VERDICT MEDIA STRATEGIES – Changing the face of business as we know it.

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Every company has a perfect customer. And at Verdict Media Strategies, we’re all about finding and engaging with them for you. We design, target and measure your content by combining art and science – beautifully crafted and intelligent copy with analysable metrics. Reach out to me to see how VMS can benefit your business with intelligent insights and powerful tools to increase your business activity and sales. Call John Dryden on +61 4 8461 3508

One Size Does Not Fit All: Which Social Media Platforms Should Your Business Be On? By Seth Rand

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With new social media platforms popping up every day, how do you decide which sites your company should have a presence on?

In today’s business world, social media marketing is a strategy that no company can afford to ignore. With new social media platforms popping up every day, how do you decide which sites your company should have a presence on?
Below is a list of the top social media sites, along with the reasons you should—or shouldn’t—consider maintaining an active profile or page on each platform.
Facebook 
As the largest social media platform in the world with over a billion active users, Facebook is a social media platform that cannot be ignored. Unless your company is niche business that deals mainly on a B2B basis with a very specific and narrow type of audience, and doesn’t need to have a public way to interact with or provide content to your target demographic, your company should maintain a Facebook page.
Although most companies place Facebook at the forefront of their social media efforts, a small number of companies have decided to abandon Facebook in recent years. This abandonment is due to Facebook’s practice of modifying the algorithms that determine which posts appear on each users’ News Feed, which in turn has resulted in fewer company posts getting seen by a page’s followers.
Because of this, companies now have to spend money on Facebook ads or boosted posts to reclaim a prominent place in their followers’ News Feeds.
Having to “pay to play” for what used to be free has caused some companies to rethink or alter their Facebook strategy. That being said, only companies that have had considerable and measurable success on other social media platforms should consider leaving Facebook at this time.
Twitter 
Twitter focuses on brief, real-time communication, with almost 6,000 tweets posted every minute. Because of this, tweets can quickly become buried in a user’s Twitter feed. Due to this fast paced atmosphere, it is important to tweet at least a few times a day if you want to have any sort of visibility.
If your company doesn’t have enough content or commentary at its disposal to maintain an active presence on Twitter, you should consider focusing your company’s social media efforts elsewhere.
A major caveat to this rule applies to companies that frequently interact with their customers regarding questions or comments about their products or services. Twitter is the social media platform that customers are most likely to turn to when they have questions or complaints about a company.
Because of this, these types of companies should have a customer service specialists monitoring their Twitter account on a daily basis for any potential customer questions or complaints. According to a survey of Twitter users, 42 percent of customers expect to receive a response to a customer service complaint within one hour, so waiting to respond until the next business day could seriously hurt your businesses’ reputation.
LinkedIn 
LinkedIn is the most prominent social network for professionals. It’s an extension of old-fashioned, face to face social networking, and should be used as an avenue to connect with your colleagues, as well as potential business leads and referral partners.
If you run a B2B business, you should have both a personal and company profile on LinkedIn to increase the visibility of your company among other professionals in your field. Engaging in LinkedIn groups, both through posting and commenting on other posts, is another great way to build the professional reputation of individual members of your team.
Top-level members of your management team should also consider posting original articles on LinkedIn’s Publisher feature to improve the reputation and credibility of that individual, as well as your company.
Google+
Although Google+ is a platform that has never caught on in comparison to competitors like Facebook, the fact that Google+ is a Google product should make you still seriously consider investing time on this site. Content that is posted on Google+ is picked up by Google’s search engines in a way that content from other social media sites isn’t, so if you are looking to increase your company’s SEO, your company should be on Google+.
Another reason to have a profile on Google+, especially for local, service-oriented businesses, is Google+ reviews. Once a company receives five Google+ reviews, the number of stars associated with your business will show up directly on Google search results. Having a high rating on Google+ reviews will greatly impact the reputation of your company.
Pinterest 
Pinterest is a visual platform in which people can “pin” pictures and other content to their boards. This content usually consists of products that the user likes, and therefore, is the leading platform for website traffic referrals.
If you run any sort of business that’s core business consists of products dealing with home decorating, fashion, recipes or any other product that is visually appealing—especially to targeting women—your company should have an active presence on Pinterest.
Instagram
Instagram is currently the best platform to reach out to teenagers and other people that love a good image or short video. The difference between Pinterest and Instagram is that pictures shared on Instagram primarily focus on photos of people, landscapes, and the like as opposed to products, so companies such as travel companies, magazines or any other companies that have access to high-quality images of people using their products should be on Instagram.  
Using any sort of stock photography on Instagram is considered a major faux pas and should be avoided at all costs.

