Tagged: branding

How to Pick the Best Social Media Platform for Your Brand’s 24-hour disappearing ‘Story’

On March 9, Facebook rolled out a new feature merged into its Messenger chat application called “Day.” Inspired by Snapchat, it allows you to post video or image content that lasts for 24 hours. Afterwards, your posted content disappears.

Facebook is not the first social network to copy Snapchat’s innovative Stories feature. Instagram has done the same (also calling their feature “Stories”). The previous month, WhatsApp followed suit, adding an update to their “Status” feature.

As a business owner, you can use these features to capture a sense of spontaneity and engage with your customers. But which network should you choose? We explore the pros and cons of each platform.

Facebook Messenger Day

Facebook Monthly Active Users: 1.23 billion daily active users

Facebook Largest Demographic: 25-34, followed by 35-44, 18-24, and 45-54

Facebook Messenger Day Pros: Because it’s brand new, fewer people use Facebook Messenger Day, which means your posts may not get lost in the crowd. This is ample livestream “real estate” to broadcast your day to people who otherwise may not use livestreaming platforms. Additionally, Facebook is still the most popular social network with the largest overall reach. As Messenger Day matures, this may ultimately result in a broader reach than you will find elsewhere. Facebook’s demographics are well distributed among middle-aged users. If your business is targeting a middle-aged demographic, this would be the perfect livestream feature to capture their attention.

Facebook Messenger Day Cons: Because Facebook Messenger Day is still new, your reach may be limited. Functionality is lacking in a few areas as well. There is still no indication that Frames are available for use with Day posts, which restricts geographic discoverability. Day also does not work with Facebook pages right now; it’s only available to individual users. That means you must use a personal account, which may be difficult if all of your business content is on your company fan page. Facebook Messenger Day is also still missing features that exist on Snapchat and Instagram, such as 3D stickers, swipeable filters and brush styles.

Instagram Stories

Instagram Monthly Active Users: 600 million

Instagram Largest Demographic: 25-34, followed by 18-24

Instagram Stories Pros: Instagram is arguably the best overall choice for most businesses. This social network has more monthly active users than Snapchat. While it has fewer active users than Facebook or WhatsApp, Instagram Stories is far more established than Day or Status. For right now, it provides the best reach. Instagram is particularly popular with millennials, making it ideal to reach the younger generation. Like Snapchat, Instagram is well established and sports numerous features like brush styles and GIF capture. So, you can customize your posts—perfect for letting your employees showcase your corporate culture.

Instagram Stories Cons: Instagram is a particularly popular network among marketers, so you may find yourself vying for attention. This is because Instagram is well established as a visual platform and provides a broader reach than Snapchat.

Snapchat

Snapchat Monthly Active Users: 301 million

Snapchats Largest Demographic: 18-24

Snapchat Pros: Twenty-three percent of Snapchat users are between the ages of 13 and 17. So, if you’re targeting gen Z, Snapchat will provide you with fine-tuned visibility. It has many advanced features like 3D stickers and the ability to export to other platforms, so you can customize your posts. Another advantage is that Snapchat is well established and was the leader in developing this feature. Because it was the original livestream, it still has the most “authentic” vibe.

Snapchat Cons: Snapchat is not as useful for reaching baby boomers and Instagram stories may be a more ideal platform for reaching millennials who are already active users of the platform. For this reason, its utility within a B2B context is limited.

WhatsApp Status

WhatsApp Monthly Active Users (as of January 2017): 1 billion

WhatsApp Largest Demographic: 25-34, followed by 35-44

WhatsApp Pros: As with Facebook Messenger Day, WhatsApp Status is relatively new in its current incarnation and not yet oversaturated. WhatsApp has a large user base and gives you access to a wide age distribution. Status updates are encrypted, perfect for reaching out privately to a single customer or associate. Another interesting feature about WhatsApp is that it was designed specifically for use on mobile devices, which may make Status the perfect choice for B2B posts in an industry, such as construction, where mobile technology is pervasive.

