Marketers: Don’t Forget About Desktop

Mobile offices, mobile apps, Mobilegeddon: The age of mobile has arrived. We can tap into Wi-Fi at 35,000 feet and conduct business from almost anywhere in the world.

Desktops (and laptops) are still worth paying attention to, marketers.

Desktop access to the Internet has risen 37% over the past four years. Source: comScore

But don’t forget about desktop, marketers. It hasn’t gone the way of 8 tracks and parachute pants just yet — and is still worth your attention.

While browsing trends in social media marketing for 2015, one in particular caught our eye. While mobile access to the Internet has quadrupled over the past four years, desktop access has also risen 37%.^

“Mobile’s new domination of social media activity did not sap numbers and minutes from desktop digital time, however. Instead, digital time seeped into Americans’ off-hours, as they brought their smartphones and tablets to television time, waiting rooms, Starbucks’ lines and bed.”  –Social Media Examiner

Despite its impressive growth, mobile is still not the primary device used to access the top digital properties either, including Facebook.

Furthermore, Instagram recently released web profiles, making it easier to browse and share images on the Web. Despite being the fastest growing social network in 2014*, Instagram still heard loud and clear from users who wanted a better desktop experience. So the popular platform, launched in 2010 as a mobile app, expanded its web presence to make its users happy.

So yes, we live in the age of mobile but the desktop era hasn’t gone the way of dinosaurs just yet. Keep your customers happy (and prospects interested) by spreading your presence across the mobile/desktop divide.

(Irony: We just realized that we’re writing this as a movie about dinosaurs is breaking box office records around the world!)

Mobile/Desktop Feedback

Have you cut into your desktop/laptop time with mobile? Or cut into other activities with mobile?

How do you access social media (approx. mobile/desktop %)?

Are you surprised that mobile is not cutting into desktop’s overall numbers yet?

Sources: ^comScore | *Pew Research Center | Social Media Examiner

Blogging on a desktop,
Jaime

Let’s chat (on mobile, desktop or otherwise): 
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What’s your story?

image

Storytelling is a powerful tool in today’s business world. It allows us to connect on an emotional level with customers, so they become loyal, longtime clients.

It’s not about selling a product or service. It’s about understanding your clients’ challenges so you can solve them and make your clients’ lives just a little bit easier.

Every brand has a story, and your story is integral to your success.

What’s your brand’s story?

CCC’s Chief Storyteller,
Jaime

Let’s chat (on brands, storytelling or otherwise):
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Facebook Wants to be Your News Source: Is That What You Want?

Facebook’s at it again. The social behemoth has tweaked its News Feed algorithm to focus on time spent looking at a post — regardless of engagement.

Facebook wants to be your news source

Facebook wants to be your news source. But do you want to get your news from Facebook?

“We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them.”
-Ansha Yu, Facebook software engineer

The implications of this move could be interesting to brands. We had previously been encouraged via another News Feed algorithm update to share link-style posts instead of pictures. This move presented a dilemma to some pages, including CCC, because photo posts continued to draw more engagement while link posts now had a greater reach. So we mixed our post types in order to satisfy Facebook’s wishes and our audience’s.

Now Facebook is pushing even harder towards brands sharing link posts with its ‘time spent reading’ update. People rarely spend much time looking at photo posts, unless someone uploads an entire album or an infographic. You’re more likely to linger on a post while reading, whether it’s text or an article.

This move fits in with Facebook’s overall goal to be your destination for news. However, it seems that Facebook users don’t want to focus on the news when they visit the site. On the CCC page, we’ve always had a much higher engagement rate on photos than articles even if fans are clicking through to read the articles.

So let us ask you, Facebook users: What type of content do you prefer on Facebook?

A) Newsworthy articles
B) Fun/inspirational pictures
C) Updates from family/friends
D) Special offers from brands

For now, we’ll continue to offer a mix of newsworthy articles in our areas of expertise (marketing, writing and social media) along with fun pictures and tips in a visual format. But it will be interesting to monitor this development and see if Facebook is able to move closer to the news destination it wants to be.

