Insights: The EGC Blog

redmango

First, What Are Twitter Cards?

Twitter Cards were introduced as a way to let businesses and users get more out of tweets than just the 140 character limit. Twitter Cards allow users to discover a more interactive, visual, and engaging experience by adding a simple URL to any tweet (on any device) through Twitter.

In this blog, we will discuss how to take your tweets to the next level with Twitter Cards and make them more engaging –ultimately increasing conversions from your social efforts.

Originally, creating Twitter Cards was a rigorous process which involved dipping into the web development side of your website by adding Meta tags to your website (among other technical procedures). Fortunately, we found a much easier, point-and-click process for you to start using Twitter Cards!

Step 1:  Log Into Twitter Ads

twittercardsmenu

The first step towards creating your first Twitter Card is to log in at ads.twitter.com. (Don’t worry – you don’t have to spend any money. Putting a budget behind your Twitter Cards is optional). The next step is to click into the “Creatives” menu and click on cards.

Step 2: Creating Your First Twitter Card

twittercardoptions

Now that we are in the Twitter Cards Manager screen, we can decide which type of Twitter Card we want to create. You can choose between lead generation (which allows you to collect email addresses from your followers, but requires an ad budget), website promotion (feature a direct link), basic app (promote app installs on iOS or Google Play), or an image app card (promote app installs on iOS or Google Play with a piece of visual creative).

Step 3: Fill Out Your Twitter Card

twittercardcontent

During this step, you will have to fill out four fields. Then, you can start tweeting your new Twitter Cards right away! Website Twitter Cards allow you to upload a photo to add a visual aspect to your tweet, which will make you stand out from the plain text tweets in most people’s Twitter feeds. Next, enter your Website URL that you want to promote and send your Twitter Followers to. The “Headline” field allows you to add 70 characters to explain where the website URL is taking them (this will appear under the tweet text and photo). Finally, choose the call to action, from a list supplied by Twitter: “Read More,” “Shop Now,” “View Now,” “Visit Now,” or “Book Now.” Then simply name your Twitter Card, hit the “Create card” button, and your Twitter Card is ready to tweet!

Now that you have created your Twitter Card, you can access it through your Cards Manager. This is where you can compose new tweets with your Twitter Cards attached. Twitter allows you to schedule, promote, and see how well your Twitter Cards perform via analytics.

Twitter Cards take a little bit of extra work but are a powerful tool that allows you the flexibility to display additional text or visual content to tweets which provide your users with more engaging posts. As you can see from these three steps, it is a very simple, and is worth putting the extra time towards for more quality content.

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Welcome to Weekend Reading

This week we give you tips about how to be indispensable at work, a better way to write a follow-up email, and 60 marketing acronyms you need to know. 

As mergers and reorganization continue to be a regular occurrence at many companies, it is more important than ever to make yourself indispensable. Read five ways how in our first article.

We are all guilty of following up an email to a prospective client with the words “just following up” in the subject line. How’s that been working out for you? Our second article shows you a better way to reconnect.

The only thing more annoying than listening to someone use acronyms that you don’t know is to not know them. Weekend Reading to the rescue, with 60 acronyms you can learn immediately. TGIF. BYOB.

Have a great weekend.

Ernie Canadeo
President/Founder
The EGC Group


5 More Keys to Becoming Indispensable at Work

LinkedIn
by Chris Gaborit  

In my recent blog, "5 Keys to Becoming Indispensable at Work," readers from companies that were downsizing, resizing or upsizing shared their experiences on becoming "indispensable."
In this post, I have gathered their thoughts on becoming indispensable at work and added them to those of clients who have also gone through restructuring. (Read more...)

Comments:
Tony Pasquariello
Account Supervisor

What is valuable here is Mr. Gaborit’s inclusion of insights and experiences from several clients who have had different experiences when it came time for restructuring within their respective businesses. Flexibility is the common denominator (or operative word, if you prefer) in each item. Being engaged, showing your value, multitasking, watching for signs, and growing your network all require the ability to change as needed. The last item, “Growing Your Network Outside Your Company,” is fittingly appropriate for this article from LinkedIn.


