How To Improve Your Email Newsletter Click Through Rate

Email newsletter click through rate

You send marketing emails to subscribers, and you want to improve your email newsletter click through rate.

Even if you have healthy open rates for your outgoing emails, what are some email marketing strategies and tactics to improve your email newsletter click through rates?

Here are a few ideas:

email marketing a b testing

A/B Test Click-Through Rates
Perhaps the easiest and most simple way to immediately improve your email newsletter click through rate is through A/B testing subject lines, “from names” and delivery times of your emails. Are subscribers more likely to click a link in your email if the email is sent from “Brett at Markitors”, or “Markitors”? A/B testing can help answer those questions and will optimize your email marketing over time.

Mailchimp, for example, gives users the option to A/B test based on subject lines, delivery times and from names. Mailchimp will analyze the data from an initial send to a percentage of your subscribers, and then will send the “winning” email to the remainder of your subscribers based on the highest open rate or click rates. There’s no easier way to improve your click through rates than with a simple A/B test.


How to improve click through rates with plain text

Try sending plain text
Companies today often spend more time on the design of the email than the content itself. Guilty of this? Try sending out a long form, plain text email with a couple of call to action links.

You might be surprised by how many people will read your entire email and take action based on what they’ve just read. Instead of designing a pretty image, try providing context and incentives for the reader to click on your content. If a subscriber knows that it’s worth their while to click, then they often times will.


More Pictures, Less Text

On the other hand, if you send out plain text emails and aren’t experiencing the click through rates you want to see, try inserting a few more pictures into your email newsletter that complement your content. Sometimes words can really muck everything up, and an image can convey your message much better. Test out the same email to different segments of subscribers and see which email performed best.

Email Subject Line Click Through Rates

Be strategic
 with the email subject line
Email subject lines influence open rates, but the right ones can also increase your email click through rates as well.

Often times a subscriber knows your brand and what to expect when it comes to your content. An email subject line can influence a subscriber to click your email without even reading your content. Because that trust already exists, subscribers will just open your email and click on the first link they see because of the subject line.

Research your Google Analytics account and previous email campaigns to help generate email subject lines that appeal to your subscribers. Not only will a quick email audit help you best target your content, but it will also result in those click through rates you’d like to see.

call to action

Include a Call to Action
It means nothing to nail the subject line, A/B test and design an email newsletter without a good call to action.

The call to action should resemble the email subject line (think, bookends), should recap the content of the email, and not introduce anything new.

Example: we’ve just told you all about how our company is running a special promotion for SEO audits. Request your free SEO audit today.

You get the benefit of a build-up with a good call to action, and the end result are people clicking your content.

Email Freebies

Give something away for free
Giving away something for free is a great way to gauge your subscriber interest and collect more data about what to send segments of subscribers in the future.

Think about what you can offer that would complement your business. Is it a white paper on pay per click advertising management? An offer to install a WordPress blog with any website design project?

Get creative in offering value to your email subscribers.

email buttons

Use Buttons Instead of Links
Going back to the recommendation to use images sparingly in text based newsletters – buttons are a great way to increase those click through rates.

People are used to clicking on buttons, so when they see one, they consciously are able to click a button more effectively than they would a link. Clients of ours who have made this switch have seen drastic improvements in click through rates – just by putting a large button in their emails. (This is especially true for mobile users – where lots of subscribers check their email)

What tips do you have to improve your email newsletter click through rates? We’d like to know! Share your insights with us on Twitter, Google+ and via email.

Markitors is a full service online marketing company that helps small businesses grow online. Originally financial auditors by background, we bring an analytical approach to SEO, paid advertising, social media marketing, email marketing and website development. Headquartered in sunny Scottsdale when it’s not hot, each year we move our summer headquarters to a new destination. Last year it was Spain. This year, we’d love to know where we should set up shop next. Contact us and let us know where we should go, or how we can be of service to your for your internet marketing needs.

Influencer Marketing Tips: How To Reach The Right Influencers

Influencer marketing is all the rage with content marketing today.

Our clients are driving sales from YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, email, blogs – all the sites where influencer marketing flourishes.

