Category: Social Media

How to Advertise to Millennials

BCA Intern Nora Carlblom

By Nora Carlblom

Getting someone under the age of 25 to look up from their phone seems almost impossible. While it is hard for our family and friends to get our attention, a brand or company may really struggle when it comes to figuring out how to advertise to millennial. A simple answer: A sponsored ad on social media.

WHY? Social media is the way to advertise to millennials because we are seriously ALWAYS on our phones.

  • It was found in 2015 that teenagers spend an average of 9 hours a day on social media. That means 9 hours of our day are spent scrolling through Facebook, then Instagram, then Snapchat, repeat. (CNN)

- We pay attention to social media more than things like a billboard or TV because it is often right in front of us
- It is almost guaranteed we’ll notice your product if it shows up in the middle of our Instagram feed.
- When I scroll through Instagram and see a sponsored ad that is a picture of a well paired outfit, it draws me in to the account and I often end up on the stores website.

HOW? The ad needs to be modern and appealing to youth in order to catch our eye. Along with looks, they also need to be relevant to what is currently happening. This is why social media is the way to go. Each social media platform is catered to advertising certain things. Instagram is more successful in advertising things such as clothing or food, while Snapchat is strong in showcasing a variety of things. It can range from the election to a new movie to beauty and fashion, and almost everything in between.

Product Placement
Many brands have celebrities advertise their product for them through product placement on their Instagram.
The post usually doesn’t look like a typical advertisement. Product placement can be achieved by sending someone with a large social media following to something like a music festival in their clothing and simply asking them to post a picture of them there in their clothes. Others have the celebrity holding the product or using it in a setting that is their everyday life, and their caption is them raving about the product.
The way we see it is, if the celebrity is using it and “loving” it then it must be worth the money. While, some people add the hashtags “#ad” or “#sponsored” to their post, it still drives fans to go and take a look at the product advertised.

Sponsor a Snapchat Selfie lens

A selfie lens is a silly interactive filter on Snapchat that adds various effects to your snap. A few examples are a dog that sticks out its tongue when you open your mouth or one that alters your face to make your eyes super big or your head into a pear shape.

The first filter that pops up is the sponsored one. So not only would your advertisement be fun and interactive it would be the first one Snapchat users see.

It is seen that many companies have benefited from sponsoring a filter: (AdWeek):
- Men’s Wearhouse created a filter during prom season and had a 48% engagement rate among 1,800 high schools
- Michael Kors’ put out a lens for #NationalSunglassesDay that received 100 million views and increased purchase intent 2.1 times above normal rates.

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Snapchat: Advertising to Millennials

By: Jessica Bohon

By: Jessica Bohon

What is Snapchat? Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social media platforms targeted toward millennials. With this photo-sharing service, the photos you send disappear seconds after they are opened. Once they disappear, users can no longer access them. The app is popular with this generation because we have learned from our parents, siblings, and teachers to be cautious with what you post online – it will come back to haunt you. There was a need for a real time application that users wouldn’t be apprehensive about posting freely. Evan Spiegel filled this void with Snapchat.

Quick Snapchat Facts:

- 7+ Billion video views per day on Snapchat

- 100 Million active Snapchatters daily

- Target Market: 13-34 year olds (millennials)

- 60% of U.S. 13-34 Smartphone Users are Snapchatters

How Has It Evolved? After starting as a simple photo-messaging app, Snapchat has grown into a versatile tool for marketing, advertising, sharing, and community connecting. While it began as a temporary visual messaging application, it became a viable social media platform when the “My Story” component was implemented, allowing users to compile snaps in a chronological storylines that are accessible for 24 hours. Originally, Snapchat was not useful for marketers because there was no way to measure engagement nor a way to have two-way interaction with consumers. Recent additions and updates have provided Live Stories and a Discovery section, which make it easy for users to keep up with what is happening in their community and other areas of interest. 

Aspects & Uses:

DT slo filter- Chatting: capability to chat with another individuals (Messages disappear just like the photos). slo pismo geofilter

- SnapCash: send and receive money through Snapchat instantaneously (password protected).

