Social Media

Marketers: Be Mindful of Mother’s Day

By Marketing, Social Media

There’s an opportunity to earn respect and brand recognition through offering NOT to contact customers and truly, it’s refreshing. The latest marketing bandwagon has brands reaching out offering to allow customers to opt out of Mother’s Day marketing. 

Why is this a good idea?

First of all, Mother’s Day is a tough, sensitive holiday, invented by the greeting card companies and fraught with grief and pain. Mother’s Day, more than many other commercial holidays, really seems to hit a lot of people in a particularly tender spot. Also, after two years of a deadly pandemic, many of us are grieving and a reminder of that isn’t helpful. By allowing consumers to take a pass on the flowers and breakfast-in-bed marketing content brand are demonstrating listening to consumer needs and registering an attitude of caring.

Now, for some cynicism.

If you decide to opt out, know that you’re providing data to these companies, letting them know whether Mother’s Day content is even worth the budget. Perhaps it’s not. Or, they will repackage the content or special offers in another way, on another date, just to make sure they haven’t lost your attention.

Do it anyway.

Consumers like it when brands care, and will remember the first few that ask and offer this opt out option. If an opt-out outreach doesn’t fit your marketing model and you’re moving ahead with Mother’s Day-related content, think about an acknowledgement that this holiday is difficult for some, and be sensitive to how your content will be received before launching it.

What will you do? Will you adjust your marketing plans or social media posts? Will you launch an opt-out campaign?

Beware of Fake Women Leaders Solicitation

By Social Media

A reminder that if something looks a little off, it probably is. I received the following email this morning.

I knew it was spam, but it was clever spam, so I decided to do some research. Scroll down to the most recent comments in this post to see references to this exact pitch, which seems to have had many different iterations. 

In this case, there is no Shelly K. Fisher, nor is there anything called Virginia Women Leaders. Just FYI.


How to Share Changes to Your Business Due to COVID-19

By Crisis Communications, Social Media

Our clients are adapting as quickly as possible and we’re sure you are, too. To help you get the word out about what’s different about what you offer, here’s a quick checklist.

  1. Make sure you publish a note about the changes to your business on your website. It is the best place for people to find information about whether you are open and when, and what they can expect you to offer at this time. Make sure you include an “effective” date so people know when the changes took place. It’s helpful if you can easily make changes to your website yourself. If you need help with this, please let us know.
  2. If you don’t have a social media presence for your business yet, now is most certainly the time to establish one. With everyone but essential workers working remotely, we’re all eager to stay connected using social media.
  3. Use your social media channels to share both the link to your website where visitors can find out what changes there are to your business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and brief details about those changes. Share content about your team — there has never been a better time to put a face to and humanize your team, than a time when we all crave human connection and need to see that by engaging your business, you’re helping people in the community remain employed.
  4. Be clear in your message about the changes. Skip explaining why things are different — we’re all perfectly aware of the stay-at-home orders and the pandemic (link to the CDC site or other relevant information if you must) — and get right to the heart of what’s different. Lead with what you ARE doing during this time. Follow with what you ARE NOT. 

We hope these ideas are useful in your communications and as always, please let us know if we can assist.

How to Use Instagram for your Business

By Social Media

With every new social media tool, there’s a learning curve to using it to benefit your business. It might be intuitive to use it personally, but if it’s not, the business angle can be a bigger leap.

Here are five tips to help you make the jump:

  1. Establish or convert to a business account. Here are the detailed instructions from Instagram. 
  2. Create a strategy for capturing or gathering photos of your work. What’s the most visually compelling way to share the story of what you do?
  3. Follow your intended audience, and others in your space. With whom are you trying to build relationships? What relationships already exist? Make sure, as you move forward, that you are tagging and engaging with your community.
  4. Use hashtags to make sure you show up in the feeds of people following a hashtag. For local business, I follow the #charlottesville and #cville hashtags. This is a great way to find new people to follow.
  5. Remember that Instagram is a very different platform from Twitter or Facebook. I don’t recommend automating because links in posts on Insta do not work (you must put a link in a bio or create action buttons to enable linking for users) and generally, linking to content on other platforms is a good idea! It’s more work, to be sure, but I still recommend posting customized content to the platforms you choose to use for your business.

How about you? Have you been using Instagram for your business?

How to Block Someone on LinkedIn

By Social Media

A conversation on Twitter evolved, in which someone expressed a wish not to see certain people suggested to them as possible connections on LinkedIn. It was merely a matter of a person having former colleagues she loathed, but it brought up an interesting idea.

Can you block people on LinkedIn? And if so, how?

You certainly can block people! If you are connected to them, you will disconnect and they will no longer be able to see your profile or updates nor you theirs. It’s like you’ve ceased to exist for them! Unless, you know, you run into them on the street or in a coffeeshop. I can’t help you with that.

But I can help you escape them on your social network for business. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to the person’s profile. If you don’t want them to see that you have looked at their profile, first go to Settings –> Privacy –> then scroll down to How Others See Your LinkedIn activity and change Profile Viewing Options to Private Mode for the rest of this activity.
  2. When you’re on the person’s profile, click the More… box to the right of the Message box.
  3. Scroll down to select Report or Block and then a box will open, asking you what you want to do. Here’s where you can select Block, if that’s the most appropriate response.

Congratulations! You are now more free of that person than you were previously. Enjoy replacing them with a better, more worthy business connection.