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Blog posts tagged with 'Zachary T. Brown'

Hassle Free Social Media Practices

Social media occupies our everyday lives, providing opportunities and distractions in equal measures. How can our audiences use social media to save time and stay connected while reducing the time social media takes up?

Everything we create and post online should be social. In addition to the thousands of news and gossip articles published every day, we have even more content to engage with than ever, as there are several responses left by users and followers, which can be controversial and amusing.

Ordinary people and those who are more prominent don’t seem to hold back. For me, comments left on an article can provide as much, if not more, entertainment than the original article itself. 

If you think about it, it is the subjective nature of news content that sparks discussions either on the publication’s own Web site or off the back of their social media posts. This is where a user’s activity will be seen by followers — people who are more likely to respond to someone they are connected with and further engage in the discussion.

Newspaper and magazine editors are “content editors.” They ensure that everything they publish is easy to find, has embedded links, is shareable, and looks great across multiple platforms and devices.

This means that a wider skill set is needed for success, which has called for new talent within organizations, regardless of the size.

After all, with the print medium declining year after year, there is a need to safeguard businesses by reaching new audiences and having a strategy to get eyeballs on the content and, over time, increasing the number of followers and interactions with content.

You can probably gather from this post that, while social media can extend audience reach and interaction from personal and business points of view, it can be very time-consuming and tricky to stay front-of-mind and relevant. This is true whether you are running a national newspaper or a cafe in a little town across the country.

To make this easier, here are five hassle-free social media tips that will save you time:

  1. Use RSS feeds that connect to Twitter and Facebook so that each time you post on your blog or Web site, the content appears on your social networks straight away.
  2. Set up Facebook and Instagram links and statuses so they are automatically tweeted.
  3. Upload your Instagram photos to an album on Facebook so your fans and friends can see what you’re up to.
  4. Welcome new members and followers. This is especially good for small groups.
  5. Finally, ensure you activate all social networks by syncing them to different devices.

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Are You An Innovator

The word "innovate" can be traced all the way back to 1440. It comes from the Middle French word "innovacyon," meaning "renewal" or "new way of doing things". Exactly what innovations actually happened in 1440 (rounder oxcart wheels?) is anybody's guess, but whatever they were, it's likely they improved the quality of life for more than a few people.

If you want to spark innovation, forget about slick formulas for a minute and pay attention to what's happening on the inside. Because that's where it starts. With the innovator - the inspired individual who sees a better way and goes for it.

To get started, all you need to do is rate yourself, on a scale of 1-10, for each on the following qualities. Notes which ones are your strengths and how can you build on them. Notes which ones are your weaknesses and how can you strengthen them.

Qualities An Innovator Most Likely Have:

  • Challenges the Status Quo
  • Curious
  • Self-Motivated
  • Visionary
  • Entertains the Fantastic
  • Takes Risks
  • Peripatetic
  • Playful/Humorous
  • Self-Accepting
  • Flexible/Adaptive
  • Makes New Connections
  • Reflective
  • Recognizes Patterns
  • Tolerates Ambiguity
  • Committed t
  • Learning
  • Balances Intuition and Analysis
  • Situationally Collaborative
  • Formally Articulate
  • Resilient
  • Persevering

 
Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Preferred Communication For Customer Deals & Promotions

Consumers prefer to receive marketing messages, special offers, and coupons from brands via email more than any other communication channel, according to a recent report from Message Systems.

The report was based on data from a survey conducted in September 2014 from 500 adult Internet users in the United States.

Half of respondents say they do not want to receive any marketing communications at all from brands.

A quarter say they prefer to be contacted by email, the most popular communication channel by far.

Some 9% like text messages and 7% are fans of snail mail. Just 5% of respondents say social media is their preferred way of being contacted with marketing messages and offers.

Which form of communication do you prefer brands to contact you regarding special deals or promotions?


For non-emergency customer service issues, email again is the most liked channel, with 32% of respondents saying that is how they prefer to initiate interactions.

How do you prefer to initiate communication in a non-emergency customer service related issue?

Phone conversations are the next most popular channel for non-emergency customer service issues (29% prefer), followed by online chat (9%) and social media (7%)

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade | Facebook Marketing - Part 2

Yesterday I gave an overview of how Facebook is changing their marketing platform and how it will effect small to medium busninesses. Yes, I know some of you are probably ready to choke me for cutting yesterdays article short and not revealing the "how to," so without further a-do, here are you "how to's" when it comes to turning your Facebook marketing lemons into lemonade!

So how should you position your sales team in order to turn Facebook lemons into lemonade?

  1. Diversify your content plan. Help your accounts go big with fresh content. Facebook changes of this magnitude were bound to happen sooner or later. Things that are free and good at some point either stop being free or no longer are good. Facebook chose the former.
  1. Commit to the content. You will do well publishing varied, two-way communication. Think of your content plan as you would your relationships. Be real, be sincere, and be helpful.

