Goal Setting for 2018

Goal Setting for 2014

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”   Henry David Thoreau

John C Maxwell

John C Maxwell

In 1979, a study on Harvard MBA graduates revealed that 3% of Harvard MBAs financially gained ten times as much as the other 97% Harvard MBA’s combined. In that study, Harvard MBA graduates were asked, “Have you set clear written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?” While 84% had no goals at all, and 13% had goals, but weren’t on paper, 3% had clear, written goals with absolute plans to accomplish them.(Source: from the book What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, by Mark McCormack)

Writing down your goals is like creating a Playbook for success!

Goals are a progression and represent a desire for change. Goals are meant to be challenging and difficult. So when there is a goal set into place, it needs to be deeply decided and planned. Clearly, success can be measured by the amount of accountability you put onto paper.

Before goals are set in stone, there are a few things that should be considered.

1. Make realistic goals

Start with small achievable goals and write them down. Be patient and stay dedicated on the small goals. Then step outside of your comfort zone, and take a leap forward . Utlimately, the small successes will pave a road towards your ultimate goal.

2. Create steps for those goals

If you keep focusing on achieving the end goal, you’ll undoubtedly get overwhelmed. It’s better to focus on smaller goals each month. For instance, instead of striving to increase profits by 120% over the course of a year, you should focus on increasing profits by 10% every month.

 3. Stay dedicated

It can be easy to stray from your business goals because so many different tasks and issues can pop up unexpectedly, but it is imperative that business owners and their team members stay on track. Measuring success helps keep a team’s motivation high, and that is a key component to achieving  daily, weekly and monthly goals. Little wins add up to huge successes.

Always keep your goals in front of you. By writing them down on paper, you will begin to see growth in both your personal and professional life.

Playbook’s Top 5 Social Media Tips

Playbook’s Top 5 Social Media Tips

social media

We are Social Media Experts

If you are a business owner, you probably struggle with the same dilemma as every other business owner: the amount of hours in the day. We certainly cannot manufacture a few extra hours into the day to accomplish more tasks, and we cannot ask our staff to work round the clock. So, the best business owners figure out how to be most efficient with their time.

Have you ever sat down to check your Facebook and then found yourself still scrolling the newsfeed an hour later? Social media can be a huge time waster, but social media is PR. It is a relatively cheap vehicle to relay and your company’s image and brand message to your target audience. There is no guarantee on this translates into immediate sales, but it effects how people feel about you and your brand. For this reason, many companies have opted for services that automate the social media portion of their marketing plan.

While the automated approach seems great and frees up manpower, it may not be wise. NPR recently tested the effectiveness of having a live person working their social media in real time versus their automated approach. They were shocked by the results. During the five days of manual updating, traffic to the NPR website increased by 45%. Twitter links tweeted by @nprnews were clicked on nearly 100,000 more times than links shared automatically in the previous week. Sounds like a compelling reason to lose the robot.

Here are Playbook’s “Top 5 Social Media Tips.” We hope they help bring NPR type results to your social media engagement.

1. Outsource

The #1 reason for outsourcing to a call center is that businesses do not have time to devote to the task of making and fielding calls. This approach makes sense in social media too. Marketing companies have account managers that are dedicated to servicing their client’s social media needs. They typically use a combination of a live person during office hours and then some degree of automation.

2. Give your posts a personal voice.

Your brand has a voice. Speak in that voice and make sure that your social media sounds like there is a real person that cares about them and the world posting.

3. Separate business and personal pages/ posts.

While people want corporate posts to be quirky and fun, they shouldn’t know everything about you. The smaller the business is; the easier this line is blurred. If you like to “party like a rockstar,” only a handful of potential clients will relate. The rest will be turned off and not want to do business with “Mr. Party Animal.” You also don’t want controversial posts on your company’s social media sites. It is usually better to save the controversial topics for your personal outlets.

