What’s Ahead for 2014

Happy New Year everyone! I hope your holidays were happy. January is always such an exciting time of year (despite Wisconsin’s frigid weather) because it offers so much hope. It’s a fresh start, a time to recharge and dive into new ideas and projects. During this time of year, I to love read all of the articles out there with people speculating about they think will happen in the year ahead, trends that they expect to emerge and what they think will fad away as new things come to the forefront. (Seriously, as far as the fashion world goes can we make Crocs go away permanently once and for all?)

When it comes to PR/Marketing trends, I recently read an article entitled, “Trends that will Shape 2014,” by Stephanie Frasco that I feel has a lot of merit. In it, she states that mobile will rule in 2014, and I have to agree. Smart phones are truly becoming the norm, and people of all ages are using them as a reliable information source. They are not just a means of communication but they are also a source of entertainment and people are checking their social media accounts regularly through their smart phones. This means your social media content needs to be relevant and fresh. Do you have a social media strategy for the content of your posts and how quickly you reply to customers posts? If not add this to your to do list for 2014.

Stephanie also says that blogs will continue to drive business in 2014, and I would have to agree on this point as well.  Blogs provide wonderful opportunities for your organization to share its industry expertise, provide interesting glimpses into your business and its people; and talk about your plans, goals, new challenges, etc. If your organzation doesn’t have a blog you should also be adding this to your to do list for 2014.

Stephanie has many other insights worth reading. To see the entire article click here: http://socialmediatoday.com/stephaniefrasco/2015861/11-web-marketing-social-media-trends-will-shape-2014#comments.

15 Eye-Popping Stats About Social Shopping

The website http://digiday.com recently had a fascinating post about “15 eye-popping stats about social media shopping” and the role that social media is now playing in people’s shopping habits. I have to say as a consumer, I often find the sponsored posts in my Facebook new stream really appealing, and my friends’ pins on Pinterest of the “must have” coordinated outfits for the season beyond tempting.

However, what I found absolutely fascinating in this article though is that there has been an astounding 357 percent increase in sales from social traffic compared to last year. (ShopSocially). This just proves that these sponsored posts, tweets and pins are beyond tempting for many. Reinforcing this stat, four in 10 social media users said they have purchased an item in-store or online after sharing or favoriting it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. (Vision Critical), and sixty-five percent of consumers said they are using social media to find the perfect gift for people. (Crowdtap)

Also interesting is that ninety-one percent of e-commerce retailers saw a lift in their SEO rank thanks to social referrals. (ShopSocially), and that over the period of Jauary through June 2013, social traffic to e-commerce sites created a revenue increase of 17.8 percent. (ShopSocially)

To read this entire article visit http://digiday.com/brands/15-interesting-stats-social-shopping/

How Effective is Your Facebook Page?

Do you administer a Facebook page?  Are you constantly looking at your page metrics trying to figure out which ones really mean success or failure?

According to Emeric Ernoult, co-founder of AgoraPulse (a Paris- and San Francisco-based Facebook marketing software firm), since February 2013, Facebook has fixed the reach issue businesses where having with their pages and so your company’s main goal should be trying to reach as many of your fans as possible for free with each post.

On average, Facebook posts  by companies reach 16% of their fan, says Ernoult in a recent online article: http://allfacebook.com/emeric-ernoult-reach-best-facebook-metric_b119138. Companies should strive to achieve this percentage as a minimum  goal and should be happy when they are regularly exceeding it.

So armed with this information, I took a look at one of the pages Fendos PR helps to plan and monitor for our clients. Over a recent five day span, this client had the following reach with their posts:
Monday: 40.8 percent
Tuesday: 41.34 percent
Wednesday: 36 percent
Thursday: 24.87 percent
Friday: 48.4 percent, Plus, we had two additional posts that day that reached 27.6 percent and 22.46 percent respectively.

I should point out that this client takes their social media pages very seriously. Fendos PR meets with them on a weekly basis to determine our posts for the following week, and we also have a calendar of ideas that we constantly add to and edit.  The lesson to be learned here is that businesses can be successful with their social media efforts but that it requires planning, being committed to it and monitoring it closely. When something works, build upon it and if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to abandon the strategy and come up with a new idea.

