Three Companies Overcoming Coronavirus Roadblocks Thanks To Social Media

Although some of our favorite restaurants, gyms and retail stores are just starting to reopen, some companies have been able to thrive online by transforming their social media presence and keeping their followers engaged. 

Slow business may be frustrating right now, but learning how to build your online platform can go a long way and change your brand for the better.  

Taking charge and responsibility of your business during this time is the key to success. Here are three companies that have been totally killing the game on social media — despite the pandemic. 

Orangetheory Fitness 

Gyms were among the first businesses forced to close when coronavirus initially surfaced, for obvious reasons.

However, OrangeTheory, a fitness studio with gyms all over the world, has defied the odds through taking advantage of social media and maintaining close relationships with their clients. 

Each studio location has its own Instagram account where they post  free live-at-home workout challenges, fitness tips from coaches, healthy recipes, and more.

Because of these efforts, clients feel in tune with their local studio and are eagerly waiting for their gym to reopen. 

Lululemon

Retail stores have been hit hard by coronavirus, and clothing brands like Lululemon have faced this challenge  head-on through its successful use of strategic communications and digital media.

The retail brand has a strong social media presence across platforms — especially Instagram and Twitter — where they constantly interact with their followers. 

The brand challenged its audience on social media to come together and take part in a virtual “Global Running Day” 5K. Lululemon is also giving followers free guided meditations, yoga, and training videos.

This retail company has been able to uphold its relevance online during the pandemic despite its closed in-person stores with some creative and unique social media marketing.

Echostage 

The concert venue in Washington, D.C., shut down in March and canceled all in-person events through summer. Despite this, Echostage capitalized on the pandemic by enhancing their Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.

Echostage’s communications team has been working hard to provide trendy and lighthearted content to their fans amid the pandemic. 

The venue has released quarantine themed playlists, inspirational posts, throwback pictures, games, memes, and more. The venue has also promoted virtual concerts, like the Electric Daisy Carnival’s Virtual Rave-A-Thon.

Echostage’s social media efforts have gone above and beyond in establishing a strong online presence and developing their fan base.

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🏃‍♀️🏃

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These three non-essential businesses have been absolutely rocking their social media during COVID-19.

Take notes! If you’re looking to grow your company’s social media right now, check out our blog posts like Instagram 101 or Who Is Your Audience, Anyway? 

If you want even more support, contact us today and let’s work together. You got this!

Beginners & Basics: Instagram 101

Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to Instagram 101.

What is it?

Over the past decade, Instagram has grown into one of the most prominent social media platforms. The photo and video-sharing social media network heavily focuses on photos, videos, and visual communications, and boasts its own brand of “influencers.”

With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is a place to check out what brands are doing next. Much like other social media channels, users create accounts with profiles and newsfeeds. The newsfeed, which allows people to interact with other users by liking (double tapping) photos, is super user-friendly.

Extra credit: Instagram is owned by Facebook!

Instagram Features:

  • Instagram Stories: temporary posts (photos or videos) that live on a user’s account for 24 hours and is accessed by clicking their profile photo
  • Instagram Highlights: categorized collections of stories on a user’s profile
  • Instagram Live: videos streamed in real time that disappear after they are ended
  • Instagram TV (IGTV): a special section of IG that allowing for hour-long video posts
  • Filters: allow for editing photos in the app
  • Location tagging on posts & stories: the ability to tag restaurants, shops, cities, or other locations in newsfeed posts or stories
  • Direct messaging: also known as “DMs,” allow you to chat via Instagram through the arrow in the top righthand section of your profile

Who uses it?

A lot of people! Of Instagram’s 1 billion users, 11% of users are located in the US. Brazil, India, Indonesia and Russia are among the top countries of Instagram users.

Unsurprisingly, Instagram typically appeals to younger generations — almost 70% of users are 18-29 years old. Among U.S. teens, Instagram is one of the most popular social networks. 

