5 ways your brand will slay instagram

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a caption will turn browsers into consumers. Captions are the opportunity to connect with your audience on a more personal level. You know your brand voice? This is the time for it to shine. An effective instagram caption can make the difference between a conversion or leave a post ignored. 

1. Find the right voice

Voice refers to the personality projected when writing a caption or interacting with other users. The trick to achieving the right tone is through establishing your target audience and coupled with the nature of your business. When in doubt, caption it as if you were writing it to a friend, but leave out short-lived instagram slang that expires faster than you can say “on fleek”

2016 Instagram terms that we predict will die quick painless death:

  • FAM
  • Squad
  • Savage
  • Bae

Tip: As of Apr 2016, ‘Snatched’ is the new ‘On fleek’

2. Stay consistent

If you’d take a look at the instagram accounts of big companies like General Electric, you’d notice that there is a strong consistency in how the photos are all professionally shot. More importantly, there is consistency in how the captions are crafted. In the case of GE, the Instagram is all about inspiring individuals and sharing their research with the world.

3. Be funny

Take a look – Hewlett Packard, Intel, and our personal favourite, Ciscohave the funniest Instagrams of all time. Did we mention they are also traditionally pretty boring companies?

Instagram is the one place where you can let your freak flag fly, no matter how serious your product is. Don’t take yourselves too seriously on this platform, show some brand personality.

4. Use hashtags

Hashtags are the perfect way to increase the odds of accidental discovery from users who may just be interested in what you have to say. Hashtags are especially useful for campaigns as they allow user-generated content to get aggregated all into one place.

But don’t over do hashtags. #Otherwise #you #will #look #outdated.

Click here to see the list of trending hashtags!


Red Bull loves to hashtag their photos and I must say, it’s done very tastefully and as a result of that, Red Bull’s account often gets discovered by chance.

5. Be engaging

Do you know why Instagram overtook Flickr as the world’s leading photo-sharing app?

Social skills.

Instagram isn’t just a chance to share photos, it’s a platform where you can ask a question and people can have engaging conversations (or arguments) about your photo. The caption space is an opportunity to open up the floor to ask your audience anything, or to have them ask you. There’s a reason why some photos have over 9000 comments. Start a conversation on your image today.

View this post on Instagram

Tag who you would share your Taco Bell with.

A post shared by Taco Bell (@tacobell) on


An effective Instagram account is all about having the right attitude, good humour, and a solid picture to go with it.

If you need help with your Instagram captions, let us help you create some magic. Drop a message to [email protected] 

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How to create content out of thin air

Brainstorming for blog ideas used to be easy, but now the content marketing universe is constantly updating and addressing every possible pain point out there.

There’s no doubt the industry needs these thought leadership pieces, lists and guides — the on-going dialogue is important, but the straightforward approach has been done to death. This provides a fantastic opportunity for content creators to take existing topics, turn them on their heads and make their peers go, ‘Hmm, I never thought of it that way’.

Here are some ways to get brand new blog topics for your content calendar, without stepping too far from your comfort zone.

1. Listen in on social media. Social media is overflowing with chatter, so put it to use and elaborate on hot topics.

  • Twitter is a nearly ungated community bubbling over with thoughts, opinions and rants that are just waiting to be blogged about. In your settings create a ‘list’ for industry leaders to block out noise and check daily for interesting opinions about ones relevant to your industry.
  • Quora is literally a website full of questions that real industry people need answered. On the left column under ‘Feed’ type in keywords relevant to your industry. Or just click on your keyword and see what comes up, i.e. Search, ‘What are the best marketing strategies that startups could learn and execute?’
  • Facebook is where the internet lives. Do you know of a particularly loud page? Have a look through different forums in relevant communities and see if there are any issues you can put to rest in your blog post.

2. Tune in on pain points. Make the most out of the internal meeting conversations that turn one hour meetings into two hour meetings. While different departments are duking it out on whether training should be mandatory, or whether the biz dev budget should go to schmoozing after hours, take notes. Right in the comfort of your Monday Morning Meeting is a gold mine of pain points that are probably shared with other members of the industry.

3. Search through white papers. Alright, if you’re like me you cheat and look at the summary for highlights. Research reports are a pool of interesting data on your topic. Pluck out a positive statistic that really stands out about your region, industry, or department and share with your audience what you think the causes are or what conclusions can be made from this behaviour.

