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Social Media Data: DIG through the Insight Goldmine

Social Media Data: DIG through the Insight Goldmine Social Media Data: DIG through the Insight Goldmine

We’ve all fallen into the trap at one point or another—getting into a routine where we post content just to get something fresh on the page, in the stream or through the feed. It’s a rut that can be hard to beat if you’re not taking full advantage of what you’re given from your audience.What we’re referring to is the data coming straight from your customers’ mouths, via their Tweets, comments or Likes.

Conversations are happening online all day long, with customers sharing what they want and need on a continuous basis. In social media, news travels extremely fast and it can be difficult to keep up. But staying in tune with this continuous and evolving stream of news and information is crucial as ever, and networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many others are developing analytics software integrated into their platform as a way to understand your customers.

As more and more of your interest and resources are invested into social media, you’re bound to ask a simple question: How can I improve my customer’s experience on my social channels? The key to answering this question is through a process we call “DIG.”

Here’s how you can start:

Determine your objective. You first need to know why. What is the purpose of looking at analytics? What type of data will help you make decisions and support your current campaign or strategy? Without tying a purpose to analytics, you’ll be looking at endless data from which you’ll have difficulty finding meaning. Discover the most important metrics, including those that support your business objective, and start to benchmark.

Investigate your audience’s behavior. The underlying trends in the data you see over time in relation to customer engagement can be the most meaningful information you can get from your customers. After benchmarking, you’ll need to continuously keep an eye on what is working and what is not. The key to understanding is listening and learning.

Generate your action plan. Equally important to understanding how you can effectively use this information is how you can turn social media insights into real actions—such as a sale. What good are analytics if you’re not turning the insight into something tangible?

Finding success on social media often comes down to trial and error, so as a marketer you should seek the analytics and key metrics that tie back to your business or campaign objectives. Fortunately, there are many free social media resources and tools that can spotlight trends and help you make the most sense of your data.

January 21 / 2013
Author admin_us162
Category Blog
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Three Steps to Responding to Customer Complaints on Twitter and Facebook

Three Steps to Responding to Customer Complaints on Twitter and Facebook Three Steps to Responding to Customer Complaints on Twitter and Facebook

Just because they “Like” you does not necessarily mean they like your product or service all the time. Customers have always had a voice, which is now truer than ever with social media. Many organizations have given social channels the cold shoulder just for this reason, but is this reaction necessary if you know how to competently address a customer’s concern in a public way?One way to be prepared to answer all customer complaints and feedback on Facebook and Twitter is to establish a response guide. By following these three steps, you’ll be more organized and comfortable if a negative post is staring right at you.

1. Listen: In order to know what is being said about your company or brand, you have to listen. This means not only listening for negative comments, Tweets or mentions, but also proactively listening to minimize the opportunities for customers to be upset in the first place. Set up a listening platform with branded keywords on Twitter and monitor comments and posts on your Facebook page daily. If you don’t listen, customers will think you’re ignoring them.

2. Assess: This step is crucial in deciding who you are dealing with. Is it just an upset customer, or is it an activist that will continually interrupt your social media channels? Not all responses illicit a response. A spammer, troll or someone who is outright raging against your company may be violating community rules (which you should also establish), and therefore may be dealt with accordingly. If it’s a customer who is upset from a negative experience with your product or service, you’ll have to address it—but tread carefully in the response.

3. Respond: A response that demonstrates respect will indicate that you take all problems seriously. You’ll need to take your time and craft a response that takes into account the fact that the customer does not know the whole story behind the issue. Craft a timely, courteous and respectful response. If you’re second-guessing it, have another pair of eyes review and understand what consequences may come from posting the response publicly. Turn to private direct messages for more confidentiality if the issue is personal.

If a response is necessary, you’ll need to know some of the best practices to address complaints. When dealing with negative posts, consider the following:

  • Have a game plan
  • Understand the tools available
  • Don’t delete negative posts (unless      against “House Rules” or policies)
  • When you’re wrong, say you’re sorry
  • Ask yourself if your response is      relevant
  • Determine if your message is respectful
  • Let your brand evangelists speak for      you

Not only will this three-step process help maintain your brand’s integrity and show customers that you’re listening on Facebook and Twitter, but it will also help you craft a response if there is ever an issue with an upset customer or if a crisis emerges involving your brand.

