6 Digital Marketing Trends for 2017 and Beyond

1. Snapchat is only gaining in popularity among milennials (But Facebook is still king)

Among milennials, no social media platform is matching Snapchat in a short-term popularity contest:

"According to research by student loans company LendEDU, 58 percent of the 9,381 milennials it polled said they typically open up a Snapchat before Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn."

It's rise to social media supremacy has been unprecedented. Not only has it overtaken Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn as America's second-favorite social network (It was fifth last year), it "grew as much in one year as Twitter had in four years combined!"

Don't give them the crown just yet, however. Facebook still sits on the throne and doesn't appear to be giving up its title anytime soon. In the same survey where Snapchat had become the second-favorite social network of Americans, Facebook blew it out of the water; "8% of Americans cited Snapchat as the place they visit most. It's still far behind Facebook, a place that 61% of social media using Americans say is their favorite."

But that doesn't indicate a shift could be gradually approaching...

"Facebook (including Messenger) remains the most popular social platform among Americans 12-24 years old, with 21% saying they use Facebook most. Snapchat is second with 26%, far outpacing Instagram at 17%.

"[In the past year], 10% of the entire nation's population of social media using 12-24 year-olds moved from Facebook to Snapchat as their platform of choice."

Only time will tell if Snapchat's popularity is a constantly ascending staircase or a bubble just waiting to burst. Seeing as it only appeals to the younger generation, whereas Facebook is still appealing to all ages, I'd side with the latter (Don't bring this up to me in 2032 when Snapchat is running the world).

2. Yes, More Social Media Advertising Spending

As social media expands its capabilities as an advertising platform, advertisers are fully committing to either standing pat on their current marketing budgets, or investing even more:

"61% of advertisers plan to spend more on Facebook, said ClickZ Intelligence. And the web publisher found that investment in Twitter is expected to increase by more than 25%."

This has less to do with brands suddenly discovering Facebook and Twitter, and more to do with different avenues through which people can be reached and engaged with. We're beyond link and image posts. On Facebook, for example, you can create videos, versatile Canvas ads, 360 videos, and video slideshows. It's all indicative of a new availability of advertising to pounce on and use to distinguish your brand.

In another survey by PointVisible, they found that over the next 12 months 39% of B2C and B2B content marketers plan to increase their spending, while only 2% planned to decrease it. 42% said spending will likely remain the same.

In content creation overall, 70% of B2B marketers and 73% of B2C marketers said they will be spending more in 2017 compared to 2016. Content marketing will be a "$300 billion industry by 2019 -- this means it will double in under four years."

And speaking of content...

3. There's going to be a lot more of it

Since we're on the topic of more spending, we can distinguish where that spending is going towards.

There's a perception that users are just overexposed to traditional advertisements and inundated by how ubiquitous it is. Think about it. There's no escape, unless you completely disconnect from technology.

New approaches need to be taken to reach out to users without overwhelming and irritating them to the point of exhaustion, and studies have been conducted to find them.

One of the more revelations from PointVisible's study was that "70% of people would rather learn about a company through articles rather than an advertisement" and "4X as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than to read about it."

Content is getting more versatile as users have grown weary of seeing the same ads over and over again on a loop. Something new has to be offered to keep them interested. It's why we're expecting an increase in blogs as an advertising tool, and why "69% of companies report their video marketing budget is increasing."

4. But also, More Newsletters

Are you starting to pick up on this trend of more? There's going to be more of everything digital marketing-wise in 2017 and further on.

As mentioned before, there's a need for newness from our advertising efforts. It's become a life component that's unavoidable and needs readjusting, in order to provide users with a memorable experience once again. Just like with any technology, if there's a newer, more efficient, more convenient, and more stimulating competitor, users will gravitate to that.

So what if we try to find new ways to not only reach our audience, but to help it grow, as well. Aside from videos, "in 2017, more brands will launch targeted e-newsletters as the key method to grow audiences."

E-Newsletters are an excellent way of developing an audience without investing too much money and investing too many hours. But they have to be done right, because an E-Newsletter could be composed for nothing if its design isn't engaging enough or if its content isn't interesting enough.

It has to appeal to your audience, which you can find and add to your email list through lead generation ads and visits to your website asking for their email, with content that provides value. You want your newsletter to be informative, feature headlines that grab your attention, and be laden with designs and appealing images that keep the reader interested and their eyes darting from end-to-end of the email.

5. Mobile is still everything 

It goes without saying that if you're still not optimizing for mobile, you're selling your business short. As of early 2016, "mobile represented 65% of digital media time, while the desktop is becoming a 'secondary touch point' for an increasing number of digital users."

Basically, why go through the process of loading up your desktop or laptop when you have a computer within your pocket? It's all about convenience. Just give me the information and stimulation I need at the moment, without me having to get up and get it.

Life just keeps getting easier in terms of instant gratification. It's probably why "mobile will account for 72% of US digital ad spend by 2019" since that's where all the eyes are, as indicated by studies, mobile vs. desktop usage, and, you know, just looking around you at any given time while you're in public.

Go ahead and try it next time. When you're out in the city, and hopefully not peering into your phone, look around and notice how many people are buried in their phones. Then you'll realize just how important mobile optimization is. You're potentially missing out on the sales or awareness you could be generating when those users aren't home and need a distraction.

Think we're missing out on a trend? Drop us a message on our Facebook or call us!

The Art of a Successful Mobile App Push Notification

Locating the fine line between being helpful and being a nuisance is critical to cultivating a healthy relationship between buyer and seller. Unlike in the past when the most annoying part of advertising was seeing or hearing a commercial too much, now it's reaching your potential buyer through too many outlets.


Just consider how many avenues a marketer can go to reach their audience. They can reach them via social media, their email inbox, their search engines, websites they frequent, text message, and now even their mobile apps, through push notifications.


Now this is where the fine line is truly tested. Because push notifications can either be an extremely helpful tool that can maximize conversions when used correctly, or a reminder to that app's users to never buy anything from that company again.


For those who don't know, push notifications are those little messages that  pop up on your phone promoting something from an app. For example, I have an app that encourages me to write every day, so I set a reminder within the app to send at a certain time that pops up on my phone at that time.


