Category : Blog

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HolidayMarketing3_MakeAChange

Deck the Halls With These 2020 Holiday Marketing Ideas

With the holidays right around the corner, now is as good a time as ever to start thinking about your 2020 holiday marketing campaign strategy.

With the past year being an unusual one, to say the least, it is important to switch up your marketing campaigns in order to better target your consumers during this unprecedented time. 

While we may have no idea what will happen in the world in a week from now, or a month from now, one thing we can all look forward to is the joy of giving and receiving gifts and the cheer that comes with the holiday season.

So, how exactly should you approach holiday marketing campaigns this year? We’ve got you covered!  

Outside The Box

Embrace Personalized Advertising 

During a time when we are all just trying to make it to tomorrow, it feels nice to be remembered! The same is true with online marketing. According to a Digital Marketer Study by Cagemini, 60% of shoppers say they find it appealing when an online store remembers their personal payment information to speed up a purchase. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you have an ecommerce business. Auto-populating customers’ information at check-out is a small and simple step you can take that could help increase your sales. 

Social Media Marketing is another way to embrace personalized advertising, and one of our favorites! Engaging with your consumers and potential customers through your social media networks is an easy way to continue conversation and drive conversions. By taking that step to interact with your customers on social media, you are staying at the forefront of their minds and showing you care! This leads to highly rated customer service reviews and brand loyalty. 

Partner with Local Businesses 

Supporting small local businesses shouldn’t be advertised just one day a year! While our economy continues to struggle and small business owners strive to stay afloat, now is a vital time to shop local. 

Shop Local

It is no surprise that working together with another business can heighten your brand awareness and drive more traffic. For example, look at Starbucks x Spotify, Kanye x Adidas, Nike x Apple or UNICEF x Target, to name a few. These campaigns worked by creating a collaboration between two brands that could successfully highlight one another (after all, who doesn’t like to listen to music while getting their coffee? Or run in their new kicks while listening with their AirPods?). 

These types of co-marketing campaigns can be especially useful during these trying times. This season, consider partnering with your local restaurant, salon, grocery store, etc. to bring your community together and generate more business for your neighborhood. Here in Boston, we have more than 40,000 small businesses! And it goes without saying that we would like to keep it that way (and then some). Below are some co-marketing ideas to help guide you this holiday. 

  • Get a gift card! Gift certificates have played a major role in helping businesses stay afloat during the pandemic. Keep the momentum going by gifting your loved ones cards to your favorite local eateries, shops, and spas. 

Get Social 

There is no doubt that some major events have happened over the past year. Between the global pandemic, infamous presidential election, the BLM movement, women’s fight for equality, and more, this year has shown us the importance of an online presence and just how far social posts can go in activating change. That being said, there is still a long way to go, which is why this year we encourage you to use your social media presence for a good cause.

Whether it be donating to a fund, signing petitions, or providing services to those in need, you can use your social voice to help connect with your community while showing you care, and increasing brand awareness. Now more than ever consumers shop where they align with a brand’s social responsibility and ideals — don’t be afraid to support a cause. This holiday, consider using your platforms to campaign for a change by donating to one of the following causes (and perhaps even encouraging your followers to do so as well).  

We hope this helps give you the boost and inspiration you need to start your 2020 holiday marketing campaign. And while you’re at it, gift yourself something, too, for making it through this crazy year! 

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digital marketing and elections

The Power of Digital Marketing on the 2020 Elections

Every election brings different candidates, slogans, and movements to the national stage. We learn about alternative belief systems and party values. The highly anticipated 2020 election is approaching. Citizens are being encouraged to get out and vote. But this time, we’ve seen that election messaging has come earlier and more frequently than ever before. With the widespread use of information and digital access, citizens are more informed and getting involved; with Gen Z and Millennials leading the charge! In this article, we will explore the impact that digital marketing has on elections and show you how easy it is to get involved in this year’s election.

Tech Companies

For instance, one of the biggest industries to have an impact on this year’s election marketing is technology companies. From popular social media apps to data analytics firms, every company is being held accountable for information distribution, advertising, and fact-checking. No one wants a redo of the 2016 Cambridge Analytica scandal that misused over 50 million Facebook users’ data for election advertising and targeting. The issue of politics and social media led Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey to remove political advertising from the platform saying, “We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought.”

