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  • #SelfCare: How to Detox From Social Media Like the Pros

    The average person will spend more than five years of their life on social media, and most users spend roughly two hours every day on some social platform or another. Social media accounts for as much as 30% of total time spent online, and up to 80% of social media usage takes place on mobile devices – meaning that, in many cases, we literally can’t get away from that next tweetstorm or Instagram notification.

    Two hours a day is a huge chunk of time to be spent doing anything – let alone using services with known links to negative health effects, ranging from increased feelings of loneliness to sleep deprivation. For many, social media is a stressor, and it can be a trigger for anxiety and frustration – yet it can be hard to connect with friends and family without it.

    And for many, social media isn’t just a habit, but a cornerstone of their daily life. That’s particularly true for people in our chosen field; working as we do in digital marketing, we’re even more plugged in than the average user, and large portions of our day are spent checking in on social media analytics, monitoring posts and comments, scrolling through feeds on Buffer, SocialPilot, or Hootsuite, and creating content for Twitter and Facebook.

    What this means is that we sometimes have to check in and set hard limits on our social media usage – for the sake of our own mental and physical health. Looking for some help getting started with a digital detox plan? Just want to be more mindful when it comes to your social media consumption?

    Here are a few strategies that we’ve found can be quite helpful, whether you’re just taking a temporary breather from social media or trying to set more productive habits for your future:

    1.) Set Technology-Free Windows of Time

  • 10 Essential Elements of Brand Storytelling

    Brand storytelling existed long before the rise of social PR. Even in the earliest days of marketing, branding was as much about telling stories and creating a connection with your audience as it was about the hard sell.

    But since the rise of social media and modern SEO, brand storytelling has changed: Now, it’s all about connecting your audience with one another. It’s about being real and accessible, rather than bragging. It’s about using all of the new media opportunities at your disposal to show, rather than tell.

    In short, crafting a compelling narrative around your company is essential for drawing in new readers online and helping to turn them into loyal users. But how do you get started?

    Thanks to marketing guru Pam Moore’s “Social Zoom Factor” podcast, here are ten of the essential elements to shaping your brand story:

    1.) Be You, Be True

  • Ho, ho, ho!

    It’s that time of year again. The air has turned cold, sleigh bells are jingling, presents are being put into stockings with care… We could go on, but you probably get it!

    It’s the holiday season, which means that the man in the big red coat will soon be flying around the world with his trusty reindeer, delivering presents (and a few lumps of coal) to kids everywhere.

    And while some of our adult readers may have stopped believing in Santa Claus, there’s still something about his spirit that’s downright infectious – particularly for digital marketers! Don’t believe us? Well, it’s true!

  • 3 Signs You're Ready for Digital Marketing (Source: pexels.com - used as royalty free image)

    James Soto is one of the leading voices in the industrial marketing sector, so when he offers a few pearls of wisdom online, it never hurts to listen.

    Soto recently penned a fascinating post for Hubspot, all about helping marketers identify when a brand is or isn’t ready to invest in marketing. His advice is interesting, and, in our experience, spot on.

    But we pride ourselves on our connectedness here at Geek; we believe that marketing is a multi-step process that requires both the close collaboration of the brand and the full commitment of our marketing team. Like Soto, we recognize that the decision to go with a marketing firm isn’t a one way street. It’s a big decision that requires a lot of trust, and ultimately, it has to come from the brand itself, based on any number of factors.

  • You've heard it before, from us -  Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms around, and a fun, low-pressure way to expand the reach of your social marketing campaign.

    With more than 400 million monthly active users, Instagram is one of the best places for your brand to diversify its content and broaden your reach.

    With the right strategies in place, Instagram can become one of your top marketing tools to grow a bigger, more engaged client base. But what’s the right way to use it for your business?

    Here are three strategies that will help you attract clients, increase sales, and give your business major Insta-results:

    Provide Exclusive Content

  • In today’s media landscape, content is king. It’s vital for everything from maximizing search engine optimization to getting free shares on Facebook and Twitter.

    How can you make sure your content is as effective and accessible as possible? A lot of your blog’s success comes directly from the language and voice that you use.

    Here are a few ideas that will help you speak to your readers, rather than above them:

    1. Use Language Your Audience Knows

  • 5 Big Predictions for the Next 5 Years of Digital Marketing

    One of the great things about digital marketing is that it’s a field that’s always evolving – sometimes so incrementally that you barely even notice, sometimes in sweeping leaps that make it feel like the whole world has turned upside down.

    What do the next few years hold for SEO, social media, and content marketing? Here are five big predictions worth keeping in mind for the next five years of digital marketing:

    A Complete Restructuring of SEO

    SEO is an ever-changing beast, and the next three to five years promise some of the most dramatic shifts to ever hit search engines, as a result of a few major advancements.

  • 5 Lessons Small Businesses Can Learn from Politicians

    The goals of new small businesses often share some common components - Provide a great product or service, market that product of service, and build a loyal following.

