5 Best Nashville Businesses on Twitter You’ve Never Heard Of

 The following blog post was written for a blog series for the Nashville Business Journal. 

A few weeks ago, the Journal revealed the top 10 Twitter brands and business leaders in Nashville as a part of the social madness campaign. I whole-heartedly agreed with the list, however, I feared this list might discourage the rest of us, the smaller brands, and cause us to give up on twitter.

One of the greatest benefits of social media is the fact that you don’t have to have thousands of followers to produce a positive ROI. There are many brands in Nashville using twitter to strategically connect with their target audience and subsequently reach their goals.

With that said, here are the 5 best Nashville businesses on Twitter you might have never heard of unless you are part of their target audience:

@NESpower –People probably aren’t rushing their computers to follow an Electrical Service provider. However, Nashville Electric Service does an excellent job of using twitter as a customer service tool. NES uses twitter to respond to issues with their services and keep people updated on power outages whenever they occur.

Takeaway – Excelling in customer service and showing people you care by responding to their issues can be just as valuable as producing new business.

@BajaBurrito – Capitalizing on their established cult-like following, Baja Burrito does a great job of engaging with customers and driving business to through twitter. Instead of pushing their products or promotions, Baja frequently shares exclusive deals and contests.

Takeaway – Don’t be afraid to have a little fun and think creatively on how you can drive traffic to your business.

@crosspoint_tv – Most churches in Nashville who use twitter do a great job, but there’s one case study in particular that can be valuable to businesses. During the flood in 2010, Cross Point used twitter to mobilize thousands of volunteers to the areas most affected. In fact, their efforts received national coverage from outlets like CNN.

Takeaway – When an opportunity arises, twitter is an excellent way to mobilize individuals effectively in real time.

@GriffinTech –As one of the nation’s largest providers of iPhone, iPad and iPhone essentials, Griffin Tech does a phenomenal job of using twitter to humanize the brand and making iPhone cases interesting. One look at their feed and you’ll notice a balance of social updates, customer service responses, and product promotions.

Takeaway – When it comes to social media, people would rather connect with people, not brands. Use twitter to humanize your brand.

@NashOnTheMove – One of the most important things brands should know when using social media is to “help, not sell.” That’s exactly what the Perry Property Group does with @NashOnTheMove. Instead of talking about the real estate industry, they help Nashville residents by sharing upcoming events and news people would enjoy.

Takeaway –Before posting something, ask yourself, “How does this add value to my audience’s life?” If you can’t answer that question, you probably shouldn’t post it.

You can follow along with the Social Madness Series and check out our other blog posts here>

What NOT to do When Looking to Become a Sponsor

The following is a guest post from our Marketing Assistant, Amanda Gilliam. Amanda is minoring in Marketing at WKU and assists the Werkshop staff in various areas. A recent class discussion sparked this blog post idea about what NOT to do when determining your brand’s sponsorship efforts.

If you’re having trouble viewing this video, you can watch it here. 

 

Isn’t this a fun video?

Were you wondering the whole time, “What does Stride have to do with this”? Yeah, me too.

The Backstory

Apparently, Matt had quit his job and started traveling with his camera and his signature dance move. After filming himself dancing throughout his journey and posting videos on the internet, Matt became an internet sensation and views of his YouTube videos exploded.

What does it have to do with Stride?

Stride Gum saw this as a sponsorship opportunity and sponsored Matt for more traveling, dancing and filming.  Matt has 43,000,000 views!

But what about Stride? There were no signs that Stride was the sponsor except for the 3-second recognition at the end of the video. Even with the cool concept and catchy music, the video is over 4 minutes long…. you might have even had the urge to turn it off. Was it worth it for Stride to spend all the money to send Matt around the world, but not receive much recognition? Matt could have at least worn a Stride t-shirt or been filmed passing out gum to the dancers.

As a consumer, I watch this video and think: “Matt is cool. I would like to travel around the world with a signature dance move”. This does not make me think: “Stride Gum sponsored this? Cool, I’m going to go buy some gum!”

Lesson Learned

Did Stride’s sponsorship bring brand recognition to a company? Maybe. But if you’re looking to spread awareness about your brand through sponsorships, you should invest in something that is more visible to the consumer.

Are we saying that you should only invest in a sponsorship if you can hang a 10 foot banner from the ceiling with your logo? No. We’re simply encouraging you to strategically think about how you can maximize your investment to provide the most ROI for your brand.

