How To Use Instagram For Small Business

ipad-1344394_1920By: Christina Scott
Traditionally, Twitter and Facebook have been in the lead when determining which platforms will be most beneficial for a social strategy— but they may not always be the best option for your brand.
Instagram is quickly catching up, and has become a natural for small businesses to turn to for marketing purposes, because of its simplicity, visual impact, reach and discover-ability functions.   Continue reading “How To Use Instagram For Small Business”

Attention Nonprofits: Your Fundraising Event Needs a Social Media Strategy

social media for non profits

By: Brigid O’Brien
As I stood, scanning my desk for my reading glasses, I said out loud, “Glasses, glasses, Brigid, where are your glasses?”
Did you know that talking to yourself is a good thing? It’s true. Talking to yourself can help you locate items faster. In fact, a university research study found that “…talking out loud helped a ‘visual search’ to such an extent that seemingly ‘invisible’ objects suddenly became ‘visible’.” Continue reading “Attention Nonprofits: Your Fundraising Event Needs a Social Media Strategy”

Creating LinkedIn Groups that Add Value

LinkedIn Groups

By: Jamie Lockard
LinkedIn GroupsLinkedIn Groups…ugh. Most people have a Love/Hate relationship with them. They love the “promise” of a group and the value they get from one that’s well-managed, but they hate the spam-y-ness and irrelevant chatter that some groups spew. However, done well, LinkedIn Groups can be an invaluable tool to growing your business-to-business endeavor.  Continue reading “Creating LinkedIn Groups that Add Value”

Using Social Media to Track Down Talent For Your Next Job Opening

linkedin for hiring

By: David Craig
linkedin for hiring
Finding qualified employees to fill open positions can be a challenge. This is true whether you’re part of a corporate HR team or you run a small shop or office. It’s especially tough when your need is for a person with specific skills or experience.
You can post the opening on job-sites and your organization’s website. You might ask people in your organization and contacts in your industry for good candidates. Continue reading “Using Social Media to Track Down Talent For Your Next Job Opening”

The Top 3 Things I Learned from Volunteering @ #MDMC16

By: Amy Cabanas
FishbowlThe Mid-West Digital Marketing Conference this year allowed me the ability to introduce myself to such a wide array of diverse potential employers, colleagues, and marketing professionals that I can honestly say it was nothing short of a networking extravaganza!
1. “Treat every networking event like it is your own personal party and you’re trying to be a good host. Walk up to people and make sure they have everything they need and ask if they are having a good time. My mentor Matt Coble, CEO of G Inc., a who was also on the planning committee, spoke to us regarding this tactic in our pre show training meeting. This works, I used this tip throughout my day volunteering at registration. As things slowed with registration, as the day wore on, while walking tech ally I was able to approach many people with that tip in mind, which resulted in new contacts.
2. “Trust your instincts,” is another rule of thumb when preparing for your volunteering position at a conference this size. I was able to maneuver my way through many situations that transpired without having to bother my lead and/or Perry and Cara. I think we all as humans second guess ourselves, but 9 times out of 10, you can handle it, so go for it.
3. I recently was lucky enough to sit in on a marketing presentation where I learned that “it is less important about who you know, and more important about who knows you?” Naretha Hopson, CEO of Ever-Appropriate Etiquette Institute, also mentioned that your concerns should lie in what people are saying about you when you leave the room and/or conversation. So make sure you present yourself well and when you leave have the same in mind.
So needless to say, I had a blast being a volunteer this year for #MDMC16. I not only learned a great deal but I made new contacts, built new relationships and fostered current friendships. This being my last semester as an undergrad business/marketing student I am happy that I signed up for, not only the UMSL Digital Lab, but volunteered for the conference. I would highly recommendation the experience to anyone interested!

