Today social media is essential for business. It is the number one digital tool to engage customers and prospects and offers measurable analytics for strategic targeted campaign objectives. Businesses must embrace this communication evolution and control what is being said about your business, whether you like it or not. Ignoring it is no longer an option. If you are just getting started, here are a few simple steps to implement effective social media into your business marketing and communications strategy.
1. First things first, social media platforms:
When you set up a social media strategy, you must have a game plan. There are many social media platforms available and selecting the most appropriate social media platform to engage in for your organization is critical. Hire a social media expert to help you decide whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ (just to name a few) are the most appropriate platforms for your brand messaging and to reach your target audience. There are an overwhelming amount of channels to select from and not all of them are the right choice for your business.
2. Different channels serve different purposes:
A restaurant offers a menu with options. Social media is very similar: each channel offers its own flavor, style and purpose. By developing a content strategy relevant to each channel, your messaging will be streamlined, engaging and effective.
3. Social media is for socializing:
Social media is inherently communicative. Connecting and interacting with customers is not only good for your business, it lets customers speak on your behalf. Nothing speaks louder than a customer advocate singing your praises. Engage your raving fan base by encouraging an open discussion and dialogue through relevant, thought provoking content.
4. Optimize yourself:
Engagement is important, but so is optimization of your social media content. Posts on social media channels need to include keywords your business wants to rank for. Keywords embedded in posts help search engines find the content that matches queries online. Making the extra effort to invest the time in optimizing every post will help your customers to find your business organically.
5. Consider all social media channels:
When developing your social media strategy it is important to consider all of the available channels and then decide which ones will be primary or secondary ones. One channel in particular is Google+. A moz.com survey found that leading markets believe that Google+ plays the second largest part in determining search engine rankings. Seek help from experts who understand the ever-evolving social media platforms and options available online in order to make the most effective and strategic social media plan for your business.
For more information on ways to execute your social media strategy, contact our Atlanta advertising agency today.
As part of their 25th Anniversary celebration, the founders of infinitee and long-time partners, were asked to share the history of how they got started in the business as well as some milestone moments along the way comprising their 25 year journey as a successful Atlanta real estate marketing agency.
Q: Who were you in 1988 just before starting infinitee? How did you feel about starting infinitee a year later?
Jocelyn: In 1988 I was the Vice President of Sales at 3 Score (the largest direct marketing agency in the southeast), and spearheaded a division that specialized in shopping center marketing.
Barb: I was the southeast regional marketing manager for The Rouse Company and was one of Jocelyn’s clients. We became friends and when 3 Score decided to hire a VP of Marketing, Jocelyn recommended me. Shortly after my move to 3 Score, a new owner layed off many senior management people including Jocelyn and me. Jocelyn and I decided to take a handful of clients we had established great relationships with and start our own company.
Jocelyn: With a type written business plan and our resumes, we went to numerous banks that all turned us down for a loan. But thanks to our families support, we each funded the beginning of the agency with $12,500 for a total investment of $25,000. For the first year we did not take a salary and paid one full-time employee. Before the year was up, however, we paid back our families with interest and never looked back.
Q: Did you know that infinitee would be a thriving 25 year-old agency one day?
Barb: I remember when we met with our attorney to sign our LLC and he asked us how long we planned on having the business. We both agreed about 10 years.
Jocelyn: 25 years later... time flies and you’re having fun! Not every year is a great year, but you have more good years than bad and you want to keep building the business.
Barb: Our 3rd and 5th year were great years, but when the shopping industry began consolidating we made a strategic decision to broaden our client base. Within 9 years our client mix and new business plan changed completely.
Q: What was one defining moment (as a women) in your career?
Barb: After five years of successfully managing and growing infinitee, I was happy both professionally and personally and satisfied with the decision I had made.
Jocelyn: People tell women they can’t have it all. Work and being a Mom. And that’s true. As a working woman you make sacrifices. I remember being on a plane on the way home from a conference and just missing my new daughter so much that I wrote her a letter that she still has today. I have a great deal of respect for women who work because I know how hard it is to balance a career and being a good mother.
