Blog

We get it; it’s pretty annoying to publish a post on Facebook promoting your latest piece of branded content only to see it barely reach any of your followers. No comments. No shares. Not even a single like.

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?  The latest reach numbers are in; for pages with large followings of more than 500k likes, the organic reach of social posts on Facebook is only 2%.

Only 2% See Facebook Content

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. Three months ago, your brand’s social posts were hitting thousands of people and receiving hundreds of comments, but suddenly (overnight it seems), you count yourself lucky to see even half of that level of engagement.

What happened?

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

On our blog, we have talked about new marketing services that your agency should be offering, we have also shared how agencies are using SocialToaster to offer fan advocacy solutions, but we haven’t talked about the agencies themselves.

Snapchat is more than just a way to show off your digital flower crown for 10 seconds at a time. It’s transformed into a marketing tool that should not be ignored, especially if your brand or client is trying to appeal to the Gen-Z and millennial audience.

Ah, summer time, when the livin’ is easy *sips ice cold lemonade through an umbrella straw*…but social media doesn’t vacation. But no need to break into a sweat, we’ve got you covered with some best practices for your social media during the hot summer months. “Summer posting had me a blast…”

Peace out #Coachella, see you next year! As the Memorial Day Weekend of festival season, Coachella is the unofficial kickoff of festival season. It’s one of the most well-known (and talked about) music festivals of the year.

Lights, camera, filter! Instagram has become more than just an online photo album. You can now double-tap GIFs, Flip-o-grams, and of course, videos. If you read last week’s blog post, or if you didn’t you can read it now really quickly, you already know that both Instagram and online video are two major trends in digital marketing right now.

Digital marketing is changing more often than your Snapchat filter and since agencies are supposed to be industry experts, your services should constantly be increasing and improving to match these changes. Clients have more media channels than ever, with new ones being added every year. All of these channels represent potential opportunities, but they also all need to be filled with content.

In today’s marketing world a lot of attention gets paid to vanity metrics such as the number of likes or shares a piece of content receives on social networks. While these metrics should never be the primary metric of marketing success (that slot is reserved for ROI-related metrics), they still have a place at the KPI table. Social media managers around the world closely monitor each piece of content’s performance and report on these metrics as proof (or lack thereof) of marketing success. Why?

Recently, a client asked us for help in calculating the ROI on their SocialToaster campaigns. No problem, we thought. In any long-term marketing initiative, there should be times where the marketer sits down with the numbers and figures out what’s working, what isn’t, and what she can optimize. And that’s exactly what was needed here.

With the holidays right around the corner, we asked our media buying department what they wanted for the season. Here is their wish list, sung to the popular carol:

 

A SocialToaster program can help accomplish a whole range of goals for your brand. Be it driving engagement, awareness, or even sales - we can empower your Superfans to help get the job done.

But many organizations are looking to make an impact that goes beyond a single campaign. They want to increase their social following for all future endeavors. Lucky for them, and possibly you, this happens to be a tried-and-true capability of a SocialToaster program.

Every successful SocialToaster program starts with a successful landing page. After all, your landing page is your program’s first impression and as much as we say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we all know that’s exactly what happens.

Your program’s recruitment lives and dies by your landing page. If you’re seeing low conversion numbers or a consistent low level of new recruits, the first place we recommend looking is at the program sign-up page. So what makes an effective landing page?

Content marketing. We bet you’ve heard that term countless times over the last few years. (Yet here we are making you read even more about it!) Many bloggers have written about how to approach content marketing, but not so much what to write about. That is a shame because content marketing is meant to be a value exchange between you and your readers; if you don’t offer them something relevant or helpful they will move on.

Dana and Leslie both run bakeries on the bustling main street of their up-and-coming neighborhood—D’s Sweet Dreams, and Baked with Love by Leslie. To try to make each of their bakeries the most talked about in town, both business decide to run sweepstakes. D’s Sweet Dreams is offering a chance to win a cupcake a day for an entire year and Baked with Love by Leslie is offering a chance to win the birthday cake of your dreams.

