Socially Awkward Companies Get More Action
10 Sep 2015

Socially Awkward Companies Are Succeeding

A recent survey by Provoke Insights found that the majority (82%) of small businesses are using social media. Yet, more than half (54%) of these businesses state that these marketing efforts are not paying off. Through analyzing the survey responses, Provoke Insights pinpointed five key areas to help small businesses create more effective social media initiatives.

1) Write out your strategy.

Thirty-three percent (33%) of small businesses say they need help to develop a social media program. Most importantly, companies should determine their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the social media landscape. Above all, companies need to understand the gaps in their current plan before they reach out for outside help. Therefore, although this isn’t a full social media plan, businesses need to go in the right direction to develop a more comprehensive strategy.

2) Stand out from the crowd.

A social media presence is more than just having Facebook and LinkedIn pages. However, most small businesses are solely using those channels (77%, 55% respectively). Interestingly, only 45% are using Twitter and even less are using Youtube (33%), Google+ (31%), blogs (18%), Instagram (16%), Pinterest (14%), Vine (9%) and Slideshare (5%). However, these additional channels can provide businesses opportunities to stand out from their competitors who don’t utilize these mediums. In addition, using social media sites such as Google+ and Slideshare helps improve organic search.

3) Invest smartly.

Only 60% of small businesses have utilized paid social media advertising. However, of those who have used these channels, most (77%) have only used Facebook advertising. Meanwhile, it is important to test other social media channels, such as LinkedIn or Twitter, to determine if they have a higher engagement rate. Also, by continually examining paid social media tactics, you can determine which messages resonate most with your audience, as well as which sites produce the best leads.

4) Know what your numbers are saying.

Tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights are free tools to measure customer engagement. But only 25% of small businesses are analyzing their website data, and even less (19%) are measuring their social media metrics.

However, website analytics can show you what drives consumers to your site, including if your social media efforts improve ROI. Furthermore, you can learn more about your target audience, engagement rate, and the number of people who view your posts by only using Facebook Insights. Thus, companies can learn a lot from their numbers.

Al Matesic, the owner of the digital advertising agency SWAMP80, states; “It surprises me how many companies only care about having a presence online without tracking if it works or not. Whenever I develop a website and social media pages for small businesses, I make sure I teach my clients about how to read metrics so they can be successful online.”

5) Create stronger relationships.

60% percent of small businesses believe that social media helps keep them in touch with their customers. That is to say, keeping in touch on social provides businesses an opportunity to further engage with their customers by giving advice, improved customer service, and new product offerings.


Provoke Insights conducted an online survey of 211 small business employees who are involved in the company’s marketing initiatives. “Small business” is defined as between $100k to $20 million in revenues. We distributed the survey between February 27th- 28th, 2014, using Survey Sampling B2B Panel.

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Advertising & the Millennials
09 Sep 2015
Millennials are the largest generation in the United States; no wonder brands want to capture this audience. Unfortunately, advertising to Millennial is quite difficult. This group’s disdain for traditional advertising (52% feel overwhelmed by the number of ads they see each day) makes them a hard bunch to reach. Millennials demand authenticity and transparency and take great pains to thoroughly research their brands. So how do we capture this demanding market?

Make them laugh

While Millennials detest traditional advertising, humor may help them pay more attention.  Eighty percent say they are more likely to remember an ad if it’s funny. Millennials appreciate a clever TV spot, or a little quirkiness if it helps them identify with the brand.  If done well, the chuckles may even hit the millennial authenticity bone. As they say with humor – it’s funny because it’s true.

Make them believe you

Maybe humor doesn’t quite match your brand’s image; then your charge is to find a message or value proposition that speaks to the Millennials’ sense of altruism.

Millennials view themselves as responsible and compassionate, with 22% wanting to make a positive impact on their communities.  A socially conscious brand can win over this target if they can prove their claims when advertising to Millennials. Half of Millennials read reviews before making a purchase and are very careful to investigate the brands they support.

Make them feel unique

Millennials want customizable products. With the help of social media, they have spent time curating their image; they want to continue this with the brands they use.

While a challenging segment to capture, Millennials are definitely worth the effort. A brand that can grab their attention, pass the ‘authenticity test’, or provide a customizable experience, has the potential to win long-term brand loyalists.

Learn more about Millennials here.

Reference: “Marketing to Millennials,” Mintel.  February 2015.