4. Invite someone unexpected. A guest post always brings a breath of fresh air to any content calendar. Ask people in different positions to write guest blog posts about positions they don’t work with day to day. i.e. ask a CEO to write about the importance of customer service while on cold calls, or interview a CMO about what he looks for in an agency (then, email me the answer :))

5. Go outside. As a last resort, step outside of the office. Creativity needs space. Why do you think the Louvre is so big? All creatives need to declutter their head. Taking a 15 minute walk outside of your office will allow you to further process information from an earlier conversation you had with your boss, a client, or colleague earlier in the day.

A fresh content idea doesn’t have to dip into the realm of the unknown. All it needs is a bit of creativity and thinking outside of the box.

Need help with your content? Drop a message to [email protected] 

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Finding the right social media influencer for your brand

In this day and age of social media, the rise of influencers can no longer be ignored. Social media influencers are often a powerful channel for driving engagement. Perhaps, a personal touch is just what a potential consumer needs to make a decision. In this blog, we’ll take you through the definition of social media influencer marketing and how to best use this for your business.

What is social media influencer marketing?

According to GroupHigh, social media influencer marketing is the practice of building relationships with the people who can build relationships for you. Influencers are basically your bridge to a whole new pool of end-users. No matter the size of the following, these influencers will be able to help you reach consumers via their social networks and blogs that your brand may not be able to.

As you can see from this little diagram by Affinio, target your audience through various influencers who share the same following.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 10.30.37 am

From finding the right influencer for your brand to having them represent you, you will need to identify them, market to them, market through them, and then market with them. Here’s how:

  1. Identifying influencers – rank them in order of importance and relevance.
  2. Marketing to influencers – increase awareness of the brand amongst influencers.
  3. Marketing through influencers – using influencers to increase market awareness.
  4. Marketing with influencers – turn influencers into brand ambassadors.

Why social media influencer marketing?

Because a whopping 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust advertisements!

In the eyes of the consumer, a social media influencer is that cool kid in high school and whatever he or she is into is the next cool thing. Most importantly, there is an authenticity and trustworthiness that comes with your influencer’s recommendation that advertisements lack.

How to get into social media influencer marketing?

Develop and build your relationships with the social media influencers that you think will best represent your brand and reach your target audience. Simply drop them an email with what you have in mind for your collaboration. Here’s how to find the right influencer for your brand:

  • Find an influencer who is pretty much already an ambassador

That means that the influencer’s content is already aligned with your brand’s message. Look through an influencer’s archived content to find out what kind of consumer they are.

  • Engagement vs. reach

Your choice of influencer should not only be able to reach a great number of your target audience, but should also be able to engage them to respond, comment and share. The relationship between your influencer and his/her readers should be meaningful and not just superficial.

  • Look out for authentic and organic content

The more organic the content, the more likely your target audience is to trust his/her recommendation.

The key is to find a social media influencer that allows for a mutually beneficial relationship. And don’t forget, a great relationship between your brand and your influencer of choice will definitely make activating your marketing goals more seamless and effective!

Need help with your social media? Drop a message to [email protected] 

 

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Go small or go home: Why boutique PR agencies are crushing big firms

At the speed of digital trends, do you want a PR agency that’s agile like a fox or sturdy like a buffalo?

Big PR firms have the manpower, resources, and contacts to execute campaigns quickly, but advances in technology means brands need the flexibility to pivot to suit the mood of today’s on-demand audience.

Here are a couple reasons why you should hire a boutique agency over a big firm:

Skilled Staff

More manpower doesn’t mean a higher quality of work. At some larger agencies, smaller accounts may be handed down to junior members or even interns.

At a boutique agency, there is a specialist for everything. By nature, these smaller companies follow lean organisational structures stripped of multiple management levels and stringent systems and constant revision. This makes the team more nimble, enough to weave past unnecessary approval processes that eat up your billable hours.

They’re part of the ‘hacker generation’

Smaller companies tend to have a startup mentality: Fearless, resourceful, unorthodox problem solvers.

They are known to approach barriers from the outside and sometimes, through the backdoor instead of waiting for the higher-ups to approve a solution. On top of that, staff at leaner agencies enjoy taking the unconventional routes that keeps them on track with or sometimes even ahead of the consumers.

They thrive on change

Change is the constant of boutique PR firms, and they are well-equipped to move along with key industry trends and developments. Rather than fearing new technology, smaller agencies race to be the first to use a new platform or tackle a new social media trend.

With fewer people, revisions are also easier for boutique agencies. If an internal structure is holding back results, managers at small agencies will not hesitate to remove or reform them, to power your business and theirs forward.

Skilled Staff

With the internet bubbling over with too much information, brands need more creativity, quicker.

It’s become clear that advertising is no longer just the business of selling your product or services. Instead, it is now all about making their brand a part of the customer’s everyday life. In order to be there with the customer every step of the way, brands need to be able to tailor strategy at the very last minute.

