NY Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby on Fox News Discussing Social Media Algorithms

NYC Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby of Ruby Media Group was recently on Fox News discussing social media algorithms.  YouTube linked the Notre Dame fire to 9/11 and Twiter wrongly flagged tweets for sensitive content. Why can’t social media platforms get it right? Watch to find out. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abjOW5jZFlo&t=20s

news,


Social Media Influencer Marketing: How to Work With Instagram Influencers to Grow Your Brand

 

Social Media Influencer Marketing

 

Grow your Instagram audience by working with influencers.

Want to gain visibility in front of millions of Instagram users? Consider influencer marketing in your integrated marketing communications strategy.

A social media influencer has the power to sway opinions and impact the purchasing behavior of others in a specific target area and demographic. The more specific and targeted the clout, the more influence they have through social media marketing. An influencer’s job is to try new experiences, activities, products and foods, etc., and let others know about them through their unique lens. Consumers trust the opinions of influencers and are more likely to try these experiences and activities that the influencer deems “cool” and worthy of checking out. Influencer marketing also relies heavily on visual content marketing to “show” an experience as a way to sell it. Influencers can “influence” through organic product placement, Instagram takeovers, Instagram Live video content, Instagram stories or static branded Instagram feed posts.

How We Evolved from Bloggers to Micro-influencers

Traditionally, we relied on journalists to review experiences, try new foods and products and let us know their opinions.  With the rise of social media, consumers are becoming increasingly more dependent on influencers to decide where to go, what to buy and what to do.

The trend of influencer marketing originally started with bloggers and has now headed in the direction of “micro influencers.” Many influencers today don’t even have a blog. All of their content resides within their social media platforms. The evolution from long-form blogging to short-form influencer marketing has to do with shorter attention spans, the rise of visual marketing, and how people want to consume content. Today, influencers have to show what they are doing or selling instead of writing about it.

Influencers become popular because people began to trust third-party endorsements from Public Relations rather than traditional advertising. There is a difference between saying “Check me out, I am great,” vs. “Check her out, she is great.” Consumers want recommendations from people they know and trust and influencer marketing provides that. If they feel like they have a digital relationship with influencers, and the influencer puts their stamp of approval on something, consumers are often more likely to trust the endorsement.

The Difference Between a Blogger and an Influencer

Bloggers write on a website through traditional means, while influencers “influence” through social media channels such as Instagram feed posts or Instagram Stories. Bloggers typically spend more time on long-form content creation, whereas influencers devote more time to visual content creation and less time on the writing of the content around it.

How a Social Media Influencer Can Help Your Business 

Influencers can help tap into new markets in your target audience that you otherwise may have had to spend more money to reach. While influencer marketing should not be your entire marketing campaign, it should be an important component in the PESO model of an integrated marketing communications plan.  However, it is imperative to note that influencer marketing is only one component of your marketing campaign. It cannot replace an entire communications plan and should be complemented by other forms of traditional public relations, advertising, social media marketing, and content marketing.

What You Gain From Working With an Influencer

You may be wondering why you should have to pay a social media influencer to promote your business. After all, you are already providing them with complementary services or products to review, so why should you have to pay a fee beyond comped services? In addition to reviewing your product or service, social media influencers are providing you with content that you can reuse for other purposes to market your business. Additionally, an influencer’s job isn’t as simple as posting something on social media and is often more complex than you may realize. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at what social media influencers do to make sure your business gets the most out of a sponsored post or social media endorsement:

Social Media Influencers:

  • Find and vet relevant social media-worthy opportunities
  • Coordinate the actual photos of the experience either on their own or by hiring outside photographers
  • Research new angles on the same topics to see how their post and images can gain more visibility and “likes.”
  • Choose the right photo for the post
  • Conduct Hashtag and tagging research to increase post visibility and proper sponsored post tagging
  • Write an engaging caption to draw interest
  • Make sure the photo looks aesthetically pleasing with the rest of their feed
  • Execute sponsored posts complying with brand guidelines without appearing overly staged or promotional
  • View social media post statistics and engagement metrics to see what content is performing better

How to Effectively Work with an Instagram Influencer

If you are thinking about working with a social media influencer to promote your brand or product, here are 5 things to keep in mind before engaging them:

