Social Media Marketing 23

Social Media Marketing

4x3 News

For the 4th year in a row 4x3 has proudly marketed the annual Odessa Brewfest. Through a custom-designed website, social media and content marketing we helped the Historic Odessa Foundation invite hundreds of visitors as they enjoyed award-winning craft beer, gourmet food, local craft vendors, live music, and historical demonstrations on the beautiful grounds of the 1769 Warner-Wilson house in Odessa, Delaware.

Social Media Marketing Success

In conjunction with our email and content marketing efforts, we focused heavily on social media marketing as a way to not only to create buzz about the event, but to generate ticket sales. The result was a consistent level of social media engagement and non-stop event promotion across a variety of platforms.

FACEBOOK BOOSTING

In order to gain maximum visibility on Facebook, 4x3 implemented a marketing strategy that utilized boosted posts as a away to appear higher up on news feeds of people that are located within a specified geographic area with interests in craft beer. Facebook boosting allowed the Odessa Brewfest gain exposure to new audiences and interact with 94,670 engaged users in the four months leading up to the festival.

ODESSA BREWBRACKET

Generating engagement between the attending breweries and fans is always important to promoting the Odessa Brewfest. One way we facilitate engagement is the annual Brewbracket competition -- an online contest in which we pit breweries against one another in a bracket where fans vote for their favorite brewery. By doing this, we gain access the loyal brewery fans that vote and share the Brewbracket on social media. Year after year, it has proven a great way to drive interactions on social media and traffic back to the festival website.

#ODESSABREWSELFIE CONTEST

Generating hype before an event is crucial, but continuing to drive engagement during an event is just as important. To keep guests posting to social media throughout the festival we created a Selfie Contest to encourage poeple to take pictures of themselves and their friends enjoying the wonderful craft beer and beautiful ground of Historic Odessa with all their friends. Throughout the day, more than 75 guests entered the contest through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Several beer enthusiasts won fun brewery swag and other merchandise at the end of the day.

SNAPCHAT GEOFILTER

4x3 also designed a Geofilter for the annual Odessa Brewfest. The custom Geofilter appeared during the festival and allowed anyone who attended the event to use the filter on Snapchat. Everyone shared snaps with their friends using the filter to celebrate their favorite craft beer and to commemorate being at the event. At the end of the day, there was a total of 5,272 uses and views! This is a great strategy for creating peer to peer marketing with minumum effort.

Visit the official Brewfest website »

September 19, 2017

4x3 News

Diesel Adventures has engaged 4x3 to manage their web content and to devise a marketing strategy to improve SEO and increase your page ranking organically on major search engines and social media platforms.

Content and Social Media Marketing

After conducting a complete website audit of Diesel Adventures, 4x3 created a solution to improved audience engagement by bringing relevant, useful, and entertaining information to customers. Every strategy was thoughtfully designed to educate visitors about Diesel Adventures and their services through newsletters, blogs and social media campaigns. 

4x3 manages Diesel Adventures' social networking sites, including: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google + and YouTube.

"Starting a new business is hard. Being new to the world of content marketing, 4x3 have been very patient with all my questions and helping to me understand what works and what doesn’t. The campaigns that have been implemented have certainly increased my brand awareness and audience reach."
Steve Murphy | Founder | Diesel Adventures 

ABOUT DIESEL ADVENTURES

Diesel Adventures is an adventure travel company that specializes in overland expeditions and small group adventure tours on a variety of countries and continents. 

Diesel Adventures prioritizes what you are looking for in your tour -- be it culture, history, architecture, the wild outdoors, wildlife, hiking food or any specific interest -- so they can give you their expert recommendations on the very best trip that will suit you.

Visit the offical website »

September 7, 2017

4x3 Ideas

As 4x3’s newest employee, I have quickly learned that 4x3 is always trying to improve its services for its clients. 

This is immediately evident with 4x3’s most recent venture: Snapchat Geofilters.

What is a Geofilter? 

Honestly, if you don’t know just ask your son or daughter to show you. But just in case they are not readily on hand, I’ll let you in on the secret.

Essentially, a Snapchat Geofilter is a special image overlay on the app that signifies the "where" and "when" of a location or event. 

For example, 4x3 designed a Geofilter for the annual Odessa Brewfest. The custom Geofilter appeared during the festival and allowed anyone who attended the event to use the filter on Snapchat. Everyone shared snaps with their friends using the filter to celebrate their favorite craft beer and to commemorate being at the event. At the end of the day, there was a total of 3,000 uses and views!

Overall, it’s a great way to have customers promote your products and events for you! 

You got it now? Great!

Why Snapchat?

If you didn’t already know, Snapchat has 18 billion daily users! That’s like 9,000 snaps per second! Which means Snapchat has surpassed Facebook in number of daily video views. 

With predominantly young Snapchat audiences, this social platform is perfect for social media marketing towards teens and Millennials. Visually strong brands - such as beauty, fashion, and sportswear - lead the way in terms of Snapchat adoption. But that doesn't mean you can't too! With very few small business and brands taking the step to use Geofilters, the market is under-saturated. 

