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It’s a New Year – and sure as the sun will rise in the east and set in the west, new marketing trends will emerge that you need to know. This is especially true when it comes to mobile marketing.

Here are a couple of stats for you:

  • By 2018, more than half of all consumers will be using mobile devices for anything they do online.
  • The average time spent browsing on a smartphone is 87 hours per month in the U.S.

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Was your New Year's resolution to focus on improving your marketing strategy? Are you considering expanding your strategy into social media? You should! Today, we want to dive into a few benefits of social media for your brand. 

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Got a minute? This week's Marketing Minute is all about Facebook's new content penalization announcement.

Earlier this week, Facebook announced that they will penalize Page owners who ask for post engagement through certain calls-to-action (CTAs), such as "Like this post if you agree" or "Share with a friend for a chance to win". Facebook calls these types of posts "engagement bait" — encouraging followers to engage on a post in order to increase reach. In their announcement, Facebook warns that brands who use this tactic will have the total reach of all of their posts reduced. This new penalty, however, will not apply to posts that "ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips."

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How many survey requests have you gotten in the past month? If it’s anything like my inbox, I’m guessing the answer is SEVERAL, or maybe even too many to count. I had one from Google, one from my kid’s pediatrician, one from the YMCA, etc. There is a good reason that I am receiving these surveys – because the organizations that are sending them are looking for feedback and insights into their customer’s experience. They can use that information to learn what they are doing well, what they can improve on, and most importantly, how they can use the data to attract more business.

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Got a minute? Check out our quick update on what's happening in the industry.

Facebook’s “Our Story”
Facebook has added a new section called “Our Story” to the right-hand column of business profiles. It gives businesses the ability to add an additional picture and highlight the company’s story on the home page. When this update went live, Facebook automatically chose a picture for the Story that performed well in the past,  but feel free to update it as you see fit.

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Sometimes it can seem like using social media is like walking on eggshells. You want to be personal, professional, on brand, fun and exciting, all while keeping your audience engaged. Do you share pictures of your dog? Maybe. Do you only talk about the product or service you offer? Definitely not.

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Got a minute? Check out our marketing update from the week -- all about Instagram!

Instagram Stories
Instagram's latest feature allows users to pin their favorite Instagram Stories to their profile. Instead of saying good-bye to the content after 24-hours, you can now pin it to your Instagram page directly below your Instagram bio.

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You may think having an outdated website is no big deal but, in some instances, it can be as worse as not having a website at all! Today's consumers are constantly using the web to search for products and services. Landing on your outdated website can send a message that your business isn't credible or legitimate. 

We work with clients in a wide range of industries, so we understand how difficult it can be to prioritize a website update. Running a business, no matter the industry, is hard work! It's no wonder that 23% of small business websites get updated less than once a year and 97% of small business websites are basically ineffective. Finding the time to keep your website updated can be difficult. One way to remedy this is by hiring a company to manage your website for you.

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Got a minute? Check out our quick update on what's new in the industry.

Instagram
Instagram is testing out a new function that would allow users to follow specific hashtags in addition to profiles. Related posts would appear in the home feed based on the hashtags a user follows. Instagram hasn’t announced yet when or if we’ll see this function rolled out to everyone.

Our Take:

  • We think this feature is a great move for brands, particularly those with branded hashtags. Having your audience follow your hashtag directly could go a long way towards building community and engagement.
  • The ability to follow hashtags could also be beneficial for brands and marketers to track certain industry-related hashtags and see how people are using them.

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Got a minute? Check out our quick update on what’s new in the industry.

YouTube
Currently, YouTube creators have the option of promoting their other videos or livestreams through suggested links that pop up mid-clip, but not for long. YouTube announced they'll be getting rid of these links on December 14th and they were very straight-forward about the reason why: no one clicks on them. The company claims that cards and end-screen video links are much more effective.

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