  1. Vet the influencer. Many social media influencers tout their inflated follower counts to show that they have a higher following than they actually do. Check to see if their followers are real or just bots. One way to do this is to look at the ratio of followers to the number of likes and comments. Check to see if the comments are organic or spam that could have been bought through a third-party app or platform.
  2. Ask to see the influencer’s media kit. Vetting an influencer doesn’t just stop at how many followers they have. You also want to vet the previous work they have done with other brands. Ask for their current media kit as well as any success metrics for previous campaigns they have worked on with brands. Also, review the social media channels of companies they have done influencer marketing work with as possible referral sources and to look at the final branded posts.
  3. Do your research. Where do their primary followers reside? For example, if you are a hyper-local business, do you want to engage with an influencer who has a national or international platform? While the influencer can build great buzz about your product or company and get new followers for you, it will not be profitable if none of the followers are actually in your market. Sometimes, it is better to engage an influencer with a smaller following if those followers convert to profitable customers in your region than to work with a large influencer who has followers that will only lead to vanity metrics. “Likes” do not necessarily equal new customers and profitability. Understand the difference before engaging an influencer.
  4. Get it in writing. Make sure you are protected by having them sign an influencer marketing contract.  Carefully outline what is expected of the influencer. For example, do they have final control over creative or do you? How long will the post stay up after it has gone live? Are you supplying copy for the post or will the influencer? Will the influencer allow your logo or text on their post or do they want visual marketing with no overlay? Are they okay with your branding or can the branding be used only if it is natively embedded in the image in an organic format? All details should be worked out before the project begins.
  5. Outline creative control. One of the scariest parts of working with an influencer is the lack of creative control. The influencer will be sharing their review of your product — what they like (and don’t like!) about the product to remain authentic. Additionally, the influencer will have their own branding aesthetic which may not match the branding aesthetic you envisioned in the final post. For example, if you are looking for the influencer to post product shots but they post photos of them with the product instead, you may be disappointed. It is important to understand the level of control you will have over the final post and its aesthetic. If you want to have final control, specify it in writing. Most influencers want to show their followers how the product fits in with their lifestyle, which may be different than how you or your CMO envisions the post. Have open lines of communication with the influencer before you agree to a deal.

Influencer Marketing Checklist

✓    Is their branding similar to yours?

✓    Does the influencer have devoted followers?

✓    Is their content high-quality?

✓    Are their captions well written?

✓    Are their followers engaged with their content?

✓    Are their followers aligned with your target audience?

Key Takeaways

✓    Just because an influencer has a small following does not mean they are not worth looking at.

✓    Likes do not equal engagement.

✓    Influencers typically want to control how your product is shared creatively.

✓    Influencers have their own branding aesthetic that may not match yours.

✓    Let the influencer see how the product fits into their lifestyle.

✓    Audiences will respond better to authentic and organic content creation.

✓    Make sure the influencer’s followers are in your target market.

✓    Consider an influencers engagement rate, quality of followers and other brands they have worked with.

✓    Appropiately tag branded content on Instagram as “paid sponsorship” posts.

✓    An influencer’s loyalty will always be to their audience first.

The Future of Influencer Marketing

In the future, every person with an Instagram or other popular social media account will see that they, too, can become influencers. So, if you can’t afford to hire an influencer, consider your sphere of influence. Anyone can be an influencer; you just have to be willing to put in the work. Once you realize that you can be an influencer, you will recognize the power of your brand on digital platforms. The key is to define your niche and target audience and stick to it.

For additional information on influencer marketing, check out the article “Becoming an Influencer: A Look at the Emergence of the Influencer”



Ruby Media Group CEO Kris Ruby Speaks at Westchester County Executive’s First Women’s Empowerment Breakfast

Over 1,000 Women Celebrated International Women’s Day at the inaugural Women’s Empowerment Breakfast held by Westchester County Executive George Latimer on March 8th at Purchase College.

In the spirit of empowerment, inspiration and encouraging women across all boundaries to recognize their own potential, Westchester County hosted #WOWConversations, a Women’s Empowerment Breakfast and dialogue with Westchester women in business. The event was created to bring together women of different backgrounds, professions and experiences, to celebrate community and the commitment to supporting one another. With a diverse panel of public servants and business owners, the Professional Women of Westchester shared their own personal stories and obstacles they overcame to achieve success.