This is typically where the big players have struggled to keep up, given their internal business reglementations put in place to ensure consistent organisational structures.

What I feel is imperative for businesses today, is to steer themselves away from the traditional view of how bigger or more is better. This can be done through re-evaluating business goals and looking further into what the boutiques can bring to their table, helping business owners get the best bang for their buck.

Need more advice on choosing the right agency for your business? Contact us at [email protected]

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Less is more: 4 tips to choosing the right social media channel

With the increasing global smartphone ownership, social media surrounds us. It’s inescapable, and for businesses, it means we can interact with anyone at any time.

Having said that, it’s a common misconception that  brands need to be on every social media channel possible to achieve mass coverage. I’ve seen businesses get excited and set up accounts across all the major social media platforms expecting a wave of new business overnight. And then… nothing!

Like a content marketing strategy, social media takes focus and dedicated long-term commitment – there is no overnight success.  Let’s take a look at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest. Each social media platform is targeting a unique audience with a dedicated engagement purpose:

social-media-mutant-blog

So, how do you go about selecting what is right for your brand?  Well, to make it simple, here are some handy tips to get you thinking about how to make the most of your social media.

1 – Start with purpose

Goal tracking matters! There must be a purpose to your online presence. Write down why you are actually using social media and what it is you would like to achieve. What is the business goal of your strategy? Hint: It’s the things your CEO or investors want.

Get everything down on paper, as chances are, you’ll more likely stick to your goals!

2 – Be strategic

Most companies can’t be perfect on every platform so, instead of being average at all of them, select a couple that match your business goals and rock them!  Here are  a couple of things to think about:

  1. Who is your target audience and how will you reach them?
  2. How does your social media strategy help you reach your core business objectives?
  3. How will you nurture your followers in order to convert them?

You need to have a clear social media strategy and work out a plan to realistically implement it. Set up a schedule for each week and stick to it – and you can always review it as you go.

3 – Allocate your resources and budget

Do you have time to work on your social media? Or do you plan to outsource this? Whether it’s yourself or someone else working on it, there needs to be significant time dedicated to social media posts and engagement every day.  

The intensity of your posts depends on your goals but ensure that you have a solid structure in place in the form of a content calendar that will help you keep track of everything. Allocate a budget that you are comfortable in spending to boost or advertise your posts as this will also help you widen your reach and, is cost effective at the same time.

4 – Keep calm and be patient

Be persistent and don’t freak out if you aren’t an instant overnight success. Remember that a solid social media strategy takes time and patience. The more time you dedicate to  your social media strategy, the better outcomes you will get!

Brands have a massive opportunity to utilise social media and if your business does not have some sort of social media presence, chances are you are still living in the dark ages. Step out from under that rock and embrace the social world…it’s truly powerful, and a great and cost effective way to engage with your target audience.

Be careful though, if you don’t have a dedicated in-house social media specialist, there is absolutely no benefit to having any channels linked to your business. In 2016, social media is a full time job. Keep it simple and remember that less is more! Only pick what’s right for your business!

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Looking for some structure and strategy around your social media campaign? Get in touch with us at [email protected]

10 steps to Instagram success for unsexy companies

Can you tell your brand story in nine images? According to eMarketer, Instagram’s global mobile ad revenues are expected to reach $2.81 billion by next year. With 400 million users and growing, visual content via social media is becoming an increasingly important part of a marketing campaign.

Corporate tech giants like IBM, Intel, Salesforce and Cisco are killing it on the photo-sharing app. How? The key isn’t in exotic landscapes, squat workouts, or well-lit bacon burgers – it’s about telling your brand story in a cohesive tone that’s unique to your company.

Here are 10 steps to success on one of the world’s most influential platforms.

1. Start with your core company values.

If you don’t have a tangible product to work around, the sky is still the limit for creativity. Pluck out key points from your brand manifesto. Concepts like ‘delighting customers’, ‘teamwork’, ‘encouraging innovation’ are possible to illustrate in a creative photograph.

2. Profile staff.

If the global success of Humans of New York doesn’t have you convinced, check out some of the creative staff posts from IBM. Your employees are all part of the brand story. Include a short description or anecdote of your staff member’s role in the company. Plus, there are tons of fun ways to take a profile shot for Instagram.


3. Be cohesive.

Have one picture lead to the next. We don’t just mean with colour and lighting, but with the tone of each picture. Have transitions between uploads. For example, if you’re posting about a company outing, have some transitions or pre-event hype: i.e. “T-minus 45 minutes ‘til we pile into the car for the conference!”