- Geo-Filters (local): user created geo-tags that represent original artwork to represent that geographic location in the community.

- Sponsored Geo-Filters: filters that advertise for companies or events.

- “Selfie Filters”: generic, animated filters for users to send to others.

- Live/Discover Stories: community and special event stories that all can see, and those within the community can contribute snapchat Tips on Using Snapchat to Promote your Business: blog snapcode

- Advertise your Snapcode on alternative social media platforms as well as print and web advertisements.

- Create a Geo-Filter in your area that represents your company.

- Utilize the Live Stories feature to promote events.

- Update your “My Story” feed consistently.

- Check back to analyze views and screenshots.

- Check and respond if any followers directly chat-responded to a Story piece.

- Use Snapchat to become more involved with the events and people within the surrounding communities.

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How Social Media Can Boost SEO

Contributor: Lindsay Kent

For business owners, search engine optimization (SEO) can sometimes feel like a mystery to everyone but the search engines themselves. Keeping up with the shifting rules for “good SEO” can seem time consuming and daunting. While it is a good idea to stay up to date with SEO best practices, they sometimesaren’t guaranteed to work because of ever-changing search engine algorithms (see Google’s SEO starter guide here).

This is where social media comes in. Here is a list of five ways your company’s social media presence can boost your website’s search engine ranking:

Social media photo

Image credit: Jason Howie, Flickr

  1. The more the merrier: Using a variety of social media is the way to go. This means having your company on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – if your target audience is there, so should you. Just make sure you have the time and budget to keep the pages current and updated.
  2. Followers matter: More followers means a higher domain authority. Getting a healthy amount of followers to your company page involves:
    1. Posting regularly, but not too often. Over-posting can be more detrimental than not posting enough, as followers will begin to unfollow you. Finding a safe number of posts can be tricky, so putting together a social media calendar is helpful for organization.
    2. Well-written posts that are short, to the point, and relevant to the audience you’re seeking.
    3. Beware of links to sites that claim to get you more followers. These may work quickly, but can actually lower your search engine optimization if search engines catch on. Instead, opt for the old fashioned way. Follow other pages, engage and interact. On many social media platforms, you can pay to expose your page and posts to new audiences. This increases followers without putting your SEO at risk.
    4. To keep followers engaged, be sure to set aside time to reply to comments, reviews and private messages. This makes followers feel included and keeps them coming back to your new content.
  3. Interaction is key: The more shares a post gets, the better it will help your page. Search engines keep track of shares, likes and comments. Every bit of activity on a post helps. Posts that tend to get more shares include pictures, videos, infographics and anything eye-catching. Once a follower is drawn into your post, shorter content will keep them there. Finishing off a post by asking your followers to “share if you agree,” “click on the link below,” or asking them a question that entices a response is also effective.
  4. Put a local spin on things: Is your company involved with your city’s annual holiday parade? Post about it. Post pictures, tag people, tag companies involved. People are more likely to comment and share when they feel a connection with your post. This is called locally optimizing your posts. When people search locally, it makes your post more likely to come up.
  5. Lots of Links: Includinglinks in your social media pages and posts is important in a variety of ways. First, make sure a link to your site is included in the bio sections of your social media pages. In posts, use links to your site where followers can read more about the subject of your post. This way, you can keep the content short on social media, but curious readers can still click to learn more. A great way to accomplish this is by sharing regular content from the news section of your website, and from a company blog that posts timely, relevant material your followers will be interested in reading.

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Blurring Lines into Pop Culture: Emojis & e-Books as Advertising

Contributor: Stephen Zehnder

Contributor: Ellie Koscheski

As an ad-woman, I love seeing effective examples of advertising blurring the lines into pop-culture. Dove’s recent campaign for their Quench products for naturally curly hair had me all ears, errr, hair?


The Curl Issue

Coming from a straight-haired girl who permed her way through the ’80s in a quest for curls, I’ve always been envious of voluminous, luscious curls. So I was sad to learn from research Dove conducted for the Quench haircare line which found only 10% of adult women, and 40% of younger girls actually like their curly hair.