Q: What was one defining moment for infinitee?
Barb: I would definitely say when we landed Lenox Square, Atlanta’s iconic shopping center in the early 90’s. We beat out a competitor that had been working with Lenox Square for a very long time and it was very rewarding.
Jocelyn: I would say when we competed against and beat out 15 big agencies for the Rockdale Hospital and Health System’s account. It was a definitive moment because it was a new vertical of business for infinitee. Another moment would have been starting to work with Tanger Outlets. I would say that is one of infinitee’s top 5 rewarding moments because they have remained our client for 19 years.
Q: With the evolution of digital and social media marketing, how does infinitee remain ahead of the curve?
Jocelyn: Our team expertise. We hire the best of the best at what they do and as our clients needs change and as well as our industry, we surround ourselves with talent that excels in growing service areas. We also immerse ourselves in everything new by attending conferences and encouraging ongoing education both for our staff and each other.
Q: How does it feel to be the longest-standing women-owned marketing and advertising partnership in Atlanta?
Jocelyn: We wouldn’t have made it without the other one. It’s such a blessing to have a partner like Barb.
Barb: I agree, I wouldn’t have wanted to do it without Jocelyn. We have the same faith and values, personally and professionally.
For more information about this dynamic duo and women owned business, visit infinitee.com often over the next year as we continue to celebrate their 25th year as an Atlanta advertising and marketing agency.
Developers of multi-family properties understand the importance of social media strategy to effectively communicate with their tenants while addressing comments and posts regarding customer complaints. Today, it is essential to create a strategic, well thought out social media plan to address both tenant likes and dislikes that are posted daily, if not hourly, on various online platforms. Monitoring and responding to these tweets and posts is a 24/7 job that can grow brand awareness and fan advocates, or have the exact opposite effect.
Real estate review pages have become a primary source for prospective tenants to research and find the perfect community for their needs. With the proliferation of sharing and commenting, both good and bad experiences, rating sites are a source of valuable, honest feedback for potential renters to use when making a decision about which apartment to select. Reviews are the word of mouth marketing tool social media provides. There are numerous rating sites that provide instant, real-time feedback that can and do impact a renter’s selection process.
One commonly used social media site is Yelp. Sites like Yelp not only allow for simple access to other tenants’ experiences but also provide more details about a company’s customer service, maintenance response time and even information about safety issues. It is critical that property managers address bad experiences immediately to position themselves as a hands-on, proactive company that genuinely cares about tenants and is willing to correct any issues that arise as quickly as possible. Review sites require a competent management staff to monitor negative online comments and prevention strategies to avoid low ratings on Yelp and other rating sites.
Additionally, social media’s most used platform, Facebook, has implemented a mandatory star and comment review tool on all business pages essentially centralizing word of mouth marketing effects in one location. This poses a large risk to businesses, especially multi-family communities, as Facebook is already a top search engine harnessing a third of search engine traffic.
“Online reviews, especially across social media, will either make or break your rental and referral rates. Because incidents like unhappy residents are bound to occur, it is imperative multi-family communities have a strategic crisis management plan in place that all social media contributors are properly trained to implement." – Chelsea Smith, Social Media Strategist, infinitee Communications, Inc.
In order to increase customer satisfaction ratings, many property managers have adopted incentive programs to encourage tenants to leave positive reviews on their most referenced social media platforms. Some of these incentives include entering a lottery for a gift card, participating in a raffle to win a trip or a chance to win other desirable items. This interactive marketing tactic of gamification and rewards is a great strategy that many companies are implementing to enhance positive engagement.
For more information on how to promote positive online comments about your multi-family community, contact our Atlanta real estate advertising agency today.
When deciding on what type of advertising agency to hire, keep in mind that bigger is not always better. Smaller agencies create award-winning advertising with a flexible price tag while offering a unique personality that shows not only through their work but personal relationships with clients. Here are 5 reasons to consider selecting a smaller advertising agency to create your company’s next marketing campaign.