Avoid the “Just Following Up” Email

LinkedIn
by Hendrik de Vries

Sending the "Just Following Up" email without any sort of value or call-to-action is not good. When you send an email, you should ask yourself, "How much value did it provide?" Or "Did I have a call-to-action?"?
I hate to admit it, but I still send emails like that every now and then. (Read more...)

Comments:
Nicole Larrauri
Managing Partner
Twitter: @Nicole_Larrauri

There is a reason for everything…and just making your presence known (repeatedly) to a potential customer via email is not reason enough. Looking it at another way, sending an email – one which has value, that is – and getting a positive response is the age-old law of “action and reaction.” It is no accident or coincidence, therefore, that “call-to-action” is seen everywhere in digital communications. If you don’t have an immediate value to the communique you want to send (i.e., if there is no reason for the recipient to respond – or even read it – then save it in your drafts folder until an applicable “call-to-action” actually comes calling). 


60 Marketing Acronyms Every Industry Pro Should Know

HubSpot: Inbound Hub
by Lindsay Kolowich 

Have you ever heard an acronym but you didn't know what it meant? It can really throw you off your game in a conversation. I usually try to write it down discreetly or, if I have a laptop, look it up online without anyone seeing. (Read more...)

Comments:
Ernest G. Canadeo
Founder & President

Good old acronyms…frustrating but necessary. As time goes on, and technology advances, acronyms will in turn multiply. As would be expected there are now apps (you know – the acronym for ‘applications’) such as “Acronyms Dictionary” and “All Acronyms” that cater to the need for looking up these letter arrangements on the spot.


"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Welcome to Weekend Reading

This week’s edition offers several “lists” you can learn from, including how to avoid bad management advice, how to improve your video’s ranking on YouTube, and the top 10 mobile ads so far this year.

Welcome to the digital age, where advice is available virtually everywhere.  But which advice is worth taking, and which should be avoided? Our first article warns you of the leadership and management advice you’ve most likely heard, but should not heed.

It’s not enough to just put a video on YouTube; the objective is for it to be seen by as many potential customers as possible. Our second article offers some tips and tricks for earning a higher ranking for your video on YouTube, including optimizing video tags and encouraging comments.

As mobile use continues to grow and will eventually dominate digital access, marketing campaigns need to adapt, and quickly. Our last article lists the best mobile ad campaigns so far this year, chosen based on the brand campaigns that have taken mobile advertising strategy to the next level through enhanced targeting, greater interactivity and native experiences. Read them for ideas to create your own campaigns; or call us, we’ll be happy to create an exciting mobile campaign for you.

Have a great weekend.

Ernie Canadeo
President/Founder
The EGC Group


Bad leadership and Management Advice You Should Run Away From

SmartBlog on Leadership
by Dan McCarthy  

There’s a LOT of advice out there on leadership and management — almost as much as you’ll find on dating, careers, and how to raise your kids. Actually, most of it’s pretty good, or at least not bad. (Read more...)

Comments:
Ernest G. Canadeo
Founder and President
The EGC Group

Here are some sound guidelines that are worth remembering, because the road to success is arrived at through experience and, like it or not, trial-and-error. A wise person learns from their mistakes. A wiser person also learns from the mistakes that they see others make. Thank you, Mr. McCarthy, for compiling this record of mistakes that every manager – new and seasoned – can easily make, and just as easily avoid.


How to Make Your Videos Rank Better on YouTube

Click Z
by Navneet Kaushal

Here are some tips and tricks for earning a higher ranking for your video on YouTube, including optimizing video tags and encouraging comments.
With 200,000 videos uploaded per day, more than 600 years required to view all those videos, more than 100 million videos watched daily, and more than 300 million existing accounts, if you think YouTube might not be an effective distribution channel to reach prospective customers, think again. (Read more...)

