Posted by: FDMC | May 25, 2016

10 year olds and smartphones

 

smartphone-kidsAccording to Influence Central, kids are getting their first cell phone at about age 10 and one-third of kids have a social media account before they get 12 years of age.  11% of these kids had a social media account before they were 10!  While I have strong feelings about kids this young messing around with devices the sad thing is brands are fully aware of these same stats  and they are  trying to get as much of their advertising toward these young new and bold users.  This same study showed kids are using tablets in cars, watching videos on those smartphones, and using basic text messages. They understand Snapchat, clicking on to the internet and off they go. I just hope there is some adult supervision going on. I am in the business of technology and social media and you would think I would all over this a being the cheerleader for mobile devices. But at what price are we enabling our children before they are still in grade school?

I look back at my young life at that age and a Tonka Truck and playing “Mouse Trap” was more than enough entertainment for me along with getting out in the mountain air with my friends. We already know the seriousness of teens using smartphones for private messaging, sexting, and their young minds do not understand the long-term consequences of how much harm can be done from what they think is a fun or private moment with their boy or girlfriend. I strongly urge parents to think hard about when your child is ready to have their own smart phone. Do not cave in to “Well Jacob or Melissa has one! Why can’t I?” You not only have to look at the costs associated with an expensive smart phone but those contracts for an extra line and then the monitoring of what your child is doing with them.

The argument can be made “Well my kid having a phone allows me to stay in touch with them.”  and yes, you can actually track them as to where they are through the GPS but take the time to educate, and know the maturity level of your child for the responsibility that go with it. Like it or not at that young age, you need to check their phones to see what they are doing with it and control what apps they can and can not have. Ahh give me back my Mouse Trap Game!

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media

Posted by: FDMC | May 18, 2016

Does your phone need more space for “Spaces”?

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Yes, they just keep on coming and not that your smart phone has any more room for another app but this one might just prove to be useful. Google’s new “spaces”app is designed to work with mobility and thus can be downloaded by either Google Play Store or the Apple Store for free. I just tested it on the desktop and yes it works there as well.  The main purpose of Spaces is to help small groups get more done via collaboration. It integrates Google search, YouTube, and Chrome for quick and flawless look-up. To use it you simply need a Gmail  account and hopefully friends or associates you can email to to join you in your new space.

“Why do I need my space for spaces? ” you may ask. If you have a hot topic to discuss or a short notice meeting that you need your team on, simply make a space and invite them in. You can tap on a link, a video, a photo, whatever and  off you go. For our iPhone users, you may have already messed around with the sister of this app called Gboard.  It is very similar.

While our phones continue to get filled with apps this little gem will  be cool for  high school and college students who have group projects to work on as well as sales staff or committee people from non profits. Finally the app is very good for the person sitting at the coffee shop discovering something he or she thinks is cool and wants to share it with their 30 or so   friends just to get their opinion. Check out Spaces. I just hope you still have the space on your phone for Spaces.

Roy

FDMC Social & Digital Media

www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | May 11, 2016

Are You Using LinkedIn To The Fullest?

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LinkedIn has come a long way since launching as a job referral site. It still has its roots embedded in that but we all know LinkedIn is doing so much more for business professionals.  You might just call it the Facebook of Business.  We share our ideas, we network, we look for sale opportunities and the list goes on.  If you are somewhat new to LinkedIn or you are asking yourself, “How do some of these people have over 500 contacts on their site?” well maybe I can give you some help here.

You are selling yourself on LinkedIn.  Consider yourself you are your brand.  Sure you can promote your company but at the same time, you are promoting yourself as to your level of expertise in what you do. This begins with your Photo.  Make it professional.  Don’t use some backyard shot of you holding your latest fish catch or you smiling at the bar with a drink in your hand.  You get my drift.  You can do custom backgrounds on LinkedIn to show what you do.  Take advantage of it.  You can also have your own website on LinkedIn. This a little secret many do not take advantage of.  Market your business!  Your profile header needs to jump out at potential clients or if you are looking for work it needs to say, “Hey, stop here, hire me!”  Use good keywords so when people or businesses are searching, they will find you.  Keep it professional!  Finally, always update your content.  Fill out and use everything LinkedIn has to offer. Check your site at least twice a week and respond to people. They want to network with you and you would not be on LinkedIn if you did not want to network back, right?   Oh be visual. Post images and videos. Be Seen!