January 21 / 2013
Author admin_us162
Category Blog
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Online Marketing Trends for 2013

Online Marketing Trends for 2013 Online Marketing Trends for 2013

The past year has been an eventful one in the world of online marketing. With content marketing, social media and mobile platforms becoming increasingly important, marketers are hitting their stride in offering their target audiences engaging, relevant content that provides real value.As we approach 2013, be ready for the following trends to play major roles in how brands communicate with their stakeholders online:

1) The value of content. All evidence suggests that in 2013, trends will lean even more toward relevant customer interactions and focused, high-quality content. This form of marketing allows an organization to target specific consumer types, identifying what they find interesting or useful and then following through by providing content that fills those needs.

While pay-per-click and other forms of online advertising will remain valuable, especially to certain types of businesses, recent studies have shown that customers pay the most attention to organic content, which they are also more willing to share. Because consumers value free and useful content, brand loyalty is also increased and first-time buyers often become repeat customers. In this way, content marketing is a great long game—with the overall goal of getting people to know, like and trust your brand.

2) The continued rise of social media. We all know that the use of social media continues to increase, and it’s expected to be even more important in 2013. A strong social media strategy can help your brand reach out to new and existing customers through a platform that they use every day, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest. All social media channels have something to offer a brand, although some may be more effective than others depending on your target market.

Perhaps the most useful part of social media is the user’s ability to share information about your company with others. It’s also a great opportunity for you get valuable feedback—both good and bad—through an informal setting, allowing you to see what people truly think about your brand. Take what your loyal followers have to say into account when making future business decisions.

3) Thinking mobile. The majority of people in the U.S. with cell phones have smartphones, allowing them to use the Internet on the go. Location-based marketing like Facebook check-ins or Instagram enable consumers to share their experiences with your brand in real time. Another big advancement in 2013 is going to be the ability to make credit card payments using your mobile phone. Faster and more efficient, mobile platforms are working with content and social media marketing to provide consumers with more convenient ways to pay for goods and services.

As time goes on, it’s going to become increasingly important for you to approach your online marketing as a conversation with your target audience. Listen to what people say and follow up by providing engaging content that makes you a leader in your field.

December 19 / 2012
Author admin_us162
Category Blog
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Creating Engaging White Papers for B2B Purposes

Creating Engaging White Papers for B2B Purposes Creating Engaging White Papers for B2B Purposes

A lot of thought goes into creating a good white paper. It involves a solid mix of marketing and education based on your readers’ needs, and keeping the two balanced can be challenging. By maintaining harmony within your writing, however, you can create a white paper that’s engaging and provides value to your clients.First, it’s important to know your audience. The people who are reading white papers are often those who are looking for specific information on a particular subject. They already know what they want and are not looking to have anything sold to them. White papers are not made for casual browsing or skimming. Rather, they are in-depth reports that often include illustrations and charts that give readers the facts and overviews they need.

In fact, white papers often contain so much useful information that the reader may have to read them more than once to really absorb the content. Readers expect the writer to have a high level of knowledge on the subject, coupled with the research and references to back it up. This means that a good white paper can take from a few days to up to a month to create.

Also keep in mind that white paper readers are looking for educational information, but there should be a little marketing mixed in. The key to keeping your audience reading is to have a good balance of informative and persuasive writing. Focus on the educational value of the report, but also include content on how your organization can help with the subject at hand. This balancing act can be difficult, as overpowering your readers with marketing speak can turn them away from the white paper altogether.

To harmonize appropriately, persuade by keeping attention and interest, but don’t write as if you’re trying to sell something. Always prioritize the education component of your white paper over everything else.

Above all, stay professional. Unlike blog posts, white papers are serious in tone and professional in nature. You want to keep your reader interested in a formal way that reflects the same level of professionalism as your website. Not only should white papers be well written, but the content should also be carefully edited to ensure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Remember, you are providing something valuable to your audience, and reliable information is worth quite a bit.

It may take extra work, but put all of your knowledge to work in your white papers to provide your readers with the best possible resource. Analyze data and evaluate your options carefully. Most importantly, stay organized to ensure your readers have an easy and engaging read throughout your white papers.