Comments:
Evan Calafates
Search Marketing Manager
Twitter: @EvanatEGC

The lesson to learn here is what has been repeated time and again in regard to other social media sites that represent a brand: tend to it, curate it, and be vigilant in watching how it is performing. As is clarified in the early part of the article, YouTube is second only to Google in its popularity as a search engine. The impact it makes can be great, but those extra measures of effort must be made in order to succeed. This is an excellent guide to follow for any brand in their efforts that their videos are not only be seen – but “Liked,” retweeted, and shared (among many other actions). 


Top 10 Mobile Advertising Campaigns from the First Half of 2014

Mobile Marketer
by Chantal Tode 

L’Oreal, Burger King and Nissan are among the brands leading the way so far this year in taking mobile advertising strategy to the next level through enhanced targeting, greater interactivity and native experiences. (Read more...)

Comments:
Rich DeSimone

Creative Director
Twitter: @RichAtEGC

With the multitude of creative campaigns (from a multitude of brands) that are presented on mobile devices, marketing and technological history is happening before our eyes and ears. With innovations such as photo recognition and the courtesy gestures of sponsoring data costs, there is no limit to what mobile advertising is capable of. (One ironic side note is that regardless of the upswing in technology, those old standbys of fast food – Burger King and McDonald’s – are still running neck and neck in trying to outdo each other!)


"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

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screenshot

Google+ just celebrated its third birthday, but Google was remarkably quiet about the milestone. Defying expectation, discussion of the platform’s future was conspicuously absent from last week’s developers’ conference, Google I/O.

While questions about Google+ have dogged this platform since its launch on June 28, 2011, they’ve become particularly pointed about Google’s intentions since the departure of the platform’s creator, Vic Gundotra, in April. Without its passionate advocate at the helm, where is it headed?

With Gundotra’s exit, headlines this spring included Google+ Is Walking Dead from (TechCrunch) and What Would Happen If Google Really Did Kill Google+? (from Marketing Land). Google I/O seemed the time to affirm Google’s commitment to Google+. In 2013, it was featured prominently in the conference’s keynote address and there were a number of panels dedicated to it that positioned Google+ as a key part of Google’s overall strategy. This year, it was barely mentioned throughout the event.

So how should brands approach their Google+ strategy, given the uncertainty around it? Is the ROI of building an active Google+ presence clear?

Google+ ROI discussions often focus on SEO with experts ranging from enterprise software giant SAP to integrated marketing strategists who contend that Google+ activity can boost SEO. Studies have shown a direct correlation between Google “+1’s” (Google’s answer to the Facebook “Like”) and higher search ranking. Moz’s bi-annual study that was released in August 2013 proclaimed, “After Page Authority, a URL’s number of Google +1s is more highly correlated with search rankings than any other factor.”

Just when strategists thought the case was closed, Google’s own Matt Cutts, head of the Webspam team, took to Hacker News to debunk the claim. Cutts wrote, “Just trying to decide the politest way to debunk the idea that more Google +1s lead to higher Google web rankings. Let's start with correlation != causation: http://xkcd.com/552/

His comments sparked lively debate with Cutts adding, “Suffice it to say that I would be very skeptical of anyone who claimed that more +1s led to a higher search ranking in Google's web results.”  One month later, Eric Enge published Direct Measurement of Google Plus Impact on Search Rankings that found no correlation between “+1’s” and SEO ranking.

With all of the back-and-forth, many brands felt the confusion, and debate was one more reason to focus elsewhere. In fact, The New York Times kicked off 2014 with a front page piece in February, declaring, The Plus in Google Plus? It’s Mostly for Google.

While Google reports it has 300 million monthly visitors (putting it behind Facebook’s 1.2 billion, but ahead of Twitter’s 241 million), Nielsen reports that the average user only spends just under seven minutes on Google+ but will spend 44 minutes on Facebook. It seems the majority of visitors don’t spend much time there.

So that’s it, right? Google isn’t talking about Google+. The press is saying it’s a ghost town.