So that makes Snapchat a great marketing opportunity.

And it’s cheap too! Snapchat only charges $5 per 20,000 square feet where the filter can be used. And the marketing you get from users basically pays for itself. Geofilters make it easier for your audience to engage and promote your product or brand organically. 

From an event and location-based marketing perspective, Geofilters are the future of marketing.

October 13, 2016

4x3 Ideas

A client of ours recently expressed skepticism about Facebook as a marketing platform. Before you gasp, let me just say—his questions are perfectly legitimate. Remember, just because Facebook reaches over a billion people worldwide does not automatically guarantee it’s the best solution in every case.

I would argue that Facebook is a very good marketing option for this client. Before I say why, I’ll give a quick overview of his situation.

This service-oriented business is focused on a local audience. It is traditionally very reliant on word-of-mouth recommendations and does well with search rooted in location-based and need-based keywords. The problem is that there is a lot of competition for these same services.

His argument against Facebook is that his clients do not, up to this point, come from there. Also, he personally does not like seeing businesses pop up on his Facebook feed, so he expects others don’t like seeing these type of posts, either.

Facebook Marketing: Local Search

One argument in Facebook’s favor is that it is becoming increasingly popular as a tool for local search. In fact, according to comScore data, Facebook is now the world’s number-two local search app behind Google Maps. Facebook has achieved this by drawing data from its huge user base to create location and subject-based search results for just about everything.

What does this mean for our skeptical client? Any business you search for on Facebook will bring a result, whether you create a page or not. A business that creates their own page and populates it with useful content will have a leg up over those who do not.

Facebook Marketing: Friendly Algorithms

While no social media platform can give you what you want all the time, worries about Facebook posts being intrusive are probably overblown. Unless you pay to boost posts, Facebook is not going to throw your content up on people’s feeds without a reason—a query by the user, or some kind of interaction (click-throughs, likes, shares, etc).

Even if you do boost, this form of paid marketing is highly targeted. You can make sure your boosted post is only seen by people with specific interests or in a specific area. There’s no “throw spaghetti at the wall” marketing on Facebook.

Facebook Marketing: Driving Traffic and SEO

Facebook is a proven way to drive traffic to your website. People who come to your site through Facebook might contact you through the site, but unless you have them fill out a questionnaire, you might not know it was Facebook that led them to you.

Another advantage of posting frequently on Facebook is that you are generating link-backs—links that point to your site—which are an important sign to Google that your website is important and contains quality content. Traffic from external sources is very important to SEO.

May 17, 2016

4x3 Ideas

Ever wish news articles in Google search or Facebook feeds would load faster on your phone? Our benevolent Web overlords feel your pain. There’s a mini horse-race going on right now between Google and Facebook over which will attract the most publishers to their new content platforms designed to make loading articles lightning fast in iOS and Android. 

Facebook’s platform is called Instant Articles, and the company brags that articles and photos accessed through the social network will load 10 times faster than through the standard mobile Web. 

Not so fast, says Google. Google’s competing system, Accelerated Mobile Pages, is also coming your way. Articles accessed through Accelerated Mobile Pages load quicker by avoiding JavaScript and only loading images when you need them, among other tricks. Most importantly, AMP articles live in Google's cloud rather than having to be fetched from a publisher’s site. 

Publishers work with Facebook and Google to set up their content on these platforms, and both companies are busy wooing partners. Facebook touts cool-looking content from National Geographic, while Google is already working with big players like Hearst. 

Both Google and Facebook may be reacting to Apple’s built-in News app, which rolled out on all iOS devices last year. News, for its part, was inspired by the Flipboard app. News and Flipboard make it easy and more convenient to browse and load news articles. Google and Facebook surely want to bring that same functionality to their ecosystems. 

Keeping up with Apps on Mobile

All this is interesting to Web developers because ever-more complex and dynamic websites have created challenges on mobile. A Wordpress plugin will be available to make it easy for publishers to create Instant Articles for Facebook, while Drupal developers have released a custom module compatible with the Instant Articles program.

Expect more innovations as developers and tech companies seek new ways to improve the mobile experience. 

March 9, 2016

4x3 Ideas

Some interesting data was released this week by the publishing analysts at Parse.ly. The goal was to discover where a majority of the Web traffic for seven of this year’s biggest stories came from: search (Google, Yahoo & others), or social media (Facebook & Twitter).

Ratio of Search to Social Traffic

  1. Mayweather vs Pacquiao: 66% / 34%
  2. Ashley Madison: 66% / 34%
  3. Bobbi Christina Brown: 45% / 55%
  4. Charlie Hebdo: 38% / 62%
  5. Rachel Dolezal: 29% / 71%
  6. Ahmed Mohamed: 27% / 73%
  7. Cecil the Lion: 27% / 73%

In five of seven top news topics, more traffic was generated by social—in all but one case, significantly more. 

Social Media Strategy for Businesses

Clearly, the emergence of social media as a traffic-driving force should have a big impact on SEO and marketing strategy. 