4. Show behind the scenes.

Context is a great way to express your brand values. Showing the magic behind what you do with a sneak peak at of your office, lab, or even toilet.

5. Engage with your community.

Instagram didn’t get to 400 million users by just being a photo app. Comments, captions and trending hashtags are chances to engage directly to your audience like a friend. It’s not the place to sell. Use the space below the snap to ask questions and likewise go through other accounts of similar companies. Then tag, comment, hashtag, and of course, double tap.

6. Humble brag about your office space.

Get inspired by accounts like @apartmenttherapy and post pics from the office. Ask users for suggestions on how to improve a space or what colour to paint a wall. Ugly office? Creative #desk spaces get good hits!

7. Show your company culture.

What do your programmers do when they’re not doing sprints? Create FOMO with your staff. Show happy staff in action, whether brainstorming, in a meeting, or just chillin’ on the couch. A strong company culture strengthens a company’s brand. Likewise, your staff are your brand ambassadors, and happy staff are more likely to share their company activity on social media leading to more engagement.


8. Hop on holidays.

Festive holidays and other relevant events are an easy way to be part of a larger dialogue and increases your chance of being noticed. Even posting a custom greeting card, Christmas tree, or candy hearts spelling out your company name connects you to your users.

9. Focus on quality.

Take an extra couple of seconds to step into the right light and do a little set planning before snapping and uploading. Amateur pics are great to ‘keep it real’, but at the end of the day, you’re competing with millions of photos online. Make each one count.

10. Own it.

Popularised by Millennials inspired to ‘work with what they got’, owning it is taking pride in what you have. Businesses today don’t need to look longingly at National Geographic  or Nasty Gal with envy. Say, if you have cloud-based software that’s hard for people to understand, create fun ways to illustrate it. There are plenty of pretty accounts out there, just make yours looks like you (don’t believe me? Just take a look at Sharpie’s account. It’s only a pen, but it’s one of the coolest Instagram pages around.)

Do more (of what makes you happy) #BeHappy #Sharpie   A photo posted by @sharpie on

We hope this helps your company get its Instagram game off the ground. Tweet us @mutantcomms to tell us how you make your unsexy business cool, or get in touch with us at [email protected]

Content Marketing for HR: Attracting the right talent

Hiring good talent is tough. The recruitment process can be long, expensive and exhaustive, especially in a competitive talent marketplace like Singapore and wider Southeast Asia.

Over the past few years, recruiters have had to become increasingly creative with how they attract and connect with the right talent. Today, we know this goes well beyond well-written job descriptions and Facebook likes – you’ve got to go deeper and think long-term about how you make effective candidate connections.

One of the best ways to do this is with content. Regular, targeted and insightful articles about your company, its core values, your people and the way you operate (for starters!) is an enormously effective means of drawing in potential talent with the right skills, personality and mindsets to match your culture.

Then, you can go deeper. Engage your audience with thought pieces from your senior management; share your opinions on newsworthy topics and relevant industry happenings; provide inspirational stories and videos about employees who have done great things within your organisation, or share your insights around any research or data your business and its various units has released.

Let’s be clear: this is not a short-term strategy. In order to actively promote your company as an attractive place to work, you need to consistently and effectively write and share stories on the platforms and networks where your ideal talent spends their time. From brand awareness to creating a desire to click “apply” for a role you are advertising, content can seriously change the way you recruit if you capture people at the right point of the sales funnel.

Why does it work? It’s simple:

  • Because people who agree with you and what you write about will share your content with like-minded people.
  • Because if they don’t agree with your culture or values presented in your content, you weed them out early on.
  • Because if you are regularly producing interesting content for potential employees to read, you’ll likely see an increase in the quality of candidates you interview.

If you’re brand new to the content marketing game, don’t worry. It’s not something that can (or should) be rushed, and it requires a decent amount of planning and strategic oversight to get it right. In fact, producing poor quality content hastily could actually do more damage in the long run.

If you’re an HR professional or business leader looking to get started with content, consider the following:

Do you have somewhere to host your content?

Your content is yours. Make sure you have a good, easy to find, platform on your company website or careers page to host the dozens of articles you plan on writing. You’d be surprised how many businesses think plonking an article on their ‘news’ page amid other press releases and internal announcements is effective. If you can, make sure these articles, videos and other pieces of content really stand out to anyone who finds their way there, and is easy to navigate.

Do you have a social recruitment strategy attached to your content marketing plan?