The event was moderated by Lisa Reyes, an Anchor with News 12 Westchester and featured a Keynote with Bonnie Saran, Owner of Little Crepe Street. The panel discussion focused on the strengths of women and the barriers they crossed to become successful.

Panelists included Kris Ruby, Founder of Westchester Public Relations Firm Ruby Media Group, Mahjabeen Hassan, MD, Chairwoman of the American Muslim Women’s Association, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Former New York State Senator and Special Advisor for Policy and Community Affairs, Laura Newman, Senior Director of Institutional Giving at Manhattanville College and Jin Wang, Creative Director of Fait Accompli Group.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Ruby Media Group CEO Kris Ruby 

News 12 Westchester Lisa Reyes and Ruby Media Group CEO Kris Ruby 


Westchester NY Publicist Kris Ruby to Speak at Westchester County Government’s Women’s Empowerment Breakfast

 

Celebrate International Women’s Day at Westchester County Government’s Women’s Empowerment Breakfast. Westchester County Executive George Latimer invites you to join us for a panel discussion focusing on empowering women and moving forward. Kris Ruby, CEO of Westchester Public Relations Firm Ruby Media Group,  will be a panelist at the breakfast. Over 700 attendees have already registered to attend. RSVP to Communications@WestchesterGov.com

Friday, March 8
8 to 11 a.m.



Marketing to Millennials: NY Digital Marketing Strategist Kris Ruby discusses how to attract a millennial audience

Millennial Marketing Expert Kris Ruby was recently on RT America discussing marketing to millennials. Click here to watch the full segment

HOW TO MARKET TO MILLENNIALS

The job retention rate of millennials is significantly lower than baby boomers. Is this because they are a more high maintenance generation?

Millennials crave experiences over possessions. This massively impacts what they are spending on and how to reach them. Unfortunately, this can be widely problematic and troublesome for CMO’s looking to reach this audience who want to see an ROI on the spend to obtain these millennials as customers.

To reach millennials today, we need to redefine what adulthood means to this demo. If we keep marketing to them with an antiquated notion of what adulthood is, marketers will miss the mark and how to reach these consumers and what really drives their purchasing decisions.

marketing to millennials


Public Relations Strategist Kris Ruby on Fox News

Public Relations and branding expert Kris Ruby was recently on Fox News sharing discussing how social media has changed the retail experience.

Social Media Strategist Kris Ruby

 

The Rise of Social Shopping

HOLIDAY SHOPPING ONLINE CHANGED RETAIL

How Buying Decisions are influenced by social media

What was once a family tradition of shopping together for the holidays at the mall has now become obsolete with the rise of social media shopping. Holiday shopping online has forever changed the retail experience.

Product Reviews. People are hesitant to buy something in a store without knowing what others think of it via reviews. Online shopping gives you an opportunity to “try it before you buy it” by reading others reviews first.

Mobile has changed the way holiday shoppers complete their lists. They expect to be able to find what they want, when they want it and they don’t want to sit in traffic or wait in long lines to get their gifts.

While people may be turning to online shopping to make their holiday purchases, they are turning to brick and mortar for holiday ‘experiences.’

SOCIAL MEDIA’S ROLE IN SHOPPING (ONLINE & IN-STORE) 

Instagram is the new catalog.

You can now shop directly through Instagram tags and see what other people are buying and liking and click directly to the URL to purchase it through the social media app.

Retailers must make the experience of being in a store more valuable than the convenience of online shopping.

Stores are no longer places to “sell stuff.”

Today, stores need to sell experiences that are highly visual and immediately shareable on Instagram.

In order for retailers to re-capture lost market share, they need to create visually appealing and Instagrammable experiences that give shoppers a reason to go to a physical location.