Roy

FDMC Social & Digital Video

Posted by: FDMC | May 4, 2016

Video Marketing. Are You In The Game?

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Video marketing is here to stay and it is growing at breakneck speeds.  While getting your brand out there via digital video is a no-brainer, you need metrics to measure your ROI.  Here are some tips that can help you see how you are doing and to optimize your video marketing  strategies

1.  Make sure your video is set not only for desktop viewing but mobility as well.  We are a mobile society now and especially your younger viewers are watching via their cell phones.  . Consider landscape over portrait  for optimal viewing.

2.  Make your video ad able to auto start.  In native environments, ads that begin to play on their own capture more viewers.  This feature is available on most platforms.

3..Use Facebook for advertising and promoting as sharing is much higher on this platform

4.  YouTube videos are very strong right now and the stats are there that show brands who use this platform have seen increases in their sales. The most popular usage of advertising with YouTube is the “TrueView” settings. You may find them annoying as a consumer sometime but you can skip the ad, watch it, or choose other settings, but regardless, Those few seconds you see it, you have an image impact planted in your head and the advertisers know it.

5. Your KPI.  Your Key Performance Indicators is essential to know your ROI on any video ad campaign.  Make sure you set your goals and target market right.  If you are trying to reach let’s say Millennials, doing a funny ad might be the answer.  There is a company out there called Tubular Labs that can help you measure your KPI, market share, market reach, and many other analytic indicators. .  Check them out!.   Bottom line is use video!

 

Posted by: FDMC | April 27, 2016

Content Marketing. It’s not as hard as it sounds.

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Most of us have products or a service to sell. To do that from your web or social media platform, we all need content (along with eye pleasing images but I will save that for a later discussion.)  To write good content the first thing you need to so is think from your prospective client or customers point of view. Not yours. Here are some quick tips that should help you come up with some good content for updating your website, running a marketing campaign, or changing up your social media platforms.  

1.  Ask yourself what have my customers or my friends been wanting to know about my products or services?  If you don’t have enough resources there then do a Q and A survey on your website and ask!  Develop a resource funnel to get content back to you.

2.  Make your content stand out.  Everything from the type of font you use to images and color choices all play out in content writing.

3. Make sure your brand is applied whenever possible.  Even with content writing, you are still selling your brand.

4.  Link other blogs or content you have written if possible. Use customer reviews of your product and services when it fits.

5.Provide as much information about your product or service as you can without sounding self serving, cluttering up the page, or putting everyone to sleep.

6. Be Interactive.  Allow feedback and questions on your content. Get to know your market base.

7.  Create a call to action.  You need to end your content with “Call Today!” or  the first 50 people who stop by or call receive this discount or this gift.”  you get my point.

Have fun with it.  Be creative, think outside the box and always update your content.

For more information, visit FDMC Social & Digital media at www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com 

Posted by: FDMC | April 20, 2016

How To Market On Line With No Budget

Many of the small businesses, what I like to call the Mom & Pops of this world have little or no marketing budget to speak of and even more due to no fault of their own, don’t have much of a grasp in this fast paced world we call social media. Be it content marketing, creating social platforms, even getting out to do network marketing, these small business owners barely have time to open and close the shop much less try and maintain a social presence. So here are some ideas for all of you small business owners on how to do some creative on line marketing without writing a check out to some huge marketing firm.

While it’s effectiveness has dropped a bit, a Google My Business Page  is still a free and good way for people to find you.  Google + and Google My Business go hand in  hand. From a business aspect both pages are still used by businesses for marketing. The good news it is free. You will need a free Google account. It allows people to not only find you on Google Maps but it allows customer reviews, interaction and content posting. If your business is retail  Yelp and Angie’s List is effective as well.