But when used by a brand, it can be a promotional selling point. Those who opt-in to push notifications with your app can receive exclusive deals or sneak previews of products offered solely to the people who receive those notifications.


Unfortunately, push notifications have received a bad rap, often justified, because of how misused they are by those who ultimately decide its content, frequency and timing. According to Marketingland.com, "a whopping 52% of consumers view push messages and in-app messages as an annoying distraction."


Just like with all things marketing, you have to know and understand your audience before you develop a strategy to reach out to them. Find out what they like, what they don't like, what they'll be receptive to, when they're awake, when they're sleeping, and when they're most likely to buy. However, few things may be more important when it comes to sending a push notification that works than literally knowing who they are:



Take a look at this example from Business2community.com:



Success through personalizing push notifications is no different from social media or email marketing campaigns. Users are far more receptive to ads when it's directed to them, rather than a generic message that's blasted out to thousands of people connected through the same interests.


But don't think simply personalizing a message is everything you need. A strategy, naturally, still needs to be implemented:


"Personalization depends on a solid segmentation strategy. You can start by segmenting users based on their in-app behaviors or known information about them from your CRM (Customer Relationship Management)."


Your users aren't a monolith. They're all special in their own little way and want to be treated as such. We're here to make conversions and if that means coddling each and every individual to nurture them into following through, then do so.


Also consider the frequency and timing of your notifications. Once again, it's time to step into the shoes of your audience to understand their tendencies and behaviors. Consider local time zones and the time of the day.


Is your audience going to be interested in buying your product at 7AM when they first wake up, or at 7PM when they're unwinding from a day at work? Also, if you send a notification at 7PM to your eastern time zone audience, consider that your west coast audience receives it at 4PM, when they'll still likely be working. It's up to you to develop a method to stagger the timing of the deliveries to fully optimize your notifications.


The benefits of a successful notification strategy can be extremely rewarding, with "users who enable push notifications [being] far more engaged than users who don't. The study found that push-enabled app users logged 53% more monthly sessions compared with users who had not engaged with a push message."


They're also more likely to use your app over a longer period of time:


"Push-enabled users have higher longevity rates. After three months, 41% of push-enabled users were still using the app, far exceeding the 18% of push-disabled users who were still using the app."


Of course, you have to first entice your users into receiving push notifications. There has to be an added incentive other than the occasional offer or reminder. A solution to this could be making the app's experience worthwhile only if the user accepts push notifications:


"Companies often think of push notifications only as a means to re-engage inactive users. What if you changed your perception to seeing push as not just an integrated part of your communication strategy, but an integrated part of a user's mobile experience with your brand?"


There has to be value to your notification if you want people to stay interested. Make it engaging by including a product image, the product's name, the price info, and a CTA that are deeply linked with product views within your app.


Even better, be unique and spontaneous:


"Identify niche mobile use cases and channel them through push. Some examples include location-based offers, price drop alerts, time-sensitive offers. Think of push notifications only when you you want to tell your users about something that's useful in their NOW."

What do you think of push notifications? Let us know on our Facebook or give us a call!

4 Surprising Social Media Insights We've Made over the Past Week

One social media week has come and gone, one social media week of insights has come and is now here for your viewing pleasure!






We've done some extra special research for you, dear reader, today as we delve into four trends we've noticed, complete with plenty of evidence, that are currently shaping the future of social media.


You may be surprised to learn that....


1. Video is taking over


In our recent posts about Facebook brands doing it right, we mentioned the great work Samsung Mobile is doing by crafting social media posts that are fun, interactive and engaging to the user.


With nearly 41 million likes, Samsung Mobile has the ninth-most Facebook page likes among brands, trailing only the likes of McDonalds, Disney and Red Bull, but ahead of other giant corporations such as Oreo, KFC, and Starbucks.


What Samsung is doing that has vaulted them to the peak of social media is their content, namely the short videos they somehow churn out almost every day. These videos last between 15 and 30 seconds, but are usually intense, thought-provoking, and highlight features of their phones, without making the video too sales-y.


Check out their Facebook page if you want to see these videos for yourself. They all receive at least 1,000 likes, around 100 shares, and hundreds of comments, as well.


Samsung isn't the only brand on social media to employ this content strategy. In fact, there are plenty of other brands doing the same thing, such as McDonalds and General Electric.


They're doing this because video on Facebook and its newfound popularity. How popular? This popular:


"In September 2014, Facebook announced that its platform was generating more a billion views per day. Just months prior in June, the social giant revealed that for the first time ever, it had served more views than YouTube."


That's right. Facebook is beating out YouTube, the website whose content is dependent solely on videos, in video views.


And brands have taken notice, even incorporating sponsorships and partnerships (Samsung with the Tour de France and McDonalds with Minions). They're able to pump out these well-produced, creative videos on a near daily basis because more attention is being invested by those company's marketing departments.


Which leads me to my next point...


2. Facebook has become a legitimate advertising platform


Organic reach is dead, and brands killed it.


Prior to this recent flurry that has featured brands flocking to social media and mingling with their online audience, it was possible to make a stable social media living off of organic reach alone. Without spending a dime, you could create content that would get out to your audience and possibly more, simply because there wasn't a lot of competition that existed at the time.


In fact, it's causing a shift:


"The drop in organic reach has been apocalyptic for many businesses. This will force some businesses to reconsider Facebook as a viable channel and enable a migration to less noisy venues."


Now that you have innovative, bigger companies with even bigger pockets, social media has become pay-to-play.


According to Shoutlet.com:


"There's going to be a big shift in social media in filtering content from users and brands. Brands organic reach has declined significantly, while content is estimated to grow by 600% by 2020. Social media is no longer free and to see any results you'll have to 'pay-to-play'. "


Further to the point, the marketing budget towards social media is rising every day:


"28% of marketers have reduced their advertising budget to fund more digital marketing."


and furthermore:


"Social network ad spending is expected to hit $23.68 billion worldwide in 2015--an increase of 33.5% from 2014. Another forecast from the Social Times points out that Facebook's CPC rose roughly 8% between 2013 and 2014. The right time to venture into social media is now because, over time, this channel is only going to get more competitive."


