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How To: Organize your Content

writing contentCreating a Monthly Content Calendar

We hear from a lot of small business owners who understand the value and importance of social media but don’t know how to keep up with it. How many times have you gone to a business page to see that sure, it’s been created but the last post was published over a year ago? We hate to be dramatic but honestly, from a marketer’s perspective, it’s the worst! It can look lazy, unpolished, and simply-put, unprofessional – especially if there are comments/questions that have gone unanswered.

Creating a social media presence isn’t hard; it’s maintaining and growing that presence that can be time-consuming and tricky. But we’re here to save the day (or try to!) and share some of our favorite tips with you :) Let’s get to it…

  1. Organize a Daily Topic List – Determine which days you will be posting on and designate certain topics for those days. For instance every Monday, being an online marketing company, we might decide to share our favorite marketing quote, and every Tuesday, link to an interesting marketing related article. Determining topics for posting days will make creating content much easier for you and take less time.
  2. Create an Editorial Calendar – At the end of every month set aside some time and create an editorial calendar for the following month. One of the hardest things to do is find time every day to post, it’s often put on the back-burner and never returned to. Which is why creating all the month’s content ahead of time is VERY helpful. You can simply setup a word doc and organize it by dates.
  3. Schedule Content Out Ahead of Time – Even if the content is already done it can still be difficult to find time to schedule it out, so we suggest you do it all at once. Using a third party app like, Hootsuite, or if it’s just Facebook you’re managing you can schedule it out using their scheduler. *Note: If you’re using an app like Hootsuite, pay close attention to how you tag pages – the tag does not always carry through properly to social channels.
  4. Turn On Notifications – Now that your content is being automatically published it can be easy to forget about the pages and what sort of activity might be happening on them. Neglecting to respond to comments and questions by your audience is a big no-no in the social media sphere so we suggest you adjust your page settings to ensure that whenever someone comments or engages with the page you get notified of it.
  5. Keep your Website in Mind – Lastly, if you ever find yourself having a hard time coming up with unique or interesting content take a look at your website – it’s a great place to gather information!

OH and just because you have content scheduled out does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t post real-time content. Sometimes this is the content, the spur of the moment posts that are the most engaging. Now go master that online presence!

Introducing…

Jay Joseph, Google SpecialistJay Joseph, the Newest Addition to the Team!

Jay joined the Social Drive team in mid-2014 (our apologies for the delay on this, Jay!) and has proved himself to not only be a valuable team member but also an awesome person to work with. Jay’s specialties lie in:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
    • Which includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Email Marketing
  • Paid Search
  • Online Reputation Management
    • Particularly, Review Management
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Web Design

These are his areas of expertise, and trust us; he seriously knows what he’s doing. But to really expound on what truly differentiates Jay from the somewhat crowded world of online marketers, we thought we’d create our very own “bulleted list” of why Jay rocks. So here goes…

  • Excellent Communicator – This is harder to come by than some might think. Not only is he extremely timely and professional in all internal/external communications but he’s clear and straightforward. This is something the team appreciates, and more importantly, our clients appreciate.
  • Goes Above and Beyond – We give our clients the best and sometimes that means we give them more than required (we’re people pleasers!), so it’s important that all team members are willing to do that. Jay is always thinking of what the next best move is and how we can make it a better, smoother more effective experience for the client and their audience.
  • FUN – Jay is a total joy to work with (insert *aww*). He’s quirky, sarcastic, witty and is a total dork who fits right in!

We could go on and on about Jay but instead we’ll leave you with one of his favorite quotes…

“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”

— John D. Rockefeller

To learn more about Jay go here.

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Marketing with Merch: The Customized Experience

The interwebz has given the world a whole new lease on life Untitledin terms of marketing. There’s impressions, cost per clicks, and Search, BUT the only thing that can’t be replicated is a physical experience. Many companies these days may have cut back on print ads and billboards, but promotional merchandise is still a strong multi-million dollar industry. Just take a look at any company you’ve worked for or a charity you’ve participated in. There are branded pens, thumb drives, wristbands, and of course, the mighty mighty branded t-shirt. A t-shirt goes a long way – even in 2015.

Today we want to focus on the need to promote your business, but not just in the online world; in the real world. We’ve all seen companies on Shark Tank innovating picture books, custom sneakers, and so much more. If you don’t have customized goods, how will you ensure that people can “take” you home with them? We’ve found a local company based in both Massachusetts and New York that takes the web and promotional merch to new heights. Introducing our friends at Merch Bro! With one look at their website and their blog, you’ll see that they take the efficiency of web technology and the popularity of customized t-shirts, wristbands, and other merch and combine the two in a unique supply company. They’ve worked with some big names our there in the band merchandising front, as well as many popular charities. Follow their guided merch app or just let them do the designing for you – either way it’s a win-win in your search for great customized merch!