Don’t let your sponsorship be a “Stride Gum” sponsorship….. at least give Matt a piece of gum to chew while he dances.

 

5 Marketing Lessons from March Madness

March Madness… The most wonderful time of the year. If you’re like our team at Werkshop, you’re spending a lot of time watching basketball, cheering on your team (C-A-T-S), and hoping to make it to be cutting down the nets.

As we head into the Sweet 16, we thought we’d take some time to share a few marketing lessons we can all learn from the greatness known as March Madness:

Know Your Game Plan.

Without a solid game plan, there is no way you can go out, execute, and win the game. What’s your marketing strategy? Having a marketing plan in place can help you outline next steps throughout the year. The overall objective in basketball is easy, win, but in order to do that, teams must also accomplish smaller objectives (rebound more, turnover less, etc.) What are those “small wins” you need to accomplish in order to win the game? Choose wisely, and know that your plan can (and should) be revisited and adapted throughout the year.

Be Excellent in Your Fundamentals.

No matter what team is playing, we guarantee they still work on fundamentals. In marketing (and basketball), without consistently good execution of the fundamentals, strategy is only an intention. First, are the logo, website, brand messaging and communications materials consistent? Are they unique, differentiated and fresh? Does everybody in your organization know the basics and work as a team? Are you clear about your marketing goals? This is where to start.

Be ready to pull out the surprise play.

While consistency in branding and communications is primary, the element of surprise can often help your brand gain the edge over the competition. Cleverness or boldness in marketing can have the same affect. Get your target audience’s attention and do something different. It could be something as simple as a personalized note to your top customers or a guerrilla marketing campaign that will create massive buzz around your brand.

It’s the end of the first quarter. Be sure to take a fresh look at your marketing strategy. Maybe you’ll be inspired by this March Madness, too and bust some brackets of your own.

Recharge with Help from the Crowd.

Don’t underestimate the customers you already have. Your brand advocates can provide wonderful support through word-of-mouth marketing and testimonials. They can also provide great feedback about what your brand does best. Use lessons learned, insights gained and kudos received to bolster your brand, your team, and your strategy.

Cash in on Momentum.

Basketball, like business, can come down to momentum: Knowing when to take a timeout, riding the player with the hot hand, building upon short-term successes while pursuing long-term goals, and so on. When things are going well, don’t over-think it — make the most of the momentum and trust in your team. (And when things seem to be falling apart, call the small-business equivalent of a timeout to get a breather and talk things over.) The University of Connecticut, which won the 2011 NCAA Championship, began the season unranked and didn’t crack the top half of its own league during the regular season. They went on to rattle off 11 straight postseason wins en route to the national title.

What other ways is March Madness like running a small business?
Bonus Question: Who are you rooting for to win the title?

Everything Your Brand Needs to Know About the Facebook Page Changes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know about Facebook’s decision to turn personal profiles into more of an online autobiography, changing the layout dramatically and allowing users to add information dating back all the way back until the day you were born.

If you’ve recently came out from under the rock, you might not have heard that Facebook is also forcing brand pages to adapt to the changes. Starting, March 30th all brand pages will have to update from the current layout to the new timeline. Some brand pages have already made the switch, while many are preparing for it. With only 15 days until your brand is forced to make the changes, we wanted to take the time to share everything your brand needs to know about the Facebook page changes.

1. Timeline & New Design

The new design and user interface provides a much bigger area for displaying a compelling image that can highlight the business brand. The format will now be two columns that will reflect the evolving story of the brand over time.

This image area now measures 850 by 315, so you will need to create images that work with that space.

2. Don’t Break any Cover Photo Rules

Facebook wants businesses to act and interact like people, and banning promotional language on the Cover image is one way to enforce this “engagement trumps calls-to-action” philosophy. Therefore, you cannot have any calls to action, contact info, price or purchase info, or reference to Facebook features such as “Like us” or “Share our page”.

2. Let’s talk in Private

This will allow a more intimate engagement with customers and prospects. Hopefully this means that your more discruntled fans can communicate through private messaging rather than public posting. Brands cannot send private messages, but can respond if one is sent in. The feature can be turned off if required.Businesses will now be able to communicate with private messages with their fans and users. What this means that previously public conversations with users can now be done in private if required.

3. No Where to Land

In the current design, brands are able to set a default landing page. This allowed the administrator of the page to control what page appeared as your default Facebook landing page. This means that practice of garnering more organic “likes”  will not be able to be done any more by driving people to that custom tab.