From Social Media Dud To Social Media Extraordinaire In Just Three Infographics

By: Melissa Palmer
It all came crashing down in an instant.  The first day of my first class the professor was talking and kept using a term “SEO.” I thought, I wonder if that is important.  So, I raised my hand and asked what SEO stood for…Oh….Search Engine Optimization.  At that exact moment I realized I was way out of my league.  As class continued, I realized I was WAY, WAY out of my league. It happens to the best of us. Continue reading “From Social Media Dud To Social Media Extraordinaire In Just Three Infographics”

#MDMC16 Recap: An UMSL Student’s Perspective

By: Kathrin Hanke
Together with over 1300 other people I attended the Midwest’s largest digital and social media marketing event – #MDMC16! It was held on April 21st at historic St. Louis Union Station.
After picking up my badge and swag bag I made my way through the exhibitor booths and tech alley to Dan the Pancake Man. Being amazed by his skills and creativity I wandered off to meet some of the startups and sponsors, and it was then when I saw all these tiny gold fish in their bowl. What great branding!? #MDMC16 could not have made it better – and the best part, you were able to adopt Louie, Ted and all the other little fish.
The day was kicked off by keynote speaker Travis Sheridan and then followed by the first round of breakout sessions. In addition to the three keynotes, there were 40 different sessions throughout the day, split up in seven rounds, each having five to six sessions running concurrently. The big question was: Which sessions do I attend? Making a decision was definitely not easy since there were so many great speakers and topics! Eventually I attended seven breakout sessions and made some notes for everybody who was not able to attend them. Check out my three biggest takeaways below:
#1: “Livestreaming grows at the know- like- trust factor exponentially faster than any other social media platform out there.” – Bonnie Frank, Live Stream Broadcaster
Bonnie Frank believes that Livestreaming absolutely changed the Face of Communication, especially the conversation on Social Media. As a matter of fact, if you are broadcasting with Periscope it will appear in your Twitter – Twitter bought Periscope about five days after launch. Frank also mentions Facebook Live, which allows you to directly live stream to Facebook. FYI: #MDMC16 live streamed parts of the conference on both of these channels. What a great way to engage with the audience outside Union Station, which for whatever reason could not make it to #MDMC16! Frank then shared some advice with her audience: “You gotta know what you are saying you know!” and explains that you have to gain you audience’s trust. She herself just talks about four things on a daily basis and is able to answer every question the audience might have – the key to gain an incredibly exposure without paying a penny.
#2: Creating relevant content is key to success.
We all have heard it a hundred times: You have to create content that is relevant to your audience. Once you have your content you have to make sure that you push it out on the right channels at the right time. But how? Todd Budin from Nielsen shared some tips on how to create memorable ads and how to be successful with your digital advertising.
Memorable Ads:
1. Tell as simple story
2. Use relatable characters and contexts
3. Show identifiable situations with a unique twist
4. Utilize strong imagery
5. Engage emotions
Digital Best Practices:
1. Maintain campaign/brand consistency
2. Align metrics across channels
3. Understand optimal frequency
#3: “Pinterest is not a social network, it’s a catalog of ideas.” – Raashi Bhalla, Pinterest
Raashi Bhalla introduced her audience to the “Art and Science of Using Pinterest” by explaining that Pinterest is THE place to go to when looking for ideas, inspirations and solutions. Pins showcase products with additional advice on how to use or make them. A detailed description or instruction would complete a Pin. She also advises to use text overlays in order to make the picture identifiable. Users are able to create lists and pin their favorites for later use – this allows Pinterest to target at key moments, regarding to life stage, interests and search inquiries. She also says that you don’t need to use Hashtags in your Pins because Pinterest’s “discovery engine” is already so advanced that it will identify and then categorize, as well as associate the Pin with related terms. Nor should you use Hashtags in your Pins because Pinterest might identify Pins with too many Hashtags as spam!
kh3The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference was a great event that had a lot to offer. Besides all the amazing speakers, 12 Arch Grants startups showcased their innovations and business ideas and competed for a $1,000 prize. At the end of the day Swizzle was the winner – a tech startup that does everything from influencer marketing research to app development. Congratulations!
Make sure to sign up for updates all things #MDMC so you won’t miss the even bigger #MDMC17!

Using Twitter for Customer Service

By: Megan Hamilton
When most people think of how they use Twitter I’m sure it’s just an app to get out your aggression over the traffic you’ve been stuck in for hours or vigorously using every single character you have for celebrating a team’s win, or maybe even for shouting out a happy birthday to your best friend? I’ll tell you how I use Twitter; it’s a way to pass time. Continue reading “Using Twitter for Customer Service”