4. Respond to all posts.

Social Media can cause PR nightmares, so it is important to respond to your audience’s posts and comments quickly. In order to so this, your business needs a point person who can respond in a pleasant and appealing manner. Put a crisis management protocol in place, so all “hot” topics are sent off to management or customer service department for further action.

5. Automate some of the social media experience.

While there is value to having a dedicated social media team, it may not be realistic. So, you will need to figure out how to automate a portion of the social media time while still allowing for personal connection. Hootsuite is a wonderful tool to help with automation.

What is the bottom line? You need to get personal and friendly when it comes to social media without stepping into the twilight zone of losing time. If you plan out your approach, get some help from marketing experts, you should be poised to navigate social media with maximum effectiveness.

Goal Setting Solutions

Goal Setting SolutionsGoal Setting Solutions

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. ~ Henry David Thoreau

It is scientifically proven that goal setting has a direct correlation with productivity. Goal setting can be energizing and motivating to yourself and your employees ensuring long-term success and loyalty. But many companies, especially small businesses, set clear goals in the start-up phase of their company only to lose their goal setting time as the day-to-day operational needs consume their day.

Hiring a marketing company can be a great way to help you set clear company goals to meet long-term strategies. Marketing companies are experts at looking at businesses and evaluating how to create potential growth strategies.

Ask Yourself the Important Goal Setting Questions

  • How has my year been?

  • Where do I want my business to go?

  • Do I have specific goals for the upcoming year?

  • What is my game plan (PLAYBOOK) to get me to where I want to go?

Sometimes it’s difficult to answer these questions and manage a business and employees. It’s amazing what a difference an objective perspective from a third-party can bring. At Playbook, we study our clients businesses and help provide an external perspective. We help quantify the brand value from a target market perspective and then create and implement a comprehensive marketing and PR plan.

Our strategic alliances within the media and digital communities, ensure our clients get the best possible bang for their buck.  We stay current on all the latest trends, so our clients can focus on running their businesses and doing what they do well.  We ensure that their marketing and public relations strategy helps them meet company goals. The best companies have very well laid out business goals that align with all aspects of design, marketing and brand image.

Playbook is grateful that our team of creatives love their work.  This passion translates into beautifully designed marketing collateral pieces. Never underestimate the correlation of quality design and revenue. The best agencies will help you define your business goals and ensure that the marketing and PR strategy will help you achieve them.

If you are “winging it” or know there is more that your company can accomplish in the upcoming year, then consider outsourcing some or ALL of your marketing and PR in 2015. In all likelihood, your time is probably better spent on doing what you do well. Let us help you take your business to the next level.

Lastly, there is the another upside of hiring a marketing firm, we help you stay accountable for hitting goals and objectives. Playbook’s business depends on keeping our client relationship strong and growing their businesses. The more goal achieving clients we have, the more Playbook grows and profits.

Marketing to Millennials

Marketing to Millennials

smartphonesMarketing experts are talking about how to reach Millennials, people born between 1981 and the year 2000. And they should be. This group is the largest market segment in our society today totaling over 80 million people, surpassing the size of the baby boomers and the GenX groupings. Millennials have careers and money to spend. However, because of the way our society consumes information and data marketing to this group is very different than marketing to the Baby Boomers or even to GenX.

Today’s technology (i.e. tablets and smartphones) quickly links us to our friends around the world. According to data gathered from AD Week, the majority of Millennials own tablets and smartphones and check into their devices on average about 48 times a day.

Millennials tend to reject the traditional marketing paths of the past. You are not going to reach this consumer with a celebrity spokesman on TV or a gimmicky mailing campaign. They tend to reject this sort of marketing message and in turn will ultimately reject your brand. If they do reject your brand, watch out because they will share their feeling socially. In fact, Millennials share more of their brand likes or dislikes than any other consumer group. Social sharing and recommendations from their family, friends, and even anonymous online reviews influence their buying decisions.

So how do you reach this group?

