Future Implications

Look into my crystal ball… and see the wonders to unfold in the future of Social Media.  Ok, so it is hard to truly predict the future of social media though there are a few insights we can gain from where we’ve been and what the future may hold.

I have been in the field of telecommunications for over two decades which means I have seen a lot of advancement in technology and how it brings people together as we adapt to the technology.  I remember when wireless (cellular) technology converted from Analog  to TMDA, CDMA & GSM and then 3G, 4G/ LTE  and now VOLTE  with all of these changes has come new ways for human to connect which in turn, changed how we interact with each other on a daily basis.

I vividly remember a video from 2001-ish (that we watched on a VCR so I cannot locate it on YouTube) “predicting” that we could play video games against each other on our phones.  At the time, I looked at my sleek Nokia  “candy bar” phone that allowed me to talk and text and was in disbelief that any of that would happen in my lifetime.  Fast Forward to 2017, and my Samsung device has the capabilities of transferring money through Cash App , playing Words with Friends, sending videos as well as access to a variety of social pages.

So, what does the past mean for the future of Social Media Marketing?

A recent article in Entrepreneur should capture the attention of brands as they look to stay ahead of upcoming trends and advancement in social media marketing.

  • Diversity of Posts – As technology evolves, so will the thirst of social users to have new ways to share their lives on the social sphere. While users currently use pictures, videos and text and layer in audio, the future will have more integration, and likely a higher emphasis on audio components.  Brands will need to explore how to tap into the ability to provide sharable content which includes integrated and live engagement with their brand.
  • Paying for Peace & Increased Privacy– As brands continue to use social platforms to target consumers, conversely consumers will begin to pay to escape these advertisements. This is similar to the shift in TV and Radio with the ability to DVR shows and uses commercial-free music streaming.  Brands will need to focus on compelling content that keeps a consumer’s attention and is not seen as an advertisement.
  • Videos – Live content is on the rise with Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, Periscope and this will continue to be on the rise as social moves forward. The challenge for brands will be engaging consumers to watch their entire video content and not just the first few seconds. This means front-loading them with compelling content that draws them in to watch the full video.

As we look to create the future of Social Media which comes first, change in technology or change in human behavior?

I think they are interrelate and interdependent.  Human Behavior (the need to share, connect and build relationships) drives advancements in technology (new social platforms and currently unimaginable apps).  Conversely, advancement in technology molds human behavior as consumers adapt to the tools available to interact socially.

What do you see in the crystal ball for Social Media?

#SMM, Online Marketing

Viral Marketing Initiatives

What is Viral Marketing?

Much like a cold or flu, Viral Marketing is when there is a high pass along rate from person to person (ie: shares, retweets, comments, etc.).  Over the years, there have been many examples of successful viral campaigns, and all of them utilize a few key characteristics.    Check out these Viral Campaign Traits as well as stellar examples for each:

Viral Campaign Traits & Examples

  1. Current – Old news is just that, old and forgotten. Viral campaigns are trend-setters on new-news which is why being current tops the chart of traits for a viral campaign. Take for example Planet Fitness who capitalized on one of the 5th worst power outages in NH this week with offering FREE visits to their NH facilities for shower, power and to use their equipment.  This social reaction filled a current need for those without power and, helps Planet Fitness to showcase their clean gym facility.


  1. Relevant – Relevancy can either be related to your target audience or more general in nature to attract a broader audience. Animal Adventure Park reached a broad audience and topped You Tube charts with April the Giraffe  as viewers anxiously awaited the birth of the baby giraffe (and then the name of the baby).  Here are their impressive campaign metrics:
  • 232 million live views
  • 6 billion minutes of live watch-time
  • 2nd most viewed YouTube History in 66 days
  • Top 5 most-watched moments for a live event on You Tube


  1. Creative – Creative marketing requires making new connections, with a focus on the unexpected. Housecleaning is what most considers a boring chore which is why the Clean  snappy, tongue in cheek and buzz worthy Valentine’s Day Video Ad was creative for this cleaning supply giant.  The Mr. Clean You Tube Video garnered these impressive metrics with its creative spin on cleaning every nook and cranny in your home:
  • 11,700 impressions across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in ONLY 1 Minute.
  • To date, there have been over 17,500,000 views of this video.


  1. Purposeful – There is a difference in purpose and purposeful as it relates to marketing. Being purposeful focuses on a problem or challenge and uses sale of products and services to create positive change. As we are coming up on Black Friday, it comes to mind the story of REI  who took chance a few years ago with #OptOutside.  This campaign encouraged people to go outside and enjoy the beauty of the world instead of shopping on Black Friday. This has been so successful; other companies have joined in this effort and REI has used #OptOutside consistently to showcase that their brand is focused on the great outdoors.