Popular social media apps

Political Fact Checking 

Twitter continues to take an active approach towards information transparency and began fact-checking political candidates’ tweets this summer. Dorsey said that they based this decision on 5 principles:  

  1. Decrease potential for likely harm
  2. Increase public accountability
  3. Decrease harmful bias & incentives
  4. Increase diverse perspectives
  5. Decrease reliance on content removal

However, Facebook has taken a controversial standpoint with fact-checking in their advertising and said that they will only suspend new political ads from running a week to the election, starting October 27, 2020. 

On the plus, Facebook launched their Voting Information Center that provides information about how to vote by mail, early voting in elections, and even encourages people to sign up to be poll workers. 

Digital Voter Registration 

Similarly, Snapchat has taken an active approach in helping voters register to vote. In the 2018 midterm elections, they partnered with Turbovote to offer in-app voter registration that resulted in 418,000 registered voters. 

With 80% of their user base being under 30, Snapchat is amping up their marketing efforts this election and relaunched their in-app registration that has so far registered over 1,000,000 US Citizens to vote. 

Peter Hamby, the host of Snapchat’s “Good Luck America” said “There just simply isn’t another tech or media platform that’s been as mindful about reaching young voters with credible information and the tools to get involved in this election as Snapchat.” 

Voting during an election

How to Get Involved in the 2020 Election

As the election approaches, we encourage everyone to go out and vote, both young and old. Everyone’s voice deserves to be heard, and you can use your digital platform to spread the word to your community. By tweeting or posting election registration deadlines, accurate candidate information, and polling stands in your area, you are making an impact. To learn more about how to get involved in this election and to register to vote, visit: www.rockthevote.org

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Instagram Reels in explore page

Instagram Reels is Taking Over! Your Guide on How to Create a Reel of Your Own

Social media is constantly evolving from new features to apps hitting the app store daily! Last month, Instagram launched its new feature Reels, which the company describes as “a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.”

With the rise of the popular short video creation app TikTok, we’re not surprised that Instagram seized the opportunity and created their own counter version. However, Reels similar to TikTok allows users to record and edit 15-second videos. These videos can be broken down into multiple clips and edited with special audio effects and creative tools. 

With its seamless integration to the Instagram UI, you can find Reels everywhere from your explore page all the way to your feed. Instagram creators are taking advantage and creating content relevant to their brands, or like we’ve been seeing — uploading their previous TikTok videos onto Reels. Why work harder when you can work smarter!

Instagram Reels photo on explore page
Image Source: Instagram

Want to get started creating Instagram Reels today? Here’s how it works!

  1. Go to the bottom of your Instagram camera where you can access the Reels icon directly.
  2. For laying out content, there are many options. Record your 15-second clip all at once or break up your videos into short segments by holding the record button and releasing it at the end of your desired clip.
  3. Add licensed audio directly from Instagram or create your own.
  4. Use all the cool effects Instagram offers from font changes to lighting and AR effects. 

Now that you have recorded your Reel and edited it, share it on Instagram with your community! Similar to uploading regular videos, you can select a cover image, write captions, and add hashtags. Don’t forget to tag your friends and any brands you may have featured in your video!

Instagram Reels video on profile and explore page.
Image Source: Instagram

Therefore, once you press share your video is live for everyone to discover! What makes creating Reels great is that they can be accessed directly from your Instagram profile by selecting the Reels icon! Looking for ideas to create your first Reel? Here are three simple ones to get you started:

  1. Share your favorite food recipe and walk your audience through the step-by-step process on how to make your dish.
  2. Do a get “ready with me” and show how you transformed your look from lounge wear to all dressed up.
  3. Share informative tips and life hacks from how to register to vote all the way to how to edit your photos like a pro. 

Instagram Reels content creators
Image Source: Instagram

In conclusion, whatever you do, get started today on Reels! It only takes 15 seconds and who knows your video could go viral!

