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Study Reveals Email Marketing Best Practices for 2016

Email

SendGrid, the leading delivery platform for customer communication, today revealed the results of a study analyzing consumer behavior during Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2015. The data was collected between November 1 and December 7, 2015 spanning over three billion emails sent.

The findings include:

  • Offering a discount in the subject line is popular, but is not correlated with stronger engagement: Of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing emails sent, 38 percent included a discount in the subject line. The most common discounts were 20 and 50 percent, while other discount percentages were much lower. The study found that emails that did not have a discount in the subject line had higher engagement rates.
  • Recipients click on the calls-to-action within their emails more quickly on their mobile devices: Mobile clicks skew towards shorter delays relative to desktop clicks; the median (50th percentile) click delay 18 percent shorter for mobile vs desktop (3.7 vs 4.5 hours).
  • On weekends, the median click delay approximately doubles: This indicates that the links that are being clicked on weekends tend to belong to older emails. Recipients are likely looking through their inbox at emails that they may have ignored during the workweek.
  • Unsubscribes are correlated with engagements: The study showed that higher engagement during Black Friday and Cyber Monday also led to an increase in unsubscribe rates.

According to a report by GDMA and Winterberry Group, 74 percent of marketers remain confident in the value of data-driven marketing and advertising and its potential for future growth. SendGrid delivers over 22 billion emails per month and recognizes the value of data-driven email marketing for its expanding base of customers which includes CBS Interactive, Taco Bell, Spotify and Airbnb.

“Email is a mission-critical channel for marketers to drive engagement and is one of the most cost-effective way for companies to interact with their customers if done correctly,” said Victor Amin, data scientist, SendGrid. “The aim of this study was to provide marketers with key findings and best practices to improve the success of their email engagement campaigns in 2016.”

The key recommendations for marketers in 2016 include:

  • Test subject lines of all email marketing campaigns: Discount offers don’t always result in higher engagement. In fact, discounts may have a negative effect on engagement rates. A/B testing is a way to measure the success of your holiday email marketing campaign. Every business and email list is different, so we suggest that you test what works and what doesn’t with your recipients. By A/B testing, you can determine which tactic works best.
  • Purge the un-interested: Unsubscribes aren’t always a bad thing. If a recipient has signed up for your marketing list but changed their mind, it’s important that they have a clear and easy method to unsubscribe. If you don’t feel comfortable with making the unsubscribe button more prominent, offer recipients a chance to “down-subscribe” or opt-out of certain emails in a preference center. This removes recipients from the extra emails rather than unsubscribing all together.
  • Think beyond the holidays: The holiday season marks a huge sales opportunity for businesses, but also gives marketers a chance to build their lists which can benefit them for the rest of the year. Capitalize on the opportunity by creating multiple options for customers to sign up for your mailing list on your website or mobile app. Sign up messages should be short; each time someone new signs up for marketing email, send a stellar welcome email, which is personalized and makes a good first impression.
  • Be wary of email fatigue: Oftentimes email fatigue results in more than just unengaged recipients. Sending multiple emails per day can lead to fatigued and annoyed recipients resulting in users blocking, unsubscribing and sending messages to spam. As you think past the holidays, remember to keep your recipient list as clean as possible. Well-maintained lists consistently have higher engagement rates than older, neglected lists. Make sure you’re removing addresses that haven’t been engaged in a long time and segment your list by engagement. Building a negative reputation with ISPs can have a major impact on revenue, especially around the holidays.
  • Focus on email compatibility for desktops and mobile devices: Marketers need to meet the demand for a compelling consumer experience across multiple platforms when it comes to email marketing campaigns. Most email templates are designed for a standard desktop which is too wide for most phones – and could result in preventing horizontal scrolling. Include a plain text version in HTML email and make use of responsive design templates.

[Source: Street Insider]

New Data: Insights into the Evolution of Email Marketing

Pulse on Email Marketing Landscape: Benchmarks 2015 Assessments, 2016 Predictions

Campaigner® announced the results of its marketing trends survey, detailing key industry insights and identifying specific areas of focus for 2016. Findings signal a shifting and dynamic ecosystem for marketers, as their tools, strategies and responsibilities continue to evolve with technology. Advances in social media and data analysis, as well as a heightened emphasis on the customer experience, will likely be the leading influences shaping the email marketing industry in the coming year.

