Don’t Feed the Trolls

Don’t Feed the Troll | Asterisk CreativeTraditionally, a troll was defined as “a mythical, cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very ugly appearance.” With the advent of the internet and social media, the word has morphed to mean “a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post.” So what do you do when a troll comes after you or your business?

It can sometimes be hard to tell a troll when an online conversation starts. It may seem like they’re a harmless entity with a question or a problem. Other times you know – they seem heinous from the get-go. Either way, the best thing to do at the start is to respectfully and politely try to answer their issue.

If the conversation continues, invite the troll to take the conversation out of the public space. Ask them to email a specific contact. Give them a phone number they can call. At least see if they’ll move to direct messaging. If they’re truly looking for a solution to something, there’s a good chance this will happen. If they’re a troll, the public back and forth will probably continue.

If you find that you truly are dealing with a troll, there’s no need to keep the conversation going. You can try ignoring them. Should they continue to come at you though, there’s no harm in eventually blocking the offender.

At Asterisk Creative, we are the troll whisperers. We know how to sort out those that have a legitimate complaint about a company versus those that are just seeking attention, and we know when and how to continue the conversation, should it be needed.

You don’t have to handle trolls alone. Contact us today.

Ways to Make Social Media Not So Overwhelming

social media | asterisk creative | southeast's premier social media agencyMost anyone who’s been near a computer in the last 10 years has probably found themselves down the rabbit hole that is social media. Add in the fact that you’re a business owner with a business to run, and thinking of spending time marketing via social media can seem more than daunting. Here are a few tips to help.

  • Focus on your overall marketing goals and objectives.
    Just as you wouldn’t run print ads in every publication in your market, don’t try to be everywhere online. Match the social media outlets where you market your business to your marketing goals and where you’ll reach your audience.
  • Use social media to be social.
    Don’t focus your posts on “me, me, me” and solely talking about your products or services. Focus on the potential clients within your fans/followers. Talk to them. Ask them questions. Use the opportunity to “start a conversation” about how you can help them.
  • Use a calendar and a timer.
    Set aside a specific amount of time each day to work on your social media. Schedule out your posts to make sure you’re posting consistently, but be sure to leave some time to monitor the comments and such your posts are receiving and respond as necessary.
  • Don’t go it alone.
    Understand the value of your time and where your business needs you to be focused. Enlist help to make your social media efforts manageable.

At Asterisk Creative, we pride ourselves on offering the ability to work with our clients’ budgets and create results through social media marketing. When paired with our other services, like public relations and an overall marketing strategy, we can help you hit the mark with your audience and take your business to the next level. Contact us for help today!

Is Instagram Right for Your Business?

Instagram for Business | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Social Media AgencyIn June, Instagram reported that it had 1 billion active monthly users, up from its September report of 800 million. This officially made it the fastest growing social media outlet. But it’s still not the right outlet for everyone. So is Instagram right for your business?

First, take a look at the demographics. Instagram is popular with a younger set, especially when they’re choosing between it and Facebook. If you’re trying to reach a younger crowd, Instagram may be for you.

Second, take a look at how Instagram’s algorithm works. This particular algorithm rewards you for being active. It looks for at least one post per day and quick responses to user engagement with posts. If you’re going to choose Instagram as an outlet for your business, make sure you have the content and resources to keep up with these algorithm requirements or that you have the help to get you there.

Speaking of content…A third thing you should check out is the visual content you can produce. Since all posts on this outlet require an image, know what kind of images you have or can have. If you’re a service-based business, do you have access to someone that can get some behind-the-scenes images? If you’re a food-based business, are you willing to put in the time and/or resources to get photos of your menu items? If you’re a manufacturing business, can you get images of the items you produce and/or your folks running the machines? Without images or access to producing them, Instagram is not the right outlet for you.

Trust your Instagram – and all your social media – to those that know how to make them work for you. Contact Asterisk Creative today.

Client Question: Should Emojis Be Used in Business Social Media Posts?

Should Emojis Be Used in Business Social Media Posts? | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Social Media AgencyWe were recently asked: “Should emojis be used in business social media posts?”