How do you reach the right influencers? How do you get an influencer to talk about and share your products with their audience?

Here are some influencer marketing tips on how to reach the right influencers:

Influencer Marketing Platforms

Target The Right Influencer Marketing Platform
We typically find that the right mix of influencer marketing platforms consist of email, social media and blogs.

You know your target audience and there are several ways to determine which platform is right for you. The first way is by looking at your own internal success on different platforms. Have you been able to drive sales for your ecommerce site through Pinterest? Have you been able to sell hair products through informative YouTube videos? Auditing your own internal efforts will help you expand your efforts with influencers on the same, proven platform.

If you don’t have a track record on different platforms, you’ll need to do a little research to find where your customers are. If you have an existing list of customer phone numbers or email addresses, many platforms allow you to “find friends.” Upload your email list to a platform to see how many of your customers actually use the platform. If the number is high, then chances are you’ve found a good platform to do some influencer marketing.

How to find influencers

Target The Right Influencers


Influencer outreach is sometimes treated as a quantity over quality type of game. An influencer marketing agency might target with a “blast and pray” approach. Rarely does this work the way it’s intended.

Instead, invest time in finding and learning about who the right influencers are. The right influencer is someone who fits into your target customer profile, has influence over their following, and simply will care about your product. If the product is relevant to the influencer’s interests, job, or life – it will get on their radar just by sharing the product with them directly.

Make sure you have a balance between long term and short term influencers. Short term influence consists of a social media post or email inclusion, where the longevity lasts a few hours. Long term influence has searchable components that allow users to be influencers for a longer period of time – things like a blog post and Instagram post (with searchable hashtags).

A few tools that we like to use to find the right influencers:

  • Followerwonk: find Twitter influencers and their websites
  • Webstagram: search hashtags in your niche and find the people who are sharing content around those hashtags
  • Google Alerts: set an alert for your target keyword and discover new blog posts about the topic
  • Fresh Mentions: analyze mentions of your brand, competitors, and keywords.
  • Open Site Explorer: analyze who is already linking to your site, and who is linking to your competitor sites
  • Google Search: type in your keywords and find out who is ranking for your terms

There are hundreds of tools and tactics you can use to find the right influencer. Some are paid, some are free. Start with the free tools first, build up and exhaust your list, and then move on to the sites that charge a monthly fee for influencer marketing.

Influencer Marketing Radar

How To Get On An Influencer’s Radar

Now that you’ve identified what makes your perfect influencer, and where they are most influential, it’s time to start reaching out.

The most effective way to reach out will always be email. (Email us if you’d like our template.)

But, there are several other ways to get on an influencer’s radar. Here are a few ideas:

Ask the influencer for an interview

Influencer’s have lots of knowledge and like to provide insight to other entrepreneurs who are just starting out. Reach out to an influencer with an interview request for your blog. The interview can either be conducted via email (easy) or be recorded on a podcast/webinar (harder, with more time commitment).


Send a Physical Package

If your product is a physical good, send the influencer a care package. Include a personalized letter, your business card, and if your product is at a price point where you can allow a few influencers to try it, then include your product as well.

At some point an influencer will actually need the product to try out, review, and post to their website/social media/email list. So, why not cut to the chase and avoid the noise with tweets, emails and phone calls to really stand out in your approach?

Tap into ego
Influencers have egos. Tap into that ego by giving an influencer something desirable along with your low effort ask.

Ideas for something desirable consist of things that help the influencer look or feel good. “Something desirable” can range from a t-shirt from their favorite sports team, an offer to interview them about their upcoming book release, or anything that takes the focus off of you and onto them.

Influencer marketing isn’t just a one-way street. There has to be a little give and take with influencers to really make things work.

When all else fails, money always influences the influencers. Of all the influencers out there, I’ve yet to meet many that won’t review or promote your product in exchange for cash or free product. But, I’ve also found a negative coorelation between the amount of influence received from a campaign and the amount of cash involved.

Always go for organic influence using the tactics above, test out your tactics, and see if influencer marketing works for you.

