Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Choosing a hashtag used to be a decision users made on Twitter; however, now the popular character has crossed platforms and officially gone mainstream. In fact, a study by RadiumOne reveals that 75 percent of social media users are using hashtags.
Let’s back up for just a second though, and look at what exactly the purpose of a hashtag is.
The hashtag was created to effectively group tweets and make it easier for users to find topics being talked about in the Twittersphere. Because of this, hashtags can be an integral tool for increasing Twitter engagement if used correctly.
So as a brand, how do you effectively use a hashtag? Here’s a quick run through of the dos and don’ts of choosing a hashtag for a Twitter campaign.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Image via Paola peralta
In the agency world, many of us are experiencing more and more clients requesting social media guidance and assistance. As it continues to become a larger part of the public relations conversation (it’s only going to increase with time), it’s imperative that we all understand the foundation of a social media account team.
This shouldn’t be news to any communications professional; the team should collaborate as a single organism to accomplish the overall communications goals just like any other team. But is there a by-the-book structure? My personal opinion is no. By-the-book and social media are like oil and water, they just don’t mix. Social media is forever changing, and client needs constantly evolve. But there is a foundation to every social media team. The following roles are a good place to start:
Monday, July 29, 2013
Image via ePublicist
With 89 percent of internet users sending or receiving electronic communications, email is the most popular online activity. Email marketing is just one of many digital tools for brands, but when done right, it can be one of the most effective ways to communicate with consumers.
Email is an active communication tool that allows you to send messages directly to consumers rather than relying on them to find you. Your audience has opted-in to receive the communication, so they want and expect to hear from you. Therefore, consumers are more likely to read your message and take a desired action.
Notice I said earlier that email can be effective when done right. There are many variables that go into successful email marketing, but the foundation of your efforts has to be the content. You need messages that will grab your consumers’ attention and even motivate them to act. If you don’t have interesting content, then you’re wasting your time and your audience’s time.
Once you have a solid content strategy, there are a few other steps you can take to maximize your email efforts.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Recently, our agency was recognized when The Tennessean named DVL as a top workplace in Middle Tennessee.
If you follow our posts on Twitter or Facebook, you may have noticed that we refer to people who work here as “DVLers.” We’re all not just employees of a communications agency. We are part of a team that cares greatly about each other and shares similar values, like hard work, integrity, transparency and mutual respect.
The Tennessean partnered with WorkplaceDynamics to survey employees from 750 total small, midsize and large companies to determine “outstanding companies in Middle Tennessee that work to create a positive and productive work environment.”
From the 750 companies, the field in the small business category was narrowed down to the Top 25 and DVL placed sixth among small businesses in Middle Tennessee.
In addition, DVL was the only company to be honored with the Ethics Award. DVL received the top overall score among business of all sizes for employee responses to ethics and value-based questions about the company.
Many DVLers aren’t surprised about the agency’s recognition – and aren’t shy to share why:
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Image via digitalart
Graduating from college without a clear career path can be frustrating. It goes without saying that you will frequently be asked the ever daunting question about future career plans.
My career began with a post-graduate internship at DVL. I knew agency experience would be a perfect way to launch my career in public relations. So why weren’t people impressed when I told them about my plans to work at the agency of my dreams? Not everyone could see past the title.
While the title “intern” is not something a recent graduate might be eager to flash, it is worth taking a second look at these opportunities for several reasons.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Image via KROMKRATHOG
Today’s communications landscape is noisier, more cluttered and confused than at any other time in the history of advertising. Your target consumer is literally bombarded by thousands of messages each day – from email to traditional advertising mediums, T-shirt slogans to ads on public transportation. The flood of messages is pervasive. To be noticed in today’s landscape is the challenge of any campaign. Here at DVL, we say, “challenge accepted.”
When developing an advertising strategy, our first step is to identify and understand your target audience. We need to know who we’re talking to, so we can determine the best way to reach them. Is the target online? What sites do they browse? Do they read newspapers and which ones? Where else do they get news? What radio stations do they listen to and when?
