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Dear Google Plus, We Bid You Goodbye

Google Plus is getting ready to say goodbye to the world. But why? A security breach that put users’ information at risk is what burst the bubble. Despite this security issue, we must highlight that Google+ is not as successful a social platform as expected. Regardless, the consumer interest was never there. Let’s examine what might have contributed to the Google Plus failure that is forcing its end.

What Went Wrong?

Indisputably, Google is the #1 search engine in the world, followed by Bing and Yahoo. But despite its success, its social counterpart didn’t follow suit. With four attempts at social networking, the consumer interest in the platform just was never there. Reports show that 90 percent of users spent about 5 seconds or less on Google Plus. But then again, how can you compete with social network titans like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? With  billions of users, such platforms almost leave no room for new concepts to emerge. An article discusses that although the unpopularity of the platform was a factor, the security breach was what reached the boiling point. With private profile data of over 500k users, Google was forced to shut down its social platform for users. This means that the site will still be available for companies, but not for individual consumers.

Popular Response

Although Google Plus never reached the popularity of other social media platforms, this channel did count with a fan base. The lack of ads and content that connects people, makes it a more genuine social network platform for its users. To them it is like having the benefits of social media without everything social media entails. And though the fan base is small, it is loyal. There is a group with over 2,000 members, created by a Google+ user, to give its consumers options to migrate to other social networks. As this community prepares for the shutting down, their plans to find options better than the traditional social network platforms are in full throttle.

Google+ is estimated to shut down for consumers in August of 2019. In the meantime the Google team is allowing this time for users to transition, download, and migrate their data. And while consumers prepare to bid Google Plus goodbye, we are relieved to know it will be available for companies. There are more advantages for companies when they use Google Plus. However, the loss of this platform will be felt in the community of users that call Google+ their social network of choice.

Energyhill Knows Social

Trust Energyhill with your business’s social networks. We know what social platforms are the best options for business owners to succeed. Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started.

IHOP Name Change – Marketing Stunt, Campaign, or Just Luck?

Remember that brief time in pancake history when IHOP changed its name to IHOb? Yes, it was a change that left the entire nation puzzled and somewhat feeling betrayed. However, this new identity was all too swift, as they went back to their old roots. And now, this change got us questioning, was this a brilliant IHOP marketing stunt or just luck?IHOP Name Change - Marketing Stunt, Campaign, or Just Luck?

Return on Investment for the IHOP Campaign

IHOP received great exposure that put it on the spotlight. Otherwise, how else would they bring attention to their new menu addition – burgers? We can speculate that this IHOP campaign to bring attention to their burgers worked. It got people lining outside their doors, including Food and Wine. Whatever the reason for this IHOP name change was, we sure are happy to see that the beloved International House of Pancakes would never turn their backs on pancakes – as they captioned on Instagram.

IHOP Backlinks

Getting these types of backlinks (e.g. Food & Wine) is ridiculously good for IHOP. When, if ever, would IHOP get this type of exposure? They wouldn’t. This clever IHOP marketing stunt was a success that gave the chain restaurant online prominence.

IHOP Campaign Media Coverage

With any major news comes major media coverage. And of course, this IHOP campaign was no exception. The media coverage for the IHOP name change illustrated their surprise as well as that of consumers. Fox News and NBC Right Now are some of the TV news stations that commented on this change. Sure enough people took this matter to Twitter where IHOP held a poll for users to guess the meaning of their new acronym.

Brilliant IHOP Marketing Stunt

We must admit that it was the best marketing stunt ever by a chain restaurant. Why? It’s simple. Not only did this unexpected name change shake consumers to their core, it also brought plenty of press to the chain restaurants. The fine dining magazine Food & Wine, equally as surprised as the rest of us, featured the IHOP name change in an article about the restaurant’s identity. This reflects the genius behind their marketing strategy because, again, when would IHOP get this type of exposure? It got people talking everywhere, on social media, on news channels, at work. Also, curious consumers and regulars now felt they had to go and try their burgers.

https://twitter.com/AntoniaMireles_/status/1012402427587416065

Faux Outrage?