How can it help businesses?

Instagram is one of the best platforms for marketing because it’s easy (and entertaining) for users to follow favorite brands and discover new ones. When users have a business profile, Instagram also lets you use features like the “shop” feature, which tags products and transfers users to different sites.

Analytics (on Instagram Business accounts) allow you to analyze post performance to see what works best. If you want to use Instagram effectively, strong images are the key. To best connect with your audience, avoid using stock photos whenever possible and use high quality images.

You may be a business that doesn’t often have compelling images, and that’s okay! It just means that Instagram may not be the best social media platform for you. Check out our Beginners & Basics articles about Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to see what would be the best fit for you.

Brands that are killing the Insta game:

Get A Laugh From Our Favorite Viral Posts

We all love a good viral video to start the day off right. As we’re stuck at home, more people than ever are watching videos to stay entertained. Here are some of our favorite viral posts from years past.

You’ve probably seen them (if you haven’t, where have you been?), but there’s no bad time for a good laugh.

Chewbacca Mom (2016)

Everything about this video is amazing. The mask. Her laugh. If you’re not laughing — or at least cracking a smile — by the end of this video, we’re a little worried about you. This is what viral posts are made of!

Reaching over 90 million views, it broke the record for most views on a Facebook Live video. Candace Payne posted the video to Facebook and captioned it, “It’s the simple joys in life…”

We agree! Not only is this video funny, but it really reminds us that it’s the little things that can really bring you the most joy. In this case, that little thing is a Chewbacca mask. 

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (2014)

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge started in the summer of 2014 to raise money and awareness for ALS. The idea was to pour cold water on yourself and record it —then tag some friends who were up to the challenge. The campaign raised over $220 million worldwide and inspired a ripple effect of viral posts.

The idea of nominating your friends to do the challenge made it exciting and helped it spread to even more people. The Ice Bucket Challenge did well because it was something fun that anyone could do. Many of us participated or watched our friends participate (or we were nominated but weren’t up for the challenge).

We even started seeing celebrities getting involved. Justin Timberlake, Lebron James, Vin Diesel, Oprah and more were talking about ALS that summer. 

BONUS VIDEO: John Krasinski “challenging” his wife Emily Blunt

Everyone loves John Krasinski, but this made us love him even more. He sprung the Ice Bucket Challenge on his wife, Emily Blunt. He may also be the only person on the planet that could get away with dumping freezing cold water on his wife.

World Record Egg (2019)

This isn’t exactly a video, but we couldn’t leave out the viral Instagram egg.

In January 2019, the Instagram account @world_record_egg was created with a single post of an egg. What was the goal? To beat the world record for most liked post on Instagram, at the time by Kylie Jenner with 18 million likes.

In less than 10 days the post reached over 18 million likes, beating Kylie’s record. The original post currently has over 50 million likes. So, how did a raw egg go viral? Well…we’re not quite sure.

It’s random and funny which encompasses all the best parts of the Internet. It’s also highly interactive and engaging. By liking the post, you’re able to be part of history. Since it was a competition to break a world record, it encouraged more people to engage with the content. At the time, nothing was better than an egg being more popular than Kylie Jenner. 

It’s a little crazy and unorthodox, yes. But it worked!  

10 Instagram Posts That Will Make You Smile

We all need a little positivity in our lives right now. Social media can be full of negativity, but it can also be full of happiness. (And by “happiness,” we mean…dogs.)

Here are 10 Instagram posts that will make you smile today! 

  1. A sweet view and an even sweeter puppy. Just look at that face!

2, But what’s better than a baby playing the ukulele? (Answer: nothing.)

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Don’t worry about a thing ☀️

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3. We all need this reminder sometimes! To quote Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, the comeback is always greater than the setback.