In Conclusion
Even though you should consider having a social media profile on each of the relevant platforms above for your business, remember that having an inactive social media profile might be worse than not having a profile at all. However, if you are busy and unable to consistently stay active on social media, then there is a variety of software available to help schedule posts such as Hootsuite, TweetDeck, SproutSocial, etc. Because of this, it is important to have a social media strategy in place before you set up your social media accounts.

Be sure set goals ahead of time, such as the number of times your company should be posting, tweeting or pinning per week. Once you develop your social media strategy, make sure you have the resources to properly execute your strategy.
If you find yourself unable to maintain an active social media presence with your current staff level, you should either hire a social media professional to manage your social media efforts, or enlist a marketing firm to manage your social media presence on your platforms. You can do yourself a disservice trying to do it yourself and doing it poorly, and consequently damaging your brand. Get it right from the start, work with a professional for a minimum of 90 days to learn and perfect your own social media craft.

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Client agency relationships: confessions of an ex-client

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Client agency relationships: confessions of an ex-client
Posted on June 22, 2016 by Bruno Gralpois.

This post is by Bruno Gralpois, co-founder of Agency Mania Solutions, a premier service and technology firm specialising in helping large brand advertisers realise the transformational value of managed partnerships. 

The uneasy truth about being a client and what it means to build lasting partnerships in today’s cut-throat environment.

I’d like to confess. Actually, I have multiple confessions to make. Four to be precise. No worries. This is not a remake of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2002), so they won’t keep you up at night.

Client agency relationship confessions
But if you’ve ever been a client, you too would have much to say. By now, we can all agree that the client/agency relationship is no longer what it used to be. Long gone are the days of long-lasting relationships where it took a major blowup for the partnership to be at risk.

Now, relationships are very fragile. So fragile indeed that the only thing that might keep an agency from walking over the deadly precipice of a separation is a performance improvement plan (PIP) and a 90-day termination clause, which is increasingly shorter as clients ask for more flexibility and are unwilling to commit long term.

I’ve had the opportunity to work as a client many times over and manage a complex set of relationships with incredibly talented agencies and their holding companies. Managing agency partnerships successfully is both an art and a science.

Because it’s both, it’s subject to many challenges, biases and other intangibles that are part of our daily lives. Ignoring them is risky. Acknowledging and embracing them is a first step toward overcoming most common challenges.

Confession #1: Most clients don’t understand the agency business.

That’s the reality. I was lucky to have worked at agencies before, but most clients have never had this experience. It puts them at a disadvantage because it’s hard to fully understand how agencies operate, how they manage their P&L and why they behave the way they do at times, unless you’ve walked in their shoes.

What can be done to address this? Some agencies do a very good job of sharing with their client the unique operational nuances of their business and how these might impact the relationship or how it’s managed. I always encourage clients to spend time at their agencies to experience firsthand the inner workings of the agency life.

Some clients organise agency days where client teams get to spend time with their agency counterparts in their offices. The better you understand the agency business, the better equipped you are to build mutually beneficial partnerships.

Confession #2: Too many clients think agencies are operating with fat or hidden margins.

Last year’s ANA survey, “Enhancing Client Agency Relationships,” demonstrated the huge gap in perception as it relates to compensation. Only 40% of agencies feel that their compensation arrangements are fair, while 72% of clients feel that they are.
One-third of agencies actually disagree or strongly disagree. It’s not new. The era of “Mad Men” in the 1960s, populated with alpha male characters like Don Draper, hasn’t helped and is still trailing in clients’ minds: agencies are perceived to be operating with fat margins that pay for the extra martinis.
The lack of transparency further accentuated by the recent debacle of AVBs and media rebates continues to fuel the perception that agencies are always finding ways to make up for profitability in ways that are not always clear to the client.

What is the solution?

Well, greater transparency around agency compensation and more accurate reporting go a long way to address this perception gap. Well-informed clients know that when agencies make reasonable profits, it allows agencies to secure and assign top talent, which ultimately benefits their clients.