  1. Shareable

Social Media is no longer just for the tech-savvy, it is a platform to leverage the internet to inspire millions to follow a story, share it on their own feeds and participate in conversations (and debates).  It should come as no surprise that one of the most shared campaigns has been surrounding President Trump.   There is a Huffington Post  titled “An Open Letter to My Friends Who Supported Donald Trump” which was shared a total of 2.2Million times across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Domain shares.

The fun part about Viral Marketing is that you never know what will take off, what will speak to the masses, and how far it will reach the depths of social media.  There are so many examples of viral campaigns, what is your favorite one and why?

#SMM, Online Marketing

Differentiation – The Facebook War of Chevy vs. Ford

Social Media has changed the way many industries market to consumers and the automotive industry is no stranger to utilizing this medium.  So, who uses it best? And, what exactly does “best” mean in terms of a Social Media Strategy?  Join me in a Facebook Face-Off of Chevy vs. Ford.

The last attempt at comparing these automakers and their Social Strategy was in 2014.  At the time of that Face-Off Ford won overall based on Mentions and Conversation Mapping though Chevy did rank higher Social Sentiment.  How do these automakers stack up in the Social Swirl in 2017? Let’s find out…

Chevy – Find New Roads

This year started off with a bang as Chevrolet (GM) became the first automaker to use Facebook Live to showcase their new vehicles.  Imagine an up-close and personal video of the new automotive from the comfort of your home.  This is a great example of keeping up with the advanced in social media while leveraging a platform that is already being used and has 19 Million Followers on the Main Chevrolet Facebook Page.

Chevy – Their Social Strategy

GM’s Social Strategy in 2017 was to promoting its electric vehicle to a carefully selected audience through an integrated campaign. Its print ads in science and technology publications delivered part of that message to some of that audience. Its billboards helped it to reach another audience segment. Facebook Live expanded the audience further. It provided more information in a 25-minute segment than any commercial could have done, and it engaged its core audience deeply enough to generate over 800 comments. A full list of Chevrolet (and GM’s) social pages can be found here.

Ford – Go Further

In contrast, Ford has not been touted for emerging social trends to showcase its breadth of vehicles.    Main Ford Facebook Page has only 8 Million which is less than half that of its nemesis Chevy.  There have been no earth-shattering uses of Facebook much like Facebook Live though that doesn’t mean they are not finding ways to educate through this medium.

Ford – Their Social Strategy

In a 2014 Review their Facebook strategy they were engaging with consumers by asking for photos of the worst pot holes.  This then opens up dialogue to educate consumers on what to do when you’ve hit one and how to “fight back”.  This is a great way to evoke two-way engagement though their current efforts seem to be less interactive and more 1-way videos that do not inspire engagement.  Other Ford social campaigns (outside of Facebook) can be found here.

From a Facebook, it appears that Chevy is agile and forward-thinking.  I am curious; does their Facebook Live post increase your consideration to go buy a Chevy?  Why or Why Not?

Online Marketing

Mobile Users Surpass Tooth Brushers

Recent Statistics indicate that 85% of Mobile Users access the internet from their device at least once a day and 71% have also downloaded Apps and Programs.  While I am sure we all can agree with that, does it come surprise that people have more cellphones than toothbrushes?  Yes, you read that correct, here’s the math:

  • There are 6.8 billion people on the planet
  • 1 billion of them own a cell phone
  • 2 billion own a toothbrush

While I am sure this statistic will continue to perplex us, the truth is that in order for a business to soar, they need to tap into the mobile site-o-sphere.  There is a caveat; the mobile site must be optimized and user-friendly.  Otherwise, consumers may seek a competitor’s mobile site and that means lost revenue for your business.

Mobile Site Example

There are many examples when it comes to finding the best mobile designs, most of which earn this title based on user experiences and interfaces.  One of the best examples is Shutterfly, a site for photography enthusiasts, which allows prints to come to life in a variety of forms.  Shutterfly has made their mobile site intuitive, easy to navigate and easy use.  Many businesses can learn from this mobile platform as they start or improve their own mobile site designs.