    As it turns out, the needs of great political leaders often fall under these same categories. Their great product? Their political platform. Their marketing? Their campaign and presence on media. Their loyal following? Those that will vote for them come election time. 

    Thankfully, these similarities provide small businesses a great source of opportunity to learn how to better their own practices. We've learned a great deal from our political clients over the years, and they're not so different from the small- to medium-sized businesses with which we work.

    Here are 5 lessons we can learn from our politicians:

    1. Have a clear platform

  • 5 Lessons We Can Learn About Social Media from NASA (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Here at Geek, we’re always looking up at the stars and dreaming about the future… of web development and digital marketing. But there are plenty of other people who look to the stars and see adventure, opportunity, and science’s next cutting edge.

    The astronauts, analysts, technicians, and public relations teams at NASA aren’t just inspiring because they’re exploring the “final frontier” of space – they inspire us because of the way that they’re bringing back those discoveries and sharing them with those of us who are still stuck here on earth.

    Recently, Loren Grush of The Verge held a fascinating interview with Jason Townsend and John Yembrick, two of the three social media leads at NASA headquarters, about what it’s like to help operate the organization’s 510 accounts across 14 platforms.

    So, what can earthbound social marketers learn from NASA? To put it in really scientific terms: tons! Here are five major pieces of wisdom from NASA’s social media team that you can put to work for your brand today:

    1.) Use Multiple Channels to Share Your Content

  • 5 Reasons You Need to Use Social Media to Boost Your SEO (Source: Pixabay CC)

    With more than 74% of internet users logging into social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter on a regular basis, social media needs to be a top priority when addressing your SEO issues (Pay lots of attention to Facebook- 71% of adults have profiles on this behemoth website). While it might take a while to get acquainted with these internet offerings, social media can be an invaluable method of reaching your target audience. Here are our top 5 reasons why you need to update your status, freshen up your Facebook copy, and hashtag the workweek away! 

    1. It's Not Just About Google

    The social media boom came along with something equally as important: the birth of the social search. The internet is changing the way people research products and services. (Maybe you looked up last night's restaurant on Yelp instead of consulting a Zagat guide). The numbers don't lie. Twitter searches hit 1.6 billion in 2011, while Facebook rakes in about 1 billion per day. Your leads are out there - Give them a chance to look you up and 'like' you before the conversation begins. 

  • 5 Social Media Marketing Mistakes It's Time to Stop Making

    Social media marketing is an invaluable tool for reaching new audiences and retaining your existing ones. It has a nearly unlimited capacity to generate referral traffic, improve your SEO efforts, generate and convert leads, and create positive buzz around your brand.

    Of, course, there’s a “but:” To see the amazing benefits of social marketing, you need to know how to do it correctly. Whether you’re looking to fine-tune an existing social campaign or launch a new one, here are five huge social media marketing mistakes to avoid:

    Having Unclear or Inconsistent Messaging

    Before you begin to market on social media, it’s important that you know a few things, including:

    • Your brand messaging (Who are you? What are you marketing?)
    • Your audience (Who are you marketing to?)
    • Your goals (Why are you using social media marketing?)

    You may be surprised (or not) to learn that many brands get started on social media without a clear vision or goal in mind; it’s important that you narrow your focus and understand what you’re trying to achieve, so that you can actually work towards it.

  • 5 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Referral Traffic

    In terms of inbound marketing for your site, we tend to talk about traffic in two major ways: either as organic traffic, or referral traffic.

    Broadly speaking, organic traffic is best categorized as the clicks that come from users who find your site directly from a Google or Bing search. Referral traffic, then, refers to the visitors who come to your page through any site other than a major search engine.

    For your site to truly generate value and help your brand achieve its strategic goals, it’s important to have campaigns in place to drive in both organic and referral traffic. Unfortunately, we see many too many people who tend to focus on the former at the expense of the latter, not realizing that SEO and referrals are deeply interconnected.

    Referral traffic is, indeed, a key part of “off-page SEO:” The more trustworthy sites that link to your pages or content, the more the search engines value your content. The more that Google and its ilk trust and recognize your content, the higher they prioritize it on search engine ranking pages (SERPs). Consistent, steady referral traffic, then, will also net you more organic traffic down the line.

  • Facebook’s algorithm has been changing – and it’s all anyone who cares about social media marketing seems to be talking about!

    (Well, that, and all of the major social media PR crises and data privacy issues that have seemingly dominated the news cycle in 2018.)

    For marketers – and brands who rely on Facebook to reach new audiences, retarget their existing clients, and build up loyal followings – Facebook has long been king. Next to Google, it’s the largest digital marketing platform by a wide margin, soaking up more attention (and ad dollars) than just about anywhere else on the internet.

    As such, many businesses who want to expand their outreach online find themselves having to play by Facebook’s rules, even when it comes to marketing on other social networks, like Twitter and Instagram. And those rules just seem to keep changing.