Here's some advice: Don't even bother venturing into social media, especially on Facebook, and promoting your brand unless you're willing to spend. Now that there are corporations willing to invest their marketing budget into social media, smaller brands and pages can't compete with minuscule budgets or none at all.


But not all hope is lost....


3. Pinterest is becoming a lot more masculine and, therefore, more popular


For those who don't know, Pinterest is another social media network, but it differs in that it allows users to create their own Pin-boards, which feature all of the products, places, or people a user enjoys looking at. People can create all sorts of different Pin-boards that divert into varying categories, from DIY to a Christmas list.


That ringing you just heard in your ears is the bell telling you, "Wake up! This is an untapped source of advertising!"


Sure enough, Pinterest has made a name for itself as a network that makes people want to shop. Check out this revealing find:


"Pinterest users were bouncing from Pinterest to company websites at a rate almost seven times higher than they were in 2001. In fact, the Shareaholic study reports that 5% of all traffic to the 300,000 websites came from Pinterest."


and this one:


"Pinterest is second only to Facebook in the amount on traffic it drives to websites."


Really? What else?


"Pinterest has recently become the fastest-growing channel, surpassing Instagram."


Go on.....


"eMarketer predicts steady growth for years to come, reaching a total audience of 60 million in 2019; Pinterest's 24% growth will outshine Facebook's 9.2%."


Can you be any more enticing?


"The number of Pinterest users more than doubled in the second half of 2014....in the last six months of 2014, active users increased by 111%, and members increased by 57%."




Of course, there is a catch, and it involves Pinterest's demographic. There's a reason why Pinterest is so successful at bouncing users from their page to a shopping website:


"Pinterest's audience, on the other hand, is dominated by women in their 30s with young families--a group that does the majority of the shopping. Pinterest draws this demographic because it conveniently delivers information on a range of products and services women need for their families."


And that's where the problem lies: Pinterest, at the moment, is too much of a niche community that serves only one demographic, which are young moms. This works out well for certain companies that pander to that demographic, but most advertisers would rather target an eclectic array of users and a much greater audience.


But not all is lost as far as advertising on Pinterest goes:


"In a November 2014 Business Insider interview, Pinterest head of engineering Michael Lopp claims the platform has doubled the number of men signing up in the past year, and that its male audience is experiencing faster growth than its female audience. Further, the gender split in emerging markets like China and India is closer to 50/50."


Get in while you can. Seriously.


And speaking of buying things off the internet...


4. The world is mobile


Are you somewhere in public? Look around you right now. What percentage of the people are looking down at their smartphones? Now look in a nearby window and use it as a mirror. What are you doing reading this in public? Jesus, dude, socialize!


OK, fine, you can keep listening since you, like so many people, are perfectly content not being sociable and contributing to the incredible lack of empathy that has stained society today.




That little device that has consumed us and turned us into emotionless husks asking the closest person next to you, "HEY, DID YOU READ THAT ARTICLE ABOUT THE CAT THAT JUMPED OFF A 10-STORY BUILDING" is also becoming utilized as one of the most important tools in the social media battleground.


Mainly, it's being looked at as a tool you can use to buy with:


"Mobile payments are early today, but will soon skyrocket. In late 2013, just 6% of US adults said they had made a payment in a store by scanning or tapping their smartphone at a payment terminal. It will go up to 8% this year. Nearly 15% of Starbucks customers already pay with their phones. And, 60% of consumers use their smartphones to pay because of loyalty benefits."


Brands are getting innovative with mobile. Smartly, they're taking advantage of people already using their mobile as an extension of their arm. Without having to put their phone away to rifle through their wallet, brands, mainly Starbucks, allow their customers to never have to put their phone down!


Sad? Yes. Savvy? Oh yeah.


Dependence on mobile is especially huge on social media:


"31% of all traffic to the top 10 digital properties was mobile-only visitation....More than half of all social networks will occur on smartphones and tablets."


How do you make your content reflect better on mobile devices? When it comes to advertising, the shorter the copy, the better, especially on a website like LinkedIn. While you're allowed a maximum of 500 words in some cases for copy, mobile devices will only show the first 150 words before it cuts out.


Therefore, you're better off creating a 150-word piece of copy, rather than utilizing the full 500 words because of the great utilization of mobile devices to browse social networks.


With all of this information, remember to always stay updated with trends, otherwise you could be investing your time and money into a channel or practice thats popularity has already come and gone.

Connecting with Your Audience on an Emotional Level

When you write, you build a connection with your reader. Every sentence should be made with great care and preparation since you are investing the time and effort into bridging a gap between yourself and the reader to get the emotional response you're hoping for.


That response is what drives people to become conversions. If you're trying to convince someone to make an impulse buy, there's a need to evoke an emotion that yearns to help satisfy a need. They dominate our decisions and experiences. They're dangerously overwhelming.


Take being in love as an example.


When you're in love, you obsess over it and become irrational. Suddenly, logic is absent and you start to do, say or think things that are almost alien to you and your ideals. When emotion fades away and you come to your senses, you look back and ask yourself what you were thinking. You might even be embarrassed by your actions, yet you can't explain them.


Emotions can blind and lead you down paths you've never experienced, for better or worse. This is the level copywriters need to establish with their audience. Emotion in copy is a necessity because it's how you engage and build a relationship with your audience.


Your words have to tap into a recess of the mind that are going to convince the user to take action. Otherwise you're just writing for the sake of writing; affecting nobody, treating the task like a chore and letting everyone know about it because of how sober it is.


If readers aren't engaged in your writing, they're not going to keep reading. They'll get bored or distracted and move on to something else that they hope can captivate them. You can't blame this as a phenomena of our times. If your work is passionless and devoid of substance, the response will reflect it.


The importance of connecting on an emotional level cannot be overstated:


"Everything starts with emotion. Memories affect our thoughts and opinions; feelings affect our moods and behaviors. The human limbic system is the gatekeeper for all higher thought processing and evaluation."


