Since the dawn of advertising, we as consumers have excitedly watched giveaways and sweepstakes as they popped up in newspapers, magazines, TV, and now social media. It’s no secret that giveaways have been a successful strategy for companies and brands to get the word out about their products and services. While giveaways seen in magazines or on TV prompt consumers to send in their general information for a chance to win (such as name, email, address, etc.), social media allows you to take advantage of an even more beneficial approach. While the benefits of running your own social media giveaway are clear, finding a brand to partner with takes your giveaway campaign to the next level.
Collaborating with another brand to host a giveaway is a worthwhile venture for you to grow your brand awareness more than you would when doing it on your own. When posting your own giveaway on social media, it’s expected for you to ask users to follow your page, tag a friend in the comments, and even share the giveaway on their own timeline. By default, more users will come across the giveaway and check out your page. A collaborative giveaway expands these brand awareness efforts. Not only will you be posting the your products and theirs to your own followers, they will also be sharing your brand with their already established audience at the same time.
While hosting your own giveaway is a great way to grow your audience because your followers are tagging their friends and overall account activity is increased, a collaboration is a simple way to double these already high levels of engagement. A collaborative giveaway allows you to engage with a new audience and build more followers. The giveaway will then be shared with at least twice the amount of social media users within your target audience. You most likely already have a good idea of your current target audience, but introducing a company into the mix of your content will increase the number of new members engaging with your brand. It also inspires you to think of new and appealing ways to effectively target a brand new set of social media users. Strategically choosing your partner can also grow your audience in the right direction—consider the type of followers a certain brand might have and keep this in mind when looking for your collaboration.
A collaborative giveaway is the perfect way to show your audience how well your product coincides with another. This inspires ideas for your followers and consumers which makes you a respected voice and increases loyalty amongst your followers. This also keeps your content interesting by offering your followers another new and exciting brand to check out. It’s one thing when social media influencers showcase their products in an engaging way, but it doesn’t go unnoticed when you introduce other products to your page, as well as when another account posts about your brand. It shows that you’re willing to get creative and your page will spark inspiration for new ideas for your followers.
On top of growing your audience and followers, a collaborative giveaway is a tactic that can be employed to propel your brand into a larger market. The beauty of social media is that you reach people from any corner of the world. So, you can also partner with brands in different regional markets—if your brand has been looking to expand to the West coast, it makes sense to collaborate with a brand that is already established there to build up your credibility in a new market.
The combination of everything above—brand awareness, growing your audience, inspiring your followers, and expanding into a larger market—is bound to impact your bottom line. Partnering up for collaborative giveaways increases all-around engagement on your page. In turn, this increases sales, your amount of followers, and opens the door for further opportunities to partner with more brands, companies, and influencer. Ultimately, the goal of running a successful giveaway campaign with another brand is to increase sales.
When planning your next giveaway, consider looking into brands that may interest your followers, pairs well with your product or service, and can serve to increase your audience and overall sales. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and shoot for the stars. The worst that could happen is someone says no. The best that could happen is a stellar giveaway collaboration that leads to an increase in engagement, which in turn increases followers, sales, and future opportunities to partner with more businesses and influencers. It’s a snowball effect—when brands see your willingness to work together, they’ll start knocking on your door (ahem, sliding into your DMs) to collaborate.
Why platforms like Buffer & Hootsuite Exist
How do customers, followers, and your potential audience view your business? They see it through how you’ve branded your company. Customers should be able to easily discern your tone, purpose, and direction through your branding.
Let’s say you have your branding down. You’ve spent countless hours developing the exact persona you want to deliver. How are you delivering this message to your desired audience? Other than paid advertising, of course. As a business owner in 2021, you know potential customers want to see your brand on social media as well as your website. After landing on one of your ads, customers will head directly to their favorite social media platform and seek you out. They will not only expect to easily find you, but “78% of consumers expect brands to use social media” regularly to establish their brand.*
By now you know your business has to be on social media. However, posting once or twice per week is insufficient. Especially if those posts are merely a sales pitch to push your own product. Original images and copy are what makes your brand feel real and relatable. Believe it or not consumers go to social media for information as well as entertainment. It’s where they gather data and news as well as up-to-date information on their friends and family. If your page is unengaging or informative, consumers will actually lose faith in your company. When consumers feel connected to a brand through social media, 57% will increase their spending with you.* In addition to this, 76% will buy from you over a competitor.
Social media is now the new word of mouth and it can make or break your company. Now you know that you have to be on social media and you have to post engaging content regularly. But how are you going to accomplish this? That’s the struggle for most business owners, so know you’re not alone.