    The Ever-Changing Facebook Algorithm

  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Brand Awareness on Social Media

    No matter what your line of business, social media marketing (SMM) is a low-cost, high-reward way to connect with your audience online, leading to increased traffic to your site and - with a little skill - a slew of brand-new leads.

    But besides just reaching out to new users, spreading your message on social media can be a great way to connect with users and customers on an emotional level. Creatively telling your unique brand story and forging real relationships are the backbone of effective social marketing; they turn customers into friends and partners, creating brand awareness and loyalty that are invaluable for your company.

    Here are five surefire to ways to boost your brand awareness with social media:

    1.) Have a Strategic Focus

  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Activity With Smart Automation (Source: Adapted from Pixabay Public Domain Image)

    Social media is an elusive form of marketing for many in the business world. You understand the importance of an online presence and getting active on the social media world, but achieving results is another matter altogether. Do you automate, or do you strictly post when inspiration strikes?

    While there is no universal agreement (as social media great Seth Godin opts for a pure distribution channel approach, while purist Dan Shure vows never to automate), Copyblogger recently released some helpful ways businesses can use automation with these carefully constructed guidelines to maintain a human element to your social media activity and generate interaction. Here's the scoop.

    1. Remain Connected

  • 5 Ways to Start Using Streaming Video for Your Marketing

    The landscape of social media is changing – away from text posts and updates and to GIFs, autoplaying clips, and, above all, live video.

    We may not be heading to a textless future just yet, but that doesn’t mean that video isn’t here to stay; views on social media are up across the board, and Facebook is making a massive push to prioritize streaming video content on users’ feeds – and spending a pretty penny advertising it, too.

    Is your brand ready to keep up? Like Snapchat and Instagram before it, live video is a major step forward – but one that lines up with the core tenets of digital marketing that we’ve always taught to our clients. The medium is changing, but the message doesn’t have to.

    Here are five easy, low-pressure ways for your brand to start putting live streaming video to work right now:

    Give Viewers a Peek Behind the Scenes

  • 5 Ways to Take Control of Your Facebook Page (Source: Pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Can you remember a time before Facebook? We’ll give you a second.

    It’s getting harder to do, isn’t it? What was once a fun online novelty has become an omnipresent backbone of the internet ecosystem, with roots that spread out and impact commerce, entertainment, communication, and every other facet of the digital landscape.

    So, we’re going to go ahead and guess that you’re familiar with Facebook, and probably that you’re already using it for your business.

    Here’s what you may not realize – most of us are barely scratching the surface of what we can do to refine, streamline, and customize our Facebook experience. The network that boasts a huge ROI for advertising and that is rapidly changing the way we talk about SEO also offers a slew of customizable tools for brands that are well worth exploring.

    Social media is a vital way for your brand to stand out, to create leads, to bolster your reputation and create your positive narrative. So when it comes to your Facebook page, don’t just settle for the basics – take control. Here are five easy ways to get started:

    1.) Create Powerful, Custom Images

  • 6 Inspiring New Ways to Create and Share Data

    Thinking visually is key to the art of content creation. Just consider the facts! Most humans only remember about 20% of what they read, but 90% of what they see. People on Facebook and Twitter much prefer posts with visual content: engagement on tweets with images is well over 100% higher than on tweets without, while Facebook posts with images see twice the engagement as posts without.

    And this knowledge hasn’t been lost on marketers; more and more digital marketers have been shifting their attention to image, video, and infographic creation. Indeed, according to stats from the Content Marketing Institute, 55% of content creators planned to prioritize creating visual content in 2016, and a full 73% of content creators are aiming to create “more engaging content” in the months ahead.

    Don’t let your marketing efforts get left behind! Drive up engagement and increase your brand loyalty with these six creative ways to package and share your content:

    Infographics

  • 6 Ways to Get More Shares on Social Media Without Galling Readers

    Pop-ups, annoyingly-placed hyperlinks, endless requests in the middle of blog posts: These are ways to increase shares, but they all run the risk of backfiring, frustrating your reader, and sending them off to other sites. How can your blog increase shares without annoying your audience?

    Here are some ideas:

    1.) Make Sharing Easy

    Readers are much more likely to share your content if they’re able to do so quickly, without interrupting their experience on your site. Position social share buttons where they can be found easily – maybe under your headline or in a well-placed sidebar. Or you can enable a click-to-tweet plugin, which lets users highlight and share facts or quotes on Twitter with a single click.

    2.) Pick the Perfect Headline

  • 7 Dangerous Digital Marketing Myths It's Time to Rethink (Source: Pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    For as long as brands have turned to the internet to reach and retain new audiences, there have been skeptics pushing back against digital marketing.

    From social media scoffers to web development foot-draggers, we’ve seen – and converted! – them all. Now it’s your turn. If you subscribe to one of these seven digital marketing myths, you’re losing valuable reach and business opportunities by the day.

    Let’s get debunking! It’s high time to stop saying that:

    1.) “Digital Marketing Doesn’t Have a High ROI!”

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).