 

Facebook Buy Button

Source: Facebook

 

From Social Basics to Social Buy Buttons

Marketers have been catching on to the benefits of social integration for a few years now, but new data indicates a shift in the use of social tools, specifically centered on direct buy buttons. In fact, 36 percent of marketers report seeing an increase in sales from direct buy button integration.

Looking to the year ahead, the results indicate an even higher emphasis on this tool in 2016, with close to 60 percent more marketers projected to utilize buy buttons this year. In 2015, only 22 percent of marketers implemented buy buttons, yet the data suggests closer to 35 percent plan on using them in 2016.

Furthermore, it seems this investment in buy buttons and other social integrations is paying off. More than two-thirds of marketers reported seeing higher referral traffic from social media in 2015, with almost half of them attributing it to a higher social spend.

Analytics Evolution: Big Support for Little Data

Additionally, the survey data reveals that marketers are turning away from the recent hype of big data, and, instead, seeking out “little data.” According to the survey, two-thirds of marketers believe smaller, segmented data provides better insight for marketing strategy and execution than big data.

Specifically, marketers are looking for segmented data on their target audiences (34 percent), industry verticals (19 percent) and existing customers (13 percent).

“This idea around ‘little data’ will be crucial to marketing success in 2016,” said EJ McGowan, general manager, Campaigner. “Every marketing strategy should not only be based on data, but based on analysis of the right data, directly relevant to your audience. The industry is moving from a macro-data outlook to a more segmented and targeted approach to metrics, and I believe this will provide significant benefits across the board.”

Supplementary to little data, predictive analytics will become a bigger emphasis for marketers in 2016. The survey reveals an almost 50 percent increase in the use of predictive analytics from 2015 to 2016: 20 percent of marketers reported using it in 2015, while 30 percent say they plan to implement it this year.

Marketers hope to leverage these strategies to gain deeper insights into customers and establish more effective relationships in order to accomplish what they rank as their top two goals for 2016, attracting new customers (74 percent) and retaining current customers (40 percent).

Professional Progression Among Email Marketers

Further supporting the increased emphasis on customer relationships is the evolving role of marketers. Job descriptions of email marketers in 2016 may be vastly different from those of years past, thanks to new emerging technologies and goals.

The data shows that 70 percent of marketers see their role evolving this year by focusing on optimizing their website for individualized, personalized user experiences. Forty-six percent see an increase of ownership of the customer experience, and almost a third (31 percent) foresee their role evolving into more of a marketing technologist.

“Just as marketing strategies and technologies are evolving, so are marketers’ roles and responsibilities,” McGowan said. “Adapting to new innovations is key to maintaining, and increasing, business success. Seeing that marketers are preparing for a role shift in 2016 is not surprising, but, rather, promising for the future of the industry.”

Additional Insights

  • Email marketers think earning new subscribers will be their biggest challenge in 2016, though increasing open rates proved most challenging in 2015.
  • Newsletters net the highest use among email marketers in their content marketing strategies.
  • Email takes the top spot among priority marketing methods for 2016.

Consumer Use of Health Apps and Wearables Doubled in Past 2 Years

The number of U.S. consumers who use wearables and mobile apps for managing their health has doubled in the past two years, according to the results of a survey byAccenture.

Specifically, the number of consumers who use mobile health apps increased from 16 percent in 2014 to 33 percent today, and the number of consumers who use health wearables increased from 9 percent to 21 percent during the same time. The findings are part of a seven-country survey of roughly 8,000 consumers – including roughly 2,225 in the United States – with select findings compared to a similar survey of physicians.

Consumers’ Use of Health Apps and Wearables

Of the one in five consumers in the most-recent survey who were asked by a doctor to use wearables to track their health, such as fitness or vital signs, three-quarters (76 percent) followed their physician’s recommendation. The majority of consumers (77 percent) and doctors (85 percent) alike said that using wearables helps a patient engage in their health.

Four in 10 consumers (40 percent) who use health apps have discussed or shared mobile app data with their doctor in the past year. Consumers most frequently use health apps for fitness (cited by 59 percent), diet/nutrition (52 percent), symptom navigation (36 percent) and accessing their patient portal (28 percent).  While the vast majority (90 percent) of consumers said they would be willing to share wearable or app data with medical providers, far fewer said they would be willing to share that data with their health plans (63 percent) or employers (31 percent).

