Yes Huge Brands are Using Tumblr and You Should Too

Yes Huge Brands are Using Tumblr and You Should Too

Most businesses marketing online focus on the traditional types of social media that everyone is expected to spend a lot of time on such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Now big brands are branching out to different platforms that can be equally effective such Tumblr. Even major businesses and corporations are incorporating Tumblr into their marketing and they are getting surprisingly great results.

For those not familiar with Tumblr, it is a social blogging and sharing platform that is growing rapidly with some of the wealthiest user groups. Although fewer people use Tumblr than platforms like Facebook they do tend to spend more time consuming and sharing content on it. Tumblr users also fall into the very desirable demographic of millennials between the ages of 16-34.

Major brands like IBM, Glamour, Keds, Vans and even Coca-Cola have their own Tumblr sites where they share and interact with consumers. They can push new products, post content linking back to their site and reach people through interesting visual posts. One thing to keep in mind about Tumblr is that it is important to find out if your target demographic hangs out there because it is more useful for specific groups.

Tumblr is beneficial to brands because it is an extremely visual platform and allows them to tailor their content to their audience. Bigger brands tend to use Tumblr to spread information and awareness but not oversell to their target audience. Tumblr offers the use of tagging and labeling to make content searchable and more easy to find online.

Although Tumblr may not be as popular a social media platform as Facebook or Instagram, it can be a useful addition to any advertising campaign. If your target audience hangs out on Tumblr then it can be a big boost to your business.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Battling the Bots

Battling the Bots

Internet robots or bots are used to perform repetitive jobs or send automatic interactions online. Recent studies have shown that bots now account for more activity on Twitter than humans. The majority of all tweets that share links to popular websites and articles, about 66 percent, are actually shared by bots.

The most active bots on Twitter are responsible for 22 percent of all tweeted links which means that they produce four times as many tweets as the average human user. The findings suggest that bots have taken over Twitter with the amount of link sharing tweets that they are posting online. Even more alarming is that bots account for 89 percent of the links shared to news sites like Google news.

Bots can be used to manipulate the algorithms that news sites use to determine the links to articles that people see in their newsfeed. News stories then can quickly go viral and be significantly affected by link-sharing bots that are manipulating what people see online. If the goal of certain bots is political propaganda they may be able to influence what people read and what their opinions are on certain subjects.

Studies of the 2016 elections suggested that bots generated tweets promoting certain candidates. Although most bots tend to be ideologically mixed, they can have specific political agendas and a goal in mind as far the news stories and articles they are sharing. It is even possible for foreign governments to use bots as online propaganda tools in order to cause problems within the United States.

Bots can be a serious issue of integrity on the internet if they have the power of making certain stories seem more popular than others. They may have the ability to sway people’s opinion by dictating what information is exposed to them. It is something to consider for those who are concerned about the possible negative influence of bots online.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Basic Social Media Post Checklist

Basic Social Media Post Checklist

The more effort, time and planning that you put into social media posts the more benefits you are going to see from them. It can be difficult to compete for attention online so you need to have certain strategies in place to get a higher engagement rate.

These are some guidelines for how to put together an effective social media post.

Use Attention Grabbing Headlines

You need to give users something that they will be immediately drawn to through your headline. You can use tricks like promising a specific benefit, asking a question to get more interaction, creating a sense of urgency and triggering curiosity or emotion.

Include Hashtags

It is important with social media posts to include hashtags because they can increase the visibility of the post based on popular topics. More people are likely to see your post if you include a clickable hashtag that they can look through and see your content.

Use Quotes to Provide Compelling Ideas

Many effective social media posts incorporate quotes that provide people with information, inspiration or knowledge. Quotes from a known expert can be especially compelling because people will want to hear their insight on certain subjects related to your brand. Including an image or graphic can make quotes stand out and catch users’ attention.

Create Highly Visual Posts

When it comes to social media, images can be critical because visual posts tend to get more engagement, shares and clicks. Even if you are posting an article it can be helpful for the featured image from the article to appear within the post. The images that you include in your posts can quickly get more of a response than simply adding text.

There are many other ways to improve your social media posts but these are some of the most essential elements to focus on as a basic checklist for your content.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Leveraging Social Media Polls

One of the key strategies that businesses online usually focus on is getting more engagement from their audience on social media. Interacting and getting people to respond to posts can help you build a more engaged fanbase that is likely to stay loyal to your brand and spread the word about what you do. One of the most effective ways to get people to engage with your posts is to create a social media poll to get feedback from your audience.

