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Marketers are turning to their brand advocates and influencers to help share corporate marketing messages. Learn how to measure the success of your advocacy marketing efforts, no matter what your goal is.

Word-of-Mouth marketing is a powerful tool for driving sales: small and medium businesses get 60% of their sales thanks to word-of-mouth and referral marketing. The writing's on the wall: if you want to grow your sales, implement a better word-of-mouth marketing strategy. Learn how to initiate conversations and create opportunities that get your customers talking!

The average cost to fill an open position is $4,000 and 46% of recruiters do not have enough applicants to cover open positions. Integrating employee advocacy into your recruitment strategy could save you big on hiring costs and land your next (or your first) 10-year employee.

When social media is part of a buyer’s journey, brands see a 129% higher conversion rate. Use these ideas to generate social interactions with prospective customers and watch your sales grow!

Brands need to focus on creating content that drives customer action to impact their bottom line. But how? We break down the four steps to get your content working overtime.

User-Generated Content is a vital part of any successful social and digital marketing strategy. Deploying UGC correctly can bolster social engagement, increase leads and drive sales.

Employee advocacy isn’t about commandeering your employee’s social channels. It's about inspiring your employees to advocate on behalf of your brand. Find out which content topics employees engage most with to maximize your program!

While there's no way to ensure any specific content goes "viral", there are several factors you can control to ensure your content is "viral-friendly."

Take your advocacy marketing efforts to the next level! Learn these advanced Facebook advocacy marketing tactics and get your advocates to create content, Go Live, and close the sale.

88% of online shoppers incorporate reviews into their purchase decisions; like it or not, your brand is thriving or dying because of reviews. What can you do to earn more (and better) reviews?

Using buying personas to help segment your content creation and marketing strategy has huge benefits. Learn how to build buying personas for your company and how SocialToaster brand advocates can help!

The most expensive cost metric in marketing is the cost to acquire a new customer. Find out how an advocacy marketing program can help customer retention and encourage repeat purchases?

Big data and data-driven marketing aren’t groundbreaking concepts. Find out how to utilize your advocacy marketing program data to enhance your other marketing initiatives!

84% of your customers are asked questions about your product by prospective customers. Learn how to train and empower your brand advocates to answer questions in a way that pushes your brand forward and ultimately produces a sale!

It takes consumers over 9 site visits to before they make a purchase, so retargeting your visitors is critical to closing a customer. Brands that have organized their Superfans into an advocacy marketing program have a variety of ways to utilize their membership database to build profitable remarketing audiences.

The modern American consumer has evolved, with the most rapid change happening since the advent of the internet. Learn how to adapt your marketing strategy to reach the ever-changing customer!

Paid advertising has traditionally been tourism's go-to marketing tactic. With ad costs on the rise, destinations should look to advocacy marketing as a way to credibly impact potential consumers.

More than 46% of churches say that social media is the most effective method of outreach. Find out how an advocacy marketing program can help enhance this outreach and get members sharing your content with friends and family!

Misperceptions of Superfans abound! Today, we debunk the five most common misconceptions of the Superfan and their value to brands and marketers!

In the old days, SEO was mainly about driving traffic to a website and upping your ratings in any way you could. But search engines like Google soon grew wise to these kinds of deceptive tactics, instigating controls to sniff out dubious rankings. This is one of the reasons influencers can be so powerful

Video accounts for nearly 70% of internet consumer traffic and is showing no signs of decreasing in the future. To stand out, you need to work to ensure your brand video is a cut above the rest.

The cost of digital advertising is rising five times faster than inflation in the US. So what are digital marketers doing instead?

Gone are the days of the biggest ad in the Yellow Pages winning business by default. We are squarely in an age of collective intelligence, where each experience and encounter matters, as it will be broadcast and shared.

Attracting and retaining customers in a discount-fueled marketplace can be tricky. Customers grow to expect a certain level of quality based on price. Meet and exceed customer expectations, and you will build customers for life who come to you for their needs first - regardless of your price point.

The conclusion of our three-part look at advocacy marketing programs. Tips from our own clients on what to consider before you sit down with a potential vendor.

Much like the old adage of the tree falling in the woods, is your marketing content really “good” if no one is around to see it? Here are 4 tips for increasing the organic reach of your social media posts.