Find out how a blogger outreach program can help your brand get more loyal followers, increased web traffic, and trusted word-of-mouth advertising. Plus, learn how to get it started!

We’re going to take a shot in the dark and assume that you’ve probably heard the term “content marketing” about a bajillion times by now. But for many brands, consistently developing content is only half the battle. The real struggle comes from trying to ensure that the content is loved and shared by fans. After all, if a blog posts to the web and no one is there to read it, does it make an impact?

People love sweepstakes. They love the thrill of the chase, the rush of the win and reaping rewards from brands they love. Spoiler alert: brands love sweepstakes too. Why? Because running a sweepstakes, especially on social media, is a fun way to kick-start some audience engagement, recruit new fan advocates, open lines of communication with followers, build that all-important email list, and reward fans for being the best-ever.

When it comes to social media marketing, many companies are left scratching their heads, wondering where to even begin their ROI calculation. Figuring out how to track clicks and data across social channels and align it all with sales data and lead generation may sound like a big headache, but with the help of Google Analytics, it can be done.

Yes, we do own a calendar. We know that it’s summertime. And while the twinkle lights, tinsel and tidings won’t make their way into our homes for a few more months, we know that it’s never too early to start thinking about your brand’s holiday social strategy.

Now that you know the basics of what, when and how often to post on Instagram, let’s a take a deeper dive into how to make your brand stand out in its sea of images. From how to build, retain and engage your fanbase to effectively using hashtags, this list will help you take your brand’s Instagram presence to the next level.

This month we've chosen Something Rotten! and their #TeamRotten campaign as our client spotlight! Something Rotten! is a brand-new, side-splitting musical that debuted on Broadway in March 2015 and has since garnered lots of attention and accolades including 10 Tony Award nominations.

It’s probably safe to say that most of us know the basics of using Instagram. But how do you maximize your visibility and encourage fan engagement with your brand’s Instagram account? Check out a few of our expert’s recommended best practices below!

Besides making sure your video’s quality is top-notch, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're reaching the right audience, racking up views, encouraging meaningful engagement and ultimately charming your viewers into taking profitable action. Read on for 9 tips that can help you boost B2C and B2B video views.

This month we've chosen Avocados from Mexico’s Echale Challenge as our client spotlight! As a relatively new organization, Avocados from Mexico has garnered an impressive amount of members and engagement and we’re excited to watch this program continue to grow.

We’ve talked about gamification a lot on the old SocialToaster blog. After all, gamification is a pretty big deal in the wide world of business, being used to support everything from marketing, to developing, to management. But how do you know if the gamification program you launched is successful? We’ve polled our team of social masterminds to bring you the top three signs of a successful gamification program.

With so many options available to consumers, successful app marketing has never been as important. So, how do you expect your creation to stand out in this congested sea of around 2.5 kajillion (rough estimate) apps that are currently available? We've compiled a short list below of some of the top tactics our clients are using to drive mobile downloads and capture their audience’s attention.

Congrats, your company is on social media! You’re creating and sharing awesome content and gaining quite the following! Now you’re ready to really kick it up a notch. How? By increasing fan engagement on your Facebook posts. It can be tricky to know exactly where to start, so we've put together a couple tips to get you started.

This month we've chosen the United Nations’ Messengers of Humanity program as our client spotlight! The United Nations has launched one of the strongest SocialToaster program’s we've seen, and we’re proud to have partnered with them in making their goals a reality.

How can you leverage your employee base and create an environment that fosters employees advocating on your behalf? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Calculating social media return on investment can seem a lot like rocket surgery; impossible and, well, not a real thing. If you're having trouble measuring social media success for your company, you could be making these common mistakes!

How do you ensure that your Facebook Ads make the biggest impact possible? With over 1 billion active users, it can be tricky to reach your intended audience on Facebook. Check out these tips we've put together that can help you get the most out of your ads.