Markitors is a full service online marketing company that helps small businesses grow online. Originally financial auditors by background, we bring an analytical approach to SEO, paid advertising, social media marketing, email marketing and website development. Headquartered in sunny Scottsdale when it’s not hot, each year we move our summer headquarters to a new destination. Last year it was Spain. This year, we’d love to know where we should set up shop next. Contact us and let us know where we should go, or how we can be of service to your for your internet marketing needs.

How To Automate Professional Email Correspondence

Professional Email CorrespondenceWant to know our best tip for how to get better at professional email correspondence?

Automate as much as you can.

There’s a few things that go into professional email correspondence. The main this is writing professional emails. Then you have replies, follow up, and everything in between.

Automating your email can help with all of those things.

Take writing professional emails for example. I once chatted with “the most connected woman on LinkedIn” and asked her what was taking us the most time out of her day. Like most of our answers, writing emails was her big time suck.

The majority of the emails she responded to were FAQ’s she’d answered before. I told her there’s a variety of ways she could save tons of time on this task while maintaining a professional email correspondence.

Here’s what I said:

Complete Correspondence Automation
To assure emails remain “professional,” my best tip is to automate correspondence. Using an email platform like Mailchimp, set up several email automation workflows for your FAQ’s that follow up with potential clients, customers, and people who inquire based on their question and email activity. Using an email platform, you’re able to set the format to plain text so it looks like you sent the email yourself, and you’re able to pre-schedule emails based on activity like whether they open an email, or click on a link. Not only does automation ensure that you will follow up at just the right time, but it ensures that correspondence remains consistent and professional every time. Set it up once, and don’t worry about everything in between. 

Set Up Your Contact Form
If the majority of people contact you through a contact form on a website, use a tool like Wufoo to point people to resources that will be able to help them better than you can. For example, if a common question you receive is, “How did you grow your LinkedIn network,” create a blog post outlining exactly how you did it and politely invite them to view read the post with an automated message from Wufoo. Not only does this approach provide more value to the person inquiring, because it gives them exactly what they’re looking for, but it also cuts down on the volume in your inbox.

Save Your Responses
If you can’t automate your correspondence using one of the two methods outlined above, the very least you can do is copy and paste the professional responses you’ve crafted in the past and save them in a safe place. Paste them in plain text to ensure the formatting remains the same, edit them accordingly, and cut down on the time you spend crafting a response.

The key with these approaches is professional consistency. Rather than typing out each email and proofreading, you’ve already invested the time to make sure it’s professional. Use automation to ensure that the email gets sent out at just the right time.

Markitors is a full service online marketing company that helps small businesses grow online. Originally financial auditors by background, we bring an analytical approach to SEO, paid advertising, social media marketing, email marketing and website development. Headquartered in sunny Scottsdale when it’s not hot, each year we move our summer headquarters to a new destination. Last year it was Spain. This year, we’d love to know where we should set up shop next. Contact us and let us know where we should go, or how we can be of service to your for your internet marketing needs.

Mailchimp Salesforce Integration Guide

We recently did a Mailchimp Salesforce integration for a client and put together a quick how-to guide.

If you’re thinking about integrating your Salesforce account to Mailchimp for email marketing automation, this is a really slick way to go about it. If you want us to do it for you, just contact us.

The major benefits include:

  • Sync Salesforce contacts and leads to MailChimp Lists and Groups
  • Send new Mailchimp subscribers into Salesforce with a specific object type
  • Select which Salesforce leads you’d like to go to Mailchimp based on specific criteria and filters
  • Start MailChimp Autoresponders from Salesforce field updates
  • Sync opt-outs automatically
  • Update Salesforce based on Mailchimp activity

There’s a lot of different things you can do with the integration, and those are just a few. The main benefit we see is running a paid advertising campaign to drive new leads into Salesforce, and then using this integration to send subscribers into a lead nurturing campaign through Mailchimp automation.

Here’s our Mailchimp Salesforce Integration Guide.