If you are an ad-supported business, “the balance between search and social is one of the key factors in brand advertisers’ decisions about ad spend and creative,” Parse.ly notes. 

More to the point is the implication for optimizing search results vs capturing eyes on social media. Creating rich, shareable content is a powerful way to draw traffic to your site. Depending on your business, this could be tips or trend pieces, current events tie-ins, memes, breaking news—whatever gets your audience sharing.

Not sure what works best? Getting the data on social platforms is easy—just monitor likes, shares, retweets and follows—and both Facebook and Twitter offer ways for you to boost posts and target specific audiences, tweaking your campigns until you are able to optimize content for your intended targets.

SEO is obviously important and will continue to be, but social media needs to be a big part of any growth strategy. In fact, the two strategies help each other—more social media traffic to your website tells Google your content is important, which can raise your search ranking.  

December 1, 2015

4x3 Ideas

Just a quick note on bracket-style online competitions—plus a chance to brag about my hometown, Maplewood, N.J.

We’ve done content marketing for the Odessa Brewfest for the past two years, and a big part of that effort has been the Odessa Brewfest Brewbracket, a tournament-style competition designed to drum up social media buzz and site traffic around this annual beer festival in Odessa, Del. 

In 2014, we pitted 64 beers against each other; this year, it was 32 breweries (with a play-in round). The promotions have proven successful, with healthy participation from craft beer enthusiasts, who were able to claim prizes at the event itself just for playing. 

Building A Better Bracket

While we think we’ve done an awful lot right with the Odessa Brewfest brewbracket promotion, we’re always looking for ways to improve the contest. Some good ideas can be found in a recent competition, “Downtown Showdown,” featured in the magazine New Jersey Monthly

The editors of New Jersey Monthly chose 16 downtowns to compete in the contest. Over a month, online voting narrowed the field down to two finalists, Morristown and Maplewood—and Maplewood took the crown

Downtown Showdown: Marketing Takeaways

Here are some things that went right for New Jersey Monthly in holding a bracket competition.

  • Sponsorship: The contest was sponsored (by Kings Food Markets)—a great way to monetize the promotion. 
  • Careful Choosing: The towns chosen were already well-known for their downtowns, but there were plenty of other towns in the state that could have made the list. The editors chose a mix of regions and types (rural, urban, shore) no-doubt designed to get all kinds of boosters excited about the competition. 
  • Graphical Presentation: The colorful bracket layout makes it easy to see the “big picture.” 
  • Interview Contestants: Getting town boosters personally involved helped drum up excitement and encouraged secondary promotion of the contest by the towns themselves. 
  • Go Viral: Some towns got really into the game, like (not surprisingly) Maplewood, a medium-sized community in Essex County known for its boosterism. Maplewood handed out leaflets at the train station, sent out emails to residents about the competition and put up posters—all free publicity for the Downtown Showdown, New Jersey Monthly, and Kings Food Markets.  
  • Report the Impact: The magazine’s reporting of the contest became a story of its own. By covering various towns’ efforts to drum up votes, New Jersey Monthly could both promote the contest and encourage further participation. 

I should add that it’s always easier to win when you are the best, as (in my totally unbiased opinion) Maplewood is, with its interesting shops, festivals, beautiful downtown park (the fireworks, the sledding, the skating!), movie theater and train station. Go Mape!

September 30, 2015

4x3 Ideas

We at 4x3 were proud to be part of the team behind the Odessa Brewfest. We’ve been there from the beginning, helping connect the festival to the world with a custom-designed website, email marketing and social media. 

The beer festival debuted last year to great success, bringing 47 brewers and over 1400 festival goers. This year was even bigger, with 54 breweries setting up on the grounds of the historic Warner-Wilson house in Odessa, Del. Attendees enjoyed live music, great food, wine, spirits, crafts, a historical demonstration… and of course lots of good beer.

Social media: The brewbracket contest

Our social media efforts included a contest pitting participating breweries in a field-of-32 bracket competition. Voters online narrowed the list down to two brewers—Mispillion River and Troegs. People voted in person at our social media table and received fun prizes in return.  

Marketing success

The Historic Odessa Foundation’s mix of online, print and radio marketing was successful in generating buzz about the festival and lots of positive local media coverage. Odessa’s status as a treasured Delaware historic site was emphasized, as was the presence of local breweries, wineries, distillers and other vendors (such as Wilmington’s Hy Point Dairy) with deep roots in the state. 

There is nothing generic about this festival—it is a truly a Delaware-flavored affair—and this added to the excitement around the event.

We had fun helping to publicize the event and being at the festival last Saturday. We look forward to doing it again next year!

September 16, 2015

4x3 Ideas

Conventional wisdom in marketing suggests any publicity is good publicity. This idea has been under fire this week with TV funny man John Oliver’s takedown of McDonalds, Bud Light Lime and Adidas on his show This Week Tonight. 