Getting consumer feedback not only gets people to react to your post, it can also provide you with valuable information that can help you improve what you do. Voting for something can drive excitement for certain products or your brand in general and it can help you understand what your audience really wants. Polls can make user interactions more immediate and intimate in a way that a normal post can’t quite accomplish.

Social media polls can often take the form of allowing followers to decide the best options for products that a company offers. They can also simply be for fun so that the audience can share their opinion on something. Polls can incorporate humor to get people to react in a way that makes them more interested in your brand.

Lettings be involved in business decisions helps them feel more involved in what you do and persuades them to care more about the outcome. Polls can be used on almost any social media site including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Even though polls can be useful they should be only posted occasionally so fans don’t bored or lose interest in them.

Mixing in some social media polls with your regular posts can boost engagement and help you build a closer relationship with your audience.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Best Graphic Design Apps for Social Media Posts

Best Graphic Design Apps for Social Media Posts

Users on social media expect unique and engaging images that will draw them in and encourage them to respond to your post. This is sometimes best accomplished by a great graphic design that will make people want to share your image. Fortunately there are plenty of apps available to help you create interesting graphics for your posts.

Canva – One of the most useful tools for visual design especially for business owners and entrepreneurs is Canva. This is an app that is easy to use for people with limited design skills who want to create a custom image. You can use the app to choose a layout, search for images, purchase stock photos, add visual effects and customize the color scheme and font to match your brand.

PiktoChart – If you are looking to make your own infographics for your social media posts then Piktochart might be the best app to choose. You can also use the app to make reports, banners and presentations in addition to infographics. There are built in templates to choose from that you can easily customize and edit in order to match your brand’s color scheme and themes.

QuotesCover- Posting quotes on your social media sites can be a great way to capture people’s attention and inspire them. QuotesCover is an app that allows users to create beautiful quote graphics so that you can add a design element to personal or famous quotes that you want to share. Within the app you can choose a layout, add your quote, add a photo or choose a plain background and customize the color and font.

Whatever type of graphics you are hoping to post on your site, there are apps that specifically cater to what you are looking for and make it easy to customize and design unique images.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Instagram Cares About Users Wellbeing

Instagram Cares About Users Wellbeing

Instagram has responded to claims that the social media platform is bad for mental health by setting up their own “Wellbeing Team”. Recently a highly publicized survey revealed that Instagram ranked number one as the worst social media network for user’s mental health and wellbeing. Instagram is hoping to combat the negative impact that it has on user’s health by coming up with ways to make it a more positive community.

The health survey showed that although Instagram can be good for self-expression and self-identity, these positive aspects were overwhelmingly outweighed by its association with anxiety, depression and negative body image. The negative elements of Instagram made it rank well below competitors in terms of mental health such as Facebook and YouTube which was actually reported to have a positive effect on wellbeing. Instagram decided to confront the problem by creating an entire team that is dedicated to improving people’s mood and wellbeing through Instagram.

The Wellbeing Team is making an effort to transform Instagram into a place where people feel good and don’t experience feelings of anxiety and depression while using it. It may be a difficult task since many users especially young women experience a lot of negative feelings on Instagram. Women in their late teens and early 20s using Instagram reported that it had a negative impact on their body image and made them feel inadequate about their work and lifestyle.

Instagram is currently changing their priorities and making positive mental health their number one goal for the platform. They have created comment filters that automatically filter out inappropriate comments to prevent bullying and set up teams to review posts by individuals who may need mental health support. If Instagram continues to take measures to improve the community it may be able to minimize the negative impact it has on user’s mental wellbeing.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

5 Snapchat Geofilter Tips

5 Snapchat Geofilter Tips

Using Snapchat filters adds a unique element to your posts and geofilters can show viewers a special overlay that is accessed in certain locations. Snapchat recently made it possible for viewers to create their own geofilters which opens up new creative possibilities for posts. Whether you use Snapchat’s existing geofilters or create your own they can add a festive design element that can be useful for marketing or simply showcasing new sticker graphics.

Initially Snapchat geofilters were somewhat limited because they were only offered through the company. Now there are community submitted geofilters that are free and available to users and you can make your own custom geofilter for a special event. Businesses can create a custom geofilter using their logo or brand to promote themselves to Snapchat users.

Here are some tips for using Snapchat geofilters to your advantage-

1. Define the Geographical Area

The way that geofilters work on Snapchat is that the user must be within a certain range to use the filter. If you purchase a custom geofilter that range is about 20,000 square feet or more. You will need to provide details about the area where you want the geofilter to appear and then Snapchat will create a “geofence” for your filter. When users are in that area your filter will appear as an option for them to add to their posts.