1. The Price Is Right
Every business owner knows that budgeting outside resources can be challenging. Luckily, when hiring a smaller agency there is greater opportunity for price negotiation. Not only are smaller agencies willing to work with their clients but they also offer innovative ideas to stretch your budget, essentially giving you more bang-for-your-buck.
2. Overall Flexibility
Smaller agencies are flexible. Large agencies have many layers of management that can lead to miscommunication. At smaller agencies fewer layers creates efficiency and streamlines requests and comments preventing errors and omissions ultimately resulting in getting it right the first time.
At a smaller agency, the client is always the priority. Research has shown that in a pitch with a small agency you will meet 20-25% of the team and only 1% of a larger agency’s team will be represented the first time you meet them. From the pitch to executing the advertising campaigns, clients receive more individualized attention and account teams make it their business to develop personal relationships in order to strengthen the understanding of every client’s vision and goals to develop the most effective marketing and communications strategy.
4. Quick Turnaround Time
Smaller agencies are nimble and allow for faster turnaround time for demanding deadlines. Larger agencies divide responsibilities into layers of departments that can lead to too many processes and steps to respond quickly to client demands. In a smaller agency, most team members wear many different hats and understand the “buck stops with me” attitude.
5. Raw Talent
If you are looking for creative marketing that exceeds your expectations than a smaller agency may be just what you’re looking for. Smaller agencies hire and inspire creative designers and writers with an entrepreneurial spirit that leads to an out-of-the-box thought process for developing innovative and original ideas. Smaller agencies create environments that encourage a team effort that utilizes different points of views leading to some of the most powerful and result oriented advertising and marketing campaigns that create loyal clients and long-standing marketing partnerships.
For more information on how a smaller agency can help you develop innovative design solutions for your company’s marketing, contact our local Atlanta Advertising Agency today.
With determination and years of real estate marketing strategy experience, Barbara McGraw and Jocelyn Smith founded infinitee in 1989. They opened their doors with three clients and one full-time employee and now manage a thriving 25-year-old marketing and advertising agency providing clients noteworthy gender-based insights for marketing to women by creating loyalty and demand for hundreds of retail brands.
Setting themselves apart from the competition, they joined the National Women Business Owners Corporation in 2010 to network with other women owned businesses and to connect with companies who work with minority owned firms. The NWBOC organization developed a national certification program for women business owners to recognize the benefits of contracting with women suppliers. Only a small percentage of corporate and government contracts are with women-owned firms. NWBOC helps promote businesses by giving them access to over 1,000 private and public sector purchasing contacts setting them apart in a highly competitive marketplace.
Barb and Jocelyn are one of the longest standing women-owned marketing firms and partnerships in the Atlanta, GA area. Despite women holding 52% of all professional-level jobs, only 14.6% hold executive level officer positions. infinitee is proud to be a part of an organization that recognizes women owned businesses and supports #WomenRunWorkplace. Join our cause today by lending your support by clicking the link to our 25th Anniversary Thunderclap campaign so that we can reach our goal of 1000 supporters.
Help share our Thunderclap campaign today: hubs.ly/y09CL-0
Scientists and engineers are inventing technologies that will affect the way companies not only market their brands but what new products they create. Here are the top 10 shopping technology trends to watch.
You have heard of motion sensing but what about “emotion” sensing? Cameras are being embedded into mannequins to pick up on customer reactions to products while audio sensing ears pick up keywords from customer discussions. Toyota is equipping cars with dashboard cameras that sense drowsiness and road rage sending you a signal to wake up or calm down. Microsoft is creating technology for bra manufacturers that will detect temperature, heart rate and perspiration and may even control binge eating.
Innovative design solutions for wearable products include narrative clips that take pictures every 30 seconds to document your life, eyeglasses with HD video that syncs to the cloud, contact lenses that sense blood sugar levels, and sports helmets that measure impacts on athletes to determine possible concussions.
Haptic technology is a physical feedback technology that reacts through applying forces, vibrations or motions to users. This technology is being used in remote controllers to allow for a more physical interactive experience while playing video games. Video screens can now mimic fabrics with a simple touch of the screen through vibrations that simulate the texture.