Although you need to have a place to host your content on your own site, potential talent isn’t just hanging around on that page waiting for you to post new stories or blogs. You need to ensure what you produce is being shared on platforms they frequent. Content needs to be promoted and boosted in targeted areas to boost exposure and ensure the right people are clicking through to read what you’ve written. Anyone can spend money and advertise a post to get thousands of likes, but if you’re not increasing the chances of the right people applying for a job with you, then what’s the point?

Your current employees can be your biggest advocates

But it’s not as easy as forcing employees to share your company’s articles. There is a deeper element of employee engagement that plays a part here, and any HR professional worth their salt knows they can’t simply dictate their employee base to like and share content – they have to want to do it. And if they do want to do it, it’s quite simply one of the best ways to show that your business really is an awesome place to work.

Your content marketing efforts should strongly tie into your overall employer branding strategy and company culture. After all, how can you write about what an amazing culture your business has if it’s not exactly true?

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If you’d like to discuss how content marketing can help your business attract talent, please get in touch with us at [email protected]

Digital Crisis Management: Dealing with haters on social media

It shouldn’t matter, and you shouldn’t care what other people think of you, but we all know how hard negativity is to ignore.

When you get a negative or unfavourable comment on your personal social media page, you can choose to deal with it as you please – delete it, ignore it, report it, or reply with a string of expletives.

But things are different when you are managing a corporate business page. There are certain protocols that need to be adhered to, especially when it comes to dealing with feedback.

It’s a delicate issue. Likes and positivity are easy to deal with, but when the dark, ominous cloud of negativity looms, it becomes a true test of sustenance. Sometimes all it takes is one bad comment to override all the good ones.

The recent social media revolt triggered by model and influencer, Essena O’Neill is proof that more people are bold and unafraid to air opposing views. It’s important to always be prepared.

Handling negativity professionally is an important asset and skill to have, offline and online, as more consumers turning to social media to communicate and share feedback about brands.

Due to perceived efficiency and visibility, consumers often resort to social media to get in touch with a brand. Studies have shown that 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing, while 33% of users prefer to contact brands using social media rather than the telephone.

Knowing how to deal with with criticism, or even just haters trolling comments is necessary – because online, everyone is watching.

DO – Acknowledge

Good or bad, make sure you reply to a comment and acknowledge its presence. ‘Ignorance is bliss’ does not apply in this situation. Expectations are set high these days – and they’re even higher (sometimes bordering on unreasonable) when a customer is upset or has an urgent request. They want an answer right away and won’t hesitate to make you look incompetent for not being able to respond immediately.

DON’T – Give a template answer

Yes, people can see through your lack of authenticity. It takes a bit more effort to type in a response from scratch, but at least you will sound sincere – a genuine response will take you far. If you know you’re going to be held back on what you can respond with due to corporate policy, try and outline a few key messages and potential responses you might need to use before putting your crisis plan into place. You’ll sound like more of a person and less of a robot, and people will appreciate it.

 DO – Be sincere in your apology

It’s everyone’s favourite thing to hear, or in this case, read. And since they took the time off to get in touch, you can do the same. Read what they have to say, and respectfully answer their questions. Don’t hold back on using that magic word – “sorry” – if you have messed up. It goes a long, long way in retaining customer loyalty.

DON’T – Lead them to another “feedback link”

We all know how frustrating this is; it’s like taking two steps back. Don’t pile yet another task on them, especially if chances are that there is going to be even more waiting time with no follow up.

DO  Try your best to solve the problem

Some situations may vary, but do try your best, and provide regular updates on your progress. This is also a good chance to reflect and discover ways of improving to serve customers better, leading to less complaints – online or offline.

It’s a simple solution, but also the hardest. It’s all about being authentic and sincere.

Some other quick helpful tips:

Timeliness: Reply as quick as you can. People generally don’t like waiting, especially if they’re upset.

Offline vs Online: Decide if the situation calls for an open discussion online, or a private message. Each problem varies, and needs to be handled differently. A well-managed crisis can earn you positive word of mouth by other punters online.

Not all feedback is constructive: There are many trolls and keyboard warriors who enjoy making personal attacks – they’re not worth your time. It’s best to ignore these responses, keep your chin up, and focus on the wrongs that you can right.

Haters, be gone!

Get in touch with us at [email protected] if you’d like to find out more about integrating a social media strategy into your PR campaign.

How to make your Instagram content discoverable

Congratulations! You’ve created an Instagram page for your business. Now what?

Since acquiring Instagram in 2012, Facebook has kept this simple photo-sharing app going from strength to strength.

With developers tirelessly rolling out updates to enhance its existing features, marketers and business owners alike need to ensure they are keeping up with the changes and learning to use the functionalities to their advantage.

