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#BWLuckyDog Campaign

Black Wednesday Introduces “Lucky Dog” Campaign Presented by The Waggle Company

 

Today we launched our 4th series today; the 13-week “Lucky Dog” campaign, presented by The Waggle Company: Charlotte’s premier dog walking service, will feature available black dogs under the care of local rescues.

 

The Lucky Dog campaign was inspired by the company’s love for dogs and in acknowledgement of the “Black Dog Effect,” the idea that black dogs are less likely to get rescued because they are either intimidating, hard to see at the shelter, or unlucky. Black Wednesday has engaged local rescues South of the Bully, Halfway There, Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks, Long Trails Happy Tails, Carolina Paws, and Lucky Labs.

 

Each Wednesday throughout the campaign an adoptable black pup will get posted to Black Wednesday’s social channels; In the spirit of supporting the new family, one who adopts a #BWLuckyDog during the campaign will get a “welcome home package” including $30 in dog walking credit from The Waggle Company, $35 worth of services at Spay Neuter Charlotte, $100 off a training session with KeenDog, a dog bath from the Dog Salon, $30 off an exam at VetweRx, a custom flag from Flagology, and more.

 

“Every dog should have a good home; working with the local rescues and dog-loving brands to support making that happen is so exciting,”  says BW owner, Corri Smith.

 

“We support dog rescues and the wonderful people who adopt so we are thrilled to partner with Black Wednesday on this campaign,” says Meggie Williams, co-owner of The Waggle Company. “We want to make it as easy as possible for someone to make the decision to adopt a rescue dog, which is why we’re giving $30 in Waggle credit to for each rescue adoption through this campaign.”

 

Follow the campaign on BW’s social channels and help us get these dogs into loving homes!

The Wednesday Social: 5 Reasons Why You Need To Get on Twitter Today

Oh happy Wednesday!

Welcome to this week’s social, where we’ll discuss the five reasons why you need to be on Twitter! Whether you are new and want to create an account or someone who is trying to learn how to better use your current account, here are some resources and inspiration!

Get your news quick and on-the-go

Twitter has a variety of news topics you are able to look through. Whether you are into politics, sports or just pure entertainment, it has everything you are looking for, especially trending topics. Nowadays, everyone seems to be in a hurry and they don’t have enough time to grab the newspaper, but with a Twitter account, you’re able to get your news before you even get out of bed. A variety of information can be found under the ‘Explore’ tab, at the bottom of your screen. Click here to learn about the transformation of the ‘Moments’ tab to the ‘Explore’ tab and how you can use it to look there for trending hashtags. Scroll through your home feed to see what your friends are sharing. You can even look through hashtags to get the latest updates on a topic.

Livestream

One of Twitter’s newest features is the livestream! The most recent, and one of the most successful streams you were able to watch, was the 2017 Grammys reaching 5.1 million people. Sports fans, you will be happy to know that Twitter teamed up with the NFL to livestream games, on Thursday Night Football. You also have the availability to create your own livestream and to show your followers a behind-the-scenes peek at your work, your daily activities, or something cool you stumbled upon. Contributing via livestream can help cultivate a stronger following to grow your account and credibility.

Get the word out about your business

Looking to get a larger following for your business? Twitter is a great and authentic way to promote your message. You are able to post information, blogs, media, links, gifs and more (of course with a limit of 140 characters). Using hashtags within your tweets is also a great way to connect with other people and engage in conversations that are in line with your interests. Connecting with fellow tweeters who have the same interests as you will grow your following and could potentially lead to further reach if and when those people share your content.

Get yourself hired

Yes, if you are looking for a job, you are able to get hired through your Twitter. First impressions are key to landing a job. Optimize your Twitter avatar and your bio to help potential headhunters find you and understand that you’re looking. By writing a bio that explicitly speaks to your job search or utilizes relevant hashtags, you might just get found! In the case you are seeking employment, it is super important to clean up your profile; you can even link directly to your LinkedIn page.

Keep up with your favorite brands

People are always looking for promotions or the latest products from their favorite brands. With social media on the rise, more and more businesses are turning to a variety of platforms to share their content! Many brands host conversations/Twitter chats or use branded hashtags to manage contests; many brands use Twitter  to engage one on one; see how Wendy’s recently blew up Twitter by interacting with their Twitter followers.