1.    Create a mobile ready website.

There is a more than 68% chance that your website will only be seen from a smart phone, or tablet. Your website should be easy to navigate from a mobile device, or it will render itself useless to an entire generation.

2.    Create a social media strategy.

42% of Millennials log on to Facebook daily, and over 60% follow brands on Facebook. Create a social media strategy that increases your interaction with your target market. Decide what outlets you need to be on and keep at it with a consistent message.

3.    Create authentic interaction and monitor what is being said about your company.

Be real, or at least appear that way by limiting the gimmicks and false claims. Since Millennials trust recommendations more than claims by brands, you need to be well aware of your testimonials and what people are saying about your brand online.

With Millennials, the focus needs to be on technology and creating an authentic, intimate brand experience. Your website has to be mobile ready and easy to use. You have to have a brand presence across all social media channels or your brand risks becoming irrelevant to this large consumer group.

For help making your website mobile ready, social media management, and increasing your word of mouth PR, call Playbook today!

PR & SEO – A Happy Marriage

PR & SEO – A Happy Marriage

clip art

PR & SEO – A Happy Marriage

First and foremost, PR has changed. Many business owners have a misconception that Public Relations (PR) is only a strategy for large companies, who can afford to spend big money to manage their brand. However, in reality, almost every kind of business needs a PR strategy. Today most of us do online research before we make a purchase. Search engines have leveled the playing field for small and medium size businesses to compete with large companies on a local level. Suddenly small businesses are visible on search engines and engaging with large audiences via their social media sites. The way your brand is represented on-line is modern day PR.

Effective PR strategies have these three components:

1) Brand Alliance – Your online presence represents your business in a way that matches your company’s mission and values.

2) Happy Customer Social Engagement: People are satisfied with their experience with your company and are sharing that message. Are you actively monitoring your social media sites to see how your customers really feel about your brand? This is called Online Reputation Management (ORM).

3) And perhaps most importantly, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Can consumers find you when they search online? If they can’t find you, they WILL find your competition! According to a poll by MarketShareHitsLink.com, over 61% of people use the Internet to research products before their purchase, and 75% of them won’t scroll past the first page of search results.1

So how does a PR campaign help your SEO efforts? Here are 4 reasons PR & SEO have a happy marriage:

1) Press Releases – Share your press release with a wire service and on your social media sites. This kind of sharing will increase traffic to your website and boost your site’s search engine ranking.

2) Blogging and Guest Blogging – Blogs are important because they allow you to share your expertise and become a trusted source of information and because they will help your SEO efforts. It is important to write a keyword-targeted blog on a frequent basis. If you are not a good writer, hire a company like Playbook who can take your ideas and formulate them in a meaningful way. We will also help you develop relationships with other bloggers and key social influencers, which give you the ability to share and expand voice.

3) Social Media Content – An effective social media strategy that produces quality content will help your SEO efforts.

4) Add a Press Section to Your Website – Keep a section on your site that you keep updating with all your press links, and everywhere you have been featured. These links will increase your SEO efforts. Google alert will help you keep track of all your press.

With over 131 billion searches per month on the web2, it is vital you get your company seen on-line. PR & SEO are cost-effective, long-term strategy to increase your visibility online and in the marketplace.

1 Interconnected World: Shopping and Personal Finance, 2012
2 Comscore, January 2010

Reasons Why You Need a Blog

Reasons to Blog

How to BLOG?????

An effective business blog has the potential to result in companies gaining, on average, a 55% increase in traffic. The more often you post, the more often Google indexes your site. Blogging IS effective.

If you think of your website as your company store front―windows for the would-be customer to look through to see what you offer―think of your blog as a window to your company’s soul…and personality. It’s here where you can truly connect with your current and potential customers. We don’t buy a product or service that we don’t understand or believe in. How does it work? What does it do for me? Without the answers to these questions, it’s difficult for a consumer to take action.

A blog gives us the know-how…and the access. When was the last time you followed through with purchase based on something you read in a magazine? Did you clip the article and carry it with you to the store? Probably not. Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines.