Gamification encourages loyalty with brands and interactive marketing. Some experts predict that over 70% of companies will have some kind of gamification in the near future. Fuel Good is a new free mobile phone app designed to help you track fuel efficiency for each car journey you make. It can track your car journeys, flagging when you’re driving inefficiently and at the end of your journey, provides a summary of distance travelled, time taken, average miles per gallon and the savings you could make by driving more efficiently. Snooze is an alarm app that donates a quarter to a non-profit organization (under the LetGive umbrella) every time you hit the snooze button when you're feeling lazy and can't get out of bed. The app doesn't force you to donate but it makes it easier. It will asks you two times a month if you would like to donate your snooze hits to the non-profit of your choice.
Smart refrigerators can now take inventory of its contents and text you when you are in a grocery aisle containing a specific food you need. Home security, ovens, lights and heating and air can all be controlled via your smartphone with a click of a button as you leave or arrive home resulting in not only extra convenience but saving money.
Customized 3D printing of anything you desire is now a reality. Fashion retailers are using 3D printing to create custom fabrics and accessories. Medical companies use it to replicate body parts for knee replacements. And how about your very own signature edible Oreo available via specially equipped vending machines when you tweet #TrendingVending, #EatTheTweet?
IBM recently had a cognitive cooking kitchen for food trucks product launch. The trucks have robots that create your dish through requests on Twitter, creating some incredible and very unique recipes. Pare Lab is an app grocers can use to let consumers know about special sales on extra inventory or food that is nearing an expiration date.
Think futuristic cities and you have electronic automated taxis in priority lanes and solar powered smart roads and cars that adjust to weather conditions, cooling and heating road surfaces as needed.
Fundraise allows real estate investors to cut out unnecessary middleman by giving access to great investment opportunities at a lower cost with more transparency than ever before. Fundraise has over 31,000 members, from 460 companies with over $59 billion of assets under management.
A new medical condition “Nomophobia”, otherwise known as an addiction to you cell phone is a reality for many who have become dependent upon having access to information 24/7. People are so addicted to their phone and smart devices that they now consider them remote controllers of their lives and would rather go without food than their phone.
Technology and science will continue to influence how consumers engage with brands in more ways then we can ever imagine. So hold onto your devices and get ready for warp speed advancements in every part of your daily life. To stay abreast of the latest shopping technology trends contact our Atlanta advertising agency today.
What constitutes a quality brand? The attention paid to detail and if managed properly, a brand will never depreciate. In fact, it can increase in value year after year. Although it can’t be measured like sales, market share or stock price, it can be a victim of semantics and be referred to as reputation. Most companies would avoid doing anything that harms their reputations, but often companies forget about managing their brand.
Branding does not just live in the “marketing department.” Branding includes everything a company does, from the design of the corporate identity logo on its letterhead, to the way it handles customer service complaints and how employees interact with customers. Essentially, there isn’t anything that anybody within your organization does (or fails to do) that doesn’t affect how your brand is perceived.
Not long ago, I purchased a pair of jeans from a well-known upscale specialty store that I am a “club” member of. The store was out of my size but kindly called another nearby store and placed my order with them. The jeans were to be delivered directly to my home. I left the store feeling appreciative for their help, but after a week went by (the store was less than 10 miles from my home) and I did not receive my jeans, I called the store to check on the delivery. I was told by the sales associate after being on hold for over five minutes that delivery’s can take up to 10-days. I quickly told the sales associate that had I known that, I would have just driven to the other store and picked them up. With no apology, she responded by saying if I did not have them within the next week to call her again and she would see what was up. I suggested she call me to check.
A week later and still no jeans, I placed the call. Again, after trying to find my paperwork and information about the delay, I was told that the store had lost the order and was reassured they would send the jeans out within the week. Two weeks later my jeans finally arrived. The moral of this story, no matter how great your product is and brand, if personnel representing it are not properly trained in customer service and procedures (including autonomy to think outside the box), then you are missing a big component to customer retention.