Knowing the demographics and lifestyle of the audience helps us analyze media habits based on those factors. Choosing the right media maximizes advertising dollars in a way that the most people are reached to heighten awareness. It generates the desired results by being in the right places at the right time with the right medium and message.
The key to a successful strategy is planning a healthy media mix. Two of the most important terms in our industry are reach and frequency—meaning the number of people you reach and how many times you reach them.
Friday, May 24, 2013
What was the world like before social media? How did we pass the time? How did we keep up with our friends? Where did our vacation photos go?
Don’t get me wrong, I love social media. These are just a few questions that come to mind when I join a new social network. I recently added another username and password to my long roster of logins for the growing platform called Pheed.
Pheed is a social media platform that launched late last year. The platform combines the more popular elements of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and enables its users to share text, photos, videos and audio. The real difference is monetization. Users can charge subscribers to access content, which is a draw for artists and musicians. It’s also popular with teens – 81 percent of users are between ages 14 and 25 – and celebrities.
I have a Pheed account. But I have yet to post. When it comes to new social media platforms I prefer to watch, listen and learn. Do I have a time frame for this process? No, I simply wait until l I understand its purpose and feel comfortable sharing.
One thing I’ve noticed is that Pheed is still more of a personal network. There are a limited number of brands utilizing the platform, and their Pheed engagement can’t compare to their engagement on Facebook and Twitter. Here are a few examples:
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Surprises are often a good thing. Sometimes a surprise comes wrapped up with a bow; other times your friends yell it after jumping out from behind your couch. Less favorably are surprises that come in the form of rain.
After recently working an event, I was reminded that the backbone to successful event management is having a backup plan for your backup plan. We all know what to do if life gives you lemons, but what happens when life gives you rain the day of an outdoor event?
Pull up your rain boots and head straight for plan B.
In order to have a backup plan in place, it is essential that the planning stage doubles as the anticipation stage. At DVL, we are always thinking about a plan B, and oftentimes a plan C, because an event can’t be planned successfully without anticipating the unexpected.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
By now, most people have probably heard of the term “web 2.0.” But for those saying “huh?”, let me bring you up to speed. In the early 1990s, websites were clunky and boring by today’s standards. Images were small and low resolution partly because of limited digital camera technology and slow internet speeds (remember the awful dial-up modem sound?).
Now fast-forward about a decade. As technology advanced and CSS (cascading style sheets) became prevalent, the era of “web 2.0” began. The release of CSS 2 and newer versions of graphic-creating programs, such as Photoshop, gave web designers a new set of tools and the freedom and ability to create webpages that the early adopters of HTML could have only dreamed about.
Visually, “web 2.0” was defined by the predominant use of glossy buttons, color gradients, drop shadows, rounded boxes and large, busy background images. Until then, web designers had been pretty limited in the “visual department.” Like a kid on Christmas morning, they were excited to play with these new “toys.” I call this the “Hey, look what I can do!” era.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
On May 4, digital content enthusiasts will gather at Hotel Preston for PodCamp Nashville, a one-of-a-kind Unconference on all things ‘new’ media – online video, blogging, social media, SEO, podcasting, productivity and more.
Now in its sixth year, the volunteer-driven event is FREE to attend and offers sessions led by fellow community members. Not only is DVL a PodCamp sponsor, but I get to host a presentation, “Discovering the good in a social media crisis,” thanks to the random session draw (as is PodCamp protocol).
A crisis often take us by surprise and it can be hard to keep our cool when we’re going through one, but it’s important to take time during and after a crisis to see what good can be gleaned from it. The session will cover:
1. Fundamental components of a social media crisis plan
2. How to be proactive and discovering the ‘good’ in a social media crisis
3. What has (and hasn’t) worked for others in managing online crises
PodCamp is the perfect place to learn new ideas, no doubt about that. However, the best part about PodCamp may be meeting and having discussions with like-minded people – and PodCamp really does draw a great crowd, if I do say so myself.
A few things to know before you go: