Author Archives: Megan McGrath

How to Create Well-Rounded Content for Social

How to Create Well-Rounded Content for Social

There are many factors to consider when learning how to create well-rounded content for social platforms, from location to industry to the time of the year. The secret to ensuring that your content is varied and useful to the customer is to plan in advance — taking brand goals, community happenings, your audience and much more into consideration prior to content creation. Read on to see how we create well-rounded content for social media.

Educational

A large portion of your content should educate your audience about your services, your company, what you have to offer, etc. Whether it’s explaining how your product or service is beneficial or sharing third-party sources that are related to your industry, this form of content should offer the consumer information they were unaware of prior to following your brand’s social media. By clearly outlining how you can bring value to or solve a problem for your audience, you’re encouraging potential customers to seek more information about your services — and therefore giving them the confidence to make an informed purchase decision.

Promotional

While we don’t recommend pushing “sales sales sales” all the time, promoting your brand and its products or services is an important piece of the content puzzle. We recommend around 30% of promotional content, whether it’s sharing seasonal deals, offering incentives for loyal customers, or showcasing new inventory. For this type of content, content should include strong calls-to-action that leads your audience to the promoted product or service. For example, a call-to-action telling them to fill out the contact form on your website or read a blog your company wrote to learn more about a specific topic.

Personal

Highlighting employees or reposting a customer’s photo is the type of content that adds warmth and personality to the brand. This makes your audience feel more connected to the company, which in turn creates brand loyalty. In addition to fostering brand loyalty, personal photos and stories have been shown to perform well in terms of engagement and reach. Unsurprisingly, people are much more inclined to share or comment on a post that is personal to them.

Community-Oriented

We highly recommend mixing community-oriented content into your equation. If you’re a local brand — it’s important to lift up the community and show you are an active part of it. This includes sharing interesting places to visit or things to do around your area, showcasing that you give back to the community or to certain organizations, or highlighting local brand partners that you work with and/or admire.

Engaging

Lastly, we recommend that your content calendar incorporates pieces that are engaging! Ask questions to get to know your customers or what they want to see more of on your social channels. Ask for customer feedback in the form of reviews to learn how to improve your product or services and build up brand credibility on places like Yelp or Google My Business. Engaging content helps your audience see that you care about their opinions and are actively listening to them.

We hope that this guide helps you know how to create well-rounded content for social media for your brand! If you feel overwhelmed by all of the planning and creativity that goes into building a content calendar, we’d love if you’d consider working with us at Alter Endeavors.

What You Need to Start Building Your Social Presence

social presence

When entering into a partnership with a client, there are a few important items we hope to acquire from our new client in the beginning. As a Digital Marketing Coordinator, my job is to elevate my client’s brand and showcase who they are and what is unique about the brand to the public, but that can be hard to do without the right tools to succeed. Below are some of the things we as a Digital Communications Agency try to acquire from our clients to start building their social presence.

Content

Content is probably one of the most important things we need from a client. In this day and age, visuals are what sell and without those, it can be hard to promote a brand. To start off, it’s important that we have a client’s logos, brand colors, high-quality headshots (if applicable), and any photos and videos they have. Getting this base of visual content can really go a long way in helping to market a brand.

Account Info

This information, while it’s not as glamorous as visuals, is a vital part of setting up or running a client’s social presence. If the client already has social accounts, we’ll need to gain access to those to be able to take over posting for them. If they haven’t created an account, it’s time to decide which email to use and create that account so that we can start building out their basic info and later their posts. During this process, we’ll discuss what username / handle the client would like to use and what information the bio should include.

Brand Identity/Personality

Here, we get into who the brand is and what they stand for. It’s important to figure out the personality of the brand, their mission, the audience we’ll be targeting and the style of writing the brand uses. Keeping a consistent brand image across all platforms is extremely important for brand recognition and recall. You want your audience to be able to go to any of your social platforms and instantly recognize who you are. If your platforms don’t match up, it could lead to losing followers due to confusion.

Goals

At the beginning, it is crucial to understand in specific terms our client’s goals. Is it more important to them to gain followers or to increase engagement? Create a community for people to come to or encourage people to visit the brick and mortar location? Once we determine the goals of our client, it’ll be a lot easier to start creating content and promoting the brand with those objectives in mind. While it’s important not to only “sell sell sell!” your client’s brand, finding out their goals can help you determine what aspects of the brand to promote and when.