Using Twitter is also a great way to give feedback on a product. Brands have become more social media-focused, so instead of calling a customer service hotline, you are able to ask questions and send direct messages through Twitter. There’s a high chance that there will be someone to receive your mentions or inquiries, whether they be positive or negative. You might even catch their eye and they could share your tweet! If you’re marketing a brand, you can use one of our fave tools Sprout Social to monitor and listen.

If you can’t tell, we’re big fans of Twitter, mainly for the super direct interaction it offers! What are your favorite Twitter features? Let’s hear from YOU. Find us on social to let us know: @bwsocialco.

The Wednesday Social: 5 Ways to Ruin Your Reputation on Social Media

Well hello, Wednesday!

Every week wediscuss a trending topic, something we’ve noticed, or something you’ve asked us to discuss. This week we’re going to discuss ways you can damage your social media reputation and ways to prevent self-sabotage.

1. Personal rants

 

What else is Facebook there for, you might think. It’s a sounding board, where only the friends/trolls who are stalking you will chime in and argue or support. We beg to differ on the belief that your personal and professional Facebook or social media platforms are entirely separate.

If you are an entrepreneur:

Your life is blended. You are your business and your business is you. There is no separation. SO, when you rant about people consistently asking you for free work, or you complain about clients, or you rant with a close-minded (or really, any) perspective: WE ALL SEE IT. And though you might feel that you are fighting the crusade for other entrepreneurs, you are really just making yourself look bad, dramatic and an undesirable candidate with whom no one wants to engage on a professional level.

If you are part of a corporation:

You are a representative of your company, a paid brand ambassador. You make yourself look bad, you are making the company you work for look bad. The likelihood of them “catching” your bad behavior is possible, and even more so for someone who might be out to hire you in the future.

So, what should you do instead of ranting on social media?

  • Realize that owning a business is a roller coaster and it’s not for everyone
  • Understand that part of being a successful business owner means professionally handling conflict
  • Start an entrepreneur/other industry-related support group
  • Find positivity within the situation
  • Learn something about how to operate your business
  • Have empathy
  • Move on

Other don’ts:

  • Screenshot and shame competitors (or anyone, for that matter)
  • Air out dirty laundry from personal/professional relationships gone bad
  • Post negative content from the business account (or any account, really)

 

2. Lack of sensitivity

 

We’ll be the first to tell you that you should be scheduling on social media. We will also encourage you to be strategic, and over-monitor what you’ve scheduled and how it gets rolled out into real life. Why? Because poor timing can really hurt. Consider something you schedule and how it could be taken the completely wrong way when negative current events take place and what you’ve posted is now entirely insensitive. We found this example on Hire Rabbit

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 6.50.42 PM

In addition to the timeliness of your posts, we find it worth mentioning that you should not engage in jokes that are, well, not jokes at all. Sharing blatantly offensive material that YOU think is “funny” could cost you more than the 5 minutes it took you to craft the post. We all saw this post and how it went viral (and not in the good way)…of all the people in the entire world, a PR professional blew it with this one.

justine-sacco-hed-2013

Where is Justine Sacco now? Obviously this is a radical example, but it could be you. If it crosses your mind that something you find humorous MIGHT insult someone, don’t even post it.

For the sake of using a local example… RIP Waking Life. Story here.

3. How you engage

 

Oh, so you liked all of Donald Trump tweets and you accidentally followed the leader of the KKK because he followed you and you always follow back. People look at who you follow and who you engage with, especially when you first cross their radar and they are trying to gauge your brand’s credibility. That’s not to say that you cannot have a personal opinion on social media, it means that you have to have self-awareness and understanding that you are exposed by engaging on social media at all.

Beware that negative comments can crush you. No matter how upset you are at a poor Yelp review or negative tweet a customer shared, you have to stay positive and professional. Just because someone makes you feel bad or had a bad experience does not mean you should throw away the opportunity for them to give you a second chance. Moreover, that person’s word-of-mouth transfer to his/her friends upon you either fixing the issue and handling it in a professional way OR your bad attitude and mistreatment of his/her feedback can either uplift or ruin you. No one is perfect and as a person or brand on social media, we have to realize that it is a two-way street and negative and/or passive aggression will get you nowhere.