As an agency, this is the chief concern we hear time and time again from our clients. Managing one, let alone multiple, social media accounts is a full-time job. So, how are you supposed to run a company and promote it at the same time? The easy answer is, you’re not. This is where assistance from an agency comes in. However, in lieu of hiring a social media agency, there exist companies such as Planable.io, Buffer, Hootsuite, etc. What are these and why should you use one?
Each one of these platforms, at their base, functions as a content calendar. A content calendar allows you to link all of your social media accounts to it. Then, you are able to load all of your creatives and copywriting into the platform and schedule each one to go out on a specific day at a specific time. With content calendars, you are able to schedule content to go out on any social channel you have (from TikTok to Facebook to YouTube), as far into the future as you want. What we typically recommend for small businesses is to take time once per month to create content for the entire month. Then, schedule everything to post when you’d like it to appear on your socials.
If this seems like a time-consuming and daunting task, we are always happy to set up a free consultation to get your brand on the right path to social media success and in front of your customers right where you belong.
On April 26, iPhone and iPad users received a notification informing them that a new software update was available. While many people either updated their device right away without thinking much of it, or dismissed the notification altogether, there is something especially unique that the Apple iOS 14.5 update offers. At the very end of the iOS 14.5 update description, you’ll see that the privacy tool, called App Tracking Transparency, now gives the option for users to control which apps can track their activity on outside platforms such as other websites or phone applications. This new privacy feature allows users to simply opt out of apps monitoring their activity and distributing that gathered data to third parties.*
It’s no secret that Facebook and Google gather this data to target ads. With this new option available, it allows users to have more control over their own devices. This also ensures a better sense of privacy knowing that their own activity won’t leave breadcrumbs for other companies to follow. While this update is great for the everyday iPhone and iPad user, the new privacy tool will cause roadblocks for those who rely on this data in order to generate traction, such as tech companies and developers.
Apps for iOS have used an IDAF since 2012. This is an Identifier for Advertising purposes. Essentially, it’s what assists in tracking users across different websites and other apps. This user data is what is gathered and either sold or given to other applications for ads purposes.
So, why is the iOS 14.5 update so important to users? The selling of user data to 3rd parties is and has been, for quite some time, a hot button issue. With companies vying to target their audiences with ads and users wishing to be more private, how is Apple tackling the data problem without stepping on toes? With the newest update, users are prompted as soon as the app is clicked to approve or disapprove the tracking. This allows users to be in charge of their own data and make the decision that, ultimately, companies like Facebook and Google will have to live with.
Platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Bing, etc. are not solely in the business of social media and digital marketing. They are in the business of data collection and making a lot of money selling that data. The first thing to keep in mind is that all of these platforms already have your data. After updating to the new platform, Apple iOS users will not have any new data collected on them if they are able to opt out. Another thing to keep in mind is that this is a brand new feature on Apple’s operating system. There are plenty of kinks that have to be worked out and with future updates, the os will get better and better. However, as of right now, many are complaining about “a lack of ‘Ask to Track’ prompts”* since the upgrade. While some users have a lack of asking on some apps, other users haven’t seen any prompts at all. This disastrous release can turn users off from using the prompt to begin with. Even assuming that the os gets updated properly and begins to work as intended, this is not an end to all tracking. Apple will now have to continuously monitor workarounds that are and will be created to skirt the App Tracking Transparency Tool. The fight for privacy is an ongoing battle. While we at Emerald Digital do not know who will win this new battle, we do believe that the only winners so far are the data collectors.
After almost two decades of anticipation, it’s finally happening! On May 27th, HBO MAX will be streaming “FRIENDS: The Reunion”, featuring all six members of the cast. For many, the beloved show is a comforting ‘90s, early 2000s time capsule. This got me thinking- what if Rachel, Ross, Joey, Phoebe, Monica, and Chandler were Millennials? What would their social media profiles look like?
Yes, I realize they are fictional characters and not real people. Let me have this.
This beauty has the most Instagram followers out of the gang. They can’t get enough of the effortlessly coordinated OOTDs in front of the West Village backdrops, or her impeccably dressed children. Even those that want to hate on her simply can’t- she’s just so dang charming and sweet with those motivational quotes on her Stories. She also wants her followers to know that social media is not always reflective of real life! Every few weeks she’ll sprinkle in a post about how she’s having a bad week, or the harsh realities of being a working mom.
