Top 5 Social Media FAQ’s

With two-thirds of the Internet actively engaged on social media, it’s clear that prospects want great content to share with their professional networks. That content can be yours if you utilize the power of content marketing effectively. Your brand’s voice can be more powerful than ever before, and you have the opportunity to join and direct the conversation about your brand while also interacting with your target audience.  However, you are probably wondering:

Is social media sufficient to replace my entire Marketing Communications Strategy?

No! Social media marketing cannot replace a marketing plan; it is merely one component of an overall strategy and complements traditional and online PR initiatives. Social media is powerful, but a comprehensive communications plan must also be in place to ensure a cohesive brand identity.

How is social media different from traditional marketing?

Social media is an extension of corporate branding.  As a client, you are paying for the ability to utilize modern electronic techniques to get in front of a targeted audience.  Social media is not an advertisement, and it is not a banner ad.  Social media is inherently about branding to a focused audience.  It is about the ability to quickly get in front of prospects and current clients and to establish an online relationship with them and build customer engagement.

What should I expect from a social media investment, and how quickly should I expect it?

Social media does not immediately establish the value of your services or products, and instead establishes you as a thought leader in the industry and creates awareness of your name and brand. It is not a specific advertisement for a given product or service- it is about brand engagement. The type of results you should expect are similar to what you would expect from a long-term branding campaign. Social media marketing is essentially a global awareness and branding campaign that takes time to develop.

Which comes first: planning or publishing content? 

Planning. Do not post any live content until a thorough strategic marketing plan has been created. Companies that have taken a different approach have found that their overall brand reputation has been tarnished due to a lack of strategic planning, goal setting and maintenance.

How do we tweak our social media plan to grow our follower base and increase engagement?

When creating a strategic social media plan for your business, start out by answering the following questions:

  • Who is my ideal target audience? Who are the business and industry leaders I want access to?
  • What is the message – in one sentence – that I want people to take away from my company? What do I want people to remember about my company? Does my company’s reputation ring bells with potential clients or does it flat line?
  • What are the keywords needed to find my company online? What are the key search engine terms (known as keywords) that people are using to find my company? It is imperative to begin to think like your customers to unlock the terms needed to build exposure.
  • What topics or articles would my customers be interested in reading about?  What are they already knowledgeable about? What are they curious about? How does my product or service help support this?
social media channel review

Top 15 Ways to Increase Twitter Engagement

Looking to your grow your business on Twitter? Studies have shown that 72 percent of followers are more likely to buy services from a business they follow. However, with only 140 characters to make an impression, Twitter requires a great deal of skill in order to use it successfully to establish your company as a leader in your industry.

Here are RMG’s Top 15 tips to leverage Twitter for business

  1. Develop optimized content: You need content that you can tweet on a regular basis. Start by using snippets from company news, tips from a spokesperson, or material from keyword-rich blog posts.
  2. Hashtag: Twitter users search the site for topics of interest to them. For example, sports fans search for their teams, #GreenBayPackers, or favorite sports #basketball, while others may search #yoga. Use hashtags in your tweet so it comes up on the appropriate searches to increase visibility.
  3. Create a Custom Hashtag: Develop a hashtag for your company that you use every time you tweet. For example, James Smith, a CEO of Smith Widgets hashtags #smithssayings every time he posts a clever piece of business inspiration.
  4. Integrate cross channel marketing: Twitter is a great social media platform, but combining it with an Instagram account makes it even more powerful. Post photos on Instagram and then tweet them on Twitter. This is especially effective for promotions and giveaways.
  5. Increase tweet frequency: Twitter is ineffective if it is only used once a day. You must tweet multiple times a day, especially during peak hours. The more your followers see you, the more followers you will get. You can use TweetDeck or Buffer to schedule multiple tweets so you do not have to sit at your computer all day.
  6. Retweet, retweet, retweet: Twitter isn’t a one-sided promotional tool. You need to interact with your followers. Read what they are tweeting about and re-tweet when something sounds interesting. Your followers will like the fact that you did that and will take more interest in what you have to say.
  7. Share nuggets of wisdom: When you attend industry conferences, take the time to share what you learned with others. Live tweeting from important events is very popular among Twitter users and is a great way to share the latest industry trends.
  8. Tap into trends: On the left side of your Twitter page, you will see what is currently trending both nationally and in your area (you can set it). Ride the coattails of a trend by hashtagging it in your tweet. For example, on “#cookieday, a physician can still tweet “Today is #cookieday. Replace ingredients with fat free substitutes to make the cookie healthier.”
  9. Be inspirational: Twitter followers love to favorite and retweet inspirational quotes, so include a few during the week.
  10. Be visual: Twitter users are a visual bunch and they love to look at and retweet visual content, so include high-resolution photos and videos with your tweets.
  11. Respond: When someone in your industry is quoted in a tweet, respond to it. Congratulate them or discuss an important topic. Get your name in front of influencers in your target industry.
  12. Create Twitter Lists: Twitter allows you to create “lists” of people and it’s a great way to monitor your peers, competitors, media and influencers.
  13. Tip it: Twitter users love tips, so be sure to turn your posts into some DIY or DYK (did you know) tips a few times per week. For example, physicians can provide weight-loss tips, entrepreneurs can provide business tips and filmmakers can provide did-you-know tweets about certain films and televisions shows.
  14. Question it: Get a discussion going. For example, a young adult author might ask what the followers think about a controversial debut novel of another author, while a physician might discuss the latest medical study that was released. A CEO might spark conversation about new business tax laws and an up-and-coming recording artist might discuss the latest Taylor Swift video.
  15. Go further: Set up a live Twitter chat with your followers. Here they can ask you questions, get advice or discuss an important topic with you. You can cross promote the transcript on your blog, company website, Facebook page or and Instagram.

