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.


For most companies, the holidays are the busiest selling margin of the year, amounting to 19% for retailers and nearly 30% for jewelers and department stores. Social media and website shopping are becoming increasingly popular, but how can your business stand out amid the whirlwind frenzy of the holidays?

Advertising software program Short Stack and business advice journal Entrepreneur.com recently interviewed top marketing analysts for advice on how to handle the holiday rushes with mostly unmixed results; the experts say a resounding “give to your consumers before you ask them to give to you.” If you offer more than deals and discounts, your customer base is more likely to purchase your products. Let’s take a look at the advice the experts have:

  1. Connect to local populations. Consumers want to see that your business is full of real-live human beings, notes Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs. The holidays are a great connector and an opportunity for businesses to show off their sentimental side.
  2. Help consumers with their challenges. It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but to most Americans it’s also the most stressful. In addition to finding the perfect gifts, there’s a lot of pressure to host the perfect party, hang the perfect decorations, and wear the perfect outfit. Consumers are more likely to flock to companies that alleviate some of the stress.
  3. Allow user-control. CEO of Short Stack Jim Belosic advises to give consumers a feeling that they have input and control over what the business is offering during the holiday season. Customers are most apt to respond to real consumer reviews even if they ignore the pop-up holiday ads.

This all amounts to one big idea: how can my company make the season a little easier for my consumers? When you give to people, they want to give back to you. Happy customers have a strong say in what their friends and families think of certain companies, so tailoring to your consumer’s needs this season is your best bet. Building brand value during this time of year will help keep your sales up into the New Year and beyond.

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.


Brand management is all about genuine audience engagement and its consequential consumer action—whether that is good or bad all depends on the reflexes and wit of a given brand’s communications team. When things go south, marketing professionals protect a brand’s reputation. So what is it that mar-com people know that companies don’t? Communications is all about, well, communicating, and in today’s digital atmosphere there’s no better way to connect than through the web. Marketing professionals are experts in digital communications, social media, content creation, and reputation management. To be an expert in this field you need to know the following:

1. What it takes to be a pro in digital communications

While print and TV/radio marketing is still vitally important, the crux of public relations now rests in digital communication. United Nations stats from May of this year show that there are more than three billion internet users worldwide. When the whole world is turning to online marketing, shouldn’t you be, too?

Digital communications is not just social media. Rather, it applies to e-blasts, online newsletters, blogs, ads and email correspondence with your target audience. Today, over 20 billion ads are viewed through sites like Google, Facebook and Amazon each day. Communications professionals know how to include the new audience you want without making them feel they’re being sold something. And keeping the loyal audience on board is equally important, so staying conversational with consumers will garner you profit as well.

2. How to navigate social media

Social media is a great way to connect your digital communications audience and direct more traffic to your company website. Companies that are active on social media have active followers and friends who share, like, tweet and repost status and articles that interest them. This is one of many ways to promote positive and profitable customer action.

Facebook and Twitter seem simple enough, but there’s a real art to crafting genuine and concise posts and photos that will keep a reader’s interest. And that’s not to mention Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and the list goes on.

3. How to create content that grabs the reader

Advertising material is all about developing a “strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience,” according to Joe Pulizzi, founder of the online school Content Marketing Institute. Content isn’t just about throwing as much out there as possible, it’s about creating personalized material that makes your brand stand out. You want to engage a specific audience with authentic content. Having too broad a customer base will make readers feel disconnected, as if they’re not part of the conversation.

4. What to say to protect a damaged reputation

Public relations is crucial to any brand. It takes 20 years to build and five minutes to ruin a reputation, as was smartly summed up by business magnate and self-made billionaire Warren Buffet. What if your Vice President slips up in an interview? What if the company’s associated with a scandal? PR professionals handle all of the stress of the virulent consumer eye so you can focus on the next great initiative on the business side of things.

Public relations professionals know all about the ever-changing market landscape, whether it’s digital correspondence, social media engagement, content creation or reputation management. Without a PR team, your business could be lacking. Why wait?

The Public Relations and Marketing Group, a full-service public relations and marketing agency based in New York, offers all of the above mentioned services and more. For samples of our work, go to theprmg.com. Contact us at info@theprmg.com or 631-207-1057 for further information.

 


facebook megaphoneFacebook has numerous features to its advertising to make it even easier to attract potential customers. The most popular advertisement Facebook offers, the local awareness advertisement, was created by Facebook to help local businesses target people within a given radius as small as one mile. This is designed to increase the number of local visitors to your location, ultimately generating more business and to present new business opportunities. Continue reading



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For businesses and agencies that need to keep track of multiple social media accounts, Hootsuite is the ultimate dashboard for social media management. Rather than remembering multiple passwords and going to each site to make posts, Hootsuite allows users to manage all of their social media accounts from a central location with either a free or Pro account (paid).  Here are our top five benefits of managing social media accounts with Hootsuite. Continue reading