4. YUM. If you’re looking for happiness that you can eat, this cookie dough recipe from Tiffany Napper is dee-lish.

5. Great things always appear when you’re not looking! Pro tip: make this your phone background to remind you.

6. A dog really is a human’s best friend (and workout partner). This is the type of content we need more of.

7. Oh, to be a baby dressed up as a Glossier Boy Brow bottle. Or a baby dressed up as anything.

8. This is probably the coziest video you will ever see. Also, who can resist a baby and a cute dog in one video? Time to snooze.

9. Don’t be afraid to fail! Our friends at Sarah Olivia Marketing always have good inspiration when we need a boost.

10. We’re thankful for this puppy. How can a dog curl up so tiny?! We don’t know, and we don’t care. As long as he does.

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Bagel 🥯, Croissant 🥐, or ween 🌭??

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Extra, bonus posts:

We can’t be at the beach right now, but this beautiful picture of Hawaii makes us feel a little better. We can’t go on vacation, but we can plan one!

Sound ON. Did this give anyone else chills? 

Did we miss any awesome Instagram posts? Share your favorites in the comments.

Why Hire a Communications Consultant Amid COVID-19?

The coronavirus outbreak has changed so many aspects of daily life — many people are working from home or taking online classes for the first time. It seems our lives have been put on pause, but there are still some things you can take control of amid COVID-19, like hiring a communications consultant to help out.

Our friend and PR expert Tiffany Napper shared how to work on the “backbone” of your business during this time when business may be slower. Another way to make the most of the world’s weird situation is to hire a communications and social media consultant to handle digital marketing for your business. 

We offer services including social media management, content creation, and public relations, so that you don’t have to worry about managing those projects.

During this pandemic, we’re all uneasy about spending money. But here are six reasons why hiring a communications consultant amid COVID-19 is a worthy investment!

1. People have more time for social media.

We’re willing to bet that you’ve spent more time scrolling on your phone over the past few weeks than you’d like to admit. Us, too! Many people have more time on their hands — which means more time for social media.

Hiring a social media consultant to elevate your brand and your online presence can make you stand out to potential customers. As experts, we know how to utilize social media to help you reach more people online.

2. People want to support small businesses. 

People are looking to support small businesses now more than ever, so it’s a great idea to have an active social media account. Let them know you’re there and open for business (or that you will be once the pandemic slows)!

A communications manager can get people excited about supporting your business. Letting your community know that you are still up and running during this health crisis is key. 

3. It’s affordable. (Yes, really.) 

Hiring a consultant is much cheaper than hiring a full time staffer. (The average cost of a communications manager with seven years of experience is $65K per year.) We offer a variety of services, including social media management, content creation, digital marketing, PR, and media pitching — for a cost that won’t break the bank.

A consultant can help manage your external communications needs without bringing on a full time hire. That saves you money and the cost of benefits.

4. Take stress off of your employees.

You may already have an employee managing your social media, but that isn’t their speciality. By hiring a communications consultant amid COVID-19, you can remove extra stress off from employees that may be especially taxing during the pandemic. It also frees up their time to do what you hired them for, rather than creating social media posts or press pitches.  

5. Be strategic during this unprecedented time. 

You may not know what to do with your social media now during this health crisis. Do you talk about coronavirus? Or do you not? Do you stop posting if your business is closed? It’s time for you to stop worrying about that and let someone else strategize. That’s our job! A social media manager can help you stay active on social media in a relatable and appropriate way.

6. You can support freelancers and small business owners (like us)!

Because so many consultants and freelancers don’t have a set income, we’re worried about our next paychecks, too. If you have the ability to hire am independent contractor or communications consultant amid COVID-19, rather than a big PR agency, you should!

Smaller businesses like ours often have more time to spend on clients and are able to offer more personalization — while building a real relationship and collaborating with you! Supporting talented freelancers is always a good idea.  

Contact us if you’re interested in working together and building your social media presence! We have special discounted rates over the next 3 months to help make sure that our services are available to everyone during the pandemic. 