  2. Remember, you’re the expert. Illustrate your agency customers’ professionalism. Chances are, your account is best doing what he or she does. Make that shine through their content
  1. Unleash the power of community. Leverage content to evangelize your connection to the local community. Remind your audience of the value of giving back. First, lead by example.
  1. Use promotions, offers, and sales. Announce and remind your audiences of the value of being your customer. One-day sales and Internet-only specials are examples of powerful “give back” tools. Everyone loves a deal.

Is there life after the news feed?

Without question. The silver lining has shown us what happens when we rely too heavily on any one channel or audience. Facebook is running its business. Your customers are running a business, too. It’s our job to help our customers communicate and market their business, so they can do what they do best. 

We can’t control what Facebook does next. Now is the time to take control of your customers’ content and audiences with the five steps above. Content marketing will position your account as the expert, show they’re connected to the community, and help their promotions get above the noise.

For a full and more in-depth description of each point, click HERE!

Zachary T.Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade | Facebook Marketing - Part 1

Hundreds of millions seemingly become more dependent on Facebook each day. The smallest changes from the social media giant send ripples across the social universe. If Facebook changed the way we communicate, and now Facebook is changing again, how much damage did it create?

According to Facebook, delivering relevant content in a way that won’t be missed by Facebook users is the goal. This was explained in a blog post by Facebook. The objective is to remove content that is “gamed” in the news feed to gain more distribution than it normally would. Facebook engineers went to work to scrub three major areas aimed at reducing news feed spam.

I saw the early accusations against Facebook. The company claimed that just 6% of a business’ page feed would appear on followers’ news feeds. “How dare they?” and “Facebook should be free!” angrily rang out.

This behavior, coupled with Facebook’s rising ad revenue, would have social media critics crossing their arms and telling us, “I told you so!”

Facebook is clearly on the lookout to suppress certain types of content. Like-baiting, frequently circulated content, and spam links now face intense scrutiny. That’s the Facebook company line.

However, others are not so sure. A source professionally familiar with Facebook’s marketing strategy, claimed the social network is “in the process of slashing “organic page reach” down to 1% or 2%.

Marketers have been on a honeymoon with Facebook. Now it’s time to pay the wedding bill. 

Businesses have benefited from the free promotional power of organic reach. They will want to rethink their social strategy.

Imagine a small- or mid-sized business audience of, say, 1,200 likes. Last year’s doughnut sale was a hit. It drove traffic into the store and got folks talking socially about the “buy a dozen for a penny” sale, thanks in part to their message reaching over 1,000 news feeds.

A strong promotional message reaching that audience will produce sales results. Now, after organic reach is slashed, that same doughnut sale reaches a couple dozen, at best — no pun intended. That’s no way to run a doughnut shop. 

So how do you exactly go about turning these lemons into lemonade? Find out tomorrow morning in "Turning Lemons Into Lemonade | Marketing - Part 2!"

Uber Energy

It seems you can’t read an article about new mobility or the sharing economy without stumbling across Uber; the mobility service that sprung up in 2009 to only five years later become valued at more than Avis, Hertz, or Sony. Yes, Sony.

Two weeks ago, I found myself using the service for the first time, here in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The ride went silky smooth largely due to its app, which is so easy-to-use your grandmother could use it. Since using it, I quickly realizing why so many opt for the convenience and availability over other options (often unknown for tourists). The company just expanded its offering with “Uber Pool”  – which now allows you to split a ride with strangers. It also announced a tie-up with music streaming service Spotify, to sync your two accounts so that the car will be playing your preferred playlist when the car arrives. However, Uber’s entry into the mobility market has been anything but smooth and its implications are still unclear.

Just recently, under pressure from taxi lobbies, India moved to make Uber harder to use in its second largest market after the US. Uber has been lambasted for flouting the law and undermining public transit, and even threatening to lower GDP for countries where it operates. Berlin has moved to ban it outright. Taxi companies around Europe held protests against Uber, but famously ended up boosting Uber ridership by 850% as riders without options [ironically] ended up using the much-maligned, but also much-mentioned service. And of course, there’s the company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, who has come under repeated fire for controversial statements and practices regarding competitor Lyft and other incidents.

Leaving all that aside, from a transport and energy perspective, the question is: does Uber make cities more energy efficient? The question has been hotly debated for carsharing for some time, including for such services as Zipcar and Autolib’, but with Avis Budget Group buying Zipcar, it at least seems there is continued appetite in cities for these efforts as they continue to grapple with issues of pollution, congestion, and jobs and innovation.

One thing is certain: the world continues to urbanize, and congestion in cities is going nowhere but up. With this in mind, it seems that Uber or other similar services will play a role in our cities if for no other reason than that we want them to. Uber claims to be able to take one million vehicles off the roads, and Lyft believes that by increasing vehicle occupancy in major cities sucjh as Los Angeles and New York from 1.1 to 1.3 you would eliminate traffic in the city. Either prospect is tantalizing no matter your preferred mode of choice. This is akin to Autolib’s goal that for its 3,000 vehicles, you’d take 22,500 vehicles off the road; or about 7.5 cars off the road for each carsharing vehicle introduced.

What do you think? Is Uber really that different from taxis? And if so, is the overall energy benefit positive?

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

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