Since you're not writing the great American novel with every post, email or piece of web copy, you are limited in your ability to fascinate. This ability to enable focus and generate undivided attention is a pillar of connecting with someone. Think back to grade school when you used to bring something from home for show and tell. You weighed every possibility in your possession to find something that would impress your peers.


Something that would fascinate them.


Now the question is, "How can I apply this to my writing?"


Fortunately, bestselling author and brand consultant Sally Hogshead commissioned The Kelton Fascination Study, where she discovered seven basic facets to fascination:




Write something that will get your reader's heart racing and make them see red. Evoke thoughts of danger, sirens, and hysteria to keep your audience fascinated and what action they should take next. Whatever the warning may be, it's fear that you should be generating.


Basically, watch CNN or FOX News for an hour and apply that to your content.




Just think back to any unsolved mystery or conspiracy theory that fascinates (There's that word again) you.


This is CNN spending days on what could have possibly happened to a plane disappearing, BuzzFeed exclaiming that "YOU WON'T BELIEVE" this minor thing that happened, or unconfirmed reports of Polish explorers finding long-lost gold from World War II.


People are inherently curious and love a good mystery. A lot of people will take things at surface value, but there are many others out there that want to dig deeper.


"To create mystique, begin your introduction with a juicy question that begs for an intriguing answer. Jump in with a descriptive story, tapping into the senses, to trigger passion. Establish trust with supporting facts and figures, or maintain a consistent (yet engaging) style your readers can count on."




I alluded to this in a previous blog about the prospect of something 'New' and just how powerful of an influencer it can be:


"People are constantly on the lookout for something new that’s going to add a breath of fresh air and an extra boost to a life that may be entrenched in the trudging pace of mediocrity and routine. With a promise of something new, it represents hope for a change for the better.

The prospect of ‘Something new on the horizon’ excites people. Your curiosity and wonder is heightened because ‘new’ represents mystery, possibility and discovery. A ‘new’ car means newer, better features. A ‘new’ home means updated, modern designs and the start of a new life. A ‘new’ job means new opportunity."




A staple of advertising geared towards high society and those with deep pockets, prestige is all about one-upsmanship.


Your neighbor gets a nice car, now you need a nicer car. Your co-worker gets a brand new phone, now you need to pre-order the phone that hasn't come out yet. Your friend gets a nice house, now you need a bigger house.


Just look at this ad by BMW reeking of smugness and achievement:




If BMW telling Audi, "Good job, good effort" isn't the ultimate sign of elite one-upsmanship, I wouldn't like to know what is.




Before anything else, you need to build trust with your audience. This is also something I mentioned in a previous blog post:


"Trust is difficult to cultivate, especially with someone you just met, mainly because of their past experiences. Your buyer’s jaded and you need to lay it all out there that you’re different. The only way to break through someone’s tough exterior is to make yourself vulnerable first by genuinely letting buyers know who you are and what your product does."


Your audience needs to be secure in their decision-making when dealing with you. Build it through transparency and honesty displayed through your work with previous customers. Use testimonials to showcase how trustworthy you are.


Of course, you can only gain those testimonials by being honest and reliable in the first place.




Offer your audience something that's going to make them feel powerful and in control. Something that will give them power over "people, circumstances and self." Even if the power is minimal, make your reader feel that the knowledge they wield will break down walls and reconstruct the norm.


We're addicted to it and it's evidenced by any recently promoted manager who suddenly gains control over the actions of five waiters at your local restaurant.




If you're not passionate about what you're writing about, then how could you ever expect your reader to be interested?


Passion is a beautiful, wondrous thing that leads to groundbreaking discovery and innovation. A man passionate about history can indulge readers in comprehensive events of a significant time. A woman who is passionate about music can enthrall listeners with new mixtures of sounds that can take your mind to new places. A child who is passionate about computers can keep innovating throughout his life before making scientific achievements never once thought possible beforehand.


Elon Musk wouldn't be trying to send people to Mars if he wasn't passionate about technology. Michael Jordan wouldn't be the greatest player in basketball history and usher in a new era of kids emulating him if he wasn't passionate about competition. Jonas Salk wouldn't have saved millions of lives through the creation of the Polio vaccine (and then refuse to patent it) if he wasn't passionate about humanity.


Be passionate in your writing and you can move the world to do things that were once thought impossible. Be emotional, expressive and animated enough so that your reader becomes as passionate about the subject you're writing about as you are.

What the NFL Can Learn from the NBA On Social Media

About a week ago, I, along with millions of other people, were treated by the NBA's official Facebook account with a behind-the-scenes look at reigning MVP Stephen Curry taking shots before the game.



Not only was I able to indulge in this pull-back-the-curtain moment, but I was able to control my view, too! Fans pay thousands of dollars, and arrive hours before tip-off, to see a player of Curry's caliber practice and here I have a front-row seat for free!


The NBA just gets it. Most importantly, they know how to connect with milennials. The NBA has the youngest audience among all American sports leagues with the average fan being 37-years-old. The NFL fan by comparison is 47-years-old, while the MLB fan is 51.


Reaching out through the right platforms is also key for the NBA, who is a major employer of Snapchat and Vine to peddle out clips:


"A cursory search on Vine shows that just under 100,000 videos have been posted with the tag NBA, while fewer than 50,000 have been posted with the tag NFL, and fewer than 15,ooo with the tag MLB."


They also connect through fashion, as explained by ESPN's Darren Rovell:


"Young basketball stars today are ingrained in culture and fashions and life in a way that the stars from other sports here are not," said Darren Rovell, who covers the business of sports for ESPN. "People talk about Russell Westbrook's glasses and Dwyane Wade's shoes. When you look at the numbers in terms of most Twitter and Instagram followers, the NBA blows other sports away."

It's no wonder why the NBA is even being predicted to overtake the NFL, in terms of popularity. They have a message they want to convey and they won't allow copyright restrictions from spreading that message globally.


If the fans want NBA all the time on any outlet, why not give it to them? Why deprive fans of your product when all they want is more of it? It would be like making a great sandwich and only offering tiny bites when you can easily just give each of your fans a whole sandwich.