December 19 / 2012
Author admin_us162
Category Blog
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Why Your Marketing Strategy Should Include QR Codes and MS Tags

Why Your Marketing Strategy Should Include QR Codes and MS Tags Why Your Marketing Strategy Should Include QR Codes and MS Tags

QR codes and MS tags are helping businesses worldwide to integrate their print and online marketing content in some new and exciting ways. By providing mobile users with instant access to online promotions, product information, purchase orders and a variety of other content, QR codes and MS tags enrich and enhance communication between businesses and consumers.

MS tags and QR codes function similarly to barcodes, except that they can be used to encode more complex information and trigger certain predetermined actions when scanned by a mobile device. When consumers use their mobile devices to scan QR codes or MS tags from print advertising, product packaging or sign advertising, they can be instantaneously connected to online content.

QR codes and MS tags make any point of contact between your marketing materials and customers directly actionable. Customers are much more likely to follow through on your call to action when you make it easy and fun for them to do so.

As with any new technology, there is a big difference between simply using it and using it well. Some marketers, rushing to jump into a new advertising market, have already made some critical mistakes, like failing to check if their codes actually scan, placing advertising in mobile dead zones like subway tunnels or linking to sites that are not optimized for mobile devices. These errors underscore the importance of having a well planned and carefully considered marketing strategy to accompany your QR codes and MS tags.

Have set goals for your campaign. QR codes and MS tags should be viewed as calls for consumer action. Tailor the linked web content so that taking this action is as easy as possible.

Pay attention to the target audience. If your customers are not likely to have used MS tags or QR codes before, they may require an explanation about how to use them and whether they need specific software to scan them. To the uninitiated, a QR code or MS tag is simply an enigmatic symbol that bears no significance. Make sure you provide that significance to them.

Provide incentives for customers who scan your codes and tags. Offer product demonstrations, in-store discounts, promotional items or an entry into sweepstakes. Do whatever is reasonable to sweeten the pot, and don’t rely solely on customer curiosity to drive action.

QR codes and MS tags can also provide you with valuable feedback about who has responded to your campaign, including their location and phone preference. This information can be helpful for crafting specific materials for certain regions or consumer segments.

MS tags and QR codes can help simplify communication between consumers and businesses. They reduce the time between contact with print and sign advertising and consumer action, and provide a great avenue for you to provide engaging content. When used correctly, MS tags and QR codes can be extraordinarily useful components to a successful marketing campaign.

November 30 / 2012
Author admin_us162
Category Blog, Uncategorized
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Sound Marketing Methods that Help You Reach Your Audience During the Holidays

Sound Marketing Methods that Help You Reach Your Audience During the Holidays Sound Marketing Methods that Help You Reach Your Audience During the Holidays

Marketing during the holiday season can be somewhat challenging. Customers are highly distracted, and every single marketing medium is plastered with retail advertising that can make it very difficult to compete and stand out. With the help of a few holiday-themed marketing techniques, however, it is possible to turn the chaos of the holiday season into a manageable and profitable time of year for any business—even those outside of the retail realm.

The New Year presents a natural and ready-made theme that can tie into some highly successful marketing techniques. This is a time of year that lends itself to both reflection over the past year and optimistic anticipation of the year to come. Tap into this spirit by releasing a newsletter that looks back at some of your company’s past successes and shares some future projects and expectations.

The year’s end also provides the perfect cutoff point between certain time-sensitive promotions. Offer reduced rates or special packaged deals that are scheduled to end on New Year’s Day. This can also be an excellent time to unveil new products, offerings or price structures to kick off the coming year. Think it as a threshold where old sales end and exciting new offers begin.

Another idea is to sell your products or services as gifts. Offer gift cards or certificates to make it easy for people utilize your company’s offerings with others in mind. Consider a more indirect marketing message that emphasizes how much a loved one might appreciate what your company has to offer. Selling in third person can be challenging, but it can also be highly rewarding for your company, your customers and their families.

You can also show your customers that you value their business by sending out personalized holiday cards or small gifts. Especially during the holidays, people love to know that they’re appreciated, and the gesture will earn your business a warm place in their hearts and a fresh place in their minds.

