Our Blog

Check out our insights into the world of media and marketing, along with project spotlights, featured blogs from our client pages and other musings on how to optimize brand recognition in today’s technologically-driven environment.

Saying a Lot in Six Seconds: Crafting an Effective Six-Second YouTube Ad

Sometimes they say a little goes a long way. Sometimes they also say, time is money. When it comes to the six-second YouTube ad, both are true. It’s possible to say a lot in six seconds, when you opt for a video ad format that users can’t skip over. That’s what the six-second YouTube ad offers.

A quick recap of YouTube ad formats

The six-second “bumper” ad that we are focusing on in this blog is just one of a couple of different options.

Skippable in-stream ads

These play before, during or after other videos on YouTube and can be seconds to minutes in length. Viewers have the option to skip after five seconds.

Non-skippable in-stream ads

These also play before, during or after other videos and are a max of 15 seconds in length. Viewers do not have the option to skip the ad.

Bumper ads

Again, these play before, during or after other videos, and they are limited to six seconds in length. Viewers do not have the option to skip the ad.

There are also video discovery ads, outstream ads and masthead ads. Click to read more about those.

Benefits of the six-second YouTube ad

Why opt for the non-skippable six-second ad over others? Two of the main benefits are right there in the name. For one, since it’s only six seconds, you don’t have to invest too much time or too many of your own resources in the ad creation itself. Secondly, since it’s non-skippable, YouTube users will consume your content no matter what (if they are intent on watching the video that follows).

Quick bursts of information like this are ideal for general brand awareness and reach.

Saying a lot in six seconds

The thought of cramming your brand’s message into six seconds may seem a bit intimidating. However, we’ve outlined some best practices for crafting an effective ad in YouTube’s short format.

Mention your brand off the bat

You don’t have much time, so be sure to put your brand center stage—ASAP. Say your brand name, show your logo—however you can start the association quickly.

Simplify your story

Now’s not the time for a multi-tiered plot. Simplify down to the most critical pieces of information you want to convey. For example, if you want to highlight a particular service or product or showcase an offer—get to the point. If you want to simply generate brand awareness, hammer in your brand name, location and website. Don’t waste time on unnecessary words.

Rely on understood information

To help simplify, remember that some things do not need to be spelled out for the viewer. Save time by relying on “understood information,” i.e., cultural references and conventions that are generally well-known.

Focus on audio

According to Buffer, 95 percent of YouTube video is played with the sound on. Consider this stat and use music and/or voiceovers to your advantage in your six-second YouTube ad.

Pick up the pace in editing

This means using showcasing multiple shots into your short six seconds. The slower pace of shot transitions can be saved for longer-format video ads.

Summary

There’s certainly an art to crafting an effective six-second YouTube ad. With limited time real estate, it comes down to highlighting the most critical pieces of information to help you achieve your marketing goal while conveying your message in a way that will appeal to viewers.

Need help with your six-second YouTube ads? The McNutt & Partners team is here to help!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Blog Longevity: How Blogs Keep Helping Long After They Post

How do you feel when you hear the word “blog”? Excited? Intrigued? Intimidated? Blogging has been on the map as an effective platform for creating digital content for some time now; however, every now and then it’s a good idea to check in with the tried and true. Are blogs still relevant? Here, we’ll explore not only why they are still very much relevant in terms of cultivating a following and SEO fodder, but also how blogs keep helping long after they post.

A quick recap of why we blog

Blogging serves a twofold purpose for brands. For one, it serves as a means of communicating and sharing content with your audience. This gives you the opportunity to attract and maintain brand followers, which hopefully translates to consumers and sales.

On the other hand, blogging is also one among many tools in your SEO toolbox. Search engines need content to associate your brand with in a digital context in order for you to have a chance of ranking in a search. With its longer format, the blog offers a space to place keywords that you want to associate with your business online.

Blogs keep helping long after they post…

…and we have proof.

But we’ll get to that in a minute. First let’s explain exactly how a blog that has been posted for a while can continue contributing to positive digital marketing efforts.