Hopefully, if you are considering doing business with Alter Endeavors or are unsure of what type of information is needed to start building your social presence, this guide will help you form a solid base of knowledge for getting started. Cheers y’all!

The Importance of an Online Presence Audit

While the importance of having a website with useful information and resources about your company is a necessity, businesses often forget to periodically check that current information is accurate and consistent across all platforms. Completing an online presence audit every few months can minimize the problems customers come across while maximizing your chance for engagement and sales. Below, I will discuss the importance of conducting an online presence audit, and what exactly that entails.

Contact info

First, it is important to audit all of your owned, rented and earned platforms to double-check that the contact info on every platform is consistent and correct. Your contact info includes: website address, physical address, phone number and email. On some platforms like Yelp and Nextdoor, you may have to submit a request to change your info or verify your number. Keeping your contact info up-to-date is extremely important; otherwise, you risk either losing a customer or irritating them because they can’t get into contact with you and that could lead to a frustrated potential customer before you even have the chance to interact.

About section

Most companies have a slogan or a few sentences that they consistently use to describe what it is they do or the services they offer. But, a lot of the time that description changes over time with the company and it’s easy to forget to go back and update your bio sections to reflect your new description of your brand. This can quickly lead to your platforms having different and confusing versions and leave your customer with an incorrect idea of your brand identity. Creating a consistent brand identity and image across all platforms can help customers recall and remember your brand better.

Links and submission buttons

Though it may seem obvious to make sure your links and submission buttons properly function, a lot of the time we trust in technology too much and assume that these will work. Every once in awhile it is good to go back and confirm that your links actually take people where you want them to and that your submission buttons properly submit the information they’re supposed to. A common issue we’ve seen at AE is that many people will link to their social sites such as Twitter and Facebook and when you click on that link it takes you to the homepage of those sites and not the actual company profile. So, go through your platforms as if you were a customer or client and try your links and different buttons to see if they are properly functioning.

Audit time

Alright, guys, it’s time to start checking. We know this process can be tedious and boring at times, but trust us when we say it’s all about the little things. Those simple fixes you make on your online platforms can be the make or break between whether a potential customer actually makes it to you or not. Best of luck out there, and if you’d rather have someone else run your online presence audit, you know where to find us!

Meet Christopher Jennings!

Christopher Jennings

Every once in awhile, we like to shake it up at Alter Endeavors and spotlight one of our incredible people and their accomplishments. It’s past time for us to brag on Christopher Jennings.

Christopher Jennings aka “Topher,” the Director of Website Operations at Alter Endeavors, just got back from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) National Conference in Los Angeles. That’s right, besides running the most complicated department at Alter Endeavors, Christopher S. Jennings is a man of many talents.

Christopher has worked at AE for a little over 3 years now and was our very first hire after Nick and Jamie (the owners). So, it should go without saying that Christopher means a lot to us —he’s like family. Not only does he head up the department of Web Operations at AE, but he’s also an illustrator and author for children’s publications. Like we said earlier, superbly talented.

Topher has illustrated dozens of published works for children (and he has even written a few of them too). Though he’s obviously extremely talented, he’s also incredibly versatile. He’s worked in publishing, gaming, editorial, advertising, entertainment, animation, commercial, apparel, apps and even drawn greeting cards for American Greetings. (Phew. What a list!)

It’s Topher’s focus on children’s books, and why they are important to him, that makes him extra incredible in our humble opinion. As a kid, reading didn’t come easy. His mother read him picture books to ease him into it. Picture books allowed him to learn to read while making sure not to discourage or dissuade him in the arduous process of learning how letters formed words. Huge props to Christopher’s mother, who says she still has Green Eggs and Ham memorized from all of those repeated readings. Although picture books helped Christopher read, their visuals also fostered Christopher’s love for the fun (but important) things, the light-hearted things, and how to visually interpret those things.