Last week we broke down the basic ins-and-outs of an Advocacy Marketing Program, or the umbrella program that you use to organize and activate your Everyday Fans and brand advocates.

In an age when businesses are utilizing social media as their primary (and sometimes only) tool for marketing, it can be disheartening to see a sudden drop in marketing effectiveness. Here are 4 ways to improve social media engagement.

We're breaking down Advocacy Marketing Programs to show how a brand's Everyday Fans can be activated to help solve the common headaches of dwindling organic reach and content engagement on social media.

We’ve laid out some tips to help brand's take their employee advocacy program to new heights by focusing their efforts on recruiting an often overlooked employee group, the average employee.

Earlier this week we posted an article that focused on the FTC guidelines for influencer marketing, and what brands can do to ensure their messaging is compliant. Our friends over at mediakix have also been posting on the same topic and have put together the below infographic to shed some light on the current state of the Instagram influencer marketing space. 

The Instagram influencer marketing space alone is officially worth over $1B. Brands are collectively paying over a billion dollars a year to have celebrities, influencers, micro-influencers, and their everyday fans promote their brands on Instagram.

Happy National Doughnut Day! Time to hurry over to your nearest Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme donut shop and get in touch with your inner Homer Simpson with FREE donuts! MMMMM...DONUTS… Established in 1938, this time honored holiday was originally to celebrate the women who served food to soldiers during World War I. Keeping that in mind, we can now all celebrate by indulging in some fried, doughy, and delicious treats.

Over the past couple weeks, we took a deep look at two influencer marketing archetypes, the Micro-Influencer and the Everyday Fan, and broke them down.

We’ve all heard of the “cat cafe” trend, and may have even suffered a few arm scratches while trying to enjoy a cappuccino in the company of an adorable and furry friend, but has this pet cafe trend taken things a step too far? Meet the “Dungeon”, San Francisco's new pop-up restaurant and very own rat cafe. For the low price of $50, rat cafe patrons can sip their coffee and enjoy a show and history lesson, all while surrounded by scurrying rats.

Last week we introduced you to two sets of influencers that brands utilize to support their influencer marketing efforts: The Micro-Influencer (influencers with network size between 5k-90k) and your brand’s Everyday Fans (individuals that follow your brand on social media and regularly engage with your content). In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at some additional differences between these two types of influencers.

The Great Cookie Caper is on! A 26-year old Girl Scout leader in Kentucky has been charged with the heist of the season - felony theft of $26,000 worth of Girl Scout cookies. Leah Ann “Thin Mint” Vick hasn’t been seen since she picked up around 6,200 boxes of cookies in February and literally disappeared. Kentucky State Troopers arrested her on Tuesday - but the cookies have yet to be found.

As the influencer marketing trend continues to take hold on marketing budgets nationwide, brands are taking a deep look at an emerging influencer classification: the Micro-Influencer. But what is a Micro-Influencer and how do they compare to an Everyday Fan, the person that engages with your brand on a regular basis on your social networks?  Over the next couple weeks, we’ll break down the difference between the Everyday Fan and the Micro-Influencer. 

Why the Dramatic Rise in Influencer Marketing?

Melissa McCarthy takes over social media this week in preparation for her upcoming SNL episode. McCarthy gears up for her performance by lip-syncing the tune “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story as she transforms into her oh-so-pretty role of Secretary Spicer. And in other musical treasures, don’t miss Chris Pine’s hunky lip-sync battle on last week’s late night show as well.

Even though we’re well into the era of social networks, VR, and wearables, the grand-digital-daddy communication tool, the humble email, is still one of the top tools for reaching your current and potential customers. Our society, from logins to workflow, is hardwired to email communications. As with all communication networks, the true value of the medium depends on how many individuals you can reach with it.

Has your Instagram feed been overtaken by the same image of a model in a red swimsuit? Earlier this week Sunny Co. Clothing announced that "EVERYONE" who posted that photo to Instagram would receive a free swimsuit, vastly underestimating how many 'grammers would be enticed by such an amazing offer. Sunny Co. tried to get a handle on the (immediately) overwhelming amount of engagement by announcing a limit to the contest after the fact, but the damage had already been done.

At SocialToaster, we pride ourselves in turning our clients into social media bosses, teaching them the ultimate boss move: proving a return on a marketing investment. For SocialToaster clients, this success indicator is typically tied to Earned Media Value (EMV), and we’re proud to be able to help our clients generate up to an 8x – 10x return on earned media when they manage a fan advocacy program.