Think of a blog as an entry into your library of digital content. The items in the library are accessible at any time after they are created. In theory, the way we want it to work is as follows:

  • Someone searches for a phrase in Google.
  • The phrase correlates to keywords in your blog, so it pops up in search.
  • The searcher clicks on your blog, driving traffic to your website and creating brand awareness.
  • The searcher shares your blog with others, and comes back to your website for additional content.

Unlike a fleeting form of digital content like an Instagram story, once you post a blog, it’s out there in the universe until you take it down. It’s available for people and search engines to access over, and over, and over.

Real life examples

We promised examples of how blogs keep helping long after they post. These blogs among our clients were top performers in March 2021, though each was posted well before that.

“10 Fun Facts About Japanese Maples,” May 26, 2020

This blog about Japanese maples from Crooked Oaks is still going strong with 107 page views in March 2021.

“Fence Height: How Tall Should I Build My Fence?” October 7, 2019

Who knew fence height could cause such a buzz? This 2019 blog from Turner Fence had 316 page views in March 2021.

“6 Famous Musicians from Macon, Georgia,” April 29, 2020

With a solid 62 page views in March 2021, this blog from Summer Park Apartments in Macon, Georgia still has us singing its praises.

“5 Traditions from Troy University,” October 17, 2019

A year-and-a-half later, this traditional blog from Troy Alabama Apartment Homes saw 72 page views in March 2021.

A Guide to Common Grass Types in the South,” March 22, 2019

This blog’s page view count grew just as fast as summer grass! The Leakesville Small Engines blog had 498 page views in March 2021.

“4 Steps to Take if Your Instagram Account Is Disabled,” August 26, 2019

Time to toot our own horn a little. In March 2021, our blog from a year-and-a-half ago saw a solid 103 page views.

“Burst Blood Vessels in the Eye: When to See a Doctor,” August 19, 2020

Now for the big winner. This Mississippi Eye Care blog had 5,756 page views in March 2021 alone!

Don’t delete your blog!

A note of caution—don’t delete your blog! Even if your blog is inactive for a period of time, it’s still out there doing work (as our examples prove). Take the time you need, and then get back to posting when you can (or rely on an agency to help).

Summary

Your blogs keep helping long after they post by contributing to both brand awareness and SEO efforts. It’s just another reason to add blogging to your digital marketing routine!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

8 Social Media Marketing Myths to Acknowledge in 2021

Where there is room for success and error, there is a gray area where myths thrive. It’s no different in the world of social media marketing. With every post, new user and timeline scroll, social media is evolving. While that may make it seem like the future of social media is uncertain, we believe we can point out with confidence a few social media misconceptions relevant to now. Follow along with these social media myths to acknowledge in 2021.

I don’t have time to post to social, so it’s pointless to have one for my business.

In 2021, having a social media presence as a business is no longer optional. It’s akin to having a website and provides another way for people to be able to find you online. Even if you do not have time to post every day or even every week, it’s still important to maintain a page to make sure your brand is represented in a space where so many consumers are spending their time.

Work with an agency to manage your social, or set time aside a couple days out of the month to post an update. Even a couple posts a month is better than nothing.

My brand needs to be on every social network.

There are multitudes of social media networks in existence today, and different ones cater to different demographics of users. The truth is, not all social media platforms are right for your business. It depends on what you are marketing and who you are marketing to. Don’t waste time on networks where you are not getting much engagement or response in return for your efforts.

There is a specific time of day and day of the week when I should post to social media.

Do a Google search, and you’ll find piles of articles talking about the “ideal day and time of day” to post to social media. Take the suggestions into consideration, but in our opinion, there is no magic bullet when it comes to this. Social media is used ‘round the clock, and algorithm limitations are going to be the ultimate factor determining who sees what content. The important thing to is that you’re posting at all, on some sort of consistent schedule.

Social media followers aren’t relevant to me unless they buy something.

This one among our social media marketing myths can seem like a bit of a contradiction at first. Clients will say, “Wait, I thought my business was on social media to make sales. Why do I need non-customer followers?”

The reason for this is the same as any sort of brand awareness that you are cultivating for your business. Seeing your logo on a billboard or baseball sponsorship poster in the outfield doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is going to immediately head to your store and make a purchase. It does mean that they are more likely to remember your brand when it comes time to either consider a purchase themselves or even just recommend you to a friend, family member or coworker.