4. Avoid controversy

 

Stay away. We know how intriguing it is to jump in on a hot and trending political or religious issue. BUT we ask you to think twice and consider this: was ever a global/world issue solved through a Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn post? Exactly. So, really, why bother? No matter what side you pick, you will polarize and turn someone off. Now, we realize you can’t work for everyone and you don’t want to… but if you can avoid controversy, social media will be a much more pleasant place, for you and your brand.

We’re not saying to be insensitive to what’s happening in the world, but revert back to the ways around ranting on #1 and move along. Also, there are plenty of ways to engage current events in a positive way. Here’s a Hubspot template that can help you design your SM Crisis Plan.

5. Not understanding the weight of social media for your brand

 

If you don’t understand how crucial social media is to your brand, and you pass it off to the intern because you don’t really care… or if you post silly/poorly crafted posts because you don’t see value in having a strategy, this one’s for you.

Social media is the most economical and “free” marketing tool. Why not pay attention to it? It’s the best way to give living, breathing characteristics to your brand and people LOVE when they can connect with brands on social media. So, why not pay attention and invest?

Even if the budget is small, there are plenty of ways to organically engage on social media and all that would cost is time. Once you get your bearings and start to see a return, invest a little more into ads and clicks. Then you’ll realize you’re growing your community and making money in a paid but still “human” way.

We recommend you put some stock in social media and don’t ignore it. Instead, make it work for you (and your brand).

Overall Do’s

 

  • Keep it positive, always
  • Take the conversation offline
  • Stay professional
  • And always, take the high road

 

DISCUSS: How have you seen people/brands damage their reputations? What advice or resources do you live by when it comes to keeping your online reputation afloat?

 

We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment here or find us on the interwebs: @bwsocialco. See ya next week for another installment of The Wednesday Social and if you have any specific requests on what we should talk about, email us!

The Wednesday Social: How Important is Social Media Marketing to Local Charlotte Businesses?

Well hello, Wednesday!

Welcome to this week’s social! This week we’re pulling in some outside small business owners and/or social media operators for a discussion of: how important is social media to the success of local business in Charlotte?
 
We sent out a survey to some locally owned businesses doing awesome social media work to get their take on how the integration of social media into their marketing program has affected them. In sum: of those we surveyed, social media has been integral to each brand’s success…
 
8 out of 11 said that Instagram is their platform of choice, 3 of 11 said Facebook is where it’s at for them. Where is YOUR audience? This is something not often considered when writing and designing content for social media. Who are you even talking to? AND, who is actually listening/buying/giving you their money? Hopefully your audience is one and the same here, but do you know?
 
One thing they’ve learned about social media?
 
“…the importance of syncing content to each channel,” says Blair Primis, VP of Marketing at OrthoCarolina.
 
“…that different demographics live on each platform,” says Aaron Dodge, Social Media Manager of Major League Triathlon.
 
” Meet your audience where they are,” says Katie Levans, CoFounder and Creative Director of Charlotte Agenda.
 
“Through process of elimination, I figured out what our customers respond best to. Tailoring that content has helped drive sales and recognition of our brand. It took us a while to sift through each platform to find the right combination. We have the right content mix now – have mastered instagram and facebook,” says Jill Koskosky, CMO at Brewpublik.
 
So, what about the latest social media updates? 9 of 11 surveyed said Instagram Stories has been their favorite update; 2 of 11 said Facebook LiveStream. Have you tried either? Which do you prefer? Haven’t ventured into the world of video or live streaming yet? Here are some quick tips and statistics from our friends at Hootsuite.
 
Not sure about the newer updates? Here’s a recent blog we wrote about Snapchat/Instagram Stories and here are some other resources worth reading re: integrating video into your social media plan…
 
The Rise of Video Marketing on Social and How it Affects Your Business – via Gary Vee
 
The Most Important Video Marketing Trends For 2016 – via Social Media Today
 
8 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Video Marketing via Dream Grow
 
When asked “would your business be as successful without social media?” those surveyed responded with…
 
“No, our fast growth is almost entirely attributed to word of mouth and social media,” says Haley Bohon, founder of SkillPop.
 
