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Happy 6th Anniversary, SMS!

August 1, 2017

For Social Marketing Solutions 6th anniversary, Social Media Manager, Misty Layne, sat down with owner, Kelly Jones, to ask her a few questions about the history of SMS, the future of social media, and the amazing clients with whom SMS has been blessed to work. Check out the fantastic interview below, and celebrate with us as we wish Social Marketing Solutions a happy 6th anniversary!


 

MISTY: How has the social media landscape grown in the past 6 years and how has SMS kept up with the changes?

KELLY: There have been so many changes over the past 6 years! Changes such as: the growth of paid advertisements (especially on Facebook & Instagram), the ability to boost and sponsor posts, the merge of Facebook & Instagram (and the impact it had on Facebook advertising), new popularity of social networking such as Google+, the growth of Pinterest, and the advancement in how businesses connect and respond to their Facebook.

Over the years SMS has stuck to its roots and learned the social media world inside and out – while mastering what we do online best, social media management. We've closely monitored whats taken off – as well as the social media trends that have been a bust. Good and bad we’ve adapted to it all! For example – RIP Vine & hello SnapChat! As you can see there is ALWAYS something changing, but its important to pay attention to the feedback, and monitor whats attracting new attention – and what isn’t capturing their attention as well. 6 years ago we did not use Facebook and Instagram as much for paid advertisments as we do now. We have also expanded our social media management as the sites continue to change and update their capabilities over the years – which we expect to continue to change vastly over the next 5+ years!

M: How does SMS plan to continue keeping up with the everchanging social media world?

K: Our proven process over the past 6 years is what makes us the experts in the industry. We care about our customers and building a successful online social campaign and brand. Our strategies and experience allows us to know what areas to focus on, and to continue to adjust our strategies to attract our customers target audiences.

M: What do you feel is the most important thing for small businesses to be doing on social media right now?

K: The most important thing for small businesses to be doing is maintaining an active and genuinely SOCIAL online presence. Keeping up with your online brand is essential – consider everything you do online a billboard advertisement for millions to see! And don’t forget to practice what you preach – look at your pages from your customers perspective and get feedback from other co-workers on their thoughts and feedback on the postings and presence.

M: What are some common social media mistakes you see from social networking newbies?

K: Overposting and oversharing! People forget the SOCIAL aspect of SOCIAL media. Listen to your audience, respond to feedback – both positive and negative – and reflect on that feedback from your audience. Also, don’t underestimate the power of social media. Anything can go viral, at anytime – and viral isn't always a good thing. Make sure your brand is what you want it to be and think of yourself as a customer. Would you care about your postings? Think like your audience.

M: How have you helped your clients grow?

K: Oh, we've had so many client success stories and there is nothing better than hearing how we have helped! Some of our highlights include getting our client, Shawn Edgington, to the Top 10 on the Best Sellers List, which was a HUGE accomplishment. We assisted with her book launch which required a lot of non-stop communication, rapid growth, and constant management, but the book release was a tremendous success! Our social media efforts also helped Derek Moore win the 2017 primary republican chair for the Chester, NJ Township Council. Our social media services have helped grow Central NJ Dryer Vent Wizard's online presence – they've stated this summer that they are busier than ever before and our efforts have helped! Lastly we love hearing when our clients receive business directly from our Facebook posts, which recently happened to NY Metro/Northern NJ Dryer Vent Wizard. I could go on and on about what feedback our customers give, but I’m VERY happy with the success of our online efforts. I get pure joy and satisfaction knowing I’m helpng business grow simply because of our online strategies.

M: How have you kept your own company growing?

K: Six years ago we started with only Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and today we continue to offer management of these sites (and more). We've added additional services such as adding social media sites and writing/posting customized blog posts and newsletters, but through it all we’ve stuck to the basics. We know what we do best and we'll continue to network for our customers and recommend their services at every opportunity possible!

M: Tell us about some of your clients!