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The Pierce Boston_view

Residential Real Estate Marketing… but make it fashion

We’ve tackled our share of residential developments over the last 8 years. From state-of-the-art buildings like The Wyeth in Cambridge to the most sought-after luxury condominiums in Chicago, to the skyline megalith Pierce Boston and ultra-high-end Cottages in Vermont and New Hampshire. If one thing is true, we know residential real estate marketing from pre-groundbreaking and pre-leasing to ongoing brand expansion. Below are three quick snapshots at some of our high-level case studies!

Norweta – Boosts on the Ground, Community Involvement

Norweta Residential Real Estate Marketing

Through social brand management and site visits, we effectively introduced Norweta, the newest luxury Chicago condominiums, to local shops, restaurants, and organizations in the Lincoln Park area over the last year. This has garnered partnerships, promotions, and organic brand recognition in the community even during construction phases. Oftentimes, the most important piece of “selling” in residential real estate marketing are qualified, long-term leads that truly form a community.

The Royal Belmont – Locked and Loaded!

The Royal Belmont, one of our full-service clients, has been on board with us from the early stages of their leasing journey in April 2018. Starting from very few leases, we assisted the client in becoming 100% fully leased in August 2019. We are now their go-to agency and are being retained for services for the foreseeable future.  

Forecaster121 Residential Real Estate Marketing

Forecaster 121 Dual-focus – Custom Content Curation and PPC-driven Results

Through great content development and Google Ads strategy, we have been able to create long-standing growth for Forecaster 121. Over the course of one year (Oct 1, 2018 – Oct 1, 2019), 81.8% of Forecaster121.com’s website traffic came from our Google and social media ad campaigns. Starting from less than 20% sold, we are at 90% currently. And if that isn’t enough, hear what our clients have to say.

Rhino Capital Advisors, LLC – Website Revitalization

When our old friend at Rhino Capital came to us with hopes of bringing their outdated website into a modern, prospective client wow-er, we were up for the challenge. Focusing on their gallery and bolstering their talented team, we kept a sleek and simple (…and cost-effective) perspective at the forefront of our plans and we’re able to revitalize their website experience.

As a full-service digital agency, we love what we do and take pride in the success of our clients. We are currently working with many more developments in and around Boston; joining forces with teams such as Samuels and Associates and other major players. We’re excited to be creating brand new neighborhoods, generating both real-estate value and emotional cache while pushing out strategic lead generation campaigns, and, most of all, putting a magnifying glass on the already amazing communities around us. We can truly say we love what we do!

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Arsenal Yards Mural

Arsenal Yards & East End Watertown

Today we’re going to chat about a large project that is near and dear to our hearts here at Social Thrive! Since 2015 we’ve been working with East End Watertown & Arsenal Yards and have helped their team rebrand themselves from the old “Arsenal Mall” & “The Arsenal Project” to the current mixed-use development powerhouse brand they’ve become.

Arsenal Yards Logo

Through strategic marketing and planning, we were able to build the brand East End Watertown from the ground up. This effort resulted in the gain of over 7,000 qualified fans since its inception in 2015. The majority of fans were gained from organic efforts like blog writing, engaging social presence, and social networking initiatives. Yes, among thousands of social posts over the years, we toppled over 300 hyper-local, unique blog posts too!

In the last two years alone, we’ve reached over 1.13 million people in the Greater Boston area and of those, 100,000 of those people have actively engaged with the brand on Facebook alone.

April 25, 2018 was one of the first official Arsenal Yards announcement post, organically reaching over 25,000 people alone with approx. 1,000 engagements.

At this time we also assisted our client in the sale of a state-of-the-art office building in East End Watertown, MA. We presented to prospective Boston-based tech and bio companies with our local efforts and digital guides to reaffirm that the transition from Boston to Watertown was a well-forecasted and strategic investment move.

At Social Thrive we collaborate at a deep level with our clients outside of stellar digital campaigns and really take our role as agency partners seriously. We step into meetings and also provide creative brainstorming on how our clients can scale their business efforts. Examples such as holidAY activations & pitching ever-changing, dynamic art installations to their vendors Isenberg Projects, and Marlo PR.