Nearly one-third (29 percent) of consumers in the most-recent survey—compared with just under one-quarter (23 percent) in the 2014 survey – said they prefer virtual doctor appointments to face-to-face doctor appointments. However, physicians and consumers alike believe that virtual visits provide benefits for patients, such as lower costs (58 percent of consumers vs. 62 percent of doctors), convenience (52 vs. 80 percent) and timely access to care (42 vs. 49 percent)

“Digital tools are empowering patients to take charge of their health and interact with the system on their own terms,” said Kaveh Safavi, M.D., J.D., who leads Accenture’s health practice globally. “Healthcare providers will need to weave digital capabilities into the core of their business model so that it becomes embedded in everything they do.”

Source: Accenture

Report: Driving, Measuring and Successful Lead Generation

A recent report reveals how marketer generate leads, their biggest challenges and what problems need to be solved in 2016. The report released by Formstack, also breaks down the ways B2B and B2C marketers evaluate and optimize campaigns, determine return on investment and track metrics.

Among the key findings:

  • 45% of the marketers surveyed can’t confidently tie marketing ROI to specific touchpoints.
  • 78% percent of marketers surveyed said they rely on Google AdWords and social media advertising to get their messages out…
    • …But when it comes time to prove their return on investment (ROI) on those paid campaigns, 34% said they don’t know where to start. Another 30% said they struggle to align various marketing channels in reports.
  • Turning more website visitors into sales was a top three priority for 42% of marketers…
    • …Yet new sales ranked fifth as a key metric they track regularly.
  • Although sales isn’t high on the list of metrics being tracked, marketers do appear to be seeking more insights on which paid campaigns are driving sales:
    • 28% use the number of sales resulting from paid ads to prove ROI.
    • Only 9% are relying on site traffic alone to prove ROI on paid ads.

Respondents were asked what mediums they rely on to attract potential customers. The biggest generator of high-volume leads is on-page website conversions (24%), followed by email marketing (18%) and pay-per-click ads (17%).

lead generation

Seventy-eight percent of marketers surveyed said they rely on Google AdWords and social media advertising to get their messages out. Within these two overarching categories, 29% use AdWords, 22% use Facebook Ad Exchange, 15% use LinkedIn Ads, and 12% use Twitter Ads.

Lead Generation

 

The report shows how social media advertising differ between B2B and B2C.

B2B B2C
LinkedIn Ads 20% 9%
Twitter Ads 13% 12%
Facebook Ad Exchange 18% 25%

Analytics was the most-used method at 27%, for paid optimization strategies, followed by conversion rates at 20% and A/B testing at 17%. Ranking lowest were feedback from sales teams (12%) and lead attribution data that ties conversions to specific touchpoints (9%).

paid optimization strategies:

When asked to choose the primary goals they’re trying to reach with paid campaigns marketers indicate quality leads is at the top.

Goal B2C B2B All Respondents
Better quality leads 45% 67% 54%
Greater volume of leads 41% 52% 46%
More sales 35% 50% 42%
Higher conversion rate 40% 40% 40%
Prove ROI 21% 29% 25%
Higher CTRs 27% 13% 21%

Which mediums currently give them the best quality leads?

  • 23% attributed their best leads to organic website traffic.
  • 17.5% credited referrals
  • 16% selected email marketing.

According to the report the top 3 lead capture problems to solve in 2016 are:

  • Misaligned and cluttered reporting are clouding ROI. Proving ROI on paid campaigns seems to be a big challenge for marketers. Many are wrestling with an overwhelming number of apps that make it hard to know where to get their data.
  • Key performance indicators aren’t aligning with goals. Many marketers appear to be tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) that are not in line with actual goals. For example: While sales conversions is a key metric for some marketers, most still rely on “vanity” metrics such as overall website traffic and new visits—numbers that may indicate interest but don’t track actual purchases.
  • A lack of information is making it difficult to prove lead quality. Many marketers want to capture more high quality leads that end in sales, but they lack the data to show if, when, and how that happens. This makes it difficult to know which marketing channels are truly worth the investments.

Lead generation is an essence part of any successful digital marketing campaign. How is your brand focusing on aligning your company goals, metrics and mediums to capture more leads and land more sales?

 

Here’s How Pinterest Drives Online Commerce

How Pinterest Drives the Most Valuable Customers to Your Website

Social networks represent areas where rapid amounts of communication occurs between consumers. One piece of media can be shared and viewed by countless people, which in turn can drive just as many visits to any given link.