 


Social Media Marketing Pricing | How Much Social Media Really Costs

The Real Reason Why Social Media Marketing Will Cost More in 2019

Kris Ruby Social Media Pricing

THE MYTH OF ‘FREE’ SOCIAL MEDIA

If you’re a small business owner contemplating your next move in the changing social media landscape, remember this: the illusion that social media marketing is “free” is just that…an illusion. Using social media networks may be low or no cost, but what your company shares on them is as valuable as traditional advertising. As a result, real social media marketing takes time to produce content that can stand out in an already over-saturated market.

From the initial post idea to concept, execution, creative work, hashtag research, Instagram Story strategy, photo sourcing and numerous rounds of edits, a social media post is never just a simple “post.” A post with no meaning behind it is just a photo and nothing more. Your business deserves more.

WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A LARGER SOCIAL MEDIA BUDGET IN 2019

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.  If you are paying more for better creative, you are buying a more polished final product that will spread further in the digital ecosystem. Larger social media budgets help your social media marketing agency achieve the following:

1) Produce better creative.
2) Increase the visibility of the creative to a larger, targeted audience.

This is critical to fighting any new algorithm changes, such as the one that Facebook released earlier this year. You will be equipped with an arsenal of compelling content and media budgets to boost the content.

THE SOCIAL MEDIA ALGORITHM DEBATE

Every time there is an algorithm change in the major social media networks, including Facebook or Instagram, debate ensues between digital marketing experts. Some marketers believe that if agencies are creating great content all along, they will be immune to algorithm changes. Other marketers believe that with algorithm changes comes increased budgetary requirements for ad spend to have more visibility of your content. While creating great content will certainly help immunity, you can only fight an algorithm change so hard if you have limited-to-no resource allocation on ad spend for these platforms.

So, is it really about who is right in this debate, or is the larger issue how to define what great content means in the evolution of social media marketing. For example, a static photo post could have been considered great five years ago, whereas today, a video or GIF is much more compelling. In 2019, you need discretionary dollars to create what is considered great as content consumption needs change.

WHAT GREAT MARKETING CONTENT LOOKS LIKE TODAY VS. 5 YEARS AGO

In the old days of traditional advertising, companies spent weeks on one piece of creative that went into a magazine, newspaper or billboard. But then social media became the new magazine or the new billboard. However, with the advent of social media platforms, creative typically seen in print outlets is is expected to be produced daily and tenfold. In addition, videos were on the rise and social media platforms changed how viewers would see things and when.

Social media marketing experts tell people to just “create better content” by posting more videos daily, doing Facebook ads daily and creating more graphic content. This comes with an incremental price tag that continues to increase when many small business owners aren’t even sold on the ROI of social media to begin with. It is important to understand the cost associated with all of these recommendations for the labor involved to produce this level of content.

WHERE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AGENCY RETAINER DOLLARS GO

Producing this level of content requires more labor and a diverse skill set that includes graphic design, copywriting, photography, video production, branding and so much more. However, not every social media marketer is going to be a specialist in each of these areas. Therefore, social media marketing agencies now have to bring on specialists to produce this type of content. Rising labor costs from the agency side have to remain in line with the fees to produce the creative required for social media.

The disconnect is that many small business owners believe a social media marketing specialist should possess all of these skills if they are hiring them. They do not want to pay a separate fee for the other services or specialists. This does a great disservice to photographers, videographers, writers, and graphic designers. All business owners need to understand that just because you or your social media marketing specialist own an iPhone, it does not mean you or they are a great photographer. The unrealistic expectation that you should be able to replace an entire industry to keep up with content output demands is hurting everyone across the board.

Using the same tool does not mean you have the same craft. You hire a photographer for their vision, intricate knowledge of lighting and ability to shoot something you may not see. You hire a social media marketer to put all of this together and build a brand for your business. When you believe that a social media professional should be able to be a photographer and a marketer, you are hurting your business. A social media marketer is skilled at taking all of these assets and creating a beautiful Instagram grid. Not all, however, are skilled at taking photos or having the same artistic vision a photographer has. Similarly, a great copywriter may produce excellent copy for Facebook posts, but may struggle with producing a visually appealing Instagram theme. But it’s all social media, right?

