Earlier this year, Google added insight reports, tailored actionable buttons (think take-out ordering or hotel reservation booking) and bulk upload spreadsheet functions to its Google My Business features. Though all are especially helpful to restaurants, the latter is a great tool for businesses with more than one location (and, thus, more than one listing on Google) as it enables page owners to collect information for all locations to one central location. For results-driven business owners, the addition of insight reports means they will have greater access to digital marketing analytics, while the other changes make it easier for customers viewing the profile to take action directly from the listing.

New Additions

With the changing landscape of social media management, and owing to the fact that Google+ never quite became the platform people expected, the behemoth company has once again adapted its platform to make it possible for companies to utilize Google My Business pages in a similar fashion to traditional social media. Using the new Google My Business API (Application Programming Interface), owners and marketing managers of restaurant and hotel chains can manage their Google My Business account in a more efficient manner.

With the latest updates, page owners will now be able to:

  • Edit location information for one or more pages
  • Read and respond to customer reviews from a centralized area
  • Update menu details, such as pricing, photos and descriptions for one or more locations
  • Create and update relevant social media-style posts
  • Add additional business photos as applicable
  • Incorporate a Call-to-Action button, such as “Learn More,” “Reserve,” “Sign Up,” “Buy” and “Get Offer”

In a similar fashion to Facebook, users now have the option to create an “event” – which can be used by restaurants to advertise a holiday special or for destinations to promote a local fundraiser, among an endless assortment of occasions.

Though these new features have already proven to be powerful marketing tools, to be effective, social media pages and listings like Google My Business must be managed properly to ensure positive results. One thing for established companies to consider is the need to migrate Google+ pages to the Google My Business social media page functions.

Taking Care of Your Social Media Profiles

The exposure of your listing works both ways. Though online exposure can draw more attention to your company in a positive way, mistakes or negligence often have a serious impact on your online reputation. Since social media is so, well… social, a business that doesn’t respond to negative feedback on its profile could face consequences from a broader audience of people looking to stir the pot. While many business owners may simply opt to ignore the naysayers, a disproportionate number of negative reviews on one or more social media pages will affect a company’s ranking on a results page on most search engines (like Google or Bing).

To take advantage of the new Google My Business features, one must regularly check up on these consumer comments and reviews. It is also important to create and manage a social media schedule that reflects the tone of your business. For example, a children’s activity center would interact with its target audience in a different manner than a fine dining establishment. And, it’s important to accurately reflect the atmosphere of your business.

Further, customers want to know that your business is active and responsive. Lack of social media maintenance will affect how search engines view your listing, so it’s important to manage social media pages like Google My Business effectively.

Ask an Expert

Though we’ve outlined the basic feature updates of the new Google My Business API, it takes a skilled web developer to fully and properly integrate some of the more in-depth functions. This includes:

  • Setting up subscriptions to push notifications for new customer reviews
  • Viewing insights for locations
  • Providing additional attributes for locations (like a hotel’s amenities or a restaurant’s menu URL)
  • Inviting and removing managers
  • Managing service-area businesses

The Public Relations and Marketing Group was established 15 years ago, at a time when social media was first coming into fruition. PRMG’s team of social media managers continually learn and grow their skills to keep ahead of changes in the industry and can help you develop your Google My Business page. We can also help to redevelop your existing Google+ and Google My Business pages to take full advantage of the latest updates.

Contact us at info@theprmg.com or call us directly at 631-207-1057, ext. 107.


Twitter’s trendiness has made it a hotspot for advertising. The social media site, infamous for its 140-character limit, has rapidly gained popularity since its release in 2006 by founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone. By the end of 2010, the service had gained 50 million monthly active users. That number tripled just two years later in 2012, and, despite a small dip in 2015, the number of users continues to grow. As of December 2016, 319 million people used the platform on at least a monthly basis.

Businesses are joining the Twitter community in efforts to reach those who might not be so keen to comment on other social media platforms (such as Facebook or Instagram). Twitter users often opt to “mention” businesses, friends or famous people in their tweets, a feature which enables those mentioned to view and respond to said tweet instantaneously. This effectively provides users a direct line of communication with businesses to which they previously may not have had access.