East End Watertown ‘Walking Watertown’ Instagram Campaign

Walking Watertown

East End Watertown was not only the community brand we launched online to soften the buzz of the new Arsenal Yards development, but also a dynamic mini-photography series to highlight the great people of Watertown. We exercised photojournalism via social media to illustrate personality through the people themselves.

As always, we cannot speak to our accomplishments with East End Watertown without mentioning and thanking our clients who gave us this opportunity. Here’s to Wilder Companies, Boylston Properties, Stantec, and Cushman Wakefield. Thank you for allowing us to join you on this long-term journey.

Interested in meeting our team and making a creative splash with your digital marketing efforts? Reach out to us here for a chat!

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Twitter Voice

Twitter Voice Notes: Roger This!

Your voice is powerful and Twitter knows it. This week, Twitter launched voice notes, a way to upload voice recordings of up to 140 seconds directly to your feed. 

What does Twitter have to say about its new feature coming your way? According to Business Insider, they’re eager to get a more “human experience” in our feeds. “There’s a lot that can be left unsaid or uninterpreted using text, so we hope voice Tweeting will create a more human experience for listeners and storytellers alike,” Twitter staffers said. “Whether it’s #storytime about your encounter with wild geese in your neighborhood, a journalist sharing breaking news or a first-hand account from a protest, we hope voice Tweeting gives you the ability to share your perspectives quickly and easily with your voice.”

Want to get started Tweeting your voice? Follow these simple steps :

1. Open the Tweet composer 

2. Select the new wavelength icon

3. Once the wavelength button has been chosen your profile photo will populate with a record button beneath it. 

4. Press record and share your message

5. After you’ve recorded your message, press done, and LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! 

Sharing stories, experiences, and even hearing real-life events, in real-time, has never been easier on Twitter, or more personal. As Twitter rolls out this new feature it will only be available to a select group of iOS users… don’t worry Android-ers we’re sure with the success of this feature that we’ll all be talking to Tweet in the coming weeks.

We can’t wait to hear what you have to say… literally! 

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Take your biz online_pandemic tips for small biz

Business Protection: Getting Your Business Online

In uncertain times, one thing remains constant – people will rely on the internet to continue to support their most favorite brands and businesses. While your brick and mortar location will always remain important to your company’s success, one way to ensure you will never miss out in times of local closures is to move your business online.

This task may seem daunting, but with a well laid out plan and the right resources it can be a simple way to make all the difference in revenue. Let’s get some of those plans laid out for you now with a list of ways you can easily get your online business started.

Create an Ecommerce Website

With an expected 2 + billion digital buyers in the world in 2020, creating an Ecommerce site is more crucial now, than ever before. There are a few things to consider when beginning the design of your site that will set you up for success in the long run. Firstly, make sure your site is clean, easy to navigate and effective. The easiest action a consumer can take is to click out of your website and onto another. Make sure customer experience is top of mind. Adding functions like a search bar to locate specific products, focusing on detailed product descriptions to ensure the buyer is more confident in their purchase and plenty of high quality photos are all very important. Next, the site should reflect your brand. When a consumer visits your site, it should be an extension of your physical location by matching in store branding, aesthetics, products and experience. Doing this will create a sense of trust and reputability and turn into conversions. Nice additions like one click contact buttons and easy to access customer service options always impress consumers and ensure retention.

Use Additional Platforms

While having an ecommerce site gives you a leg up on the competition, there are 3rd party sites like Amazon and E-Bay that allow you to create stores and sell on their websites too. Adding your products there, in addition to your ecommerce site, can, in some cases, double your online revenue. Each month more than 197 million people around the world get on their devices and visit Amazon. Selling through 3rd party vendors will allow you to choose specific inventory, upload your own images and product descriptions and process your orders daily. Having a big name behind you like Amazon can boost sales and build your online reputation to consumers who may not know of your brand locally. Not selling a product? Create an ecommerce store to create deferred demand with gift cards that can be used at a later date.