K: We've got a fabulous roster of clients! Some of them include: Land & Sea Journeys, LLC; Berlet Plastic Surgery; Rutherford Cosmetic Prevenative Dentistry; C&M Medical Billing; Top Chef Meals; LiceDoctors; Opthof Center for Psychotherapy; Tom Stretton – Weichert; NY Metro Dryer Vent Wizard; Northern NY Dryer Vent Wizard; Central NJ Dryer Vent Wizard; Denise K. Rago – author; Payroll Specialties; Millenium Home Mortgage; Cognitive Change; Suburban Furniture and many more!

M: What new & exciting things are ahead for SMS?

K: We'll continue to learn and expand our knowledge of online marketing and the effectiveness of online branding. We'll continue to adjust and expand our services by adding things similar to the addition of our blogs and e-newsletter distribution. Plus we'll continue to expand our social media consulting services, as well as setting up workshops and one-on-ones sessions surrounding social media management! We'll also continue to grow our team of amazing employees who help find information and content for postings. We will continue to network and expand our client base. We've grown every year since we've been in business, and we look forward to many more years of success!

M: Where do you see social media in 5 years?

K: Man that is tough to answer…Honestly, anything can happen and the possibilities are endless. Although I can't predict specifically how sites and pages will change and what we can expect to see on each individual site, I can say as an industry on the whole ANYTHING is possible – nothing would surprise me at this point. There will be new sites and apps over time, which will continue to explore the impact of video, voice recording and location sharing. I don’t know what site will be most popular next, but I will be keeping a close eye on what's hot and what's not and we will adjust our online marking strategies to meet the demands of the industry.

M: What should small businesses focus on for the rest of 2017?

K: Focus on maintaining and monitoring your online brand. Make sure your online and offline messaging is the same, and make sure to incorporate marketing strategies for both efforts. Continue to expand your business' online presence. Utilize the feedback from the audience and make adjustments as necessary. Finally, interact with social followers and spend time growing your presence with quality followers, not just focusing on the quanity of them.


A huge thanks to Kelly for sitting for this interview and answering so many questions about the social media world and Social Marketing Solutions. We're both excited to continue providing our clients with one-of-a-kind service that helps to grow their companies. Happy 6th anniversary, SMS!

 

 

Facebook + Instagram = Sucess

May 31, 2017

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Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular mobile platforms. In fact, one in five minutes on mobile is spent on Instagram or Facebook. That’s more than the next 10 mobile platforms combined. So why aren't you advertising on them? These days it's easier than ever to create and use ads on both platforms!

It all started when Instagram began offering the use of ads to businesses on Instagram back in the fall of 2015. Marketers use Instagram to tell visual and creative stories related to their business and ads can be a BIG part of that. Like Facebook ads, Instagram ads feature photos or videos and use Facebook targeting. But Instagram took things a step further by enabling their ads to link with Facebook ads for smooth, across-the-board performance.

Advertisers can add Instagram ads to Facebook ad campaigns through both Ads Manager and Power Editor by simply checking the “Instagram” box under the ad set’s Placement section. And businesses have seen that doing so helps them reach more people with little added effort. Instagram ads that are available through Facebook ad management tools support both brand awareness and direct response objectives, including website clicks, mobile app installs and video views. And soon Instagram ads bought through the same tools will be available with more objectives, including website conversions. And campaigns that ran across both Facebook and Instagram resulted in similar or better performance for website clicks, website conversions, video views and mobile app installs than those that ran on just one.

What are you waiting for? If you're a small business using Facebook & Instagram (and we hope you are!), this is a perfect opportunity for you to create new leads and increase sales. Setting up ads has never been easier and with the way these ads work, they can be quite cost-efficient as well. Go explore, create, and knock 'em dead!

Need some help getting started? Give us a call at 973-265-2833 or contact us HERE!

 

New Client Spotlight: Lice Doctors

March 16, 2017

We are incredibly lucky at Social Marketing Solutions to be able to work with some of the best companies from a variety of industries. From clients we've been working with for years, to the ones who are brand new to SMS, we work with a vast array of talent and we thought it would be great if we had a chance to highlight one of our awesome clients. Today we're introducing LiceDoctors!