In order to find a geofilter the user will need to have the filters box checked under their settings and have their location available on their smartphone. As long as they are within the geofence they will be able to see your geofilter appear as one they can add to their photo or video.

2. Follow Business Guidelines

If you are choosing to create a custom geofilter in order to promote your business you will need to make sure that you follow Snapchat’s guidelines. Businesses creating a filter must have the necessary usage rights and permissions to include any brand or business names well as  logos or trademarks. It is important for anyone who creates a geofilter to know that filters must not contain any photographs of people, URLS, hashtags, phone numbers or emails.

For businesses that means that you might have to be more creative in getting people to contact you when they see your filter. Having your business name may be enough but you can also find ways to include your social media handle or website without using an @ symbol or “.com” so that Snapchat doesn’t recognize it as a URL.

4. Using Templates to Design

3. Understanding Specifications

It is important to have a good idea of the guidelines and specifications for a geofilter to avoid having your custom filter rejected by Snapchat after you submit it. If you follow all the specifications then you are more likely to have your filter approved so you can use it right away without having to make any adjustments. The files need to be 1080px by 1920px high, under 300KB in size and saved as a .PNG file with a transparent background.

4. Using Templates to Design

If you don’t have a designer to help you make a custom geofilter the good news is that Snapchat offers templates to help people create their own filters. You can edit and customize the templates if you don’t have any of your own design programs to create an overlay. These pre-made design elements can inspire you but you can also look at other people’s geofilters for ideas and inspiration.

5. Choose the Right Date for Your Filter

Custom Snapchat geofilters are only allowed to be active for 30 days and then they can no longer be run. You will also need to schedule the exact dates that it will run but not any more than 30 days ahead of the day you submit. That means you need to time your submission accordingly and have an idea of the specific time period where your filter will be most effective.

Geofilters can be effective if you are using them to help promote a special event or let people know that your business recently opened in the area. You can choose the exact start and end dates for the filter so that it falls prior and during your event or opening. If you want to create another geofilter after the 30 days are over you can simply submit a new design and choose new dates.

Snapchat geofilters are a great way for users to show their followers where they are and what they are doing. Custom filters can be a useful way to promote a business, a specific occasion or just be more creative with Snapchat. As long as you understand and follow Snapchat’s rules and guidelines about designing geofilters they can be a fun and effective addition to your online presence.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What Does this Facebook Drama Mean for My Ads?

What Does this Facebook Drama Mean for My Ads?

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has been through a rough time recently with the scandal involving the social media platform. The market cap for Facebook plummeted by $50 billion after the public discovered the truth about how their data was shared with third parties. Zuckerberg was forced to speak at a congressional hearing and asserted that he would make some much needed changes to Facebook to protect user privacy.

If Facebook gets an overhaul as a result of this scandal then people might be worried about its impact on users, especially businesses who rely on social media as part of their advertising tactics. Any changes to Facebook could also impact Instagram which is owned by the same company that might feel compelled to follow the same guidelines regarding personal data. Protecting user data is an important goal for Facebook but how will it affect businesses running ads on the social media platform?

Social media experts are predicting that data changes may not have as dramatic an effect on the way people use Facebook and Instagram as you might think. Advertising may not be hindered if Facebook allows businesses to continue promoting themselves through the platform and using the information they need to target ads. Many industry experts believe that advertising on Facebook and Instagram actually won’t change much, at least in the short term.

Protecting Data and Maintaining Business

Protecting Data and Maintaining Business

When the news broke that Facebook allowed user data to be accessed by a company called cambridge analytica, it caused many people to question the integrity of the social media platform. Cambridge analytica is a political data firm that was hired by the Trump administration in order to gain access to user data on Facebook. The company was able to access private information on more than 50 million Facebook users and used tools to help influence their behavior during the 2016 election.

The data that was accessed by the company included users’ identities, location likes and friend networks which was used to map personality traits and then target audiences with digital ads. Users that took a personality survey and downloaded an app, consented to have their information taken and used by the third party although they were told it was for academic use only. Facebook allows researchers to gather data for academic purposes but Cambridge analytica violated the social media platform’s rules by allowing the data to be sold and transferred.

Although Cambridge analytica is mostly to blame for its violation of user privacy, Facebook has responded to the incident by removing the app that gathered data. The company also asked for this private data to be deleted so that it would not be used again in the future. However, it is likely that users will be more wary in the future of sharing their data online.

