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Why Buying Facebook Likes is a Bad Idea

But it’s the ultimate ‘get popular fast scheme’, right? Wrong. Buying likes for your business’s Facebook page actually does more harm than good to your Facebook page.

It seems like the perfect plan; just spend a couple hundred bucks and you can add hundreds or even thousands of likes for your Facebook page. It’ll make you look more popular, raise engagement, and increase sales!

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

When you buy Facebook likes, you are mostly likely purchasing likes from all the wrong people. Most of the likes you will receive in schemes like this are from ‘click farm’ fake accounts. According to USA Today, Facebook’s January quarterly report estimated 14.1 million of their 1.18 billion active user accounts are fraudulent. Facebook actively seeks out these fake users and shuts them down. So not only are you not buying ‘real’ likes, but as fake accounts are shut down, you will see your like number keep dropping instead of increasing.

This is just one of the main problems with buying likes. The other comes in the engagement itself. Social Media Today did some math:

Purchasing Facebook LikesSo, unlike popular understanding, purchasing likes will not increase your engagement. Purchasing likes actually makes your page look like it has worse engagement than you did before! Fake accounts will not interact with your posts because, well, they are not real people and have no real interest in your business.

So what can you do to increase your likes? Facebook makes it easy to increase your like number with several pretty inexpensive options. You can run like campaigns, boost posts, and advertise your page. Each of these are much more likely to increase engagement with your posts and to gain you real fans and potential customers.

Do you know anyone that has purchased likes? How did it effect their reach and engagement?

Until next time!
~Melissa

Facebook likes

Why the Word ‘Guru’ Doesn’t Belong in Marketing

The need to call ones self a Guru is a misguided attempt at creating a degree of self importance and an effort to get people to see that social media is an important part of any marketing strategy now.” ~Anise Smith

Raise your hand if you’ve heard the terms social media guru, internet marketing guru,  or digital marketing guru. For a profession that has been around for barely 5 years (Facebook introduced Pages back in 2009), how can one use this ‘guru’ term as a descriptor?

Besides it being such a young field, digital marketing and social media marketing  is an ever-changing field. With new social media platforms being developed, new algorithms, new fads, and new ways to market, how can anyone in the marketing field ever say they are a ‘guru’ in anything? Even traditional marketing, like ads in a newspaper and radio ads, are changing with the development of online advertising space and satellite radio.

The word ‘guru’ will make me avoid following someone on Twitter, not read a blog, and not really believe that person’s qualifications.  Maybe it’s just a personal bias against the word as I’ve never really liked the way it sounded coming out of my mouth or into my ears. Maybe I’m just a skeptic. Maybe the word just outright annoys me.

That being said, the word is over used, under explained, and doesn’t belong in the marketing field.  Many people understand the importance of digital marketing and your experience is known and appreciated. There are just better ways to say it! Explain what makes you better than others by using things like number of networks you are comfortable using, number of years you’ve been managing digital media, and (my favorite) success stories.

People want to see results-if you claim you are a guru, they can be lead to unrealistic standards which can lead to great disappointment. Simply explain what you are good at and how you plan on proving it to them. This will give your client a definition of your own personal version of a ‘guru’.

Until next time!

~Melissa

The women I quoted above wrote two wonderful blogs about this too-check them out here and here!

Marketing Guru

Managers on Social Media Sites

Here at Michigan Creative, we are often asked about how you control managers on social media sites. It is an important question to ask-how do you, as the owner, control who has access to what? How do you insure that your sites won’t be hacked or deleted by disgruntled employees?

Social Media Manager

Sound ridiculous? Well, it really does happen, which is why it’s important to take measures to protect yourself against them! Below is a list of many of the major social media sites and how you chose/control managers for each one.

Facebook

As many of you know, you do need a personal Facebook page in order to create a business Facebook page. This means that your page is connected to specific profiles. However, you can manage these profiles and limit abilities of certain people to avoid catastrophe!