Use LinkedIn and Facebook for social networking to start if you have not done so already. These two platforms along with Twitter are the “big 3” of any small business owner to start his/her on-line platform. Do not mix your personal Facebook account with your business page. Sure, invite your close friends and customers to your new site to spread the word but keep it professional. Create  special on line discounts and use content to build relationships and trust with your customers. I will assume your small business has a web site and if not, shame on you! You can create free web sites with platforms such as Webs, Weebly or Word Press. You won’t have your own domain but at least you will have an on line presence. They all feature drop and load templates to easily create websites that look nice.

Lastly that email account you have. Are you using it to market and send specials or a newsletter? You can create newsletters using services like Mail Chimp for free. Make sure your customers have given you permission to send them newsletters and that they can opt out. Good luck and get social on line!

Roy

FDMC Social & Digital Media

www.floridadudemarketingconcepts.com

Posted by: FDMC | April 13, 2016

Why Snapchat is growing

syFSpLD0   Snapchat, that crazy little app that just a few short  years ago nobody but teens paid any attention to has reinvented itself and is now one of the hottest apps going.  Even huge Fortune 500 companies are now on board salivating for advertising and branding space.  Why?  Because the platform has done a total 180 and is now loaded with cool features and it is just not for kids anymore wanting to post selfies that disappear in 10 seconds (although that feature is  still there)   So lets talk about snapchat and some of the things you may not even know about exist on this little app that is in fact, quite powerful.

Snap length.  You can set your snaps or videos to run up to 10 seconds if you wish.  The little dial is in the lower left hand side.

I want to save my selfie!  If your picture is safe for the world to see (or normal enough) you can save the shot to your smartphone gallery and to that great storage cloud in the sky by simply clicking on the icon just right of the timer.

Text & texting.   Snapchat allows video chat and texting as you may already know but you can also add text to your photo or draw on it and those features are self explained on the upper right top of the app.  Pinch the letter box to make the letters larger or smaller. The same goes with the emojis if you want to use them.  They can be placed anywhere by using your finger to slide them around.  Your letter colors can also be changed by the color slider.

Face Swapping  is fun  with teens obviously but if you are an adult and want to be a kid again or had too much to drink, you can use this feature by holding on to your selfie picture until the lens icon shows up. Then you can mess with your face and add goofy things.

Videos are fun and you can  actually  do some effects with them such as speed them up, reverse them or slow them down.  Remember the time frame though that you have when being creative with this feature.   You can also do video calls with Snapcat  or voice calls.

Snaps can be replayed up to 24 hours now which was not available some time ago.  You can do this one with the person who sent it to you if they enabled this feature themselves.

The Video Note Feature allows you to make a slefie GIF for a few seconds by holding down the front facing camera button.  again, you have 10 seconds to do this.

There are a few other goodies Snapchat has that I won’t go into here but these are the fun ones.  Get the app and check it all out!

Roy FDMC Social and Digital Media

 

 

Posted by: FDMC | April 4, 2016

Understanding those Instagram Changes

The recent buzz with the changes Instagram will be doing in the next few months has everyone up in arms.  From video Marketers, consumers, and in between, everyone thinks Instagram has lost it’s mind.  So to clarify what is happening with Instagram’s algorithm (if and when they actually makes the final changes) I am posting a few notes here.

First, you do not have to turn off notifications to see your content. They will be rearranging the feed, true, but your content is and will always be there.  Instagram says the changes are being done to help all users. I still think the options for either “Top Stories” or “Most Recent” will be there when it is all said and done as the other platforms wound up keeping this after listening to feedback from users.   Instagram says posts are being missed and this change will help those posts to be seen. Obviously, you the user, have to have some interest in the video or images to make this statement actually true. Your content you post will be there but at the onset, it will go in the new order and not in the old process.

For business marketers, this new process is simple. Instagram in the past was giving you placement priority for free now if you want to pay for pushing your content up in priority, you should be able to do so.   The downside is to catch the consumer eyes,  you are going to need more professional and researched material.