BONUS: Want to use Twitter to get press hits? One of the best ways to get a journalist to read your pitches is to engage with them on Twitter. Take a vested interest in what they write and re-tweet content that you find useful. Furthermore, use social media to research the beat they cover before you pitch them.

RMG PR Tip of the day: Look for journalists’ queries in real time by searching for #journorequest

how to increase twitter followers

How to Maximize Social Media ROI with a Sure-Fire 5-Step Process

You have invested a great deal of your budget and valuable time in social media, but you may not be getting the ROI you wanted. Of course you’ve read about other businesses who are thriving on Twitter, attracting customers from Pinterest and Instagram accounts and making money off of Facebook, but that is not you. Before you hit the delete button and withdraw from the social media world, take time to review what is and isn’t working and refine your strategy. Follow RMG’s 5-step review system every quarter to become a well-oiled B2B social media machine!

Customer Review: First, do you really know who your customers are? Are they teens, young millennials, or baby boomers? Mostly men or women? The content that you put up on social media should be of interest to your customers, but you need to know who they are first. If you’re unsure, do a little research into who is buying your product or services. Once you know this information, you’re halfway there to social media success.

Content Review: What content is performing the best with your target audience? Do they like images, video or long form content best? What content have you created that generated the highest shareability? If your followers love to share pictures, but do not seem interested in back-and-forth discussion, then remember pictures say a thousand words and you can still get your message across in a creative way that they enjoy. Measure the shareability then tweak accordingly.

Channel Review: Are you spending hours filtering photos for Instagram and seeing little results? Your target clientele may not be active users on Instagram. Maybe they are on Pinterest or Periscope now. According to studies, the average American spends about 40 minutes per day on Facebook. Your target clientele might want six-second Vine videos versus long YouTube videos. You need to find out where your customers are and then focus on the social media networks that perform best with your prospects. Do not spread yourself thin just to make sure you are “everywhere.”

Shareworthy Review: Is your content even shareable? For example, you want your customers to know what a great staff you have and you are posting office photos daily. While customers care about customer service, they are not sharing or commenting on these photos, so stop posting them. Instead, focus on your products or services, provide tips or articles that help your customers live better lives. Stop wasting time creating content that your customers clearly do not want.

Response Review: Are you Tweeting out questions and not responding when your customers answer? Do your followers Tweet and tag you in it, but you don’t interact with them? According to Entrepreneur Magazine, almost half of the millennial segment — and one in three consumers overall — say they are influenced by social media and use it to make purchasing decisions. Customers build relationships with companies through social media, so you need to take time and respond to them. If they do not see that you are responding, they will leave you behind in the social media dust.