If you thought the ‘plastic knee-window jeans’ were bad, or the crop tops so cropped they’re not even cropped - get a load of the latest pricey trend to take over the shelves at Nordstrom. Movin’ on from the ‘distressed jean’ look, the department store is now selling “fake mud jeans”. Denim pants that are literally designed to look like you took a nasty tumble in the mud (or that you really love gardening).

This just in - the Instagram influencer marketing space has officially become a $1B business! Brands are spending bookoo deniro partnering with Instagrammers that have amassed large followings to drive new sales. For good reason too. TV viewership in the coveted 18–24 year-old demographic has dropped over 35% since 2011.

With Earth Day coming up this weekend (April 22nd yo!), there are plenty of ways to celebrate and advocate for our planet.

Here’s to the universities that made the tassel worth the hassle! Whether you’re a recent graduate or getting ready to celebrate your 50th reunion, your chosen place of matriculation plays a huge role in your life. At SocialToaster, we’ve had the privilege of working with dozens of universities across the country. While we are able to assist schools with a plethora of various marketing needs, Giving Days and SocialToaster have proven to be a winning combination.

Comedian, and older brother to Eddie Murphy, passed away this past Thursday of leukemia. While growing up in the shadow of a famous sibling is never easy, Charlie carved his own path.

We hope everyone had a successful April Fool’s day! If you need a laugh today though, check out this list of some of the best (and some of the less inspired) pranks recorded on the web from last Saturday. From Google’s “PacMaps”, to the viral ‘neverending letter’ prank this couple played on their mailman, April Fools 2017 was pretty fun.

We’ve all been there. You’ve spent time, money, and resources on producing great content for your company blog, only to have that content seen by just a handful of people. Sound familiar? You know you need to increase the eyeballs on the content to actually make it worth anything, but the thought of committing even more money to boosting and promoting every post puts a strain on the ol’ ticker (and marketing budget of course). If only there was a group of individuals who were invested in your company AND actively wanted to promote it. Enter employee advocacy.

This week, Peggy Whitson floated out of the International Space Station and set the record for the most experienced female spacewalker. A veteran of two earlier space station visits, she surpassed the previous record with a spacewalk time of 53 hours and 22 minutes. NASA is also in the process of establishing a port on the station to accommodate commercial ships being built by Boeing and SpaceX. Keep it up Dr. Whitson!

The music world, and the adoring public, lost a legend in Chuck Berry earlier this week. The rock n’ roll legend died on Saturday in his Missouri home. He passed away at the age of 90.

This past Wednesday, people around the globe celebrated International Women’s Day. The day was filled with everything from celebrations of gender equality victories to demonstrations reminding us that there is still work to be done.

Nothing brings people together like good food. And that is exactly what Better Than Bouillon intends to do! Its Creative Cooks Club campaign is stirring things up with innovative recipes that will whisk you away (Get it, the puns practically write themselves!). The central aim of the campaign is to create a consumer invested program that targets females, especially those hard-working mothers out there, who are looking for a new, fun, and exciting way to cook up their favorite Better Than Bouillon products. The goal is to encourage members to share the recipes and meals they made with their friends, family, and the rest of their social media following.

This past Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony was a grand event as expected, but boy did they save the most exciting moment for last.

The scientific discoveries this week are LITERALLY out of this world! Seven earth-sized planets have been discovered in the constellation Aquarius, only about 40 light years away from us. The planets orbit the star TRAPPIST-1.

Among many memorable moments from The Grammys this past Sunday, Beyonce’s gilded (psuedo Virgin Mary) performance wowed the crowd. Queen Bey was indeed glowing in her golden costume (and pregnancy) as she belted out two tracks from her Lemonade performance during the show, and the reception of her performance made the choice for Album of the Year (Adele’s 25) seem surprising to some.

Considering buying some stock in Snapchat? Make sure you get the right company. Much to their chagrin (we’re sure), it seems that a group of not so savvy investors mistakenly bought up stock in a mobile dating app start-up called SNAP Interactive Inc. (we’re thinking this is a case of mistaken identity, no?). In fact, this kind of mix-up is not uncommon. Tweeter Inc.

There’s more than just Big Games and Groundhogs that make February one of the the best months out there. We’re talking about Black History Month.