Politicians, athletes and entertainers (among others) use the social medium as a resource for indulging pertinent information (such as the status of a recent bill in Congress, the current score of a soccer match, or the release date of a musician’s new album) in a concise and personal way. News and media outlets similarly utilize Twitter to reach out to mass audiences with crucial and critical news updates, a helpful and potentially life-saving feature in states of emergency, such as 2013’s Boston Marathon bombing. The ability to immediately reach a wide and varied audience is Twitter’s strongest suit, for business, celebrity, news and personal use alike.

The great thing about social media is its flexibility – the platforms change and update rapidly, which reflects the ability of the human mind to change and update, and easily keep their users’ ever-distracted attention. Facebook’s major success with new video advertisements has prompted Twitter to follow suit, shifting away from promoted tweets and toward video advertising.

Advertising on social media is useful in expanding brand awareness, increasing website traffic, and generating leads. When organic reach on social media platforms declines, ads are inversely on the rise. As Twitter rolls out its new video advertising campaign, businesses that take advantage of this new feature will be ahead of the game.

If you think your business would benefit from target-audience lead generation, you should consider video advertising on Twitter. Call the experts at The Public Relations and Marketing Group for advice and guidance, as well as ad scheduling and implementation. Please reach out to us at 631-207-1057 x107 or email us at info@theprmg.com.


Facebook Audience NetworkEarlier this year, SocialTimes reported a change to Facebook’s Audience Network that will allow even non-Facebook users to see Facebook-powered advertisements as they surf the web. Since its launch in 2014, the Facebook Audience Network has become one of the largest ad networks in the world. So what does this new policy mean for businesses and organizations trying to gain a cutting edge in the cutthroat world of digital advertising?

Originally, advertising partners with Facebook simply reached Facebook users through ads displayed on the site. But with the launch of the Facebook Audience Network two years ago, the social network enabled advertisers to extend the impact of their ads beyond Facebook. On a select number of mobile apps, partners could display ads with the added capabilities of the same targeting and measurement tools used on Facebook. However, these ads only reached users who were simultaneously logged into Facebook.

Facebook’s recent announcement removes even this restriction. Ads that take advantage of the Facebook Audience Network now have the capability to reach even users without Facebook accounts. This offers a further incentive to advertisers looking for the convenient and comprehensive metrics Facebook’s business program provides. In addition, it increases Facebook’s clout in the world of online interest-based marketing, alongside other services like Google.

Ultimately, Facebook has stated that they aim to improve users’ experience through their new advertising program as well. One of the benefits of the common ad platform will be to improve the overall quality and relevance of the ads users see, while individuals’ tools to opt-out and control their ad preferences are maintained. One can hope that the increased reach of the Facebook Audience Network will prove to enhance both advertisers’ and users’ online experience.

At the Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG), we can help your company develop strong and well-coordinated Facebook advertising campaigns to broaden your exposure and drive people to your business. For a free consultation or for samples of previous digital advertising campaigns, please contact us at (631) 207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.


Now that it has surpassed Twitter in daily users, Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps. With the introduction of personalized geofilters for photos to increase user engagement with businesses, it can now be used as an influential marketing platform.

Snapchat is a photo- and video-sharing social media app, famously known for its vanishing element: users may to choose set a timer for their photos so that their friends can only view the photo within a certain (and short) timeframe.

Filters are a way to frame or otherwise ornament photos that users have taken with their mobile devices and will share through the Snapchat app. Geofilters take this one step further, as they are based upon the user’s specific geographic location. Many geofilter designs include logos, pictographs, words or phrases (including slang) and other fun images associated with a certain state, town, restaurant, etc. The filters were originally designed for exclusive use in public places, such as the Grand Canyon or the Washington Monument. With the introduction of on-demand geofilters that can include company logos, your business could benefit from substantial new branding and reach.

These “on-demand geofilters” won’t go unnoticed, particularly if your customer audience is made up of teens and young adults, the largest demographic to use Snapchat. According to Business Insider, 77% of college students use Snapchat every day and 58% of college students would be likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they received a coupon on Snapchat. Additionally, Snapchat users are very actively involved with the medium, watching over 10 billion videos per day, according to a report published in Bloomberg back in April.

Your company would also benefit from the use of Snapchat geofilters for and during your planned events, as photos with filters are more likely to be shared on the social media platform than those without filters, and these shares attract attention.

A personalized geofilter for your business would appear to a Snapchat user after he or she takes a photo and swipes to the right; the filters could highlight either your brand or your particular event.