Between balancing her family and a big job as a Louis Vuitton exec, Rachel doesn’t have the time to dedicate herself to becoming a full-time influencer but definitely has the chops for it.
Out of all the theoretical predictions I’m making here, I feel most confident that I have nailed Ross’s. Firstly, he claims to not like social media due to the detrimental impact that it has on our brains. But he’s still as addicted as the rest of us. Ninety percent of his posts consist of photos of Rachel and the kids, along with some pretty cheugy captions. The question is, does he post these out of genuine appreciation and admiration for his wife, or is he just trying to make sure every guy in the world knows that she’s taken because he’s possessive, insecure and harboring trust issues from when his first wife cheated on him?
Twitter Ross is secretly quite active. He re-tweets paleontological articles that only he and his coworkers find interesting, and angrily posts seven-part threads in response to internet strangers who don’t believe in evolution.
Being the old soul that he is, Mr. Bing is not very active on social media. He has a LinkedIn account only because all of his co-workers do, and Monica says it’s good for networking. He uses Facebook to share the occasional funny joke and write “happy birthday.” on people’s walls, and Instagram to follow funny meme accounts. Overall, he prefers not to have a very personal presence on social media, mainly to ensure Janice doesn’t know too much about his life.
Monica is my kind of gal on social media! Her Instagram feed has the most mouthwatering home-cooked meals, and each photo is taken in the exact same place on her kitchen counter for consistency. The captions are always a little bit too long and thorough, but she never forgets to tell you exactly how to clean the pots and pans after you’ve used them (DO NOT put a cast-iron skillet in the dishwasher!). Of course, no post of Monica’s is complete without a critical comment from her mother, usually to the effect of “Are you sure you want to eat that?”, and “Looks too salty.”
Since moving to Westchester, Monica has really enjoyed posting to TikTok. And in true Monica fashion, each is treated as a grand production with perfect music, lighting, and timing. Half of them are refrigerator and pantry restock videos, while the other half are life hacks, DIY projects for the home, like how to make potpourri from your dried flowers.
You all saw this coming: Joey is a complete thirst trap on social media. Every Instagram of his is carefully crafted with women in mind. His go-to posts are shirtless gym selfies and photos with Chandler, since he’s highly unphotogenic and, by default, makes Joey look better. His friends are actually quite embarrassed about his online persona, but he doesn’t care. That’s how he scores those commercial modeling gigs that help pay the bills. For the most part, he only follows models, the Knicks and his sisters.
Although it takes a lot more effort than he expected, Joey has turned to TikTok to boost his acting career with little avail. Much to his surprise, “Joey Tribbiani’s Acting Lessons” have not yet gone viral. But who knows? Maybe Part 52 will grab the attention of a high-powered Hollywood producer!
Attempting to unravel the enigma that is Phoebe Buffay proved itself to be a difficult task. Her social media could go so many ways. Does she have a cult following of aromatherapy- obsessed TikTok users? Does she sing into the camera on Instagram live? Tweet about the evils of the meat industry? Maybe.
Ultimately, I’ve decided that Phoebe has absolutely no social media. She never even got an iPhone or Samsung because, let’s face it, she’s always marched to the beat of her own drum. Getting married to Mike was already enough generics for this lifetime.
With the recent EUEFA and English Football’s social media boycott, I couldn’t help but wonder… is this an effective approach to making an impact?
From April 30th to May 3rd, a large part of the football (soccer) world took part in a social media boycott by going completely silent on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. According to NPR, “the silence- from players, coaches at the highest level, owners, journalists and even the Premier League itself- is part of a boycott aimed at protesting a steady and growing stream of racist online harassment and abuse aimed at Black and brown soccer plays in the UK.” Soon after, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) joined in on the blackout, urging the public, legislative authorities, and tech giants to make real change by way of formal complaints and consequences for online abusers.
Racism and sexism have long been dark clouds looming over football culture. Boycotts in general are also not an uncommon tactic used throughout the sport. In 1973, for example, the Soviet Union refused to play Chile in a World Cup match in opposition to the recent overthrow of the Chilean president. But what has been changing in the past decade or so is how the fans, teams, and federations alike chose to challenge social, internal, and political issues. As we saw in summer of 2020 in America, online protests are the new wave. And with social media only on the rise, this form of activism will most likely be around for a long time.
So, a particular topic is circulating your newsfeed, and you’re wondering if your brand should be participating in the conversation. I asked our very own social media expert April Campos to weigh in on the topic, and below are some questions she’d like you to consider before making the decision.