Thus, you get awesome controllable videos like the one above featuring Curry.


As an avid NBA fan, there's nothing that can appeal to me more than even more basketball on top of the basketball I already watch.


The NBA is extremely gracious in its content availability, far more than any other league. They see widespread use of game clips by the media and fans of the game not as copyright infringement, but as an opportunity to spread its influence. This runs contrary to the vice-like grip the NFL and MLB have on clips of their games, which are generally kept close to the chest.


The NFL, in fact, is so strict that it actually issued a cap on the amount of video clips its teams can provide on Facebook or Twitter during games. As a result, you get clips mocking the practice like this one:



The NFL has since walked back on its policy to fine teams for using game clips. Nevertheless, it goes to show just how little the league values social media as an outlet to create a larger following for its sport.


Just compare their Twitter followings. Despite the NFL being the country's biggest sport, it has 4 million less followers than the NBA. The MLB and NHL lag far behind with 6.68 million and 5.51 million followers, respectively. This isn't due simply to demographics, but to the NBA having a liberal clip-sharing policy.


The difference is even more substantial on YouTube, the ultimate catchall for video clips. While the MLB and NHL both flounder with less than a million subscribers, and the NFL musters only 1.8 million, the NBA boasts a staggering 7.4 million followers.


Plus, I can find channels that exclusively make videos using NBA content. For example, the channel 'FreeDawkins' regularly creates individual player highlights from games night in and night out. So while I was busy watching the Miami Heat, I can wait a few hours and check out 'Dawkins' for highlight videos of other players who played that night:



While 'FreeDawkins' has had their channel shut down before (They were originally just known by 'Dawkins'), the NBA isn't cracking down on it heavily. No such channels exist for the NFL, MLB or NHL. It would be impossible to find an independent account that would exclusively give me highlights of a certain player I want to see.


The NBA embraces its the participation of their fans and their love for the sport. It's the country's fastest growing sport because it ran full steam ahead into the social media era populated by milennials who want their highlights and info fast and concise. They didn't purposely restrict their presence as other leagues did.


And maybe the NFL is comfortable with their standing, despite losing viewers. It's not surprising from the league that issues penalties and fines for players that want to celebrate touchdowns or any other accomplishment. Their outlook has long been an authoritarian one with widespread control of its players' actions and now the potential media outlets it's product can be promoted on.


There isn't a better time for the NFL to start embracing social media, either. Like the NBA, the NFL is facing a shortage of recognizable names that even the most casual viewer can identify. Basketball has already lost Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, and will soon lose the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony likely within the next five years.


So rather than wait it out, it builds up the personalities, aura, and names of its new league faces (Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, Karl Anthony-Towns, etc.) through outlets such as YouTube, Snapchat, and Vine.


The NFL is facing a similar issue. Peyton Manning has retired. Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton's teams are in shambles. Tom Brady is 39 years old. Ben Roethlisberger is considering retirement. Household names that casual viewers can easily identify are disappearing. While there are studs like Odell Beckham, Jr. and Ezekiel Elliott that will keep interest in the individual, it's a stark difference from the likes of Brady or Manning that anybody could recognize.


This would be the perfect time for the NFL to allow independent viewers of the game to create channels to showcase these players. If I wanted to tell a friend about a rising star in the NBA, for instance, I can easily find highlight video after highlight video of games that show just how skilled that player is. You may not know a rookie like Karl Anthony-Towns, but you might want to know more after watching this well put together highlight video of a 47-point outing:



It would be difficult to do the same with the NFL. I would have to go directly to their YouTube channel and hope they're as detailed in their highlights as a channel like 'Dawkins' is with NBA games.


In fact, I did the same with the NFL, searching for rookie Ezekiel Elliott's best game, and found one highlight video. If you're surprised it was made by the official NFL account, you haven't been paying attention. That video has 111,000 views.


The video posted above has 74,000 views, but take note that Towns is playing in Minnesota, while Elliott plays in Dallas, and isn't hyped up by mainstream outlets like ESPN nearly as much.


The onus of building up player personalities and legends is squarely on the shoulders of the NFL, while the NBA raises few qualms on allowing its fans to distribute its product without proper licensing. As a result you get channels like 'Dawkins', which has nearly half of the subscribers the NFL has on YouTube.


And that's after having their channel taken down on a number of occasions.


But this isn't to say the NFL is completely tone deaf because they do put out quality content. Here's a video by the Seahawks using a 360 cam to showcase their players running out of the tunnel:



So the NFL and its teams has embraced some features of the social media era. But will it ever loosen the reins it has on its product, or will it allow its game to be seen a wider scale?


Tell us what you think on our Facebook page.

Making the Case for Social Media

There’s no debating it: Social media, and the digital medium as a whole, has emerged as a substitute to traditional advertising practices for brands of all sizes.


Add in the growing number of those cutting the cord and you have even more incentive to advertise predominantly online.


Almost all major brands have realized this, resulting in portions of their marketing budgets from common mediums, such as television and radio, being deviated to build a social media presence.


Smaller brands have also taken advantage of the medium’s cost-effective advertising, but have seen their reach taper off in recent years due to heavy spending from larger brands:


"The State of Retailing Online 2016, an annual study conducted by NRF and Forrester Research, found that 92 percent of retailers are investing in social media marketing to some degree and looking for ways to update content to stay on trends.

About 55 percent of retailers surveyed also said they are increasing their online merchandising budgets, a portion of which is clearly earmarked for social media activities that engage consumers to promote two way interactions."


Regardless, social media’s ubiquitous platform provides small and medium-sized businesses with exposure they would have never dreamed of. In a survey of over 7,500 local businesses that purchased local ads in 2016, Borell, the organization behind the survey, found that "local businesses have ramped up their use of social media to help drive business and generate new customers."


As much as it seems that every person you know has a social media account, you may be surprised to learn that social media is only gaining users. While Twitter is pulling up the rear with only a 3.15% increase between the 3rd quarters of 2015 and ’16, Facebook experienced a 13.6% increase in the same period and LinkedIn a 15.2% increase.