The cost for these personalized company filters depends on the size of the location where the filter will be displayed (called the “geofence”) and the length of time the filter will be displayed (from one hour to 30 days). If your business could profit from increased exposure, contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group for filter designs and other social media expertise. To learn more, call (631) 207-1057 or email us at info@theprmg.com.


Social Media Is Shifting News SourcesWhere do you get your news? If this question were asked forty or even twenty years ago, the most common responses would have included radio, television and good old-fashioned newspapers. But the Pew Research Center and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation recently released a study on news and social media, and the findings reveal a significant demographic shift over the past few years.

Shifting News Sources

The big statistic revealed from this study is that 44% of American adults get news via Facebook. Yes, 44% of all adult Americans stay informed via the world’s most popular social networking platform. This number represents two thirds of all adult Facebook users, up from 47% of Facebook users in 2013.

Some other figures from this study are worth mentioning as well. The total percentage of American adults who get their news from any social media network (including Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, and more) is 62%, and almost two thirds of those usually get it from just one social media network. For journalists and marketers alike, this represents a paradigm shift. While news consumers of a previous generation might have read the day’s headlines in the morning paper, heard additional news on the radio during their commute to work and returned home to catch the six-o’clock news on TV, today’s consumers are increasingly likely to get their updates from just one source—most often Facebook. Today, information and advertising are still delivered via a screen, but more and more the screen is located on consumers’ desks or in their hands rather than in their living rooms.

Shifting Attitudes

Another important statistic: Among Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube users who get their news online, about 60% report that they merely see headlines while they’re doing other things online; only 40% specifically search the web for it. The internet has made it easier than ever before for information and advertising to reach consumers wherever they are, even if they don’t intentionally seek it out.

It is impossible to predict whether social platforms will ever completely crowd out the “traditional” media of newspapers, radio, and TV. But in regard to marketing and public relations, organizations can gain valuable information about consumers’ shifting news sources from last month’s report. A thoughtful, relationship-driven approach to advertising is essential to navigating the complex avenues of social media successfully.

If you have questions about how best to promote your organization across social media, The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) is happy to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us at (631) 207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.


A sample of Instagram's new look

(image from Instagram’s blog)

In our evolving digital age, organizations must recognize the importance of online presence in marketing and reputation management. Even a seemingly simple branding change can have a significant impact on the public’s opinion of a product. Take a trending topic from two weeks ago, for instance: Instagram, one of the world’s most popular social media/photo-sharing platforms, generated a firestorm of criticism for its recently-redesigned logo. The new image inspired snide memes, critical tweets and New York Times coverage headlined “The Great Instagram Logo Freakout of 2016.” While such a strong reaction to something as simple as a logo change may seem incredible, the story goes to show that social media users care deeply about the platforms they use. In this case, a simple marketing choice had a major effect on popular opinions of Instagram.

More importantly, however, this month’s Instagram drama is a reminder of just how big a part social media platforms play in today’s digitally-connected environment. Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram has grown from a simple photo-sharing service with one million users into a global platform on which more than 80 million photos and videos are shared every day. Today it’s one of the most popular websites in the world.

Like many other popular networking platforms, Instagram has expanded from a purely personal network to an important presence for businesses and organizations. According to one report, almost 40% of marketers used Instagram to promote their products in 2015. But it isn’t just the number of Instagram users that stands out, it’s also the level of interactivity the platform allows between businesses and their target audiences. Social media sites like Instagram allow customers to invite their favorite corporations and causes into the stream of their everyday lives. Organizations need to capitalize on the opportunities provided by these platforms to interact with their target audiences frequently and consistently.

The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) can help your organization successfully navigate today’s complex media environment. As a full-service public relations, marketing and digital advertising agency, we have extensive experience in increasing individuals’ and corporations’ visibility across all major social media platforms. If you have any questions about our social media or other marketing services, please contact us at (631) 207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.


reactions
As we noted back in January, the Facebook development team was experimenting with new variations on its “like” button, following the latter feature’s more than six-year success and exponential popularity. Now the social media giant has unveiled “Reactions,” a series of emoji to expand the options for responding to posts and statuses on the site. CEO Mark Zuckerberg developed the choices to reduce the awkwardness of “liking” a sad or uncomfortable status or post. “Reactions,” which allows all users, commercial and individual alike, to express themselves with additional emoji “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry,” was introduced as a means to convey empathy for friends and family, but will also be used to show irritation or discontent with brands and businesses with an online presence.