Beginners & Basics: Twitter 101

Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to Twitter 101.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is technically a “micro-blogging service,” allowing users to post and share comments, photos, videos and more. So what does that actually mean? Because it has a 240 character limit (recently bumped up from 140), it’s a place to share brief posts — not 3 paragraphs.

One thing to note about Twitter is that it has some unique terminology when referring to specific features. It may be confusing to newbies, so we broke down the basics for you:

Twitter Lingo:

  • Tweet: to post
  • Retweet: to repost another user’s post
  • Reply: using the @ to respond to someone’s post
  • Direct Message: private chat to specific user(s)
  • Hashtag: a symbol (the # sign) that categorizes tweets

Who uses it?

Donald Trump isn’t the only one who loves tweeting. With over 330 million monthly active users and 145 million daily active users, Twitter has a huge influence on today’s society. Many of these 330 million users are younger, but Twitter’s demographic reach is not only for millennials and Gen-Z.

63% of Twitter users are between the ages of 35 and 65. While other social media platforms like Snapchat and TikTok are famous for catering to younger generations, it’s clear that Twitter appeals to a more mature audience as well.

Why is it helpful for businesses?

With such an impressive number of active users, Twitter is one of the best digital marketing tools for businesses. Twitter allows for brands and businesses to engage personally with their consumers. It allows for conversation and brands to practice transparent communication.

Twitter even made a sandwich go viral. Seriously.

However, not all brands need a Twitter account. It’s often hard to decide what social media is helpful and what’s overkill. We’re here to help you figure out who your audience is and how to reach them. Twitter may or may not be the answer!

Brands that are killing the Twitter game:

Beginners & Basics: LinkedIn 101

Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to LinkedIn 101.

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has quickly become one of the most-used digital networking platforms for professionals of almost any field. Unlike more personal forms of social media (think Facebook and Instagram), LinkedIn is focused on professional connections.

The social media channel allows users to build their careers and professional networks by connecting with others and sharing content. The purpose of LinkedIn is also to maintain contact with particular colleagues, friends and others in professional environments. It also doubles as a search engine for job seekers.

Who uses it?

LinkedIn has over 600 million users in more than 200 countries around the world. Surprisingly, over 70% of LinkedIn users are from outside of the US.

There are 46 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn using the channel to work on their experience and careers for future employers. LinkedIn is also crawling with recruiters that use the platform as part of their recruitment process.

Personal Profile

If you don’t have a personal LinkedIn profile yet, we’re glad you checked out this LinkedIn 101 guide! Your personal profile serves as a virtual resume, which allows customers or potential clients to see your experience. That’s the key to building trust!

Your personal LinkedIn profile will have a lot more features that you won’t see in other social media channels. You are able to include your experience, a summary of yourself, contact information, a portfolio, skills, recommendations, and more.

Your profile is meant to be a representation of your career and career goals for those who view it. As LinkedIn has grown into what it is today, with millions of users, your profile can also be seen as your “digital reputation.”

Business Profile

Much like you can have a personal profile, you can also have a business profile on LinkedIn. It’s similar to a business page on Facebook — it’s where companies share updates, articles, posts, and other information relevant to their audiences.

LinkedIn is a great social media tool for certain types of businesses, including staffing agencies, IT, real estate, and human resources are just a few!

Why is it helpful for businesses?

There’s no better way to share your brand than through a platform that allows for interaction between professionals and consumers. Because it has a long list of features to amp up your profile, LinkedIn allows you to present what your company is all about, share the people who work there, and engage with relevant content. 

Plus, it can even bring in some incredible talent if you use its hiring features.

Brands that are killing the LinkedIn game:

  • TED Conferences
  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Microsoft
  • IBM

Who Is Your Audience, Anyway?

When figuring out what content to post, there are three basic things that you need to know about your audience. They are: age, gender, and interest. Here’s why those demographics are important for creating content for your audience.

communications consultants providing social media management, content creation, public relations, and media pitching

Age

One of the most influential factors to consider when it comes to creating content for your audience is their age. From Baby Boomers to Gen Z, preferences and communication styles vary greatly and it’s important to be aware of what appeals most to your target age group. Like the saying goes, “one size does not fit all!” 