1. Setup your Mailchimp Lists and Groups
This is a given, but in order in to sync your Salesforce account to Mailchimp, you’ll need a list to sync to. Create a list in your Mailchimp account if you have not done so already.

mailchimp salesforce integration

2. Connect Salesforce from Mailchimp.
Go to “Integrations” under “Account” in Mailchimp and select the Salesforce integration. Click “Connect.”

Salesforce Integration Mailchimp

Then, click “Allow” when prompted.

Salesforce Mailchimp

3. MC Setup in Salesforce
Click on the “+” tab in Salesforce and select “MC Setup.”
Salesforce Mailchimp Integration

You’ll be greeted with a walkthrough tour of all the settings.

Mailchimp For Salesforce Setup Page

4. Allow Mailchimp To Create Leads In Salesforce
Enabling this feature will allow MailChimp to create new Leads in Salesforce for email addresses that don’t match existing Leads or Contacts. Don’t turn this feature on if you don’t want Mailchimp subscribers to be added to Salesforce.

Mailchimp Salesforce Settings

5. Turn on or off hourly sync
Enabling the Hourly Sync feature will schedule a series of batch tasks to run every hour. These batch tasks update your MailChimp subscriber information based on the corresponding Contact/Lead field information and updates the Contacts/Leads with the subscriber campaign activity.

If the Hourly Sync is not turned on, it would be necessary to sync the lists manually using the Refresh All Lists button in the MailChimp Lists section.

6. Refresh All Lists
The “Refresh All Lists” button updates all of the list data for all lists. This updates the MailChimp subscribers with the Contact/Lead field information, and updates the Contacts/Leads with the subscriber campaign activity data.

Refresh All Lists Salesforce Mailchimp

7. Map Fields
The “Map Fields” link takes you to the field mapping page for each list. You can edit the field mapping for existing list fields or create new MailChimp list fields. The field mapping settings are used to match MailChimp list fields with their corresponding Contact/Lead fields.

The permissions for the Leads, Contacts, and Accounts should be set to “Public Read/Write” in order for the MailChimp for Salesforce app to work properly. In order to edit these permissions, go to Setup > Administer > Security Controls > Sharing Settings.

Sync Mailchimp Salesforce Field Mappings

8. Sync List
The “Sync List” link updates all of the list data for a particular list. This updates the MailChimp subscribers with the Contact/Lead field information, and updates the Contacts/Leads with the subscriber campaign activity data.

9. New Query
The “New Query” button takes you to the query builder. Queries function to add new MailChimp list subscribers or update existing MailChimp list subscribers based on the Contacts/Leads in Salesforce. It’s possible to query all of the Contacts/Leads, or to query specific Contacts/Leads based on filter criteria on Step Two of the query builder.

New Salesforce Query

Select Filters Salesforce Mailchimp

Preview Results Salesforce

10. Refresh MC Campaigns
The “Refresh MC Campaigns” button functions to manually update the campaign activity data for all campaigns.

Refresh MC Campaigns Salesforce

11. Update Stats
The “Update Stats” link functions to manually update the campaign activity data for a particular campaign.

12. Testing
Once you’ve gone through each one of these steps, it’s time to start testing. Once the Salesforce integration refreshes (hourly or manually), you should see subscribers populate into Mailchimp account (and vice versa if you allowed Mailchimp to create leads in Salesforce).

Testing Mailchimp Salesforce Integration

From here, you can set up your email automation campaigns, as well as the following:

– Create, schedule, and send MailChimp campaigns from within Salesforce
– Manage MailChimp subscribers from Salesforce leads, contacts, and list views
– Upload MailChimp subscribers as Salesforce leads
– Sync MailChimp lists to map Salesforce fields to MailChimp merge variables
– Sync leads and contacts from Salesforce to MailChimp
– Create custom lead, contact, and campaign member queries that run daily or even hourly
– Manage MailChimp data storage options in Salesforce
– See subscriber detail and full MailChimp activity
– View MailChimp campaign reports and campaign share reports from within Salesforce
– Add custom MailChimp fields and Visualforce pages to the Contact and Lead pages

Email Marketing AgencyMarkitors is a Mailchimp expert and full service email marketing agency that helps small businesses grow online. Originally financial auditors by background, we bring an analytical approach to email marketing campaigns, newsletter management, email strategy, list management, email retargeting, data analysis and template design. Headquartered in sunny Scottsdale when it’s not hot, each year we move our summer headquarters to a new destination. Last year it was Spain. This year, we’d love to know where we should set up shop next. Contact us and let us know where we should go, or how we can be of service to your for your internet marketing needs.

