Category Archives: Blog

Link Friday: The Social Media & Hurricane Harvey Edition

Posted on Friday, September 1, 2017 by Kate

Hurricane Harvey is being dubbed the United States’ “First Social Media Storm.” Let’s take a look at the role social media has played in this chapter of history.

  • Facebook users in the path of Harvey were able to mark themselves as “safe” to ease the minds of far-away family members.
  • BuzzFeed worked to compile a list of hoaxes spreading online to warn people of potential scams and fake news.
  • Victims desperately in need of rescue turned to social media when local 911 operations were unavailable.
  • People who had businesses or homes unaffected by the storm used the platforms to offer shelter.
  • Now, pet owners are reuniting with their furry friends thanks to social networking.
  • One of the coolest ways social media helped during the disaster was by raising money. Kudos to Houstan Texans defensive end (and former Badger!) J.J. Watt for kicking off an online fundraiser that has since raised more than $14 million for relief efforts!

Link Friday: The 2017 Fall Shoulder Season Edition

Posted on Friday, August 18, 2017 by Kate

Like it or not (I do not), summer is winding down. The days are getting shorter and it won’t be long before we feel that familiar nip in the air. Pumpkin spice is coming. But good news, lovers of travel – so is shoulder season!

  • Shoulder what? Shoulder season is the time between the high season and the low season for travel destinations. Think spring and fall.
  • Obviously, shoulder season travel can present a few challenges. You know, like hurricanes. But thoughtful planning around the few drawbacks it might present can yield some high returns – like big time travel deals.
  • Other cool perks of shoulder season vacations? Fewer people (did I mention I hate crowds?). Way fewer people. And cooler weather. Even food is cheaper!
  • Check out these awesome destinations that are way more affordable in the shoulder season.

The Current State of Social Media Networks

Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 by Kate

A recent survey of nearly 6,000 marketers worldwide has yielded some interesting results about the state of social media marketing we want to pass along.

In 2017, more of the marketers surveyed are using Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat than they were last year. However, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest use declined 8%, 11% and 10% respectively. That’s not to say those platforms aren’t still important. We firmly believe that any social media network you can regularly maintain well is a beneficial one.

Also of note, marketers continued to overwhelmingly rank Facebook as their most important social media platform and the numbers were even higher among B2C marketers. Facebook remains king of the social networks!

The two top benefits of social media marketing survey takers listed were increased exposure (88% said this) and increased traffic (78% agreed). Improved sales was actually the benefit ranked last at 52%, but to be fair, that’s a pretty tricky conversion to measure for most businesses. So in all likelihood, sales are improving, companies just lack the tools needed to measure it.

As for content, marketers said visual images were the most important type of content they shared. For the future, 75% of them planned to increase their use of videos and 61% said they wanted to incorporate more live video. Consequently, video was also the number one content form those surveyed said they wanted to learn more about. Virtual reality and 360-degree video came in close behind.

Pilch & Barnet has been encouraging our clients to increase their use of video for years now, ahead of the current trend. Want to stay a step above your competition? Let Pilch & Barnet help!

Link Friday: The 2017 Fourth of July Edition

Posted on Friday, June 23, 2017 by Kate

A record 44 million Americans are ready to get away this Fourth of July!

  • According to AAA, that number is almost 3% more than last year. Cheaper gas, lower rental car rates and more affordable airfare all appear to be in play.
  • If you’re looking for the finest fireworks, set your GPS to the east coast where four of the ten biggest and brightest fireworks shows can be found.
  • If you’re looking for the most affordable getaways, check out these lesser traveled hotspots for the Fourth.
  • For the best parties, it looks like the East Coast wins again, but fear not, fellow Midwesterners, the coasties don’t get to have all the fun. Chicago made the rankings too.
  • And if, by chance, you’re not looking to travel at all, our national holiday will still profit your wallet. It’s the best time of year for shopping on a long list of items.

Link Friday: The 2017 Road Trip Edition

Posted on Thursday, June 8, 2017 by Kate

Buckle up – it’s time for a summer road trip!

  • According to AAA, more Americans will take a road trip this summer than last and the travel outlook for the summer looks strong.
  • Travel + Leisure mapped out some of the country’s very best road trips from sea to shining sea, here.
  • Those are pretty scenic, but maybe even more fun are these roadies based on cult classic TV shows like Twin Peaks and X Files.
  • Or you could plan your route around the some of the world’s most specific art museums like the Smiley Face Museum in New York City or the Toilet Seat Art Museum in San Antonio.
  • Road trips can teach you a lot of things – like how to become an expert, Tetris-style car packer or exactly how many miles you can drive after that low fuel light goes on – but it can also teach you a few really important things about marketing.

Link Friday: The “Instagrammable” Products Edition

Posted on Friday, May 5, 2017 by Kate

In the age of Instagram, image is everything it seems. Let’s look at marketing an “Instagrammable” product.

