Recent Posts

Don’t Take Advantage of Sick Babies and Lonely Puppies to Grow Your Business

July 16, 2013 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

Made you click! With a title like that, you’re probably thinking, “Yikes! Is Marketing Zen really saying that companies shouldn’t help worthy charities?” Well, don’t worry – nothing could be further from the truth. The key phrase in the title is “take advantage.” As in, don’t use them. Help them, by all means. But only if you really mean it. Here’s what we’re talking about. Have you ever seen an online cause marketing campaign that just seemed a little…off…to you? Sort of random, or maybe even opportunistic? A company whose website states that for every super-expensive product you buy, they’ll donate “a percentage” to some unnamed charity? Or companies who plaster pink ribbons everywhere, but sell products that can actually cause cancer? Yeah. Those are the guys using babies and puppies for personal gain. They don’t really seem to care about the charity they mention– it’s all just a marketing… read more

I Can Has Memes in My Online Marketing Strategy?

July 10, 2013 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

Memes are taking over the world. Seriously. You’ve seen those little pictures with funny captions on your Facebook feed, right? Memes are everywhere. People create them to make political statements, to crack up their buddies, and, most importantly for our purposes here, to market their businesses. So why is it that memes are so popular? Well, aside from the fact that they’re usually hilarious, they’re easy to make, easy to consume, and easy to share. What could be more perfect for use as a marketing tool? Before you run off and start posting picture after picture of cats with a very limited grasp of English grammar on your company’s Facebook page, though, let’s take a minute to discuss just how this tool can fit into your social media marketing strategy. 1. First of all, decide what exactly you want from your meme. Are you using it to build brand awareness… read more

So Bad You Can’t Look Away: How You Should Definitely NOT Respond to Negative Customer Reviews and Comments

July 9, 2013 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg

Remember that restaurant featured on Kitchen Nightmares a while back? The one whose owners absolutely blasted anyone who dared to give their food or service a thumbs-down online? Calling them names, threatening legal action, filling their Facebook page with expletive-laced rants? Of course you remember them! Who could forget? But did you know they actually did have some positive reviews on various sites? Betcha didn’t. And whether or not their food was actually any good, at that point, it didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was their unprofessional online behavior. The thing is, people are drawn to drama. It’s just naturally more interesting than the mundane positive stuff of daily life. Our emotions get involved, we want to share our horror or outrage with others, and even months later, we still remember exactly what happened. And that is where problems can begin for any business. You can provide amazing customer… read more

How Valuable Is A Facebook Like For Your Brand?

July 1, 2013 - Posted by Rilee Chastain

An informative study puts a price tag on Facebook likes for big business brands. As a company or business that utilizes Facebook as a tool to connect with our audience and build our professional brand, we are constantly told how important it is to share quality content with the end goal of earning likes and shares from our followers. Some brands do this most successfully through running engaging contests and campaigns, others by sharing content that connects with their audience on a personal level. However, while we understand how important it is to get fans to like our Facebook page and are constantly researching the different successful methods for doing so, do we actually know how much these Facebook “likes” are worth in the long run? A study by the “social intelligence company” Syncapse conducted an in-depth study that put a value number on Facebook likes once and for all. What… read more

The Importance of Connecting With Your Audience in Marketing

June 12, 2013 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Why is connecting to your audience important? One of the most important aspects of marketing is to connect to the target audience. Connecting to the target audience is vital for any business or organization, particularly in order to determine how the target audience reacts to events, items, or situations. The reactions of your target audience will directly relate to business growth. The ability to connect with the target audience separates the great companies from the ones that are just doing okay. Connecting to your audience will allow you to understand their reactions, wants, and needs. Since many audiences are constantly changing, it’s a great idea to get connected and stay connected with your audience. This way, you keep up with your target audience and adapt whatever you need to in order to stay relevant. In fact, you might even need to update your marketing strategy to stay relevant. Who is… read more

Since You Probably Won’t be Able to Afford Facebook Video Ads…

May 24, 2013 - Posted by Shama Kabani

We don’t have a lot of details at this point, but we’re anticipating that this summer Facebook will roll out video ads — 15 second ads that reportedly will autoplay and mute by default, allowing users to tune in if they want to, but keep scrolling if they don’t. Facebook’s Client Council which includes major brands like American Express, Unilever, Ford and Coca-Cola are said to be testing the new video ads which will let advertisers choose from one of four demographics to target — women over 30, women under 30, men over 30 and men under 30. How will Facebook Video Ads work? The company has yet to release all the details so there are still many questions about how Facebook video ads will work. We don’t know exactly how far of a reach or distribution advertisers will have. And we don’t know if the ads will only be… read more

Does your PR Agency Know How to Connect?

May 15, 2013 - Posted by Shama Kabani

“We need more people talking about us!” As a CMO, or PR director, how many times has someone at the top come to you and said those exact words? Did you immediately start to feel the heat? When an organization decides it needs PR representation or that their current PR strategy needs an overhaul, it usually starts with a desire to create more buzz. And many times, this desire is motivated by a positive article in the local news about a competitor, or a look at another company’s thousands of seemingly engaged Twitter followers eagerly and happily interacting with their brand online. THE GOAL Simply creating buzz should not be the end goal for ramping up PR efforts. In the past, the end goal of public relations for brands may have been limited to raising brand awareness, but as the digital age has caused a  major shift in how we… read more

The Bottom Line on What Facebook Partner Categories Mean for the Little Guys

May 4, 2013 - Posted by Shama Kabani

When Facebook launched its new ad-targeting solution Facebook Partner Categories a few weeks ago, we’re pretty sure we heard a loud, collective, “Wooooohoooo” from every small business owner using Facebook ads to market their business. And they have every right to be happy beyond measure because Partner Categories, for small fries, are the great equalizer. In case you missed the announcement, Facebook Partner Categories allow brands on the social network to get ads in front of targeted users based on their activity across the Web, through desktop and/or mobile, plus their offline purchases and tendencies. Previously, targeting was based on users’ Facebook activity. Moreover, all of this is powered by data provided by market research heavyweights Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom and Blue Kai. Partner Categories are a gold mine for advertisers because it provides significantly more detail about where to place ads and the users they should target.  Advertisers who target… read more

Creating “Share-alicious” Content to Build Your Online Community

April 30, 2013 - Posted by Shama Kabani

Ever wonder why some organizations seem to have no problem at all building and engaging their online communities when your company spends a great deal of time working to get more fans, to no avail?  Does it seem like no matter what you post, tumbleweeds blow across your page.  Very few, if any “likes” or comments are happening, with the exception of the one super fan you can always count on (read: your mom) who “likes” everything you post (because she loves you). You’re not alone. Many companies struggle to find the sweet spot in content creation. But if you listen closely, your audience is telling you what they want to hear. Deliver it, and you’ll see your online community start to take shape. First understand what moves your audience If you don’t have a deep understanding of who your audience is then you’ll have a difficult time figuring out… read more

Calls to Action Now Allowed on Facebook Page Cover Images

March 21, 2013 - Posted by Shama Kabani

The 17th December version of Facebook’s Pages Terms previously prevented any kind of marketing in the cover image, and text was not allowed to comprise more than 20% of the image area. Page owners had to compromise by making sure that they advertised within the page and tried to creatively draw in consumers. However, it seems as though the Pages Terms Platforms changed overnight and simultaneously opened up a great method for marketing. Previously, or at least until March 20th, the Page Features determined under subsection B (Cover) that cover images may not include: images with more than 20% text; price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”; contact information such as a website address, email. mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section; references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow point from the… read more

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