Of all the social networks, Pinterest represents the most valuable network for driving online commerce. It drives traffic with an incredibly high interest in purchasing products, which in turn means that every visitor from Pinterest tends to be more effective than visitors from other sources. Let’s explore the details of how and why Pinterest is so effective for online commerce.

Looking at the Numbers for Pinterest

The best way to understand the value in Pinterest is to take a look at the statistics presented by it. Shopify, which is one of the leading online commerce platforms for businesses, conducted a survey with Pinterest to learn more about Pinterest users and their consumer information.The average order value of sales coming from Pinterest is $50 – higher than any other major social platform. 93 percent of the consumers who came to Shopify stores planned to purchase. Combine this with the two million product pins created each day pointing to Shopify stores, and that is a potential gross revenue of $93 million.

The power behind Pinterest as a tool for online commerce revolves around the way it changes how consumers think. eMarkteter found that 93 percent of Pinterest users opened a commerce page with the intent to purchase something, and that 87 percent of those users purchased something solely because of what they found on a social networking site.

This purchasing trend stems from the way social networks influence every aspect of purchasing decisions. Milliard Brown found that 96 percent of Pinterest users used the social networking site to conduct product research, and 93 percent used it to plan their purchases.

Pinterest also delivers an affluent audience. comScore finds that Pinterest users spend twice as much online as the average Internet user, and a BizRate Insights survey found that 30 percent of users had an annual household income over $100,000.

Pinterest doesn’t just drive effective traffic to your online stores; it facilitates it.

The source of Pinterest’s effectiveness stems from the rich images and the functionality Pinterest users derive from the networking site. It facilitates the most important parts of the buying process, such as product exposure and social approval, while giving users a way to research more about a given product through links in pins.

Businesses are Learning the Viability of Pinterest for Online Commerce

Pinterest is a strong vehicle for brand association. 43 percent of Pinterest members agree that they use Pinterest to “associate with retailers or brands with which I identify,” compared to just twenty-four percent of Facebook users who agree to the same use with Facebook.

The raw statistics about how consumers use Pinterest should prove a great deal as to the viability of Pinterest for facilitating online commerce, but there are still more reasons to invest in Pinterest.

The biggest reason revolves around competition. Developing a strong platform on Pinterest can be done relatively easily with the right approach. Many businesses have not discovered the power of this platform for facilitating sales. Given that 61 percent of business-to-consumer marketers and 25 percent of business-to-business marketers use Pinterest, this is a trend that is bound to change.

If you want to take advantage of the many benefits that Pinterest can bring to your brand or online store, then now is the time to do so. The competition will only grow, and the number of consumers will only dwindle as they are realized by the businesses that use Pinterest for meeting their online goals.

pinterest-2016

 

18 Pinterest for Business Marketing Tips

Pinterest marketing tips

Pinterest for Business Tips

While it’s true millions of women love Pinning, men are actually the fastest-growing demographic on Pinterest. No matter who your target audience is, take your Pinterest marketing to the next level with these top Pinterest tips.