But responding to Miller’s piece, passionate users wrote in and Google+ pride was clear. And brands are finding a loyal fan base there.

Social media management system Hootsuite reports its own following is growing. Evan LePage notes on the Hootsuite blog, “Our Google+ audience has proven itself to be very passionate, very technical and very social-savvy.”

This platform is different from other social networks and the community takes pride in that differentiation. It takes work to get it right. Content that does well on other platforms may not work on Google+. What many successful pages find is that not only is the platform a great place for photos, but that content – quality content – is truly king. Google’s Matt Cutts has repeatedly said that brands concerned with SEO should focus on content.

Building a robust social strategy is about making connections, powerful storytelling and empowering fans to become brand ambassadors. Questions may remain unanswered about Google+, but brands have an opportunity right now to reach a community ready to engage.

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Welcome to Weekend Reading

Happy Independence Day from The EGC Group. This week, we look at the power of social media in customer service, how to recognize your own toxic behavior, and why listening to your customers may be a mistake.

One of the major changes brought about by social media is how customers now view customer service. Forget the phone. Consumers now view their social channels as the new customer service department. According to new research from Accent Marketing, 72% of consumers only want to interact with brands when they comment on their social media channels, and 82% of consumers use Facebook to speak with a customer service representative. Read why you need to be actively managing your company’s social media platforms (or use a company like EGC to do it for you), or suffer the consequences in lost sales, and bad reviews.

It’s a fact of being human – sometimes we don’t manage our emotions as well as we should. Read how and why you can avoid six toxic behaviors that may be pushing people away.

Steve Jobs was a man of many opinions. Our final article is based on one of his opinions aboutnot listening to what the customer wants. His rationale was that the customer did not fully know what they wanted until they saw the finished product. Do you agree or disagree? The arguments for and against this belief are insightful and thought-provoking.

On behalf of The EGC Group, have a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend.

Ernie Canadeo
President/Founder
The EGC Group


Consumers Viewing Social As Customer Service Channel

MediaPost
by Aaron Baar 

Forget the phone. Consumers are viewing their social channels as the new customer service department. 
According to new research from Accent Marketing, 72% of consumers only want to interact with brands when they comment on their social media channels, and 82% of consumers use Facebook to speak with a customer service representative. (Read more...)

Comments:
Stephanie Weingart

Director of Social Media
Twitter: @Frozen2late

This article is short, but it carries an impact that cannot be underestimated. Social media channels are the places where consumers are either praising or defaming brands, businesses, and other companies. The decision of whether or not a company should have a strong social media team (in conjunction with paid campaigns) is not a casual choice – it is about taking measures to stay strong and vital. If the public is using Facebook, Twitter and other platforms as the first portal to post their opinions, you want to be there, either thanking them for the great review, or proactively handling any complaints. 


6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How To Recognize Them In Yourself and Change Them

LinkedIn
By Kathy Caprino

In my line of work, I hear from hundreds of people a month, and connect with professionals in a more public, open way than ever before. Through this experience, I've seen scores of toxic behaviors that push people away (including me). (Read more...)

Comments:
Nicole Larrauri
Managing Partner
Twitter: @Nicole_Larrauri

Thank you, Ms. Caprino, for a direct view and explanation into behaviors that probably affect everyone at one time or another. The trick to dealing with (or ideally, circumventing) such behaviors is to develop the capacity to pay attention to how we deal with certain situations; particularly difficult ones, as they readily trigger feelings of anger, sadness or the impulse to overreact. This is a lesson for all, for as Ms. Caprino states – "none of us are immune to it."


Why Steve Jobs Didn't Listen to His Customers

LinkedIn
By Gregory Ciotti

"It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them."
– Steve Jobs
One of the most famous opinions from a highly opinionated man. (Read more...)

Comments:
Rich DeSimone
Creative Director
Twitter: @RichAtEGC

The title of this article is a true 'hook' to get you to continue reading. Sure…it’s easy for someone like Steve Jobs to ignore what the customers want to see. Apple has a power and prestige that most other companies don’t have, so they can afford to have this culture. On reading further, however, the message is to in fact listen to customers in regard to what they do not like or wish to see changed – not about what the end product that they will (hopefully) purchase should be. As the clichéd expression says: “Leave it to the professionals.”