Christopher is the author of Hello, Texas! as well as the author and illustrator of the picture book Animal Band, both published by Sterling Publishing. He has drawn for published works for such companies as Penguin Group Books, Scholastic and Stone Arch Books (to name a few.) Christopher was chosen as the featured illustrator for SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) in September 2015. That year he was selected from volunteers around the country and given a grant—SCBWI flew Christopher up to New York, all expenses paid, for the annual conference. In October of 2016 Christopher took the reins as illustrator coordinator for the Austin chapter.

When asked what his favorite part of the creative process is, Christopher replied that “he loves the revision process.” Not only does this make him an exceptionally talented artist, this is why Alter Endeavors has built so many impressive websites over the past few years for some really important folks. What’s more, people love working with Christopher. He is kind, patient, understanding, experienced, and forward-thinking.

Not many super creative folks are able to be even half as organized and focused as Christopher, which has a lot to do with why he was made animation lead for the film A Scanner Darkly and why so many folks choose to work with Alter Endeavors. We are proud and thankful to have Topher as part of the Alter Endeavors core family. If you want to check out his awesome work, click here.

 

4 Tips for Recent College Grads

In March I submitted my resume to Alter Endeavors.  As a senior business major with a focus in marketing, I was looking for an entry level job in those fields. After the long process of applying for jobs and going to interviews, I accepted the Social Media Intern position here at Alter Endeavors.
Trust me, I know those last months before graduation can start to get stressful if you haven’t found a job, a place to live, etc. It can be terrifying not knowing what’s on the horizon, what to expect in interviews or where you’ll be living a year from now. We spend the first 20 years or so of our lives in a structured school system and then suddenly we are adults with jobs.
In my last few months before graduation and my first few months after, I’ve learned a few things I wish someone would’ve told me.

 

Here are 4 tips for recent college grads:

1. Ask questions

Throughout the interview process, it can be tricky learning about a company or the potential job you’re applying for. While it is important to learn as much about the company and their culture before your interview, sometimes you might not be able to find the answers to your questions on their website. This is where you need to be sure to speak up and not be afraid to ask questions. If you are well-prepared and knowledgeable about the company, they will be impressed with your questions. A company wants to see your interest in them as well as your drive to learn more about the company. Not only will you go home with a better idea of the job you are applying for, the interviewer will see you take initiative in learning about them and appreciate the effort you put into the process.

2. Be yourself

It can be hard going into an interview and feeling like you need to talk yourself up as much as possible. To a certain degree, you need to promote yourself, but don’t create a whole new persona. While commenting on your accomplishments is important and necessary in the interview process, it is also important that you get to know the company culture as well as the potential employer. At the end of the day, if you tell the interviewer you’re relaxed because their company is relaxed, but you prefer a well-structured day, then you’ll end up getting frustrated with your company. You need to find a company that fits best with you and vice versa, or someone will end up being unhappy with the relationship. So, be honest with yourself and your interviewer, and you will be more likely to find a great match for you.

3. Never stop learning

I know some of you don’t want to hear this. You’re thinking, “Are you serious? I just got out of school, I thought I was done!” But, constantly learning and looking for new information and ideas is important. For my job as a Social Media Intern at Alter Endeavors, keeping up with new practices and trends can make or break your success in marketing for a company. Online marketing is still relatively new, and it changes day by day. My boss is always sending us articles about new trends and the best social media strategies and practices so that we can stay on top of what is going on in the industry and change with it. Adapting to your industry is necessary, and the companies unwilling to do this tend to die out with the old practices.

4. Don’t be afraid to change

Lastly, we all know change can be hard. You get comfortable, and the idea of changing can be daunting. It may seem like too much work or too far out of your box, but sometimes that’s how the best ideas are thought of or created.  Working for a small company, I have learned that being able to adjust and wear many different hats is a necessity. While larger companies may have you specialize in one area, being open to change and being adaptable can benefit you when they may be trying to fill a more senior position. Over my years of playing soccer, I had multiple coaches tell me that for them, the best player isn’t the one with the most skill but the one who is coachable and willing to try new things. This ability to be innovative and unafraid of change can be the difference in your company’s long-term success.

If you work hard, ask questions, be yourself, keep learning, and adapt you’ll be okay.  Keep these tips in mind, save yourself the trouble of applying for jobs that aren’t a good fit for you and make a good impression on the jobs that are. For us recent college grads, after-college life can seem intimidating, but we’re more ready than we know.