Instagram witnessed a 20% increase between September 2015 and June 2016. All of this may seem like a boom, but it also muddies up the landscape because there are so many platforms to post on. It’s up to the brand to do the research on where the audience is.


Unsurprisingly, "Facebook was the number one choice for local advertisers with 96% responding they have  Facebook page. Twitter was a distant second at 51%, and LinkedIn came in at 41%."




It can be daunting to a newbie. You need to ask yourself a few questions before stepping up to the task:


Which social media platform is best for me work on?


How much money should I invest?


What type of posts should I make?


How often should I post?


The greatest issue with starting out on social media is the idea that it’s easy. Failure and frustration is a common characteristic among new businesses starting out on social media because they believe it’s as simple as making a sales-y pitch, attaching an image, and sending the post out.


It doesn’t work like that, at least not anymore. Strategies need to be put in place. Budgets need to be created. Research into best practices needs to be done. Basically, an entire comprehensive rundown of your social media plans should be resolved before you even begin posting.


Now, does this mean you should keep a rigid schedule? No. While you should have prepared copy to pitch your product, you should also have a free-flowing schedule that allows for transparency into your business.


Or, to make things even easier, a brand can simply hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in social media strategy, copywriting, implementation, and moderation.


Social media is simply too valuable a resource to waste. Without the proper funds and research invested, an inexperienced brand is doomed.


Experts in the field are a necessity; an expert at crafting concise copy that delivers an impactful message, an expert at graphic design that can create appealing images; an expert at website design that can make a landing page that converts; an expert at moderation that knows just what to say to disgruntled commenters; and an expert at SEO that can identify the right keywords, among others.


It takes a village to raise a brand on social media. Going at it alone and without the tools and people necessary to help it succeed are only going to hamper your efforts.


Interested in raising your social media standing or looking to start out? Visit our Facebook for more info, email us at ask@one12th.io or visit: https://one12th.io/contact-modern/

Nobody Should Like Fake Facebook Likes and Here's Why

When the going gets tough, buy your Facebook fans and give off the false sense that people enjoy your product!


Wait, that's not the expression, right? No, the actual expression is to try, try again! It's meant to inspire ambition in the heart of the recipient, not tell them to give up and take the easy way out. Your first attempt at success likely won't end up in success, but it could be used as a learning point on what to do and what not do in future endeavors.


That's the beauty of ambition. It's enjoying the sweet splendor of success because of how much time you invested into creating a viable product or achieving a personal goal. A payoff gained through shortcuts won't be as fulfilling as a payoff gained through deep thought and tireless efforts.


Buying your fans - Even writing it out sounds weird - is not the key to winning on social media. It's the exact opposite really. You're harming your page's metrics, and your brand's reputation with shady tactics to drum up business, when you have all of these fans but nobody seems to be responding to anything you say.


You can buy your friends, too, if you have the money, but who's going to be there when the money dries up?




Plus, you're supporting even shadier behavior once you find out these fake accounts are being created by "workers [who] sit in dingy rooms, [with] bars on the windows, generating 1,000 likes for $1."


Facebook has come out strongly against fake likes, citing how "Facebook takes into account Page engagement rates when deciding when and where to deliver a Page's legitimate ads and content, so Pages with artificially inflated like counts are harming themselves, making it harder and more expensive to reach the people they care about most."


As one of my esteemed colleagues has pointed out, "It inflates your social proof, but your data won't be accurate." 454 fans and one conversion isn't pretty, but at least you earned a conversion through your efforts. 10,000 fans divided by zero conversions, however, is still zero.


Oh, and did I mention that Facebook "uses machine learning to catch suspicious behavior"? You could buy all the likes you want, but Facebook can still detect all of those fake likes and delete every last one of them.


When you buy fans, rather than crafting advertising efforts to create a solid foundation with a dedicated audience, you're cheating yourself. Conversions aren't going to immediately pop up because you bought fans. Neither are surface stats such as likes, comments and shares.


The only thing you're going to be left with is 6,500 fans, no engagement, and prospective fans wondering how a page with so many likes can receive so little attention. They might even think the page itself is fake or possibly an aggregator that's producing content for the sake of content.


Regardless, it's fake and dishonest to "customers who are being tricked into thinking you're artificially popular." Even worse is that you actually have to pay somebody for fake Facebook likes. Why not just use that money for an agency that can develop a strategy and target those who would actually like to become a fan of yours?


Well, it's the reason why most people cut corners: It's cheaper than hiring a professional, people don't have the patience, they don't want to spend the money, and they don't understand how it works.


Social media's main purpose has always been to bridge the gap between connections. Even before brands got involved, people logged on and created accounts to reach out to people they know, people who wanted to know them, and those they were interested in getting to know.


Now that brands are in the picture the significance of bridging the gap has never been more important. It's of the utmost importance to brands that they establish themselves as a reputable, reliable business that heeds the cries of its loyal customers and addresses them with a transparent, human response.


Your fans are out there. If you offer A/C repair, there's somebody sweating in their house. If you offer pool cleaning, there's an algae-filled pool in dire need of a detox. If you offer relocation services, somebody has a house filled with heavy furniture that needs to be moved to another residence.


Your job is to find them. If that sounds too difficult, there are plenty of marketing agencies (Here's one) who can find them for you and craft copy that will persuade them to use your services. This type of business isn't being conjured if your page has 10,000 fans, but they're all from Pakistan and you're a plumber in Norman, Oklahoma.


Unfortunately for those just discovering social media, it isn't the wild west anymore where an organic post can reach thousands. Big brands have stepped in and invested a lot of money, because they see how valuable and cost-efficient of a channel social media can be, which has led to smaller companies getting squeezed out and needing to compete with those bigger companies for attention.


Money will have to be spent if success through conversions and a new, formerly unfound audience is achieved. It's just the way social media is now.


But an investment, even a small one, can help build the foundation of loyal fans you need to start building.

Part 4: Messaging as a Commercial Medium

The vehicle of messaging you use to communicate with your customers can make or break your product’s success.


Everyone checks their notifications and sending texts is cheap. So if you send out mass texts, then you are bound to receive decent results, right?