As YouTube comes up on the 10 year anniversary of its first video, Me at the Zoo, it’s almost mind-blowing to take a step back and look at how online video has evolved since then. While its beginnings may have been inspired by a famous wardrobe malfunction, it’s no secret that YouTube was the beginning of a major shift in the way we interact and share content online.
Everyone can agree that social media is an awesome tool for promoting brand awareness. But at SocialToaster, we know that's just the beginning. Learn how your company can use social media to connect with fans who can act as word-of-mouth advocates for your brand.
Once your company has an active Facebook page and Twitter account, how do you make sure that your brand’s message is reaching the desired audience while engaging it as well? We've put together a few quick tips for incorporating gamification into your social media marketing strategy.
SocialToaster founder Brian Razzaque shares his thoughts on the recent changes to Facebook's algorithm. An expert in content marketing, Brian offers helpful tips and insights on handling the updates and maintaining an effective social media strategy.
Employee advocates could be the boost your social media marketing needs to get your brand's message in front of new and interested audiences.
Brr! If you’ve been outside lately, you’ve experienced first hand how icy this winter will be. When the weather changes, so does your marketing strategy, so we’ve put together a few tips that should help keep your marketing efforts hot despite the cold season.
Everyone can agree that customer engagement is important these days. But just how important is it? In Gallup’s 2014 report on the State of the American Consumer, data shows that a fully engaged customer represents a 23% premium in terms of share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth compared with the average customer. Furthermore, an actively disengaged customer represents a 13% discount in these categories.
Every CEO knows that his or her company should be on social media -- but what exactly should they be doing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram?
An emerging trend in the marketplace is a shift from concentrating on the number of social media fans and followers to a focus on the quality of the fans and followers.   Brands are seeing that activating their best fans to share content or endorse a product can result in increased views of content and purchases by consumers seeing those messages shared by their friends.  Frequently we hear from our clients and agency partners they are not sure how to launch a fan advocacy campaign and they are unsure how to identify and manage these fans.  
The 4 social media strategies they used effectively to win you over
When you think about brands that run successful customer engagement campaigns on social media, do you include any Consumer Packaged Goods in that group? They have been at the forefront of marketing since the beginning, but it seems that some CPGs have been dragging their feet in the shift towards social media channels. But how can you blame them?
Not feeling very creative today but need to post some new content to your social media pages? Have no fear! Here are twelve industry tested tips to get you moving in the right direction ASAP.
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again. Your fans aren’t going to share your content unless you give them a reason to. Not even if you wrote the best and funniest post in the history of the internet. That means that all of the time and effort that you put into that post is essentially wasted. No engagement. No ROI. No nothing. So what can you do? Three words: Social. Media. Gamification.
Many firms just like yours are asking the same question these days: is native advertising on social media platforms worth all of the time and money that goes into it? The short answer? Yes.
Want your message to come across as a recommendation from a trusted friend rather than as a commercial? Follow these steps to successfully recruit your brand ambassadors!
I am going to share a hard truth. Most of your content will not be organically shared. It’s a hard pill to swallow for most brands, that your brand isn’t always the first thing your Facebook fans think of in the morning. Sure, there are some brands out there with amazingly supportive fans that are sharing every piece of content or liking all of the seasonal memes, but be honest with yourself, how many of your fans are sharing? More importantly, how many of your fans are actually seeing the content you’re publishing? A survey by socialbakers.com showed that most brands only reach 11% – 16% of their audience with each post. So how do you increase your post’s visibility and ensure your content is being seen by more than just a handful of audience members? You incentivize sharing
In the world of tabloids and paparazzi, it’s hard not to catch the latest and greatest news of the hottest celebrities. But, how are they managing their social networks and what does it do for their brand? Let’s take a little time out and see what’s happening with one of today’s most effective social media marketer and hip-shaking superstar: Shakira.
One of the easiest ways to enhance your company’s brand to convey a professional social media presence is to create the proper artwork for the social media platforms you are using. This is free space to advertise your brand and give a clear branding message. The attached PDF is a current spec guide for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Youtube. Scroll all the way down to see examples and tips. 
The most important thing to remember about Halloween content is have fun with it. Sure, the folks behind Carrie’s social media marketing efforts had a budget and a whole production team behind it, but the video also shows them having a blast in the process. SocialToaster’s campy zombie spoof celebrated the creativity and levity of it’s brand, and showed that making original content should be fun for those making it, and those watching it.
Baseball may be America’s pastime, but football is America’s obsession. The season is already full steam ahead, and not even the blocking power of the Seahawk’s defense can stop the NFL from being beamed into living rooms across the nation. Before the days of Facebook and Twitter, talking smack and stats to friends only happened at bars, water coolers, or tailgate parties. Now social media has given fans a new realm to support the teams they love, and trash the ones they don’t.
Find out how Derek Waters’ “Drunk History” went from viral sensation to cable TV success.
In this Labor Day social media special, we focus on the effects social media has had on labor unions, social issues and politics.
Alrighty. We love your enthusiasm. You’re starting to produce amazing content, earning yourself scores of Facebook fans and legions of Twitter followers. Now you’re looking to put the pedal to the metal and start executing some social media campaigns. Fantastic! After all, the value of your social media fans correlates directly to how often you engage/leverage them. Having a large fan base without executing a social media campaign is like sitting on a gold mine and refusing to dig.
Interested in creating social media success? Learn what not to do with these 3 horrifying truths from FedEx’s social media commercial.
Why spend your own time and money promoting your content? Learn how to turn your social media fans into viral marketing tools here.