“…any business is behind if they aren’t using social media. Print ads or radio aren’t enough… Social media has helped the old time word of mouth that truly makes a business successful,” says Andrea Glagow, Marketing, Social Media and Events Manager at The Unknown Brewing.
 
“Yes, but growth potential would be limited. We’re fighting the awareness game. Being on social media is good for awareness,” says Garrett Tichy, Owner of Ready at 7 and Hygge.
 
“No. Social media counts for not just a large portion of our exposure, but also a more engaged segment too,” says Andy Goh, Digital Communications Specialist at Bechtler Modern Museum of Art.
 
11 out of 11 surveyed shared similar sentiments in terms of the key investment factor: TIME.
 
“It’s just a natural thing since it’s where we already spend our time and our audience does too. We are of the generation that already utilizes these channels personally so there was never a question of whether or not we would use it professionally for the brand,” says Levans.
 
The other key investment: MONEY.
 
“We don’t invest a lot of money into social media at this point (startup), but we will as our budget grows… There is a basic process of loading our social posts 3 days at a time for any general promotion we are doing, with the ability to add in anything that comes up. This helps move things along as a good pace, while keeping topics fresh,” says Koskosky.
 
“We understood within the first year that social media was (and still is) such a key player in getting people in the door so staying consistent with our time/money spent in this marketing avenue is crucial to the success pf our business,” says Brandy Newton, Marketing Director of JJ’s Red Hots.
 
Last week’s Wednesday Social talks all about investing in social media. What we say is, what you put IN to social media, you will get OUT of social media. Read last week’s blog here.
 
So, you’re investing all of this time, and money, and it’s still hard. Things are changing every single day. So we asked them, “what’s the hardest part of social media marketing for your business?”
 
“…finding time to manage it all and staying relevant,” says Jordan Dollard, Owner of Elsa Fine Online.
 
“Constantly trying to create new and unique content. There are so many talented people out there creating stellar content, the bar keeps getting higher and higher,” says Andrew Morton of Yellow Cab of Charlotte.
 
“Measuring true ROI. It’s hard to measure when the tail on the efforts is long. Sometime 6-8 months later someone comes around that engages us on social media,” says Tichy.
 
“Tracking: what’s working and what’s not, as it relates directly to daily sales. We’ve always just tried to remain genuine and not take ourselves too seriously…We try to have fun with it and use social media to simply expose our product offerings, specials and passion for our brand. I think people attach just as much to our brand as they do our food – and that’s always been our goal…” says Newton.
 
“The competition. Everyone talks about beer: trends, new releases. In order for some of our topics to be relevant, we have to be first to market, which is tough considering there are a million beer blogs, breweries, etc. talking about the same things,” says Koskosky.
 
At the end of the day, everyone who shared their opinions said that social media has been integral to their success in Charlotte. Here are some tips we pulled from their responses:
 
“Don’t be afraid to get on social, and post about what you’re passionate about. Giving your brand an identity makes it relatable. Be authentic and success will come,” says Morton.
 
“People want to feel a part of your brand and social media makes that a possibility,” says Dollard.
 
“People want to be involved and feel like they are a part of your business too. Interacting with consumers is key to bringing them back as well as including them in posts or images,” says Glagow.
 
“Know your business inside and out and be able to respond 24/7. Social Media Marketing is a two-way street,” says Goh.
 
“I’ve learned a lot about content… tailoring that content has helped drive sales and recognition of our brand,” says Koskosky.
 

Let’s discuss: how has social media played a role in your marketing plan? Have you have success with social media? Please share! Write us a comment below or tweet us @bwsocialco and use #thewedsocial.
 
See ya next week for another installment of The Wednesday Social and if you have any specific requests on what we should talk about, email us!
 
*Stellar skyline photo of our beautiful city by Nick Rend. Do yourself a favor and follow him on instagram!

The Wednesday Social: Investing in Social Media

Well hello, Wednesday!