People using Facebook and Instagram may be more cautious about providing private information but it does not necessarily mean people will steer clear of these platforms. Instagram is less politically themed and more focused on design and visuals so it not likely that advertising on that platform will be affected in the near future. Ultimately when Facebook figures out how to resolve issues with data it will eventually transfer to Instagram.

Third Party Access to Data

One possible consequence of the Cambridge analytica scandal is that Facebook may scale back access to third party data. Legislators are beginning to understand that the platform leaves private data vulnerable and they may attempt to intervene. More government oversight may lead to attempts to break up the company which has control over a large portion of the social media world.

If there is any further backlash to Facebook following the scandal it could lead to more advertising potential on Amazon as another option for businesses. Amazon is currently struggling to keep up in the marketing world because it has a smaller number of advertisers and accounts can be more difficult to set up than Facebook. However, if Facebook becomes too problematic for users, Amazon may be a useful alternative for advertising online.

In the short term, it doesn’t appear that Facebook and Instagram’s advertising services will be affected much by any new changes. It will take some time for Facebook to resolve its data issues and enact significant shifts in the way that it handles things. For the time being most businesses will be able to carry on with their usual advertising tactics and not see too many negative changes.

It is difficult to tell how Facebook will handle data in the future and how it will adjust in order to prevent privacy violations. Businesses can maintain their advertising campaigns on the site but will also benefit by exploring other options. It will likely be some time before any real significant changes occur that will strongly impact Facebook Ads.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Marketing To The Festival Season aka “Millennial Utopia”

Marketing To The Festival Season aka “Millennial Utopia”

There are hundreds of music festivals that take place year round in the U.S. alone, however the big, multi-day, even multi-weekend festivals SXSW, Ultra, Coachella, EDC, Governor’s Ball, Lollapalooza usually kick off in spring and hit HARD in the summer time. What’s happened with each of these festivals is that they have transformed way beyond music and become a playground for art, fashion, food, technology and social issues. The attendees are more than just concertgoers and see these events as can’t miss experiences they love being a part of.

Of these millions of attendees, half of them are millennials. What do you do when you have a plethora of excited millennials in one place with Internet access? You market to them.

1. Geo-fence Targeting

One of the most effective marketing strategies when it comes to these large-scale events is location targeting. Marketing techniques utilize mobile device location data, lat/long coordinates to pinpoint those in that geographical location at a specific time. Think of Snapchat Geofilters that can only be accessed while you are within the boundaries of set perimeter.

Geo-fencing, is creating a virtual perimeter that triggers specific ads and content including special discounts and offers to attendees and promoting products and events that the audience would mostly likely be interested in. Advertisers are also utilizing this technique to re-market weeks after the event is over.

2. Interactive Experiences

More and more brands offer interactive experiences at festivals and let the attendees do the marketing for them. Some huge brands will showcase cutting edge virtual reality or fun new technologies for attendees to tinker with, but it doesn’t have to be that high end or complex.

Displaying new products that haven’t hit the public yet can be enough to get the buzz going. Even simple things like digital photo booths with props, cool art installations or basic chill zones can generate brand awareness because millenials love sharing these instagrammable moments. Branded booths offering sun relief or a place to charge phones and connect to WiFi are considered a festival oasis. Attendees are coming to you and you can exchange their much-needed relief for a Re-post/Retweet, hashtag share or even a sticker on their festival outfit and call it a deal!

3. Influencer Parties

Depending on your industry, hosting an exclusive party off festival grounds during the day has become priceless for certain brands especially for fashion retailers. Inviting celebrities and ”lifestyle influencers” to attend and share their experience on social media can have a huge ROI, just ask Revolve.

You don’t need an A-list guest list, ask influencers in your specific industry and create relationships. Vloggers and social media micro-influencers are happy to share and engage their followers.

Leverage FOMO4. Leverage FOMO

The fear of missing out is real, especially if it’s experience that everyone is chasing. Even if millenials aren’t at the festival physically, they are there virtually. Utilize that festival theme and plan your content around it. Email blasts, blog posts, playlists, podcasts and shareable social media images can garner you valuable web traffic without even stepping foot inside. Millenials who can’t attend are live streaming, live tweeting and are still a part of the conversation so you should join in too.

5. Experiential Marketing

Want to test something totally out of the box, this is the crowd you want to experiment with. Brands like Soul Cycle offered spin classes to attendees so they can get their workout in before they let loose inside the festival. Asics offered  a pre-festival morning hike and what these lead to were highly shareable moments that really leveraged other aspects of the festival culture.