"A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you."
-- Elbert Hubbard

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Welcome to Weekend Reading

This week, we cover the big benefits that you can obtain from small improvements, everything you need to know about the new and improved Google Analytics, and how to turn an employee’s departure from your company to an advantage.

Each of us strives for improvement, both in our personal life and in our career. Our first article offers ways you can improve by making many small changes over time.

Next is a report covering the recent Google Analytics Summit 2014. Learn what was presented, what’s new, and how your company can benefit from the changes and improvements.

No company likes to lose a valued employee, but it happens. Rather than looking at it as a negative, our final article offers suggestions to turn the loss into an opportunity. 

Please note that next week’s edition of Weekend Reading will be sent on Thursday afternoon, in advance of the July 4th holiday.

Have a great weekend.

Ernie Canadeo
President/Founder
The EGC Group

Ernie@egcgroup.com


This Person Improved Every Tiny Thing by 1 Percent and Here's What Happened

Entrepreneur
by James Clear 

In 2010, Dave Brailsford faced a tough job.
No British cyclist had ever won the Tour de France, but as the new General Manager and Performance Director for Team Sky (Great Britain’s professional cycling team), Brailsford was asked to change that. (Read more...)

Comments:
Nicole Larrauri
Managing Partner
Twitter: @Nicole_Larrauri

The example set by Mr. Brailsford is proof positive that attention to small details of process (as opposed to the end product) is the leading factor to success. Pick your idiom or cliché: “slow and steady wins the race,” “God is in the details,” or however you want to phrase it, a basic truth (which gets very easily forgotten), is that the strength and power of anything – whether it is a business, an individual fitness plan, or event – has its foundation in an accumulation of small, incremental improvements that all either fit together or build on each other. To sum it up: small improvement x consistency = substance.


Google Analytics Summit 2014: What’s Next And On The Horizon For Analytics

Google Analytics Blog

As they have for years, Google Analytics Certified Partners, Premium customers and developers will once again join us in the Bay Area for our annual summit this week. We are constantly working to improve our products based on feedback from our most dedicated users and this event lets us hear directly from our community. (Read more...)

Comments:
Jared Del Prete
Director, Digital Strategy and Search
Twitter: @jdelprete

Let’s hear it for Google. While they continue to revolutionize search, they demonstrate excellent customer service by holding an annual summit to discover ways to adapt to the wants and needs of their clients (as opposed to the other way around). The variety of the products and services offered in the way of reporting (and even education) shows that they not only listen but follow-through on catering to what users want. Finally, the fact that customers have become interested in learning more details about the process, rather than just the bottom line, reinforces the power and productivity of Google Analytics and their methods of supporting the industry. 


Turnover Alchemy: Converting Employee Losses into Gains

Strategy + Business
by Orly Lobel

Marty Beard, CEO of LiveOps Inc., a leading cloud-based contact company in Silicon Valley, recently got some bad news: One of his best project managers was leaving for another company. Beard was upset. He worried that LiveOps would suffer from the loss of talent and knowledge, and he considered doing everything in his capacity – including legal maneuvers – to prevent the move. (Read more...)

Comments:
Ernest G. Canadeo
Founder & President

The point-of-view as to how a company might benefit when an employee leaves to go work somewhere else is relative. As mentioned in the article, if someone finds employment in the same line of work, an adverse reaction on the part of the company he or she is leaving is almost instinctive. A change in the collective attitude (which may not be easy and will take time) will need to accompany this new philosophy of ‘turnover alchemy.’


"You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth."

-- William W. Purkey

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Welcome to Weekend Reading

We celebrate school graduations this month with four articles that can teach us important things about life, communication, technology, and confidence.

Our first article is about mastering basic life skills that are appropriate at any stage in our lives.  Read how these 15 basic skills can improve your life. 