In addition to bringing on specialists to create social media content for each platform, there is also a great deal of manual labor that goes into the tactical side of social media. You may be wondering where all of your social media dollars go on a monthly basis to produce this content. At RMG, your social media manager does the following for you on a day-to-day- basis:

• Strategic Social Media Consulting
• Post Ideation/ Brainstorming
• Content Calendar Approval
• Content Edit Rounds
• Further Client Approval Edit
• Hashtag Research
• Tagging of posts
• Photo/ Video shoots to produce assets
• Grid Layout of content
• Live Feed Story Creation (separate content from feed content)
• Boosting Posts
• Creation of FB Events
• Creation of branded cover photos/ events/ graphics
• Responding to DM’s/ Comments/ Inquiries on behalf of the brand
• Favoriting comments

Many small business owners already think that paying for social media marketing is too expensive. On the other hand, many agency owners think that their services are way underpriced for what they are delivering. Essentially, two different ideas of what constitutes value for money in the social media landscape is the cause of the friction. As a business owner, you want your budget to stay the same, but the truth is that to compete in new social media ecosystem and stay ahead of algorithm changes, you need to increase your social media marketing budget. If a social media agency owner is to deliver the type of content that is needed for a business to stay relevant, they will most likely need to request a larger retainer.

WHY THE TRADITIONAL SOCIAL MEDIA AGENCY MODEL IS BROKEN FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

The traditional social media agency model for small business owners is simply broken. Expectations on content output continue to increase, while fees stay the same. But the changes were so gradual, it was hard to stop the slide. This meant that costs for social media marketing subscriptions, software and talent all continued to rise, while retainers did not. What is needed to make an impact on social media and what people are generally prepared to pay for that, is incongruent with market rates for these services.

Social Media Marketing agencies that primarily work with small businesses will struggle to deliver real results without raising retainer costs to allocate for media buying and increased content production. On the other hand, NYC Social Media Marketing agencies that are given budgets for the creative required to compete will rise to the top.

HOW TO FIGHT THE ALGORITHM CHANGES WITHOUT INCREASING SOCIAL MEDIA SPEND

So where does this leave small businesses, and social media marketing companies for small businesses? If you can’t pay increased fees to produce the creative necessary to compete on social media platforms, spend more time focused on long-form content or other outlets where you will see greater rewards on a limited budget. Those who produce great content will win in this social media economy. However, it would be negligent to say that content alone is enough. You do need to allocate resources for digital advertising if you want the content to be seen by a larger audience.

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS ARE RENTED SPACE

At some point in the near future, social media platforms may charge companies to use their platforms. It is important to remember that social media platforms are merely rented space. Think about it this way- it is better to own than to rent property. The same is true for social media- invest the time in creating content that you “own” and if you get kicked out as a tenant of a specific social media platform (Facebook starts charging users), you can take your content and move it to another platform (Twitter) without feeling like your investment went down the drain. Diversify your social media assets so you are not putting all of your content into one network that may change at any moment due to algorithm changes, and always save a copy of your content in case the platform decides to remove your account or block your content.

WHAT YOU WILL GET OUT OF AN INCREASED SOCIAL MEDIA SPEND

When you invest in better content marketing for social media, you are getting so much more than a good post. You are getting content that can be reused and disseminated in so many different ways. For example, let’s say that you are a New York City physician who is investing in a social media content strategy, the content could be repurposed for:

• Imagery in an upcoming PowerPoint presentation at a healthcare conference
• Patient Collateral
• Blog Post Imagery
• Social Media Posts across several platforms
• Flyers

The trick is to learn how to leverage one piece of content in different platforms beyond just using it as a simple post to get the most out of it. There should be a plan for creating/producing the content and a secondary plan for the promotion and dissemination of the content so that it can reach your entire patient base in a way that builds your practice.

THE FUTURE OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING 

It is critical that small business owners begin to understand why they have to pay more for a similar level of social engagement as they received before. Similarly, it is also important to understand the bind that agencies are in when business owners decide not to increase budgets for social media marketing services. If a social media agency carries on without a proper budget for boosting posts and producing the required creative, a limited number of people will be viewing the content, and the ROI may be limited.

If you are planning on hiring a social media marketing agency in 2019, equip them with the proper resources to create the necessary content for your business to compete in a saturated digital ecosystem. This will benefit your business and you will see stronger results, better creative and a more substantial long-term ROI.