Perhaps the manager of the store could have apologized for not informing me of the 10-day delivery policy as well as not following up with me, and ultimately could have taken the bull by the horns and considered driving to the store herself and hand delivering the jeans to my home with an additional 10% off coupon for my next store visit. Asking too much? Maybe, but I have not been back in that store since this incident.
Effective branding enhances margins and keeps long-term customers who are willing to pay more for products and services with companies they know and trust. Branding can also improve the internal dynamics of an organization and influence both recruiting and employee turnover. Ever heard of the Glass Door website? Look it up if you want to find out what employees are saying about companies.
It’s easy to think about branding just in terms of the latest-and-greatest social media marketing, viral video, or smartphone app. Doing so means missing the fundamental, timeless principles that go well beyond the trendy and transient. The totality of the details means you have to think about how the sales force and support team treats customers. These details may even be transmitted subconsciously. Expertly executed details may be imperceptible to most but they should create a sense of magic and wonder. Advertising and branding should be thought of in the same way. Yes, the big idea is important, but success hinges on execution, consistency, and attention to each and every word. Define the brand with succinct messaging, but also trust that consumers will recognize the collective positive attributes of the brand rather than just its tagline. Make sure your communications are well crafted and recognizable for all touch points.
And don’t ever forget that understanding how real humans interact in the real world can make the most significant impact on your business.
How infinitee was Born
Barbara McGraw and Jocelyn Smith met during the late 80’s. Jocelyn was Vice President of Sales at 3 Score, the largest direct marketing agency in the southeast. After 7 years with the agency, Jocelyn established a new division at the agency specializing in shopping center direct marketing and catalog production. Barbara was a Regional Marketing Manager for The Rouse Company and became a client of Jocelyn’s. After working together for a couple of years, they became friends and when the shopping center division grew, Jocelyn convinced Barbara to join the agency as the VP of Marketing for the division.
3 Score was soon sold to a larger conglomerate called CadmusCom and a new direction for the vision of the agency ended in the elimination of the shopping center division. Barbara and Jocelyn approached several of their long standing clients and asked if they would continue to work one on one with them if they started their own full service advertising and marketing agency dedicated to the industry. Three clients said yes and in December 1989, they opened their doors. Hello, infinitee! With a $25K investment, one employee, two typewriters, three phones, a shared office space, copier and fax machine they began their quest to become a well-known Atlanta real estate advertising firm.
25 years of Making Real Estate Marketing History
Jocelyn and Barb sublet their first office in the Atlanta Financial Center in 1989 from MuCulloch+Company, a media services company that had represented Barb while she was with The Rouse Company. In the first year, Kelly Nation, infinitee’s first and longest standing employee, joined the infinitee team and remains the company’s sales consultant today. With their reputable industry experience and a lot of passion, Barb and Jocelyn exceeded their revenue expectations and were able to pay back their loans and pay full salaries in the first year.
After only a few years, infinitee received its first award, The Retail Advertising Award, doubled in size and made its first $1 million. infinitee’s client roster diversified and quickly grew and the dynamic duo embraced the ongoing technological advancements debuting everyday including Apple computers, the Internet, cell phones, email, culminating in launching their first website in 2001. Exemplifying a culture of self-starters and creative strategic thinkers, they continued to add to their team of professional designers, writers, and brand managers while maintaining their promise to create an environment people would embrace and want to be a part of.
Through the millennium, infinitee continued to prosper and win an ample amount of awards for both their work and spotlights on their leadership. Since inception, infinitee has acquired 39 awards from American Marketer of the Year, Who’s Who in Business, Atlanta Sales and Marketing Council Professionalism Award, “Top 25 Places to Work” and “Top 15 Best Places to Work” both by Atlanta Business Chronicle, “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” by Business Resources and numerous Communicator Awards. infinitee has enhanced client performance, improved consumer loyalty and brand recognition while remaining a tight-knit team with a work environment that employees continually desire to be a part. infinitee is a leading marketing and advertising agency, going 25 years strong now, while Barb and Jocelyn also hold the longest standing women-owned marketing agency and partnership in the city of Atlanta.