3 Common Email Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Email Marketing Mistakes To AvoidWe’re Mailchimp experts and manage the email marketing campaigns for clients ranging from small businesses to billion dollar corporations. 

We wanted to weigh in with simple email marketing mistakes we typically see from companies who come to us looking to improve.

Here are 3 simple email marketing mistakes to avoid:

1. Timeliness
Most companies and chains don’t engage with customers when their interest is at it’s peak. Peak interest is when a customer just has opted in to your email list, or has just made a purchase. Companies need to think about the follow up sequence made to customers in the following minutes, days and weeks after a customer first becomes a part of your list. Nothing will increase your unsubscribe rates and spam complaints than sending your first email to a subscriber weeks after they subscribe.

2. Poor segmentation
Companies need to understand that all subscribers do not want to receive the same email message. One subscriber may be interested in deals, while the other may be interested in new product offerings. Depending on the email message, companies are leaving money on the table by offering customers discounts that aren’t motivated by deals, and annoying deal seekers with new products. Companies need to take the time to understand the segmentation options of their email platform and use their lists to their advantage. 

3. Data Collection
Data is not just a first name and an email address. Good email marketing data comes from syncing a CRM with your email marketing platform to understand purchase history, product preferences, and subscriber location. The more data an email marketer has at their disposal, the brighter the campaign ideas and the stronger the results will be. 

Those are just the basic email marketing mistakes we see. Other mistakes can range from poor email template design – which will negatively impact your email deliverability – and not taking the time to develop an email marketing campaign strategy. You’ll also see companies who don’t fully leverage the power of their email list, either by taking advantage of email retargeting on Facebook or by seeking on monetization opportunities for larger email lists.

Make sure you’re putting your best foot forward on inboxes. If you don’t have a professional email marketing agency handling or advising a portion of your email marketing efforts, contact Markitors. Otherwise, conduct an internal audit on your email marketing efforts to make sure you’re avoiding these simple email marketing mistakes.

Markitors is a full service online marketing company that helps small businesses grow online. Originally financial auditors by background, we bring an analytical approach to SEO, paid advertising, social media marketing, email marketing and website development. Headquartered in sunny Scottsdale when it’s not hot, each year we move our summer headquarters to a new destination. Last year it was Spain. This year, we’d love to know where we should set up shop next. Contact us and let us know where we should go, or how we can be of service to your for your internet marketing needs.

How Nativa Became #1 In Hispanic Marketing

Hispanic Marketing Agency

The other day I read that if you’re not number #1 in your niche, it’s time to pick something that you can be number one in.

Then, I came across Eric Diaz, the Co Owner of Nativa, a multicultural communications agency that focuses on the Hispanic market through digital communications, online advertising and culturally relevant content creation.

Talk about a niche. I had to learn more and connected with Eric for a Q&A. Here’s the exchange:

What’s the story of how you carved out the Hispanic marketing niche with Nativa?

In 2008 my business partner and I started a web design company, but we quickly found out there were about a million other web design companies. As we wrapped our heads around that, we saw an opportunity that was in Hispanic Digital marketing, there was a great demand for it specifically in social media. At that time there were a lot of good marketing agencies; however, they didn’t do Hispanic marketing. There were also a lot of good Hispanic agencies, but they were traditional (radio and TV) and did not focus on digital. This is where my business partner and I found our niche in doing digital Hispanic.

When you first planted the flag with your niche, was it something people immediately gravitated to? Or did it take a bit of explaining?

It definitely took explaining, over time we really simplified it. The easiest way to explain what we do is that we help brands and the government reach the Hispanic consumer online.