When inside of your business page, visit the ‘Settings’ tab. Once there, click on ‘Page Roles’. Here is where you can control the managers of the page.

You do not need to be friends with managers/editors of the page, but you do need the email that their Facebook account is set up with. They also need to like the page before you can add them as a manager/editor.

Facebook offers five different manager options: Admin, Editor, Moderator, Advertiser, and Analyst. Each has their specific functions, learn more about each one here.

LinkedIn

Just like Facebook, you do need a personal profile in order to make a business page. You have to also have an email with the URL of that business in order to create the business page.

You must be connected with someone you are trying to make a designated admin for the business page. You simply type in their name to add them.

There is just the choice to be ‘admin’ for LinkedIn business pages. Choose who you add wisely here because they could easily delete you as admin or delete the page if they wanted to!

Twitter

There is not an option to add managers on a Twitter page. Since you do not need a personal profile to create a business profile, there is no differentiation in logins or responsibilities for the users. To ‘make someone an admin’ for a business Twitter account, you must simply provide them with the login information.

This obviously gives users full access to the page; again, you must choose wisely who you choose to give this access to as they could change the email, profile picture, send tweets, and delete the account, just to name a few!

Pinterest

Just like Twitter, there is not an option to add managers to a Pinterest business page. You simply share the login information with who you choose to be a ‘manager’.

Another option with Pinterest is to invite people to pin on your boards. Let’s say you don’t want an employee to have full access to your business Pinterest account-you can simply invite them to pin on one or a few boards. This is a nice option for you to get more content without giving up full access. Guest pinners can easily be removed if they abuse their power as well.

Google+

You must have a personal Google+ in order to create a business Google+ page. A major downfall with Google+ is that the page will remain connected to the original creator of the page. A way to get around this is to create a fake Google+ account and then create the page with that! We’ve done it many times at our business.

They do make it easy to add managers; just add a user to your circles and then visit your ‘Settings’ page. Click ‘Manager’ and you can add managers there. You must have the user in your circles  in order to add them as manager.

So there you have it! Although I didn’t include all social networks, I did go over some of the most popular business social media sites.

Until next time!

~Melissa

Michigan Creative

Brought to you by Michigan Creative

Internet Trolls: Do they hurt your business?

Internet trolls. You know, the ones that write senseless comments making unsupported agreements on every single story on the internet. The trolls that wreck your best post on Facebook. The trolls that write horrid reviews on Yelp. The trolls that find every way they can to make your business look bad.

Do people listen to them? Should you, as a business owner, be worried about them ruining your business? Will even one bad review ruin my business?

By now, most people know that much of what you read on the internet is exaggerated, sort of true, and and sometimes just plain wrong.

Will one troll ruin your business? Probably not. Most people can see through the bad eggs-either by the argument itself, spelling mistakes, name calling,  unsupported comments, ect.

Where you have to start worrying about the trolls is when you are seeing the same comment, the same complaint, or repeating topics from multiple different people. This is when internet trolls become upset customers with very real complaints. If you are seeing certain complaints appear multiple times about a certain employee, a menu item, a time of day, this is when you need to take action. That being said, every comment (good or bad) should be analyzed. I’m just saying that one comment should be taken with a grain of salt if it doesn’t need immediate attention. Repeated comments require action.

Internet Trolls

So the next time a troll squashes your day, take a step back, analyze what they’ve written and see if you need to take action.

Until next time!

~Melissa

Brought to you by Michigan Creative

Social Media: How weird is too weird?

Many people ask me how they should voice their company on social media. How funny can I be? Am I allowed to joke? Will people get my humor?

Of course this should be determined on a company by company basis, but I think it should be similar to how you would talk to customers in your store or in an email and to do what is comfortable for you and your company. It should also reflect your marketing campaigns; if you have a loose feel to your marketing campaign, you should generally have a loose feel to your responses/posts on social media.