What’s the expression? You can never be too thin or too rich…or have eyelashes that are too long? Add “you can’t have too much content” to the list. Give me more. If your business has 40+ different landing pages, you’ll generate ten times more leads than the slackers with less than six pages. And once you get that blog post tally up above 200, you’ll generate three and a half times more leads than those who have less than 21 posts. 200 may seem like a daunting number, but start today and it will be here before you know it.

If Blog CONTENT IS KING, then social media users make up its vast Kingdom.

 

According to Tom Pick at JeffBullas.com, “63% of companies said they had improved their marketing effectiveness, simply by posting blog content on social media channels.”

A blog will increase your customer reach, stimulate sales, build brand loyalty, validate your expertise, raise your SEO and help your business stand out from the competition.

What are you waiting for? Curious about QUALITY content marketing? Contact Playbook Public Relations, LLC today.

Hashtags Are Here to Stay

Hashtags Are Here to Stay

Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon’s clip on hashtags is really #LOL funny and totally #CLASSIC!

Seriously, hashtags are here to stay, and in all types of social media and marketing. Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest all show increased engagement in posts when hashtags are used. They may not be a part of how we speak, but they are a part of how we speak and search in the social media world. TIP: Don’t overdo the hashtags, research shows posts with more than two hashtags actually will drop your end-user engagement by 17%.

Playbook Takeaway:

Always make sure your social media posts have 1-2 relevant hashtags. Why? Because that’s how people are searching for things they need or interest them. Twitter studies show using #hashtags in your tweets increase engagement by two-fold. When you use them people who aren’t following you or aren’t your fan/friend can search the hashtag used and find your content, thereby, potentially increasing your exposure to millions of social media users.  For example, if I am looking for pictures and posts related to the USF Bulls football game I would search #USFBULLS or #usfbulls in the hashtag section of Instagram and then I would find all the post related to that search.   TIP: Be aware that #capitalizationmatters! 

When designing your social media plan for the month, consider the possible hashtags you will be using. Tagboard is a good site for researching what is being posted with certain hashtags. TIP: Try visiting sites like Hashtags.org, RiteTag and Hashify to research what’s trending or to get feedback on the hashtags you plan to use.You may also research what hashtags competitors or experts in your field are using to help grow and inform your hashtag list 

Please contact the social media experts at Playbook and let us help you grow your business and revenues!

Are you Overusing #hashtags-

5 TIPS FOR FACEBOOK

5 TIPS FOR FACEBOOK

Tips-for-FacebookWe recently attended a seminar on the evolution of Facebook and how to leverage this social media outlet for small businesses. Before the event, there was an opportunity to chat and have coffee with the other attendees. Many of the people we spoke with were starting a new business and were overwhelmed with the task of managing and leveraging social media, especially the beastly Facebook site. Since they had already sunk most of their money into starting their new businesses, it left their advertising budgets in a diminished state.

The good news is that this social media beast is easy to tame, and a valuable investment for those with minimal advertising dollars available. The average person checks their Facebook page at least 14 times a day, and for many; the Facebook NewsFeed is the first thing they see in the morning! So leveraging the enormous Facebook audience is a must for most business owners.

Here are our top 5 ways to use Facebook for your small business:

1. Figure out your demographics

Just like with traditional advertising streams, you better know your target audience. Once you have created your Facebook page, you can use the Facebook insights to report on who your “fans” are- the people that like the page and engage with it on a weekly basis.

2. Create a clear strategy

Don’t just wake up in the morning and post whatever is on your mind at the time. While you want your posts to look authentic and relaxed, there should be a concise social media strategy that reflects your brand image and mission.

3. Boost posts

Because Facebook went public, they have to answer to their shareholders. This meant that business pages are rarely showing up in Newsfeeds unless you are spending money to boost your post. Yes, boosting posts costs money, but it is the best way to ensure that people see the posts you have spent so much time creating. When you have a post that seems well liked by your fans, invest the money required to boost engagement.