Shutterfly’s Mobile Site Features:

  • View Shutterfly Albums (which can also be access via desktop)
  • The ability to upload Photos from the Device, Instagram and Facebook (to them print/order)
  • Instant Ability to Create, Preview and Order Prints
  • An easy interface to Order Gifts (ie: Cards, Home Décor, Phone Cases)
  • Compatible with both iOS & Android

Mobile Site Design

Thankfully, there are standards when it comes to mobile site “must haves”, all geared to enhance the user-experience.  These features can help a mobile site become more user-friendly such as the experience with Shutterfly:

  • Responsive design which easily transfers the site to any mobile platform.
  • Easy to Read and Navigate, especially because text is smaller on mobile than desktop.
  • Optimized (or few) Multimedia
  • Scrolling content so a user doesn’t have to click off of the primary page
  • Location-based content to appeal more to the user
  • Contact Information that is easy to find.
  • Social integration (sharing, accessing photos, etc.)
  • Compatibility on Android, iOS as well as Mobile vs. Tablet optimization

When using a mobile site, what are your user-interface must-haves?

Online Marketing

A Beginners’ Guide to Remarketing

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing is a form of online advertising to re-target ads to users who have already visited a website (desktop or mobile).  These ads will appear when consumers browse the web; watch YouTube videos and/or reading news sites after they have interacted with the brand.  The benefit of retargeting is to keep a brand top-of-mind, especially to those who already looked at your site (whether or not they made a purchase).

Building Campaigns

There are many ways to build a remarketing campaign, first decide the intended goal of the campaign and create a remarketing list.  There are a variety of ways to assemble a Remarketing List that will provide you different avenues of retargeting for maximum results.  Some ways to arrange the lists are:

  • All website visitors – This targets everyone who has visited your site (desktop or mobile).
  • By product category – This list provides a focused and targeted focus for the specific product or category.
  • Visitors who didn’t purchase – This list target those who visited and didn’t purchase.
  • Visitors who abandoned their shopping cart – Similar to above, this is those who took the time to add to their cart and then left the site and their cart was still full.
  • Sell more to visitors (up/cross sell) – A list to target those who already purchased, with additional similar items to purchase.
  • Time-bound after a purchase – A list to target products that would enhance the first purchase.

Remarketing KPIs

There is a plethora of ways to assemble Advertising Metrics based on the desired outcome of the remarketing campaign.  The most helpful KPIs are Conversion Rate and Attribution Rate as these speak to the activity and consumer behavior which is can be measured through remarketing.

  • Conversion: This is the % of customer who actually buys vs. the amount of people who received the remarketed ad. For remarketing, a conversion can be the number of people who purchased their abandoned cart, purchase similar or cross-sold products or made a first time purchase.
  • Attribution: Specialized attribution capabilities use algorithms that help you get to the robust, statistically sound insights that can help drive impact. For example, data-driven attribution can determine which remarketing efforts had the greatest impact, conversion rate and ROI.

 Remarketing Campaign Trials

Remarketing Trials are a great way to delve into understanding how the efforts are working and if they are hitting the desired KPIs.    The benefit of these trials is to measure for incremental growth and acceleration.  The best trials will include these features:

  • A holdout/control group that not exposed to the retargeting activity which is achieved through excluding a random selection of the remarketing list, and not sending them the retargeting campaign.
  • Once the campaign is complete, it is easier to compare and contrast the conversion rate of the control and exposed populations and attributes to retargeting efforts.
  • The aggregate results to the total conversions you feel were from retargeting vs the control group of those not included and this will help find the true value of the retargeting campaign.

Are there additional KPIs you have used to measure your remarketing efforts?  If yes, share them and the value they provided to determining your ROI.




Online Marketing

5-Step Email Marketing

One of the most used methods of online marketing is e-mail marketing, yet very few articles have an A-Z guide on what you will need to be successful in this medium.  Here is a 6-step process on how to get started with your email marketing campaign today!

Step 1 – The Why’s

The first step is to understand why to email your customers.  Forbes shares these benefits of email marketing:

  • 91% of US adults like Emailed Promotions
  • Email is 40% more effective than Facebook & Twitter
  • Builds Credibility
  • Boosts Sales
  • Strengthen Relationships
  • Device Agnostic (open on any mobile platform)
  • Looks professional
  • Garners Immediate Results
  • Generate Leads
  • Promote Services
  • Attract New Clients

Email Marketing is indeed a key to generating revenue for both acquisition and retention efforts.  It can strengthen the business’s marketing efforts by efficiently delivering content on a routine basis to everyone that has opted into marketing (more about opt-ins below).  Email marketing content should be a complementary array of promotional and brand messages to keep readers engaged, informed and interested in remaining opted-in to continue to receive emails.