Twitter is the platform of choice for people to take their opinions to. And surely consumers gave the world a piece of their mind, but did they take it too far? Did this new name call for a boycott?

IHOP Campaign or Mere Luck

We should also consider that luck played a role in the campaign. IHOP, a stamp for pancakes, has been around for decades. What better way to make national noise than to tease a brand change, while adding new menu items and increasing foot traffic to their restaurants? But how much more creative can one get to push a campaign for a menu item? Does that mean that other chain restaurants should pull the same strategy in exchange of exposure? I dare say no, this was just a one-time thing for IHOP and I do not think it will work for other restaurants. Think cry wolf. Our digital culture is quick to realize and adapt … and even filter out future attempts. So, yes, maybe the stars aligned just right to bring them the luck IHOP needed to pull this off. However, with smart campaigns, is luck even planned for?

Well done IHOP! You kept us entertained, confused, and intrigued for a while, all to present your newest menu item and tease that you were changing your brand. At Energyhill we were fascinated by this IHOP marketing stunt and think it was a smart move for the chain. As a marketing and advertising company, we understand strategies and always devise tactics to help businesses grow. Now, don’t worry, we will not use this card of name change, but we will use business strategies to push your business forward. Contact us to get more information and get the conversation started.

Engage with us on social and give us your thoughts on this brilliant campaign. It was a campaign right IHOP?

Social Media Strategy Worksheet

Every business should have specific strategies to keep their online social presence active and up to date. The good news is that you can do something about it! You can grow your audience on social networks if you strategically work towards that goal. To help you get started, we made a list of some easy and fundamental steps that will get you on the right track.Social Media Strategy Worksheet

Set Clear Goals and Objectives for each Social Network

When you identify what your goals and objectives are before creating a strong social profile, then you will be able to have a social presence with purpose. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What am I going after?
  • Where do I want my company to be?
  • How can I get my company there – to where I envision it?

Knowing what you want to accomplish for your business will help you create meaningful posts that will attract followers. And thus lead you to grow your audience on social networks.

Get a Social Media Strategy

It is good you use your social accounts for a purpose. Set a marketing calendar to plan how often you will post about your services or products. Also, you want your audience to know you are an expert in your field. Thus, having material that shows your expertise will give you more credibility. Also, don’t forget to come up with ideas to release posts every so often, such as blogs, renovation pictures, community highlights, etc. This will keep your audience interested and active in your social pages.

Create Well-Rounded Social Profiles

When you are creating your social profiles and pages, make sure they have working links that lead your audience to your website. Include current pictures of your business and the services you provide, and give details about your business on the bio section. And of course, keep your posts up to date, along with periodic throwback posts to go with the trend.

Optimize Social Keywords

It’s all about the keywords! You need to make sure that the content you have is not only relevant and serves a purpose, but also contains keywords that will help you rank first on Google searches. Include the keywords you want your business to be known for. So, carefully create copy that follows SEO standards to grow your pages’ visibility and prominence in the search results.

Understand Your Social Audience

Put yourself in their shoes! In order to grow your audience on your social networks, you have to think about what the people you are targeting want and are looking for. Make sure you create copy/content that is relevant to your audience. Copy and content they will be able to identify with and that contains keywords they will be more likely to type on their search engines of choice. With this in mind, make sure you create social content that will draw them to your site while highlighting the services of your business.

Follow Your Target Audience and Engage with Them

Following your target audience on social media is just as important as having them follow you. This is especially helpful with other businesses you may want to collaborate with. Participate in online trends, such as holding polls about social events on Twitter, or use the “Ask Me a Question” feature on Instagram, just to name a few. This engagement with your followers will portray your business as approachable, a quality that will help you grow your audience on social networks.

Promote Your Social Accounts Internally

If you already have a strong social account with a lot of followers and a high click rate, then make sure you promote your other social profiles there! Invite your audience to follow your other accounts so they can be plugged in and know of any updates and news. For example, on Facebook promote your Twitter, and vice versa. We call this technique internally promoting your other social accounts.

