New Website: Cruising Mom

New Website: Cruising Mom

Cruising Mom is a cruise trip business that was created several years ago by two local moms in Atlanta. The old HTML website they had had seen better days and was not optimized or mobile friendly. These moms are offering great cruise cabin rates to their friends and family and I thought we’d update their look, but keep the fun feel. We chose to use a responsive WordPress theme that is robust and able to meet their needs. We kept their branding with daisy flowered background and yellow and blue colors. The slider features their current deals, which was important to them, and the home page also featured testimonials. The theme allows for further expansion and use of videos and photo galleries later on. We believe in growing an email database because that is still the prime way to sell online. Here we chose to use BLOOM, which integrates with MailChimp and provides total control of when it pops-up and how often. So we limited its visibility so that it works but doesn’t become an annoying distraction. When it comes to social sharing, we incorporate MONARCH, another great plugin that allows us to manage where and when it slides into view. We added other plugins like SEO by Yoast and then went ahead and optimized the website for search, added Google analytic code, created a form on the contact page and integrated their Facebook page stream. Finally, we created a sitemap and verified the site through Webmaster tools. Check it out here. You may even be interested in a Disney or Royal Caribbean Cruise for your family. By the...
Tweets Now Showing in Google Mobile Search Results

Tweets Now Showing in Google Mobile Search Results

Several months ago Twitter and Google announced that the search engine will begin indexing of tweets to show in Google’s search results. Starting last week, it finally began to take place. Google brought Tweets to Google Search on mobile devices. So searching on the Google app or any browser on your smartphone or tablet will result in real-time content from Twitter right in the search page. I just searched for #FeartheWalkingDead and there were the updates. I did the same search for NASA – using “NASA Twitter,” and the results popped right up at the top of Google’s search results. They plan to roll out the feature onto desktops and in multiple languages in the coming months.  ...
5 Ways Not to Use Twitters New Live Video Streaming App Periscope

5 Ways Not to Use Twitters New Live Video Streaming App Periscope

Now that anyone can do it from their smartphone live streaming has been the shiny new toy in the social media tool bag. Why? Because it’s as easy as mobile, point and click. Just make sure you have a great internet connection. Sure I love Vine and Instagram, and now Facebook’s native video is cool too. But, who wouldn’t want to live stream an open house walk through, or a product demonstration or experiment with crowdsourced baking. Now that Periscope is a Twitter-owned platform it integrates those tweets we all love. Periscope exceeded 10 million accounts in 4 months as of August 2nd. According to Periscope, “We define Time Watched as the aggregate amount of time that people spend watching live broadcasts on iOS & Android. As of last week, we’re seeing over 40 years of video watched per day.”   5 Things to Avoid when Using Periscope: 1:  Timing is everything, so don’t Live-stream when your audience isn’t likely to see it. Since Twitter owns Periscope, it’s real easy to tweet out your link anytime you decide to live-stream something. There’s not enough analytics yet to determine or benchmark the best time to do this, but your audience is unique, and that should determine when you live stream – which can parallel your best Twitter engagement time. So plan carefully and don’t just shoot from the hip. Periscope’s app will save your video to your app by default – and, made available to everyone through the link it generates for 24 hours. You can save it to your phone’s camera roll too. After 24 hours it’s gone and...
How to Use Social Media for Trade Show Marketing

How to Use Social Media for Trade Show Marketing

Trade shows can seem like an endless ride, almost a circus in a way. If you’ve been to several you know what I mean. It can seem repetitive with the same gimmicks, the same people and the same promotions. But, it’s still the place to see new products and to cement relationships. According to the Center for Exhibition Research, trade show attendance has grown steadily since 2010. Although individual industries are different in growth – one thing that is consistent at all of them is the growth of social media use. It’s easy for marketers to say use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but that’s not enough today. The landscape has dispersed, and the challenge brands face now are scattered audience, more diverse, yet fragmented social platforms and competition to be noticed is fierce. So like a circus you have to learn how to engage your audience in seconds. It’s not a matter of a tweet anymore or just scheduling an update, or posting a meme (which, by the way is out.) The trend to integrated social advertising means further distraction within the social timeline and feed of most people. In 2014, Snapchat had its first ad, now Facebook auto-plays video ads (and soon coming to an app near you) and Twitter cards have expanded use – creating even more competition to reach your audience.   The saving grace for trade show exhibitors is the mobile channel continues to grow, and we can take advantage of that. The majority of people attending trade shows carry smartphones and tablets, taking their own videos and posting their own photos. This can be...
What’s New With YouTube – 301+, Mobile View Update, Comments