“Enough with complaining that young people these days are addicted to their phones. The question you should be asking is: What do they know that I don't?” So begins our next article, which lets you in on which apps and gear young people use, and how they communicate with each other. And this may come as a surprise: they rarely if ever use email. We have a lot to learn…

Have you noticed how the experience of dining out has changed? From the capability of ordering meals online, to tablet-equipped menus in restaurants, the food service industry can be seen as a forerunner of things to come in the expanding digital revolution.  Learn how you can translate what’s working in the restaurant sector to your own company. 

No one wants to give the impression they lack confidence and authority. Our final article provides ten common words to avoid in your verbal and written communication. Eliminate them and you will appear more decisive, and more confident.

Hold your head high, and have a great weekend.

Ernie Canadeo
President
Ernie@egcgroup.com


Recent College Grads: Master These 15 Simple Skills

LinkedIn
by Dave Kerpen 

College graduates: Congratulations on your degrees! I got mine 16 years ago this month at Boston University, and so I thought that, today, I'd share with you 15 simple things I've learned to do since college. Some of them are more serious than others, and some come with more stories and experiences than others, but I hope you'll find them all to be worth your time. (Read more...)

Comments:
Amanda Mauceri
Account Executive
Twitter: @AmandaMauceri12

Mr. Kerpen’s advice is pretty sound: these simple skills are generally what make up a living, breathing individual. Given that I have my Master’s degree in English and Creative Writing, you can say I know a thing or two about pursuing passions and effective communication. While I whole-heartedly disagree with Mr. Kerpen’s suggestion that watching television is a time suck (rather, I see it as essential to the human experience, but I digress), I do think it is truly important to work on listening and telephone communication skills as technological advancements (email, texting) have rendered many people inadequate in these areas. Although this is geared to recent college graduates, it is also valuable for anyone of any age to use as a guideline of sorts for thinking, feeling and living life to the fullest capacity.


How to Use Tech Like a Teenager

Wall Street Journal
by Geoffrey A. Fowler

Enough with complaining that young people these days are addicted to their phones. The question you should be asking is: What do they know that you don't?
Believe it or not, there are advantages to using technology like a teen. I asked a handful of 11- to 17-year-olds to tell me what apps and gear they couldn't live without. (Read more...)

Comments:
Jeremy Waszak
Search Marketing Coordinator
Twitter: @jwazthegreat

It’s not surprising that teenagers tend to have a better grasp on utilizing technology to its fullest potential than previous generations. Life moves much faster than it has in the past and we can all learn from teenagers on how to survive in the new age of instant gratification. Why wait for an email from a friend when you can send an instant message to 10 friends at the same time and receive a response an instant later? Better yet, why not make the message an image? Older generations have always said “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In the modern world, a picture is worth ten thousand words…and its stock seems to be rising.


Why B2C Companies Are Shifting Their Digital Offerings to the Forefront

ChiefExecutive.net
by Dale Buss

Quick-serve restaurants are early adopters of the business model. McDonalds has even opened up shop in Silicon Valley to recruit digital talent. But the allure of apps-based growth also is being considered by a variety of other B2C industries, ranging from packaged goods to automobiles to professional football. (Read more...)

Comments:
Jackie Candelas
Director of Digital Development
Twitter: @JackieAtEGC

The technological advances listed here are impressive, but at the same time a little intimidating. The digital services that certain restaurants now have, for example, may streamline convenience, but they also depersonalize the experience of dining out to a certain extent. (If more than one person is in a dinner party, will they become so absorbed in playing the video games on the tablets that they don’t socialize with each other?) This new technology has its advantages, but, as with many things in life, should be applied in moderation.


10 Words People Who Lack Confidence Always Use

TIME
by John Brandon

Nine-hundred and seventy-two.
That’s the total number of e-mails I received just in May, and it’s about my average. That’s not counting the hundreds and hundreds of messages Gmail dumped into categories for promotional mail, forum posts, and social networking updates. (Read more...)