In case you missed it, Oliver promised to eat, drink and wear these brands' products on the air if embattled FIFA chief Sepp Blatter would resign his post. Blatter did, and Oliver was as good as his word—but along the way took the time to roast Adidas (“ridiculous”), McDonalds (“disgusting”) and Budweiser (like urine, etc.). 

After the broadcast, Ad Age reported a huge spike in “Bud Light Lime awareness,” as well as increased activity around Adidas and McDonalds related to the show, which it interpreted as a big positive. In response, Social Media Today’s Aaron Miles questioned whether Oliver’s insults could possibly do anything but damage to these brands—never mind the huge spike in media mentions.  

“The goals of branding have always seemed willfully ignorant of context,” Miles wrote. “As an enterprise, it is acutely aware of when people are talking about a product, but not how people are talking about it.”

John Oliver's Budweiser Bump: Good, Bad or Neutral?

In this case I side with Ad Age. Miles obviously has a point, but when it comes to brands as big as Adidas, Budweiser and McDonalds, our views were formed long ago. Jokes about Bud Light Lime make Bud Light Lime fans think about Bud Light Lime. The Ommegang Valar Morghulis drinkers? They’re not buying it either way.  

Same with McDonalds and Adidas. Exposure to these brands among Oliver’s late-night, adult audience will disgust some people, but have a net positive result.    

Miss the broadcast? Watch it below, and tell us what you think. 

 

June 11, 2015

4x3 Ideas

The first annual Historic Odessa Brewfest, held Sept. 6, 2014, was a huge success. Over 1400 visitors enjoyed gourmet food and spirits, local artisan crafts, historical demonstrations and award-winning ales, stouts, lagers, cider and Belgian brews from 47 craft brewers.

We at 4x3 LLC are proud of the role we played in making the festival a success. Working closely with the Historic Odessa Foundation, we designed and built a dynamic, visually appealing, easy-to-navigate website that looks equally great on phones, tablets and desktops. But we did not stop there. We developed a comprehensive marketing and social media strategy designed to drum up excitement, ticket sales and interest in the Odessa Brewfest brand.

4x3 Brand Awareness and Content Marketing

To raise awareness of the festival locally and regionally, we provided:

  • Brand awareness (messaging and overall brand identity online and in print)
  • Research (intelligence on beer festivals and other comperable events) 
  • Content (news, press releases and e-newsletters)
  • Promotion (our much-heralded brewbracket contest; social media management; brewer partnerships) 

The #BrewBracket

4x3 designed a brew bracket contest modeled after the college basketball field of 64. Utilizing posts on Facebook and Twitter, users voted for their favorite beers by liking, sharing and commenting. The contest, which featured entertaining and informative descriptions of the beers and breweries participating in the festival, drove daily interest among brewers, vendors, beer drinkers and regional media, leading to increased followers, site visitors and ticket purchases.

The effort culminated in a Final Four held live on the day of the festival. Attendees voted in person with their smartphones at a social media booth (manned by us) and claimed prizes such as t-shirts, coasters, hats and keychains.

The Result fro the Festival in Just 3 Months

  • Nearly 600 interactions on social media related to BrewBracket posts.
  • Over 900 Odessa Brewfest Facebook page likes and 870 Twitter followers.
  • Site visit jumps of 60% to 100% on days matchups were promoted.

The Brewfest returns Sept. 12, 2015—and 4x3 will once again be leading the marketing and promotion efforts. Look for us at this year's festival—we'd love to meet you!

March 13, 2015

4x3 Ideas

Ever thought about promoting a post on Facebook? We’ve been dipping our toe in that water lately, and getting familiar with the quirks of the process. 

Facebook Marketing

In case you are unfamiliar with promoting posts on Facebook, it works like this: The social network lets you set a budget and target audience, and "boosts" the post far beyond your normal friends and followers. You pay for what Facebook calls “actions” — link clicks, comments, shares and likes. Each time someone interacts with your post in one of these ways, a certain amount is deducted from your budget (you set a budget for as little as $5, and increase it at any time if you like how things are going). 

Facebook Boosting Posts: Surprises and Snafus

We recently ran an experiment in writing viral headlines, creating three different versions for a story about a controversial beer can label and boosting all three to see which got the best response. A few hours in, Facebook flagged one of our headline posts as inappropriate, temporary shutting down the promotion: 

“Your Post wasn't boosted because it violates Facebook's ad guidelines by promoting alcohol products to people who are not of legal drinking age for their location. The post remains published, but it is not running as an ad."

Facebook gives you an opportunity to fix your targeting to meet their guidelines, which in this case was easy — just up the minimum target age from 18 (the default) to 21.

Funny thing was the other two headlines also mentioned beer, and were not flagged. I guess Facebook’s algorithm needs a little work. 

Anyway, it was no big deal—Facebook wants you to boost, and makes it easy to set things right and get your promotion going again.

Facebook Boosts: Targeting 

So one key takeaway for us was to check the default audience settings and target carefully. Facebook lets you choose specific audience interests to target — say, “Craft Beer” and “Brewing.” The trick is to strike a balance between casting too big a net (by picking too many categories) and being so narrow that you miss potentially interested people. The right balance is different for each campaign. 