 

Welcome to this week’s social, where we’ll discuss big things happening in the social media space and/or respond to your blog requests and/or make an observation of something we’re dealing with on the business side…
 
It’s very often we get asked questions that range across the spectrum of, and include, “what do I invest,” “where do I invest,” and “what’s the ROI,” or comments based on a lack of understanding about the power of social media. We don’t expect to sum up all of these answers in one blog post and to be honest, we don’t have all the answers, but we wanted to organize some resources we have learned from just for you…
 
If you’re considering the use of this amazingly economical and organic tool, here are some resources:
 
How to Start Investing in Social Media in the Right Way via Forbes

Which Social Media Networks Should Your Business Invest In via Bruce Clay

Global social media research summary 2016 via Smart Insights

 

And you should know, social media is NOT a fad…

Where Will Social Media Users Go in 2017? via News Cred

Why Selling On Social Is A Fad And ‘Social Selling’ Is Not via We Are Social Media

 

If you’re using social media but could use some inspiration or support:

Top Social Media Trends That’ll Change Your Business in 2016 via Post Planner

Branding in the Age of Social Media via Harvard Business Review

10 Social Media Blogs You Should Be Reading via Sprout Social
 
At BW, we wholeheartedly LOVE social media and have seen great results from sharing a brand’s message across the interwebs. But take it from us, it is a LOT of work, especially if you want to do it right. It’s an investment in money and time…
 
Here are some tips on optimizing your time and efforts and make the most of your investment on social media…

  • You don’t have to be on every platform. Focus on the one where your target audience is and/or the one you are most excited about. Once you have a captive audience, you have people to follow you onto the next/new platform.
  • Try a 3rd party social media scheduler to plan your efforts and monitor your online reputation. We use Sprout but also recommend Hootsuite and Buffer.
  • Set aside time to brainstorm content ideas and creative ideas to set your brand apart.
  • Look around. Observe what your competitors are doing and what people/brands are doing in other industries for inspiration.
  • Feeling overwhelmed? Make it a team effort: have someone collect content, have someone manage the content, have someone organize/post the content.
  • Post with a purpose. Make it good, or… don’t make it at all.
  • Make time to develop a strategy, messaging, brand voice, graphics, plan, etc.
  • Allocate some of your traditional ad dollars to your social media ad budget
  • Seek out apps that can help you manage your efforts
  • GET HELP. Ask us for help, email us with questions. We want you to love social media and to reap all the rewards it has to offer.

 
DISCUSS: If you are or represent a brand, how much time do you spend on social media? How do you decide when and where to invest? How much money do you spend on social media and how to you measure your investment’s ROI?

 

We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment here or find us on the interwebs: @bwsocialco. See ya next week for another installment of The Wednesday Social and if you have any specific requests on what we should talk about, email us!

The Wednesday Social: Twitter Engagement

Well hello, Wednesday!

 

Welcome to this week’s social, where we’ll discuss big things happening in the social media space and/or responding to your requests…
 
On last week’s blog, we got the question of: How do we get engagement on Twitter? Oh, we love Twitter! If you’re not super into Twitter, or you need help understanding the value of spending time there, take a peek here for the basics and here for 4 reasons why you should love this social media platform.
 
Once you understand the basics, let’s discuss taking your activity a little further…
 

SPCE Online

 
Best Twitter Practices

 
DO’s

  1. Get creative! Write a variety of different tweets
  2. Schedule: Use Hootsuite or Sprout Social to pre-plan a calendar of content
  3. Create lists to generate feeds specific to your information needs
  4. Curate content from others
  5. STAY POSITIVE

 
DONT’S

  1. Over-automate
  2. Underestimate the use of Twitter for customer service
  3. Go inactive
  4. Skip use of hashtags
  5. Forget to use Twitter’s tools: polls, gif keyboard, tags/comments

 
In efforts to really optimize Twitter, here are a few tips to encourage engagement with your followers…

  • Look out for a conversation! You can start it, or you can join in
  • Seek out Twitter Chats relevant to your industry, community, neighborhood, other
  • Use Twitter’s tools to have fun: run a poll asking for feedback or use a fun gif to respond to someone’s question
  • Use keyword search to monitor your online brand and engage people who didn’t tag you
  • Look at your partners/competitors feeds to see who they are engaging with
  • Schedule recurring messages that support your bio but you would forget to post regularly
  • Look through hashtags relevant to your brand and/or community and join in the conversation
  • Create your own “branded” hashtag and run a contest
  • Write shareable content that your followers will identify with and share
  • Reach out to the followers who engage most and ask for feedback
  • Touch individual followers and ask for their specific input/response or repost them!