Millennials are excited to try new things and be a part of something unqiue and the festival environment is all about having fun after all.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

5 Twitter Tactics We Can Learn From Trump

5 Twitter Tactics We Can Learn From Trump

President Trump has thrown “social media rules” out the window. No other president has been as active on Twitter, or any social media platform for that matter and has even called himself “the Ernest Hemmingway of 140 characters”.

From attacking celebrities to what some call threatening a world war here are 5 things Donald Trump has taught us not to do when it comes to our Twitter strategy.

1. Avoid Typos

Covfefe anyone? Whether you have millions of followers or not, taking a little extra time to check that your published content is correct is essential. Not only do you want to make sure there are no spelling errors, double check for basic grammatical mistakes and that your links are working. Quotes should be properly cited, articles should come from reputable sources and stats should be factual. These things only take a few moments and can make or break how audiences view your brand. The last thing you want from your followers are comments that say your link is broken or that you used the wrong form of “there”.

“Unpresidented” “No challenge is to great” “Hearby” “Our deepest apologizes” “honered to serve” are just some of the embarrassing typos from President Trump that Twitter has a field day with. These mistakes can make your company seem careless, unprofessional and put a dent in your credibility, some may even say incompetent.

2. Brand Consistency

Whichever industry you are in, it can sometimes be beneficial to join in on the cultural conversation and leverage certain trending topics, albeit they pertain to your business. For example, if you sell sporting goods, keeping up with trending hashtags during the Olympics makes sense and can be valuable to both you and your followers. However, when you are the President of The United States, it might be best not to take multiple jabs at Meryl Streep at the Oscars. If something seems off-topic for your brand and you’re reaching for it to make sense for you, leave it alone.

Twitter has been around for over 10 years, it may be a good idea to take some time and go back and scrub old tweets that are inconsistent with your company’s current philosophy. You don’t want any new tweets to be incongruous with older tweets. Many Twitter users are retweeting Trumps cringeworthy older tweets that simply didn’t age well. Users have been digging up tweets that are direct contradictions of his current policies. Now not everyone has archives of hypocritical tweets waiting to be uncovered, however cleansing your account for things that are simply off brand is constructive.

3. Too Much Self-Promotion

Some people have social media strategy down to a science. There is Gary Vee’s, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” method, which is basically engage, engage, engage self promote. There is also the 5:3:2 method that’s about balancing your content and focusing on your audience, not yourself. If your entire Twitter presence is just self-promotion you’re not addingToo Much Self-Promotion anything of value for your followers. Constant self-promo will get you unfollowed or even blocked.

Trump is infamous for being self-congratulatory and constantly tooting his own horn, often referring to himself as a genius and tweeting exaggerated approval ratings. He does this so often that when he does tweet about others it seems disingenuous.

4. Listen and Express Empathy

No, you don’t have to jump on to every #prayfor_____ trending topic you see for the sake of retweets. However, you do want your company to be able to show that they care. In the case of a natural disaster or national tragedy sharing your opinion or “hot take” or placing blame on somebody is the wrong thing to do.

After a hurricane hit Puerto Rico, Trump condemned the San Juan Mayor on her poor leadership abilities. Perhaps tweeting words of reassurance for the Puerto Rican people or providing a link where people can donate would have been more productive. Capitalizing on a tragedy is also a big no-no and may brands have learned this the hard way.

Donald Trump Puerto Rico

Using your Twitter account to listen is severely overlooked. If a customer uses Twitter to complain, address them and offer to speak to them via DM or provide them a customer service number to get their issue resolved. Having an all out Twitter feud with a customer in front of other followers will hurt you in the end.

5. Being Creative Doesn’t Mean Being Controversial

Being consistent doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, and being creative doesn’t mean you have to be controversial. Trying something new in your social media strategy is a good thing. How will you know something works if you’re not constantly experimenting?

However, a lot of brands can land themselves in hot water when they try to be funny or they try to be risqué. Getting a second, third or 4th opinion on your tweet before you click send can save you from irreparable damage if that tweet goes awfully south. Going viral for a tone-deaf tweet can label your brand ignorant for years.Nike

Although it was once advised to keep politics hush, some brands are going full steam ahead. If your brand is against racism, sexism and homophobia and passionate about certain social issues then speaking out on a matter might be important to you. These days more consumers want to know what companies stand for or if you stand for anything at all.

Culture is changing and brands removing themselves from anything remotely controversial are actually alienating a lot of their audience. Some brands that have spoken out against the president have seen overwhelming support while other brands that have expressed their political stances have been hit with the dreaded b word- boycott.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.