4. What’s visible?

All tabs were visible with the old design on the left hand side of the Facebook page previously you were able to put your custom tabs. The implications of this is that  you will need to choose wisely which tabs you want to place here.

The photos tab is not able to be moved or changed but you can control which of the other 3 tabs you want to feature including icon images.

5. “Now Featuring”

Brands can now “pin” content that you want to appear at the top of the “Timeline”. This will allow brands to feature content such as blog posts, images or calls to action in a prominent position on their page.

This is indicated by the the yellow “marker at the top right of the post.

 

6. What the App?

Even though Facebook is limiting the number of apps a person can see when they visit your page,  they are also giving brands a lot more space to do whatever you want. The new pages for apps are much bigger than the old ones and that will be helpful for many app providers. If you’re not big on apps for Facebook this won’t matter to you very much. However, you may want to start considering how you can utilize a third-party app to drive engagement, awareness, and ultimately sales.

7. Stats go Public

Facebook is giving more of your page’s stats away for the general public to see with timeline. The public will now be able to see more than how many “Likes” a page has and how many people are talking about the page. For pages with low engagement, this provides another reason to focus on creating compelling content.

8. Let’s get real…time.

Facebook’s built-in Insights statistics platform has been confusing in its frequent changes of direction, and now it’s unveiling real-time stats. The notion is that brands will be able to instantly know when posts are gaining disproportionate traction. The ultimate reason is because they can be immediately turned into paid ads to build reach. This is an interesting opportunity to be sure, and will help you determine in real-time if your messaging is working.

So… What do you think about the Facebook changes?
If you’d like more insights on how to change your Facebook Page from profile to timeline, feel free to connect with us.

7 Instant Improvements to Your Brand’s Website

One of the most powerful tools your brand can use to generate business is a website. However, many brands are using their website like a set of old carpentry tools. Ultimately, they might be able to get the job done, but there are new tools that help get the job done quicker and better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With that said, here are 7 instant improvements you can take to upgrade your website to the most powerful tool in your toolbox:

Usability is Key – When most brands are wire-framing their website, they forget about who the site is being built for… the customer. A recent study showed that 76% of consumers say the most important factor in a website’s design is “the website makes it easy for me to find what I want.” Do you know why consumers are visiting your website? If so, are you making it easy for them to find the information they want?

Use call-to-actions that stand out – A call-to-action is one of the critical elements most brands leave off their homepage. Directing people to take action on your website above the fold is something many webpages lack. One reason your website may not be driving sales is because you’re not giving it the chance to do so.

Make sure its Mobile Optimized – According to recent Nielson’s numbers, 43% of all mobile phones are smartphones. This means brands simply can’t afford to ignore mobile phones and mobile phone users. The first, and most important thing, you can do to mobile-optimize your site is to create a mobile friendly version. This allows people who are visiting your website on a mobile device to easily view it on a screen that is typically 2 inches wide by 3 inches long

Produce More Content – Websites that create lots of content, build active social media profiles, and blog regularly are much more successful online than their peers. Don’t view your website as a nametag that introduces people to your product and services, instead view it as the initial conversation that engages with people and tells a story. The key element in this is to create content that not only sells, but also educates consumers.

Integrate Social – If your website doesn’t allow visitors to share content, products or services with their social networks, you’re missing out on an easy lead-generation tool. What can you do to help move this process along? While you can’t directly influence whether someone decides to share your content, you can indirectly encourage and make it simple for them by adding social sharing buttons and providing high quality content.

Provide Customer Success/Testimonies – In our Social Media Revolution DIG, we shared a statistic that speaks directly to this element. 90% of consumers trust peer reviews, while only 14% trust advertisements. Providing customer success stories and testimonials will allow people who view your website to hear about your products or services from their peers.

Establish On-Page Optimization – Everyone wants to be at the top of search engine results for keywords in their industry. While on-page SEO only accounts for approximately 25% of your ranking, there are small things you can do to improve your overall SEO results. Optimizing your page title, page URL, header tags, image text, and metadata all help in creating a solid page for optimizing search terms.

While there are numerous improvements you can make to your website, these are 7 easy ways to start generating instant results tomorrow.

If you’re interested in learning more about how your brand can improve its website, we’d love to walk you through it. You can contact us here.

