A message from our president
Hi there. This is Todd, and no, that's not me in the image. That's actually the point of this blog today... IMAGE. At Split Media, we operate in mainly three states; Missouri, Illinois and New York, but have clients in all but three. We also have several foreign companies that we work with in other countries. What that means for us, is that there are a whole lot of people that love us, and a whole lot more that hate us. "Why would anyone hate Split?????" Beats me. We don't attack our competition, we don't talk poorly about past clients or team members and we certainly don't troll the internet looking for "gotcha" moments to embarrass a company. But, that's what happened to us yesterday, and while I normally just say "haters gonna hate"; this one pissed me off. So what happened? Our post yesterday on our social platforms came out of the NYC office (this doesn't happen very often) and had to do with our summer intern campaign, and how we weren't expecting as many interested students to apply. We used an image (as we almost always do) from one of the many, many stock libraries that we subscribe to instead of using an actual image from the chaos that was our office for the last two days. Because it's social media, and because we're promoting an image, MY policy is to only post "real" pictures if we have permission from the subject(s). And I'm glad we always ask, because almost NONE of the almost 60 daily team members that we work with, actually want to be seen. They just don't. And that's their right. But here's the deal... Some ASSHAT decided to track down the image we used and post it all over social media and our page trying to make the point that we use stock images? Or that we weren't being honest by not calling it out? I have no idea what her point was, but she's an idiot. We almost NEVER show our real people or team members. We do this for a reason, and while I don't feel like I should have to explain... I will. Anyone that's ever worked at an agency understands the massive amount of poaching and turnover that happens. I have worked at several agencies and have seen past employees get hurt, angry, used, made fun of.... you name it; because their images were used on the company's social media pages. Not at Split. I'm not going to let that happen. The NUMBER ONE reason is because of an incident in which a very violent ex-husband tracked down a team member because he saw a promoted post, featuring his ex wife, on the agencies Facebook page. She got hurt. Bad. It was at that moment that I made it company policy to never use a real image without permission. But I guess the larger question is "who cares"? We always use images that are about as true to life as possible. Just because we show "A" pizza party, doesn't mean that we didn't have one. At Split, our company culture is very important to us. But it's OUR culture. Not yours. Sure, other agencies can show or not show whatever they'd like. I'm not concerned with other agencies. If we have a client or potential client that doesn't like the images we use, or is "misled" by the fact that we use stock images in an office that they're never going to see.... so be it. We are not the typical digital marketing agency. Every image we use is real to us, because they DO reflect our culture. They DO reflect our team. They DO reflect our values. But just like any TV show tat's based on real life; they never show the real people to protect their identities. Same here. If you don't like it, look at the image above. It's stock. Todd
5 REASONS YOUR BUSINESS CAN’T AFFORD TO AVOID SOCIAL MEDIA
Social Media is here, and many small and large businesses are taking advantage of it. With so many platforms, ways to use them and the ability to target customers via advertising, social media has skyrocketed in the business world. Here are 5 reasons why not using social media could be dangerous for your businesses: 1. Social Media Will Increase Brand AwarenessIt can be difficult for a business to establish a brand among their community without extensive advertising and customer engagement. But by using social media, any business can be creative when establishing their brand for a small cost. Social media allows content to reach an even larger audience locally and globally, increasing brand awareness. Social media allows a business to see what customers are talking about and what they want to see from that business. Social Media leads to increased brand loyalty. When a customer is loyal to a brand, they are more likely to advertise that business on their own social media sites to encourage potential customers to check them out. Potential customers are then going to look for that business on social media to find more reviews and to learn more about the business. A study performed by Convince & Convert states that “53% of Americans who follow brands on a social platform are more loyal to those brands.” 