On social media, too, there is strength in numbers. Everyone you are connected to (whether they are paying customers or not) puts you indirectly in contact with their fans and followers, and so on and so on. That’s why it’s called a social media “network.”

My target customers aren’t the social media type.

This myth relates to the one we just discussed. Even if you suspect that your target customers aren’t on social media, chances are that someone they know is. Word of mouth is powerful when it comes to brand awareness.

Besides that point, you might be surprised. With all of the different niche social platforms available, there truly is a social media network to suit a variety of demographics and their needs—so you may have more customers using social than you think.

I should stay off social media to avoid bad business reviews.

This is one we hear quite frequently—and one that we want you to shake off—immediately! Some social platforms like Facebook provide a space for customers to leave reviews. Yes, this could include the occasional negative review, but that should NOT be a reason to shun social media completely. The vast array of benefits of being on social media as a business greatly outweigh the possibility of a negative review here and there. Plus, garnering positive reviews for your brand is critical to maintaining a solid online reputation.

Social media users don’t want to see branded content.

While it’s true that some social media users will adjust their settings to see fewer ads, it’s not true that everyone is opposed to seeing branded content on their timelines. In fact, according to HubSpot, 54 percent of social media users are using it specifically to research products and 83 percent of people use Instagram to “discover new products and services.” These stats show that beyond the “social” aspect of social networks, they also serve as venues for consumers.

I should only post branded content on my business’ social media page.

Conversely to the point above, it’s a myth that your page should be 100 percent full of branded content. Social media users want to see the faces behind the brand—AKA, you and your staff! Showcasing the “human” side of your business on social media is just as important as pushing your products and services.

Summary

Checking in with these social media marketing myths to acknowledge in 2021 is critical to making sure your business is getting the most out of the digital marketing opportunities available to it.  Of course, one great way to ensure that your social presence stays viable is to work with an agency like us!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Facebook Location Pages: What Are They, and Why Are They Helpful?

Having a Facebook page for your business is all but a necessity in today’s consumer climate. But what if your business has multiple locations? Facebook offers a way to have multiple “location” pages connected to a main “parent page” representing your overall brand. These Facebook location pages can help streamline organization for page managers while making it easier for customers to find your business on the platform.

What Facebook location pages look like

Facebook locations are set up with a parent-child page hierarchy. That means that all of the various location-specific pages are connected to one main “parent” page. The parent page is a page that represents a brand (or, the parent company), but that does not have a specific location assigned to it.

For example, do a search for “Chipotle Mexican Grill” on Facebook, and your results will likely show you pages for Chipotle restaurants in your area. The top result in our search was this one for Chipotle on Auburn University’s campus—the closest to our office.

As you can see, the Chipotle restaurant’s specific location appears in parentheses, as well as in the username (@ChipotleAuburnCampus).

This differs from the main parent page for Chipotle Mexican Grill, which looks like this.

The parent page does not display a specific location, as it represents the Chipotle brand as a whole. For large brands, the parent page will typically have a blue check mark next to the page name, which indicates that the page is a verified public figure, media company or brand.

The benefits of using Facebook location pages

The draw of having location-specific subsets of your main page is two-fold.

For one, according to Facebook, it allows users to more easily find you in search. Like a Google listing, Facebook will serve up the location pages that are most relevant geographically to a particular user. When they are tied to a parent page using Facebook’s structural hierarchy, the results are tailored more accurately.

Another benefit is for the page managers themselves. Facebook’s Locations feature allows page managers to edit store information, add new stores, create targeted ads and push out content all from one central area.

For example, page managers can create a post and then send it out to the parent page and all of the location pages under it using this feature. Meanwhile, individual pages still have autonomy to post their own local content.

How to set up Facebook location pages

The first thing to do when setting up location-specific pages in Facebook is to identify a main business page first. This is the page that will represent your brand as a whole. You can use an already-established page, or create a new one to serve in this role.