4. Focus on photos

Keep your word usage short and sweet, even in the photos. Your audience is scrolling through a newsfeed where you are competing with other companies, your fan’s family photos and your fan’s best friends. They want to see a photo that is intriguing and beautiful to capture their attention. You can add a call to action into the post once you have captured their attention. Also, your profile pic and cover pic should tell the story of your business without jamming up the message with too many words.

5. Connection is key

Monitor your page and if a fan is interacting, interact back in a timely manner. Start a conversation and keep it going. And with any Facebook page, there is bound to be some negative posts by fans…DO NOT let them sit there without a response. You can respond in a public manner and then reach out to them privately to ensure loyalty. Online Reputation Management (ORM) is essential in today’s business world! Even if you are not online your target audience is!

When managed correctly, Facebook is like a trained dog rather than an intimidating beast. Develop a loyal and engaged audience with creative and strategic posts.

Party On: Event Marketing More Effective Than Social Media

Event Marketing More Effective than Social Media…Really!!!

Event Marketing

Everybody loves a party. Parties are a way to get together and celebrate something good and positive. People feel relaxed at a party, and there is usually a level of positive community experience.  You get to know people face to face when you are at a party, which is a great way to share your company message and grow your business.

event marketingThe bottom line is that even in this global, digital society people still like to buy from people. According to B2B Content Marketing Trends, in-person events are even more effective than social media. Hard to believe when you see the amount of time we devote to social media marketing versus event marketing. Look at the chart below and consider how you have been spending YOUR marketing budget…

So, how can you get the party started and grow your business? Here’s how:

  1. Celebrate Something Good Happening at Your Company

Think of the milestones you have hit that are worth spinning into a party, the progress your business has made, or something else that is special and noteworthy.

  1.    Get People to Join the Party

Hosting a party gives you the ability to connect with your clients and customers via many different outlets. You can send an email blast promoting the event, post an invitation to attend on your social media channels, and add the invitation as new content on your blog and website. New content that people are interacting with is a great way to increase your SEO ranking with search engines.

  1.    Follow-up After the Party

Again, another chance to connect. You can follow-up with the people who attended your event and even the people who did not with event photos posted to social media, another blog posting, pictures on your website and another email blast. You could even add a follow-up promotion to encourage sales since you already are in the forefront of their minds.

If throwing a party still seems out of your scope then get involved in someone else’s event. By being a part of an event happening in your community, you still get the value of face-to-face time with people in your community and the ability to add content to your marketing channels.

You may think that only big companies, like BMW, can be a part of an event but not so, any company can be a part of event marketing and find real, lasting benefits. Party on!

Social Media Tip- #SharetheGood

Social Media Tip #SharetheGood

#SharetheGood

Social Media Tip – #SharetheGood

Social media can get a bad rap. We blame social media for the declining social skills of our children, for keeping people plugged into their computers for hours of their free time and a whole slew of other problems that could be caused by the advent of social media.

But it can also be a tool for a whole range of positive things. Within minutes, people can connect to their family and friends that are continents away to share photos and stories of their lives. People share their favorite experiences, their favorite quotes, their accomplishments and their dreams.

This sharing of the “good” has given rise to what BlogSpot terms, Human to Human Marketing. Companies that use Human to Human Marketing make their messaging and images personal, conversational, and inspiring. This approach often creates consumers that feel more brand loyalty and “closer” to these brands.

Can a brand be your “friend”? On social media, it can. Your brand message can show up in their timeline right next to their best friend getting married and photos of their cousin’s new baby. Making sure your images and photos have the Human approach ensures that you get noticed and remembered.

Consider adding this approach to your marketing strategy this year, especially the social media plan. You can still sell your products with adding in a call-to-action in these posts. The call-to-action could be growing your email list, a targeted offer or direction to your website for increased traffic.

If you are ready to create a Human to Human Marketing plan, we can help, contact us today!

Contact Us Today & Start Your Campaign