Earlier this year, Instagram shifted its focus to its search function, giving users an even more comprehensive experience. This function was later made available on Instagram’s website, making the Instagram’s explore function one of its strongest suits at the moment – excellent news for users seeking out new content!

I’d like to present you with 3 simple, yet frequently overlooked, habits I promise will amplify your content’s visibility on Instagram.

They require little effort and time, and – best of all – there’s no cost attached to help make your content more discoverable (unless, of course, you’re wanting to explore Instagram’s latest developments – advertising – which is taking off around the globe!)

  1. Geotag your content

Geotag: To Include the specific location of your photograph at the moment you upload it.

Essentially, geotagging stores your current location – longitude and latitude – along with your photo, and this data is accessible to Instagram with your permission. You can also choose to add a location to your photo through the “Name this location” option, meaning you can tell people where you are at any time – a restaurant, a shop, an event or a business headquarters.

It’s simple and effective, but most businesses don’t make proper use of this very simple function.

Having your business as a location option allows people who come by your business, whatever it may be, to choose it as a location. This means customers can ‘check in’ at your location, and it allows other used to follow the location link and see other people’s posts related to the same location. This is an incredible effective way to showcase your product or venue and reach new customers. If you’re a shop on a busy street, it can be a great way for tourists to find out about you, for example.

It also gives you the option of regramming (re-posting) the images your customers are sharing to your official business Instagram, if it aligns with your branding and tone. This opens up lines of communication between your business and customers, which is always a positive.

  1. Using hashtags

Another way to enhance discovery on Instagram is to keep up with the #hashtag game.

Please note that I am not encouraging you #to #hashtag #every #little #thing – too many people do this, and it’s a strong indication that they don’t understand the actual usage of hashtags. Too many hashtags will distract your content from its key message and gain invaluable traction.

A good rule of thumb is to stick to one hashtag unique for your business (such as your brand name), along with two to five other hashtags made up of keywords relevant to your content. Not hashtags that will get you as many “likes” on your post as possible. (i.e very generic terms that can be linked to something else entirely.)

Pairing good content with inappropriate hashtags is like putting a snake and a mongoose together – it’s painful to watch, and the mongoose has no chance.

Over time, relevant and appropriate hashtags can create a following of their own, allowing users to search for it and find out more about your business. The more specific you can get with your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will can, which ultimately leads to better engagement.

  1. Following your followers (and non-followers)

If you’re unsure of who to start following, try making use of Instagram’s search function to carry out either a location-based search, or a hashtag search. The search will lead you to images that will help you locate people who have interests similar to yours.

Look through a list of people with interests aligned with your brand’s, or people whose demographics are closest to that of your intended audience. (Their bios and posts would be a good indication of their personalities, to a certain extent.)

If you already have a following, you may want to consider following your followers back. Alternatively, you can go through your competitor’s followers, and identify those you would like to follow.

Following people is almost like an open invitation into their lives, allowing you to find out more about what people are talking about and what they care about. You will also be able to identify social media trends taking place and better craft content around that trend to stay relevant!

If you’d like to speak about your brand’s social media strategy, please feel free to reach out at [email protected].      

Image: Courtesy of @sharpie‘s Instagram page

Social media lessons from the rich and famous

The growth and popularity of social media has been incredible. As consumers, we use a multitude of platforms to keep in touch with people across the globe and to access information about products, events or brands, while the end goal for businesses is to make sales and connect to a target audience.

Many brands splash big bucks on social media spend in hope of explosive engagement, but many fail to ever get the traction they desire. They just seem to miss what their audience really wants to see, and too often lack personality and structure to their plans.

Celebrities are some of the best brands out there. They’re everywhere. Yes, they typically have a team of people shaping the way are seen to the public, but the biggest celebs in the world have an innate understanding of their appeal, their target audience, and the key messages then ensure they’re presented in the way they wish to be seen. And they do it damn well.

So, how can companies get their brand to become insta-famous? Gaining a little bit of inspiration from E!, I’ve outlined some of the best tips we can take away from our A-list mates.

Watch your tone

This may seem simple enough. Companies know what their brand stands for, right? Consumers generally respond when they feel the brand is talking directly to them, appealing to their needs.

While it’s nice to boast about your success, this gets old quickly. Instead, write like you would speak and include content that resonates with the audience.

Take actor Ryan Reynolds, whose lovable personality, humility and humour is showcased so well on social media. This recent Twitter post really made me laugh – he’s personable, funny and relatable, making me want to read more from him (luckily his posts just get better by the day).

ryan-reynolds


Be recognisable

Ok, so before you judge me for my next comment, I’d like to make it clear that I do not support the Kardashians, nor do I actually really like them, but there is something about that family that makes me (and the rest of the world!) pay attention. You have to give it to them – their social media following is through the roof! Between Kim, Khloe and Kourtney, the girls have a collective Instagram following in excess of 100 million – yep that’s right!