In conclusion with this post, for Instagram users both professional and private sector, here is what you need to happen:

A.  Keep your notifications on

B.  Make that content eye catching and exciting as users will now be getting content they in the past did not subscribe to or may not had a interest in

c.  Pay for sponsored content and build your audience base more quickly.

Remember, Facebook owns Instagram so if you have had success with Facebook in your marketing scheme, Instagram is playing catch-up.  Facebook will not burn  Instagram’s rapidly growth over algorithm tweaking that will backfire on them.

Posted by: FDMC | March 16, 2016

Social Trends That Are Not Going Anywhere Soon

For those of you in business using social media.  You need to ask yourself. “How well am I engaged and embracing current trends?”  Does your business marketing strategies consider the trends in social media?  If you do not, you can easily lose a large percentage of your target market by not having the right platform to engage them.  Lets take a look at some platforms that are not going away and if you see one of these that you are scratching your head over or are not presently using, You need to seriously take a second look at your marketing strategy.

Facebook is a “given” in that while it is true milliners and the under 30 crowd are moving away from Facebook it still boasts over 1 billion users. If you are not marketing on Facebook, shame on you!

Live stream video.  I have done a piece on this before and it is here to stay. YouTube, Meerkat, and Periscope among a few others all have the capability now to live stream your event.  With the simple use of your smart phone, you can become a “world premier” event. Yes, it is a trend but consider this.  nearly 400,000 hours of video is live streamed every day and it is up over 60%.  Yes, we love to hate them but marketers are embracing them to allow brand to consumer direct marketing. Many companies now have developed their own apps so consumers can download them and have direct contact with their favorite brand 24-7.  This allows messaging customer service, advanced tips on new product launches, loyalty awards coupons, and more.

CTA buttons  or call to action buttons.  You know, buy now, click here, want to learn more, click here… Facebook has them, Instagram and Pinterest now has incorporated them into their platforms.   It has increased traffic for brands 3 fold.  Engagement through social media is priority for any business.  So, what are you doing?

 

Posted by: FDMC | March 9, 2016

Marketing On a Budget For Your Business

If you are a small business owner, you and I have something in common.  How to promote ourselves without spending a fortune.  I have discussed in previous blogs about the use of co-op dollars and marketing development funds (MDF) to help offset your budgets but what about all that pre-planning?  Can that too be done for little or no cost?  Absolutely!

Plan Effectively

Whether you use someone like me or you do it yourself, plan your campaign or marketing activity very carefully.  Know where your dollars are going and how much you can really spend to make everything work in your favor.  (ROI)  Know what you have avialable before you and of those, what you want to use or not use.  Also it is OK to make last minute changes or revise on the fly if you have to.  It is your money.

Know Your Market

It does not take a rocket scientist to know your market area. You can do this using the web for free.  If you don’t know who you are selling to and why they are coming in to buy your products and services then you have a serious problem.  Also make sure you are marketing to your area and your customers.  What you might think or hear worked really well in a metro area may not be right for you if your business is in a rural area.  People’s buying habits and use of media is very different as is the demographics.

Emails 

If you email your clients at all then you have a tool before you to use to market.  Tell them about your promotion.  Emails are free.  Now there are companies out there that will blast for you and also sell you lists that “fit” your potential customer base.   Personally, I hate these lists.  I have used them before and 9 out of 10 are either outdated, dead emails, or the contacts are no longer valid.  You are better off developing your own by gathering business cards, networking, and doing one on ones with people.

 Social Media

Social Media.  Oh what a buzzword.  Where do I go?  What platforms do I use?  That is your choice but the good news is It is free!  Most businesses, even the smallest have at the very least a web site and Facebook page.  Use them to your advantage to get the word out that you have a product or service to sell and maybe even a special or sale coming up!  Other platforms at your disposal that is free is Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest.  Look into these as well and see if they would work for your business marketing.

My Final Thoughts 

As you can tell from all this, you don’t have to that guy running for President that owns a lot of businesses to run a marketing or promotion campaign.  You can promote your business for almost nothing.  Just be smart about it and do the research. Good luck!

 

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