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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

  • 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 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.

  • 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

  • What if you could see through the eyes of a woman on safari in Kenya? Or watch the sunset from a sailboat in the Mediterranean Sea?

    We're fascinated with the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s eyes. We read books, watch movies and TV shows, and play world immersive video games. Twitter has released an app that has taken that idea one step further.

  • Social media’s foundational value is right there in its name. “Social.”

    It’s a word that we use all the time, but it has some heavy connotations, when you really think about it. It suggests person-to-person connection. It suggests real engagement. It suggests authenticity.

    So… where has all of that gone on social media?

    Will All the Real Accounts Please Stand Up?

    “Fake News” was one of the biggest buzzwords of 2016 and 2017. Fake social accounts and fabricated web content, disseminated across social media, may well have played a large part in influencing the outcome of an American presidential election.

    But it goes beyond that. In testimonies before Congress, representatives for Facebook and Twitter both estimated that a significant portion of the accounts registered on their networks are fake. Facebook estimates that as many as 60 million accounts – that’s 2-3% of the company’s 2 billion regular visitors – are fakes. Twitter estimates that 5% of its 330 million users are “false accounts or spam,” which equates to 16 million profiles.

  • Friendster, We Hardly Knew Ya: These Social Networks Never Caught On

    We think all the time about the future of social media here. But in order to know where our favorite marketing platforms and services – including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram – are going, it’s important to take a look back at the past.

    And when it comes to social media, that past looks a lot like a graveyard, littered with the skeletons of social sites and apps that tried – and failed – to make a digital splash.

    What can we learn from these failed experiments? What were they, where did they go wrong, and could our favorite social networks ever go the same way? Let’s take a look at five famous social media flops:

    Friendster

  • Getting to the Bottom of Your Social Media Analytics (Source: Pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Social media is one of the most effective ways of creating your brand’s narrative, driving referral traffic, and spreading the good word about your one-of-a-kind business. But how are you measuring your success?

    We hear all sorts of claims about the effectiveness of digital marketing, but it’s important to always keep track of your successes and failures. Email marketing, SEO, social media – all of these are vital (and interconnected) tools for your business, but each needs to be measured, tested, and analyzed in different ways.

    Fortunately, many social media platforms – most notably Facebook and Twitter – have their own built-in analytics tools. Using these free native tools are a great way to test and improve the quality of your social media marketing, helping you to answer questions like…

    What Types of Content Does My Audience Like?

  • Group Messaging on TwitterTwitter recently launched an update to its direct messaging (DM) feature to allow for group messaging with multiple users at once. We can now message up to 20 users in one message, which seems to pale in comparison to Facebook Messenger's 250 user limit, but it is a step forward nonetheless.

    Here's how you can use this new function to create a group message from scratch, add new member to a pre-existing group message, and how to share tweets directly within a message (as recently detailed by Hubspot).

    Twitter Group Messaging - An Overview

    Group messaging allows for private conversations on a public forum, which Product Director Jinen Kamdar reiterated the importance of on Twitter's official blog, saying:

    Private conversations on Twitter are a great complement to the largely public experience on the platform. You might prefer to read (or watch) tweets but converse about them privately.

    Creating group messages takes this concept to a whole new level. Here are the details:

  • When it comes to social media, there are plenty of things that you might already believe to be true. But are your assumptions on track, or are you missing the mark?

    To help gauge our social media knowledge – and check out whether common social media myths are true or false – the Geek team likes to turn to studies from the Pew Research Center.

    Focusing on social media usage and habits, the research compiled regularly by Pew is essential for understanding the far-flung impacts of social media on our culture, particularly when it comes to looking at the past, present, and future of marketing.

    Curious about how, when, and why audiences are using social media today? Here’s how the numbers broke down among our four favorite social media platforms:

    Facebook

    As of 2017, 68% of all American adults are Facebook users, making it the most popular social media site by far.

  • Maybe you’ve head the famous Shakespeare quote that “brevity is the soul of wit.”

    Maybe you’ve heard that, and then responded with “cram it, English major, just tell me how many characters I can put in this blog headline!”

    We get it. When it comes to creating content for your digital marketing channels, including blogs and social media, finding the perfect length seems hugely important – and yet it’s also one of the trickiest things to get right.

    That’s where the Geek team would love to help! Below, we’ve got your go-to guide for making sure that your content marketing elements measure up. Curious about character limits on social media? Looking for the ideal length for an SEO-focused blog post? Read on…

  • In many ways, social media has become an essential part of day-to-day life.

    Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are an easy, efficient way to keep in touch with friends and family; to digest news and entertainment; and even to get your online shopping done.

    But do these social networks have a dark side? Increasingly, people seem to believe that the answer is "yes." And this could have major repercussions as we look ahead to the future.

    Social Media Is Still Hugely Popular...

  • How to create an effective twitter ad

    The preferred social media platform of politicians, comedians, and journalists, Twitter will always have buzz going for it – enough so that its place in our cultural zeitgeist is secure, even though its audience (about 300 million monthly active users) remains tiny compared to that of Facebook (2 billion MAU) and Instagram (700 million MAU).

    Still, Twitter has long been an invaluable tool for marketers; in addition to boasting a well-connected, media savvy user pool, Twitter users are particularly active and dedicated, with many users reporting that they log on to the micro-blogging site (or a connected platform, such as Tweetdeck) multiple times a day, often from mobile devices.