What’s the biggest pain point that you’re solving for clients?

Doing research on the Hispanic consumer is perhaps the biggest pain point as it requires hours upon hours, sometimes taking months to fully complete for our clients. We focus on research because we really want to get our eyes and ears out there for our clients to set a solid strategy. We dig deep into their industry to fully find out what their Hispanic consumers are thinking, doing, or saying about their category, their competitors, and their own brand and campaigns. That research provides our clients with detailed information that helps set up and create a successful campaign.

You’ve got a great client list with some big names. What has been the key to attracting new business?

It’s been about leveraging our networks, traveling to conferences and just being thoughtleaders. Presenting, putting out solid content and research, and trail blazing with our cutting edge Hispanic online listening research tools. We also shoot high, we don’t really go for the mom and pop’s type of business, we look more towards brands and government. Companies and brands that people have heard of. Having our focus there and being where high level executives from these companies are, networking, traveling, speaking, LinkedIn, and being relevant, has helped us attract new business.

What’s one piece of advice that you would give yourself if you were just starting out Nativa today?

If I was starting from the beginning, I would say to focus and put more emphasis on sales people.

Eric Diaz Nativa PhoenixIn addition to Nativa, Eric Diaz also founded Coworking on 15th Ave in central Phoenix (named one of the top shared office spaces in Phoenix). Tired of renting from lackluster office buildings, Eric decided to create the type of environment he would want to work in which allows an entrepreneur to work hard, collaborate with others, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Eric has worn many hats throughout his professional career. He spent parts of 2007 and 2008 in Shanghai, China’s economic capital, serving an important supply chain development role for Staples, Inc., a Fortune 500 retailer constructing a modern and efficient warehouse to help support the exponential company growth in the region. Additionally, as part of his Masters program Eric designed and executed a research study on the cultural influences and business activities within the Shanghai region contributing to its hyper-economic growth.

Eric completed his Masters Degree in Finance at Northeastern University in Boston while founding and becoming president of the Latin American MBA Association (LAMBAA). He completed his undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University and has a passion for helping people. Several of his interests include boxing, marathon running, basketball, world travel, and meeting new people. His dream is to run his own successful coworking environment.

5 Reasons Why WordPress Website Design Is Great

wordpress website designWe designed our first WordPress website back in 2006 without any knowledge of how a website worked.

We found a website developer in Portland through an online forum. We designed the website on paper and scanned it to the developer. And for $1500, we had a designer and developer launch our first site.

Since then, we’ve designed and developed several WordPress websites for small business owners, professional service firms, actors, photographers and people from all different walks of life. We’re hooked on WordPress, and thought we’d share a few of the reasons why WordPress website is so great.

5 Reasons Why We Love WordPress Website Design:

1. WordPress websites and blogs rank higher in the search engines. Seeing our sites rank in the search engines was originally why we fell in love with WordPress. Having a WordPress site paves the way for you to be effective with SEO tasks like page titles, meta descriptions and internal link building.

2. WordPress themes are responsive. That means when a customer stumbled across your site from their iPhone, your website will automatically adapt to their mobile device. With just one website, you’ll put your best foot forward on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. This saves you the development hassle of having to build two websites – one for the desktop, and one for the phone.

3. WordPress allows you to customize your site easily. Once we build the site, you’ll able to take the wheel and make minor changes yourself. Say goodbye to paying a web developer $150/hour to change a sentence on your website.

4. WordPress offers state of the art security. By automatically updating plugins, your website will consistently update itself with the best security to combat hackers. We’ll install a couple plugins on your website to make sure you’re secure – you won’t have to do anything for the ongoing maintenance.

5. WordPress is affordable. Unlike some website management systems, you won’t have to pay a monthly cost for your website. Once we develop your WordPress website, it’s yours.

Ready to have a responsive, secure, functional and SEO friendly WordPress website? We’ll develop your website in Scottsdale, Arizona and have it ready to go within a week. Learn more about our WordPress website development services. Or, you can request a quote by contacting us.