Step 2 – The Strategy

Once a business determines to pull the trigger on email marketing, the next step is to learn the science behind creating an Email Marketing strategy such as these key ingredients:

  • Customers Must Opt-In
  • Customers Must be able to Opt-Out
  • Honor Opt-Outs Quickly
  • Straightforward Subject Lines
  • From/To/Reply must be authentic
  • Include a real postal address
  • Be upfront that it is an Advertisement
  • Use caution with “forward to a friend” email
  • Understand what makes a commercial email
  • Be aware of emails send on your behalf


One helpful tip in creating the strategy is to think like the consumer such as: Would you want to read the email? Is the content aligned to your target audience?  Is it snazzy and eye-catching or just a whole bunch of words?  If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it is time to re-think the strategy until you can answer “yes”.

Step 4 – The Database

Once the content is built, will they come?  Um, likely not.

Growing an email database will take more time and effort than designing the content. Building a Killer Email Marketing List starts with your strategy and then focuses such as simple opt-in forms, list management, subscriber management and performance tracking aid into making a healthy database.  The majority of your email database will come when consumers “opt-in” to receive your emails.

Hubspot, a successful inbound community helping businesses reach their goals share these tactics on how to Grow an Opt-In List:

  • Create gated assets (webinars, e-books, a variety of content) to for people to give you their email address
  • Create useful tools
  • Promote your gated assets on your marketing channels (ie: social, blogs, etc.)
  • Run creative email marketing campaigns with a call to action and/or reengagement campaign

Step 5 – The Laws

Yes, there are anti-marketing and Spam laws.  Spam is when you get copies of the same email message even when you do not choose to receive it. There are laws surrounding spam, such as the Can-Spam Act of 2003  which assigns a hefty fine of $16,000 per infringed email.  There are also marketing laws specific to each state and country so be sure to research these before deploying an email marketing campaign.

Step 6 – The White Flag  

If all else fails, choose from one of these Best Email Marketing Services which have been reviewed from an overall perspective as well as Email Sending, Creating and List Management.

Have other tips and tricks to share?  Let me know in the comments!

Online Marketing

Surviving Analytical Stalking

Have you ever felt stalked by the internet with ads that know what you just searched?  Or wonder how does Google know that I am here?  If you have felt this way, you may have been a victim of online Retargeting, Targeted Ads or Location Based Marketing.  Keep reading for more information about surviving these online stalking… (aka “research”)… methods.

Retargeting & Targeted Ads

If you have used an online site to browse and item, chances are you have been a victim of retargeting.  This is when you receive ads based on previous actions or purchases.  While this can be an effective method to reconnect with interested shoppers even after they leave a website, if done poorly, it can be seen as ad stalking.

I apologize in advance of the upcoming sad example, though it will help me with my point.  Years ago I had to make a decision regarding my beloved dog, Sam.  It seemed to be time for a decision to lay him to rest.  So, I sought the internet for guidance on how I would know I was making the right decision, which was a mistake.  Days later, I had to say goodbye and he crossed Rainbow Bridge, I kept getting ads and pop-ups on dog euthanasia.  I kept thinking why on earth are these ads popping up and how can I get rid of the ads that felt suffocating?  This was certainly an example of bad retargeting and their reminder only increased the sadness in my heart.

On a different note, advances in data modeling and predictive analysis also allow targeted online ads to those in specific target markets (vs a consumer’s previous action).   On a happier example, I have been “victim” of this type of online stalking when I buy an item on Amazon.  Once I click “add to cart”, I am instantly enticed and delighted with “similar items people bought” with the same purchase.  This seems less creepy, it doesn’t break my heart, and I admit some of the similar items have also shown up at my house, in that box with a smiling face. 🙂

Location Based Marketing (Mobile)

Thanks to innovations in location intelligence, marketers also use Location Based Marketing to target consumers based on where they go, which gives insight on the consumer journey from ad exposure to store visit to purchase data.  As a consumer, you have a choice to enable or disable “Location Based Services” from your phone to avoid being the victim (or recipient) of Location Based Marketing.

On a recent trip to Knoxville, TN I learned about Google Rewards and Google Contribute, great examples of Location Based Marketing, from my leader David.  He was very excited about these online activities and as he described them, my mind went to “creepy” with some added benefits.  These platforms automatically send you surveys and ask for reviews based on where you have been (hotels restaurants) or where you called from a Google Search.  The added benefit is that they give you money (sometimes a mere $.18) for each activity/survey to use in the Google Play Store.  I have not downloaded these apps though I saw real time the requests David got to review Knox Mason, the Tennessean and Tupelo Honey.  The benefit of these examples is that it is purely opt-in so while google likely knows you are there; your opinion is only sought if you have set up these apps on your mobile device.

Let’s do a little survey, do you like or dislike being “stalked on the internet”?  Why/Why not?