Where do you see Facebook’s future — news, entertainment, connecting people or something else?

CCC’s Reporter Extraordinaire,
Jaime

Let’s chat (on Facebook, news or otherwise): 
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5 Ways To Showcase Services (& Boring Products) on Instagram

You’ve probably heard that visual marketing is all the rage these days, driving more interaction and traffic than text alone. Pair that trend with Instagram being the fastest-growing major social network in 2014*, and you’ve got a love affair — or so we thought. However, we were surprised at the lack of marketers, especially B2B, on Instagram.

5 Ways To Showcase Services (& Boring Products) on Instagram

Report Findings

Statistics on the popular visual social platform in Social Media Examiner’s recently released Social Media Marketing Industry Report were underwhelming, at least to CCC.

Instagram was the 7th most popular social platform for marketers in 2014, with 36% utilizing the site. Platform use did rise significantly from the previous year, with an eight percent increase. However, the disparity came to light when we looked at business-to-consumer (B2C) use vs. business-to-business (B2B) use, as the following chart indicates.

B2C vs. B2B social platform use chart

Social platform use differs significantly between B2C and B2B marketers, especially on LinkedIn.
Source: Social Media Marketing Industry Report

OK, so B2B marketers are a little slow to adapt to this platform. That might make sense until you look at future plans. Again, B2C marketers outpace their B2B counterparts with 60% likely to increase Instagram activities (compared to 40% of B2B marketers). What’s making B2B marketers hesitant to devote resources to Instagram?

Two Reasons Why B2B Marketers Aren’t on Instagram

We can think of two reasons to start. One, some B2B marketers feel like a platform or vehicle isn’t worth their time until they can advertise on it. With Instagram opening up advertising to all companies, that should draw more B2B companies to the platform. New ad formats, including a buy button, and enhanced targeting should help as well.

Two, several B2B companies sell services, and they may be having trouble understanding how to utilize the platform to promote what they do. (Even if they sell products, they may be considered ‘boring’ products, such as ink cartridges, paper, industrial cleaners, etc.)

Five Ways To Showcase Services (and Boring Products) on Instagram 

How do you showcase services (or ‘boring’ products) on Instagram?

  • Sell benefits, not features. Show how your products or services impact people or companies. For example, a picture of a sales letter may not be enticing, but a picture of my client’s happiness after making a sale using that letter conveys human emotion.

Photos with faces get 38% more likes and 32% more comments on Instagram.^

  • Utilize picture editing tools. Tools such as Pic Monkey and Square InstaPic, among others, allow you to create professional images to showcase your work. A picture of my blog post on a modern marketer’s tools may not generate much interest, but this picture of the items mentioned in the post was a hit.


  • Share behind the scenes videos. Instagram’s the perfect place to ease into video production due to the 15-second maximum timeframe and built-in editing tools. Introduce employees, share an office tradition (bean bag toss break on Fridays!) or record brief tips on what you do. For example, share a marketing tip every Monday or a social media tidbit on Saturdays.

Seventy two percent of marketers plan to increase their use of video in the future.`

  • Be creative with built-in filters and editing tools. We’re not telling you to filter every picture you post, but the built-in editing tools that Instagram provides do appeal to users if used appropriately.

Organic Instagram-style photos can increase click-through rates from 2.35% to 8% and drive conversion rates by 25% over traditional photos.^^

  • Encourage followers, customers and other users to join your campaign by tagging their photos with a unique hashtag (i.e. #CCCgetssocial) and tagging your account in order to enter a contest or showcase how they use your products or services. User-generated content is powerful because other people are telling your story for you. Plus, Instagram stores photos that tag you in your profile so others can easily see them.

Top brands’ Instagram posts generated 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter.**

So what’s a B2B marketer to do? Get visual on Instagram! But remember to put together a strategy first, just like you would with any other marketing initiative. Your customers (and potential customers) will like what they see.

What’s your favorite Instagram account to follow?

Where does Instagram rank in your favorite social platforms?

