Digital marketing took yet another leap forward in 2013 with the introduction of new social media channels, upgrades to existing platforms, tweaks to algorithms and increased digital sophistication by agencies and audiences. It’s not good enough just to post something on social these days or dump keywords into content and hope for search results. Competition is fiercer and more crowded than ever and the audience has never been more savvy to automated and boring marketing.
Fluency looked at some of these issues in 2013 and published content to the blog that not only looked at some of the issues facing the industry but how some brands are fighting to capture attention and market share.
Here are some of our top blog posts of 2013.
Studies continue to show that one of the most compelling reasons consumers follow brands on social media is for access to discounts and giveaways. Giveaways alone won’t help brands reach their sales goals, but when combined with a robust content program, they can help grow channels, boost engagement and crowdsource content.
“People love free stuff. Cheese samples at Whole Foods, mints at restaurants and catching t-shirts from t-shirt cannons at basketball games. Providing giveaway opportunities on social media channels and requiring audiences to perform small tasks to be eligible to win is a tried and true way to grow audiences fast.”
As companies acquire new brands or marketing groups revamp social media programs, creating a distinct identity on social media is more important than ever. Fans and followers need to know what to expect each and every time you post and content needs to resonate with them but tie back to the brand and your company’s goals.
“In developing a distinct identity for a product, it’s important to include the brand’s existing fan base. By framing fitness content in an accessible, non-judgmental way, we were able create social content that appealed to new, health-conscious fans, without excluding current Nonni’s fans who didn’t identify themselves as particularly fit or active.”
When Google decided to change the way the pass along keyword data, it set in motion a growing trend of (not provided) keyword search results. What started around 15-20% has now grown to around 70%. What does this mean for brands and what steps can be taken to keep your SEO efforts on track?
“Every search pundit has their own theory why this is going on. Some will claim that Google is really evil and they want to make us invest more in AdWords. Some will say Google is being more protective of data due to recent NSA developments. Many will scream that Google is against small businesses.”
Brands receiving negative press in 2013 surrounding social media activities did so mostly due to poor judgment. One of the main offenders was social media posting during tragedies. These posts ranged from merely thoughtless to downright tasteless. We offered some guidelines for brands the next time they decide to get involved in current affairs.
“For brands, it can be hard to know just what to say during tragic times; but often, the best thing to say is nothing at all. Instances like American Apparel’s Hurricane Sandy sale and Kenneth Cole’s #Cairo Tweet have become synonymous with the sort of social media disasters that no corporate PR team wants to clean up; but nearly every instance of a big brand blunder can be avoided by prioritizing real, human grief over absolutely any other agenda.”
Following the release of the U.S. News and World Report on the best hospitals in the nation, Fluency performed a social media audit of some of the top-ranked hospitals to see how they were using social media. From the Cleveland Clinic to Indiana University Health, Fluency looked at some of the effective programs being run and a few that missed their mark.
“Behind the scenes looks at people and patients shows the human side of any hospital. Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston (#9 on the list) regularly posts photos of real people and special visitors to the hospital.”