 

In the Shop — Our Interest in Pinterest

Last week, we had the privilege of hosting a Pinterest roundtable discussion in our Nashville office. After our “Social Media Revolution” DIG, a discussion sparked on how brands are using the hottest social network on the web right now. We had the privilege of talking with some of the most brilliant social marketing minds in Nashville on how Pinterest could benefit our clients.

Every good roundtable discussion needs 3 things: Macbooks, White Boards & Krispy Kreme.

Here were a few of the takeaways:

  • With its exponential growth and market saturation, Pinterest is something that can’t be ignored and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
  • The majority of Pinterest users are women, some studies show 80%. Before you jump into the tool, make sure your target market is using it.
  • When pinning images, strategically determine how you’re going to leverage them for your brand through linking, watermarking, etc.
  • As with every other social network, the key for brands using Pinterest is to “help, not sell”. Make sure you’re adding value to the lives of those who follow your boards and repin your images.

 

HUGE thanks to Bill Seaver, John Cade and Ashley Segroves for taking time to join us and provide valuable insights into leveraging the new tool. Having roundtable discussions like these is just one of the many reasons we love working in Nashville!

What brands have you seen using Pinterest well?

If you’ve got a marketing topic you’d like to discuss, let us know.

 

HOW TO: Take your information from boring to scoring with Inforgraphs

Whether you’re projecting global internet traffic usage for 2015 or explaining the danger of sitting all day, infographs have proven themselves to be a powerful tool for information sharing. Most of you are probably familiar with infographs and might have even referenced or shared them with your friends, but have you considered how you can leverage them for you brand?

There are endless possibilities. You can use them to highlight statistical information about your products or services, share information regarding the benefits of your industry or break down your annual report for shareholders. However you slice it, infographs have become the premier way for changing “boring statistics” into “powerful insights”.

Here’s a recent infograph we found which shares financial information for one of our favorite brands, Apple:

The one thing that stood out to us in this infograph was the fact that Apple brought 4 times more revenue than the previous year’s giant, Walmart while spending 3 times less on operations. And that’s the brilliant thing about infographs, what stands out to us might be completely different than what stands out to you.

So, as you’re looking for creative ways to share your annual report this year or highlight your products and/or services, consider how you can use inforgraphs to grab the attention of your audience like never before.

If you have any questions or are interested in creating an infograph for your business, feel free to contact us here.

What NOT to do with Social Media

As our first DIG of 2012, “The Social Media Revolution” was wrapping up in Nashville, someone in the audience brought up an interesting point….. The DIG focused on how social media can completely change the way you market a brand, however this particular person was interested in what NOT to do when implementing social media into your marketing plan.

After we thought about it, here are 3 things your brand shouldn’t do in regards to social media….


Do NOT try to Use Social Media Without A Plan

Before you do anything online, you MUST have a plan of action. You cannot simply assume “If I build it, they will come.” Just because you have an account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or anything else does not mean that more people will respond to your brand. Set goals for how you want to manage your brand online and what you want to achieve, because if you do nothing, then your brand will quickly be forgotten. It is hard to measure success without clearly defined goals.

Do NOT Post Sporadically and Don’t Get Boring

Maintain a good schedule of monitoring your accounts. Whether you make a post once a month, week, or day, make sure your customers know when they should expect something from you. If you fail to post on a regular basis, people will not see the point in engaging with you. Focus on quality content that is relevant and keeps engagement up. Understand that Social Media is a marathon, not a sprint. One post might have a high response rate, but that by no means guarantees people will respond the same way in the future. Also make sure you post a wide mix of content from videos to pictures to graphics to keep your networks interested.

Do NOT Spread Your Brand All Over the Web

Success is not measured by the number of likes or followers you may or may not have. If you focus directly on your initial target market and consistently engage and answer questions, then your networks will grow on their own. If you attempt to attract as many followers as possible by posting something meaningless every chance you get, your customers won’t feel valued. You do not have to answer every single post or tweet that comes along, but as long as you can show your networks that you care more about them than the actual numbers, success will be there in the long run.

We hope this gives a clearer picture about some of the mistakes brands make when using social media.

As always, if you have more in-depth questions about social media, we'd love to chat. Feel free to contact us any time.

3 Reasons Why Social Media Has Earned a Seat at the Marketing Table

We just wrapped up our first DIG of the year, The Social Media Revolution. We explained why we’re encouraging brands to not view social media as just one of their “resolutions” for 2012, but explore how they can use it to totally “revolutionize” the way they market their brand.