All signs point to yes, assuming it fits your brand. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Social media is a “place” a lot of people go for fun. Emojis themselves lend that feeling to posts in which they’re used.
  • Emojis lend personality to your posts and humanize your company. As the old saying goes, people do business with people, not companies, so capitalizing on ways to humanize your brand is a great push in this direction.
  • Studies have shown that emojis increase engagement on posts in which they’re used.
    They help your posts speak your potential clients’ language online. According to AdWeek, 92% of online consumers use emojis. Use them to connect with those folks!
  • On platforms where character count is a concern, emojis let you convey emotion without taking up those precious characters with words.
  • On visual platforms, emojis stand out and draw attention to posts where they’re used.
    They can complement text copy and make those posts on copy-heavy platforms stand out, too.

We do have a few words of warning, though. As mentioned, emoji use should stay true to your brand. Improper use could lead to the wrong message being sent about your company and what it stands for. While it should go without saying, you should also avoid use of emojis in posts about serious or sensitive topics. In addition, overuse of emojis in posts can be a turn-off for potential customers, which would render the strategy ineffective.

Trust your social media marketing to a company that knows how to use social media in the best way possible for your company AND your brand. Contact Asterisk Creative today.

Putting Machine Learning to Use for You

Putting Machine Learning to Use for You | Asterisk Creative | Southeast's Premier Marketing AgencyMachine learning is defined on Wikipedia as “a subset of artificial intelligence in the field of computer science that often uses statistical techniques to give computers the ability to “learn” (i.e., progressively improve performance on a specific task) with data, without being explicitly programmed.” Simply put, it’s the technology that allows tasks like Google’s auto-complete function and “near me” searches to work.

At Asterisk Creative, we work behind the scenes to make machine learning work for you. Our SEO team works to optimize websites in a manner that allows our client’s sites to show in the results for appropriate popular search terms Google uses in its auto-complete function. Our SEO and social media teams work together to optimize outlets like Google My Business pages, Facebook about pages, Twitter and Instagram bios, and more to ensure our clients show in the results for appropriate “near me” searches. (As a side note: Google says that mobile searches for “near me” terms have increased more than three times in the past two years, so showing in these results is getting more and more important, particularly for brick and mortar businesses.)

As machine learning grows, not optimizing around this technology stands to leave you and your business in the dust. Let us make machine learning work for you, too. Contact Asterisk Creative today to get started!

 

Client Question: What Kind of Content Does My Audience Respond To?

What Kind of Content Does My Audience Respond To? | Asterisk CreativeWe’re asked day in and day out: What kind of content does my audience respond to?

The short answer is:
It depends on which outlet we’re talking about.

The longer answer is:
Each outlet is different, and they’re meant to be that way. Instagram and Pinterest are 100% visual, so the image itself is mostly what will garner engagement, not necessarily the caption that goes along with it. Facebook has veered toward being visual-heavy, but the words and links you share with your images factor in to how people interact with your posts. Twitter users like images, but it’s still primarily a text-based outlet.

The social media team at Asterisk Creative understands all of these intricacies and how to work with them. We know how to process the data given to us via each platform’s analytics, as well as how to read between the lines, so that our clients get the most out of their social media efforts. Our social media team works hand-in-hand with our graphic design team and photographers to create images as appropriate that will speak to your audience and drive them to interact with your content. When video is needed, we have a slew of videographers with whom we partner to make that happen for you, too.

Don’t let your social media be run willy nilly. Trust your social media to those that know. Contact Asterisk Creative today.

Asterisk Creative – Your Digital Marketing One-Stop Shop

digital marketing agency | asterisk creativeThere are a lot of components to digital marketing. In general, it is comprised of website design and development, SEO, social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising. Basically, it’s any marketing and advertising that appears online.

Many freelancers and solopreneurs fancy themselves digital marketers, jacks-of-all-trades so to speak. We’re here to tell you that that’s nearly impossible. Keeping up with algorithm changes, privacy laws, best practices, and such across one or two digital marketing platforms can be a full-time job in and of itself. One person may be able to do well across the board, but they cannot really excel.