Devoting time daily to your presence on social media is a must in order to succeed in business. However, by completing the RMG 5-step review process every three months, you’ll be able to tweak your strategy and truly maximize your ROI.

b2b social media process

Inbound Marketing: The Next Frontier in Digital PR

“Use content as your currency and create content that your prospects are looking for.” – Hubspot

I recently completed the Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification program for 2015. There were some great takeaways that I wanted to share with you to help increase your brand exposure this year. If you need a quick refresher on best practices for digital PR, this is a perfect guide. Enjoy!

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is about empowering potential customers with the information they need to help find your business online. Your goal should be to create focused content that will help solve your prospect’s problem. Think about it. When you made your last purchase, did you call a salesperson asking to buy OR did you hop online and conduct thorough research? Chances are, you did thorough research, BUT when you did that research you didn’t type in a company’s name (because you don’t know the names yet). You were Googling the PROBLEM you had. When the prospect searches for their problem, your company needs to be on page 1 so the buyer sees it as a solution.

Why does inbound matter for PR executives?

Inbound marketing is very important for digital PR practitioners, because all companies should have a solid digital footprint. Today, all clients need a solid content library. Even repurposing old releases and turning them into blog posts can help secure backlinks and increase your SEO. A synonymous title for digital PR could actually be earning inbound links!

How do you get started with inbound marketing?

Figure out your buyer persona. Who are they? What information is most valuable to your prospects? How do they like to consume information? Once you have determined who your buyer persona is, you can then focus on creating keyword-rich content to reach them. If you are still wondering, “How can I engage my current customer base more?” you can always ask current clients some of these questions. Their answers can prove to be invaluable in the upfront research. Remember, your job is to deliver information that prospects need to help them make smart, informed purchase decisions. When thinking about the motives of buyer personas, focus on the ‘why.’ Uncovering their motives can lead to a powerful content strategy. Try interviewing current clients and look for trends in their responses. It is your job to know what they want to see, what they want to read, and what issues they are currently dealing with.

hubspot inbound marketing certification

“Put the education of your prospect before your personal initiatives.” Hubspot

Creating Content

Keyword research is critical to clearly giving a name to the prospect’s problem. Remember, think about the phrases that prospects are using to find someone who offers your services, instead of thinking about what you would use. Try not to use too much industry jargon either.

Formatting Content

What format will you use? Is your persona a visual learner? Do they read blogs on a regular basis? Do you have a valuable piece of content that belongs behind a form vs. on your blog? Here are some options that were recommended in the certification program for creating content:

  • Case studies
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • White papers
  • Worksheets
  • Ebooks
  • Templates
  • Checklists
  • Webinars
  • Slideshare decks
hubspot inbound marketing certification program

CTA (Call to Action)

Every blog post should also have a call-to-action, or CTA. Examples of calls to action include: download, request, sign up and receive. When writing your CTA, focus on action verbs.

Awareness, Consideration, Decision

After a prospect is aware of their problem, they are in the consideration stage and are committed to understanding all available methods to solving the problem. You want to make sure you reach your prospect in the consideration stage by creating keyword-rich content. Remember, consumers don’t want to be sold to; they want to be educated. Once they are in the decision stage and have decided on a solution strategy, they are focused on the method of approach. It is important to have content prepared for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Avoid Inbound Marketing Mistakes

The buyers journey has to be from the buyers’ perspective, NOT yours.

Your content needs to answer their problems vs. going straight to your business solution.

Your blog shouldn’t even begin to discuss your specific solution until the decision stage.

Content Creation Tips

Understand their problem: In order to provide a solution to potential customers, you need to first recognize the problem. Ask yourself, is your content focused on their problem?

Tailor the post: Write blog posts tailored to who you are trying to reach and what they are interested in. The best content has to be grounded in the correct context.

Question the post: After you write content, ask yourself if the content helps your buyer persona. If your answer is that it helps anyone other then your persona, it belongs somewhere else or shouldn’t be created. ALWAYS focus on mapping content to your persona and where they are at in the buyers’ journey. Make it EASY for them to consume your content. Type in the last 5 blog posts you have created with 5 client names. Would these clients read the content? Another trick: If you are stuck creating content, ask yourself this: What questions might buyer X have that your company could provide solutions to? 

Distribute content: Make your content available through other platforms so prospects can find it more easily. It’s not enough to just have content. You need others to re-distribute it.