Include Links to Your Other Social Media Accounts

Make sure you include the icons of your other social media accounts on your website. This makes for an easy flow of visitors and future followers of your account.

At Energyhill we devise the best business strategies to help businesses grow and give them more than brand recognition. Download our worksheet and grow your audience on social networks today! Also, contact us to learn more about how to take your brand to the next level.Social Media Strategy Worksheet thumbnail

Top 4 Social Media Guidelines For Business Owners

Social media has rapidly become an integral tool for most businesses. Due to its unprecedented reach and its amazing growth, it is easy for small business owners – and even some larger business owners – to be overwhelmed by all the options. Plus, even if you choose the one or two platforms you think are the best fit for your brand, how do you approach them? Below are the top four social media guidelines for business owners.

Top 4 Social Media Guidelines For Business Owners

BE CONFIDENT

Remember, people post their best in personal profiles – the latest selfie that looks particularly dashing or the most recent family portrait. However, just as you shouldn’t compare your family to someone else’s, don’t compare your business either. There is always going to be an organization that is better, older, younger, smarter, better looking, etc.

This is a pitfall you must avoid. You don’t get any points for comparison. Avoid letting doubts creep in and overwhelm your brain. Just because company X does one thing, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. And that’s okay.

Most of all, remember why you started your business. Be confident in what you do.

MANAGE YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS PROPERLY

Social networks need to be managed – post and pray isn’t going to get you far. Managing your networks means replying to and giving feedback to people, removing inappropriate comments, setting ground rules, answering questions, generating leads and more. This is where the ‘social’ in social networking comes in.

A big question that people ask about managing social networks is whether to reply to everything, even negative comments. Chloe, our SEO and Advertising Lead, wrote a great article on our blog about the “BEST 7 WAYS TO DEAL WITH NEGATIVE CUSTOMERS”. Click the link to find out more about handling less than positive feedback. Here are the two main takeaways:

  • Do Not Respond To All Comments
    Avoid nasty attacks from people on social media. A response with good intentions might lead to more stress for you and your brand. Sometimes just letting it roll is fine. Also, remember to not respond if you are angry. Take an hour or a day to think about your brand and how you should respond. Be encouraged, typically normal people reading the nasty comments can read between the lines, even if you don’t respond.
  • Be Real
    Show empathy towards people. Offer a real apology. It earns respect. Having a friendly tone goes a long way.
    Here’s An Example: “Hi, my name is ____ and I hear you. We’re looking into it now, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you have any questions, contact me directly at _____.”

Remember, saying “I hear you” does not admit fault, you are just being proactive.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT SOCIAL NETWORKS

As an agency, we suggest using the following networks: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

When building your organization’s social networks remember to put time into them. Don’t feel like you need to do all of them at once. In addition, it’s important to only select the networks you can think you can handle. Your social networks sites (SNS) should be managed or monitored to make them most effective.

It might also benefit your business to consider a mix of first, second and third tier networks. Each requires its own amount of attention and strategy.

Social Network Options

First Tier Social Networking Sites

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+: It is the weakest of the first tier sites, but since Google is the largest search engine, you can’t underestimate it’s importance.

Second Tier Social Networking Sites

  • Instagram: While Facebook owns this platform, and therefore gives Instragram a boost in traffic, there is a chance that it could legitimately move into the top tier for social network sites in the next three to five years.
  • Youtube: Owned by Google. If comparing Youtube to Vimeo, we recommend Youtube due to the higher levels of engagement.
  • Linkedin
  • VK: This is the largest UK-based social networking site. Depending on your target audience, this might be a must have.
  • QQ: This is the largest Asia-based social networking site. Depending on your target audience, this might be a must have.