Ask yourself hard and honest questions. Are you trying to enter into this conversation because it means something to you and you firmly believe in the message? Or do you just want to look like you care? If your answer is the latter, you should probably reconsider joining the cause. One survey found that 90% of consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support and follow. With this in mind, you should never underestimate your audience. Always assume they are smart enough to sniff out when you’re not being real.
After you determine you and your brand are entering the good fight by taking to social media, are you prepared to manage possible aftermaths? As we have all seen recently with Coke™, there are always going to be those that do not share your convictions and will not support your cause. While most of the time the boycott falls short, what about the times that it comes crashing down on your company and your bottom line? Are you prepared to stick to your beliefs?
What are your long-term goals as a company within this conversation? Are you planning to make more of an investment financially? Will you be changing your business model to support the cause? Will you lose employees? Will you lose buyers/users of your product or service? Do you have plans in place to build new relationships? Don’t forget that people love to come ready with receipts. Anyone can take a screenshot of your long-winded Instagram post and follow up with you about it down the line. If you’re going to take a stand, make sure it won’t be an afterthought months later. Show your loyal customers that you stayed true to your word.
Be prepared. No matter how common sense your response may be to the conversation to which you’re contributing, there will always be those that do not share your view nor your opinion. Do you have a plan on how to respond? Keep in mind that even no response is a response in and of itself. Consider hiring a crisis management expert *cough* Juda Engelmayer from Herald PR *cough* for a contingency plan. This way, you won’t have to go into panic mode when the Karens come for you, and your team can rest easy knowing you planned ahead.
To online protest or not to online protest? IDK! I don’t own a business and am in no position to tell you what to do with yours. But I do know that April gives great advice, so do yourself a favor: sit down with your team, discuss all of these questions, no matter how uncomfortable, and draw up a plan for your brand
While still a relatively new platform, TikTok has become one of the most common social media apps over the past year. Since launching in 2016, it now has over 689 million active users as of January 2021. The younger generations such as Gen Z and Millennials are most active on the app, both in creating content and scrolling through the For You Page. Like most social media platforms, TikTok allows users to post content on their profile, interact with users in the likes and comment section, follow other accounts, and gain their own following.
Many TikTok users post content that isn’t meant to be taken seriously and instead is more on the humorous side. However, you will also come across higher-quality videos from established content creators such as travel bloggers, health experts, and inspirational speakers.
At first, it may seem strange to extend your digital marketing efforts to an app that’s been taken over by users learning the trending TikTok dances from their kitchen. However, creating engaging content that allows users to interact on a highly populated social platform is another way you work to draw in your desired audience and start a new conversation (and no, you don’t HAVE to learn a TikTok dance…but you can!) Since there are an abundance of ways a brand can grow on social media, provided are a few examples of small and effective tips to take when starting out on TikTok.
Transparency and honesty have become very important to consumers over the past decade, and especially in the past couple of years. Showing a behind the scenes look through engaging video content that goes through the ins-and-outs of your service and industry is a great way to not only attain followers but get lifelong customers as well. Conte of this type gets users to become interested in your company, and leads them to checking out more of your TikTik profile, your website, and your brand as a whole.
Attract your audience by posting video content that’s meant to be light-hearted and funny. After all, this is why there are so many users active on TikTok – to laugh and to make others laugh. Chipotle does a great job of posting funny content that is also still relevant to the food they provide. It’s no secret that their TikToks also plants the seed to intrigue their consumers. There’s no rule saying you can’t show your sense of humor while simultaneously generating attention to the more serious aspects of your brand.
Besides posting videos on your TikTok account, interacting with other user accounts is a great way to build brand awareness. Posting an insightful (or, of course, funny) comment on another content creator’s video will allow users to then like your comment, reply to your thread, and ultimately check out your profile. You’ll find both large and small businesses of all industries leaving relevant comments throughout other user accounts and interacting on their own profile. As an example of this, The Washington Post shares interactive content and often engages with their viewers in the comments section. Utilizing community management tools to communicate with users who comment on your company’s content is an excellent way to keep them coming back and potentially building that online connection.
To further boost your profile, TikTok now has an option called “TikTok for Business”. Through this extension, businesses are able to track analytics, grow their audience, and run ads to promote their brand. Both large and small businesses promote their own goods and services, while individuals looking to make themselves more established on TikTok have the option to promote their personal website and pages. You can learn more information about TikTok for Business.