Then, Facebook requires you to set up a “page structure” underneath that page. For quick reference, in Facebook Business Manager, go to “Business Settings” and then “Store Locations.” You will then be prompted to set up your page structure, which will allow you to add stores.

Summary

The Facebook location pages feature is an intuitive tool for page managers to organize and share content across multiple business locations while making it simpler for Facebook users to find and consume said content. It’s a win-win!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

7 Fresh Social Content Ideas for Spring

It’s time. Time to open up the windows, dust off the shelves and smell the (figurative or real) flowers. It’s spring! Feeling like your social media content has gone stale over the dark, cold days of winter? There’s nothing like the change of seasons to inspire a refresh. Here are some fresh social content ideas for spring to get the season started on a positive note!

Share what’s new.

The meaning of spring is new beginnings. What’s new at your business? Let your social media followers know what’s been going on. Maybe you’ve opened a new outdoor dining area. Or you’re offering some seasonal deals. Maybe you’ve got some awesome new products or services. Nothing says fresh like new updates!

Promote adjusted hours.

Springing forward means more hours of daylight. Depending on the type of business you have, that may mean you offer longer hours to your customers in the spring and summer months. Use social media posts to remind people of your adjusted hours and invite them to take advantage!

Spring into a seasonal photo session.

Bare trees and yellow grass, meet your match. Get some updated photos in and around your business that feature some of spring’s natural beauty at its finest. Hire a professional to come out for a shoot, or simply take your own pics using your smart phone. Then, house a library of photos that you can pull for social posts. Everyone likes seeing pretty photos grace their news feeds.

Introduce new faces.

Speaking of newness, another of our social content ideas for spring is to highlight any new members of your team. A staff spotlight is as easy as snapping a photo and getting your employee to answer a few quick questions. Easy go-to’s are “Where are you from?” “What do you do at _____ (insert name of business here)?” and “Tell us something people may not know about you.” You can do this with longtime employees as well.

Play off of spring holidays.

Holidays are low-hanging fruit in terms of social content ideas. In the spring, your big ones are Easter and Mother’s Day, along with some other favorites like April Fool’s Day, Earth Day and Cinco de Mayo. In addition to social posts on the actual holidays themselves, think of fun promos and themed messaging you could include in posts leading up to them.

Include the more obscure holidays.

“Hashtag holidays” are holidays, too! Since they get specific, you may even find one relevant to your place of business. A few mentionable ones in the spring months are National Puppy Day (March 23), National Beer Day (April 7), National Fitness Day (May 1), National Hamburger Day (May 28)…the list goes on.

Plan seasonal events—and promote them on social.

Spring is time to get outside. Even if you’re not literally hosting an event outdoors, more people in general are becoming active again in the spring—which hopefully means patronizing your place business! Plan a seasonal sale, open house or special shopping hours. Leading up to the event, promote it on social media. You should start promoting at least a month out and have several social posts leading up to the date.

Summary

Now that you’ve got some fresh social content ideas for spring, go forth and conquer the season at your digital marketing best! Need help with those efforts? We’ve got you!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

7 Tips for Combating Facebook’s Algorithm Limitations

Last week we highlighted a few of the factors that affect Facebook’s algorithm, which determines how your content is shown across the Facebook network. With organic reach being limited, it’s not entirely effective to simply post content to Facebook and hope it gets seen. Chances are, it will get seen by fewer people than you’d like. Luckily, there are some viable strategies for combating Facebook’s algorithm limitations.

Post to Facebook stories

Content posted to Facebook stories is not subject to the algorithm’s limitations. If someone is following your page and clicks on your story, said content is going to get seen. Establishing a regular routine of posting to the story space is one of our favorite tips for combating Facebook’s algorithm limitations.

Engage with people who engage with you

Engagement, engagement, engagement. No, we’re not talking about wedding bells! The higher the engagement on a post (i.e. likes, comments, shares), the better the chance your content will have for getting seen organically. Any form of interaction should be treasured. This includes you, as the person running the page, replying to people who engage with you to keep the conversation going. The algorithm prioritizes content from pages a user has interacted with previously.

Post quality content

Spammy content=bad. Quality content=good. Enough said.