Cat Meme. That’s probably all we’ll have to say to put a smile on your face today. But when cat memes mix with pro sports, the elation is taken up another notch. Fans of the Philadelphia 76ers have created a #raisethecat sensation in response to their team’s victories. The trend started with Sixers rookie Ben Simmons, who regularly posts pics of himself and his kitty. From there, a Philly fan named Dennis Grove noticed and took it to the next logical step: he added the hashtag.

The Golden Globes were this past Sunday, honoring achievements in TV and film this year and providing us with a Jimmy Fallon & Celeb musical number a la La La Land (say that 10 times fast). As a testament perhaps to a universal sympathy for stories of dreamers, La La Land did indeed take home quite a few awards.

Despite the fight waging against Obamacare, Bernie Sanders is here to remind us of a promise that Donald Trump made during the campaign to not cut Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. .

In our post-holiday daze, it’s time to start making resolutions and thinking about what's important in the New Year! It's also the time of year to snuggle up to someone you care about, and many are finding solace in one term from the Oxford Dictionary’s shortlist for 2016’s “Word of the Year” - the Danish term “hygge” (confusingly pronounced “hoo-gah”), essentially a verb form of cozy.

With the New Year just around the corner, here are some updates and developments you can expect from your iPhone in 2017. Apple is sure to take note of the iPhone’s 10th birthday in the coming year, so it’s likely you can look forward to some big changes. Among possible developments, many are speculating about what the newest name will be, wireless charging, fancy new colors and plenty of advanced optics and speed.

In the wake of this year’s election, the power of internet and technology has certainly been an important and contentious topic. In some recent findings, there seems to be substantial evidence to suggest D.N.C. interference from Russian Cyberpowers.

This past week, the Army Corps of Engineers made the decision to deny the allowance for the key portion of the Dakota pipeline that would run through the territory of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, endangering their land and drinking water. After months of protests and demonstrations, the people of Standing Rock and their supporters finally have a victory to celebrate.

After Thanksgiving, you might still be recovering from politics at the table and compounded food comas. But, before you lose the holiday momentum, remember that Christmas is right around the corner. Impending decorations and retail sales wouldn’t let us forget that.

In the aftermath of the election, Facebook and Google have come under fire for accusations that the prevalent propagation of fake news on their platforms helped to influence the outcome of the election.

After months of gruesome campaigning, America has elected Donald Trump as president. The country must now face the reality of a Trump/Pence White House.

With election day drawing nigh, tensions are drawing high. According to the most recent New York Times/CBS polls, the race has settled back into a close contest, with Hillary Clinton narrowly in the lead. The poll includes the vast number of Americans who have taken advantage of early voting and have already cast their ballots.

It’s time to get organized with those crazy stunts you’ve been thinking up for years, because there is now a finite amount of time that you can justify your foolish actions by saying that you  “did it for the Vine”. Following a suspicious Twitter announcement that the company was restructuring, it was then announced that Vine will cease to exist within a few months.

Wednesday night was the third and final Presidential debate of this year’s election. Sad to say, they didn’t get much better as they went along. While many agree that Hillary Clinton was the “winner” of this debate, it seems that democracy and maturity were among the losers with the debate unravelling into an “I know you are but what am I” moment when Hillary called Trump a puppet of Putin. The GOP candidate ladies and gentlemen.

This past Sunday was the second Presidential Debate, and by all accounts, it was fairly grisly. Here are some highlights, if you missed it. Even with two moderators, the debate saw its fair share of candidates loudly talking over each other and their time limits.

This past week, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia sat down for their first and only Vice Presidential debate. Challenges were shot back and forth, defenses of the respective presidential candidates were demanded and subsequently attempted, and hashtags were inspired. In perhaps one of the most memorable lines of the evening, Gov.

Things are continuing to speed up in this year’s presidential campaign. On Monday, the conversations were kicked up a notch with the first debate of season. Of course, the public debate continues as to who won the actual debate, but shots were certainly fired in both directions (and it may be relevant to note that the fact checker on Hillary Clinton’s website saw a lot of traffic). There were ultimatums on tax return releases, speculations on the D.N.C.

The Queen City made headlines this week as protesters took to the streets over multiple nights following the fatal shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by Police on Tuesday afternoon.

You can hear him now - in Sprint commercials! Sprint Wireless recently rolled out a new ad campaign featuring the “Can you hear me now?” guy from Verizon’s 2002-2011 ad campaigns.