Confession #3: Too many clients don’t know that they are bad partners.

Collaborating effectively with an agency is a skill set that most clients acquire over the years. They have the scars to prove it. And there are a number of benefits of being a great client. The work produces better results and you end up attracting the best agency talent over time. Everyone at the agency wants to work on your business, and as a result, the work continues to flourish.

What does it mean to be a good client?
Provide strong guidance. Set clear expectations. Encourage risk-taking and autonomy. Push the envelope. Challenge the work in constructive ways. Provide direct, timely and actionable feedback. Lead by example. And the list goes on.
Unfortunately, too many clients don’t know that they are bad clients. In the same ANA study referenced earlier, only 36% of agencies don’t think the client approval process works well, while over half of clients (54%) feel it does. Only 27% of agencies think clients provide clear assignment briefings to them, while 58% of clients think they do.

The solution?

Open, direct feedback and 360-degree client/agency evaluations allow clients to learn the important role they play in building a productive relationship with their agencies, and how to become better clients over time.

Confession #4: Clients significantly impact how agencies behave or perform.

The most progressive clients welcome the opportunity to conduct self-assessments or get feedback from their agencies about their role in the partnership.

Many times, I’ve seen clients complain about the lack of strategic insight brought forward by the team without realising that their fee-reduction efforts may have led the agency to remove critical staffing resources that would be tasked to fulfil that role.

They may unintentionally do something that gets in the way of an outcome they desire. Is the client adequately training the agency? Is the client providing clear guidance and the resources needed for it to be successful? Is the client giving the agency enough time or access to resources to think proactively or innovate on the account? Is the client cutting budgets that might impact the quality of resources available to the agency?

Client decisions around agency assignments or budgets tend to have a domino effect on the agency relationship, which is felt later on and is likely to shape the relationship for the foreseeable future.

Why Cosabella replaced its agency with AI and will never go back to humans

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IBM’s Watson has changed the advertising industry, and Ad Agency Heads are denying it and burying their heads in the sand! It’s time to wake up and work with technology that is replacing known industry standards, experience and know how! Technology is changing the way we communicate, and we need to work with it, rather than deny it, please read this story below by Emily Tan

In October, lingerie retailer Cosabella replaced its digital agency with an AI platform named “Albert”. Since then it has more than tripled its ROI and increased its customer base by 30%.

Headquartered in the US, with ecommerce sites in the UK, Australia, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, Cosabella decided to engage Adgorithms (the creator of Albert) out of frustration with its digital ad agency.

“We know our brand best and communicating it to the advertising agency became time-consuming and difficult,” Courtney Connell, marketing director of Cosabella, said, declining to name the agency as they really were “very lovely people” who she had no wish to disparage.

Connell grew concerned when the retailer went through a flat quarter. “It was very scary, particularly when we enjoyed double-digit growth all the previous quarters.”

After parting ways with the agency, Connell looked around for alternatives and decided to try using an AI platform instead of building up a larger in-house team.

As a first test, Adgorithm’s Albert was tasked with identifying and converting high-value audiences. It was given Cosabella’s paid search and social media marketing efforts to manage and was allowed to autonomously execute Cosabella’s digital marketing efforts using creative and KPIs provided by the brand.

 

In the first month alone, Albert increased Cosabella’s search and social return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) by 50% and decreased its adspend by 12%.

On Facebook specifically, Albert produced a 565% increase in ROAS within his first month. By month three, Albert had increased Cosabella’s ROAS to 336% – a 155% increase over the previous quarter.

Overall, Albert’s work in the last quarter of 2016 contributed strongly towards the company’s 37% increase in overall website sessions, a 30% increase in new users, and 1,500 more transactions.

“After seeing Albert handle our paid search and social media marketing, I would never have a human do this again,” Connell said.

One of the biggest changes Albert has achieved, she added, was to grow the revenue Cosabella gained from social media. “Prior to Albert, only 5-10% of our revenue came from social media. Now, social media consistently accounts for 30% of our paid revenue. Albert’s success driving conversions on Facebook resulted in a 2000% increase in purchases originating from the channel.”

Agency versus AI

In terms of fees, Albert is no cheaper than an agency, Connell said. “An ad agency will charge 15-20% of your media spend. Albert charges 18% and had no monthly cost or implementation fee.”