Although many big brands tend to take the serious side to their social media, Velveeta cheese is taking an extreme and odd approach to their social media. Their current marketing commercials “Eat like that guy you know” are funny, creative, and eye catching. Here is an example of their most recent ones:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF0rfxr21kc&list=PLA663E2102981C23C

Personally I think it’s hilarious. When posted on their Facebook page, comments about the commercials were mostly positive (minus the “you make fake food and I’m not going to eat it” comments) and people responded pretty well. Many may call this approach weird, but I don’t think we are there yet.

Their most recent marketing attempt includes pictures of a man who looks as perfect as plastic and he has taken the brand one step further towards weird.

Velveeta Marketing

Comments on this post range from hilarious photos of confused looking people to hurtful comments about the man in the photo. Velveeta took to responding to negative comments with the following photo and comment:

Velveeta Marketing

Things continued to get even more weird when multiple personal strikes were said against the man, poking at his sexuality, asking if he was even real, saying he was too fake, etc. They responded with the following post:

Velveeta Marketing

Okay, this one is even a little weird for me, but still funny.  Comments varied again from praises for Velveeta all the way to “I’m never buying this product again” comments.

Again, personally, I think it’s hilarious. The brand is seeing lots of praise for its new approach, some people even calling for their social media manager to get a raise!

But how far is too far? Will this campaign work? Will this increase sales?

Honestly, it’s too early to tell if this will have a positive impact on their sales. But it’s very clear to say Velveeta is comfortable in their own skin and not afraid to push the limits.

I would like to give them a huge amount of credit for pushing the bounds and responding in quick and creative ways! Does everyone feel this way? I’m sure not, but only time will tell.

What are your thoughts? Do you find their campaign funny and creative or weird and too awkward?

Let me know your thoughts!

Melissa

Benefits of Managing Social Media for your Business Yourself

Wait, but don’t you sell social media management services? Yes, in fact we do, and that can be effective too. That being said, the best way to get the most out of your social media is to manage it yourself or internally within the company.

Of course businesses like Michigan Creative can effectively manage your social media. We can help you get reach, we can interact with your customers, and we can find great content for you. But do you know what we can’t provide? The knowledge that you have about your business!

It’s difficult for a company likes ours to keep up with specials, discounts, new products, special hours, etc, because we simply are not there all the time! You (or people within your company) know exactly when you get new products. You know when you have happy customers. You know when you have to unexpectedly close early for the day. It’s easiest and most effective to post about those things yourself instead of forwarding them to us, us formatting the post, and then us posting it. By that time, you could have already gained traction and traffic on your posts that you now have missed out on.

Although we are close to your company and know your products and services well, we may not accurately reflect the voice of your company. You know your customers the best and you are the one who can deliver the messages in the most effective way! Of course a company can learn this over time, but it’s great for businesses to express their own messages as well.

Even if you do have a company helping you, you can help fill in the gaps. Post a photo of some happy customers, talk about a new product that just came in or even write a special note from the owner thanking all of it’s current and past clients.

I know that as a business owner, you barely have time to sleep at night, let alone manage four or five social media sites, so it’s okay to ask for help. Make sure it’s someone who knows your business well and that you trust. This can be an employee or a marketing company. And even if someone else is managing it most of the time, it doesn’t mean you can’t chip in too!

Until next time!

~Melissa

Michigan Creative

 

Promoting your Business Locally

Is your business known around the city where you are located? If it’s not, it should be! There are so many easy way to promote your business locally; I’ve outlined a few for you below:

1) Sponsor Events: Keep an eye on your local chamber and/or visitor’s bureau sites; they should have an up to date list of events. Check out each event’s website and social media site to see what the sponsorship opportunities are. For many events, you can get in as a sponsor for as little as $50 – $100. This usually gets you placement on their website, a logo in marketing materials, and sometimes even gets your logo on a projected screen or t-shirt. Events are also a great way to gain media mentions as many will get press leading up to the big day. And a final benefit is that you commonly will receive free tickets to the event you sponsor, so you can also use this as a networking opportunity.