  • “Instagrammable” means something is so visually alluring, it’s worth sharing on Instagram for everyone to see. The term has become so popular, it’s warranted its own hashtag. Click here to see #instagrammable examples.
  • There’s a method to the madness of sharing something that will be an “Insta” success. The Social Savior recommends photos with the color red and subjects including, but not limited to, bikinis, revolvers, perfume and puppies. Got one of those things to sell? You’re good to go.
  • Ok, so maybe you’re not selling any of those things. Use of a good hashtag will get you far. Here’s a list of the most popular ones.
  • Makeup, travel hot spots and food are some of the most popular Instagrammable items these days. Perhaps the most well-known recent example of this is the Starbucks Unicorn Latte. There are tens of thousands of posts for this one colorful coffee drink alone.
  • And although these Instagrammable items are, no doubt, a feast for the eyes, are the products becoming more about flash than substance? This article suggests just that. Starbucks learned this lesson the hard way when people stopped snapping photos of their Unicorn Latte long enough to taste it (spoiler alert, not everyone’s taste buds were as impressed as their eyes).

Link Friday: The Spring Travel 2017 Edition

Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2017 by Kate

Spring fever has fully set in now, so let’s talk about the spring travel forecast for 2017.

  • More people overall are taking vacations, more are traveling solo and more are working to unplug while they’re away. See more details here.
  • While perhaps not the most visited spring destinations, these spots vie for the most stunning.
  • For a spring break on a budget, check out these top spots.
  • Not looking to fly? How about a road trip! Check out this list of America’s best spring drives.
  • What says spring more than flowers? See the season bloom via these beautiful Instagram images from around the world.

Link Friday: The 2017 March Madness Edition

Posted on Friday, March 17, 2017 by Kate

March Madness is in full swing! Not to brag, but I’m tied for second place in our office pool, based on my expert strategy of picking the higher ranked team to win every single game.

  • Another way to add to the March Madness fun, check out these tournament haikus, for the first 32 games. I’m not sure why this is a thing, but as a fellow writer, I give props for the effort.
  • If you didn’t already take the day off, there’s a good chance you’re trying to watch the games on the down low at work. But if you work at the Pentagon, guys, that’s a big no-no. Because, you know, national security.
  • You could follow along on Twitter too, where thanks to a partnership between the NCAA and Turner Sports, you’ll find some special emoji popping up whenever you use certain tourney-related hashtags.
  • And in case you’re wondering just how many people are feeling the fever, check out these stats: Since the tournament teams were finalized on Selection Sunday, there have been more than 600,000 social media mentions of March Madness (up 300%) and the hashtag #MarchMadness has been used more than 150,000 times!

Social Media Live Streaming

Posted on Friday, March 10, 2017 by Kate

Back in my day (you know, the days when I was a reporter), you needed a big expensive microwave truck and a video camera (the size of a microwave) to go live. Times are much simpler now. All you need is a smart phone and a social network profile. Let’s examine the ways you can take advantage of live broadcasting – for free!

Facebook

Going live here is as simple as starting a status update on a mobile device.  Under the text box, you’ll see a red video camera icon and the words “Go Live.” Press it and you’ll be given the option to type in what your live feed is about and choose your audience. All you have to do then is click the “Go Live” button and 3…2…1…. You’re live!

It’s a good idea to encourage viewers to interact with your video stream. You’ll be able to see their comments on your screen while you’re broadcasting, so keep an eye on any questions that come up and be sure to respond.

When it’s over, be sure to look over the available insights – you can see everything from the number of unique viewers to the total minutes viewed, reactions, comments, shares – it’s all there for you to analyze and improve on for next time.

Twitter

Live streaming on this platform is almost identical to Facebook. Start a Tweet, click the “live” icon, type your description and click “go live.”  When your broadcast is over you’ll be presented with analytics to review including how many viewers, their Twitter names, the time watched per viewer and more.

Instagram

To go live on Instagram, you’ll need to select the “Your story” icon in the top left corner of the screen. From there you’ll click on “Live” and “Start Live Video.”  You’ll see some basic insights before you can opt to exit, but unlike Facebook and Twitter, which give you the option to save your live broadcast, Instagram live streams disappear after they’re done.

So, why live stream?

Videos are the future of marketing. We’ve been telling you this for years. Live streaming is just another facet of that same concept. The great part is, where video production can get pricey quickly, live streaming via social media is free and still provides the behind-the-scenes, inside look at your business or product that consumers crave.

Start small, and experiment. It doesn’t have to be scripted or rehearsed. You’ll see feedback immediately. Once you get a feel for what’s popular, work your way up to longer videos. Remember, the more ways you’re available to your audience, the more likely they are to interact with you – the first step to turning a potential customer into a paying one.

Link Thursday: The 2017 Valentine’s Day Edition

Posted on Thursday, February 9, 2017 by Kate

There are still a few days left to use your marketing to capitalize on the upcoming day of love!