Lice can be a devastating stage in someone’s life, but luckily there's LiceDoctors! LiceDoctors is the leading lice removal service in the U.S. One of the many reasons their treatment stands out is because they have a medical doctor right on staff. Board-certified physician, Dr. Stephen Beck, realized over 20 years ago the need for efficacious, chemical-free lice treatments after finding other treatments were failing patients. He did extensive research on lice and their life cycle, and he advocates that treatment must attack lice at all stages of their cycle. LiceDoctors' technicians are experienced and use step-by-step, pesticide-free treatments. Treatments are safe and work every time! That's the LiceDoctors guarantee!

Not only do they have the best system around, they're also convenient and affordable! Remember when doctors used to make house calls? Ahhh…the privacy, the care, the convenience! Well, LiceDoctors offers the convenience and privacy of at-home service—7 days a week—day or night. An experienced lice professional comes to your home (or wherever you designate) in an unmarked car so that you can maintain absolute privacy. At-home service also allows you maximum flexibility as when one child is finished being checked, he/she can return to their at-home activities—no need to wait for little brother or sister to be treated! LiceDoctors takes away your stress and makes your lice treatment experience as pleasant as possible. If you pay by the head somewhere else, you may end up paying much more than you should. It's very important that all family members be checked, as lice are highly contagious. In addition, because their technicians are experienced, they are able to work efficiently to ensure that treatment is done thoroughly without wasted time.

LiceDoctors is there when you need them and we look forward to working on their online identity in the near future. Day or night give tthem a call at 800-224-2537 or check them out online. Of course you should “like” their Facebook page too!

Keep checking back with us as we keep introducing you to more of our fabulous clients and sharing more wonderful social media tips and news!

A Look Ahead

December 31, 2016

2017-blog2017 is just around the corner (quite literally!) and it's important to always plan ahead. Last month we discussed the history of social media, so this month we're going to take a look ahead to see what the future of social media will hold in the new year. 2016 has been a year of shifts in social media, technology and digital marketing. The internet became all about video and every digital marketer is looking for a way to connect business outcomes to their social media efforts. So what's in store for 2017?

  1. Live video – Live video took off in 2016, but it has so much more potential that it has yet to reach. There are already social media platforms taking advantage of this – Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Periscope Pro, to name a few, with Instagram recently releasing live video to US residents. Live video is a great feature for businesses to capitalize on. It is now possible for four hours of video to be streamed, and it can even be streamed to groups and event listings. It’s a great way to raise awareness of your brand and build a community.

  2. Snapchat – As Snapchat's amazing evolution continues, it will offer more and more interesting new opportunities. Snapchat (now Snap) has transformed user expectations and major trends in the social marketing world. Now it’s looking to develop products outside its main means of exchanging messages, introducing real-world glasses to help users capture first-person visual information. Expect big things and huge marketing opportunities from them in the new year!

  3. Inspiration & Imagination – These two things will be highly fashionable in 2017. Practical posts get a lot of consumer attention, while emotionally charged posts have a greater likelihood of circulating virally. But inspirational and imaginative posts are starting to become even stronger candidates for social media success. These are often artistic in nature, giving users something “pretty” as opposed to something pragmatic or reactive. It also forces a separation from any kind of company positioning or low-key advertising, giving users something truly valuable. In 2017, it will be valuable to forgo some pretense here, and just post beautiful images or sentiments.

  4. Instagram – Instagram worked with hundreds of businesses to understand what was needed to enhance their Instagram experience, and three key needs became clear—stand out, get insights and find new customers. And the release of Business Tools brought with it business profiles, analytics, and the ability to create ads from posts directly within the app. As Instagram continues to enhance its ad product, we’ll likely see business profiles and tools continue to evolve in order to make it easier for businesses to drive traffic and revenue from their Instagram profiles.

  5. Personalization is Key – The need for personalized and relevant content and advertising delivery becomes more important. Facebook re-targeting and adverts driven by identifying where you have been on the web and your interests are becoming the digital advertising tactic of choice for campaigns. Relevance is king for catching a distracted eye and online glance in a noisy world of data clutter.

The social media landscape is ever-changing and businesses must keep reinventing as time goes along. Stay up-to-date on what's new and what's best practices in your 2017 marketing plan and you'll have a fabulous new year! Happy 2017!

