Social Media

Top Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2017

Rachel Trevino and Megan Lagrone with Facebook guru Mari Smith at SMMW17.

Rachel Trevino and Megan Lagrone with Facebook guru Mari Smith at SMMW17.

We recently returned from sunny San Diego where we attended the largest social media conference in the world – Social Media Marketing World #SMMW17 presented by Social Media Examiner. We’ve brought back some great highlights and insights and will be diving deeper into tactics and strategies during a Facebook Live on The DeBerry Group page on Wednesday, April 5, at 4:30 p.m. (CT). Tune in live or submit questions in advance to rachel@thedeberrygroup.com.

Here are a few of our top takeaways:

Quality over Quantity

The solution to a winning social media strategy is no longer more content – it’s BETTER content. Connecting with your precious audience with compelling storytelling will always beat the “more is more” approach. Gone are the days of posting three, four and five times a day in the hopes of beating the Facebook algorithm. Ever wonder why the video of the dad braiding his daughter’s hair or the toddler laughing like crazy catches on like wildfire? It’s a real moment that’s relatable. Quality content will always win, no matter what time of day you post.

Video Reigns Supreme

From Facebook Live to Periscope, YouTube, Instagram Stories, native video uploads, and everything in-between – video reigns supreme and should be a focus of your content strategy. Rather than posting a photo album from your event, think about how the opportunity lends itself to video. Can you highlight an interesting step-by-step process in your Instagram Story? How about a behind-the-scenes interview via Facebook Live with a key speaker at your press conference? Keep video in mind at all times, and you’ll experience increased engagement and visibility.

Facebook Advertising is a Must

Of the 70 million Facebook pages, fewer than seven percent are using Facebook advertising. Thanks to the ever-evolving Facebook algorithm, those who don’t advertise just aren’t being seen. Facebook is one of the most effective and cost efficient advertising avenues to reach your target audience in a compelling way. The targeting and re-targeting options are endless, and for marketers and our clients – a strategic social media advertising plan + quality content = tremendous success.

“Content is King, but Engagement is Queen, and she rules the house.”

One of the leading Facebook gurus, Mari Smith, said this in her session, and it stuck with us. The statement highlighted the importance of strong community management across all social media platforms. It’s not enough to post great content, you need someone ready to engage with your audience to amplify reach, brand affinity, and awareness, and most importantly to keep your online interactions authentic. Focusing on quality engagement with your audience will help keep social media “social,” as it was intended.

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Five Years DeBerry

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Break out the Champagne. The DeBerry Group turns five today!

As we toast our awesome team, we also raise a glass to our clients, most of whom have been with us for much longer than five years. In 2012, we started the DeBerry Group with six committed and passionate employees. Today, we have a team of 17 that delivers remarkable results for our clients every single day.

In that time, our capabilities have grown exponentially as we stretch our skill sets to serve our clients holistically, providing everything from strategic public affairs and crisis communications to full-service integrated marketing solutions.

Along the way, we’ve changed the conversation — and more than a few diapers. Not only did our team members welcome four of “DeBerry Best” babies into the world, they embraced the digital and social media revolution and took a regional diaper cream known as Dr. Smith’s into the national marketplace. Today, the San Antonio-based product competes on store shelves from California to New York, and we’ve helped entice thousands of new moms to “Reach for the Doctor.”

With advertising, we skipped the crawling phase and sprinted toward a full-service creative department to bolster our branding, advertising and social media services. Lucky for us, our creative director, Laura Hotten, is like a Swiss Army knife in heels. She produces video, creates animation, designs, codes, builds websites and keeps the creative inspiration flowing through all that we do. Together with a seasoned senior art director and energetic production artist, the trio recently won a Gold Addy for their work on the Hemisfair Annual Report.

Today, we are also thrilled to welcome a new marketing director, Kristine Smith. A data-driven, classically-trained marketer, Kristine is a digital junkie with nearly two decades of experience and a contagious passion for discovering the next big idea.

At this stage in the game, we consider ourselves to be an integrated marketing firm. We create strategies that effectively combine public relations, public affairs, government affairs, marketing, advertising, digital and social media strategy to meet the goals of our clients.

We look forward to continue changing the conversation for our diverse roster of clients, including Brooks, SAWS, the San Pedro Creek Improvements Project, Ranger Health, the Alamo Endowment, H-E-B, CAST Tech, the Holdsworth Center, Mission Pharmacal, Éilan Hotel & Spa, SeaWorld San Antonio, the Lone Star Brewery redevelopment project, Bexar County, CST Brands, Inc., David’s Legacy, San Antonio Book Festival, Spurs Sports & Entertainment, Baptist Health System, and others. We’re also excited about new relationships and clients the future holds.

Downtown will always be ground zero for us, and we remain steadfast in working on initiatives that help propel San Antonio into the future. But we’re also energized about expanding with clients who are doing great work across Texas and the nation.

Pediatricians say that developmentally age 5 is when a child becomes more independent and self-confident. We can check that box. Cognitively, the 5-year-old is curious and inquisitive, energetic, silly and at times, rowdy.  That pretty much describes the DeBerry Group team. Although DeBerry is the name on the door, it takes the work of every one of us to crush it on the daily for our clients. (Slang credit goes to Rachel Trevino, head millennial on staff.)

Now back to that Champagne.

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Adding Social Media Influencers to Your Marketing Plan

Image Credit: Adobe Blog

Image Credit: Adobe Blog

Word-of-mouth recommendations are among the most powerful ways to increase awareness about a brand, initiative, service, business – the list goes on. In fact, Nielsen reports 84 percent of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations and 68 percent trust online opinions from other consumers.