Leverage sales for content mapping: What questions do people have who are interested in what you do? Work with the sales team to leverage prospects’ questions into great content! Figure out what your prospects are searching for so you can make sure they find your site. Make sure you are addressing a topic your prospects actually want to learn about.

Categorize keywords: Do this by stages of the buyer’s journeys. Keywords should include: problem-based keywords, solution keywords, branded keywords, and casual language. Use keywods.io or Google’s webmaster tool to get suggestions.

Tips for Optimizing SEO: In order to optimize your content, you need to be specific with your service offerings or else SEO will actually be more difficult. It is easier to rank if your keywords are more specific and targeted. If you are looking to quickly boost your SEO, be sure to set up business page on the top online directories including Yelp, Yellow Pages, local chambers of commerce, bing, Yahoo, Google plus and more. This will help increase links back to your site.

SEO Tips

Create content that uses natural language and variations on the long tail keyword.

Shorten the title to under 60 characters. If it is over 60 characters it will get cut off in search results page.

You should know what the value of the post is and what you learn from the title.

Format the post so search engines can easily find it.

White space is your friend. Focus on content, not clutter. Use section headers, bullets and lists to help break down the content.

Optimize the page around long tail keywords, including your page title, url, post title, image alt text, body, headers.

Measuring Success

When measuring the success of your content strategy, be sure to focus on the following metrics:

  • Number of visits
  • Page views
  • Leads generated
  • Shareability on social media
  • Inbound links generated

Remember, your content is a solution to your prospects greatest challenges. Make sure you use keywords that will draw attention to your client’s business by crafting a stellar content strategy. If you want to get inbound certified, click here.

Ruby Media Group is a premiere public relations firm in Westchester County. For more information on optimizing your exposure, contact kruby @ rubymediagroup.com 


Integrated Communications Plan: Media Ideas to Explore for 2016

The most effective forms of communication are part of an integrated communications plan. As we dive deep into Q4 and begin to plan 2016, it is important to look at these different tactics, see what worked, what didn’t work and what you would still like to try.

Experiential Marketing: This creates an experience for the consumer to interact with a brand in a real-world setting, such as branded festivals, pop-up shops, and behind-the-scenes tours. This face-to-face engagement, which is best used to enhance and complement traditional marketing campaigns, leads to an emotional connection with consumers, something that is necessary to reach GEN Y consumers.

Sponsored Content: This approach is similar to native advertising. Native advertising is advertising that appears to look like editorial content. This content can be a sponsored tweet on Twitter, a suggested sponsored post on Facebook, or sponsored piece of content paid for by the advertiser. Sponsored content has a higher click through rate then traditional banner advertising. According to a recent survey, 70% of individuals wanted to learn about products through content rather than through traditional advertising. The survey also stated that people view native ads 53% more than banner ads. Also interesting to note, 71% of publishers received no major complaints from readers for featuring native ads. It is important to remember that the information and tone of your sponsored content is still key in having a successful campaign.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Google is the first stop when prospects want to learn more about any business. It should be your goal to get your brand onto the top page of relevant search results, because 75% of users never scroll past page one. SEO can take a lot of time and thought, but you can begin by trying keyword analysis, which will enable relevant searches to link to your site. Also, be sure to use quality website content with on-trend keywords and phrases. 61% of global Internet users research products online prior to buying, making the Internet and search the best way to reach customers today. 

Blogging: This may seem so last year, but you would be amazed how many companies have yet to embrace a corporate content strategy. However, just writing for the sake of writing isn’t enough. What format are you going to put the content in? A blog? Downloadable e-book? Listicles? Guest posts? Writing a blog is a great way to craft your brand’s voice and engage consumers in a more real and thoughtful way. Companies that blog typically generate 88% more leads than those that do not. Businesses that blog more than 20x a month generate 5x more consumer interest and attraction. Frequency and quality are the two most important factors when beginning your brand’s blog. What is your content strategy?

Promoted Social Media Posts: One out of every 7 minutes spent online is spent on Facebook. Social media in the US has increased by 356% since 2006. The most important thing to remember when using social media is to know your audience. Where are they? Is your target audience mostly on Twitter? Or Instagram?  What do they respond to? Do they prefer engaging in conversation or do they want short, snappy one line posts? What type of content has resonated with your audience on Facebook? Analyze it then boost accordingly!  Boosting posts is also a great way to reconnect with fans who may not have seen your posts in a while. Once you know your target audience, you’ll know where and how to best reach them.

