Midwest Digital Marketing Conference – Day One Recap

Mindstream Media Group’s Maggie Durnien and Chelsea Weidauer are checking out the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference (MDMC) in St. Louis this week. The two-day event will cover all things digital marketing and feature speakers from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Microsoft, Salesforce, Pinterest, Adobe, Pandora and more! Our digital marketing product specialists will be providing daily recaps of the most interesting sessions they attend. Their Day One recaps are below. Be sure to check out Day Two coverage as well. 

Session: Exclusive Chat with Facebook and Instagram


John Patton | Client Partner | Facebook

Derek Scott | Creative Strategist | Instagram

Recap by:

Maggie Durnien | Associate Product Specialist | Mindstream Media Group

During this session, attendees were given the valuable opportunity to ask questions on all things Facebook and Instagram to company insiders. With a majority of the audience coming from the agency side, the conversation and questions posed provided great insights into how to best use these platforms in an agency environment.

The conversation became fixated on the recent rollouts of Instagram Live and Facebook Live, along with Instagram Stories. When asked how to best use these features, Patton and Scott discussed how they are seeing these features play out successfully within the platforms.

According to the company representatives, here are some tips on how agencies can best use Instagram/Facebook Live and Instagram Stories:

  • First, define your brand’s purpose. To do this, decide what makes your brand different from your competition, then celebrate that element on social.
  • Make posts to Stories relevant and local to your audience.
  • Be candid and show what’s going on behind the scenes. This helps viewers understand your culture.
  • Focus on quality over quantity and avoid spamming users’ feeds.
  • Use creative animations that encourage viewers to swipe up for more information.
  • Promote a sense of community that urges viewers to engage with your brand and come back for more.

As brands continue to experiment with these features, it has been interesting to see all the creative ways they are used. From the immediate popularity of “going live” and posting stories, it is evident that the Millennial language is a visual one and Facebook and Instagram have definitely taken notice.


Session: LinkedIn – A Journey from Technology to Reality


Ben Zuckerman | Financial Advisor | Edward Jones

Recap by:

Chelsea Weidauer | Associate Product Specialist | Mindstream Media Group

Even though LinkedIn just underwent a full-on Beverly Hills makeover, the professional social media platform has always been more about function than appearance. This session focused on one of LinkedIn’s most useful functions: creating and fostering relationships to turn social connections into actual clients.

Here are four steps from Zuckerman, a financial advisor at Edward Jones, to help you do just that:

#1) Build a foundation
  • Starting from the base, the best practice to creating a LinkedIn page is to start connecting with those people you already know. This includes current clients, coworkers and potential prospects.
  • The goal for LinkedIn users should be to get over 500 connections. Therefore, the best place to start is with the people you know.
#2) Create your brand
  • Once you have started to acquire connections, the next phase is to focus your message and show your knowledge. Figure out what you want to educate the LinkedIn community about and become the expert on that topic to develop your brand identity.
  • Content is the most important aspect of creating a brand. Post different content throughout the day at different times to see when your targeted community is most influenced by it. This will help find the ideal connections.
#3) Identify ideal connections
  • To find connections in your targeted community, use the search bar at the top of the LinkedIn page starting with who you know. From there, search by occupation, location and unique queries (such as hobbies) to find prospects within the community.
#4) Technology to reality
  • Once your LinkedIn page is seamless and you have your ideal connections in mind, the final step is to reach into reality. Start by reaching out to the prospective client and asking them to connect.
  • Once the prospect accepts, reach back out and explain why you want to connect with the person.
  • After reaching out, write and mail a physical thank you letter to the prospect. This ensures he or she receives the thank you while grasping their attention.
  • Call the client later and talk about their interests based on their LinkedIn profile. This builds a relationship with the client and increases the potential for a business appointment.

Reaching out to prospective clients happens frequently in the digital world. LinkedIn is a great tool to reach out and connect with other business professionals. However, using the influence of technology and bringing it into reality will help you familiarize with a client and garner more customers.