Do you utilize the Instagram website at all or only the mobile app?

Intimidated by Instagram? Have no fear! We’d love to answer your questions or help you put together an approach to put your best face forward on this popular visual platform. Contact us or leave a comment below to join the conversation!

Sources:
*Pew Research Internet Project | ^Georgia Institute of Technology & Yahoo Labs
`Social Media Marketing Industry Report | ^^Laundry Service | **Forrester

Have an Instagram-worthy weekend!
Jaime

Let’s chat (on Instagram, the SMM Industry Report or otherwise): 
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Take A Closer Look at LinkedIn To Grow Your Business

Are you using LinkedIn to expand your professional network and grow your business?

LinkedIn is moving into the spotlight with marketers.

LinkedIn is ready for its closeup, and marketers are taking notice.

LinkedIn tends to be the forgotten social network. Most people go one of two ways: set up a profile and forget about it or link it to their Twitter account, flooding their professional network with random bits of information. We don’t recommend either.

Related reading: LinkedIn: Are You Connected?

It was interesting to see LinkedIn’s presence on the recently published Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner. The professional social network came in an impressive third (behind Facebook and Twitter) as marketers’ most used social platform.

LinkedIn is the 3rd most popular social network for marketers.

LinkedIn came in a close third as the most popular social network for marketers.
(Source: Social Media Marketing Industry Report)

But are marketers setting and forgetting or actually using the network? We’re going with the latter. LinkedIn came in (a distant) second to Facebook as the most important social platform for marketers, if they could only choose one, and that sentiment is growing. Twenty-one percent of marketers selected the professional network as their most important platform, up from 17% in 2014. And LinkedIn’s status in business-to-business (B2B) marketing is even more dominant. Forty-one percent of B2B marketers designated the professional network as their most important platform, even outpacing Facebook.

Will this trend continue? CCC thinks so. Sixty-six percent of marketers surveyed plan on increasing their usage of LinkedIn in the future, narrowly finishing third behind Twitter and YouTube. And we do mean narrowly: the top three networks in this category were all within one percent.

What’s sparked the interest in LinkedIn? The network has made changes to encourage business professionals to return on a more regular basis, including opening LinkedIn Publishing to all members and re-engineering LinkedIn Search.

Related reading: Get Your Ducks In A Row: Your 1st Quarter Social Media Updates

How can you tap into the power of the largest professional social network in the world? Review our series on how to make the most of your efforts, including growing your professional network, rocking your profile and making LinkedIn Groups work for you.

What’s your favorite LinkedIn feature?

How regularly do you visit the platform?

Where does LinkedIn rank in your order of most important social platforms?

Let us know if you have any questions or would like some help tapping into the wealth of possibility on this platform.

Let’s connect!
Jaime

Let’s chat (about the SMM Industry Report, LinkedIn or otherwise):
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Ten Common Misconceptions about Quick SEO

CCC welcomes Eve Haugen to the blog! Anyone with a website (or blog) is always looking to improve his or her search engine optimization (SEO), and of course, you don’t want to wait to see the results. Insert quick SEO — tips and tactics to give you a quick boost in your search rankings and website traffic. Eve’s here to share her knowledge on the subject and dispel ten common misconceptions about the practice. Enjoy!

The science of SEO is constantly evolving. Although a long-term strategy, it can also yield quick results with the right tactics. While there is a range of tips on how to get around quick SEO, the misconceptions about it are galore and the people spreading such rumors are the ones who have hardly dabbled in it.

Ranking factors of Google's search algorithms

Ranking factors of Google’s search algorithms

So, here are some of the SEO myths – If you are alert enough, you will immediately package these practices in a box and throw them away.