2) Attend your Local Chamber Events: Local Chambers of Commerce are a great way to meet some of the most important people in your community. You are guaranteed to run into at least one decision maker at every single event you attend. Plus it’s great to put a ‘face’ to your business, establish a demeanor around possible clients, and pass out lots of business cards to increase brand recognition. I’m recommending specifically the Chamber events because these are generally the most promoted and highly attended events. That being said, I’ve made many great business connnections at smaller, lesser known networking events as well.

Michigan Creative Promote Small Business
Promote Your Business Locally

3) Advertise in Local Publications: Many cities, even some of the smallest, run their own publications. These are typically much less expensive to purchase ad space in and are more targeted than larger, national publications. Many of these publications can be found not only with business owners, but also in the waiting rooms of dentist and doctor offices, local small businesses, university campuses, and more. Your exposure is much higher in the local area and you can have the peace of mind knowing that your advertising money is being spent efficiently.

4) Email Signature: Something that is completely free and takes just a few seconds to set up is your email signature.  Include your company website link within your signature at the bottom of each email, whether it’s business related or not! This is an easy way to gain visibility and name recognition. It’s also a good idea to include links to your social media sites if that is an option as well.

5) Social Media: Speaking of social media, this is another great way to promote your business locally. Through your personal circles, you can easily expand the knowledge of your business. Share your business updates on your personal page, ask your friends and family to comment on and like your posts, and just create general chatter around your business. This, of course, can be a slippery slope because you want to avoid annoying your friends, but it can be a great local promotion tool!

Each and everyone of these tips are fairly inexpensive (if not free) and should help you to easily promote your business locally.

What techniques do you use to promote your business locally?

Until next time,

Melissa

Brought to you by Michigan Creative

Sprint’s New Framily Frobinsons Commercial

Over the last week, Sprint has been heavily pushing it’s new ‘Framily Frobinsons’ marketing campaign. The two new ads feature a heavily mismatched family with a French speaking daughter, a hamster father, a son with a southern drawl, an African American grandpa, and an all too normal seeming mother, just to name a few.

Curious of where this bizarre campaign came from, I began to do some research. According to WSJ, the new campaign is based off of Sprint’s Japanese parent company SoftBank’s commercial with a dog as the head of the family.

This campaign has seen wide success in Japan and Sprint is now trying to introduce the new campaign into the United States. They have plans to create several of these commercials with a developing story line and even have celebrity appearances planned.

This new campaign replaced Sprint’s original advertising for the ‘Framily’ plan which featured a group of people standing in front of photographers that add and subtract members of their ‘Framily’ to reach the right amount of people and get the best deal. Sprint’s chief marketing officer Jeff Hallock says, “that work will not be returning, but the strategy is exactly the same.”

But is it the same? Will Americans find this new campaign as relatable as the last?

It’s always a risk to assume that campaigns will work across cultures. Values, perceptions, and general humor is simply just different between Japan and the United States. Many Americans will refer to Japanese game shows as bizarre and just plain weird. I’m sure Japan thinks we have weird TV as well-imagine what they think of Honey Boo Boo and Big Brother. So why would commercials be the same when TV shows themselves are so different?

I do think that Americans will find the diversity relatable in this campaign-things like having an adopted son or daughter and bi-racial mixes within the family. That being said, will this much diversity still make sense? American’s are used to seeing bi-racial marketing campaigns, but this new Sprint campaign really takes it a step further.

In the previous ‘Framily’ marketing plan we saw diversity as well but somehow it just makes more sense.

The old campaigns worked with groups like your fantasy league, boyfriends, and more. Why does this seem to make more sense? I believe it’s because these groups of people are more relatable to Americans; they are topics we are familiar with and understand. The ads themselves were straightforward-add more people, either friends or family, and save more money. The new campaign is more complex and abstract and overall just more difficult to understand in American culture.

Do you like the new campaign? Do you find the new campaign or the old campaign more relatable?

Let me know your thoughts!