The modern landscape of word-of-mouth recommendations looks different than in the past. Businesses can take advantage of this shift by incorporating a social media influencer strategy into their marketing plans. A social media influencer is a blogger or other notable online personality who can vouch for your business through content on their website or social media channels.

We caught up with three of San Antonio’s most popular online influencers at a recent Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) luncheon. The speakers were Melanie Mendez-Gonzales of ¿Qué Means What?, Tori Johnson of The sTORIbook, and Colleen Pence of San Antonio Mom Blogs. The trio of bloggers shared some key insights around influencer marketing:

Relationships are key

Bloggers write because they’re passionate. Whatever the topic, from parenting to fashion, they choose to write about a topic because it’s close to their hearts. If your business/program/service is something that could be interesting and relevant to their readers, this opens the door for a potential partnership.

If you want to partner with a blogger, you shouldn’t contact them once a year about your business. Influencers are in the blogging business to be closer to a community and to share their personal stories. The panelists suggested starting outreach with an email chain to introduce yourself and your brand and to involve them in the creation of ideas for promoting your business or service.

Do your research

If you want to be spotlighted by a great blogger, you have to know a little about them first. Take some time to read their blog, understand their audience, and get to know the writer. Follow their social media channels and read comments from their audiences. If you want to be included in their editorial calendar, you have to fit their brand.

How to pitch

Social media influencers are not members of the old school media brigade, so they shouldn’t be pitched like traditional media. As Tori Johnson said during the luncheon, “A press release isn’t going to cut it.” You have to stand out to get noticed. For example, Colleen Pence receives 30-60 pitches every single day! Here are some tips to get your brand to the top of an influencer’s list:

  • Pitch in advance. These bloggers have months’ worth of material planned. Not to mention, they are also busy managing their businesses and keeping up with their families. They likely won’t be able to drop what they’re doing to attend your event on a moment’s notice, so keep that in mind.
  • Ask for their opinion and be flexible. They’re the experts here. They know what engages their audiences best. If you have an idea for what you’d like for your business, send it on over to them, but be open to discussing their options and ideas too.
  • Consider what you can do for them. Remember, this isn’t just a hobby for most influencers. “Blogs are brands and businesses,” said Melanie Mendez-Gonzalez. Compensation isn’t always required, but it certainly “sweetens the deal,” as Colleen said. But remember, compensation doesn’t always have to be monetary. It can come in the form of a free service or product from your business.

 

Our team at DeBerry Group has developed amazing relationships with social media influencers across the country who have helped us get the word out about our clients. If you’re interested in building an influencer marketing program to reach your business goals, email our Social Marketing and Public Relations Manager Rachel Trevino today at Rachel@thedeberrygroup.com.

DeBerry Group team members Rachel, Megan, Brooke, Melessa and Molly at the PRSA San Antonio social media luncheon.

DeBerry Group team members Rachel, Megan, Brooke, Melessa and Molly at the recent PRSA San Antonio social media luncheon.

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Viral Trends: When to Hop on Board and When to Stay Put

The Mannequin Challenge. Easy, right? Gather the whole office, stand in a cool pose, post to social media, done. Not so fast.

If you don’t know, the Mannequin Challenge is the latest internet craze. Groups of people stand very, very still in intriguing positions while the camera pans through the frozen scene. A song plays, usually Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles,” and everyone shows off their hipness.

Like most internet trends, the Mannequin Challenge started with teenagers. The earliest known upload is rumored to have come from high school students in Jacksonville, Florida, in which they stand motionless in a classroom engaged in very teenage poses, like the Dab.

The youth of the internet caught on. Then, the bar was raised when athletes joined in. Because of their physical ability to hold incredible poses, these videos started to go crazy viral.

After Millennials did everything they could with it, the Mannequin Challenge was left to the older generation to continue the trend. Everyone from Hillary Clinton to Paul McCartney stood still for the sake of engagement. They can get away with it because they’re, well, they’re them. But how far away from the source is too far?

Similar to the Harlem Shake, another viral dance trend that rose to fame in 2013, the origins of the Mannequin Challenge are found in the young, hip hop-loving generation. When a group attempts to join in on the trend that they’re too far removed from, it may come off as out-of-touch. Just when you think you’ve finally tapped into the demographic with your silly video, you’ve actually moved yourself further away.

As an organization, you have to ask yourself, Am I on the front end of this trend? Or the back end? Do I have something new and different to offer to this craze? Does this fit with my brand image and voice?

If you learn about the trend from your teenage daughter, then you’re probably on the back end. Targeting young people takes more than just posting a video – you need a strategy that appeals to them, instead of inserting yourself in their online space.

If your brand couldn’t be further from the trend’s origin, or if you are unable to offer something new, it may not be the best fit, and your organization could risk coming off passé.

Yet, it may be worth hopping on board with some viral trends. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that took over news feeds in 2014 had everyone soaked in freezing cold water to help bring awareness to Lou Gehrig’s disease. While many social media users no doubt were fatigued by the countless videos, the challenge raised more than $115 million for ALS research, which led to huge breakthroughs in treatment of the disease.

So, the next time a viral internet trend surfaces, and you can be sure it will any day now, make sure your contribution as an organization makes sense. If it’s relevant to your team and your mission and you feel that you’re adding something new, go for it! If not, let’s find another way to get your name out there.

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