The CYHMN guy (known to his family as Paul Marcarelli) is now touting Sprint as the “50% cheaper than Verizon and almost as good” wireless provider. With a pitch like that, you can be assured that Sprint’s ad dollars are being well spent.

When it comes to your Superfan base, the more the merrier, and any holiday provides the perfect reason to keep reminding your fans to bring more friends to the party! Whether you have the day off or not, all holidays, from Arbor Day and Halloween, to St. Patrick’s Day and the local Harvest Festival, promote community, togetherness, and bonding (you know, sort of like your SocialToaster program).

This week marks the return of America’s favorite sport (no, not you Lawn Mower Racing). Football Season is back! As Americans again commit their Sunday to helmeted gladiators, one can’t help but dream that this is THEIR year.

Remember when we said all prizes come in different shapes and sizes, depending on budget, audience, etc.? Let’s take that thought process a step further and, repeat after us: “Not all prizing has to be physical, material things.” If the idea of using a physical “gimme” makes you nervous or will blow your marketing budget, go ahead and scratch gift cards, t-shirts, and stickers off of that list of yours and focus your attention on digital downloads.

2016 has claimed another legend, this time in the form of comedy God Gene Wilder who has left this world at 83 years young. The star of the best two Mel Brooks movies and our version of Willy Wonka (#sorrynotsorry Johnny Depp) passed away due to complications with Alzheimer’s earlier this week.

Not every brand or client can award the biggest and best(est) prize ever. We understand that all prizes come in different shapes and sizes, depending on budget, audience, etc. If you’re looking for some inexpensive - and yet still exciting - “out-of the-box” prizes, we have some ideas that’ll keep the wallet in-check but still create a buzz among your Superfans and get them excited to engage with your brand again.

Sports fans are some of the most dedicated and enthusiastic fans in the world. Seriously, we’ve all seen it. The Canadiens in Boston.

Rio Round Up: Week 2

  • Ryan Lochte: Michael Phelps’ sidekick and three other U.S. swimmates were robbed at gunpoint early Sunday morning by thieves posing as police officers. The thieves forced the swimmers, who were all in U.S.

Allow us to introduce Madeline McDowell, our super of the week!


Title:
 Account Manager
 

Super Power: The ability to know a little bit about everything thanks to Wikipedia.

It’s that time of year, when kids cringe and parents celebrate, it’s almost time for “Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I’m not a fool…” While grades and studying may be tops on Mom’s list, most kids will agree that picking out the right backpack, choosing the right school supplies, and of course planning out the new year’s wardrobe are the real reason for the season.

Allow us to introduce Neiman Outlen, our super of the week!

Title: Junior Account Manager

SocialToaster works with brands big and small, but #ICYMI we also work closely with agencies. By partnering with SocialToaster, agencies can innovatively set themselves apart from the competition while providing more value to their clients. As we all know, more value means more client security and revenue!

Are you ready for Rio?! Let the games begin! The biggest Summer sporting event in the world begins with the 2016 Opening Ceremony tonight, which by the way isn’t a live event. Keep an eye out for U.S.

Allow us to introduce Mark Tress, our super of the week!

Title: Lead Generation Representative

The Olympics are the biggest sporting event in the world so when the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro start (despite getting off to a rocky start), athletes won’t be the only ones competing.

Remember when we talked about transitioning your SocialToaster program from short-term to long-term? And we said, “Everyone that joined during the contest is there, ready to be utilized as your promotional army for as long as you want!” Well it’s time to utilize!

It happened, it finally (and quite shockingly) happened. Donald Trump officially accepted the Republican party’s nomination for prez. This is not a drill people! It’s been an eventful week for the GOP, who have been partying in Cleveland all week for their national convention.

Allow us to introduce Erick Gil, our super of the week!

Title: Graphic Designer

Prepare and beware America! SocialToaster is multiplying like John Travolta’s chills. We have officially expanded from our Baltimore headquarters to both the City That Never Sleeps and the City of Angels. New York City and Los Angeles! And in all honesty, those of us in Baltimore are a tiny bit jealous, because it certainly doesn’t suck to be working in either of those cities everyday (Kidding, we love B-more!). To understand our “jealousy”, we’re going to give you an inside look into what our two new offices are up to.

 

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