  1. Add Links and Keywords – Pinterest is not only a great visual representation of your business, it also has the extra bonus of having SEO value if you include the link and keywords in your description.
  2. Pin It – Be sure that the content on your website is easy to share. Don’t miss the chance to let users pin from catalog pages, blog post and individual product pages. Put a pin button on all owned content. Incorporate the “Pin it” button into your social sharing area on each page of your site.
  3. Engage Pinterest Followers – Repin, “like” or comment on pins and boards of others. Interact with your followers and take the time to participate. thank your pinners. Pinterest offers the ability to interact with your brand’s ideal customers in a direct, authentic way.
  4. Mix it Up – Avoid the “me syndrome” of pinning about your products. Connect with your target customers by pinning about inspirations, interests and your customers lifestyle. How-to guides, DIY activities and recipes are most likely to go viral if you’re in any of those sectors. Pinwords is a handy tool to use to share quotes. It’s a quick and easy way to make good-looking images from text or quotes and share them as pins.
  5. Be Relevant – Create boards and pin items that appeal to every segment of your customer base. This is your opportunity to speak to all your audience segments. To attract new followers and keep them engaged, provide new content regularly. Create a new board or pin to an existing board at least once a day, seven days a week.
  6. Be Aware of Copyrights – Make sure you always credit images and link back to the original source. For more information see Pinterest’s terms and conditions for use of third-party content.
  7. Gift Category – People love to use Pinterest for shopping ideas, which is why you may wan to use the new Gifts feed. Pinterest only shows product pins in the news feed. Product Pins show extra details like pricing, availability and where to buy right on the Pin so Pinners can decide which products are right for them.
  8. Add Videos – Images are not the only things that can be pinned. You Tube videos can be pinned to boards in the same way as any other image. If you have how-to videos or presentations this would be a great place to add them for additional exposure.
  9. Make it Personal – Use it show a different side to you and your business. Show behind the scenes at your office with boards about your staff or about a non-profit or cause you support.
  10. Pin What’s Hot – Whether it’s a book that received exposure on a talk show or the latest fashion trends, users want to see what everyone’s is talking about. If you pin this type of content to your boards, you can draw that trend-seeking crowd to follow you, just make sure it’s relevant to your business. Your team can also look at the Pinterest page that shows every item pinned from your site and your competitor(s): http://pinterest.com/source/yoursite.com. For example, you can look at who is pinning from the Kohl’s website or Adidas.com.
  11. Cross-Promote – Tell your Facebook and Twitter fans and followers to come join the party. Incorporate plugins like the “Pin It” button on your website to let visitors know you have an active presence on Pinterest.Include a few of your best Pinterest pins in your newsletter or your regular emails.
  12. Use a Variety of Images — Use a variety of images from product images, to collages to infographics. Use can use tools like PinThemAll.net to help you create pins that stitch multiple images together. In terms of shape, vertical images with an aspect ratio between 2.3 and 4.5 get 60% more repins than very tall, thin images. Images with multiple dominant colors have 3.25 times more repins than images with a single dominant color. Lightness matters too. Medium light images get 20X more pins than darker images.
  13. Get Seasonal — Pinterest currates its own content with weekly collections called “Pin Picks,” which fit into current seasons, trends, and holidays. Your brand can create a more personal connection with Pinners with content that is timely and relevant to the season or holiday.
  14. Leverage Rich Pins — If you’re in the ecommerce biz, you may consider employing Rich Pins so users can see the price and availability of a product right on the Pin itself.
  15. Check Traffic – Use Google analytics to track what images and content are driving site traffic.
  16. Join Group Boards — Pinterest group boards can be a great source for repins, followers and traffic for your Pinterest brand page. Use PinGroupie to help you find the best Pinterest group boards for your brand.
  17. Create “Pin it for later” Links — At the time of sharing the blog post to social media, you can give readers the options to “Pin the post for later read.” Your reader adds your pin to one of their Pinterest boards and comes back to your content later when they want to read and engage. It’s a great way to allow others to bookmark your content for later reading.
  18. Rearrange Pinterest Boards — If you have boards that are more relevant for the season or your current business priorities have changed, you can rearrange the order of your Pinterest boards on your profile page to reflect the season or their importance.

More Social Media Marketing Resources

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Google+ Social Media Marketing Tips

Google+ Tips for Brands

How to Use Google Plus for Business

Are looking for ideas on how to use Google Plus, or incorporate Google Plus into your company’s marketing strategy?  We have compiled the top tips to use Google Plus for content marketing, engaging fans, driving website traffic, building your brand and more.