Just like there is a variety of age groups, there is also a large range of content types. From videos to blogs, and print material to mobile apps, the strategies for talking to each age group are endless. Different social media platforms have drastically different user bases.

So what type of content fits each age group? In general, marketers are able to turn to general generational preferences for content.

CASE IN POINT: That’s not how any of this works!

So what types of content does each age group relate to the most?

  • Baby Boomers
    • Print media
    • Radio
    • Video content (long)
  • Generation X
    • Newsletters (direct mail & email)
    • Blogs
  • Generation Y (Millennials)
    • Social Media
    • Mobile content
    • Blogs
  • Generation Z (iGeneration)
    • Social Media
    • Memes
    • Imagery
    • Videos (short)

Keep in mind that these generational preferences are broad — and not always totally accurate. Age, however, is a great place to start when segmenting audiences and narrowing down how to reach your audience where they are.

Gender

Today, gender-based marketing seems to be dwindling due to shifts in gender roles and traditional gender identification. But being aware of gender in your audience has a great impact on the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. There are very different ways to connect with different genders.

CASE IN POINT: Carl’s Jr. vs Kraft ads — and this wild Jekyll/Hyde situation going on with Hugh Jackman. 

communications consultants providing social media management, content creation, public relations, and media pitching

“Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” is a saying for a reason: women and men oftentimes respond to content with different emotions. (We doubt any of our fellow ladies enjoyed that sexist Carl’s Jr. ad either.) For this reason, content should be created carefully, with an awareness of the potential for different responses in men and women.

What are some examples of general differences between men and women’s emotional responses?

  • Men
    • Less variety of emotions
    • More likely to view content based on positive emotions
    • More suggestible
  • Women
    • Greater variety of emotions
    • More sentimental
    • More emotionally complex

Keeping gender in mind, while remaining inclusive is ideal and positions your content to have the edge it needs for success.

Interest

At the end of the day, your audience needs to have an interest in what you’re saying! 

With the prominence of today’s digital and social media, we marketers are able to keep tabs on the interests of people and more specifically, our target audiences. People’s social interests can be interpreted and used to create content most relatable.

Case in point: Aerie’s #AerieReal campaign and inclusive modeling strategy

communications consultants providing social media management, content creation, public relations, and media pitching
Photo credit: Metro.UK

Did you know that Facebook can target you based on your income level, interests, job title, and even marital status? As a consumer, that can be pretty terrifying, but as a social media strategist, it’s a key part of the job! 

Interest-based targeting engages audiences through relatability and personalization. For this reason, relevant influencers and celebrity endorsements have revolutionized marketing, especially when appealing to Millennials and Gen Z consumers. 

Another example of interest-based targeting is highlighting brand transparency and using “real” people to market. When customers believe that they are represented in advertising, they’re more likely to buy whatever you’re selling, whether it’s literally or figuratively. 

There are so many ways that interest-based marketing can further narrow down content creation and successfully reach target audiences. Let us help you figure it out! 

Beginners & Basics: Facebook 101

Our Beginners & Basics series is a collection of blogs and tips that are designed to help beginners understand the basics of communications, social media, and marketing. Welcome to Facebook 101.

Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms worldwide. The platform has revolutionized how we network, connect, and interact online. This Facebook 101 will teach you everything you need to know about the world’s most popular social media platform.

What is Facebook?

It’s hard to remember a time before Facebook. While it began as a college-based network in 2004, the company has now grown to dominate social networking.

The platform allows users to post comments, share photos and videos, share links to news or other content, and chat live. Facebook is able to appeal to both individuals and businesses, which is the reason for its rapid success and growth. It is user-friendly, appealing to any and every type of person or business around the world. 