 

A (Fairly) Quick History of Social Media

November 29, 2016

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As social animals, people have always relied on communication to strengthen their relationships. So when we can't chat face-to-face, we've come up with plenty of other ways to communicate (smoke signals, anyone?). Social media though has transformed the interaction and communication of individuals throughout the world. Social networking has become daily practice in some users' lives. The roots of social media stretch far deeper than you might imagine. Although it might still seem like a new trend, sites like Facebook are the natural outcome of many centuries of social media development. Let's dive in and see what we can find!

First there were the smoke signals, then there were letters, and then…the telegraph! In 1792, the telegraph was invented. This allowed messages to be delivered over a long distance far faster than a horse and rider could carry them. Although telegraph messages were short, they were a revolutionary way to convey news and information. Next came two of the greatest inventions ever – the telephone in 1890 and the radio in 1891. Suddenly we could talk to people who weren't in front of our faces – or listen to people who were elsewhere! What's the tie to social media here? The first blogs and podcasts came about via phone. No really. See, during the 1950s, phone phreaking (the term used for the rogue searching of the telephone network) began. This was done through the use of homemade electronic devices that gave people unauthorized access to the telephone system to make free calls. Phreaks were able to find telephone company test lines and conference circuits to complete their task. In this way, phreaks were able to hack into corporate unused voice mailboxes to host the first blogs and podcasts. Guess we've always wanted to share our lives, huh?

Next came along supercomputers in the 1940s, the birth of the internet in the 1960s (though the internet wouldn't be available for public consumption till 1991 – so if you're like me, you can say, “I remember those dark days before the internet, when we had to search phone books for numbers and real, live encyclopedias for knowledge!”), and 1979’s UseNet allowed users to communicate through a virtual newsletter. Internet relay chats, or IRCs, were first used in 1988 and continued to be popular well into the 1990’s.

The first recognizable social media site, Six Degrees, was created in 1997. It enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users. In 1999, the first blogging sites became popular, such as Blogger and Epinions. We're already familiar with Blogger, but Epinions is a site where consumers can read or create reviews of products. Many online social sites were of the niche market, including sites for public policy advocacy and a social network based on a web of contacts model.

In 2000, social media received a great boost with the witnessing of many social networking sites springing up. This transformed the interactions of individuals and organizations who share common interest in music, education, movies, and friendship, based on social networking. Among those that were launched included LunarStorm, six degrees, cyworld, ryze, and Wikipedia. In 2001, fotolog, sky blog and Friendster were launched, and in 2003, MySpace, LinkedIn, lastFM, tribe.net, Hi5 etc. In 2004, popular names like Facebook Harvard, Dogster and Mixi evolved. During 2005 YouTube emerged creating an entirely new way for people to communicate and share with each other. By 2006, Facebook and Twitter both became available to users throughout the world. (That's right – Facebook originally started as a site for college kids only and grew from there!) These sites remain some of the most popular social networks on the Internet. Other sites like Tumblr, Spotify, Foursquare and Pinterest began popping up to fill specific social networking niches.

Can you believe how far we've come? What does this have to do with business though? Engaging in social media will help strengthen the brand experience which will support brand building. A company is more attractive to customers if it has a well-built brand name, and social media is another way of helping in building a good reputation for your organization. Brand awareness starts with the experiences with the employees of a company. If a company is approachable, people-friendly, then the company must make itself visible by inclusion on the web. Social media becomes a good venue for discussions and becomes a classic goal of marketing and communications, just make sure you're adhering to the rules and etiquette of social media.

Now, there are a tremendous variety of social networking sites, and many of them can be linked to allow cross-posting. This creates an environment where users can reach the maximum number of people without sacrificing the intimacy of person-to-person communication. We don't know what the future of social media & networking holds, but we're guessing it'll be a wild ride!

 

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Social Marketing Solutions LLC

p. 973-265-2833
f. 973-335-9225
40 Baldwin Road
Parsippany, NJ 07054 kelly@socialmarketingsolutionsllc.com

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