  1. Leverage About Menu —Your page’s “story” under the About menu becomes your meta description when your page shows up in search results. Craft the introduction to your business to inform and entices more clickthroughs. In addition, Google+ page gives you the opportunity to add links that are important to your business in the “Links” section under the About menu. Along with your website, include your blog, social profiles, and any page you want to drive traffic to.
  2. Keep it Fresh — Create a content calendar and schedule your posts. Post at least once a day, seven days a week. Three tweets per day seems optimal on Google Plus. Post consistently, some users have experienced drops in traffic up to 50% when posting less than normal.
  3. Be Engaging — Content that gets attention usually includes questions, calls to action, photos or videos, or thought-provoking comments. Try to limit directly promotional posts about your business to 10 – 20 percent of what you post.
  4. Customize Profile Image and Cover Photo — Both should capture the culture and essence of your brand.  Update your cover image regularly — it makes that all-important first impression and can be used to showcase key messages and products, as well as branding..
  5. Interact — The more you interact on Google Plus, the faster you build connections and increase your audience. In addition to posting your own content, share and comment on others’ posts (you’ll see them in your Stream).You can also add a + before someone’s name (+theirname) to highlight a certain circle member, social influencer or company member in your post. Remember that they will receive notification, especially if you send it within a circle you have included them in.
  6. Create Collections — Collections are like interactive magazines which not only feature content but also facilitate conversations with people passionate about a subject. Google+ Collections allows you to categorize your updates by topic, which helps your followers quickly find updates for the topics they’re interested in. Previous posts can be moved into new collections you have created by clicking the arrow to the right of the share icon.
  7. It’s Crucial to Ask Customers to Circle You — Being in more people’s circles, or having more Google+ followers, improves your position on regular Google searches. Once users add your page to their circles, you can add them to yours.
  8. Optimize Your Page for SEO — Use keywords as you fill out the Introduction in your Google+ page’s About section as well in your post. Use keywords that you want to rank high on, and those keywords your customers are using.
  9. Join Google+ Communities — Google+ Communities are places where users can share specific questions, comments or content relating to a particular topic with other users who are just as interested in the conversation. Communities can be a great avenue for reaching your target audience and engaging them in a relevant conversation.
  10. Add the +1 Button to Your Website – When Google Plus users click the button, it’s shared with their circles.  In addition to putting the link in your email footer and on all of your social media pages, you can add a badge to your site.
  11. Post Links Directly in Google+ — In the Google Plus newsfeed, linked images are shown with a very small photo and a link description. If you want your content to standout, don’t use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Spreadfast for all your status updates. Instead, go to your Google Plus account and upload an image, add your description and then put the link in your description.
  12. Optimize Your Posts — The first 45-50 characters of your Google+ status update becomes that post’s page title in Google’s search results, so craft that first line as if you’re writing a blog post title, and include a keyword you’re trying to rank for and your audience is searching for.
  13. Link Your Google+ Page to Your Website — Link your Google+ page to your website to not only create an inbound link from Google+, but to allow your Google+ page to appear on the right hand side of search results.
  14. Use Images — Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Visual assets (photos, video, illustrations and infographics) are one of the core tools you have to tell your brand story.
  15. Leverage Analytics — with Google+ Platform Insights you can see how users are interacting with posts, including views, clicks, and CTR (Click-Through Rate). This can help you optimize interactive posts to gain the greatest engagement.Use tools like Steady Demand to look at peak times to post to get the best engagement, mentions, hashtags, key influencers and more.

Customer Insight Group is the leading social media marketing agency in Colorado and we invite you to take advantage of these additional resources:

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Food Lion Reaches 1 Million Facebook Fans & Donates 1 Million Meals

Facebook

Food Lion, a grocery store headquartered in Salisbury, North Carolina recently celebrated reaching 1 million Facebook fans.

To thank their fans for liking them on the social network, they donated 1 million meals. The meals will be distributed evenly between 30 local Feeding America member food banks within the grocer’s service area. The donation will span across its 10-state footprint.

“We’re incredibly proud to have reached this benchmark,” said Keith Nicks, director of loyalty and digital marketing at Food Lion. “As a grocer always looking for ways to improve the customer experience, we created this space to empower our customers to interact with us on a one-on-one basis, whether they’re saving money, sharing interactions with associates or looking for great recipes.”

Food Lion created Food Lion Feeds, a program to support hunger relief in their surrounding communities. In 2015 they donated 81.7 million meals surpassing its annual meal donation goal for of 75 million meals by six million. The grocer reached this achievement through product donations, volunteerism and in-store campaigns and has donated 143 million meals since launching Food Lion Feeds in 2014.

“Food Lion is committed to the communities in which we live and work, and through Food Lion Feeds, we want to eliminate the tough choices some of our customers have to make when they are hungry, like buying groceries or paying rent,” added Phillips-Brown.

This is one of the many examples of companies who use social media channels to connect with customers, business and community partners to share the brands thoughts and ideas, learn about products, money saving tips and recipes.

[Source: PRNewswire]


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Essential Tips For Using Twitter for Business and Marketing

 Tips For Using Twitter for Business and Marketing

Tweeting is about more than just dashing off one-liners in 140 characters or less. To be successful, you need to know all the ins and outs of Twitter. Here are sixteen Twitter tips that will help your business create a successful twitter marketing strategy and get an edge over your competitors.