The reason we’re talking about Social Media “REVOLUTIONIZING” your brand in 2012 instead of it being another “RESOLUTION” is because we believe it’s finally earned a seat at the table.

In 2010, Social media would have been at the kids table at Thanksgiving at the Marketing house with QR Codes, SEO, and other strategies, but in 2012, it’s finally earned a seat at the Adult Table.

For a few reasons….

Social media gives brands a new opportunity to gain influence.

The reason that many brands are hesitant to start using social media is because they are afraid that they’ll loose total control over their brand’s perception. And to some point, that’s justifiable. But, we explained that brands can either view that as a threat, or as an opportunity.

Social media allows brands to influence consumer’s perception in a new way, by listening to the conversation and reacting.

It’s a Pull, not a Push

Social Media is different than any other way we market our brand. For the past 40 years, it’s always been about who can yell their message the loudest and clearest. We were trying to push our message to as many people as possible. Hopefully if we yell loud and clear enough, people will choose us.

Now with social media, it’s changed. We’re trying to pull people into our product.

Social media is a lot like dating. You don’t go on a first date and boast about how awesome you are (well… some of you might, but that’s why you’re not getting date #2). No, you go in and talk about the other person. Ask them questions to see what their interested in… Be entertaining, be fun, be engaging. Create a brand people fall in love with.

Social media has changed consumer’s expectations

The third reason Social Media has earned a seat at the adult table is because it’s changed customer expectations of brands. Consumers EXPECT brands to interact with them in social media.

If you want an example of a brand doing a horrible job at this, just check Netflix’s Facebook page. The only use Facebook as a one-way communication tool. Could they have possibly avoided some of the loss of 800,000 subscribers when the increased their prices if they would have portrayed a little more sympathy through their social media…. Probably.

Combine these reasons with the exponential growth of social media since the beginning of 2011 and we think you’ll see the potential for it to revolutionize your marketing efforts in 2012.

Here is our complete presentation: The Social Media Revolution

What are we covering at our next DIG? Check out our complete 2012 DIG schedule.

Have Questions? Feel free to contact us any time if you’re interested in discussing how to use social media for your business.

Why PR has Never Been More Beneficial for Your Brand

We recently came across an article from Inc. Magazine and wanted to share it with our readers. In the article, small business entrepreneur Caroline Limpert explains the reason she’s not giving up on Public Relations. In fact, if she had to put all of her eggs in one basket, Public Relations would be her only marketing expense.

At Werkshop, we stress from the very beginning of our  strategic planning process that businesses should consider all marketing tactics and be mindful of which brand building tools they choose to utilize to promote their product or service,.  One tool that is continuously used, is Public Relations. No matter your product or service, effective public relations is key to telling your story. If you are managing your own marketing planning, it is key is to recognize that PR has evolved to include much more than media and community relations.

The New Way to Manage Public Relations

Just 10 years ago, PR was very linear. A brand or agency would pitch an editor or reporter with a story that would interest the audience. It was the same process and message almost every time.

Now, with the evolution of technology and addition of other media outlets, the PR process has become molecular. The way brands and agencies pitch has adapted as well. You would not pitch a reporter the same way you would a blogger and you would not pitch a blogger the same way you might pitch a thought leader in a particular industry . There are so many new “rules” to PR because there are so many new players. Another notable difference in today’s PR is that with the addition of many new media outlets, your audiences are receiving their news from multiple sources, which is great news for all brands!  i

Essentially, the change that we are witnessing in the public relations process gives the term grass roots a whole new meaning. Content is still king, but context has become god. You must still share interesting information in order to grab attention, but the context in which you share that information is more important than ever.

It’s the reason we refer to it as “strategic communications” instead of simply public relations. 

Remember, as you continue to determine the best tools to use to build your brand, PR isn’t dead. In fact, it’s more alive than ever.

If you’re interested in learning how to utilize strategic communications for your brand in 2012, feel free to send us an email or call 615.579.1502.

Next Page »


    5 Ingredients to Spice up your Emails

    Did the title get you to open up and read the rest of the blog? I thought so. It’s specifically directed to perk your interest and instantly make you... 

    Hop on the Twitter Train

    Oreo hands down won the 2013 Super Bowl – on Twitter that is. Remember the black out that occurred in the New Orleans dome? Oreo took total advantage... 

© 2014 Werkshop Branding