After months of anticipation, the game of the year is finally upon us. Super Bowl XLVII (47 for those that don’t speak Roman) takes place this Sunday, February 3. Over 111 million people will tune in to watch our hometown Ravens stomp all over San Francisco’s nod to the gold rush. For most people the big game is about pigskin and chicken wings, but for brands, the Super Bowl is all about eyeballs.

This holiday season, the social web is hotter than ever. Brands are turning to social media to reach more users than ever. Learn how some organizations are using social media for good this holiday season.
Is your brand looking for the new trend in social media marketing tools to take your efforts to the next level? Click here to learn about the next frontier, fan empowerment.

We all know the importance of having high brand awareness. Brand awareness is the first step in almost every iteration of a sales funnel and that makes perfect sense. Is there any possible way (excluding crazy hypotheticals involving amnesia, time warps or phone booths) that a customer could make a purchase from your company without knowing who the company is or what it does? Not really.

Listen up all you namby-pamby brands out there! October is over and we are t-minus 2 months away from our annual D-Day: The Holiday Season. Sure it might only be fall, and hordes of costumed children just finished arrogantly demanding candy from their neighbors.
By understanding what is motivating our customers and prospects, we can better understand their needs and know how to properly communicate/interact with them. In the case of brand ambassadors, understanding the internal motivations (and emotional triggers behind these motivations) of your most loyal brand advocates is the first step to creating a powerful brand ambassador program that drives results.
Even though the Orioles lost in the post-season, fans are still overwhelmingly supportive and many have outwardly thanked the team for giving them such an exciting season. This presents an amazing opportunity for the Orioles to capture the spirit of these fans through the off season and primed to buy tickets when Opening Day hits next spring. When a sports team has a big swell in their fan base, what can they do to engage these fans and build a long standing relationship? Let’s take a look at what the Orioles’ can do to amplify their new fans.
The first social network wasn’t found online. It didn’t have character limits, handles, or feeds. Nothing we’ve come to expect from modern day social media networks. It was a bar and a cold beer, and that was all that it needed. If this bar was located in America during the last century, chances were good that sitting on top of that was one of the many beers brewed and distributed by Anheuser-Busch.
Walt Rampata, Chief Marketing Officer at SocialToaster, joined AK Stout on Social Geek Radio this week. During this episode, Walt answers questions on identifying and accumulating brand ambassadors. 

When it comes to the battle of the burgers, few companies have been able to stand up to, let alone conquer, the famed golden arches. But that’s exactly what Burger King did when it beat McDonald’s in social media impressions in July 2012. During this month alone, Burger King garnered over 316 million impressions (across all of its social media platforms).