WhatsApp Cons: Like Messenger Day, this version of Status is not well established, which will restrict reach in the immediate future. Because it’s still in the early stages, it lacks the advanced features available on Snapchat and Instagram Stories.

Ruby Media Groups Picks:

  • Best for overall reach: Instagram stories
  • Best for targeting Millennials and gen Z: Snapchat, Instagram stories
  • Best for targeting baby boomers: Facebook Messenger Day
  • Best for privacy: WhatsApp
  • Best for mobile reach: WhatsApp
  • Best for customization: Snapchat, Instagram Stories
  • Best for geographic discoverability: Instagram Stories, Snapchat

Differences in demographics and reach make one platform more appropriate for your brand than the rest. Evaluate your target market and choose the platform that will best reach your customers.

The days of static social media are long gone. It’s no longer enough to post a photo and hope for the best. Every social network is clamoring for your attention and encouraging users to livestream their day. Without taking advantage of these livestream features, you may be missing out on a core functionality of where social media is headed.

Kris Ruby is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, a public relations and social media agency. Ruby is a frequent on-air TV contributor and speaks on social media, tech trends and crisis communications. For more information, visit rubymediagroup.com or krisruby.com

 

Photo Credit: Kara Hendrick, Women in Digital


Why Content Marketing is Critical in the Age of Visual Marketing

With content marketing exploding in 2017, it has morphed from managing a company blog to building entire brand newsrooms and content libraries curated by an outside public relations agency or social media management firm. So why does your company need content integration and a newsroom?

For starters, a strategic social media campaign will be extremely bareboned without solid content to back it up. Content is a critical part of any social media campaign today. At least 2/3 of your outbound social media posts should include backlinks to content that is generated by your company that lives on your site.

According to marketing expert Neil Patel, brands who succeed at content marketing experience 7.8 times more site traffic than companies who are not crafting compelling, valuable content.

This 8% increase in eye traffic on your brand is one of the many reasons why every company should create a solid digital footprint and integrated content marketing strategy. A well thought out content strategy helps prospects find you when they are looking for your services. It also helps your bottom line if your content answers sales questions that representatives previously answered by phone. Additionally, great content creation will position you as an expert in your field more than a traditional press release ever will (press releases are dead). Well thought out content will also give you the trust factor you are looking to build with media, and provides media with usable snippets they can pull into articles.

Establishing a content library or newsroom takes a lot of work, and a lot of content. However, if you already have a public relations firm or social media management firm, they can help create content for you. This has become a critical function of the PR department as the lines between PR/Social Media/Marketing becoming further blurred together. If you already have retained a firm and want to try getting more bang for your buck this month, try having your PR firm work on content marketing for you, rather than pushing out traditional press releases (that no one is reading.)

Here’s how content marketing – in partnership with PR and social media pros — can boost your marketing efforts in 2017:

What’s a Content Library? All highly successful brands have built a well-planned and executed “content library.” Also called a “newsroom,” this digital information storage space includes everything from press releases to white papers, infographics, images and videos.  In fact, Fortune 500 companies build, populate and administrate completely separate websites just for journalists and editors. Mobile giant T-Mobile has three: 1) a consumer newsroom; 2) a media center for journalists; and 3) a social media “home” or library.

“Use content as your currency to create marketable content your prospects are seeking.”

What kind of content should I write about? Consider the journey your ideal clients follow to find your product or service. Go on a treasure hunt to discover all the keywords your current clients and potential prospects use to find your company and solve their problems. This includes long-form, problem-based keywords, solution-based keywords and casual language.

Tip: Use Buzzsumo to research the most highly shared articles in your industry to get ideas for what topics you should be writing about.

How can my publicist help me curate a content library? Public relations agencies and social media management firms know exactly what your content library should (and should not!) include. Your content library needs to provide solutions to your customers’ and prospects’ greatest challenges. If you deliver smart content to help make them become informed decision makers, then you can expect more highly qualified purchase decisions resulting in ideal new clients.