Quality content not only looks better, but it is more appealing to your followers and thus will increase the chances they will interact with it. The algorithm favors content on which Facebook users are interacting with one another. That’s more inspiration to create interesting content that will get people talking. Pose a question, make a poll, prompt people to share—as a few examples.

Take advantage of Facebook groups

Like stories, Facebook’s groups are another effective means of combating Facebook’s algorithm limitations. In groups, all content is shown to all members of that group without being subject to the algorithm. For example, say your brand is “Big Adventure Hiking Gear.” Then you might create a group called “Big Adventure Hiking Gear Fans.” The group would include people who have used your gear or who are interested in using it. Posts could highlight where people have traveled with your gear and talk about hiking in general.

Think of a Facebook group as a supplement to your main Facebook business page that cultivates a bit more of a casual setting.

Play favorites

A lesser-known fact about Facebook: users have the ability to designate 30 friends and/or pages as “favorites.” A page on a user’s favorite list gets its content prioritized higher in that user’s News Feed. To access favorites, click the drop down arrow in the top right of the Facebook page. Then, Settings & Privacy>News Feed Preferences>Manage Favorites.

A user can select favorites by clicking the star next to a person or page.

Place value on video

Video is one of the most widely-consumed forms of content on social media. This is good to note considering Facebook’s algorithm advances the most popular forms of content in its algorithm rankings. Particularly, Facebook Live is a great way to broadcast your messages to your audience. According to Hootsuite, live video receives six times more engagement than regular video.

Ask your employees for help

Use your employees as brand representatives on social media! Encourage them to share, comment on and like your business page’s content in order to ramp up engagement. Employees with personal pages already have an automatic advantage over your brand’s page as a business page in the eyes of the algorithm. Their connection to their family and friends on the platform makes it so.

Summary

For business pages, the current reach of organic content subject to Facebook’s algorithm is less than ideal. However, these tips for combating Facebook’s algorithm limitations give you the edge to help your brand’s content get seen by more followers than would see it otherwise.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

4 Ranking Factors that Affect Facebook’s Algorithm in 2021

You make a Facebook post and BAM! Your content is now broadcast to the world. Well, not exactly. Facebook’s uses its infamous algorithm to determine how it shows content to its users. And thanks to the algorithm, the potential reach for organic content can be pretty bleak. In fact, Hootsuite reported that as of the end of 2020, the average reach of an organic Facebook post was only 5.2 percent (compared to 5.5 percent in 2019 and 7.7 percent in 2018). Understanding Facebook’s algorithm in 2021 is important to know how your content is interpreted.

A quick recap

No one really knows how Facebook has constructed its algorithm, unless you work for Facebook. However, the company has divulged some insight over the years.

The algorithm works by taking all of the posts in a user’s network and ranking them according to certain factors. It then uses those rankings to determine what content to show the user, and what content to discard. Factors relate to Facebook’s intention to provide users “personalized” social media experiences (more on that in a minute).

What this means for marketers is that if your content doesn’t come across as appealing for users according to Facebook’s algorithm, it will get cast by the wayside.

Organic vs. paid

When we reference “organic” content, we mean content posted to Facebook that is not a paid Facebook ad. Rather than having money behind it, this content (theoretically) spreads “organically” throughout the Facebook network via user engagement.

Paid content, on the other hand, is just how it sounds. Also referred to as “sponsored” content, this content is disseminated throughout Facebook’s network based on a dollar amount assigned to it.

Ranking factors for Facebook’s algorithm in 2021

In analyzing Facebook’s algorithm on a very base level, it focuses on a few key ranking factors.

When it was posted 

Posts that were posted more recently rank higher than older content. Easy enough.

Who posted it

Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes content from people, groups and pages you interact with most often.

Type of content

Similarly, Facebook ranks content based on the type of content you gravitate toward most often. For example, if you interact with video posts more than posts with links, then your newsfeed will reflect that.

Post engagement

How much interaction has the post received since it’s been posted? Posts with more engagement (i.e. likes, comments, shares) will be prioritized in being shown organically on others’ news feeds.