Inbound Marketing: We hate to break it to you, but traditional advertising is no longer as effective as it used to be. Studies show that a whopping 86% of people skip TV ads and 44% don’t open mail from irrelevant advertisers. The answer to traditional advertising woes is Inbound Marketing, or “earned advertising.” Rather than pushing your message out to the consumer, Inbound Marketing compels the consumers to find out more about your brand. Inbound marketing includes, but isn’t limited to blogs, social media, and search engine refinement, which make your brand more noticeable to consumers.

These are just a few of the strategies that brands can use to create a successful integrated marketing plan. With the ever-changing state of communication today, we are always on the lookout for new and innovative communication tools and channels. What strategies have and have not been most effective for your business?


Should you be Facebook friends with your boss?

I recently sat down with The Daily Mail to discuss the new rules of social media in the work place. To read the full article, click here.

 social media in the work place kris ruby

Is it ever okay to be friends with your boss on social media? What are the dangers?

It really depends on the corporate culture at your firm. If you are working for an up and coming digital agency where you live and breath social media, then friending your boss is okay. However, if you work at more of a traditional commercial real estate firm or investment bank where social media usage is shunned upon during the workday, then I would not recommend connecting with your boss.

It also depends on the platform. It is always acceptable (and encouraged!) to connect with your boss on LinkedIN. If your boss has a public Twitter account for business, it is also acceptable to

Follow them to show you are engaged with the company. Favoriting a few tweets goes a long way to show you care.

The dangers are endless- there can be serious consequences with friending a boss if you are posting inappropriate content. It can also blur the lines between professional and personal boundaries, which many have a hard time distinguishing between.  Also, if you fib about why you couldn’t make it in that day and your boss sees you are actually out jet skiing, you may get fired. Be sure to always read your firms social media guidelines regardless.

If you are friends with your boss on social media, are there any rules you should follow?

  1. The same traditional etiquette rules apply here- stay away from any discussions on sex, religion or politics. Basically anything that you wouldn’t traditionally discuss with a first date (or your boss) should not be discussed online. People get heated in conversations and forget that what they are saying is public and fairly easy to find.
  1. Use privacy filters when you post. Be selective with who you choose to share each piece of content with- that’s why groups and filters exist for this very reason.
  1. Be cognizant about what you are posting. After you have posted the 500th photo of your baby, your boss may subconsciously begin to question what your top priority and focus is. Having a balance of the type of content you post is critical.

Do you believe it is a good idea to connect with colleagues on social media? Are there any rules to follow in this case?

It really depends. If you have a close relationship with the colleague in the office, then yes. If you don’t speak to the colleague at work but friend them on social media, it is strange and socially awkward. Friend and connect people you are actually connected with in real life.

Top rule- respect people’s boundaries. Some people are extremely private and won’t accept any requests from coworkers. Don’t take it personally and don’t harp on it! It’s not about you. It’s their personal choice.

What would your advice be if your boss/co-worker adds you but you’d rather not be connected?

Send them a direct message or email and let them know you really appreciate the friend request but only use social media to stay connected with your family. Reassure them it’s nothing personal and re direct them to connect with you on your LinkedIn. Have at least one professional presence on a social media network to connect with them on so you aren’t completely ignoring the request entirely.

Are there any particular social media sites you believe are best avoided in the workplace?

Facebook has been brought up many times in recent lawsuits and employee hirings and firings. I think it’s safe to assume that even if you don’t connect with colleagues, potential employers will still use your social media for background checks. Assume everything you post is for public consumption.

Instagram is pretty private and users put on privacy restrictions so their colleagues cannot access their posts. Sometimes people overdue it with excessive party posts or humble brag weekend posts, and can also be obnoxious with hashtags. If you are constantly posting quotes or mantras that “somewhere it’s 5 o clock” it’s safe to say your boss will think you are not that motivated and can’t wait to leave. Use your social media to empower you NOT to hurt you in the workplace.

Twitter is fine if you have a public, corporate Twitter persona. However, if you are tweeting extremely personal opinions and favoriting content from outlets you may not want your boss to know you are associated with, keep it private.