What makes their profiles work is their content. Take Kim Kardashian – just do me a favour and visit her Instagram profile. It’s filled with selfies, an act she has damn well perfected and more or less claimed as her own. It’s what her fans recognise her for! Kim’s narcissistic personality has worked in her favour (not an easy feat) but she also showcases behind-the-scenes shots and a glimpse into the crazy world that is Kim and her husband, Kanye West.

kimk

While companies might not be able to compare themselves to the Kardashians, you can learn a lot about building a recognisable brand, giving the customers what they want, and constantly, constantly engaging with them.

Avoid the sales pitch and bring out your personality

Too often I stumble across a Facebook or Instagram page where a sales pitch is just screaming at me. And yes, these platforms are great for getting directly in front of the customer, but there are more subtle ways of doing this.

Musician Taylor Swift has become a social media master. This savvy artist has an excess of 140 million followers across all her social media platforms. How does she do it? Well, she doesn’t sell her music directly – instead, she ‘sells’ her personality.

This video she uploaded to Facebook is just brilliant (click on the image below to view). Her likeable personality and ‘girl next door’ attitude is what people love her for, and she knows it.

taylor-swift

Similarly, let’s consider Lady Gaga, who’s ‘Little Monsters’ follow her every move. She loves her fans, shows genuine appreciation for her success and knows what works where. By showcasing her personality and letting her fans into her life through social media, Lady Gaga is indirectly selling records.

Brands need to understand that providing consumers with quality content is more likely to generate sales than direct marketing alone.

Learn the difference

Each social media platform is different and caters to a different audience. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “well that’s pretty obvious” but it’s important to mention, because too many companies are still posting the exact same content in the same manner across all their social platforms – a big no no!

Since retiring from professional football, David Beckham’s popularity has risen to new heights. Of course, being one half of ‘The Beckhams’ helps, but his social media presence really demonstrates who he is – something many professional sports personalities fail to do.

Go through some of his accounts and you’ll see a trend. We see more of his charitable side on Facebook, his adoration for his kids on Instagram, and constant support for his wife’s career on Twitter. With each social network that David Beckham joins, he finds new and unique ways to engage with his fans. He is strategically growing the Beckham social media empire by allowing fans to, in a way, experience life in the Beckham family.

Looking for some structure and strategy around your social media campaign? Get in touch with us at [email protected]

How to send a memorable media gift

So, your client has requested a hand-delivered gift for the media. Believe it or not, there’s an art to making sure press material will be remembered and appreciated, rather than chucked aside.

Also known as a ‘media drop’, personally delivering press material in the form of a gift is meant to build a rapport with an editor or reporter.

Despite the good intentions here, there are a number of reasons why it might fail to get the job done or drive the objective your client has considered.

With keeping journalistic ethics in mind (remember, to many media folk there’s a fine line between a gift and bribery…) here is a solid plan of attack to ensure your media gift is accepted with enthusiasm.

1. Plan your assault

Before you begin, there are a few questions to ask when deciding on your gift of choice:

  1. What is the budget allocated and how do you fully maximise it?
  2. Does the gift give an essence of the business? What objective does it drive?
  3. How practical will it be for media?
  4. Will the gift travel well?
  5. Is it Instagram-able and social media friendly?

Having clear answers to these questions before delivering your gift will be the difference between creating a positive impression and being forgotten.

Then presentation is key. Would you prefer a gift that is properly wrapped or one that looks like a re-gifted fruitcake from a great aunt?

2. ATTACK! (But in the nicest way possible)

  • Set up a time to drop in

Don’t call in on unsuspecting journalists unannounced, if you can help it. A simple phone call to make sure they’re in the office and establish an appropriate time to drop by is all it takes.

Apart from being polite, this also gives you a schedule to plan your route and make sure you’re maximising your time (and can avoid rushing and showing up sweaty and unpresentable.) If the item being delivered is time sensitive (e.g food), route planning makes it even more important and it may be a good idea to invest in proper packaging to ensure safe travels and freshness.

Timeliness is key to having your gift either brighten up someone’s day. Think about the best times to receive the gift if you were to be on the receiving end. For example, if it’s a sandwich, it would be great to receive it just in time for lunch, or when the 3.30pm munchies hit.

  • Stop to chat

In my experience, it has always been beneficial to hand-deliver media gifts, as it allows me to have valuable face-to-face time with key media personnel. This is important for building relationships and ensuring they associate my face to the agency I work for.