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Cleaning up a Computer for the Computer Illiterate

cleaned computerYour computer is your workstation, it’s super important to keep it as clean  as any other place you spend a lot of time.  So, we’ve put together a quick and very simple guide to cleaning up a computer if you just happen to be more or less computer illiterate.

  1. Use this to uninstall unused programs: https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner
  2. Not sure what to uninstall? This will suggest what to get rid of, complete with ratings and descriptions: http://www.shouldiremoveit.com/
  3. Next, do a deep scan with this program and follow its instructions to remove malware: https://www.malwarebytes.org/mwb-download/
  4. When it comes to browsers, yes, Chrome is the best. That being said, I find Firefox to have a better add-on selection (particularly when it comes to ads and YouTube). Here’s where you can download it: https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/
  5. And while you’re at it, use AdBlock to get rid of intrusive banner ads, and all the other junk that detracts from the browsing experience: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/
  6. Here’s a free antivirus, It’s lightweight so it won’t bog down your computer, and did we mention it’s free?? Install and run, then run again. Same with malware bytes: http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage
  7. Might as well defrag your drive a few times while you’re at it. This will speed up your hard drive and help it last a bit longer: https://www.piriform.com/defraggler
  8. Also, run windows update a few times too, just do search from start button and update.
After you’ve used all these listed above, your computer (read: your #1 friend) should run a lot better.
If there are serious viruses on there, you may want to just re-install the OS that your computer runs on which is very easy (but likely unnecessary).
Finally, backup all the files you want safe, particularly video, images, documents, and audio
We hope this has brought you one step closer to fixing your computer. If you have any questions feel free to ask the team by commenting or contact Social Drive here.
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The YouTube Super Bowl Halftime Show!

football field arizonaNo, we’re not joking. The internet behemoth has announced it’s plans to rival its television counterparts. Utilizing online celebrities, the Google-owned platform wants some of that insane advertising action typical on the average Super Bowl Sunday and who can blame them, right? It is only the country’s most watched television event of the year.

EpicMealTime‘s Harley Morenstein is hosting the virtual event streaming free with musical guests, as well as fake Super Bowl ads and people diving into pools of beer and/or cheese. We’re not yet sure if YouTube sensations (who do have upwards of millions of followers) and funny stunts can exactly compete with Katy Perry or the Puppy Bowl, but it’s about time to test it out!

The irony? YouTube took to several traditional modes of advertising to get the word out using billboards in major cities to promote their rising web-celebs. Even NBC doesn’t seem too worry. It costs millions of dollars for brands to air a mere 20-30 second spot on a day were more people enjoy the funny commercials on their TV just as much as the game. However, one thing we do know that’s in their favor: 6.3 million hours were spent watching the Super Bowl ads on YouTube just last year. This Super Bowl is sure to be one to produce at least some more interesting data in the battle of the TV vs. the web!

PS- GO PATS!

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Inbound v. Outbound Marketing

city trafficOften a sore subject for many traditional-style marketers, the different between the two types of marketing can mean a lot to your organization and your budget. Similar to traffic, your brand’s message is either going outward to attract people or stay central to bring people inward to you. I’m not here to say they’re mutually exclusive either, but knowing their differences is a requirement in 2015 because they are so vast.

The sore spots on “outbound marketing” lay in the fact that they are getting more and more antiquated compared to their tech-savvy counterparts. Generating leads in the outbound fashion mean filling your sales funnel/putting your efforts for conversions in cold calling, print ads, purchased email list blasts, and even some trade shows. It’s outbound because you’re continually pushing your message out as bait hoping there are some fish that will bite. What’s more is that it’s much harder to measure ROI on things, such as a billboard. Consider how often people are bombarded with traditional marketing and advertising. As an “inbound marketing,” I know I’m even desensitized to banner ads much less a newspaper ad. You have to be very good and very creative to make an impact in those spaces now and that takes even more money than the ads already cost. Might as well try a guerrilla approach!

The bright side of things is that “inbound marketing” is so much more tailored. You put out quality content that helps your bolster your brand’s story but also attracting the people who are already looking for YOU. You use your website as an anchor and coordinate your Social and Search strategy – implement a fun blog – and people will probably start to trust your brand more than they would with the outbound approach. You become more dynamic and approachable with your online presence in the same strategy. People will love this approach a lot more and you’re saving yourself a pretty penny too; not to mention it’s all online and all measurable! Personally, I prefer letting people come to me and they appreciate taking the cheesy/sales pitch away – maybe it’s a generational thing =)!