Social media has a huge impact on business success, evolving into a new – and virtually permanent – word of mouth. In the age of online reviews, where any imperfect interaction can result in very loud discontent, businesses need to be very aware of what their consumers are thinking and feeling – particularly with regard to their product. Reactions enables consumers to show their emotions, including whether something upsets them. Though potentially dangerous for business, this feedback option will allow companies to respond to consumer complaints in real time, ultimately upping their public status and their sales.

The problem with catch-all negative options “Sad” or “Angry” is that it will be difficult for companies to parse why their consumers are unhappy. Luckily, Facebook’s comments option is increasingly popular and can be utilized to voice complaints or concerns. With the combination of a Sad, Angry, or Wow emoji and an explanatory comment, businesses know what is working and what to re-evaluate.

This direct consumer-to-brand communication is key to consumer happiness, as long as businesses are responsive and follow through on the feedback they receive. Seventy-two percent of people who complain on social media platforms expect a response within one hour, according to a study by Lithium Technologies. If companies aren’t regularly monitoring their social media, this could be colossally damaging to their public reputation. But it works both ways; according to a study from the London School of Economics and the Listening Company, a seven-point increase in word-of-mouth advocacy can increase revenue by one percent.

When a business understands its customers’ wants and needs, it prospers. Studies show emotion is the number one factor in customer loyalty, which explains why sentimental commercials generally do better than commercials that don’t elicit emotion. Businesses that understand and reflect empathy are more competitive and more successful. If you are able to respond quickly and adapt accordingly, having negative emotive options on a social media giant like Facebook will have a more positive than harmful effect on your business.

The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) is a full-service public relations, marketing and digital advertising agency. The company is dedicated to helping businesses, professionals, non-profit organizations, government entities, attorneys and law firms leverage their time, talents and resources by using effective public relations and marketing techniques. For more marketing advice, please contact us at (631) 207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.

 

 


 

Baby boomers and millennials have very different spending habits, thanks to the technology surge and influx of shopping options that have appeared over the past decade. Many companies struggle to keep up with the rapidly changing market, so The Public Relations and Marketing Group is sharing some statistics that may help.

Information and measurement company Nielsen recently released data concerning millennial spending that pointed to mobile apps, social media, and digital channels as prime opportunities for marketing and advertising.

According to the data, while baby boomers value brick-and-mortar stores for things like groceries, clothes and toiletries, millennials are three times more likely to purchase these goods online. Fifty-one percent of consumer packaged goods (CPG) online transactions in the U.S. are made by millennials. The group aged 18-34 is nearly four times more likely to use Facebook and Instagram to find new products and 50 percent said they discover new products from sources outside the store. Millennials have made Cyber Monday almost as popular and financially successful as Black Friday. Further, evidence points to the fact that mobile discovery leads to mobile purchasing, so companies that offer online payment options are much more likely to find success.

But it isn’t just an online market. In fact, 57 percent of millennials surveyed said that they enjoy wandering through the store to find new products, and they are 1.6 times more likely to try new products. This means that novelty and personal expression are integral parts of successful product campaigns.

If you’re noticing a lack of young consumers, try to permeate the digital world and create a sense of novelty for your product. Involving your company in social media, creating online coupons and methods of payment, and re-branding to keep your product modern are all ways to increase revenue. With their purchasing power growing exponentially, you can’t afford to ignore millennials’ needs.

The Public Relations and Marketing Group offers digital advertising, social media management, web development and optimization, as well as traditional advertising services, to help you reach millennials and other consumers. To learn more, please contact us at 631-207-1057.


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced last fall that the social media site would feature a new “dislike” option following the more than six-year success of its “like” button. “Reactions”, a limited new feature which allows users to express themselves with additional emoticons “Love,” “Haha,” “Yay,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry,” was introduced as a means to convey empathy for friends and family, but will also be used to show irritation or discontent with brands and business with an online presence.

Social media has a huge impact on business success, evolving into a new – and permanent – word of mouth. In the age of online reviews, where any imperfect interaction can result in very loud discontent, businesses need to be very aware of what their consumers are thinking and feeling – particularly with regard to their product. Reactions, which is still in development with test-users based in Spain and Ireland, will provide consumers a “dislike” option when implemented. Though potentially dangerous for business, this feedback option will help companies respond to consumer complaints in real-time, ultimately upping their public status and their sales.