According to Jane, our resident content manager and former journalist, conversation is key.

To make sure they are not forgotten, you have to actually have a conversation with the journalist and tell them how the drop ties into the event, product launch, or whatever it may be about. It will be forgotten if you just drop off the stuff and peace out.”

3. Follow up!

The battle isn’t over once the last package is delivered. A round of follow-up is required, which can entail dropping your new media friends an email, checking social media to see if your drop gained any coverage, and then reporting back to the client.

Media drops aren’t just a matter of winning over journalists with gifts – it’s an important chance to make a lasting impression, which is crucial for us in the PR industry.

Need help with your PR strategy and media relations? Drop us a line at [email protected]

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5 lessons my vacation taught me about PR

Before you judge, let me make it clear that this is not an article about working during your vacation.

Mutant Communications enforces a healthy work-life balance and we are always encouraged to enjoy some downtime, whether it’s going out for Friday drinks, or taking a holiday. It reinvigorates the mind, makes you more productive, and chances are you’ll come back with more innovative ideas.

In fact, it took a recent holiday to make me realise how certain aspects of PR bleed into everyday life, and how I should start making the most of every situation.

The opportunities are especially abundant when you are travelling abroad.

This is the perfect time to take advantage of your “vacation mode” self – you are starting out on a clean slate in a foreign country, and you know very few people (or none at all). We are social creatures, and in this situation you naturally let your guard down and become more affable, eager to make friends, and to understand and immerse yourself in a different culture.

Keep the following PR tips in mind for your next holiday, and return fulfilled with valuable lessons and insights that you can apply at work!

1. “Your vibe attracts your tribe”

You are bound to make a few friends and acquaintances during your travels and if you’re at the right place at the right time, chances are you’ll get to meet the right people.

I was fortunate to have connected with some great folks who happen to be in the creative and lifestyle industry – the likes of artists, music producers, a website editor, and even someone in PR for a leading streetwear clothing label.

You get to learn a lot from these conversations with new people and asking the right questions. We ended up adding each other on Facebook, and some even on LinkedIn. This is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to connect with people, to learn from or potentially work with in the future. At the very least, what’s the harm in making new friends?

2. How to make yourself understood

Meeting new people is definitely a confidence booster. When you are engaged in a pleasant conversation, you inherently become more conscious about the flow and sounding coherent (especially if you’re attempting a conversation with someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you!)

One of the most common questions I got was about my profession, which led me to improvise a mental script to better explain what I do, about Mutant, and also about the music label I’m part of – all without droning on.

You learn how to ad-lib, while always improving on presenting yourself and your company in the best possible angle with strangers. It’s great practice for presentation skills, at the most basic level.

3. You can learn stuff from food (yes, really!)

One of the best ways to learn about a culture is to try the local food. There’s no need to splurge at a fancy and expensive restaurant for a good and unforgettable experience. I personally like to trawl the streets to discover a hidden gem  – these places usually have impeccable service, run by friendly people and are typically more affordable.

By doing this, you can learn a few things and get inspired by the interior, atmosphere, meaningful conversations with staff and owners, and of course, the food.

I made a mental note on experiences I could bring back and share with our existing F&B clients, but these lessons easily transcend a specific industry, and can be applied to any professional environment.

Service and a positive attitude can do wonders with both clients and colleagues – it is something very simple, but often forgotten. I like to take myself back to these experiences to remind myself on the importance of harnessing and spreading positive energy.

4. Make a mental note at performances, gigs and festivals

This particular holiday was all about music gigs and festivals, and I definitely took away some valuable event management lessons from them.

At Mutant, we coordinate numerous events – the likes of launches, press conferences and media tasting – so I naturally observe how certain things such as timeliness, efficiency of ticketing, the sound system, and the presence of a good MC can greatly improve an event.

It is also through experience that you learn how to better prepare yourself for an event. For my Dour Festival Survival kit, I packed a vanilla yoghurt, a travel kit skincare set, and body moisturiser – all was deemed useless (except for the vanilla yoghurt). Next time, I’ll bring a pair of tights, windbreaker and gumboots to protect myself from the cold and rain! Lesson learnt.

5. Don’t forget to chill

“A vacation isn’t a luxury. It’s a medical necessity,” said Dr. Leigh Vincur, a spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physician.

Remember to actually enjoy your break and release stress. Working in PR is a fantastic career, but it’s fair to say that you will reach a point where you need a holiday. You will do everyone in the office (and most importantly, yourself) a favour and return refreshed and more productive.

If you need more tips and advice on PR for F&B and lifestyle and luxury brands, get in touch with us at [email protected].