Facebook Ad Restrictions on Text in Images

A more difficult hurdle comes if your boosted post violates Facebook’s rules on text in images. Ads on Facebook may contain text in the headline, message or video thumbnail, but cannot make up more than 20% of an image. This includes logos and slogans. 

Facebook says they do this to “ensure people on Facebook only see high-quality content.” Unfortunately, the one-size-fits-all rule can eliminate boosted images that are both appropriate and relevant. We boosted a fun story for a client, Arizona Opera, about a traffic cop leaving a message for a fellow opera lover instead of giving them a ticket—but the photo of a handwritten note ran afoul of the rules. 

The campaign was cancelled, but not before garnering some shares and likes. (Facebook does not notice guideline violations right away.) 

To help you meet the guidelines, Facebook offers a grid tool that lets you test images to see if they contain too much text. 

And remember: these rules regarding ad restrictions on text in images apply only to boosted posts, not regular ones. 

February 23, 2015

4x3 Ideas

We all know how difficult it can be to get people to find and view a website, Twitter feed, YouTube channel or Facebook page. Posting to social media can feel like a drop in a bucket (reservoir, really) unless you can create the mojo that makes a bit of content go viral—and anyone who’s tried knows what a challenge that can be.

Your online audience: getting out in front

The best way to earn consistent views is by gaining followers or subscribers, something that keeps your message out in front of your desired audience. E-newsletters have long been a great way to build an online audience: whether you are a company looking to generate sales leads or a retailer promoting a new product, there can be no more powerful tool. The trick is to get people to fill out that quick form.

Building an online audience

The decision to subscribe/like/follow/whatever should be easy, should be fast and should be integrated into the flow of a person’s interaction with your content. When possible, it should come with a reward. If you create downloadable content, contests or webinars, include a newsletter sign-up check box as part of the registration process—their interest in what you are offering is the motivation.

Even something as simple as liking a Facebook page can create big dividends. Let’s say you agree to “like” SEOptimer’s Facebook page in order to download a report (as seen in the picture with this article). Now you’re getting SEOptimer posts in your feed, which creates plenty of opportunity for them to make a case for subscribing to a newsletter, trying their software, or (the ultimate goal) becoming a paying customer. The quick, simple act of hitting that “like” button opens the door to many opportunities.

January 16, 2015
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4x3 Ideas

We’ve been brainstorming creative sponsorship ideas in the office this week as our sister corporation Sevens Sports LLC gears up for an upcoming rugby tournament in Charlotte, N.C. As any marketer knows, there are lots of ways to advertise through events. Bring a number of like-minded people together, and you’ve got a great opportunity for sponsors to reach a coveted audience.   

As it turns out, the same logic can apply to social media. On Bad Rhino’s Rumblings blog, social media strategist Ryan Bright cites a fascinating example of social media monetization pursued by the New Jersey Devils hockey team. 

The effort can be divided into two parts: audience building and partnerships. The Devils recruited a group of die-hard fans, dubbed them the Devils Army Generals, and let them loose on social media, blogging, arranging tweet-ups, responding to fan queries and generally building excitement online. The result was over 70,000 new Facebook “Likes” and 1000 new Twitter followers—in one month!

Monetizing social media

With the audience in place, the team could go to marketers with partnership proposals. Advertisers sponsor online fantasy games, contests and other fan happenings. “They do not post sponsored Tweets or posts of any sort, shielding their fans from a marketing onslaught,” Bright notes. “It’s pure, it’s thoughtful and most of all — it works.”

Does it ever. The team has realized $500,000 in new revenue so far and expects the effort to bring in $2 million in its second year.

Just as crowds gathered for a sporting event can spell advertising gold, so can virtual crowds rallying around a team on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms. This revenue channel is sure to grow and holds great potential for any venture that relies on sponsorship dollars.     
  

September 30, 2014

4x3 Ideas

Whether you work at a large corporation or own a small business, your company should be utilizing social media. Everyone is on it. And even if every single person is not on it, your target consumer probably is. In my opinion, here are the most important tips that you need to know.

1. Set goals and create a strategy to fit the target audience 

It’s really difficult to measure success if you have nothing to compare it to. Decide who your target audience is and the best way to reach them. Then decide what goal you would like to achieve in a given amount of time (ex. we want to reach 100 more followers in the next two weeks). 

2. Utilize analytics to know what best suits your audience

There are tons of ways to find out how successful or unsuccessful your posts are on different platforms. No one way is proven better than the other; it's a matter of preferance. Sometimes analytics are provided through the site and there are also third-party analyzers. Use as many or as few as you’d like but definitely make sure you always do three things. Read it. Comprehend it. Take action to make the next report even better. 

3. Use Twitter to converse and not to simply push content

Twitter is such a vital tool. You are able to do more than just share information. You can gather information and build loyalty. No one likes being talked at. It is more effective to have a conversation than to lecture. Definitely stay active on social media with links, ideas, opinions, office happenings, etc. Undoubtedly, the most important thing about twitter is the ability to engage your audience and have a conversation with them. Understand their thoughts and what they would like to see from your company. It will help you reevaluate your goals and keep you on track! 