Working with Albert has been seamless with no development or down time. “He doesn’t sleep, he’s fast, he doesn’t get into a fight with his girlfriend and lose focus,” Cornell commented, speaking of Albert as if of a favourite employee.
On Black Friday, Cornell recalls waking up at 2am in a panic, anxious that the campaigns Cosabella was running were not gaining the traction it was counting on. “But Albert was there, managing everything perfectly.”

Albert is capable of moving budgets into any of the areas he manages, and if ROAS is routinely above target, he’ll recommend a budget increase. “We’re meeting our KPISs across all channels,” Connell said.

There is a place for agencies in marketing, she mused, but it does not lie in managing paid-search, social and display campaigns. “I wouldn’t want a human to do this, it would be a terrible life. I do not see these skills as being relevant in future for a human.”

Working with an AI

Although Albert had no trouble getting to work, Connell and her team had a learning curve to navigate, she said.

“It required a mindset change. Don’t give the AI a set creative focus. Instead, give him [Albert] different elements. Albert tests different copy with different photos and spends the first couple of weeks optimising,” she said. “Once he’s optimised your campaigns he’ll start to make his own.”

Albert, she continued, is capable of creating micro-segments of men and women customers based on micro-patterns, turning the three broad personas the marketing team used in house into hundreds of finely tune personas.

“I would say that, what’s cool about AI is that it doesn’t think about people in the same way we think about people. What Albert does, he optimises for each microsegment that he makes. He wants to speak to the woman however she wants to be spoken to, and he’ll do it with the brand assets he’s been given,” Connell said. “For example, if you described a human or an object you’d list about ten things. AI will understand subtle manoeuvres that humans would not deem relevant most of the time. And he never forgets.”

It would be a mistake for marketers to try and set audience target perimeters too rigidly when dealing with an AI, she commented. “This frustrated me too at first. But you have to give the AI the freedom to test and experiment. This way it can find micro groups of potential customers you have missed.”

Albert will also analyse the keywords used by competitors and suggest if the brand needs to start targeting those areas.

“He’s notified us that all our competitors are running promotions at a time we weren’t, so we should probably get on that. He has also told us that ads with humans perform 50% better than still life. So we should give him more creative assets with humans,” Connell explained.

One of the things Cosabella has benefited most from is Albert’s ability to detect “fatigue”: “He’ll tell us when he feels a creative concept is ‘fatiguing’, that is, its click rate is going down and interactions are dropping.”

Connell is so pleased with Albert that she’s currently testing another AI platform specialising in website management. “Otherwise it’s funny. Here we have Albert doing all this awesome stuff for us, but once the consumer lands on our site it’s bye-bye Albert.”

AI platforms are designed to be intensely specialised, she explained. So instead of trying to turn Albert into more of a multi-tasker, Adgorithms has identified partners to work with. “We’re working out a handshake between Albert and Sentient, the AI we have on our platform.”

Social Media – Are you being driven insane?

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If you pull out your phone to check Twitter while waiting for the light to change, or read e-mails while brushing your teeth, you might be what the American Psychological Association calls a “constant checker.” And chances are, it’s hurting your mental health.

Last week, the APA released a study finding that Americans were experiencing the first statistically significant stress increase in the survey’s 10-year history. In January, 57 percent of respondents of all political stripes said the U.S. political climate was a very or somewhat significant source of stress, up from 52 percent who said the same thing in August. On Thursday, the APA released the second part of its 1 findings, “Stress In America: Coping With Change,” examining the role technology and social media play in American stress levels.

The highest stress levels, it should be noted, are reserved for those who constantly check their work e-mail on days off. Their average stress level is 6.0. So those of you who think it’s somehow pleasant to work from home on a Saturday afternoon, you’re actually fooling yourself. (Good news, there is certainly a way to fight burnout.)

About 42 percent of constant checkers specifically point to political and cultural discussions as causing stress. And the impacts play out in real life—35 percent of constant checkers say they are less likely to spend time with family and friends because of social media.

If the first step toward recovery, however, is admitting there is a problem, Americans are on their way. Some 65 percent of respondents said “unplugging” or taking a “digital detox” is important. But alas, knowing you have a problem is not the same as fixing it: Only 28 percent of those Americans say they take their own advice.