  • How to Elevate Your Digital Marketing for the Holidays (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Who doesn’t love a good holiday? Whether it’s Christmas, Chanukah, Halloween, Independence Day, or even National Popsicle Day, there’s a celebration for every taste.

    And for brands like yours, the holidays aren’t just a time to get together with friends and family, but a chance to drive in traffic and make some serious sales.

    The best way to put holidays to work for your brand? Refresh and refocus your digital marketing! Here are four ways to elevate your digital marketing efforts around the holidays:

    1.) Start Your Campaign Early

  • How to Get More Website Traffic Through Social Media (Source: pexels.com - used as royalty free image)Social media is a key cornerstone for any digital marketing strategy in 2017.

    A robust, plugged-in presence on multiple social networks is vital for establishing your brand as a relevant, active thought leader in your community. It’s a great, effective way of immediately connecting with your fans, followers, and customers, making your business accessible and better-equipped to share positive PR, or, conversely, to quickly address any negative feedback that may crop up.

    And while image is everything on social media, it’s not the only thing. Social media isn’t just the icing on the digital marketing cake, it’s that rich red velvet, too.

    Maybe we’re making this too complicated because it’s nearly lunchtime and Jason brought in donuts today. The point we’re trying to make is that social media is a substantive, lucrative channel for marketers in its own right. It doesn’t just have to be a mouth-piece of set dressing; instead, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and their ilk can all be vital and discrete parts of your conversion funnel.

  • How to Start Up Your Online Marketing Campaign in 5 StepsGrowing a business requires a solid marketing plan. As a startup business, (this certainly applies to a young, established one looking to grow as well) identifying your target audience and making them take notice of your product is a key to your ongoing success.

    A proven method to reach this end is creating an online marketing strategy that works - and works from the very beginning of your launch.

    Easier said than done? Certainly. Luckily for you, the online world is a dynamic and evolving medium, saturated with a plethora of information and potential leads. The key is to learn how to bring your company to the foreground of all that activity.

    Steamfeed recently presented a substantial eleven step program for starting up your own online marketing plan (read to the bottom for the full list.) Here are the top five you should focus on.

    1. "Marketing First, Product Second"

    This quote from Moz's Rand Fishkin is spot on. No matter how good your product is, without a interested market, it becomes completely meaningless.

    When it comes to your startup, the same philosophy applies. What good is your startup company without a client base?

    But, if you build a marketing machine first, you are in an enviable position. Even if your early products don’t take off, you have a captive audience that’s returning again and again...

    - Rand Fishkin

    Before you even begin to show your new startup the light of day, engage in marketing activities. Generate interest in your target audience group (or maybe even start by defining a target audience group) to create a great transition into an official introduction, and generate success for your business.

    2. Consistency is Key

  • How to Use Social Media to Persuade Your Audience (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Social media is a lot of things for marketers. It’s a channel for conventional paid advertising. It’s a way of building an online community. It’s a source for bolstering off-page SEO. It’s a space for talking with your audience and addressing their needs. It’s a public calling card for your brand.

    What do so many of these functions share? They’re all about encouraging your audience to click through to your site and become hot leads – and, eventually, customers. Ready to drive up your conversions from social media? Then you need to learn to use it to persuade your audience.

    With our thanks to Social Media Examiner for some of these concepts, here are three ways to make your social media accounts more persuasive – helping you convert curious visitors into satisfied customers:

    Engage With User-Generated Content

  • How to Use Twitter to Promote Your Business

    Twitter – the home of the 140-character social dispatch – boasts about 313 million monthly active users, and it’s the preferred social network of many movers and shakers, including journalists, comedians, and even the current President of the United States.

    Are you putting Twitter’s many powerful tools and unique advantages to work for your brand? If not, it’s time to start!

    Here’s our definitive “how to” guide for Twitter marketing – everything you need to get started, everything you’ll want to try for yourself, and all of the amazing results you can expect to come back:

    Produce and Share Your Own Content

  • More Brands are Switching to Paid Social Marketing. How Will You Keep Up?

    Remember how refreshing and novel Facebook once felt for marketing? The social networking behemoth allowed for open, free communication to a massive audience of potential fans, friends, and customers in a way that we’d never seen before. Its features enabled free-flowing dialogue and discussion between brands and individuals, and its chronological newsfeed privileged high quality, shareable content over canned, obvious advertising.

    Social media was once looked at as a great equalizer for marketers, offering local businesses and massive companies more or less the same features and opportunities for reaching audiences, albeit at different scales. Increasingly, however, there is a feeling among marketers that what was once an open, equitable frontier is going the same way as print and TV advertising, becoming a narrower channel where convention - and the almighty dollar - are the law of the land.

    Certainly, more and more marketers are shifting focus when it comes to Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms, concentrating more heavily on paid advertising campaigns, rather than organic reach and discussion.

    Research firm Gartner’s "Digital Channel Survey 2016” report highlights a growing trend toward paid advertising: According to the firm’s findings, 80% of the industry executives surveyed said “they would place paid advertising programs on social media within the next twelve months.” Of that 80%, 38% of industry insiders report already having paid social media campaigns in place, while 42% will be launching paid efforts for the first time this year.

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).