There seems to be endless ways to build brand awareness on TikTok, but knowing that posting content that reflects your values as well as interacting with outside accounts is a great start that could lead to bigger things such as partnerships and higher levels of exposure. While the filming, editing, and creating short video content all from your phone may seem overwhelming, TikTok has the audience for you to raise awareness of your brand. At the end of the day, social media is meant to help consumers put a face to your name and your business. TikTok is not an exception; in fact, this app allows you to strengthen your digital marketing efforts and expand your brand’s outreach a step further.
Bonus tip: When creating your TikToks, be aware of what is currently trending. Whether it’s a hashtag, an audio, or a new video idea, users will most likely interact with the trending content shown on their For You Page. By keeping up with the trends, your TikToks will have a better chance of grabbing more attention from your target audience.
Our Digital Marketing Guru, Stephanie Hodges has this to say about TikTok, “If your brand is considering adding TikTok to your repertoire, go for it. This is a great platform to utilize if you don’t have a large ad spend budget. By using strategic hashtags, your video can gather thousands of views even if you don’t have many followers. This type of organic reach simply isn’t possible on other social platforms right now. One caveat, though—only create a TikTok account if you have the ability to produce engaging content regularly.”
We admit it: Facebook is a leader in the social media arena. Not because it’s the most amazing marketing tool or because it offers the best user experience(UX). Facebook is a leader and a powerhouse, for one reason, it has been the only platform to market itself through the everyday, organic use of people just like us. Users became dependent on the platform after everyone they knew had signed up. So, naturally, businesses had to follow. They invested so much into developing their brands, pages, and followers, that they’re too far in to abandon it now. New businesses now have no other choice but to follow suit and sign up.
When Facebook first came onto the scene, it was for college students only. Once it was opened up to everyone, it was a great place for friends, family, and 3rd cousins twice removed to connect every day. As the years went by, Facebook began to transform into something so much bigger that Facebook could even believe. It was not only a place for users to connect with one another, but for businesses to connect with those users. Companies created pages that interacted with users and grew their businesses for free.
As with anything that grows astronomically in a short period of time, Facebook began to evolve. As the evolution continued, the algorithm began to change. What is Facebook’s algorithm? It decides which posts to serve to users and in what order they will be served. Within this algorithm is what Facebook calls “ranking signals.” There are four main ranking signals to consider: Relationship, Content Type, Popularity, and Recency.
As the user-base grew, what seemed to be, slow and incremental changes to the layout and distribution of posts in your newsfeed. Over time, these changes began to grow. They started small, only impacting the friends on individual pages, to full blown changes to the algorithm to specifically exclude businesses from the organic feed. All the while, Facebook not being transparent about almost every single update.
In addition to creating an indispensable tool such as Business Manager, Facebook repackaged all of this information and sold it to users as each and every account will now have their own control over the content that is seen in the newsfeed. In reality, Facebook users are being served ads based on a multitude of factors. One of which is what you are searching for on the web. On average in 2020, the Facebook newsfeed gets 60% of advertising dollars, as opposed to any other placement, such as Instagram, marketplace, messaging, or the side column*.
So, what is a business to do? If you’re not on Facebook, you’re missing out on being found by users. However, on the flip side, is it worth the time and money to spend on Facebook?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. There are too many missed opportunities in reach and leads to not participate in the Facebook gamut.
There are a couple of approaches you can take, but we at Emerald take a well rounded approach. The first is to create meaningful content to attract and engage current and new followers. The content we create for our clients not only tells their story, but puts their messaging on Facebook in relatable and digestible pieces that utilize the four ranking factors. Engaging with users keeps the relationship active. Dispensing relatable content ensures followers will interact and makes it popular in the eyes of Facebook. Posting new content multiple times per week keeps the content recent. In addition to the four ranking factors, the utilization of visuals cannot be understated here. The number one performing piece of content on Facebook is videos, with an average of 59% more engagement than other post types*. 81% of Facebook posts are videos, followed by images at only 18%.
The more utilized route for most businesses is through Facebook’s advertising platform. The upsides to utilizing Facebook through advertising is the incredibly precise targeting and the fact that they average CPC is only $.97. With a planned social strategy, we at Emerald Digital have gotten that CPC as low as $.03! In the long term, it pays, quite literally, to have an experienced agency working to get every lead and conversion for as little as possible.
So, here we are in 2021. Unlocking our phones and spending an average of 1 hour and 15 minutes every day on Facebook. While you are mindlessly scrolling through the hundreds of posts on your newsfeed, do you see a lot of ads? Are you seeing organic content from businesses that you follow? These could be your organic posts and your paid ads, reaching thousands of followers and users every day.