Comments:
Meg Leary
Account Supervisor

Good points to know (or rather NOT know) in vocabulary usage. Some of these words, whether used in written or verbal communication, may slip by easily enough – but that will not detract from the less-than-positive impression (or lack of confidence) that has inadvertently been created. Learn these words…and learn to avoid using them.


"Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."
-- Jimi Hendrix

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There are almost 7,000 distinct languages spoken throughout the world, but when we need to be united, there’s one that we all understand: animated gifs.

startrek 

The importance of gifs, whether you pronounce it with a J like the peanut butter brand (you’d be incorrect, but that's an argument for another time...) or a hard G (as in “graphic,” which is the word the acronym is based on, so of course that’s the pronunciation we should use*), is that they express love, disappointment, anger, confusion, joy, and all the other emotions on the human spectrum, probably better than we can ourselves. 

And so, with that in mind, here’s how we feel about Twitter finally displaying animated gifs:

andy 

To expand your ability to emote in the 140 character space, just download the gif that speaks to you from your favorite gif-cataloging website and upload it with the “photo” button when you tweet. It’s super simple.

dog

So without anything left to say in such an inelegant form as, you know, *using words*, we’ll just show you how we’re feeling:

lizlemon

dwightschrute

walkingpanda


* The guy who invented the format says it’s with a J, but he’s wrong too…

larrydavid

Thanks to gif-u.com for most of these!

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Welcome to Weekend Reading

This week we bring you an especially informative issue as we examine how to properly redesign your website, deal with online and social reviews, set up your LinkedIn profile, and grow your business like Amazon.

“I like to think of a website as a vision board for your company. During the process, you will have many expectations of what a redesign could empower your business to be. Whether it is repositioning the brand as more innovative, improving search engine optimization, or aggregating more lead captures, a redesign process is a perfect time to ask some core questions about your business.” So begins our first article, written by EGC’s Director of Digital Development Jackie Candelas, and it is must reading if you are considering redesigning your website, or not happy with yours and want to read what you’re missing. Please call me if you’d like a free consultation with Jackie.

Last month we featured an article about what people are saying about your brand on social media. Our second article reinforces the importance of monitoring public opinion of your business, and how to take action and respond (if necessary) to negative feedback.

You have a LinkedIn profile, but chances are you haven’t updated it in a while. Our next article brings you the basics, 6 best ways to improve it.

We conclude this week’s edition with a business practice that Amazon uses and calls “coopetition” (competition plus cooperation), whereby you collaborate with your competitors. Sounds contrarian to good business sense, and is not for everyone, but it’s been working for Amazon for years and it may be a strategy to grow your business, too.

Have a great weekend.

Ernie Canadeo
President
Ernie@egcgroup.com


Website Redesigns: Important Questions to Ask

Insights: The EGC Blog
by Jacquelyn Candelas, Director of Digital Development

I like to think of a website as a vision board for your company. During the process, you will have many expectations of what a redesign could empower your business to be. Whether it is repositioning the brand as more innovative, improving search engine optimization, or aggregating more lead captures, a redesign process is a perfect time to ask some core questions about your business. (Read more...)

The Truth About Social Reviews

SmartBlog on Social Media
by Josh Hurst

To be a business owner, you’ve got to have thick skin. Sooner or later – and probably sooner – somebody’s going to offer a word of criticism, and whether that criticism is right or wrong, you’ve got to keep from taking it personally. (Read more...)

Comments:
Stephanie Weingart
Director of Social Media
Twitter: @Frozen2late

One insight of Mr. Hurst’s that is especially worth remembering in the first paragraph: “…whether that criticism is right or wrong, you’ve got to keep from taking it personally.” The words “right or wrong” can also be interpreted as “good or bad.” If your brand is doing well in sales and getting good word-of-mouth, don’t rest on your laurels. You never know when a customer will be let down, and nobody (and no business) is perfect. Similarly, brands that have a fair share of negative reviews can proactively address them, as pointed out in the third suggestion. They may not go away, but there is a better chance of leveraging them. Potential customers will see that you are taking responsibility and trying to make things right, thus showing your company is trustworthy.