4. Live by “A picture is worth a thousand words” 

In research done to predict the ways and trends of social media, one thing is ubiquitous: Pictures in your content gets more attention. One Hubspot blog claimed that photos on Facebook generated more than double the amount of comments or likes on a post without photos. Twitter had the same results with increased retweets, site visits and clicks if the tweet had a photo. 

My personal favorite way to share my photos on social media is through Instagram although there are several avenues that can be utilized to post pictures. 

5. Use Pinterest to demonstrate your expertise and creativity

Although Pinterest is really popular for being a DIY hub, people use it every day for business. Creating pins that will bring traffic back to your site is imperative. Yes, you can still pin things from other sites but it is important to show that you can back up all of your ideas and that you are the expert. I would argue everyone can find a place on Pinterest. From greens-keepers to insurance tips, Pinterest has it all. 

6. Don’t let your Facebook be boring

Getting consumers to like your page is a battle in itself, to grab their attention is another battle all together. This, much like Pinterest, will need your creativity. On your personal Facebook, it is acceptable to post what you ate and how you are feeling about life. Business pages are quite different. You want your business page to engage the reader and get them to your site and to remember your name above all others.  Giving promotional discounts, posting videos from your YouTube account and even asking questions are just some ways to engage your audience. 

I really liked this article posted by Driving Business Online which listed 20 ways to spice up your business page! 

7. Promote a healthy dose of daily information but only provide good content

If you go to a company’s twitter account and they haven’t tweeted for some time, it could reflect poorly on them. On the other hand, if they tweet daily about sweet nothings, it could be equally as annoying and in turn, they may lose followers. 

Unfortunately, there is no exact formula to fix this issue of balance. My best advice is to go back to your plan and strategize. With your audience in mind, what kind of content do they want and on what sites? How often do they look at those platforms?  These questions can often be answered by using analytics. You have to cater to the needs of your consumers. 

8. Utilize email too!

This one is simple. Always add emails to your database. Always utilize those emails to get out information. 

9. Remaining open and on top of emerging social platforms while learning to utilize them to their greatest potential

The fact of the matter is that social media goes out of style fast. As soon as you get acquainted and comfortable; it’s changing. You have to be willing to roll with the punches and learn new platforms. This does not mean you have to use every single one for your business. However, you should have a general idea of what it does and how to navigate it. Even platforms that you think won’t do you any good, for example Snapchat, if you keep an open mind you may find a way to utilize it to your advantage (check out its new geo-filters. What a fun way to market your brand).

10. Isn’t this always the last point in a list like this? Have fun!

If social media is part of your business, well, that is fun in itself. But work takes up most of your life, and life is too short anyway to not have fun. Post informative, and fun, content. 

September 25, 2014

4x3 Ideas

Remember back to the days when you’d see a flyer or a poster with a Web address at the bottom, so you’d go to the site, and it would be nothing more than a page showing the flyer/poster? Those Seinfeld-era websites may be long gone, but some companies and organizations still behave as if that’s all their websites are for: to be static placeholders for information.

Today, people want and expect frequently updated, dynamic websites that capture their interest and bring them back again and again. If you’re opening a shop, you need to do more than just put basic info up online. If you’re a sports club looking for new players, a mere presence on the Web will not get anyone's attention. To throw out another ‘90s reference: It’s simply not true that if you build it, they will come. You’ve got to market what you build. 

Marketing means keeping your site fresh and sending e-newsletter updates. It means being active on social media. It means mixing up content, offering videos, contests, lessons and tutorials—whatever engages your target audience. Doing this successfully takes more than good intentions; if you’re a business of any size, a nonprofit, team, or club, it’s important to dedicate time and resources to this effort. Next week on this blog, I’ll lay out some strategies for doing just that.   

Next Week: Showing Dedication to Marketing

September 16, 2014

4x3 Ideas

After Surfside Sevens Stone Harbor, it’s no surprise that the following of our Instagram grew. It’s also no surprise that primarily youth ruggers were clicking the follow button. Business Insider reports that “over 90% of the 150 million people on Instagram are under the age of 35.” 

Read more about Instagram demographics »

Although Surfside Stone Harbor is a tournament for all ages, we fielded eight men’s college teams, the American High School Rugby Sevens Championships and even a U13 division. Instagram users were right up our alley.

Plus, I’ve loved Instagram ever since the creation of my personal account in my sophomore year of college at Penn State. So, coming into the Surfside family, I decided to focus on their newly created Instagram account. 

Event Instagram Promotion

We jump-started the new venture by focusing on Instagram to promote the event. Counting down the days, we posted photos of our efforts in the office making trophies, counting shirts and securing vendors. 

The age-old saying goes “hindsight is 20/20.” While continuing to incorporate the hashtag from the year prior, I believe Instagram added to our efforts and Surfside took a great step forward in 2014. We can always improve with a bit more planning to yield increased views, more successful promotions and a better brand.