For those looking to manage their social media usage, Anthony L. Rostain, professor of psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and co-author of The Adult ADHD Tool Kit: Using CBT to Facilitate Coping Inside and Out, offers some suggestions:

  • Set guidelines for your social media time.
  • Make sure you complete the tasks you need to get done.
  • Get the sleep you need.
  • At the end of the day, evaluate: “Did I do OK? Where did I slip up? Can I do better tomorrow?” These are all important questions to ask yourself, Rostain says.
  • And he adds one final, crucial point: “Don’t [lie] in bed at all hours with the screen in your face.”

Instagram catches up to Facebook

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Checking Facebook is a daily habit (if not an hourly habit) for most of its users. In December, 66% of Facebook’s 1.86 billion monthly users checked in on an average day. That kind of daily user engagement is unparalleled by similar services like Twitter or LinkedIn.

Instagram has quickly caught up with its parent company in terms of its daily user to monthly user ratio. On Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Instagram reached 400 million daily active users, around 67% of its 600 million monthly active users announced in December. That’s a huge improvement from the middle of last year, when its DAU/MAU ratio was just 60%. At the end of 2013, just over half of Instagram users checked the app daily. Growing daily users will be one of the biggest revenue growth drivers for Facebook going forward and provides a much better indication of the platform’s health than monthly users.

A symbiotic relationship

Facebook originally purchased Instagram as it noticed the photo-sharing app was a threat to its own user engagement. If people started using Instagram more, Facebook was at risk of its users logging in less often.

Zuckerberg said the opposite is happening these days. “As we encourage people to use both Facebook and Instagram, engagement on both can increase,” he told analysts on Facebook’s fourth-quarter earnings call.

Indeed, even while Instagram’s user growth and engagement have exploded over the last couple years, Facebook users still log in daily at an ever-increasing rate. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Facebook’s DAU/MAU ratio was just 64%. Last quarter, it climbed to 66%.
Granted, that didn’t just happen. Facebook engineered that symbiotic relationship by integrating both platforms with one another while snubbing others like Twitter. (Users have to click a link to see Instagram photos on Twitter while they post natively on Facebook.) It shows the value of owning multiple platforms.

Daily users are even more important than monthly users

Daily users can give investors a better picture of how much value an app like Instagram is able to generate from its user base. You can’t click on an ad if you’re not logged in.
That’s why it’s incredibly frustrating that Twitter won’t reveal details about its daily users. The last update Twitter provided was that its DAU/MAU ratio was 44% in its top 20 market and falling. That was in its second-quarter 2015 earnings call, and its revenue growth since that time has been unremarkable, to say the least.

Instagram and Facebook, on the other hand, have benefited greatly from the growing percentage of users logging in every day. Going forward, that will play an even bigger role in growing Facebook’s ad revenue. CFO Dave Wehner warned investors last year that ad load on its flagship app was nearing saturation. As such, continued revenue growth will stem from higher engagement rates, leading to more total ads displayed.

While management noted there is room for more ad load growth on Instagram over a longer time frame than Facebook, it also said it’s still a relatively small portion of revenue. But if Instagram can continue to grow at the rapid pace it has been (about 100 million new daily users in the last seven months), it may not be long before it’s approaching the scale of Facebook’s flagship app today (1.2 billion daily users).
For reference, Facebook generated $27 billion in ad revenue last year. Credit Suisse estimates Instagram could produce $12 billion in revenue by 2021, but with the recent acceleration in daily user growth, that may be shortchanging Facebook’s ability to monetize Instagram’s user base.
Adam Levy has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Facebook and Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A third of Instagram users have bought an item of clothing they saw on the social network

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With more and more Instagram users inspired to buy clothing, the social network is fast establishing itself as a solid bet for fashion-led brands 

instagram story

Instagram has claimed fashion brands are most likely to succeed on its platform, with one in three of its 500 million global users having bought an item of clothing they discovered while using the social network.

Its latest report claims that an Instagram user interested in high street fashion checks their newsfeed 15 times a day. It also found fashion fans have 230% more followers than the average Instagram user and post three times as much, making them its most engaged segment of users.

instagram stats

And for brands looking to target Instagram’s fashionista community, the weekend is the best bet with Friday the peak day for posts.

The UK, meanwhile, came out on top for the number of accounts its users follow, with the average British ‘fashion’ user following 407 accounts.