How To Optimize A Photo On Flickr

I’ve had a lot of success with posting photos on Flickr and getting them to appear in a Google Image search. Here are the basic steps I take for optimizing a photo on Flickr.

1. Replace the photo file name with your optimized keyword title.
Example Keyword Title: Vintage V-Neck T-Shirts
File name should be: vintage-v-neck-t-shirts.jpg
Instead of: CM1030.jpg

Always replace the file name of the shirt with “your-keyword-title” before uploading. This is super important.

2. In Flickr, click Upload.

3. Click “Choose photos and videos.”

4. Upload all the renamed files.

5. Edit the Photo Title to match the product’s Page Title. (Ex: Vintage V Neck T-Shirts)

6. Paste the link to the product in the Photo Description (Ex: http://sportiqe.com/collections/mens-v-neck-shirts)

7. Include a keyword rich description of the photo in Flickr.

8. Add tags to your photo. To save time, develop a tag list to copy and paste into every photo. Then, include a few descriptive tags for each photo.

Examples for t-shirts:

vintage, graphic, apparel, shirt, t shirt, tee

Here are additional tags to customize for each photo:

color of the shirt, name of the style, name of the collection, gender, city name, and anything else descriptive about the shirt

9. Add the photo to any Sets you have created.

10. Click Publish.

11. Embed the photo on your blog post.

That’s it! Now, instead of posting your photo to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you’ve extended the shelf life of your photo by optimize a photo on Flickr and increasing your chances of making search impressions through a Google Image Search.

Top 8 Social Media Fails by Big Brands and Ways to Avoid Their Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Some are bigger than others – and some are certainly more visible.

On social media, ideas, products, and thoughts are more visible than ever – especially those from popular companies and organizations. And some companies just haven’t quite mastered the art of sending the perfect 140-character tweet. That can lead to some pretty epic social media fails by big, worldwide brands.

Here are some of the most head-shaking social media mistakes made by big companies.

1. NRA

What happened? The NRA posted a pro-gun tweet, which isn’t out of character for the group. But, timing is everything. It just so happened that the NRA posted that tweet the same day as the Aurora shootings in Colorado.

Twitter Fail: American Rifleman

What we learned: You really cannot underestimate timing. While the tweet was clearly a coincidence (it was sent a few hours before the shooting) the NRA should have kept a better eye on its posts – especially if they are scheduled out.

2. Celeb Boutique

What happened? Unlike the NRA, which sent their tweet prior to the tragedy, CelebBoutique sent this tweet after the fact:

Twitter Fail: Celeb Boutique

What we learned: Check. The. Hashtags. Celeb Boutique didn’t click on the actual hashtag to see why it was trending in the first place – a very public and embarrassing mistake.

3. Kitchen Aid

What happened: Just about everyone has an opinion on President Obama’s healthcare reform – but some people should stay out of it. Like Kitchen Aid. A member of its team sent this tweet (likely intended for a personal Twitter account) back in September:

Twitter Fail: Kitchen Aid

What we learned: Be sensitive. Not everyone agrees with the President’s ideas, but you can bet that most people care about showing sensitivity in matters like a death in the family. And, just to be safe, avoid politics.

4. Kenneth Cole

What happened? Retailer Kenneth Cole thought that the uprisings taking place in Cairo would
be a good time to send this tweet:

Twitter Fail: Kenneth Cole

What we learned: Don’t use political unrest to plug your spring collection.

5. American Airlines

What happened: A lot of big companies schedule out tweets and posts to make their social media presence easier to manage. But, that can make you look pretty foolish, as American Airlines found out when they automatically replied positively to negative tweets:

Twitter Fail: American Airlines

What we learned: Just because scheduling out posts is time-efficient, doesn’t mean it’s always efficient in bulking up your reputation. American Airlines made itself look incompetent and uncaring.

6. British Airways

What happened: One of the biggest adjustments that huge companies had to make on social media? Being accessible at all hours of the day. British Airways apparently doesn’t stick to 24/7 customer service, even though its customers are online 24/7. When a passenger unsuccessfully asked for help in tracking down a lost bag, he voiced his displeasure with a paid promoted tweet that was seen by 76,000 people.