Utilize Social Selling

Another ever growing and great option for selling products online are social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Make your posts on Instagram shoppable and promote and link all products in one organized space. With a whopping 1 billion people using Instagram every month, can you afford to not sell on this high traffic area?

Not selling a physical product? Ensure your website is optimized to sell gift cards to create deferred demand. This is vital to the service industry like restaurants, hair salons and more. Creating these deferred demands create immediate revenue that ca be redeemed at a later date.

Market and Promote Your Online Business

Just like every other aspect of your business, you will need to make sure you are marketing your online business properly. If no one knows of your new website, or places to purchase your products/service online, this portion of the business will remain idle. Place the links to your site everywhere you can! Start with daily social media posts. Place the direct link the bio of your business pages on Facebook and Instagram. Print the link on your in store receipts, send out e-mail blasts to your loyal brick and mortar customers and even on your store front windows. The more it’s out there, the more traffic to your site and the more conversions.

It’s always nerve racking to start something new but we’re here to help! If you want to get your business online and ensure you’re never closed for shopping, contact the Social Thrive team today!

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How Your Business Can Survive Coronavirus, the COVID-19 health crisis

How Your Business Can Survive Coronavirus, the COVID-19 health crisis

With so much uncertainty around business as COVID-19 continues to control our daily lives, it can seem like a difficult time to make progress. We’ve already talked about Marketing Your Brand Through a Crisis, and now we’re focusing on the action items.

How can businesses continue to survive and thrive under quarantine?

Review Relief Resources

A lot of businesses are hurting and there are several relief offerings being administered by major companies and the government. Free Google Ads credits, Facebook’s 100MM grant, or turning your Yelp page into a donations center via the GoFundMe x Yelp partnership are things you may need to take advantage of right now to stay afloat. If you are trying to build a content/creative arsenal now for when you open back up – turn to free video software via Mark Cuban & Spectrum! More importantly, SBA.gov COVID-19 page has all of the latest information for the different aid you can access as a small business owner.

Keep a Communication Flow

Though it seems simple, communication with customers is key. Let them know how they can continue supporting you. Use social media as a way to communicate how your business is responding to the rapidly changing measures in response to the situation. The “Question and Answer” feature on Instagram stories is a great way to maintain engagement and answer customer questions. Make sure to always include where your customers can continue supporting you, whether that be through an online store with a coupon code, takeout and delivery, or gift card purchases. The #buyagiftcard movement in Boston is a great example of this! If able, consumers want to help. Make it easy for them.

Support Your Community

Now more than ever, consumers are paying attention to how brands carry themselves and support their employees and community in the face of uncertainty. Think about how your business can be used to help those on the frontlines of this pandemic. Can you donate food to a hospital staff? Are you able to continue to provide salaries and benefits for your employees? Can you partner with local businesses to provide new value to customers who are suddenly forced to stay home? Step outside your business’ needs and focus instead on how you can use your resources to help alleviate society’s overall discomfort during this time. Your consumers are watching and will assess loyalty to your brand according to your behavior during a crisis.

Build Virtual Value

If all else fails, adapt to the changing times. People are stuck home, feigning boredom and fighting the urge to refresh social media outlets and news sources. Create value that can be accessed online. Let customers recreate a dining experience at home by sharing a signature recipe. Share tips for those working from home, anything from how best to manage your time to how to design a workspace that creates comfort and cultivates productivity. If you offer subscription services, perhaps offer a discounted rate to loyal customers to deter cancellations and keep cash flow moving. Utilizing Instagram and Facebook Live platforms to provide free services are a sure-fire way to retain customers during physical distancing and give them a reason to come back once these measures have been lifted.

If you haven’t had time in recent years to focus on your own business’ critical needs – now is the time to brush up! Hit your website and finally update that portfolio page! Refresh that business plan and give your business the care it needs during this time while you are limited to person-to-person interaction.

Look Inward

No one could have predicted the economic turmoil Coronavirus has caused. And maybe some of these tips aren’t feasible for your line of business, or do little to help your situation. Just like we’re all being encouraged to do on an individual basis, take this time to look inward. How can you pivot your business to cater to a world where quarantines and physical distancing is the norm? What will your business look like on the other end of this? How can you expect consumer tastes and needs to change in a post-COVID world? You may have not been able to prepare for this outbreak but you can prepare for the changes that are to come as a result of it.