Third Tier Social Networking Sites

  • Pinterest: If you’re target audience is focused on decorating or DIY, Pinterest is a great alternative. However, it’s not for everybody. If it doesn’t fit your target market, don’t worry about it.
  • Snapchat: Snapchat has expanded beyond its initial use and is quickly growing into a key social media player.
  • Tumblr: It’s a good social networking site, but not nearly as powerful as Facebook or Google+.
  • Reddit: While it is a clunky platform, it is second only to Twitter in disseminating information quickly. Especially focused on news.
  • Flickr: A less powerful Instagram.
  • Periscope: A site with potential, but struggling to find its place among its rivals.
  • Vimeo: An alternative social network platform for video content.
  • WhatsApp: Another Facebook owned product, this is primarily used to communicate with people in foreign countries. It’s a texting service that sends messages via the Internet and not data networks, making it a much cheaper international alternative.

There are a handful of other tertiary social media networks that are worth mentioning. However, none of them has the traffic yet to provide significant impact to your social media strategy.

  • Skype
  • Swarm
  • Vine
  • Medium
  • Soundcloud

ASK FOR TESTIMONIALS

Find your biggest, loudest, best fans and ask them to write a testimonial on your social networks. Think of testimonials as digital word of mouth – still one of the most effective forms of advertising. If used correctly, testimonials illustrate someone’s personal experience working with you and their brand.

When you are asking for a testimonial, make it easy.  Give customers a link to where you want them to write about you whether it’s your website, product detail page or one of your social networking sites. Also, check out these tips on customer testimonials.

To find out more about social media guidelines and how to best manage it for your business, we invite you to contact Energyhill today. Also, follow us online. Our handle is @energyhill. And, if you follow us on Instagram during the months of October, November and December, Energyhill with give you $100 in Google Ads credit.

$100 Google Coupon

Best 7 Ways to Deal with Negative Customers

Energyhill always wants our partners to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to their social media presence. With negative comments and rhetoric, it is easy for difficult social users to negatively impact your brand. That’s why our goal at Energyhill is to provide our partners with the right tools to make a positive social impact, in honest and responsible ways. Below, we’ve outlined what we’ve found to be the best 7 ways to deal with negative customers, of course in a positive manner.

Best 7 Ways to Deal with Negative Customers

Best 7 Ways to Deal with Negative Customers

1. Staying active = Staying in the Conversation

  • Set up Google Alerts to stay connected with your brand and industry keywords.
  • Look daily on your Facebook page as to how users are interacting there.
  • Tweet, Tweet! Listen to your Twitter throughout the day; this platform facilitates instant interaction and feedback.
  • If you use Yelp, Trip Advisor or Zagat, monitor them regularly to read over reviews.
  • Customers can also use forums, so monitor those on a regular basis as well.

2. Not all Comments are Worth a Response

  • Avoid: Small blogs, since these are likely not getting much attention. Your responses will only draw attention to an issue no one saw, and this just creates drama.
  • Avoid: A blatant attack from a customer, as a response may just add fuel to the fire. Any reasonable person reading ought to be able to distinguish the critic as a problem person.

3. Act quickly

Time instantly speeds up on all social media platforms. Have some templated messages ready on standby, that you can put out for handling particular negative comments.

4. Be Authentic and Honest

  • Remember you are human and so are they. So empathize and communicate clearly and honestly.
  • Offer a real apology. It earns respect.
  • Having a friendly tone and using your real name goes a long way.

An Example:
“Hi, my name is ____ and I hear you. We’re looking into it now, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you have any questions, contact me directly at _____.”

A response like this does two things:

  • The ranting person knows they have your attention, and thus should have less incentive to keep up the negativity.
  • You’re being real with real contact info. If they are still angry, you’ve at least specified a place to vent other than in public view.

5. Do the Right Thing Every Time — Don’t Fight

  • Criticism is hard to handle. We don’t take it well at times. Nevertheless, don’t get defensive. Instead, start a conversation to explain your side of the story while still considering their side; this helps set the right tone for open dialog.
  • Apologizing and offering to fix the problem really helps win people over. Remember: your business is all about fixing the problem.
  • They are likely doing you a favor. Customer comments, even if the tone is volatile, are helping you learn how to be a better company.

