, beware of favoriting a user’s entire Tweet history in one sitting. This might come across as disingenuous and creepy.
  • Retweet when appropriate. A Retweet is the best way to say, “I like this content and the person/brand who Tweeted it!”
  • Reply to questions and discussions. If someone you’re hoping to connect with asks a question relevant to your audience, feel free to send a reply. This public conversation can turn into a great relationship and good content.
  • Keep it human. This is perhaps the most important lesson. Internet users are becoming more and more savvy. They know when they are connecting with a real person or a robot – and they much prefer the real person.

This is my plea to you, Twitter users: stop using automated messages. It’s annoying to your audience and detrimental to your brand. You can do better! If you’re unsure how to best manage your brand’s social media accounts, give Duncan/Day a call. We are happy to set up an individualized plan for you! For more marketing information and tips, make sure to follow Duncan/Day on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Social Media

Social Media Stats You Need to Know – Part ...

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social media stats

Social media is no longer an up-and-coming form of media. It is not a cutting-edge way of marketing your brand. Social media is now a primary form of media. Marketing your brand on social media is now the minimum standard – something you simply must do to reach your customers.

It’s been over 12 years since Facebook began down its path to world domination, bringing a new wave of marketing with it. In those 12 years, a lot has changed. Here are just 5 of the most astonishing social media facts that marketers and brands need to know:

1. About 3 in every 4 Internet Users are on Social Media

A Pew Research Center poll conducted in September 2014 found that almost 75% of all adults who used the Internet were users of at least one social media platform.

As expected, this number was highest in the 18-29 year old demographic, with 89% of Internet users in this age range using social media. Still, an impressive 49% of Internet users over the age of 65 used social media. In the time since that poll, these numbers have likely increased. It’s clear that no matter what demographic your brand targets, if they are online, most of them are on social media.

2. LinkedIn Beats Twitter Among U.S. Adults

Some people are quick to count LinkedIn out, but that could be a mistake. Although the business-oriented network has a reputation for being not so popular, that reputation is not based in truth. In fact, LinkedIn is more popular than Twitter with adults in the United States.

Predictably, LinkedIn does best with U.S. adult between 30 and 49 years of age, the time when many people are at the peak of their careers. If your target audience includes educated, career-focused adults, don’t skip LinkedIn.

3. YouTube is More Popular than Cable with Millennials

It seems like every day there is a new think piece telling marketers how to reach Millennials. The 18 to 34-year-old demographic is one that many marketers covet, but fail to connect with. Although debates on this subject can and do last for hours, one thing is certain: you shouldn’t forget about YouTube.

This online video hub is more popular with Millennials than any single cable TV network, according to Nielsen. Perhaps this is because so many Millennials are “cutting the cord” and ditching cable completely. (Link to our blog on this.) If this group is in your target audience, make sure you have a presence on YouTube.

4. Instagram is the Favorite for Teens

Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook, has been deemed the “most important” social network by U.S. teens, beating out Twitter and Facebook. Once the butt of many a joke, Instagram is taking the world by storm.

In fact, eMarketer found that by the end of 2015, there were 77 million Instagram users in the United States alone. Some experts predict that number will be 100 million by 2018. That means that 1 in every 3 Americans will be posting selfies and food pics to Instagram in less that 2 years. As the teens go, the rest of the country seems to follow.

5. Social Media is Important for B2B Too

The business-to-consumer connection is obvious for social media. However, it may be less obvious how B2B businesses can benefit from social media marketing. It’s important to remember that behind every business you market to is a person (or group of people) making the decision to buy. 84% of CEOs and VPs say that social media is a tool they use to make purchasing decisions.

If a decision maker looks up your brand on social media, what will they find? Will it convince them to trust you and buy from you? With so many decision makers using social media for research, these are questions B2B brands must consider.

What social media statistic shocked you the most? Stay tuned for more exciting and important facts in the second part of this series. For more industry insights, make sure to follow Duncan/Day and Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Social Media

Super Bowl 2016: The Mind-Melting Stats

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super bowl

The Super Bowl is perhaps the biggest night in advertising. You could say that it’s the Super Bowl of advertising. It’s where we see the best ads that the biggest brands have to offer.

With Super Bowl 50, this year will be no different. In fact, 30-second ad spots have reached an all-time high in terms of cost. Each spot will set a brand back $5 million. Will all the attention be worth the money? Let’s go over some of the mind-blowing Super Bowl stats and find out.

The Audience

 In 2015, at least 114.4 million people in the United States watched the Super Bowl, making it not only the highest-rated Super Bowl of all time, but also the highest-rated television broadcast in U.S. history. What’s more, those numbers are only expected to grow this year. That alone is almost enough to justify the hefty price tag on ad time.

It’s not just men watching the Super Bowl either. In the last five seasons, the size of female viewership has increased dramatically. 46% of the Super Bowl audience is female, although women only make up 33% of the regular season audience.

This means that the Super Bowl is the perfect time for big brands with broad target audiences to get a lot of exposure. Perhaps this is why we see brands like Coco-Cola, Doritos, and Go Daddy dominating the Super Bowl commercial field.

The Buzz

Being featured during the Super Bowl automatically gives an ad a certain amount of gravitas. The best (and sometimes worst) commercials get played over and over again on daytime television, YouTube, talk shows, and news outlets. This certainly makes the $5 million price tag more bearable. There’s no way to guarantee that an ad will go viral, but being in the Super Bowl certainly makes it more feasible.