Twitter Fail: Bristish Airways

What we learned: Your Twitter feed has to be monitored 24/7 – especially if you’re in a business (like an airline) where people are constantly impacted by your company.

7. McDonald’s

What happened: Using hashtags to promote a product = good idea. Using a vague hashtag that then gets spun negatively = what happened to McDonald’s. Last year, McDonald’s promoted the hashtag #McDStories in the hopes that customers would share positive, happy stories about their Mickey D’s experience. What they got was a bunch of tweets like this:

Twitter Fail: McDonalds

What we learned: If you’re going to use a promotional hashtag, make sure it’s one specific enough to get the desired result.

8. Home Depot

What happened: Home Depot, a sponsor of ESPN’s College GameDay, ended up firing the employee who sent posted this tweet:

Twitter Fail: Home Depot

What we learned: Racism, even when used in humor, is never going to with followers. What do most of these blunders have in common? Twitter. It’s a type first, think later medium, and that can lead to problems. You can always delete a tweet – but once it’s posted, retweeted or shared, it’s out there forever.

Here are a few closing tips to keep in mind:

1. Think before you tweet. Don’t use a natural disaster or a controversial news story to promote your company. Epicurious used the Boston Bombings as a platform to promote its scones. It had to spend a lot of time apologizing afterward, understandably so.

2. Respond in a timely way. This is especially important for companies that need to operate 24/7, like telcos Comcast and Verizon and airlines. Replying to customers when they have an immediate problem goes a long way in showing you care.

3. Keep it light if you want to keep it timely. Brands like Tide, Volkswagen and Jim Beam used the Super Bowl blackout to cleverly and light-heartedly promote their products. Nothing controversial – just clever, timely and fun tweets.
What social media fails have you seen on Twitter?

Michelle Smith is a freelance writer with a focus on social media and marketing. She can be found typing away on her laptop in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. Michelle welcomes your feedback at michellelsmithwriter@gmail.com

How To Use Social Media To Help Fund Your Non-Profit

Have you ever asked yourself how you can use social media to help fund your non-profit? This post is for you.

Social Media Fundraising Non ProfitAny type of non-profit can employ these three social networking tips to gain followers and increase donations. The good thing about a non-profit is that it exists solely to benefit others. Your organization has a purpose – your job is to tell the world what you’re doing and make them care.

Nowadays, most companies have their own Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. So how do you get your page to stand out above all the competition, and ultimately use social networking to help fund your non-profit?

Here are three ways you can use social media to help fund your non-profit.

1) Establish a personal connection. People are more willing to give to a non-profit if they feel a personal connection to its work. Social media is a great way to connect with people. Reply to followers who send you tweets or direct messages, and be sure to provide an answer when a follower or a fan asks you a question.

But no relationship works if only one side initiates the conversation. This goes for social media, as well. You have to start conversations, too. Ask your followers questions about your organization or related issues, and encourage responses.

2) Reach out to others. Generating conversation is good, but in order to engage your followers, you have to have followers. To help your organization gain followers, reach out to organizations similar to your own. They are not necessarily your “competition” – they are organizations made up of people who want to help others, just like you. They could share your cause with their followers, which could expose you to more potential fans and donors.

Don’t forget to reach out to people who establish a connection with your cause on their profiles. For example: if your non-profit raises money for schools in impoverished countries, reach out to educators who express an interest in global issues. If they like the work you do, maybe they’ll like your page or donate. If they don’t? Well, they’ll probably just ignore you. No harm done.

3) Share how your organization is changing the world. No one likes to be begged. If all you do on social media is ask your followers for money, you start to look desperate pretty quickly. Instead of looking at social media as just a way to increase donations, look at it as a way to further your cause. Take pictures or post articles that show off what your organization has done – with your donors’ help – to make the world better. Thank donors for helping you do x, y, and z.

The people who follow you already like your work, so you don’t have to sell them on your goal. Instead, show off your accomplishments. If you stress the impact donations have, then donations will come.

Coming soon, we’ll tell you about some organizations that do a great job using some of these social networking techniques.

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