LinkedIn Basics: Don't Ignore These 6 Areas!

SmartBlog on Social Media
by Sue Cockburn

LinkedIn is an important social network for professionals, business owners and job seekers alike. It can help introduce us to new people, reconnect us with ones we may have lost touch with and bring new business opportunities (clients) our way. LinkedIn can play a valuable role in helping to build our online reputation, brand awareness, influence and network of connections. (Read more...)

Comments:
Pete Shelly
Content Developer
Twitter: @peteshelly

Interestingly, the advice offered to professionals who are on LinkedIn mirrors that for brands that have a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ page; specifically, don’t just create an account and expect results to happen magically. We need to curate, tend, and take care of our individual presence on this site – perhaps even more than the others – because our own professional persona is the brand that is being showcased.


The Amazon Model: If You Can’t Beat ’Em, Work with ’Em

Strategy + Business
by Matt Palmquist

Bottom Line: Amazon’s embrace of coopetition – working closely with other firms while also competing fiercely against them – can teach other companies some lessons about counterintuitive thinking. (Read more...)

Comments:
Nicole Larrauri
Managing Partner
Twitter: @Nicole_Larrauri

When one begins to read this, it appears that there is a misprint with the word “coopetition”. Did the author mean “competition,” or “cooperation”? Both, as it turns out, for the word is (literally and figuratively) a combination of those two meanings. It is a word you don’t see every day. With the strategies implanted by Amazon, however, it may become more commonplace than usual. The question is: will this practice genuinely benefit all retailers involved?


"Be nice to people on the way up because you'll meet them on the way down."
-- Jimmy Durante

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According to a study reported on by DIGIDAY, two-thirds of brands write their Facebook posts at a fifth grade reading level. Other conclusions from the study are fairly obvious ("use photos" and "better content is performing better" are among the gems included in the article), but the fifth grader line caught my attention. 

The article concludes, "Brands treat Facebook users like a classroom of grade-schoolers," and there's probably some truth to that. But do brands really mean to condescend? Probably not. There aren't too many that could pull off a brief that says: "Just treat the customer like an idiot." So what's the real issue here?

It sounds more like they don't know who their consumer is.

To be successful on social, you need to provide engaging, useful content. When you sit down to create it, ask yourself: "Who's reading this?" If you can't answer that, you can't do a good job.

People want to interact with your brand because they want to know more about how you can solve their problem or give them something they want. You need to know what those needs and wants are, though, before you can start responding to them. Social content works because it serves a purpose for your audience. It's funny, informative, entertaining, or responsive.

socialvenndiagram

Our target for successful social content.

First, find out who your audience is. Is it men or women? Are they old or young? Do they use social media, and if so, which platforms? What influences them? What do they respond to?

You're not going to get clear-cut answers to all of these questions, but you can find patterns and develop segments within your audience.

From there, build a persona that will give you an idea of what the person who fits into each specific segment is like. How do they use your product? What do they want to learn more about? Based on what you know about their lives, how can you improve their experience?

Now you're ready to begin thinking about content. Now you can start conversations, provide useful information that they'll want to share with friends, and align your brand with their values. Now you've got a good idea of who your consumer is.

And now you can also stop creating content for the lowest common denominator, which, according to this study, is apparently a fifth grader.

Then again, maybe we're over-thinking this.

We're talking about a Facebook status here. The platform was built for sharing quick thoughts and statements (even the status prompt – "What's on your mind?" – isn't asking you to dig too deep). If you have a complicated message that loses its meaning when you simplify it, you might want to try finding a different outlet for it. We've been producing a lot of great content marketing that covers complex ideas in a longer form, but we share it with a simple introduction on social.

simplefbstatus

That's not to say you should boil everything down to a statement a fifth grader would understand, but maybe social isn't where your complicated messaging should live.

Want to find out how we can help you connect with your audience better? Let us know.

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