What this means for marketers

With the average reach for an organic Facebook post being relatively low, it makes it all the more important as a marketer to post meaningful, relevant, quality content. If the algorithm prioritizes content with high engagement, make it something people will want to share. If the algorithm prioritizes popular types of content, pay attention to what types of content people are interacting with, and post more of that type.

It also means that your overall strategy should employ a healthy mix of organic and paid content. It’s tough to be effective as a business page on Facebook solely on organic content these days—especially for small businesses with limited followers.

Summary

Ranking factors for Facebook’s algorithm in 2021 remind us of the importance of posting quality content that truly resonates with your audiences. And a little paid promotion thrown in there never hurts.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

6 Tips for Keeping Your Website’s SEO Content Relevant

Like all technology, your website won’t stand the test of time unless you take time to update it. That beautiful website you had built for your brand five years ago may still be beautiful, but over time it needs maintenance beyond just its appearance. There are many ways a website should be regularly maintained, but here we’re focusing on one related to SEO, or search engine optimization. Keeping your website’s SEO content relevant is a task that comes with the passage of time.

Remove or update outdated content

Google likes to see fresh content. Your website users like to see fresh content. So it makes sense that one of our tips for keeping your website’s SEO content relevant is—you guessed it—adding fresh content! Make it a point to remove or update content that is outdated or no longer relevant. This includes checking all of your website’s internal and external links to make sure the pages they are directing to are still working and pertinent.

Check your internal links

Speaking of links, establishing a solid network of internal links within your website structure is an important part of SEO. Google uses internal links to navigate throughout your website. For example, say you have a blog about “things to do in the summer,” that mentions “road trips.” You previously wrote a blog about the “top 10 road trips” in your area. Then, in the “things to do in the summer” blog, you would want to link to the “top 10 road trips” blog upon mention of “road trips.” Make sense?  In fact, we linked to eight of our existing blogs in this post alone!

Check your existing internal links to ensure they are all working, and add more internal links to beef up your website’s SEO credibility.

Brush up on keywords 

In terms of SEO copywriting, it’s all about the SEO keywords! Along with societal preferences and even language, keywords evolve. That means when keeping your website’s SEO content relevant, you may need to update your keywords from time to time. Updating could also come as a result of your brand’s focus shifting as to what search terms you would like to rank for.

Make sure each article is distinct

When creating content for your website over a long period of time—we’re talking years—it’s inevitable that some of your blog entries may inadvertently start to resemble one another. When you sit down to do a refresh on your website’s SEO content, look for blogs and their keywords that may be a little too similar. Even if they are distinct to you, Google may read them as similar. This is actually referred to as “keyword cannibalization.” This happens when two entries on your website are competing against one another for rankings, which is counterproductive.

Add details you may not have used before

We’re all busy, and sometimes we just do the bare minimum when it comes to optimizing our website content for search. If you’re doing an annual overhaul though, take time to implement some SEO strategies that you may not yet be taking advantage of. For example, you may be identifying keywords in your copy, but you can also assign keywords to your images. Or maybe you haven’t been selecting categories and tags for your content.  Do some research into the additional tools that are available to you, and incorporate them into your regular routine when posting content to your website.

Let your agency help!

The best way to keep up with keeping your website’s SEO content relevant? Let us do it for you! Our team of SEO strategists stays up to date with the most current ways to keep your content ranking highly.

Summary

Keeping your website’s SEO content relevant is important for having a better chance at maintaining a solid spot in Google’s search rankings. Don’t wait—let’s get started now!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

It’s OK to Ask Politely: Using Email to Ask for Reviews

All email users have seen them in their inboxes. Maybe it’s after you attended an event, or perhaps after you made a purchase. They tend to go something like this: “Let us know how we did!” or “We want your feedback!” Using email to ask for reviews is just another strategy at a business’ disposal to attempt to bolster a positive online reputation.

Let us paint a picture.

Just so we’re all on board with exactly what we’re talking about—our focus here is using your business’ public-facing email to reach out to people on your email list to encourage them to leave a review for your business.

Some businesses make it a point to do this on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. Others have automated systems in place to prompt an email like this each time after a consumer has made a purchase. We believe the way it will work best in any scenario depends on the business itself and its individual characteristics, clientele and industry.