What’s New With YouTube – 301+, Mobile View Update, Comments

Redesigned Mobile app Like me, you may be watching YouTube videos often on your smartphone or tablet. Today more than half the views on YouTube happen on mobile devices and through the mobile app. YouTube is now finally updating their App now available on Android and soon iOS.  The update includes three tabs: Home: You will now be able to search and explore videos with recommendations based on your watch history as well as personalized playlists personalized Subscriptions: The Subscription tab lets you find your favorite channels more easily. And to help make sure you never miss an upload, you can now tap the bell icon on the channels you love to get a notification as soon as a new video is posted. Account: Check out your playlists, watch history, and the videos you’ve uploaded all in one spot. You can also now watch full-screen vertical videos with just a single tap for the very first time. Now, according to YouTube’s blog, “With the redesigned app you can take your creativity to new levels using a new set of video creation tools. You’ve got an amazing camera in your phone or tablet, and now you can trim your footage, tint the image with filters, add music, and upload – all inside the app.” Something that’s been long in coming. Counting Views Improves YouTube’s “301+ view” will be going away. If you’ve ever viewed a popular video early in it’s post you may have seen “301+” – that is a count YouTube uses to pause popular videos so it can separate the spam bots from real viewers. Yes, that’s right...
MailChimp for Your Email Marketing

MailChimp for Your Email Marketing

I’ve worked with two of the most popular email marketing services – MailChimp and Constant Contact – over the past few years. Creating and managing weekly newsletters for clients. I like MailChimp most, and I’ll tell you why in this post. In 2014, Mailchimp users sent over 100 billion emails and with 76 languages used in campaigns (English and Spanish are the two top languages.) It’s a young company, and it shows it in its website design, interface and brand look – gotta like that monkey. When it comes to budget, MailChimp wins. You can sign on for a free account – and it’s free forever. But, you are limited to that free plan – maximum of 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 sends for each month. Even still I find for most businesses that’s a great place to start. The free, forever, plan gives you the ability to A/B Test your emails, provides comprehensive reports, gives you ample enough templates, integration, RSS-to-Email, custom forms, segmentation, and groups, and social sharing. Additional features that would be useful are either on a paid add-on for monthly or Pay As You Go accounts include: social profiles, delivery by time zone (which I find important) and automation (autoresponders and more.) This last one can be key to growing your list. To use some premium tools you will have to upgrade to a paid plan – which, sounds fine at the beginning for $10 per month, but that only covers 500 subscribers. It can get pricey. But, if you end up with 25,000 subscribers and a $150 monthly bill you should be making that back...
Case Study: Bathroom Makeover Giveaway [Infographic]

Case Study: Bathroom Makeover Giveaway [Infographic]

A Giveaway Driving Over 550,000 social media impressions ez2BSocial was engaged to create and implement a national online giveaway for On The House with the Carey Brothers – an online resource for DIY and home improvement projects, plus well known national radio show personalities. The Bathroom Makeover Giveaway, sponsored by Mansfield Plumbing and Hy-Lite, was launched June 19, 2014 and ran for 4 weeks.  The giveaway was a $6,500 Bathroom Makeover – packaged with a Mansfield Plumbing Brentwood Suite and a Hy-Lite – acrylic block or decorative glass window (winner’s choice.) The mission was to drive entries, engagement and draw a winner who would then participate in photo and video work that the sponsors could then use in further promotions. The campaign included: Daily Twitter posts and engagement Daily Facebook status updates about the sponsors and promoting the giveaway page The On The House Weekly e-newsletter was sent to over 12,000 subscribers Promotions during the On The House with the Carey Brothers’ radio show Blogger outreach and guest listings The giveaway was fashioned to include multiple entries and a daily entry option. The entrants would accumulate points for accomplishing different tasks: Viewing a sponsor video Visiting sponsor Facebook Pages Retweeting the contest links Posting comments to designated blog sites Signing up for a newsletter During the four week giveaway we saw: over 36,081 entries, with 3,438 entrants visits to Mansfield on Facebook    8,784 Mansfield went from 1,255 “Likes” on their Facebook page to 2,292 visits Hy-Lite on Facebook 8,010 Hy-lite added over 600 “Likes” to their page tweeted a message about the giveaway 6,628 visited The Carey Brothers on...
Five Ways Twitter Analytics Can Boost Your ROI