 

 

 

 

10 Years: A Great Time for Reflection

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Fendos PR. It’s a noteworthy accomplishment for many reasons, particularly considering that over 50 percent of small businesses fail within 5 years and the economic troubles of the past 4 years.

This occasion has also given me a great reason to reflect on my business, and I have to say, I’ve been so fortunate to work on some amazing projects. Highlights have included working with Visit Milwaukee and the cast of Happy Days to unveil the Bronz Fonz; helping Visit Milwaukee with the Danny Gokey Idol Day; hosting Travel Channel production crews at the Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort three times; and working with the White House staff for the Presidential commencment speech at Concordia University Wisconsin.

Through all of these fantastic experiences, as well as my daily interactions with clients, I have come to realize a few things about myself and my business.

1. I am truly blessed. I work for the best clients who are passionate about what they do for a living and are motivated to succeed. Their enthusiasm is contagious, and it makes me want to work that much harder to produce results for them.

2. I put my heart & soul into every client. I really enjoy rolling up my sleeves and learning my clients’ businesses. And, many of my clients have been with me since I started Fendos PR. I think this speaks volumes. I am more than an outside vendor to my clients…I am one of them.

3. “Old dogs can learn new tricks.” Although I don’t really consider myself old, when I started Fendos PR socia media didn’t exist. when it came into the picture, I quickly relaized if I wanted to keep my doors open I had to immerse myself into learning it, so I took a 12-week social media certificate class through the UW system, started reading technology blogs, attended other technology seminars and even hired a recent college grad to give me a few tutorials. Social media has revolutionized PR and Marketing. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be in business today if I had refused to learn this amazing and ever-evolving technology. The day I lose my desire to learn new things will be the day Fendos PR goes out of businesss.

4. Networking is critical to one’s success. I am fortunate to say my phone just keeps ringing with new business opportunities. This is becaues every day I make it a point to network in some way be it making a post on Linkedin; attending a Public Relations Society of America meeting; catching up with alumni from UW-Whitewater; or going out to lunch with old collagues and clients. I make it a goal to stay top-of-mind with everyone I encounter because you never know who might need a little PR help down the road.

5. Work hard and allow yourself to shut down. In today’s hectic world of email, social media and workplace demands, you have to work really hard to make a business successful. However, you will quickly burn out or your health will be negatively impacted if you don’t reward yourself with some quality down time every day. Go to the gym, laugh with family or friends, read a good book and then get a good night’s sleep so you can dive back into your work with enthuasiasm in the morning.

6. Embrace a Challenge and Live with Purpose. Stop complaining about where you are at this point in your life. If you aren’t happy, figure out how to change what is making you unhappy. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. When you identify your true purpose and begin to live your life to its fullest you will truly be inspired to be your best each and every day.

Online Reviews Might Not Be All They Are Cracked Up to Be

For years I've been saying to clients, friends and family members to be cautious of online reviews. Personally, I don't take much weight in them and here's why. When you read an online review you don't know anything about the person who wrote it. Are the mentally stable? Did they have a terrible day at work and now want to take it out on someone? Are they looking for something free? Do they work for the competitor? Or, was the product they purchased truly disappointing? It's hard to guess.

Today, I happened upon this article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/best-book-reviews-money-buy-131408538.html. It talks about how Todd Rutherford worked in a marketing department which helped to provide services to self-publishers, and how he came up with the idea of writing reviews for these authors for a fee.He started out charges $99 for 20 online reviews but his reviews were so well-received that he increased his price to $499!  During his best months he was making $28,000 a month for writing fake reviews!

This article just reinforces my feelings about online reviews.There  are a lot of unethical people our there, and online shoppers should be cautious! In my opinion, you are much better off asking the opinions of friends, family members and neighbors who have established credibility with you. You know their interests and their lifestyles are similiar to yours. Plus, hopefully they can be trusted!

Pinterest What is It and Why it’s so Powerful

Have you heard of Pinterest? It is an online bulletin board social media site where you can share images of things you like. Social media gurus are calling it "online crack" for women, and with 11.7 million registered users as of May 15 (of which 97% are women) it's easy to see why!