In the long run, I hope you see us continuing to grow our social media influence. That will be tested as early as this weekend at the Odessa Brewfest (had to put in a shout out; go vote on the brewbracket). We had a ton of fun at Surfside '14 as evident on our, and many others', Instagram feeds.

September 3, 2014

4x3 Ideas

Popular pinboard-style website Pinterest has introduced a new tool to help companies identify the number of visitors it delivers to its websites. The new feature, called Pinterest Web Analytics, will offer website owners insights into the number of visitors their site has received due to Pinterest as well as data on how many Pinterest users have shared and seen content from their site.

Success with Pinterest

With over 25 million members, Pinterest has become a leading driver of online shopping. This figure is fairly remarkable considering that four months after the site's launch in 2010, a mere 200 users were registered on the site. Companies such as Sophora, ELLE Magazine and Etsy have all found the value in using Pinterest to market their products and services - their strategies and results speak for themselves as a testament to Pinterest's success.

Simple with Pinterest

Your business doesn't need to be the size of any of the ones we've talked about in order to see substantial benefits to using Pinterest. The main appeal of the site is that it's easy to use, both on the business end and on the consumer end. Visually appealing collections of images (or "boards") are created with each image linking back to your company's website. Users can then share these images which leads to more exposure and traffic for your site. The more images you "pin" to your board, the better chance you have of creating a following and the more leads you will generate for your company.

Standout with Pinterest

The key to utilizing all the features that Pinterest offers for businesses is to create an official business account. Pre-existing Pinterest accounts can be converted to business accounts, or one can be created from scratch. Once a business account is set up, the best way to advertise it is through pre-existing social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

4x3 is ready to help you grow your business.

We offer comprehensive Social Media packages and would love to walk you through the process of creating and maintaining an effective social media presence. Contact us today and see what we can do for your business' online presence.

March 17, 2013

Website Launch

The Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Union was one of the first content management systems to be put in place by a budding new firm called 4x3, LLC.

The CMS was a custom system designed and developed by 4x3 and owner Stephen Siano. The database, first built in 1998, is still in place on the EPRU.org website and manages union-wide mailings, match scheduling and team and contacts for the entire league.

4x3 will now, over the next couple of years, redevelop the entire system in Drupal. In the process, 4x3 is now managing the Union's Facebook and Twitter accounts for the EPRU's 180 member teams.

May 29, 2011

4x3 Ideas

This is the fourth in a five part series on social networking and your website. LinkedIn touts itself as the 'professional network'.

#4 A LinkedIn Account

5 Ways to Draw Them In to Your Website 'Socially': Part 4

Jeanne Griffith Leslie, MBA, CRPC is my financial adviser. She's also my niece ... so we chat all the time ... not always about money. As a matter of fact, the financial talk doesn't last all that long. I have three children five and under so financial conversations are about mortgage and car payments and grocery bills and how much money we've saved now that we're finished with baby food, formula and only have one left in diapers. I know we're supposed to be talking about retirement planning and the kids college fund ... it'll just have to wait a year or two. So I mention my niece because she works at a firm that doesn't allow her to Tweet or check her Facebook account at work. This is certainly the norm in many mid-size to large companies. So how can you really get into the social networking game if this is the case? LinkedIn is the professional social network of choice. If you're working for a firm - in most cases - you're going to be allowed to use the network. It used to be that if you saw someone updating their LinkedIn page, you knew they were 'looking'. But these days the smart ones are using LinkedIn to track prospects and keep in touch of the professional lives of their friends, peers, colleagues and even competitors. Let's stay with my niece, who's doing a great job by the way of 'working' LinkedIn. Because she works for a firm, she has setup a personal account and linked her present job listing to her present employer's business page. She's also been very thorough about listing her employment history and her associations, awards and her education history. Because she's done this properly, LinkedIn will periodically suggest friends and associates for her from her woking connections and schooling.

As she continues to build connections, Jeanne can add those new relationships to her professional linkedIn account.

Like Facebook, LinkedIn now has business pages. If you run your own business, you want to make sure to create a business page, upload a logo and write a comprehensive description of your business. And yes, get all of your employees to create a LinkedIn account and connect to your business page.

So, here we go ... just follow the steps and you'll have a page for yourself and, if applicable, your business in minutes ... or STOP RIGHT HERE ... and send me and email me: siano@4x3.net and I'll do it for you.

Create a LinkedIn Page for Yourself and Your Business

Step 1: Go to 4x3, LLC's LinkedIn Page

I opened a new window for you.

Step 1.1: Follow my Page.

Click the button the right side of the page: its the Follow button. This isn't really a step ... just another shameless 4x3 self promotion. After all that is the purpose of all this. You want to get people to Follow your page - follow your business and then purchase your products and/or services. Your clients benefit from your products and services and you make a profit ... Step 0.5: Clearly you may have discovered - if you weren't signed up for LinkedIn already - that you have to have an account before you can follow a business.

Step 2: Sign Up for a LinkedIn account.