6. Be Transparent and Open

Our gut reaction when dealing with negative issues is to hide it and take it offline. This doesn’t help others see your company as being proactive.

  • By putting effort into fixing the problem, your company is communicating to customers that you really do care. This will have a positive impact on your brand.
  • Use your customers’ issues to help tell your developing story.

7. Involve the customer when fixing the problem

Partner Up With Them! Your customers want to love your company, if they don’t already, and so they want to help. By allowing them to be apart of the solution process, they get a sense of belonging to your brand. Plus, your worst critics might have some the best ideas!

Let Energyhill monitor your social interactions, with our fully managed social media marketing solutions. We’ll pump the right kind of energy into your brand, and help you convert potentially negative image problems into a positive learning experience.

Brand Journalism: Press Releases & SEO

Brand-Journalism

Brand journalism is no longer about whether it can play a huge part in press releases (learn more at prnewschannel.comrather, how your business can make the most of this relationship.

Journalistic styles are changing, and brand journalism is the new normal. Traditional press release styles have all but disappeared and evolved into more creative and compelling content. The backbone of brand journalism is the use of a story. This helps build a relationship and encourage genuine conversation between the business and the consumer.

Brand Journalism: The Importance of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a central part of any business strategy in today’s market. Optimized content drives consumers to your site, increasing the opportunity for brand recognition, visibility, and sales. Maximizing your content i performing a delicate dance of keywords, phrases, and focused, audience driven content on each and every page of your website.

Social Media Influence

Consider the influence of the social networking. Social media has emerged as a dynamic platform for your audience to share content with other consumers easily and at no cost to them.

Social media shares and blogging creates links across the web, passing your content to all interested parties and improving the search engine ranking of your website.

Simply put, it’s not enough to create compelling content. All press releases should be optimized for search engines and social media in order to maximize its viewership and improve your overall SEO.

What to Expect from your PR or SEO company

It is imperative to understand the benefits SEO optimized content. Keywords help search engines find your content and also ensure that it is targeted to the right audience.

Your SEO or PR company should seek out relationships with bloggers, publishers, and social media users. Furthermore, this will encourage circulation of your press release and obtain third party links whenever possible.

As a result, when your press release successfully goes viral, congratulate yourself, but accept that your work is not done. Search engine optimization is an ongoing project that requires continual updates to content, and a careful study of your analytics on a regular basis.

Talk to our team for more information.

4 Tips for Sensational Social Media

Angela breaks the record for quick-talking Quick Talks with her tips for sensational social presence:

  1. Choose a social media management tool
  2. Identify Your Target Audience
  3. Be Where Your Fans Are
  4. Listen, Respond, and Engage

Choose a Social Media Management Tool

To post regularly, listen effectively, and measure your performance, you want to organize your social presence using a social media management tool that suits your organization’s size and needs. You can find some great articles to help you choose here and here. Hootsuite is a crowd favorite, and Salesforce also has its own suite of (pricey) options. Or just Google it. You’ll see Hootsuite mentioned A LOT – it’s a go-to, though it has its weaknesses.

Identify Your Target Audience

Who is it you’re talking to? Learn everything you can about your audience, and then build personas based on what you learn. A persona is a fictional person who represents your typical audience member – you may end up with several – for example: a 30 to 35 year old mom, or a retired grandfather who loves to golf.

Be Where Your Fans Are

Once you know who your audience is, research popular social media channels to find out which channels they favor. Do the research – you may be surprised by what you find. Some fun facts that were true at the time of this recording: young moms love Pinterest and grandparents are the fastest growing demographic on Twitter.

Listen, Respond, and Engage

Pay attention to your audience. If they’re talking about you – good or bad – respond (don’t react). Listen to what they’re saying, and engage in the conversation with positive dialogue. If you engage them with an open, authentic presence, you can turn the worst critics into your brand evangelists.

Check out our advertising page for more information.

 

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