social media tools

Highlights from Sprout Partner Day 2017

 Photo credit: Sprout Social

Photo credit: Sprout Social

Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” and that’s just how it felt when we met 100 of our newest agency friends on Sprout Partner Day at the Sprout Social headquarters in Chicago last week.

As a founding member of the Sprout Partner program, we were invited to mix and mingle with other partner agencies from across the globe, as well as sit in on sessions and workshops aimed at optimizing our agency’s social offerings and providing the best services to our clients.

At Thin Pig, Sprout Social is the social media management software we utilize to manage all of our clients' social media channels. It makes communicating with customers, as well as internal members on our own team, simple and productive. It’s a user-friendly interface with robust analytics, and great for any level business wanting to up its social media game.

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Sprout Partner Day was not only a day to learn more about Sprout Social as a company and as a product, it was also a fantastic opportunity to meet other agencies and exchange creative ideas with one another. While many of us could have viewed each other as competitors, that vibe was nowhere to be found in the room. Instead, many of us chatted about how our agencies were structured, how we utilized Sprout Social for our clients, and other hot social media topics. We were all genuinely excited to meet each other and talk about what worked for us. Not only did we learn a lot from meeting other agencies, but we hope we created friendships and partnerships with our colleagues in the field.

One of my favorite sessions during Sprout Partner Day was a talk about Twitter by Eric Martin (@ericmartinyc). As an avid Twitter user, I think many of us can agree that the network has had its ups and downs, but Eric emphasized that Twitter is “what’s happening now” and that truly does sum it up. While many think that Twitter may be going away or decreasing its market share, people are still going to Twitter for breaking news, trending topics, and customer service from brands, so it’s still important to have a presence on this network.

Eric also showed us how Volvo used Twitter during the 2015 Super Bowl. Sit back and prepare to be in awe of this brilliant campaign:

“Volvo Interception” by Grey New York

In addition to the Twitter talk, a few of the other topics included: “The Future of Social Media”; “Building Social KPIs for your Clients”; and "Best Practice from High-Performing Agencies.” I enjoyed each and every speaker’s session, and really appreciated their insight.

If you're a fellow partner reading this, please share your favorite happenings from Sprout Partner Day in the comments below. We'd love to hear what you thought!

We look forward to attending Sprout Partner Day 2018, as this year’s was truly “A Day for Partners to Grow Together.”

 

True Life: I am a Social Media Manager

It's that time of the year when everyone is on vacation, so we decided to give our blog writers a much deserved time off and repost one of our top performing blogs of the year. We hope you'll enjoy it, and have a great rest of the summer!

For whatever reason, it seems as if the most commonly asked question when meeting someone for the first time is, “What do you do?” I usually respond, “Well, I am a Social Media Manager (SMM).” This is usually followed by the person responding with, “Oh! You get paid to sit on Facebook and Twitter all day?” Sound the record scratch! While this is partly true, marketers and numerous brands/companies know that this is just scratching the surface. While social media is an ever-evolving industry, it is obviously so much more than just “posting to Facebook and Twitter.” In any given day, I wear many different hats.

In a typical day, I converse with clients and coworkers, create engaging and valuable content, analyze analytics of ad campaigns and content, research and plan future posts and campaigns, and monitor the different networks for engagement and mentions on behalf of my clients.

I recognize that the social media world is confusing for business owners to navigate when they have been focused on their trade for much of their career. Social media for businesses came quick and has turned into a whirlwind of an industry. The thing that some business owners may not understand is that being an SMM is a real, full time position that goes far beyond posting current specials and commenting when someone likes their status.

Creating and analyzing ad campaigns are two of the largest responsibilities for a SMM in more ways than one. Building campaigns properly to get traffic, engagement, and to hit goals, is crucial. My clients have entrusted me with their money and expect that I will use my industry knowledge to gain them results. Once the ad is created, I’m not on coast-mode. I optimize throughout the month to make sure it’s delivering, and if it is not, I tweak it.

I review this information and create content with the goal of resonating with the type of people that are responding to the different posts and ads. My clients provide me with photos and specials they have going on to align with their advertising goals. I also keep an eye on local events that may attract people to the area because my clients are in the hospitality industry.

When I’m not focusing on ads or creating content, I’m monitoring the different social profiles that I manage. I engage with the followers and answer any questions that get directed to the brands. This is one of my favorite parts of my job. It is exciting to see when my content has been a success and the positive feedback that my clients receive. It is also beneficial for me to see when content doesn’t generate any form of engagement. This lets me know I need to try something else in the future.

All in all, I am in a field that is constantly evolving and requires a lot of detail, research, and thought. I consider myself to be a part of the small percentage of people who are paid to do something they are truly passionate about. Like everything else, it is not always rainbows and lollipops. There is responsibility and even liability of speaking on behalf of a brand. I look forward to this challenge, amount of responsibility, and sense of purpose I am embarking on as a newly hired Social Media Manager at Thin Pig Media.

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The Facebook Pixel: What You Need to Know

Unhappy with your Facebook Ads results? Not exactly sure how Facebook Ads work, but by now, you think you probably have made some sales from them? With the Facebook pixel, you can take the guesswork out. You can also access analytics galore (more than print, radio, and television, by the way) that can help you target the right customers in order to reach your ad goals.

What Is It?

In simplest terms, the Facebook pixel is a tool that allows advertisers to measure effectiveness and track conversions from Facebook ads, automatically optimize ads, and create retargeted ads.

Track Conversions

Yes, the Facebook pixel actually allows you to see if you’ve made any sales based on a Facebook ad click. Not only this, but your campaign will tell you how many sales occurred, when they happened, and in many cases, the amount that was spent and how much each conversion cost you in terms of ad spend. What's more, you can dive in deeper and see which gender made the purchase, which day of the week it was made on, and more! Facebook will also set you up with ways to target the right people in order to help you reach your conversion goal, or “event.”