Who uses it?

So why do you need this Facebook 101? Facebook takes the lead as a social media platform reaching over 60% of internet users.

In 2019, Facebook had almost 2.5 billion monthly active users and 1.6 billion users daily. With billions of users monthly and daily, its users consist of a wide variety. Young adults continue to incorporate social media into their everyday routines, with Facebook being a continuous, dominant platform within the demographic.

Why is it helpful for businesses?

With its user-friendly features and prominence in our culture, Facebook is going to share your target audience. Whether your audience is younger or older, male or female, from a different part of the world, Facebook has something for you.

As a business, a Facebook page can be a great place to engage with your customers, share your messages, and build your brand. A business Facebook page is more similar to a website than to a person Facebook account, and will serve as a resource for people who want to learn more about what you do.

A Facebook page will not only increase your business’ online presence, it will also be key to reaching your target audience and connecting them to your purpose. 

Brands that are killing the Facebook game:

  • Samsung: 159M followers
  • Coca-Cola: 106M followers
  • Youtube: 90M followers
  • McDonald’s: 79M followers
  • Netflix: 64M followers

We hope that this Facebook 101 was quick and easy so that you can get the hang of how social media can help your business. If you’re still not sure, or if you feel overwhelmed on where to start, get in touch! That’s what we’re here for.

Dos & Don’ts of Facebook Posts

Some people say there is, but we think there’s no one “right” way to post on Facebook.

Whip Social Media and marketing

In personal relationships, you have to change your outputs based on the person – you wouldn’t act the same way with your boss as you would with your best friend (we hope)! Just like you know your audience for in-person relationships, it’s important to know your audience for online relationships.

Some posts may be longer because they’re explaining something complex, telling a story, or giving tips. If your followers are engaging with the post and liking it (both literally and on Facebook), that’s a valuable type of post.

Some organizations, businesses, or individuals may have very short posts if they don’t have as much to say. Sharing an article, for example, should only be a sentence or two summarizing the article – not two paragraphs.

It all depends on what your followers like, engage with, and want to hear from you. What works really well for one company may not work for another at all.

So while there are no hard and fast commandments for creating “THE best Facebook post,” there are some ground rules. Read below for tips and tricks on how to make your Facebook posts even better.

WHIP Social Media and marketing

1. DO make sure your grammar and spelling is correct.

It doesn’t matter how compelling your post is – if there’s errors, it distracts readers and makes you look not-so-great. Mistakes happen sometimes, but proofread, proofread, proofread to prevent them at all costs. You want to look polished and professional on your Facebook page at all times.

2. DON’T post things that are totally irrelevant.

A think tank shouldn’t post clips of Jersey Shore, and a fun, young boutique shouldn’t post a New York Times article about global warming. Facebook content should be diverse and non-repetitive, but it should also be relevant to your audience.

3. DO include a picture if you can.

You know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words. If you can include a compelling image or graphic to go with your post – or even stand alone as a post itself – do! Seeing a relevant photo with your post is generally more likely to draw readers’ eyes than just a big block of text.

4. But DON’T include just any photo.

The key words from the last tip are “compelling” and “relevant.” Don’t include a blurry photo that your 5 year old took – that’s not compelling. Don’t include a photo of a donkey in a post about a unicorn – that’s not relevant. Find a good image that’s high quality from a site like Unsplash that offers free images.

5. DO keep it simple.

You may know a lot about your product/services/politics stance/topic/expertise, but assume those reading your post don’t. Avoid using jargon and explain any phrases or acronyms that outsiders might not understand (KPI, USAID, RBI, LARC, etc). A good rule of thumb (for most places) is to keep content at an 8th grade level. If a 13 year old would be confused, you should probably tone it down a little.

The major takeaway is that you should always be thinking about your audience when crafting Facebook posts. If you don’t know your audience, figure out who they are so you can cater to them! That’s the best way to create meaningful Facebook posts.