  • Google will NOT build strategy for you: This is a well-followed mantra of website building. You build a website fattened with content and you expect traffic to flow into it. Well, it doesn’t! That is why SEO professionals are still needed. You need to pay attention to the best keywords, develop your user’s experience (UXD/UED), insert links and ensure fast page downloads so that your website stands out.
  • Stuffing your page with unnecessary keywords can instantly get you a better rank: Well, that is not a good SEO tip. Keyword density – the number of keywords found on your page that determines the relevancy of your work – should never exceed a certain maximum. Keyword density may be an important metric for ranking a page, but it isn’t the only one. Your keywords also need to be relevant to your material. Don’t add them randomly because they always stick out.
  • Adding unnecessary promo boxes and ads can give you more clicks: Times have changed, and with it, mindsets. It’s best to do away with these ads as they hardly generate extra clicks. People are no longer interested in them.
  • Guest posts do not matter: Hell yeah, they do! Moving posts from guest bloggers to your page is an excellent technique to generate quick traffic. Recently, Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, drew attention to the importance of guest posting and promoted it on his blog. Well, he said it, so is there any reason to doubt it?
  • Link building can be ignored: A content marketing team greatly benefits from a link builder. Link building is an important aspect of Google’s ranking schemes that give you a greater visibility to the outside world. Especially back links – when you acquire back links in relation to your content, you make it visible to a larger audience. It’s a much needed SEO tip for good promotion.
  • Quick SEO is all that matters – after all it’s just a one-time strategy: SEO in its essence is a long-term process that requires immense planning, but in case you’re in a hurry, quick SEO tips can be of great use. However, these tips should only be used once in a while.
  • SEO is just a one-time strategy – do it quickly and get it done: SEO requires a continual investment of your time and energy. Otherwise, your website’s content just rots. Continuous SEO integration helps in keeping the competition away and allows you to keep track of the continuously evolving techniques.
  • We can miss out on the social buzz – after all we are in a hurry: Google doesn’t care about the number of Facebook shares or your Twitter followers but successful social buzz can put your content right in front of your target market. It helps in building links, search engine discovery and spreading of content to the outside world.
  • The flashier, the merrier: Excessive use of flash content can go against your desired SEO results as search engines mostly understand the language of HTML.
  • SEO is easy so anyone can do it: SEO is not child’s play; even quick SEO techniques require an able hand who knows how to implement them. It requires care and analysis and well-informed people can help you with this.

Well, these are just a few misconceptions about SEO techniques, which stem from people who are still fixated on black hat SEO. These unethical techniques are supposedly cheap and easy to work with, but they can cost you dearly.

Remember, quick SEO can work for a certain time frame. Once, twice – that’s okay. But never fall into the allure of quick SEO all of the time.

Eve Haugen, author of this post


Eve Haugen
is a freelance writer, whose passion in writing drives her to craft articles that are engaging, informative and meaningful. Her partnership with QuickSEOResults has given her an opportunity to take her writing to a new level.

Facebook Is An Enigma To Marketers But Its Still #1 (Most of the Time)

Social Media Examiner recently released its highly anticipated Social Media Marketing Industry Report. If you want to know how 3,700 fellow marketers are using social media to grow their businesses, then you’re in the right place. We’ll discuss a few key findings and surprises over the next few weeks that you can incorporate into your own plans.

Planet Facebook or Planet Earth?

“Planet Facebook or Planet Earth? by Paul Butler” via Duncan Hill via CC BY 2.0

Key Findings, Facebook Edition

Facebook, the ultimate enigma, at least for marketers. “While 93% of marketers are using Facebook, 68% want to learn more about it and 62% plan on increasing Facebook activities. Only 45% of marketers think that their Facebook efforts are effective,” however 52% would stick with the social behemoth if only allowed to utilize one platform. So you use it and are planning on increasing efforts but aren’t confident your current efforts are effective. Got it.

These conflicting findings aren’t surprising given the overall size of the platform and marketers’ struggles with connecting to their audiences on it. You realize the potential in Facebook but have yet to see your substantial efforts pay off. It is interesting to see that marketers are planning on increasing their activities despite the number of “I’m quitting Facebook” articles making the rounds.