What the Heck is Klout Anyway?
Turn Your Social Media Brand Ambassadors into Super Fans
If you caught the Olympics this past year, you may have noticed a certain three bar logo scattered about on jerseys, shoes, walls, urinals and everywhere else the good people of the Olympic committee could fit a logo. That three bar logo belongs to Adidas.
When it comes to social media, one of the big things is ROI, or how much money am I making through my use of social media.  If you’re using Google Analytics to measure the results of your online marketing campaigns, then you will be able to track the effectiveness of your efforts on social media.  The following are ways to help the bottom line by increasing online sales with social media,  1. Allow Social Sharing of Product Pages
Most people think that social media for business means nothing but marketing.  But social media can play a crucial role in another area: reputation management.  While it’s not pleasant to think about, your business might find itself in the midst of bad press.  If you should ever find yourself in a defensive position, it is not the time to shy away social media.
While your main goal on social media should be engagement with your audience, there are other great things you can accomplish.  One of those things is ticket sales.  Whether your business is selling tickets to a conference, concert, or championship, here are some ways you can boost those sales using social media. 1. Hold a contest to win free tickets.
Many companies are working to tie in keyword research within the content creation process to ensure their content is being found on search engines when users are searching for them. This helps to create strategically written content that is designed around top searched keywords. Keyword research can be as simple or as complicated as you make it.  When it comes to keyword research for content, you can make it simple by thinking about it as a way to generate great topic ideas while also ensuring that the right audience will be able to easily find your content on search engines.
If you have ever wanted to partner with other businesses and corporations in a major way, then sponsorship may be the route to go.  By inviting sponsors to help with your latest promotions, you can create a mutually beneficial relationship where they help you in exchange for your willingness to introduce them to your audience.  Why You Need Sponsors Why would you consider adding sponsors to your strategy?  Sponsors can help you with the following.
When it comes to social media marketing, one of your goals should not be just to increase Facebook fans and Twitter followers.  It should be to increase targeted Facebook fans, Twitter followers, and other social connections.
While increasing your fans and followers on social networks is a great goal to strive for, your next goal should be to get those fans and followers into your customer database.  This way, you will be able contact them outside of social networks and inside their email inbox.  It is important to prepare yourself in case the social network you spent so much time developing a following on, suddenly falls out of favor. Think about what has happened to MySpace.
If you’re not using Google Analytics to its fullest (or not at all) to track your website’s traffic, then you are missing out on crucial information when it comes to your social media marketing strategy.  The following are five important things you can learn with the right Google Analytics setup beyond how many visits your website receives.  
  When it comes to social media, there are a ton of different things that you can measure.  In fact, if you get consumed by the numbers, you could easily spend more time measuring your social media and less time actually being social.  The following are different metrics that can be measured when it comes to social media and tools you can use to gather them. Social Engagement Metrics
This has become the big question, right? You’ve worked hard to build an audience on your social channels and now you want to know how you leverage that audience to generate revenue. It’s a real challenge for marketers as executives are demanding to understand the return on investment (ROI) from the social channel. Bazaarvoice reported that 74% of CMO’s predicted they would finally be able to tie social to hard ROI in 2011. Unfortunately, the reality is that many are still trying to figure out where social is impacting the bottom-line.
One of the best ways to increase engagement with your brand amongst your fans and followers is through social sharing.  When you make it easy for others to find and share your content, it opens the door for more discussion about and engagement with your brand through the information you provide.  The following are ways you can make social sharing of your content easy so you grow your audience and increase engagement.
It’s a common misconception that for video to be hilarious it must include a bear.
One of the top questions that comes up when a marketer is thinking about content, blogging, and social media is how often should they publish content?  How many videos, blog posts, and status updates are really enough?  The answer depends based on the industry.  Here are three steps tfor determining the right content publishing schedule for your online marketing campaign. Step One: Research the Competition

Pages