“These new findings show how engaged and influential the fashion community is on Instagram – they post three times as often as the average person, with 230% more followers.”

Amy Cole, EMEA head of brand development, Instagram.

“They’re also ready to turn their passion for fashion into purchase – with one in three Instagrammers buying an item they’ve discovered on the platform. There is a huge opportunity for fashion brands and retailers to tell great brand stories and deliver real business results through Instagram,” she adds.

In February, Instagram reached the milestone of 200,000 advertisers as it claimed it was now the “look book for brands people love and the shop window for small businesses on mobile”.

Careers can be divided into 7 ‘clusters’ and not particular professions

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Careers can be divided into 7 ‘clusters’ and not particular professions

 Jan Owen of the Foundation for Young Australians says employers have to look at capabilities and skills. Once they …

Jan Owen of the Foundation for Young Australians says employers have to look at capabilities and skills. Once they identify this it will drive better candidate selection and improve productivity as well as reduce staff turnover. supplied

by Lucille Keen

Young Australians should not at 17 be deciding to be a lawyer, accountant, or some other profession. Instead they should choose whether they are an “informer”, a “generator” or a “technologist”.
A report commissioned by the Foundation for Young Australians, a not-for-profit backed by the Australian government and a number of ASX 100 companies, found young Australians should give up on focusing on one single “dream job”.
Analysing 2.7 million job advertisements, the report found it was better to think of seven “job clusters” or groups in the Australian economy that required skills that were closely related and portable.
There seven job clusters in Australia’s workforce are the generators, the artisans, the carers, the coordinators, the designers and the informers.


  

The report said only 6 per cent of adults end up in the careers they wanted when they were younger.
“Instead of training for a particular occupation and working in that area for life, some studies have estimated that Australians will make 17 changes in employers across five different careers,” the report said.
The report found for someone who has already trained for or worked in one job, 44 different jobs only request one additional skill and that did not necessarily require going back to university to obtain.
After doing just one job young people will have the skills for up to 13 others.
Career prospects


  

Some job clusters have stronger future prospects than others, with those in the “artisans” and the “coordinators” group likely to experience lower growth and high exposure to automation.
Technologists were most likely to have the highest growth in career prospects, at 19 per cent in the last five years, followed by carers and informers.
Foundation for Young Australians chief executive Jan Owen said companies needed to shift their mindset because linear careers would be far less common and young people would need a portfolio of skills and capabilities, including career management skills to navigate the more complex world of work.
She said career advice was outdated and the report highlighted the need to focus on a candidate’s skills rather than linear career path.
“Having one dream job for life is no longer the case,” Ms Owen said.
“But it also doesn’t mean they necessarily have to go back to university and start again. There are many roles people can transfer into because they already have the portable skills. This is liberating for young people. Employers have to think beyond linear careers and look at capabilities and skills.”
Ms Owen said once employers identify this it would drive better candidate selection and improve productivity as well as reduce staff turnover.
She said if educators, policymakers and the government addressed the issue of skills rather than linear career paths it would reduce the number of under-employed Australians.
Randstad recruitment manager Sally Mortimer said many young job seekers had high expectations of what jobs they were able to “walk into”.
“But they need to realise they might start in one area of a business and then have five career changes within it,” Ms Mortimer said.

7 Inspiring Ideas To Power Up Your Social Media Strategy With Special Events

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As curated from my friends Jeffbullas’s blogJeff Bullas

You are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t make the most of social media’s promotional power to grow your business…

But social media marketing can get pretty impersonal when you’re purely using it to drive traffic, collect leads and convert users into sales.

A timeline full of flat out promotion leads to low engagement.

So it’s important to share posts that engage and delight your fans and followers. Trends and special events are a great way to reach your audience on an emotional level, appealing to their desire to share information, feel like part of a group, and provide value to their own audience.

Here are some inspiring ideas to implement trends and special events into your content calendar, so you have a consistently positive impact on your audience, and maybe send a post or two viral.

Bonus: For a bit of extra reading on this topic, I recommend you download this practical e-book about holiday posts and their potential to go viral on social media

1. Every day can be a holiday

The major holidays should always get some love, but every day can be a holiday.
With all the negativity floating around in the social sphere, an uplifting post about National Donut Day, or World Peace Day, can be just what your audience needs.