At Asterisk Creative, we understand this and have a team behind your digital marketing. We have folks that focus solely on social media, solely on website design, solely on SEO – and each knows their specialty inside and out. They work and train to stay on top of the latest and greatest in their field, and they put that knowledge to work for our clients. Additionally, they work together to make sure all of the client’s digital marketing elements are working together favorably and promoting the brand appropriately.

Don’t trust your digital marketing to just anyone. To get your digital marketing going full speed, contact Asterisk Creative today.

The Importance of Images in Social Media

the importance of images in social media | social media agency | asterisk creativeYou’ve heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” As it turns out, the 2018 version may be “an image is worth a ton of engagement.” Thus the importance of images in social media.

By the latest statistics, people will only remember somewhere around 10-20% of what they read. If you include an image, though, that jumps to nearly 65% of the information being remembered. On social media, nearly half of users prefer posts with images. When it comes to Facebook, specifically, the posts with images received over 200% more engagement than posts without images. Since Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes posts getting engagement and accounts that have high rates of engagement, these numbers speak for themselves.

If we shift our focus to Twitter, tweets that included an image received over 150% more retweets than those without images.

And then there are outlets like Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat that are based on all posts having a visual component. Snapchat’s usership is up to 1.87 million. Pinterest surpassed 200 million active users in September. Instagram boasts 800 million monthly active users, with 500 million of them being active daily.

If images are good, videos are better. A full 78% of users watch video on Facebook live, according to research done by Livestream. YouTube says that nearly 5 billion videos are watched daily. Even Instagram is getting in on the video trend, saying recently that they’re looking at allowing videos of up to an hour in length to be posted.

At Asterisk Creative, we get these stats, and we work with our clients to capitalize on these opportunities. Between our graphic designers, our photographers, and our videographers, we offer multimedia solutions to make your social media rock. If you’re ready to make that happen, contact Asterisk Creative today.

How Often Should I Post?

How Often Should You Post? | Social Media and Blogging Tips | Southeast Marketing and Advertising Agency | Asterisk CreativeBased on the things we hear day in and day out, it would seem the biggest question in internet marketing is: How often should I post?

Sharing information that is relevant and interesting regarding you and your brand, whenever that comes up, is important. The caveat here is that some sort of consistency is important. Now that Facebook and Instagram in particular have algorithms dictating a lot of when and how your posts are shown to your audience – and potential followers – you really need to keep your message flowing.

As general guidelines, we typically suggest posting at least once per month on a blog, four to seven times per week on Facebook, at least once per week on LinkedIn, and at least once per day on Twitter and Instagram. Using this as a jumping off point, you can get a feel for whether your audience responds to this frequency or if they want more. You can also use the data provided by each of the outlets to determine what time of day is best for you, what days your audience is more engaged, and what topics your audience responds to more so you can make the most of all your posts, regardless of the outlet.

Need help with your internet marketing posting strategy? Contact Asterisk Creative today.

What is Interactive Marketing?

What is Interactive Marketing? | Asterisk Creative | Southeast Advertising AgencyAgencies throw around terms like interactive marketing as part of their daily jargon. But what is interactive marketing?

Interactive marketing is also known as event-driven marketing or trigger-based marketing. In this type of marketing strategy, an event or trigger (such as a post on a social media outlet) sets in motion a two-way interaction between a customer or potential customer and a company. This one-on-one communication usually happens in the form of comments on posts, and it is deeply dependent on a company’s content strategy and the content that is produced.

Interactive marketing tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and other social media outlets allow these types of engagement and interactions with your audience. The challenges in interactive marketing come not just from creating content that will garner engagement from your audience, but also in the monitoring and maintenance needed to keep the conversation going as well as gathering and combining customer information that is typically siloed to get out the right message at the right time.

At Asterisk Creative, we use our knowledge and experience to help you pick the interactive marketing outlets that are ideal for your company and your audience, as well as to assist you with the content needed for these platforms. Contact Asterisk Creative to get your interactive marketing campaign started today.