Much to the chagrin of marketers, the FCC also thought so and found a way to limit what they deemed as spam. They created the TCPA, which requires written consent for a business to message customers for marketing purposes.


But can I text my customers anyway, without worrying about the repercussions?


Unless you’re a fan of hefty fines, the answer is a resounding no.


You can be sued for as much as $1,500 per text message, if it was proven that you willfully and knowingly violated the law! This even applies if you just texted your potential customer for permission to text them again in the future.


So, how can marketers circumvent these distressing thoughts without having to pay?


  • Provide customers with discounts at the checkout if they submit their phone number and sign off on receiving future texts
  • Advertise that you send discounts and info on sales via text
  • Message what customers want to receive, such as fraud alerts, reminders for payments or appointments, and try to limit what they wouldn’t want, like taking surveys.




Once you get permission from customers to send them texts, it becomes an extremely effective form of marketing. See for yourself:


  • 77% said they were open to receiving text messages from a company they have done business with
  • 50% of internet users were open to receiving info about sales
  • 90% of internet users were open to Short Message Service (SMS) in the first 90 seconds


Domino’s Pizza has embraced SMS marketing by allowing customers to order by texting them “easy order” or a pizza emoji slice to their 6-digit code.


However, most companies have yet to adopt this form of communication with their client base. Only 22% of retailers send their customers SMS messages, compared to 84% of retailers sending them emails.




Besides ordering, SMS has also been a valuable customer service tool.


While the majority of consumers say they prefer a phone call, the current system is clearly not working:


  • 57% of consumers place ‘Reducing hold times’ among their top choices for improving service
  • More than half of consumers will hang up after being on hold for 6-15 minutes
  • 25% of consumers will hang up in 0-5 minutes


Wouldn’t it be easier to simply have customer service text a response to your inquiry? The idea of waiting 20 minutes for a text, rather than being on hold for 20 minutes, does have its appeal.


However, the issue here lies in ameliorating your customers’ satisfaction. The reason they call goes beyond the issue they have. They also have a lot to vent and get off their chest.


Just think of customer service as a fortified wall protecting the company from an onslaught of complaints and concerns catapulted their way. Plus, texting is not as efficient, nor does it appeal to everyone.


A solution to this dilemma would be talking to an operator, and having them give you instructions on what to do next, via text.


Whatsapp is a useful platform to use for text marketing, boasting 1 billion users worldwide and 30 billion sent messages every day.


It’s easy to see how it got so popular, especially when you consider:


  • Texting is free
  • It notifies customers as soon as they receive the message
  • There’s a 70% chance of them opening your text
  • You can chat with multiple people at once


These are among the critical decisions you have to make when setting up your campaign.


You must decide whether to use humans or ‘chatbots’ (think Siri) when creating a back-and-forth messaging campaign.


Both have their benefits, but a human being is always going to be better at identifying your questions and replying with answers you want to hear. Those who want to be cost-effective, however, would likely go with chatbots.


Let’s take a look at two successful Whatsapp campaigns; one is a 1-on-1 with a human, the other uses chatbots:


Hellman’s mayonnaise took the 1-on-1 human approach, encouraging people to take a picture of what ‘was in their fridge’, featuring their Hellman’s. The customers were then connected with chefs that recommended custom meals, depending on what was available in their refrigerator, and coaching them through the process.



Absolute Vodka launched a chatbot campaign when they arrived in Argentina with an exclusive party open to two lucky winners. Users would try convincing “Sven” the chatbot why they were deserving of one of those two spots.



SMS marketing is a growing, cost-effective method of communicating with your customers and bringing your brand directly to your users. It’s just further evidence of our evolving reliance on convenience brought about by new technology.


Want further evidence of how technology can improve your life? Join us at One Twelfth as we employ innovative, unique methods to help you achieve your brand’s goals.


Reach us at: https://one12th.io//#contact-us

The Most Important Social Media Stat You'll Need

Stats, stats, and more stats! With all the stats available, it's become almost impossible to not succeed at social media if you're checking the numbers and trends.


There's a gift and a curse with the new wave of competition crashing over the established brands thriving on social media with little investment. The curse, of course, is that organic reach is plummeting and it's now a necessity to invest in your marketing budget if you want your brand noticed.


The gift, however, is that Facebook has embraced its newfound identity as an advertising platform. This has led to Facebook providing page administrators with a multitude of stats they can use to identify trends that go below the surface stats, such as likes, comments, and shares.


Facebook and Twitter are especially adept at this. The two channels provide admins with exact times and dates of posts, which posts are being hidden by users, total organic and paid reach, and even tracking the times and weekdays most users visit the page.


All these insights are available at your disposal. Even better, social media channels will actually list each post's performance in a neat and tidy Excel sheet that you can export and analyze!




Perhaps all this info is too much and a tad overwhelming for social media rookies? Well, let me introduce you to a stat that's extremely effective, useful AND easy to decipher.


Engagement Rate=Engagements/Impressions


Facebook insights will actually provide you with this in their Insights, but you have to export data to uncover the exact number of impressions and engagements a post receives.


Decoding your engagement rate on Instagram is slightly different. Simply divide the number of likes and comments on a post by your follower count. So if a page has 2,500 likes and a post receives 78 combined likes and comments, the engagement rate would be slightly over 3%.


Measuring a channel like Snapchat isn't as easy, "as there are no native brand tools yet", but helpful metrics are available. The platform allows users to see total unique views, total story completions, and, interestingly enough, how many screenshots are taken of your snaps.


While engagement rate for Snapchat doesn't exist, the next best thing is completion rate. This metric allows users to establish "the percentage of people that started viewing that story compared to how many of them saw the last part of a story."


So, why should marketers place engagement rate on a higher pedestal? For one, it allows you to properly analyze and compare the performance of posts from different channels.


We'll use an account we run as an example where we post to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. All three channels are going to have a wide gap in the amount of impressions and engagements they receive on account of the numbers of followers they have.


With engagement rate, however, we can effectively identify which posts are successful on certain channels and eliminate the followers factor.