Why using emails to ask for reviews works

Not overly-invasive.

In this day and age, people are used to getting branded emails in their inboxes. And the beauty of it is, if they don’t like it, they can unsubscribe. Using email to ask for reviews gives customers time to think things over without feeling like they have to act right away. In other words, the choice is theirs to take you up on it and leave a review (either immediately or later), or simply delete the email and move on (which of course, we hope for the former).

Gives a gentle nudge.

We’re all busy, so it’s understandable that leaving a business review may not always be top of mind. An email follow-up to leave a review gives people a gentle reminder to do something that many times, they would be more than happy to do, but they would not have remembered to do otherwise.

Appeals to people already following your brand.

In many cases, the people receiving your emails are doing so willingly. Either they signed manually up to be on your email list, or they haven’t unsubscribed because they in fact like receiving your brand’s content. Asking people who fall into this category to leave a review gives you a higher chance of getting positive response.

Provides people direct access to review resources.

This may be one of our favorite reasons why we support using email to ask for reviews for your business. You can provide reviewers a direct link to the review site (or sites) that you want them to visit, right there in the email itself. Link them to Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, Yelp Reviews…you get the idea. People are more likely to leave a review when they don’t have to do the work of finding your review pages online. All they have to do is open the email, and click!

Summary

Using email to ask for reviews is a strategy that should not go overlooked when trying to build your online reputation. It’s a quick and convenient process for both the marketer and the consumer with the potential for a big payoff!

Need help setting up your next review request email campaign? We’ve got you!

Speaking of reviews, if you’ve worked with us before, we’d love you to leave us one on Google or Facebook!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

6 Tips for Responding to Direct Messages on Social Media

Social media gives us several ways to communicate within its ecosystem. There are posts. There are comments. And then there are direct messages. The direct message, sometimes referred to as simply a “DM,” is the most private way to communicate with another social media user or business page. For our purposes, direct messages are a way for customers to reach out directly to a representative of a business. And for brands, there is certainly an art to responding to direct messages on social media.

The benefits of being timely in responding to direct messages on social media

Above all, you should implement a system for your business page to regularly respond to incoming direct messages on your social media platforms. Of course, this is just a common customer service courtesy—but there’s more.

On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, you actually get rewarded for a track record of timely responses with a badge that says “Very responsive to messages.” This badge is for pages that have a response rate of 90 percent or more and a response time of less than 15 minutes.

Suggestions for responding to direct messages on social media

Use an automated response.

Setting up an automated response to the direct messages you receive should be a standard for any business. It lets people feel that they have been addressed, even when you are not available to immediately answer their message. Most automated responses will thank customers for reaching out and let them know that you will follow up with them shortly.

 Make time to check messages each day.

Checking and responding to direct messages on social media should be a part of your business’ daily routine. Carve out a bit of time each day to have someone from your business check your social media inboxes and respond to messages. Depending on the volume of messages you receive, this could even turn into a full-time position.

Check for messages across all platforms.

When we think of direct messages on social media, many of us think of Facebook alone. But keep in mind, most of your standard platforms have a form of direct message inbox. Don’t neglect other places you may receive messages like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Note: Since Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same entity, you can check your direct messages on Instagram all in one place via Facebook’s business manager.

Take advantage of organizational tools.

Speaking of Facebook, it actually offers a pretty helpful suite of tools to help you keep your inbox organized. This includes adding internal notes about individuals who message you, assigning labels to conversations and more. Use these to your advantage!

Be professional and polite.

We’ve previously touched on the importance of customer service on social media. Responding to direct messages is one instance where customer service on social media comes into play. You should interact in a direct message with a customer the same way you would interact with a customer in your storefront or over the phone. Professionalism and politeness go a long way!

Follow up when the situation calls for it.

Your automated response went through. You’ve responded beyond the automated response. But you’re not finished! Make sure to follow up on what the customer is inquiring about should the situation warrant it. If you say you are going to check on the status of an order, do so. If you say you’re going to give them a call to discuss something over the phone, do it!

Summary

Responding to direct messages on social media in a timely and professional manner is in your best interest as a business. When the customer is happy, everyone’s happy!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.