Five Ways Twitter Analytics Can Boost Your ROI

Twitter continues to be a driving force in the world of social media. According to AdWeek, Twitter ranks second overall when it comes to the number of users in the U.S. and it is predicted that 57.3 people will be tweeting in 2016. In social media marketing, there is one thing everyone is after, a high return on investment. Whether you are using Twitter’s in-house analytics dashboard or a third-party software, here are five ways you can use Twitter analytics to boost your ROI. Target your amplifiers What is an amplifier? An amplifier is an avid Twitter user who loves to consume and create content. Amplifiers are the people who are most likely to retweet. In 2013, Twitter released a study on their blog that shed some light on who amplifiers are and why you should be targeting them. Amplifiers can be found in every demographic Amplifiers are not limited to millennials or the upper-middle class. Every market group represented on Twitter includes its own active influencers Amplifiers are highly visual In general, a Twitter feed that includes images is more compelling. Amplifiers, in particular, have been found to be more responsive to images that text-only tweets. Amplifiers want to hear from brands These invaluable influencers actually crave brand attention and interaction. Now you know why you should target amplifiers, but how can analytics help you? Twitter analytics can actually give you a rundown of all of your followers based on their influence. This simple metric will help you identify your coveted amplifiers and let you know who you should be paying attention to. The tool also lets you...
Five Facebook Insights that Will Grow Your Audience

Five Facebook Insights that Will Grow Your Audience

Facebook is the backbone to any solid social media marketing campaign. From a marketing standpoint, it is the best platform to reach a wide variety of audiences. All ages and demographics are represented and easy to reach. This information is nothing new and analytics being the key to effectively reaching your audience is not new either. Facebook insights gives you all the quantitative information you need to make your brand’s social media campaign effective and efficient, but for novice and some long-time users it can just look like a sea of numbers and graphs. Here are five questions that will help you clarify the data and improve your brand’s Facebook presence. What is your objective? The answer to this question is the base point for evaluating your Facebook campaign. Are you trying to raise awareness of your organization or an event? Are you trying to get more eyes on your website? There are several available metrics, answering this question allows you to prioritize them according to your organization’s individual goal and determine the content you post. Chances are, your brand has more than one objective. There a variety of metrics to measure each individual objective. Call-to-action If what you want is more eyes on your website or product your posts probably already contain a call-to-action, but what metrics are best for evaluating you success? Link clicks is the metric you are most interested in. Link clickscan be viewed by pulling up an individual post’s details. Compare a variety of call-to-action posts to decipher what messages motivate your audience to act. Brand Humanization People prefer to engage with a brand...
Explode on Instagram with Some of These Insights

Explode on Instagram with Some of These Insights

Key Metrics for Instagram Success Instagram is the leader among social networks when it comes to brand engagement. Does that surprise you? In 2014, Forrester confirmed what many were already thinking when they looked at more than 3 million interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts across the social stratosphere. They found that Instagram garnered 58 times more brand engagement than Facebook and Twitter. Here is a visual of what that looks like.   If your brand can produce rich, visual, relevant content, Instagram is where you should be. As with all social media platforms, analytics is the key to success. Instagram does have an in-house insights tool, but it is currently only available to advertisers with the hope that it will be released to other brands later this year. In the meantime, there is no shortage of third-party tools you can use to monitor your Instagram analytics. Many of the Instagram metrics you need to track are similar to other platforms, but some are unique or more important to Instagram than others. These are a few you should be measuring for Instagram success.   Hashtags Hashtags are the backbone of conversation on Instagram. They help followers and brands create and share content that is relevant to them and the people they want to reach. With hashtags you can start or join an existing brand-relevant conversation, monitor brand sentiment, and even find content for your feed. Hashtag Campaigns Hashtags campaigns are an easy and fun way to raise brand awareness and monitor the conversation in real time.Last year, Madewell hosted an Instagram flash mob to raise awareness for their jeans. Taking advantage of their media connections, they asked 500 employees, fashion bloggers and...

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