What I learned at #LTR2015

What I learned at #LTR2015

I never turn down the chance to learn and grow both professionally and personally, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to attend last week’s Long-Term Relationships seminar (#LTR2015) when an old coworker offered me a ticket. Hosted by Appboy, this event took place at the beautiful Apella Lounge in NYC and featured speakers from Mapquest, Glamsquad, 1-800-Flowers, B&H Photo, and Etsy to name just a few. Sadly, I didn’t have much time before my carriage turned into a pumpkin, so I dove right in and listened intently to a seminar entitled “The Emotional Response.” What I found really interesting was how various companies measure the emotional feedback they receive from their customers. Laura Maxwell, Director of Marketing for Mapquest, said it’s difficult to quantify results based on social media feedback since posts are often so polarizing, so the company uses consumer surveys to find out different areas that need improvement. Eli Weiss, Chief Mobile Strategist of B&H Photo mentioned the company’s desire to create an interactive experience that allowed customers to engage in a logo design. Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, cofounder and CEO of Glamsquad, told attendees about members of the “Glamfam” and specific messaging points they use to run different promotions throughout the year (including their recent Halloween promo), that make customers feel as though they’re a part of the family. I think my favorite part of the seminar was listening to Tamara McCleary speak. She is the creator of RelationShift and she gave an incredibly captivating presentation on the power of relationships in business and creating brand loyalty. We are wired to seek out relationships and...
Why you should hire brand ambassadors immediately

Why you should hire brand ambassadors immediately

Over the past few months, my job as a digital marketing associate has allowed me to realize the true value of hiring brand ambassadors to become the face and also the voice of a brand. Admittedly, there have been times when I’ve questioned how much brands are willing to spend for a millennial to create a five-minute YouTube video ($60K! Yes, that happened. In my next post I’ll examine whether or not I have gone into the wrong field—just kidding). The truth is, these young ambassadors are worth every penny. Not only do they breathe life into a company’s purpose, they also bring passion, enthusiasm, and perhaps most importantly, legions of devoted followers to a company’s website. Introducing a new, younger demographic to your brand can immediately propel your product or service by drumming up excitement and curiosity. Vloggers and bloggers are known as influencers for a reason—their words, messaging points, and viral marketing can easily sway purchasing behavior. With just one tweet, an Instagram post, or a Facebook share, a new audience is introduced to visual content in a seductive way. To put it in context, a blogger who uploads an image wearing your sportswear to his/her blog post and social pages helps audiences see your clothing in action and makes your brand relatable. Advertising has come a long way since the early days of Mad Men marketing and brands need to get creative if they want to remain in the game. Have a question about influencer marketing and hiring brand ambassadors? Send me an email at...
How Amazon can make up for the epic fail of Prime Day

How Amazon can make up for the epic fail of Prime Day

By now I’m sure you’ve read the hilarious tweets about Amazon’s incredibly disappointing Prime Day, an event that was supposed to bring even greater deals than Black Friday (though anyone looking for lube, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, or the unrated version of 50 Shades made out like bandits). That said, I can’t decide whether or not this PR disaster is a result of the lousy deals themselves or because of all of the hype associated with the 20th anniversary sale. I guess people were just expecting more from the “Earth’s most customer-centric company” (PS: I didn’t make that up; I picked it up directly from their website). They have clearly set a very high bar in customer service and there’s a lesson to be learned in all of this. Here are some ways that Amazon can come out on top for their loyal customers. If the power of social media has taught us anything, it’s that news of bad service (and a disappointed fan base) travels fast. Amazon can bulk up their community managers and personally respond to every negative tweet/comment that came in with a funny retort. Offer Prime membership to ALL users for free for at least a three-month period. Anyone who is already a Prime member should be able to enjoy other perks or possibly a rollover credit on membership. Do it all over again. A mega company like Amazon has the resources to pull together a sale that delivers on all promises. Enough with the headphones, vitamins, and paper towels—offer the kinds of sales that actually pique interest. Any suggestions for Amazon? Leave them...
Do you need Periscope in your life?

Do you need Periscope in your life?

Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand these past few months, you’ve probably heard of the Twitter app called Periscope, which “lets you explore the world by watching and creating live video broadcasts.” Since it seemed everyone had already created an account without me, I’ve been futzing around with it myself to see if it was worth the hoopla (because let’s face it, how many social platforms can we all actively participate on, AMIRIGHT??). The truth of the matter is, like Pinterest, it’s another time suck but one that can be incredibly useful for your business if you find the right users to follow and if you are able to watch streams as they are happening. It is also now available for iPhone and Android but the Android glitches have not all been fixed and Droid users (like myself) may encounter some limitations in terms of app functionality. Side note: this week Periscope announced that it will also allow users to watch replays of live streams on the web up to 24 hours after a broadcast has ended. Recently a few of my coworkers attended a social media conference, and since I was unable to go, I streamed most of the videos that I was able to find online. It was helpful, because I was able to connect with people in attendance while also learning from the speakers as the events were happening. For this reason alone, the app is well worth the download. With only four buttons to remember, Periscope is user friendly BUT I found it can be challenging to sift through the nonsense (i.e.,...
Why more brands should hire bloggers for content development

Why more brands should hire bloggers for content development

When I started blogging back in 2009, I encountered a lot of critics who either thought the idea was “cute” (barf) or “interesting” (possibly even worse). Keeping an online journal wasn’t something that was taken very seriously until influential bloggers started flooding the internet and leaving their mark (like Dooce, the Pioneer Woman, and Perez Hilton). All of a sudden, everyone wanted in. Mom bloggers from all walks of life connected online to share their trials and tribulations of sleepless nights and baby firsts. Food bloggers shared recipes and cooking videos online that inspired us to eat healthier and stock our freezers with make-ahead meals. Fashion bloggers helped us create looks that mimicked what we saw on the runway at affordable prices. The thread that ties all bloggers together is an undeniable sense of community. Bloggers love to support, encourage, share, and promote. This presents an enormous opportunity for brands looking to partner with bloggers for content creation. When you hire a team of powerhouse influencers to spread the word about your product, a launch, or event, you are essentially paying a highly targeted group of people to broadcast your name in a very loud and often crowded atmosphere—the social space. Bloggers will publish content on their blogs and then share via social media. Not only is this like hiring a content development department, your content can go viral overnight. I’ve seen it happen firsthand and have attended blog events that have trended on Twitter in a matter of minutes. It’s not a fluke—it’s the power of bloggers tweeting collectively about a brand or topic. So how can this...
In celebration of Small Business Week

In celebration of Small Business Week

I’m wiling to bet that when you first started your small business, you had an “if I build it, they will come” moment, yes? I admit, this is something I thought myself when I began blogging back in 2009. I figured I’d just write some posts, attract the attention of big media giants, and BOOM! Book and movie deal at my fingertips. Things don’t always work out the way we planned, right? I’ve learned that without a solid marketing strategy, our ideas–however well intentioned—don’t always take shape in the way we’d like. According to the Small Business Association (SBA), there are between 20-30 million small businesses in the United States, and they employ nearly 60% of the nation’s workforce. Sadly eight out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. Eight out of 10. That’s a daunting statistic, isn’t it? When you come across signs and stickers telling you to “shop local,” you can see why it’s so important for us as consumers to keep our local small businesses running to sustain the communities they reside in. You have two more days to officially participate in Small Business Week, and there are so many ways you can have fun (and feel good) while shopping local! Hit up a local boutique for your mother-in-law’s gift, inquire about workshops at your local library, or check out that new restaurant that opened in your neighborhood. In honor of National Small Business Week, Pixie Consulting is now offering 25% off all social media, marketing, and writing services. Contact charlotte@pixieconsulting.net to get...
Why you should create a landing page for your business