Continuing to be a source of value and calm during these uncertain times will add to your brand’s overall value, even if that may not translate in dollars just yet. There’s always a way to appropriately stay relevant and Social Thrive is here to help you figure out what that means for you and your unique business needs. Here are other creative ways small businesses are still succeeding during the global health crisis from Fast Company. Please feel free to contact us if there’s any way we can assist.

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How to Market Your Brand Through a Crisis covid 19

How to Market Your Brand Through a Crisis

It’s no secret we are in uncharted territory with the spread of COVID-19. Now more than ever, business owners and consumers alike are taking a hard look at the way they used to live and operate in their day to day. While so much of life as we knew it has halted, you may be wondering how to appropriately market your brand through a crisis?

Let’s discuss the ways in which you can remain helpful and positive:

Allow for Questions

In uncertain times there will be a lot of questions. It’s no secret people always find comfort in those who take the time to hear their questions and supply them with answers. Is your business is equipped to handle any questions your customers have? You can do this by training your Customer Support staff in areas you believe need the most attention. It’s also so important that answers are consistent across the board. Having all of your team on the same page will ensure uniformity and less room for confusion between consumers.  How important is Customer Service? 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service. If you are able to remain open, honest, and helpful your brand will retain business.

Accommodate As Much As Possible

In a crisis or a situation that shakes people from their norm, there is nothing more important that accommodating their requests (within boundaries). Sometimes something as small as a 10% discount or coupon code can really make someone’s day and gain a sale you wouldn’t have otherwise had. If you are a brick and mortar location, try onboarding products online for an ecommerce approach to supplement sales for the time being. If the thought of have an ecommerce site is daunting, keep in mind the additional platforms such as Amazon and E bay, to ensure you are accessible online to some degree. The best part about migrating your merchandise to an online platform is that you never have to close! The number one reason people shop online is that they’re able to stop at all hours of the day. There are so many ways to ensure your consumers feel taken care of when times are hard. Get creative!

Transparency is Key

As we’ve discussed in the past, personalization is king. Consumers want to learn more and more about the character behind the brand. Talk to your audience as if they are all close friends. Let them know how your business is being affected and how that can potentially affect them. If your business has no plans to change during the crisis or has plans for huge changes, let your loyal customers know. 87% of consumers surveyed say that personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a brand. Sharing is expected these days, don’t let your brand be left behind with your audience hearing crickets.

Be a Helping Hand

Become a resource. This is a great way to ensure your brand is useful in the chaos a crisis can bring. Survey how you can help and give your audience the resources they need most. If a consumer remembers how dependable you were in trying times, they will be sure to remember you when everything is back to normal.

Your Message Matters

Communication is so important in scary times. It is crucial to remember the importance of a relevant, meaningful message than to post just for the sake of posting.  Consumers invested in your brand want to hear from you. Any way you can make life feel normal in abnormal times will make a difference. Have the owner of the company address your audience directly with a mission statement about moving forward. Have different staff members give updates and even share personal stories of how they’re coping. Include tips and tricks of how your audience can pass the time in a productive manner. Consider what customers need and want to hear from your organization to best help your brand while dodging potential risks. If you can make your consumers feel not so alone you will create a sense of community and gain reputability.

Feel Good, Feels Good

You can never go wrong with a feel good story especially when times seem a little daunting. The most comforting part of any crisis is that there are always people willing to help. Sometimes, it’s great to break up consumers’ news feed by reminding them there is always help around the corner. Highlight local heroes that are doing amazing things to help out around the community, highlight ways people have donated their time or funds to help out local businesses/shelters. Put a smile on someone’s face. It’s a great reason to be top of mind.

While we find ourselves in unprecedented times now, there are always positive ways your company can make the situation a little brighter. If your brand is remembered for being the calm in the storm, it will take you far with consumers; long after the situation has resolved itself. There are appropriate ways to market your brand through a crisis and Social Thrive is always here to help. Please contact us if we can assist you in any way.