In addition to purchase/reservation transactions, advertisers can track a number of website events, which include:

  • Purchase

  • Lead

  • Complete Registration

  • Add Payment Info

  • Initiate Checkout

  • Add to Cart

  • Add to Wishlist

  • Search

  • View Content

  • Custom conversions

If your business is hoping to track any of these events, then the Facebook Pixel is a must.

How It Works

Facebook will provide you with a code specific to your ad account that you will then place on the backend of your website code. Trust us, it’s not as scary as it sounds. You then activate it on Facebook and voilà -- your pixel is tracking.

Optimize Audience

As mentioned before, once the pixel reaches a conversion threshold (e.g. Purchase, Registration Complete, Add to Cart, etc.), Facebook will start optimizing your ads in order to show them to people who are more likely to convert based on your goals. A lookalike audience can be created from this data, which essentially is an audience that Facebook believes is similar in demographics & interests to the people who have visited your website.

Retargeting

Have you ever shopped for shoes online, left the store’s website without purchasing, only to find that those shoes are following you around Facebook? That’s remarketing (aka retargeting). With the pixel, you can retarget visitors who have been on your website, back on Facebook. You can choose to retarget everyone who visits your website, just those taking a specific action, or those visiting specific pages of your website.

So while we’ve just covered the basics of the Facebook pixel here, there is no doubt that this little tool is packed with power. It can take a lot of the unknowns out of how well your Facebook ads are performing, and if your business is making any conversions from advertising. If you need assistance or just have questions about the Facebook pixel, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We can help set your website up with the Facebook pixel, run Facebook Advertising for your business, or simply just answer a question you may have about the pixel.

Adobe Spark: Content Creation for Every Skill Level.

What better time of year to talk about one of my favorite (newer/revamped) products from Adobe, Adobe Spark, than on the 4th of July. It just seems fitting as I listen to all of the bottle rockets and roman candles being fired off by the neighborhood kids. No, Adobe Spark won’t blowup or light your neighbors overgrown lawn on fire, but it will help you put on quite a show for your fans, followers and clients.

Adobe Spark is comprised of a suite of apps which allow users to create social graphics, animated videos, and web stories. According to TechCrunch, “the Spark collection is effectively an upgrade and rebranding of a trio of apps Adobe already operated – its Adobe Post App became Spark Post, Adobe Slate became Spark Page; and Adobe Voice became Spark Video”. Along with the apps, Adobe also released a web version which allows its users to access the apps using their browser. Long story short, Adobe Spark lets your average, everyday user create stunning visuals and content without having to take a 2-year training course.

 

Spark Post

Spark Post allows users to create graphics for social channels in a quick and efficient way. It offers multiple professionally-designed templates, various themes, the ability to place and edit text, as well as an auto resize feature that adjusts your images automatically for different social channels. Once you’ve got everything looking extra pretty, save your image and upload for your fans and followers to enjoy.

Spark Page

Spark Page allows users to layout their favorite photos and information in a creative and unique way and share them with the world. Think of it as your own simplified web page. Users can upload photos from their own devices, cloud storage or use stock photography. You can then add motion or text to make a fun and informational viewing experience. Spark Page works great for showcasing products, events or for sending out your weekly newsletter.

Spark Video

Last but not least is Spark Video – which allows users to create stunning videos in a matter of minutes. Choose from a wide variety of themes and layouts to create engaging content that is sure to capture the attention of your viewers. Users can stitch together photos, videos, and icons and then add text to clearly communicate their message. You can also add music from your personal library or Adobe’s stock library to give your video the full professional touch.

Do you need help with your social media? We’ve got a team of professionals ready to take your business or product to the next level. Drop us a line at http://thinpigmedia.com/contact-us/.

Chasing The “Cool” (And Why It May Not Be Your Best Strategy)

Living in an ever-changing digital age has created a desire to capitalize on the next biggest and coolest thing. It is the objective of many brands to stay ahead of the curve and to consistently participate in the newest social media trend. In the race to “chase the cool,” people often ask themselves, "How do I accomplish the next big thing?" Perhaps the more appropriate question is: “Should I participate in the next big thing?”

Know Your Audience

When considering utilizing a specific social media platform it’s important to understand the demographic you are trying to target. Take Snapchat for example. I often have clients and brands inquire about using Snapchat due to its increasing level of popularity. Instead of asking “How can my brand use Snapchat?,” ask yourself “Why should my brand use Snapchat?” Let’s take a look at a few stats:

  • 71% of Snapchat users are under 34 years old
  • 45% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18-24
  • 30% of US Millennial Internet Users use Snapchat regularly
  • 11% Reach of Total US Digital Population comes from Snapchat

From a quick glance it’s easy to ascertain that Snapchat caters to a younger audience. If you’re a company selling sit down showers for example, Snapchat is probably not the best way to advertise your product.

Establish Clear Goals

It’s important to first understand what you’re trying to accomplish with your brand as each social media platform will help you excel in different ways.

  • Are you a new company who’s trying to establish an online presence?
  • Are you a large corporation who needs to put an emphasis on customer care and relations?
  • Are you selling something?
  • What is the primary information you are trying relay to your fan base or customers?

Asking yourself these questions will help guide you towards the right social channel to ensure you are utilizing your time, money, and resources effectively. For example, if you’re a gourmet restaurant who frequently features unique dishes, Instagram may be the best platform for you. Or, maybe you’re a food truck always on the go, and a quick location update via Twitter is the best way to reach people.

Technological advances are a wonderful thing and while companies should certainly embrace new trends, they should be utilized for the right reasons.