2. Social Media Increases Conversion Rates and TrafficWith every picture, message, and video that is posted on your page, several potential customers see, and will start to recognize your brand. Social media is important for engaging with customers, a great way to increase your conversion rate is by engaging with those customers who are searching for products or services that you offer. Interacting with customers will make them more likely to trust your business and willing to leave a review for other potential customers to read. 3. Social Media Gives A Business Higher Brand AuthorityThe world is on social media, whether they use it professionally or personally, they interact with hundreds of people a day. This leads to reviews and feedback on businesses whether they are on social media or not. If a business has social media accounts, they can take control of that feedback. If a customer posts a negative review on social media, a business can immediately go into damage control. By doing so they can apologize publicly and offer a solution. Other potential customers will see this and will increase their trust in their customer service. If a customer posts a positive review, a business can publicly thank them for their dedication and offer them other services that might interest them. This shows other potential customers that the business is going out of their way to make their customers happy in every situation. Being in control of your brand leads to making your business recognized as an industry expert. When your brand is strong and recognizable, your traffic will continue to grow. 4. Social Media Increases Your Opportunity To Expand Your Professional NetworkYour competition is on social media right now converting customers from your business, creating a strong brand and growing their business. Using social media to see what content has helped increase traffic to the competition can help you create useful content for your page. Using your competition can also help you determine what customers are looking for in your area of business. On top of that, you can interact with other professionals in order to find potential customers that you may not have found otherwise. 5. Social Media Is One Of The Most Affordable Marketing Options AvailableAll businesses have to watch how much they spend on marketing and advertising. Social media allows for a marketing plan at a very affordable cost. Most platforms offer ad placement. Placing these ads can be tricky sometimes, but it’s well worth the effort. Many social media platforms will also track the amount of clicks and time spent on your page resulting from the ad. This helps the business determine if social media is increasing their traffic. Facebook analytics is very simple to use and understand, making social media marketing an easy, affordable and effective way to grow any business.
WHY DIGITAL MARKETING FIRMS NEED TO START EDUCATING CLIENTS
Everyone wants a fast “fix”, and clients are quick to blame their whoas on whatever firm they happen to be working with that particular week. In the eyes of today’s client, digital is king, and unfortunately, those of us that understand how it all works have a responsibility to educate our clients on the unrealistic expectations many seem to have. Take SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for instance. I can’t tell you how many smaller businesses have been told that if they just spend a few thousand dollars, which many don’t have, that they’ll be at the “top of the list”. They’ve been told that running a PPC (pay per click) campaign will boost their rankings. They’ve been told that if they stack their site with keywords and metadata, that Google will work “faster” to improve their rung on the ladder. These are actual comments made to me by clients that have been very misinformed. Let’s get a couple of things straight: First and foremost, a PPC campaign has nothing to do with your ranking in Google. Nothing. It doesn’t hurt, but it certainly doesn’t help unless you’re in a very specific category called “unlimited budget”. This is marketing 101. The more people that see your ad, the more likely they are to visit your site. The more people that visit your site, the better off you’ll be in the rankings. But here’s the catch; in order to have enough people not only see your ad, but actually click… you’re going to spend a boatload. As a digital marketer, I’m telling you that digital is not the only answer. Again, you’d be amazed at how many folks I run into that have been told that the only marketing they need is either SEO or PPC. Not only is that unreasonable, but in my opinion, blatantly misleading. Here’s the other thing: SEO is a pretty formatted deal. Are there shortcuts and tricks? Sure. But for the most part, everyone starts out in the same wagon. So spending thousands and thousands of dollars trying to “beat the system” is probably a waste of money. Can it be done? Yep. Should you do it? I wouldn’t suggest it. My advice to clients is always to do your research. I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. Understand what you’re asking for. Purchase talent, not mechanics. Buy from companies that provide a transparent look into their process. Ask them to explain why they’re taking a certain approach. And trust your gut. If a digital marketing firm tells you that they can solve all of your issues with SEO or a PPC campaign; they’re lying. It’s that simple. Many of our direct clients are marketing people that work for a company. Many are just trying to reach their goals and couldn’t care less how they do it. I get that. But they also understand that marketing as a whole cannot be dropped into a single basket. Every effort has to be measured for effectiveness and potential return. Would you put all of your money into one stock? Right. Neither would I. So for all of us in the digital marketing space; stop complaining that your clients don’t get it and have unreasonable expectations. You sold them on it! Get educated yourselves about how brands work. Learn about actual marketing instead of simply selling one piece of the puzzle. Broaden your horizons! This isn’t a client problem, it’s an industry problem. We need to stop complaining and educate our clients. Trust me, I’ve done my fair share of bitching. But I finally realized that it was us, not them. There are a lot of unethical firms out there just trying to make a buck, and it’s given our industry a bad name. Let’s fix that.