Finally, what better way to celebrate the holiday season than by having a holiday party? Invite clients and their families to spend a fun evening with your staff and their families. Lighthearted mingling can help reaffirm some valued contacts and establish important new ones. Most of all, a party is a great way to make everyone feel special without giving off the feeling that you’re selling something to them.

The most important thing to remember is to get into the holiday spirit and be creative. Be genuine, heartfelt and enthusiastic, and people will inevitably respond to your efforts.

November 30 / 2012
Author admin_us162
Category Blog
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How Your Direct Mail Can Be Truly Personal

How Your Direct Mail Can Be Truly Personal WIth AlphaGraphics Greenwich How Your Direct Mail Can Be Truly Personal WIth AlphaGraphics Greenwich

We are positively steeped in advertising. On average, an individual consumer receives about 3,000 marketing messages daily. With so many marketers clamoring to be heard, it can be difficult for companies to reach their target markets without being drowned out in the process.

In such a competitive market, and with consumers learning how to tune out, it’s increasingly important for companies to more personally engage their customers. If done well, direct mail can be a highly effective means of truly connecting with members of your target audience.

It’s all about how you use information. Today, marketers have access to more data and feedback than ever before, which helps them to craft more effective messages and campaigns. However, sorting out this data has always been time consuming and difficult. Most marketers have come up with a solution to this problem: they simply ignore it.

Precision marketing provides a solution to this challenge, with techniques that can help companies make effective and relevant connections with potential customers. The goal of precision marketing is to tailor marketing messages as much as possible to an individual. When putting together a direct mail advertising campaign, using a few simple precision marketing techniques can greatly improve the chances that your message will be received by the customer—and not the recycling bin.

It’s important to engage each member of your target audience personally. Depending on your knowledge of your customer, you should try to include information that is relevant to them. If your company deals with auto supplies, this may involve appealing to the customer’s specific make and model of car.

You should also stay on target. Many companies send information to customers about products similar to their previous purchases. Often, this is redundant. If your customer just purchased a jet ski, sending that person information about other jet skis is probably a waste of time and money.

While you may have heard otherwise, inserts tend to be less effective than previously thought. People usually just throw them away. A recent survey showed that about 86 percent of individuals polled have never purchased an item featured in a mailer insert. With that in mind, you might want to eliminate them from your next direct mail campaign.

In all, a good direct mail marketing effort should be viewed as a conversation with the customer. Be attentive to the listener, and try to make the conversation relevant and engaging. If you’re successful, you may find that your new customers trust you as a source of dependable information—in addition to outstanding products or services.

November 01 / 2012
Author admin_us162
Category Blog
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Combining Email Marketing with Social Media

Combining Email Marketing with Social Media With AlphaGraphics Greenwich

Combining Email Marketing with Social Media With AlphaGraphics Greenwich

For the most part, email marketing—when done in the right way—is still a powerful marketing tool and a cost-effective method for reaching out to potential customers. And because social media networks are driven by user-shared content, integrating your email marketing with your social media efforts can help expand the reach of your brand overall.

Unfortunately, email marketing continues to have somewhat of a negative connotation, due mostly to “spammers” who clog inboxes with annoying sales pitches. However, there are many marketers out there who use email effectively because they give recipients valuable information or offers that they can actually use. The fact remains that millions of people depend on email every day for communication, and they pay attention to messages that are relevant to them.

Just like it’s changed almost everything else in today’s world, social media has had an impact on email marketing. By using platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, marketers can make their email messages more targeted, more easily shared and more socially relevant. Social media networks allow individuals to suggest content to people who share their interests. This makes marketing an almost automatic function of social media, and means that integrating your email marketing campaign accordingly can be of crucial importance to your company’s brand.

Incorporating social media into your email campaign can be as simple as including share icons in your emails. These allow the recipients of your messages to easily share your information with friends. Using the tracking tools available through most email marketing services, you can find out which customers are sharing your emails the most, and focus more of your marketing efforts toward them.

Providing incentives for customers to share information about your company is also a good idea. Offer special promotions to customers for “liking” your company on Facebook or following your Twitter feed. By occasionally extending promotional offers to your followers on social media, you increase the likelihood of your customers opening your emails the next time around.

Integration can work in both directions, so consider creating email signup forms on your social media profiles. Make sure to insert frequent calls to action in your status updates and Twitter feed, asking people to sign up to your email list.

Email and social media marketing are natural partners, and together they can help you offer the type of content that keeps your target audience engaged with your brand.

November 01 / 2012
Author admin_us162
Category Blog
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Integrating YouTube into Your Social Media Strategy

YouTube Social Media Strategy with AlphaGraphics Greenwich YouTube Social Media Strategy with AlphaGraphics Greenwich

Sites like Facebook, Twitter and, most recently, Pinterest are the most common social media platforms for both individuals and businesses to connect with key audiences. However, when setting up your social media strategy, it’s important not to forget one of the most popular sites on the web—YouTube. In fact, YouTube’s popularity makes it one of the top ways for you to get your messages across.When leveraging YouTube, your first step should be to consider the types of videos that get the most views. In many cases, videos that receive the highest viewer traffic are low-budget productions. This means that companies are more likely to succeed by paying attention to the quality of their content rather than spending large amounts of money and time worrying about production value.

Remember, YouTube is more than just an Internet video library—it is the world’s second-largest search engine. Just like with Google, choosing the right keywords for your videos is important and can help drive traffic to them.

A helpful technique for finding successful keywords is to look for popular videos that are similar to the one you want to promote. Review the description of that video and some of the keywords used, and try to replicate them for your videos. This will increase the likelihood that your video will be recommended to people watching similar ones.

YouTube also offers great social features that can help you build your fan base. Use calls to action in your video posts, asking your viewers to rate your video, post comments and share the video with friends. The more you engage your viewers socially, the better your chances of driving people to your videos.

You should also take your campaign outside of YouTube itself. Provide links to your video on your blog, website and Twitter feed. By reaching out through as many social media venues as possible, you can effectively integrate your YouTube videos into your online campaign.

One of the most important aspects of social media is that it can be fun for all involved, so start uploading, exploring and enjoying all that YouTube has to offer your brand. Isn’t it time you capitalized on the millions of people who search YouTube every day?

September 24 / 2012
Author admin_us162
Category Blog
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Best Practices for a Great Email Marketing Campaign

Email Marketing Email Marketing with AlphaGraphics Greenwich

When done well, an email marketing campaign can be a powerful and effective way for businesses to reach out to their customers. Despite all of the “junk” email out there today, people still respond to engaging email marketing messages, taking action at surprisingly high rates.Understanding a few key guidelines can help ensure that your emails are received, loud and clear—while staying out of junk folders.

The first and perhaps the most important aspect of a great email marketing campaign is the tone of the emails you send. Just like a good salesperson focuses on the benefits of a product and how it can ultimately help the end user, your email messages should be concise and benefits-driven. They should avoid over-the-top language and empty promises, instead focusing on the real solutions of your products or services.

As a first step, create a snappy, enticing subject line. This is the first point of contact with your customers, and it will often determine whether they open and read your email or simply delete it. If you find yourself using all caps with multiple exclamation points, you’ve probably missed the mark.

Having a customer’s email address places you in a trusted position. It’s important to reward that trust by offering special perks like advanced notice regarding special deals or printable coupons. Make the customer feel privileged to take part in the relationship—and follow through with real value as often as possible.

When crafting the body of your message, think about how your email will be viewed in your customer’s web browser. Many web browsers currently have preview features, allowing users to see the content of an email without actually opening it. This means that you might want to lead with the most important information first. Discard distracting elements such as long headers and large images.

One of the reasons email marketing is such a powerful tool is that it provides the ability to monitor the effectiveness of your campaign. Keep track of how frequently customers open your emails, what times your messages are most opened and whether customers click on any links. This information can help you tailor your message to specific segments within your customer base. By segmenting your target audience, you can make sure your message is best suited to its individual recipients.

An email marketing campaign is most effective when you thoroughly consider the experience it will produce on the consumer’s end. By following these simple guidelines, your emails will stand a better chance getting the attention they deserve.

September 13 / 2012
Author admin_us162
Category Blog, Uncategorized
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