So how does Pinterest work? Registered users can either upload images they like from their computer or they can add a tool bar to their web browser so they can download images from websites using a "pin it" button. A user's Pinterest page is neatly divided into different boards such as "Home Decor," "Recipes I'd like to Try," "Craft Project Ideas," "Summer Fashions" "Places I'd like to Go," etc.

The pinned images are then available for anyone to view. Images can be liked, commented on or "repinned" by other users. And, just like Twitter and Google+, if a person uses # (Hashtags) they can search the site for specific items. On Pinterest's home page they also show the most viewed images of the day in addition to the most recent image posts of people you are following.

So how can businesses use Pinterest? To creatively promote their brand! For example, a shoe company didn't just put pictures up of their shoes. Instead they posted all sorts of creative pictures as to wear their shoes could take you. The shoes were still in the picture but so were famous landmarks from around the world, and the company also encouraged its consumers to post their own pictures of where their shoes were taking them.

Businesses should also make sure that the images on their websites are able to be pinned on Pinterest. And depending on your business you might even want to create a Pinterest Photo Gallery tab on your website. Want to learn more about Pinterest? Then read this article: http://smallbiztrends.com/2012/05/small-business-pinterest-starter-guide.html and then get pinning!

How to use LinkedIn to its Fullest Potential

In today's business world, networking is more important than ever, and this includes not only having a presence on social media sites but also being active on these sites.

Linked In is a wonderful social media tool that can help you to connect with people you know in the business world as well as old classmates and co-workers. It can also be a fabulous way to market your skills for future business opportunities even though you may not be actively looking for a different position.

I recently came upon this great article in Business Week that provides 25 tips on how to make LinkedIn work for you. Alot of this material was covered in a PRSA presentation I attended last year so I was thrilled to see it in written format so I could share it on my blog. I hope you find it useful!

http://www.businessweek.com/management/25-ways-to-make-linkedin-work-for-you-02102012.html

Curious to Know When People Are Using Social Media Most? Then Read This!

If you are business owner with limited time and resources to put toward your social media efforts, you will find this study of interest. According to a recent blog post at http://socialtimes.com/what-day-and-time-do-you-think-people-share-the-most-content-infographic_b81427 people are utilizing social media most at 8:30 CTS.

This makes sense when you think about it because it is when people who work in offices are settling into their days, firing up their computers, checking email and social media sites. Interestingly, this report also shows that Wednesdays are the most popular day for social media usage and that most people comment on a post within two minutes of it being shared.

So what does this mean for you if you are a business owner? If you have limited time put toward your social media efforts, you should be posting messages first thing in the morning and you should be making your best offers on social media on Wednesday mornings.

This same study showed that Twitter has experienced the most growth over time 35,346% and that Facebook has experienced the most growth over the past year 756%. This also shows that social media’s reach is continuing to grow at an astronomical pace and that as a business owner no matter how busy you are you can’t ignore the impact social media is having with consumers any longer.

Ultimate Guide to Facebook

Wow, for anyone looking for an overview on Facebook, how to set up a Facebook page, security settings on Facebook or business uses for Facebook and more, here is the ultimate resource. It offers a wealth, and I mean WEALTH, of information and useful links. I just feel like I hit the lottery with this one. All of Fendos PR’s clients will be getting referred to this page! Happy Reading.

http://www.copyblogger.com/ultimate-facebook/

The Future of Social Media

Last spring, when I took my social media certification program the “big buzz question” was “Will people continue to gravitate toward social media or is it just a phase?” Now a year later, the answer is so obvious, social media is not slowing down in the slightest and even those clients I have who said they would NEVER be on Facebook are setting up accounts (which kind of makes me chuckle!) So, with social media only becoming more popular what should businesses be thinking about now? I would say: “How are you going to use social media to get your branding message across?”  ”How will your social media efforts stand out from the clutter?” “How you will get people to want to like you and stay engaged with you?” And, “How will you utilize the valuable information and feedback you receive from your loyal fans to grow your business in a positive manner?”

This is a great article about the future of social media. Check it out. http://mashable.com/2011/06/02/future-social-media-questions/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Mashable+%28Mashable%29