The problem with catch-all negative options “Sad” or “Angry” is that it will be difficult for companies to parse why their consumers are unhappy. Luckily Facebook’s comments option is increasingly popular and can be utilized to voice complaints or concerns. With the combination of a dislike and an explanatory comment, businesses know what is working and what to re-evaluate.

This direct consumer-to-brand communication is key to consumer happiness as long as businesses are responsive and follow through on the feedback they receive. Seventy-two percent of people who complain on social media platforms expect a response within one hour, according to a study by Lithium Technologies. If companies aren’t regularly monitoring their social media, this could be colossally damaging to their public reputation. But it works both ways; according to a study from the London School of Economics and the Listening Company, a seven-point increase in word of mouth advocacy can increase revenue by one percent.

When a business understands its customers’ wants and needs, it prospers. Studies show emotion is the number one factor in customer loyalty, which explains why sentimental commercials generally do better than commercials that don’t elicit emotion. Businesses that understand and reflect empathy are more competitive and more successful. If you are able to respond quickly and adapt accordingly, having a dislike button on a social media giant like Facebook will have a more positive than harmful effect on your business.

The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) is a full-service public relations and marketing agency. PRMG offers social media content creation and ad management, paper advertising, blog article content creation and website search optimization, in addition to digital marketing.

PRMG is dedicated to helping businesses, professionals, non-profit organizations, government entities, attorneys and law firms leverage their time, talents and resources by using effective public relations and marketing techniques. For more marketing advice, please contact us at (631)-207-1057 or at johnzaher@theprmg.com.

 


 

You may have heard that the keys to marketing are the following: Product, Price, Placement and Promotion. These are the concepts of old and, in a new and changing digital world, you can’t afford to act traditionally. As we head into 2016, companies are expected to seamlessly represent themselves and can benefit or fold from online reviews. Consumers prefer companies that use multiple channels of communication and which easily resolve their potential customer experience issues. One of the ways to achieve this is to follow the formula:

Consumer, Context, Content, Commerce –> Convergence

The consumer is the focus of any advertising excursion and should be treated as such. With the consumer in mind, develop context, content and commerce for your product and, along with the final product, convergence will come across many platforms.

1. Consumer

Today’s consumer is connected, informed and vocal on social networks. Most importantly, the consumer is more likely to stay loyal to a company because of the feelings that the ads exude. Advertising should be centered around the consumer’s frame of mind, playing intelligently off emotions, wants, needs and personality.

2.  Context

No ad is effective without taking context into consideration – saying the right thing at the right time is crucial to your brand. Make sure you’re paying attention to current events. You may want to pull commercials featuring an airplane, for instance, if a major airline crash is all over the news.

3. Content

Content must be relevant to context and consumer. Since it can be easily manipulated and needs to be focused, content is the single most influential aspect of digital marketing.

4. Commerce

Anticipating a consumer’s needs is the crux of commerce. If your target audience is millennials, easy online access and quick shipping should be priorities. If baby boomers are your primary customers, long-lasting quality products for a low price are best. Do you carry a specialty item, or can the consumer go to a local store and purchase it? What makes your product better than a less expensive alternative? Younger generations feverishly research several products before deciding on one, while older people may buy one product on-site because of the brand. Cater your priorities to what the target audience wants and how they will seek it out.

5. Convergence

For your business to succeed, you need to establish consistency in audience communication, product quality and digital presentation. Instead of being hip for joining Facebook, your company looks careless because it doesn’t regularly update the profile. You might have a fabulous product, but your grumpy customer service staff turns consumers off. Be sure you are consistent with how you present both the company and the product.

Above all, be willing to change. With a vast and ferociously changing consumer palette, you need to stay relevant to be successful. Keep the consumer at the center. Write and exhibit consistent, relevant content and anticipate your audience’s needs. These are the steps to success.

The Public Relations and Marketing Group, LLC (PRMG) is a full-service public relations and marketing agency based in Patchogue, New York. PRMG is dedicated to helping businesses, professionals, non-profit organizations, government entities, attorneys and law firms leverage their time, talents and resources by using effective public relations and marketing techniques, as well as advertising, graphic design, website design and development, digital video production, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media tactics. For more marketing advice, please call (631)-207-1057 or visit www.theprmg.com.