Go to www.linkedin.com - you'll see the 'Join LinkedIn Today' quick form ... fill it out: name, email password - click the 'Join Now' button. You'll then be asked to confirm your account through your email.

Step 3: You're In.

Please try not to be overwhelmed by the amount of information you can fill in ... just get in the game and you are on your way. We'll talk more in another segment about the nuances of 'what, how, when and where' to make your LinkedIn experience work for you.

February 18, 2011
Related Services:

4x3 News

We're pleased to announce that Chris Ryan and Ryan Masonry has taken us up on our offer to implement and manage their social media marketing package.

4x3's Latest Social Networking Client

As an owner-operated company, Ryan Masonry specializes in small to medium-sized projects, taking pride in their outstanding attention to detail, unique and customized solutions and ability to manage and execute every aspect of your home improvement job. With over 17 years of experience in custom masonry, Ryan Masonry provides the highest quality service and materials to enhance the beauty of your home – both inside and out.

Connect with Ryan Masonry

Follow Ryan Masonry on Twitter
Follow Ryan Masonry on LinkedIn
Like Ryan Masonry on Facebook  

Social Media Marketing Packages

Expose your site to new people, generate more traffic to your website and ultimately a larger customer/client base. Get in the game. Social media is the future of the internet - make sure you are a part of it! Call or email for more information on social media package pricing.  

January 27, 2011
Related Services:

4x3 News

S & H Interiorscapes designs, installs and maintains interior landscapes for mall interiors and the atriums, lobbies and reception areas of corporate clients.

4x3's Latest Social Networking Client

We're pleased to announce that S & H Interiorscapes has taken us up on our holiday offer to implement and manage their social media marketing package. S & H also assists landscape architects, interior designers, and project managers with plant and container arrangement and selection.

Follow S & H Interiorscapes on Twitter
Follow S & H on LinkedIn
Like S & H on Facebook  

Social Media Marketing Packages

Expose your site to new people, generate more traffic to your website and ultimately a larger customer/clientele base. Social media websites are the future of internet communication make sure you are a part of it! Call or email for more information on social media package pricing.

January 12, 2011
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4x3 Ideas

This is the third in a five part series on social networking and your website.

#3 Linked In, Are you?

5 Ways to Draw Them In to Your Website 'Socially': Part 3

I have a client with over 40 employees that is not really utilizing Linked In and another with just a few who are all over it.

December 23, 2010
Related Services:

4x3 Ideas

This is the first in a five part series on social networking and your website. So you think you're all set and humming in Facebook. Maybe you're not as on top of it as you think.

#1 The Facebook Business Page

5 Ways to Draw Them In to Your Website 'Socially': Part 1

I went to the beach the other week - Sea Isle, NJ. It just so happens that friends of the family were staying in Ocean City. Our family trekked from Sea Isle to Ocean City on Thursday of the week's stay to visit. The story is that I haven't seen most of them since the 70s. Both of our families used to rent separate houses at the shore in Ocean City at the same time each summer. Their five and our eight hung out during the summer months. Both families are high energy so the stories - they are a many. It was a lot of fun to see them and my Mom especially enjoyed seeing her old friend after so many years.

When we returned to Sea Isle that evening, I showed my Mom how I was about to 'friend' the girl that I knew from their family with my iPhone. Turns out Ellen has her own business (Bare Bones Biz), so I showed my Mom the steps to buy one of the books she had written through her website with my phone. My Mom is in her eighties. She remembers going to the beach in the 30s. She remembers watching the radio. By the time I checked out for the book purchase, Ellen and I were 'friends' on Facebook.

The Facebook phenomenon

Most of us know the Facebook phenomenon. I try not to get sucked in, but it happens. I find myself reconnecting with friends from my youth and college that I've lost track of and posting silly photos of my children for all to see. I love that my cousin I hardly see and a friend from Texas 'like' my posts and comment at how my kid's goofy face looks just like mine.

But it's the Facebook page that I'm here to talk about and help you understand. So, here we go ... just follow the steps and you'll have a page for your business in minutes ... or STOP RIGHT HERE ... and send me and email me: siano@4x3.net I'll do it for you.

Create a Facebook Page for your Business

Step 1: Go to 4x3, LLC's Facebook Page

I opened a new window for you.

Step 1.1: Like my Page.

Click the button next to the title of the page: 4x3, LLC with the thumbs up Like button. This isn't really a step ... just shameless  4x3 self promotion. After all that is the purpose of all this. You want to get people to Like your page then you can send them information about the stuff they already said they like. We'll get into that a bit more as we go ...

Step 2: Click 'Create a Page for My Business'.

Next, pick the type of page, the name and confirm you are the official representative.

Step 3: Now you're home free.

Follow the 'Welcome to your new Page. Let's get started!' I recommend all 6 steps.   

1. Upload an Image   
2. Provide some basic information   
3. Post status updates   
4. Add Like Box   
5. Set up your mobile phone   
6. Connect to Twitter (we'll get your Twitter account up in the segments to come)

August 21, 2010

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