Don’t have a newsroom yet? One way to build a content library quickly is to repurpose old press releases by transforming them into blog posts, which can help secure backlinks and increase SEO.

Where do I distribute content? What’s the point of creating an entire content library if you don’t distribute it correctly? Once your content library is in place, make it available to as many distribution points as possible. This includes your company’s newsroom, blog, email marketing and all social media accounts – even Facebook Live or apps such as Snapchat and Instagram. All this fresh and “repurposed” content should attempt not just to entertain, but to educate, enlighten and go for “direct action” so your brand sees immediate results. Be sure your content can be easily redistributed by your brand’s fans and followers so it is easily shareable for consumers.

Need to create content quickly? Go to your sales team and have them ask current clients what they’d like to read when it comes to your business and then create content to educate them on those subjects.

How do I hire a content writer? Public relations professionals and social media management firms understand how to communicate with your different client “personas” by working with media-savvy specialty writers. Need to attract millennials? Or, how about middle-aged women with a certain amount of disposable income in Westchester County (or wherever your business may be located)? PR and social media management firms work with many different writers to capture not only the mind, but the voice of your niche market customers.

Choosing the perfect content writer for your company is like a treasure hunt. Remember, PR and social media management firms can help you hire the best writers who focus on solution-based keywords.

How do I format content? Formatting content is equally as important as the writing itself. Ever click out of a web page or a story just because it’s too long or unreadable? Think of the many ways your clients or potential clients want to consume media from your brand. For example, millennials want “punchy” copy with short sentences and bold headings. Baby boomers usually prefer longer, journalistic style articles. And Gen Z? They want to watch videos on their smartphones rather than read stories.

Need to revamp your brand? Sometimes bringing fresh content to the boardroom table can revitalize old school marketing materials and breathe new life into your brand.

The bottom line is this: Your brand’s content should help solve your prospects’ greatest challenges.   With a well-executed content library and consistent distribution, your company will stay top of mind and be positioned as a thought leader in your industry.

Ready to craft stellar a content strategy and distribution plan? Ruby Media Group brings years of PR consulting, content marketing and social media management expertise to help your company be even more successful in today’s diverse new media space.

Visit Ruby Media Group at www.rubymediagroup.com or Kris Ruby at www.krisruby.com.

For more information on optimizing your exposure with content marketing, contact kruby@rubymediagroup.com 

Follow Kris Ruby on Twitter @rubymediagroup and @sparklingruby

©2017 Ruby Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


BU COM Alumni Kris Ruby Leads Personal Branding Workshop for Executives

I was thrilled to lead an interactive personal branding workshop recently for Boston University’s College of Communications alumni. For the full webinar, click here: 

Do you recognize the need to establish a personal brand, yet are unsure how to do so? During this webinar, Ruby Media Group CEO & Social Media Expert Kris Ruby will teach you the top 5 ways to leverage social media and digital PR to build a brand to stand out from your competitors.

During the webinar, Kris Ruby (COM ’09) will cover the following key points:

  • How to be positioned as a source so the media calls on you for quotes
  • How to leverage content marketing to increase inbound interest in your brand
  • How to use social media to make new connections with members of the media

Webinar main topic / industry: PR, Marketing, Communications, Branding

Webinar Target Audience: Mid-level managers and senior executives with intermediate prior knowledge of social media

Kris Ruby (COM ’09) is the founder of Ruby Media Group (RMG), a full-service Public Relations and Social Media Agency. RMG specializes in creating award-winning integrated public relations and social media campaigns. Ruby works with top Executives to help position their brands in the ever-changing world of social media. Kristen graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication in 2009 with a major in Public Relations. Kris is one of America’s pre-eminent social media experts on social media and is a frequent on air contributor on FOX News, CNBC, GMA, The Today Show and more. Kris was chosen by the Business Council of Westchester as the youngest “40 Under 40″ Rising Stars. For more information, visit www.rubymediagroup.com or www.krisruby.com