Why you should create a landing page for your business

I recently had the opportunity to pitch the idea of a landing page to a client, which turned out to be a huge success. I decided to take this opportunity to discuss why having a landing page can help you find leads for your business and how to convert those leads into sales. Before we get started (and in case you don’t already know), a landing page is a page created and hosted on the web with a clear call to action. That part is very important, because it’s what distinguishes a landing page from any other website out there. Maybe you’re hosting a webinar and you want to get people to register. Or perhaps you’re asking readers to subscribe to your mailing list or you’re having an in-store promo. Whatever the purpose, your landing page needs to be clear and focused around a form-fill. The aforementioned client had a rare opportunity to appear on a national food network on a television show about visionaries/entrepreneurs in the food industry. Expected viewership was about one million people. Before the show aired, the client and I discussed several strategies for online marketing leading up to and during the show’s airtime. My business partner helped create a landing page with a form to collect names and email addresses of prospects. Once these leads submitted their information, they were emailed a promo code, which they could then use to receive free shipping on my client’s product. We created Facebook ads that targeted people who watch the network as well as those who expressed interest in the machine my client’s product was designed for....
Spring cleaning for your business

Spring cleaning for your business

According to Harris Interactive, more than 20% of adults pay their bills late and incur fees simply because they are unable to find them. Show of hands if this has ever happened to you (don’t be embarrassed). I have a hard time getting things done when I am surrounded by clutter in my personal and professional life. If my desk is unorganized or if I have too many unopened emails in my inbox, I feel as though I can’t fully concentrate on what needs to get done. I want to dedicate today’s blog post on a few ways to easily eliminate the clutter—both in our personal space and online. And since we’ve finally made it to spring (complete with April showers), I figured now was as good a time as any to help us all stay on track. A few months ago, my boyfriend and I finally made use of the filing cabinet in our bedroom and we sat on the floor surrounded by receipts, old bills, and bank statements. We created folders and filed away items pertaining to utilities, cable, our lease agreement, our dog (yes, Buster gets a folder), and warranties. We shredded statements that were older than seven years or anything that we could easily access online. Since I work from home, I created a separate folder for business expenses and went through my wallet and various paper piles throughout the apartment; I sorted invoices and threw out receipts for items I had purchased that I wasn’t planning on returning and deposit/withdrawal receipts. If you happen to live among paper pile-ups (guilty), create a folder with...
Meet Charlotte of Pixie Consulting

Meet Charlotte of Pixie Consulting

It’s been about four months since I started blogging at Pixie Consulting. Many of you followed me from my personal blog (My Pixie Blog), but there are quite a few of you who don’t know anything about me beyond my social media and marketing advice. Today I’ll be answering some questions so you can get to know a little more about me. And because I’d love to get to know my audience, I have some questions for you at the end I’d love YOU to answer in return! Email your responses to charlotte@pixieconsulting.net or leave them in the comments below. How did you get involved with marketing and social media? I made so many connections via social media and had started managing an online community for writers when an opportunity came up to work as a marketing manager for a small start-up marketing firm. At the time, I was working in the city for a publishing company but I wrote a convincing cover letter explaining my passion for marketing and I geeked out hard core in the interview about my love of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I must have made a good impression, because I landed the job and was soon writing copy for multi-million dollar franchises and national brands. How do you come up with material for your personal/professional blogs? Life. I never leave home without a notebook and I’m constantly inspired by everything that happens around me—from what I see in the news to a conversation I overhear at a restaurant. In terms of my business, I try to answer questions that solve problems small business...
Why your business needs an online strategy immediately

Why your business needs an online strategy immediately

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t just “play around on Facebook all day.” I say this because it’s something I’ve come across quite a bit lately. There are moments when I have to defend my work to a client and tell them why it’s necessary to have a social footprint for their small business. Here are some interesting facts that you might not know. Facebook has a whopping 1.15+ billion users (700 million of which are active daily users). An astounding 82% of buyers say they trust a company more when a CEO or senior leadership team is active on social media. Why is this important? Because less than 36% of executives say their CEO either “doesn’t care or cares little about the company’s reputation in social media.”* This is an error of epic proportions. What if I were to tell you that you could be missing out on hundreds (or perhaps even thousands) of dollars in monthly revenue because you don’t think having a social presence is important? Oh, NOW you’re listening. There is a strategy to marketing online that is very different from the traditional marketing you might be accustomed to seeing and using (as someone who got her start in print publishing, I have seen firsthand how antiquated many of these old school techniques have become). Unlike with traditional methods of advertising, social marketing allows companies to listen to their audience. Print, radio, and TV advertising is limited in that the relationship to the consumer ends when the commercial has finished airing or the user has put down the paper/magazine. If something resonates with the audience...