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SMC Blog

Changing Social Media in 2015

November 21st, 2014

Somehow, we’re just a little over eight weeks away from 2015. Time flies, doesn’t it? And in an industry as dynamic as social media, trends don’t wait for users to catch up with them. Miss a beat, and you’re behind on what’s happening in the digital sphere.

It’s fast, it’s dynamic, and it’s intense– and that’s precisely why it’s so effective. With that very idea in mind, TIME Magazine posted a piece earlier this week on the 5 trends that will change how businesses and users utilize social media in 2015. While I don’t necessarily agree with the aptitude of each one, there are some valid points to be made, as well as ones I’d like to add to. Continue Reading

Case Study: National Geographic, a Magazine Taking the Social Media Crown

November 21st, 2014

natgeoinstaRecently, there has been lot of talk about the death of the newspaper. And this extends to any form of publication still done on paper, including newspapers, magazines, and books. The digital age has arrived, and it’s completely altered the way we consume news.

But some publications are fighting back. They may have to transform their delivery, or innovate new ways to reach their audiences, but they want consumers to know they aren’t going anywhere. National Geographic is one such publication, and how are they staying relevant in this digital world? Well, social media of course.

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Native Ads Are Going Offline–But It’s Already Too Late

November 20th, 2014

new york times office at nightJust yesterday, our good friends over at the New York Times made another move to stay alive in a world that's shifting to digital by running their first ever native print ad.

In case you're not familiar, a native ad is an ad that matches the platform it's hosted on in function and appearance. Unlike banner ads or sidebar ads which clearly differ from their backgrounds, native ads are designed to blend in and often take the form of faux blog posts or infographics.

They've not been without criticism, either–some think that native ads are intentionally designed to deceive. I don't disagree, but that's hardly my biggest issue with newspapers like the Times and Washington Post before them running native ads in print.

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How to Deal with Detractors on Social Media

November 18th, 2014


Giving your brand a face on social media is the best way to be present in your customers’ lives, even when they aren’t specifically interacting with you or your product at that moment. Maintaining active profiles across the major platforms allows you to have an audience who can opt-in or out of your circle at any time. Like, a normal human friend on social media, people expect a few things from you. In this blog I will offer suggestions for how to deal with situations on social media that either don’t go your way, or conversely are unexpectedly positive.

Putting your brand’s face out there in the digital world is a smart strategy, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is going to like you all the time. Everyone (companies and individuals) makes honest mistakes. And beyond that, sadly there are people who use social media as a tool to vent frustrations, be they rightly targeted or not. It’s important to have a strategy to deal with these instances so that you don’t see your efforts on social media fold in on themselves.

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Delivery, Silver Cards and Social Media: How Starbucks Sets the Bar

November 17th, 2014

Starbucks-SilverCardA few months back, I wrote about the infamous Starbucks PSL: a chemical-filled, orange spicy beverage that costs about $4 and will set you back around 300 calories. I’m not knocking the pumpkin spice latte, but the fact that it’s become an icon is pretty amazing. It’s not particularly healthy, eco-friendly, or locally sourced, and it’s an expensive splurge for most of the world considering that an entire bag of coffee that’ll make about ten pots generally costs about one dollar more.

I’m interested in this because even though I know how overpriced the drinks are, that the coffee isn’t the highest quality of coffee that exists, and my coffee drink has as many calories as a brownie, I find myself standing in line for a drink and following their sunglasses-clad PSL character on Twitter. Why? How did they snag me and my business, and how have they kept it? I’m a fairly intelligent, well-educated consumer (granted, with an above-average affinity for the caffeinated beverage world). Why is their social media any better than any other coffee shop’s, and do they really deserve their massive following?

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Post it, share it, tweet it, and…pin it

November 14th, 2014


When you think of Pinterest, there is a good chance that you immediately think of teenage girls and mothers gathering ideas for glittery DIY projects, or the latest fashion trends. But lately, Pinterest has expanded into new territories. A recent study shows that in the past year, the number of male active users on Pinterest has doubled. What’s more, in emerging global markets the number of male and female users is evenly split.

And it’s more than just an increase in male users. Pinterest has also broadened in types of users. A recent New York Times article, “Publications See Pinterest as Key Ally”, notes the wide array of quality content that can be gathered from Pinterest. It’s become a hub for all categories of images and how-to projects, so much so that even editors of major magazine and newspaper publications frequent the site in order to gather ideas. In the past year, Pinterest has seen a 49 percent increase in unique visitors. It’s certainly not just for teens and women anymore. Continue Reading

Investing in Your Social Media

November 14th, 2014


We’ve had plenty of great analogies for what social media is “like” on the blog: it’s like a funnel, working out, and we can’t get enough reminders that brands are like a sponge. The truth is that social media is like all of these things. It’s a complex, ephemeral, absorbent, challenging medium, and analogies for explaining its importance are best done in the form of something that we’re familiar with. At least, that’s how you can pitch it to the C-Suite.

An oddly metacognitive way to look at investing in your social media is by doing just that: looking at investing. Our own Oracle of Omaha and business magnate, Warren Buffett, recently made headlines for a complex purchase of battery company Duracell, and is a go-to resource for advice on investing. While many of these pieces of advice are geared towards actual corporate investment (i.e. purchasing multi-billion dollar companies), there are plenty of ways that understanding basic investing principles can support an initiative to invest in social media. There’s a risk in both, but the potential for an even greater reward.

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The Voting Booth In Your Pocket

November 12th, 2014

Modi-Selfie Social media has worked its way into almost every facet of our lives, or maybe it’s the other way around.

We’ve worked social media so far into our daily routines that we can use it to interact with our grocery store, our religion, and even our politicians. With this year’s midterm elections freshly in the rearview mirror, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on this year’s race and to think about what changes have taken place in how we think about and interact with politicians.

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For Veterans Day 2014, A Few Useful Online Resources for Vets

November 11th, 2014

american flag looking up at the skyIt's Veterans Day 2014. The post office is closed, as are many banks, and many today will take to Twitter to #ThankAVet or honor #VeteransDay2014.

But at a time when a large majority of the population hasn't served, and when some companies have turned Veterans Day into an opportunity to sell more stuff, it can be easy to forget that there's more to the holiday than just tweeting out a hashtag or having to wait another day to deposit your check at your local Chase.

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Managing Alumni via Social Media

November 10th, 2014



Social Media Contractors made a huge difference in the Class of 1988’s 25th reunion. SMC built excitement and awareness, resulting in record-setting attendance and fundraising. Social media is key for growing and managing social and alumni groups, and SMC does it very well

 -Charlie Gregg, Executive Officer, Harvard Class of 1988

Are you a university marketing department? Are you the executive officer of an alumni group? Are you an event coordinator for a reunion? Or are you just hoping to draw attendance for a specific upcoming event? As you can see from Charlie Gregg, Executive Officer of the Harvard Class of 1988’s testimonial, SMC can help you do that.

So much of social media is focused on outward projection, right? You’re constantly trying to reach new customers, expand an existing base, push a product, garner interaction and reaction. The challenge in this type of situation is significantly affected when this targeted group already exists. We can’t add to the Harvard Class of 1988 because their class is an isolated entity that cannot be increased (only X number of people put on a cap and gown and walked across the stage in Cambridge in 1988– there’s nothing SMC can do about that). With this particular situation, Charlie Gregg wanted SMC to help support alumni fundraising, attendance, and participation from this select group of people.

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