Since we can record an engagement rate, we can compare the responses and trends of Facebook (17K followers), Twitter (10k followers), and LinkedIn (over 70k followers), and see which channel our posts are the most engaging. Now we can carefully craft posts for each channel to get the response, because of the varying attention spans of their appropriate audiences and which type of posts they respond to best.


Those are stats that surface numbers can't provide. If you were to simply look at the numbers, you would assume our posts just happen to be wildly successful on LinkedIn, on account of the 20K-plus impressions we receive on each post, compared to the hundreds of impressions we receive on the same Facebook and Twitter posts.


Thanks to engagement rate, we can see that people are more likely to engage with our brand on the other channels.


Engagement rate certainly isn't the only below-the-surface stat you can utilize. Click-through rate (Clicks divided by impressions) is another excellent formula that allows you to see which links are being clicked on the most, as well as which posts are driving people to click and which channels are clicking the most per impression.


Go the extra mile when it comes to social media analyzation. The stats that can take your brand to the next level are waiting and available for your use right now!

5 Mistakes to Avoid as a Social Media Manager

There's a lot more to this social media game than you may realize.


Being a social media manager takes the full cooperation of all parties involved and the necessity of communication between them, as well. Running a social media page, no matter the channel, requires a great deal of patience, experimentation with content and posting times, and taking on multiple perspectives depending on how many accounts you run.


Take note of the misconceptions you'll soon encounter in our latest blog as they are commonly seen and experienced by novice social media managers who think social media is as easy as post-click-results. With these five tips, you avoid the mistakes that so many others have experiencing, including the accounts you run that are on your back for not having everything you post immediately going viral.


1. Not Checking the Numbers


Numbers can't lie, check the scoreboard.


There are plenty of tools, some even for free, at your fingertips that can divulge a wealth of information about your social media standing. You can check out all of the tools we utilize at One Twelfth here.


For social media, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all provide comprehensive listings of your posts and how they performed.


Facebook and Twitter even go as far as to provide you with demographics of your audience, as well as the ability to export your page data and post data. You can select any range of dates and analyze how your page or your posts performed, namely with stats, such as post clicks, that go below the surface of simply likes, comments and shares.


All of these tools are at your disposal for free and are designed to help you get a better understanding of your audience so you can appeal to them better in future posts. With stats, you learn what types of posts work and what day and time they work best.


Without them, the already unpredictable guessing game of social media becomes even more of a crapshoot.


2. Not Knowing your Audience


Once again, tools, such as Facebook insights, easily allow you to get a glimpse at your fanbase.


We observed the demographics of a diaper rash cream's demographics and reached these conclusions, simply from a page of Facebook Insights:


  • Our fanbase mainly are women
  • Our fanbase is located in Miami
  • Our fanbase is between mid-20's and middle-aged


Those three points tell us the type of posts we need to make and the perspective we need to have. Create content that would be geared towards them. If they don't work at first, keep experimenting with different forms of copy and imagery. Social media, even if you invest and do your research, is unpredictable and it could take some time to find that desired sweet spot.


Just keep experimenting, stay consistent, and have perspective.


3. Lack of Creativity


Have perspective when you're creating your posts, and ask yourself these three questions.


"Would I click on this?"


"If I was scrolling through my feed, would this make me stop and at least absorb the information I'm seeing?"


"Is this interesting enough for my audience to click on?"


Being a social media content creator is about having a keen, diverse perspective that taps into the mindsets of the audience you're trying to reach. If you run a page that sells baby products, think of what a new mom would want to see. If you run a page that sells two-way radios in bulk, think of what a public safety agency or factory manager would want to see.


4. Lack of Boosting


Imagine you're in front of a crowd of 42 million people and they're all yelling at the same time. They're all trying to say their own unique quip or sales-pitch, but you can't make out what any individual is saying.


This is what Facebook is like when you don't invest. You are competing with 41,999,999 other Facebook pages for the attention of users. They may be selling different things than what you're selling, but they're all still in the same boat as you: Vying for attention with a limited voice.


Many businesses go into social media assuming it's just a cheap, easy way of advertising. 'Make a post about your business and wait for the likes and praise to roll in' is the common belief of social media rookies. But if it were that easy, then everyone would have thousands and thousands of likes and would be flourishing, despite the fact that they're competing with over 40 million other pages for attention.


Just as you would with your business that you want to succeed, invest. It doesn't take much. You can shell out a little more for ads on the right column or news feed that will last a few days, but you could also invest as little as $1 into a single post.


The investment may not even be that much, but you get to target a specific interest (Rather than just shooting your post out for anyone to read, you can target it to your audience, who are more likely to actually read and digest it) and reach at least a couple hundred people.


Treat social media as a serious part of your business and you'll find yourself investing because it's the smart thing to do.


5. No Planning


Bouncing off the previous point of taking social media a lot more seriously than you would think, treat growing your social media influence as you would starting your business.


What does every business need to start out with? An idea and a solid foundation with a plan they could execute on.


If you're going to make posts for your brand's page, do you want to think of something new every day and have to rush it out before it's too late? Or would it be wiser to take a day or two to think about two weeks' worth of posts?


Further building on this point, you would be able to plan for upcoming holidays, as well as the more 'quirky' ones, rather than creating one the day before or even the day of.


If you want to go even further, and this is what we do at One Twelfth, you can create themes for each day. For the Motorola Solutions account we ran, we used Thursday for the usual #TBT, but also used Friday for User Engagement posts because of the stats we analyzed.


Because we had so many verticals and products to promote with that account, we had to find a way to create some sort of even distribution, with a greater emphasis placed on the verticals that would receive the most attention (Once again, something we learned from our research into the numbers).


Our idea was to give each vertical a day of the week. Since we had too many verticals, we would alternate verticals. For instance, we would have the Law Enforcement and Utilities verticals on Tuesday, with Law Enforcement one week and then Utilities the next.


Without a researched plan, we would never have been able to execute on giving each vertical the attention it needed, instead of distributing an allotted date to each one. This was also a wise thing to do because it made it a lot easier to track what posts and verticals worked, as well as what time and day of the week they worked on best.