These days, there is so much buzz around Super Bowl ads that some brands are releasing or teasing their commercials before the big game. It may seem absurd to basically have a commercial for your commercial, but it has proven successful for many brands. Check out all of the Super Bowl ads that have already premiered online.

The Social Side

As with everything else, social media has become an important part of the Super Bowl conversation. The numbers do a great job of speaking for themselves. So, here are some staggering stats about social media and last year’s big game:

  • Between kick-off and 30 minutes post-game, 28.4 million Tweets were sent out about the game and halftime show
  • On Facebook, fans liked, shared, and posted about the game 265 million times
  • Facebook ad click-through rates went up 9% over previous Sundays in January
  • Conversion rates for Facebook ads went up 415%
  • Half of all Super Bowl commercials promoted a hashtag

The stats are amazing and, for all you number nerds, there are lots more here.

The Benefits

That’s all great, but does Super Bowl advertising pay off? Well, it depends on how good the ad is. It’s certainly a huge gamble, but one that can pay off.

The good news is that nearly 30% of Super Bowl viewers said they were “likely” or “very likely” to become a first-time customers of the brand who’s ad they liked best.

Who are you rooting for in the big game this year? We’re rooting for a good game and even better commercials. Maybe we’re biased, but we’re in it for the ads. For more industry insights, tips, and tidbits, make sure to follow Duncan/Day on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Pop Culture

4 Love-Themed Ads We’re Falling For

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Love

The grocery aisles are filled with heart-shaped candies, reservations are quickly filling up, and every-other ad is a sappy tale of romance. It must be near Valentine’s Day! Whether you believe this holiday is a marketing scheme designed by Hallmark or a great excuse to celebrate love, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day inspires some of the best ads around.

Sappy, funny, or somewhere in between, here are 4 love-themed ads that have stolen our hearts:

1. Cesar: Love Them Back

If you hang around the Duncan/Day office long enough, you’ll realize that we are all softies for furry friends. So, it’s no wonder that this sweet ad tugged on our heartstrings. It’s safe to say we’re not alone. The ad has over 1 million views on YouTube and has been shared across various sites over 46,000 times.

There’s much more to love about this ad than just the cute, furry face. By telling two different types of love stories at once, it manages to stick to some conventions while defying others. On one hand, we have the familiar story of a man missing and grieving over who we presume to be his late wife. On the other hand, we see the same man being comforted by none other than man’s best friend. By juxtaposing grief and hope, this ad stands out.

2. Google: Parisian Love

They’ve cataloged the world’s information, built a self-driving car, and now told a love story through a series of searches. Is there anything Google can’t do?

In this spot, Google tells a simple love story without any actors whatsoever. Through a series of Google searches, the audience discovers the story of a man who studies abroad in Paris, flirts with a woman there, falls in love, deals with distance, and the crosses borders to marry his love. The tale ends with a short, sweet search that hints at the man’s next chapter: how to assemble a crib.

3. Match.com (UK): Love Your Imperfections

If anyone should be expected to make overly sappy love-themed commercials, it’s match.com. After all, they are selling love, right? While we would certainly forgive the online dating service for an ad dripping with sentimentality, they went another direction with this clever UK spot.

This ad explores the typical insecurities of a first date and turns them into positive attributes. Rather than spoil the fun here in the text, we encourage you to just watch it. It’s a fun, uplifting take on love – and the British accents don’t hurt!

4. Extra: The Story of Sarah and Juan

So far, this list has consisted of mostly non-conventional, light-hearted ads. However, there’s nothing wrong with a little sappy romance when it’s done well. This ad does it well, and surprisingly, it’s for chewing gum.

Young love blossoming into a lifelong relationship is not exactly a new theme, but it holds up beautifully in this piece. Maybe it’s the haunting version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” or maybe it’s simply the authenticity, but something grabs you at the beginning of this ad and refuses to let go. No wonder it went viral not long ago.

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day ad? Let us know! For more commentary, advice, and insights, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Business

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New Year Goals

January is the month of new beginnings. This time of year, you’re likely to hear a lot of admirable personal resolutions. Everyone around you promises to hit the gym more, eat cleaner, be a better friend, or make other personal strides. These are all wonderful goals, but what about business resolutions?

Make 2016 the year of your brand by setting and achieving these brand goals:

1. Improve Your Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

If your brand has absolutely no social media presence, put “get a Facebook page for my business,” on the very top of your to-do list. However, simply having a Facebook page for your brand isn’t going to cut it anymore. Decide how you are going to make your brand stand out in the crowd, make a plan, and implement it.

Will you boost at least one post each week? Will you resolve to have x-number of followers by the end of the year? Establishing attainable and measurable goals will be key to keeping this resolution.

2. Get Blogging

Get Blogging

If your brand does not already have a blog, change that this year. First of all, a blog page gives you valuable and relevant content to share on social media sites. Secondly, it gives Google what it wants: good content. That means higher rankings for your website!

If you already have a blog, you may want to evaluate what works and what doesn’t, and adjust accordingly. For example, you might find that more blog posts would help your SEO or that different topics would benefit your audience more. There’s always room for improvement!

3. Optimize for Mobile

Go Mobile

Does your website look as good on an iPhone as it does on an iMac? If not, it’s time for a change. After all, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. With more and more people using smart phones and tablets to access your site, many of those first impressions will take place on mobile.

The good news is, you don’t have to achieve any of these goals alone. Duncan/Day can help you revive your social media presence, revitalize your blog, and bring your website up to speed. Contact us today to see what we can do for you. For more tips and information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

by Mackenzie Maxwell | posted | in Advertising & Marketing, Social Media, Web Design

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