Also, don’t forget to use local events such as festivals and significant days in your city or town to spice up your social media strategy.

You can even make up your own holiday, like many brands have done. IHOP for example started National Pancake Day, and the inventor of cake pops invented National Cake Pop Day.

People like these “made up” holidays because they’re shareable, fun and interesting. And, days like National Cheeseburger Day or National Donut Day give people an excuse to break their diets, or to meet a friend for lunch to catch up. 

But you don’t have to come up with your own day, because there are plenty of social holidays out there you can use to engage your audience.

For example, PromoRepublic creates templates for these holidays every single day. 

You can check it out for free and save yourself hours of searching for these viral events.

2. Don’t be afraid of healthy, positive gossip

Psychology Today says that it could actually be a good thing to care about celebrity news.

They support a claim that our preference to pay attention to gossip is a byproduct of the social intelligence our prehistoric ancestors had to develop in order to survive and thrive within their communities. These people paid more attention to what other people were doing, which allowed them to predict behavior and even influence others.

Fast forward to today, and the phenomenon of celebrity news, combined with the power of social media, make celebrities socially important to humans. We can’t help ourselves.

So that means that sports news, celebrity birthdays and other pseudo-gossipy posts feed a primitive need in our mind. As long as you keep it respectful and mostly non-confrontational, you can expect engagement from these posts.

3. Take the opportunity to do something good

People are inspired by special days that are designed to spread goodwill and help a group in need.

One of the core reasons why people share on social media is to support a cause and do good. In fact, CoSchedule tells us that 84% of users share socially to support issues they care about.

So when you post about things like World Charity Month, Fire Prevention Month, and National Stop Bullying Day (just a few examples), you show your fans and followers that you care.

Since social is all about relationships, a great way to nurture these relationships is with socially aware posts that can raise awareness about different issues.

Letting people know that your brand is socially responsible can boost your reputation, increase positive customer sentiment, and is frankly, good karma.

4. It’s never bad to make people smile

There’s a reason why funny TV commercials are so popular. They make a brand more accessible and make people smile in the process.

Social media works in much the same way. A great meme or funny visual post can elevate someone’s day. And when that happens, they’re likely to share it with their own social audience.

The team at Social Media Examiner shared some great tips on using humor in your social posts:
Dirty or distasteful humor doesn’t fly

Find humor in everyday situations

Wittiness and puns are appreciated

It’s OK to have a sense of humor about your brand

Here’s one example of everyday humor being used to engage an audience:

If you follow these rules and make sure you do some A/B testing, you’re sure to be a hit.

5. It’s all about the visuals

People’s brains are attracted to visual content. So as you post your trends and special events, make sure they have a great visual component.

For example, on Facebook visual posts get 37% more engagement than text posts. Tweets with images get 150% more retweets than standard posts, and other social media channels like Pinterest are pretty much all visual. Even LinkedIn posts perform better with a strong visual component.

Just make sure you choose the right visuals for the right social network.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a graphic designer to create great visual posts. Tools like PromoRepublic and Canva can give you all the visual oomph you need to create a compelling visual post in little time, and for a lot less money than hiring a designer.

6. Knowledge really is power

People love to learn new things, especially in a way that makes it easy for them to share that knowledge.

You can do this through a link to an informative blog post that you have written yourself. Or you can do it by curating content from other credible sources.
Sharing knowledge is an important aspect to social media marketing, but you have to space it out with other types of posts.

Luckily, link posts aren’t the only means of sharing information. Infographics are an extremely powerful visual tool that usually spark engagement and shares. How-to posts, quizzes, polls and inspirational quotes all scratch that inquisitive itch too.

It’s important to understand what your audience cares about, in order to understand what sort of information they want to consume.

Tying a knowledge-heavy post into a current event, trend or holiday can be especially powerful, because it provides context. You aren’t just posting random information and hoping it hits the mark.

7. No matter what, context matters

The key to pitch-perfect social media is context.

It’s all well and good to come up with a visual social media post that is simply stunning, but if it’s written in a way or delivered in a way that doesn’t resonate with your audience, it falls flat.

Posting the right content, to the right audience, in the right place, at the right time, is the very definition of contextual social marketing.

As I said earlier, current events, trends and special events help you laser focus your posts to reach your audience with the most impact.