To learn more about the infinitee team, philosophy, or our mission to constantly and consistently enhance client performance, contact us today.
The millennial generation is influencing design and functionality of office environments. This age group born between 1981 and 2000 represents 38% of the work force. The older age bracket of this group, those in their mid-30’s, are demanding innovative space planning and amenities. Employers need to realize the need to appeal to this demographic group.
“Real estate decisions regarding office space are also being driven by fierce competition for employee recruitment and retention” according to Ada Healey, Vice President of Real Estate at Seattle-based owner/developer Vulcan Inc.
An office floor plan and design has always been an essential factor in attracting notable and highly recruited job candidates. Savvy companies acknowledge this fact by incorporating new innovations into their workspace centered on the idea of a work-life atmosphere. Meaning that Millennials not only want a place to work but a place to live, work and play as evident in recent year’s top real estate marketing ideas for mixed-used including the trendy open-office space design.
Not only do these creative real estate marketing strategies include revolutionary use of technology but they also capitalize on the new “lifestyle” that attracts millennials. A GlenStar property in Chicago, 55 East, plans on adding a number of new amenities for the younger worker including a 4,000-square-foot bike room on the property. This collaboration of amenities and technology promote flexibility and a balance in work and lifestyle.
“We are seeing office tenants across all industries focusing on space optimization, increased collaboration, enhanced culture, employee wellness and the ability to attract, engage and retain top talent,” Gary Baragona, Director of Research and Analysis for CBRE, stated.
Real estate marketers are finding creative and inventive ways to portray these changes they are making to attract millennials in terms of office space and design. By collaborating with advertising agencies and social media strategists, they are beginning to effectively promote this real work-life atmosphere to millennials via touchpoints this group engages in everyday.
For more information on marketing and social media strategies in real estate contact our local Atlanta Advertising Agency today.
Women hold 52% of all professional-level jobs, 60% of undergrad degrees, 47% law degrees, 48% medical and 44% masters in business and management degrees, yet women only represent 14.6% of female executive officers and only 8.1% are the top earners in their family. These astounding statistics resonate with infinitee, a 25 year-old, women owned full-service marketing and advertising agency. To celebrate the longevity of the company and their long-standing partnership, they want to go bigger than celebrating their company - they want to celebrate and promote all working women and women run workplaces around the world!
To do this they have partnered with the Atlanta, GA affiliate of the international organization, Dress for Success to promote their Professional Women’s Group program. The Professional Women’s Group focuses on giving women the partnership of support, practical information and inspiration to achieve self-defined success in their career and in life. One of their leading programs, the Professional Women’s Group, provides clients with information that will help women unfamiliar with the workplace continue to develop skills and advance in their careers. The PWG offers members a comfortable atmosphere in which they can share, grow and network with other women who have recently made the same transition into the workforce.
In order to accomplish the goal of raising awareness about Dress For Success Atlanta's Professional Women’s Group they are using a new social media platform, Thunderclap. Thunderclap is the first crowd-speaking platform that helps people be heard by saying something together across the web. This means that no matter how big the corporation or how small the individual, they can be heard through a greater cause and platform. It allows a single message to be mass-shared, in order to rise above the noise of other social networks. When an organization sets a goal, Thunderclap allows users to share that Thunderclap page with the user’s followers. Thunderclap also keeps track of how many followers each sharer has via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and calculates a total number of followers reached. When the goal is met, Thunderclap sends out the designated message through every campaign users’ profiles that have supported the cause at one time, creating a mass message in a digital flash-mob style. The Thunderclap campaign can be promoted through links in statuses, tweets and blog posts or even website buttons. Essentially Thunderclap capitalizes on word of mouth marketing that social media so easily provides.
Infinitee has set their goal at 1,000 supporters to be met by November 1, 2014. They believe that with the Thunderclap campaign they can successfully raise awareness for Dress For Success Atlanta and their Professional Women’s’ Group for all of the help they provide to women in the workplace.
Help infinitee share the message through their Thunderclap campaign: http://thndr.it/1wzHMqS