How to use Twitter for Business and Marketing

  1. Create Compelling Content —Your most valuable asset is the information you provide and it can be the deciding factor in enticing followers. Share articles, pictures and behind-the-scenes information about your company. When you create great content and tweets, use them again. Tweets have a short lifespans, so don’t feel guilty for reposting a tweet. More than likely, not all of your followers read your tweet the first time around.
  2. Tweet Frequently — When it comes to how often a brand should tweet per day – most brands tweet anywhere between 1 and 6 times every day (this figure excludes @replies and retweets.) Remember to schedule your tweets throughout the day instead of posting them all at once. Those that tweet throughout the day catch readers at different times of day and gain more followers.
  3. Engage in a Conversation— You won’t succeed in building your Twitter relationships by pushing out one-way marketing messages about your product. Instead ask questions, retweet and publicly reply to compelling tweets posted by your followers and customers. The majority of your Tweets should focus on driving interactions with your followers, such as Retweets, replies, and likes. You can tweet to your audience in general, use a hashtag you know they frequently use, or even @mention specific customers for one-on-one tweeting.
  4. Make it Easy to Follow — Ideally, your website should feature an easy-to-notice link to your Twitter account “above the fold” (visible without scrolling down) on each page of your website.
  5. Make it Easy to Share — Use Click to Tweet to provide bits of text in your blog posts readers can tweet in a single click.
  6. Respond — Answer compliments and provide feedback in real time.
  7. Build Your Brand — Your profile, bio and Twitter background should be consistent with your company’s website, and easy for followers to connect with you on other channels.
  8. Make Keywords a Habit — Use keywords in your tweets to send a consistent signal that tells others who you are, how you want to connect with them and what you want to talk about.
  9. Don’t Forget the Hashtag — Adding a hashtags before keywords in your tweets makes it easier for users looking to join a specific conversation, or for specific information. It’s recommend using 2-3 hashtags max in your posts on Twitter.
  10. Call to Action – Add a call to action to your tweet by giving clear directions, providing an incentive to click and by including a deadline. This is about making sure your call to action matches the next step you want your customer to take. — Links provide more content to your tweets within Twitter’s character limits and they are the best way to provide valuable information to your followers. You can link to your content more than once. You can promote one link five different ways by first using the title of the page, next a quote, then one takeaway you discovered, one statistic, and finally a sentence of commentary.
  11. Let Your Brand Personality Shine – Social media is social, so mix up the serious and add something personal and fun to the mix.
  12. Use Images — Share images in your tweets to increase engagement, since images now appear inline on Twitter. Research shows that content with relevant images gets more views than content without relevant images. Consider incorporating an image into every three to four tweets so they’re more prominent in a user’s feed.
  13. Reward Followers — It can be something as simple as sending them a thank you, or as grand as giving them a personalized discount code or a free product. To track how your offer translates into sales, create a special code or tracking number so you can measure the results. Contests are also a fun way to not only reward followers, but to build buzz around your brand online as well. Run Twitter contests using hashtags to increase engagement quickly.
  14. Keep it Short — Always cap your tweets at around 115 characters for optimal retweet-ability. If you make your tweets the full 140 characters, your readers can’t add to them or retweet easily.
  15. Integrate & Schedule — Its great to tweet in the moment. But, It’s good to have a few tweets cued up that support your overall marketing strategy. You can optimize these tweets and schedule them to coincide with other marketing tactics.

More Social Media Marketing Resources

Twitter Stats

Why Social Media

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Walgreens Balance Rewards Card Integrates with Apple Pay 

Walgreens Balance® Rewards Apple Pay

Apple Pay Capabilities Added to Walgreens Loyalty Program

Walgreens Balance® Rewards members can now seamlessly use their account through Apple Pay – without separately scanning a Balance Rewards card or barcode. More than 85 million active Balance Rewards members will have the ability to earn and redeem loyalty points via Apple Pay, the easy, secure and private way to pay.

“We’re excited to be the first to provide our customers with increased ease of access to their Balance Rewards account and information when using Apple Pay,” said Sona Chawla, president of digital and chief marketing officer for Walgreens. “This offering supports our commitment to removing friction and enabling a simple and convenient customer experience.”

To get the most out of purchases, users can simply add the Balance Rewards digital card to the Wallet app in iOS 9 and use it at checkout with Apple Pay. Members simply hold their iPhone near the contactless reader with a finger on Touch ID and the appropriate rewards information will be sent. On Apple Watch, they just double-click the side button, select their Balance Rewards card, and hold the face of Apple Watch up to the reader.

Apple Pay is easy to set up and users will continue to receive all of the rewards and bene?ts offered by credit and debit cards. In stores, Apple Pay works with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and Apple Watch.