If you’re frustrated with Facebook (which we all are from time to time), take a step back and look at the big picture. What are you trying to accomplish? What type of content is your audience most receptive to in this environment? While general tips are helpful to get started, you need to utilize Insights or 3rd party analytics to build your own knowledge base. Your audience is unique, so what works best for another page may not be music to your audience’s ears.

Check out these new resources for Facebook marketers and get ready for some exciting updates coming in the near future, such as Facebook Messenger now being its own platform — and open for business. This is a game-changer for small businesses, especially the upcoming payment feature. If you haven’t heard, Facebook is adding a feature to Messenger that will allow you to send payments to other users, including businesses, for free.

Discover more helpful tips and tricks for succeeding on Facebook by checking out our blog posts on the subject. Or message us (here or on Facebook), so we can discuss your current status and how to get where you want to go.

SMM Industry Report: Facebook Edition Feedback

What’s your favorite way to use Facebook for business?

What feature is it missing?

What’s one tip that you would share with others using Facebook for business?

p.s. You can download a free copy of the Social Media Marketing Industry Report here.

Facebook fan and foe,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about the SMM Industry Report, Facebook or otherwise):
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Tell Your Own Story Without Missing a Moment

We live in an era where people can tell their own stories like never before. You can capture key moments of your life and share them with friends and family all over the globe. Now a company is using technology to take capturing the moment to the next level.

At the big game!

Yours truly enjoying the Wagon Wheel Challenge, courtesy of PNC. Go Flashes!

Fanpics gives every fan a chance to tell their own story by turning the cameras from the competitors to the stands. Forget trying to grab a selfie with friends mid-game and missing a major moment. Now there’s an app for that. This innovative startup has you covered — from all angles.

What’s better than a selfie in the stands? A candid capture of you jumping for joy when your team hits a buzzer beater. Or being crushed in a spontaneous group hug after a late steal seals the win. Those are the moments you really want to capture — and share.

Now fans attending events at the STAPLES Center and other venues can. Fanpics has partnered with the home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers to give fans the ultimate viewing experience. Simply sign in to the app, enter your seat number, put your phone away and enjoy the game!

Capture your moment!

Photo courtesy of Fanpics

Pictures captured of your reaction to key moments will be available to you on the app within 30 seconds of when they’re taken. You’ll be able to share these memorable moments in real time or during a break in the action. Don’t worry; all pictures taken of you are private until you decide to share them.

Speaking of sharing, think about the applications for this technology! My mind jumps to companies using it to capture attendees and memorable moments at conferences and events. How could you use this technology in your industry or for your business?

The best part is that Fanpics can deliver data too. Each image is time-stamped and comes with a description of what’s happening at the moment the picture’s taken. With data being such a big deal in business, there are endless opportunities here. Perhaps you could gauge attendees’ true reaction to a speaker without the hassle of follow-up surveys. Or you could see where seating areas are needed the most for random networking moments (by noticing where people naturally stop to chat).

The implications of this technology are huge. It could give us the ability to tell our own story without missing a moment.

Fan Feedback

Would you utilize the Fanpics app at a game?

How could you use this technology in your industry or for your business?

A sports junkie and technology fan,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about Fanpics, sports, technology or otherwise):
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Amazon Turns Its Boxes Into Ads With First Of Its Kind Marketing Deal For “Minions” Movie

Recently, we blogged about taking your message to your audience instead of waiting for them to come to you. Well, here’s a great example. Universal Studios partnered with Amazon to promote its new movie, Minions, on the retailer’s shipping boxes.

What a great idea! You can’t miss these bright and cheery boxes, and everyone from recipients to postal carriers is sharing pictures via social media. Heck, some people are even ordering something from Amazon just to get a Minions box. On that note, we may need some office supplies…

If you are a Minions fan, Amazon has you covered. Check out http://amazon.com/minions for nearly anything with the little yellow guys that you could possibly want.

Have you received a Minions Amazon box?

Are you going to order from Amazon to get one?

Have you seen or been in a partnership like this before?

Poopaye! (Goodbye in Minion-speak)
Jaime

Let’s chat (on the Minions, brand partnerships or otherwise): 
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