Tips For Building Social Media Campaigns That Actually Work

It seems, at times, that everyone is on social media every free moment they have. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, it’s not far off. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults now use at least one social media site, according to the Pew Internet 2016 Media Fact Sheet. Plus, 76 percent of Facebook users, 51 percent of Instagram users and 42 percent of Twitter users visit their respective platforms daily. Snapchat wasn’t included in the Pew study, but they reported 161 million daily users in the fourth quarter of 2016.

As a business manager or a marketer, are you taking advantage of this vast audience?

If you are, great! If not, we have a few tips to get you started and make sure you’re investing your time and money in the right places.

No. 1: Selecting a platform

To select a social media site or sites, you’ll need to look at who your target audience is, and what you want from them.

A bit of research can tell you which platforms your primary audience uses most and when they’re likely to be online. Facebook has high user numbers in all age ranges. LinkedIn skews a bit older, with some of the highest usage rates from those aged 50 to 60 years outside of Facebook. (Hint: Facebook dominates pretty much all numbers outside of brand engagement. The social network has the largest number of users of any social media platform with more than 200 million in the U.S. alone, according to Pew.)

Beyond looking at flat user numbers, you need to decide if you’re looking for people to learn more about your company or if your primary goal is to generate leads.

  • Instagram has the greatest level of engagement between users and companies, according to Track Maven. So, Instagram might be your platform if you’re looking to build brand recognition.
  • LinkedIn is listed as the primary platform for those looking for employment according to the same study, so it’s your place to be for recruitment campaigns.
  • Snapchat is doing great things with sponsored filters and story formats. You’ll want to consider this if you’re putting on a large event or plan to attend an event put on by someone else.

No. 2: Determine your target audience

Once you’ve got a platform selected, you’ll need to identify your target audience(s). Social media platforms are able to collect vast amounts of information on users, which makes it relatively simple to target by gender, income, location or interest. Remember to target those who already follow you and retarget those who have been to your site but haven’t converted yet. These are two audience groups that have already shown interest and are more likely to convert.

No. 3: Set a line in the sand

Based on past campaigns and industry averages, create some KPIs so you can decide if your campaign is going well and providing the outcomes you need. Your goals need to be realistic, but if you don’t have any set you won’t know if your returns are stellar or stagnant.

Some things you’ll want to consider when setting your KPIs:

  • Market size
  • Geographical location
  • Historical sales
  • Sites used
  • Competitors in the same market
  • Additional local marketing efforts

No. 4: Test your choices

Once you’ve decided on a platform and identified your target audience, it’s time to create your ads, filters or stories. Each of those can then be implemented and tested. Social media is fast-paced, but that means you have a greater ability to test your placements.

Action items to keep in mind when testing:

  • Use multiple images in your ads. Run more than one at a time to see which one garners the most clicks or conversions.
  • Write a variety of ad copy options to see which ones deliver the best returns.
  • Change up the time of day you post your ads to test what works best for your vertical and audience. People probably aren’t going to search for a plumber at the same time of day they search for a restaurant for lunch.
  • If you’re running thought leadership or brand building campaigns, try different calls-to-action to see what verbiage delivers the highest engagement levels. 

Just remember that you should only test one variable at a time to ensure you know what the deciding factor was for your potential consumers.

Once you’ve researched, targeted, implemented and tested, keep repeating the process. It will help you refine your campaigns while staying on top of the ever-changing medium that is social media.

Related content: [Webinar Recording] How Social Ads Can Transform Your Brand.

eMarketer Interview: Creating Live Video that Drives Engagement

With Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Snapchat all growing in popularity, live video has become a hot topic in the digital marketing industry. Recently, Bijan Malaklou of Digital Addix, Mindstream Media Group’s sister agency, sat down with eMarketer’s Sean Creamer to offer his insights on what brand marketers need to know about live video.

“Live video doesn’t necessarily need to be shot live. It needs to be shot in a way that makes it feel like it’s happening right now,” said Malaklou. “(It’s) just as much about live audience engagement as it is about live content-sharing. This relationship between content-sharing and engagement is what makes live video a dynamic medium.”

Check out the full interview with eMarketer  for more insights from Malaklou – including his thoughts on what companies are the most important players in the industry, how audiences interact with live video and what types of live video content draws the most engagement.

Warning: full article requires eMarketer subscription.