Until next time
~Melissa

Samsung’s Genius Oscars Sponsorship

If you watched the Oscars or even if you didn’t, you most likely know about Samsung’s sponsorship for the program. The phone brand negotiated a genius and incredibly effective sponsorship contract with the 2014 awards show.

The company purchased five minutes of ad time, costing them an estimated $18 million dollars. It was also reported by WSJ that Samsung had 10 large-sized Samsung television sets, 21 tablet computers, and 55 smartphones filling a wall in one of the waiting rooms back stage.

Samsung also negotiated to have it’s phone featured during the show. This meant true face time with this year’s 43 million viewers. To even further help their cause, Ellen decided earlier last week that she wanted to take and tweet selfies and Samsung suggested they use their phone.

This was absolute MARKETING GENIUS. It’s one thing to sponsor an event and put your name on a banner, but it’s another to be THE phone of the event. And even better for them, Samsung’s genius quickly combined with luck.

Samsung caught a huge break when Ellen decided to take a selfie featuring celebrities such as Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, and more. Then Ellen asked everyone watching to make this the most retweeted selife of all time. She not only accomplished her goal, she destroyed the old record of just under 800,000 retweets. As of this writing her photo has been retweeted over 3.1 MILLION TIMES.

Ellen Selfie

Was this direct exposure for Samsung though? Yes. Even though the phone itself was not in the photos, photos of the selfie being taken quickly circulated that featured the phone, it was shown during the taking of every selfie and the phone was mentioned in hundreds of articles that night and into the next day. And the wonderful thing is that most of the chatter was either neutral or positive! WSJ reports that 23% of the online chatter about Samsung that night was positive and 69% was neutral. Just a small 8% of the complaints were negative. Unfortunately, there were reports that Ellen was seen using her iPhone backstage, but this was a small blip on Samsung’s bright exposure during the Oscars.

Could have Samsung predicted such great exposure from their $18 million sponsorship? Maybe, but it’s hard to say. Lots of brands sponsor lots of events and fail to see such crazy brand chatter during and after the event. For this I commend Samsung and hope that they see a rise in sales as a result of their fantastic marketing efforts.

Until next time,

~Melissa

Having a Great Office Culture Rocks

Having a great office culture is something that not every business gets to experience. Being able to come into Michigan Creative every day and enjoy working with my boss and coworkers is such a blessing and for that I am very thankful!

Today I wanted to give everyone some insight on why we have such a great culture and what your business can do to have the same!

1. We can talk to each other about more than just work.

Many of us share our struggles and our successes and help each other through life. I consider every one of my coworkers, including my boss, to be good friends of mine. We are comfortable grabbing a beer after (or during) work and share a relationship that doesn’t end when we leave the NEO Center.

Working in this kind of environment not only makes it comfortable, it makes it enjoyable too! Each of us are excited to come into work every single day to contribute to such a great culture.

2. We have a slide in our office.

We do seriously do have a slide in our office, but that’s not the true point here. What I’m trying to exemplify is that we have a fun office culture. We believe that it’s okay to relax by playing with Play-Doh or participating in a rousing round of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. It’s okay to relax by watching some crazy YouTube video. It’s okay to read a book or do some sketching. It’s okay to have fun! No need for full suits and ties here; we believe in a comfortable and fun work environment where you don’t need to feel trapped by going to work everyday.

NEO Center

3. We understand that everyone has a life outside of work.

We are not your typical 9-5 business. Have a dentist appointment? Need to let your dog out in the middle of the day? Need to meet for a class project? No problem. Here at Michigan Creative we understand that all of our employees have lives and that they need to live them in order to be happy. Of course we all need to get work done and we certainly aren’t afraid to stay past 5pm to do so. But we know that a flexible schedule leads to happy employees!

Of course not all kinds of businesses can experience this kind of culture, but many industries could adopt some form of great office culture if they tried! In our experience, this kind of culture leads to an increase in productivity, motivation, and overall employee satisfaction.

What kind of office culture does your business have?

Until next time!

~Melissa

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person are
more productive, more satisfied, and more fulfilled.” ~Anne M. Mulcachy