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Holiday Tips for Social

IMG_09495,4,3,2,1…HAPPY NEW YEAR! That’s right, the New Year will be here before we know it. Don’t let the holidays fly by without sharing laughs and fun memories with loved ones. These memories don’t have to be in person, especially for those loved ones that live miles away. Social media is a great way to stay in touch and spread holiday cheer. Share some of these basic tips with your family and friends to make the best of your holiday season:

  1. You and your friends can use hashtags on Twitter to post about what you’re doing everyday during the holiday season and stay trending. You can tag your favorite stores, your friends, and even different restaurants. You can even select a personalized hashtag for just you and your friends to follow together as an inside joke!
  2. Instagram is a great social image sharing app that can be used for uploading pictures right from your smartphone. You can capture all of your moments with a click of a button. You can get fancy and put filters on your photos to brighten them up. Snapchat is also an app to take some photos and share them with friends via your phone’s contact list… these photos disappear once seen though. Have fun and share the moments!
  3. Get Iconosquare! This is an application that integrates your Instagram account and provides fun analytics. You might be asking why is this type of app necessary during the holidays? Well, it offers a “year in review” based upon the top 5 most popular posts from your account and presents it in a cute video you can share. Reliving your coolest memories from 2014 was never this simple: check out more on Iconosquare’s video feature.
  4. Last, but not least, you can use Facebook to check in at different places. Tag your friends and family in pictures of your kids performing in a play or scoring a touchdown in the Thanksgiving Day football game. You might even get a discount for checking in somewhere… #SCORE

However you decide to celebrate this holiday season, don’t forget to share the love and cherish all of the memories with or without your smartphone by your side.

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Ad Fatigue – What is it and how to fight it!?

woman on social media
You’re so excited that you finally have been given a budget for ad spend (either on Facebook or wherever you’ve been dying to test out display ads!) After a few days you’re heart stops because there is a drop-off in the ad performance and you lose confidence in your ad skills. This happens every time you run ads. Have you given up yet?

You may have heard of Ad Fatigue, but if not “AD FATIGUE!” See, now you’ve heard about it. Don’t dismiss your skills in display advertising or the power of great creative just because you’ve fallen victim. We’re going to show you how to implement some measures to fix what us experts call Ad Fatigue.

Let’s discuss What Ad Fatigue is

Ad Fatigue is what happens when your target audience has been shown your ad too many times and your CTR (click-through-rate) falls while the frequency your ad being shown keeps increasing. It makes you think your ad is starting to flail and you definitely don’t want your stats to suffer before you show your boss.

This happens for a few reasons. The first being that users are shown your ad a lot. Just about every time they sign on to Facebook. Not to mention your ad is up against photos and fun statuses in their news-feed. So, in the end, people are accustomed to your image and just stop clicking.

How to fight Ad Fatigue?

Creative rotation! Change up your creative and stop users from being desensitized to your ad. As soon as it begins to drop, don’t be afraid to throw up a different version. Pay attention to using different colors and try not to put any text on your creative. As you already know, ads should be eye-catching whether small or in a bigger layout. This also means, keep it simple. The busier the image the worse it does, but it’s all about testing and what you see for yourself.

Ad rotation also includes demographics, so if you have multiple demos to work with changes them out. This has become much easier to accomplish on Facebook with the improvements to the Ad Manager area. Finally, you should rotate your ads weekly or bi-weekly.

If you have any questions or comments, or want to walk through some ad creation with Social Drive just let us know. Write a comment or witty joke below – or drop us a line via email.

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.GIFs: What are they and why are they amazing?

banana .gifAnimated images also known as .GIFs have looped around the Internet for 25 years, but have finally made a name for themselves in the last few years. But what are .GIFs? And why have they become such a phenomenon? First off, .GIFs are animated image file formats or pictures that move in an infinite loop. .GIFs swirled the Internet in the 90’s as little tiny clip art images which moved around and simulated life, but overall they never captured much attention from the public. However, today they have become sensations that have swept across all nations. These little motion pictures are being shared so rapidly that it takes only seconds for one .GIF to go from one end of the earth to the other.

Even though they are entertaining, .GIFs do have a practical side. They help deliver the news, tell stories, express public reactions to certain events, as well as spread important information to the masses. Many people believe that for young adults, .GIFs are a symbol of their childhood. They help some recall and even make fun of old relics from their past. Some believe this is where their growth and popularity began. Honestly though, the popularity of .GIFs probably came from its ability to help us convey our thoughts and opinions and share then it on a world scale in a short easy format. These will images have helped us connect with millions of people. Who knew that a little loopy clip could generate so much for us in only a few repeated seconds?

And DON’T FORGET, it was not long ago that inventor of the .GIF declared the official pronuntiation: How to Pronounce .GIF. Was it what you thought it was?