 
Other great Twitter resources:
 
5 Intriguing Twitter Case Studies via Our Social Times

Introducing an easier way to manage and report on Twitter Ads campaigns via Twitter

30 Twitter Ad Examples to Study Before Spending a Dime via Wordstream

How to Use Twitter Lists for Business via Social Media Examiner

 
Twitter is about more than just pushing out your own content. It’s about being engaging. Your followers are following you for a reason: indulge them! Curate content, ask questionspost content designed to share, and spend time designing a growth strategy.

 
DISCUSS: What’s your favorite account to follow on Twitter and why? What do they that gets you engaged? 

 
We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment here or find us on the interwebs: @bwsocialco. See ya next week for another installment of The Wednesday Social and if you have any specific requests on what we should talk about, email us!

The Wednesday Social: Instagram vs. Snapchat

Well hello, Wednesday!

 

Welcome to this week’s social, where we’ll discuss big things happening in the social media space…
 
Let’s talk about what everyone else is talking about, and what we can’t stop thinking about: where should you be spending your energy? Snapchat or Instagram? With the launch of Instagram stories, the conversation has been interesting and has many sides. Do I re-commit to Instagram or should I stick with where I really want to be (Snapchat)?
 
First off, click here to see both apps side-by-side.
 
Our quick list of Pro’s + Cons of each….

Wake up

Instagram Pros:

  1. You already have a captive audience on Instagram
  2. You can post content that will stay, 60 second/better designed videos, for example
  3. You can plan ahead and market yourself/your brand

 
Instagram Cons:

  1. It can be very time-consuming to plan for instagram
  2. FB (who owns insta) is slowing transforming instagram into a FB look-a-like. Algorithms and business profiles… sound familiar? Pretty soon, the platform will be pay-to-play just like FB. If you haven’t changed your profile to a business profile yet, we recommend you don’t
  3. Is it just us or are there too many bots to deal? But then again, why cultivate an authentic audience when you can buy followers? JK — hit us up if you want to learn some grassroots ways to connect + grow using social media

 
Snapchat Pros:

  1. It’s live, it’s fun, it’s real
  2. HAVE YOU EVEN SEEN THE BEE FILTER? You can even submit customized filters for events or to have fun with your brand
  3. No ads, and you can totally ignore the brands on there if you want

*Honorable mention: BITMOJI’s!
 
Snapchat Cons:

  1. It’s new and you might not have very many followers there yet; it’s hard to find people if you don’t have their username
  2. How do you connect with people you don’t know? It’s tough
  3. Content is gone in no time. “Memories” are cool, but they’re sort of a pain to get to and only you can see them

 
Other takes on this topic:

How to switch to a business profile via Business 2 Community

Business profiles on Instagram via Social Media Examiner

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 6.55.09 PM

via Social Media Examiner

All of the ways Instagram stories and Snapchat stories are the same via The Verge

Why Snapchat should be very worried about Facebook’s latest move via Business Insider

Instagram Stories vs Snapchat in a Nutshell – What You Need to Know via Social Media Today
 
Who wins in our book? People were really upset about all the sponsored posts popping up in their feeds on Instagram; the stories application seems to have won many of those who have been disengaged back over. But really, will it be enough? We think as more and more ads come up, snapchat may slowly win the race. Why? Snapchat didn’t “sell out” to Facebook like Instagram and we’d LOVE to see someone truly compete in a way that keeps social media truly social, authentic and organic.
 
Outside of our personal interests, what we’ve learned from using social media marketing to support events, content, classes, brands, and well, everything… is that people want to have have an organic and authentic connection with their friends and favorite brands. Brands who can connect with people in real-time unique ways are the ones to have a lasting impact.
 
DISCUSS: Which app are you siding with and why? What do you think snapchat’s next move should/will be? What’s missing from all social media apps for YOU? Do you think there will be a new app to come out and fill the gap?
 
We want to hear from you! Leave us a comment here or find us on the interwebs: @bwsocialco. See ya next week for another installment of The Wednesday Social and if you have any specific requests on what we should talk about, email us!