Their research also discovered a glaring lack of pop culture showing the beauty of natural curls. From Hollywood, to magazines, to runways–straight dominates. Dove set out to change that with their #LoveYourCurls campaign, and I’m a huge fan of the alternative advertising avenues they took to achieve that.

Image Credit: Dove

Image Credit: Dove



Of the thousands of emojis available on cell phones, none featured any females with curly hair. Why were straight-haired girls getting all the emoji fun? For those of you who don’t use them, this may seem silly, but for the 73% of people in the U.S. who claim they use emojis every day, this was a glaring gap. Users want emojis that look like them, and this omission has the potential of making girls with curls feel marginalized as yet another way pop culture ignores curls. This all changed last week, when Dove launched a free app called Dove Love Your Curls Emojis Keyboard. Available through the Apple App Store or Google Play, the app features 131 variations of curls, hair color and skin tone emojis. OMG – finally!


Personalized e-Book

To help girls celebrate and be proud of their curls, Dove launched a personalized e-book, downloadable for free. The e-book is a compilation of stories, poetry and illustrations that beautifully describe the reasons to love your curls. The books can be personalized for the curly girls in your life with names and photos. Of the 350+ reviews on Amazon, positive comments abound such as “awe inspiring,” “uplifting,” “a must-read,” “adored this book,” “empowering,” and “I wish I had this book while raising my curly-haired daughters.”


Major credit to Dove for delving into a sensitive topic for women and utilizing their advertising as a platform for change. Their integration of advertising into popular tech products like emojis and personalized e-books was innovative and seamless, and their continued trend of confidence-boosting ad campaigns for women is inspiring.


P.S. Dove’s “Love Your Curls” YouTube video was launched earlier this year and received 9.3 million views in its first day. To date, it has 70K comments, many from curly-haired women saying it had them in tears. Check it out.

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Video gives local firm the edge

Courtney Meznarich

Contributor: Courtney Meznarich
April 29, 2015

Experts are calling 2015 the year of video. Online video is nothing new, but the trend toward video on social media has really taken hold. Nowhere is this more visible than Facebook: the social media giant has changed its algorithm to favor video, especially when that video is hosted on Facebook. Need proof? Take a look at your business page’s organic reach. For most of the accounts I manage, organic reach on photos – once favored over other types of posts- is abysmal. Organic reach on Facebook-hosted video? Well, see the results for yourself in the case of Glenn Burdette.

Glenn Burdette is a certified public accounting firm based in San Luis Obispo, with offices in Santa Maria and Paso Robles. The firm is not particularly active on social media and certainly doesn’t advertise there. But in 2015, Glenn Burdette is celebrating 50 years in business and leadership there wanted to make a splash. The goal: get in front of a younger audience to attract qualified candidates to fill open positions. The challenge: that younger audience, primarily aged 24-45, is on Facebook, but they aren’t so easy to reach anymore. They self-select their information, and their news feeds are filled more and more with targeted advertising. Glenn Burdette needed something that would break through, while appealing to the younger generation in a way that is relevant and entertaining to them. The solution was video.



CPA’s have a reputation of being buttoned-up numbers people, so what better way to stand out when recruits are considering a sea of other firms? Glenn Burdette debuted “The Bean Bag Series,” nine short webisodes featuring a comical look behind the cubicle. The video premier was uploaded to YouTube and Facebook. The result: nearly 1,200 views in 24 hours, and Facebook reach that put the video in front of more than 1,700 people in just one day. That’s 17 times the number of people who have even “liked” Glenn Burdette’s Facebook page, and that’s all organic. The numbers are even more impressive when you consider some studies that show organic post reach is as little as three percent of your fan base.

This case study is far from over, with seven more webisodes to debut this year, but at least one takeaway is clear: get on the video bandwagon, or be prepared to pay-to-play if you want your Facebook posts to reach your audience.

Watch “The Bean Bag Series” here, and check back for a new episode each month in 2015.

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BCA recognized by American Advertising Federation

Congratulations to our BCA clients on the following entries recognized at the 2015 American Advertising Federation Awards in March. Thank you for trusting BCA and working with us to continue to create award-winning marketing material.

To view winning entries for 2014, click here.

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Is your website mobile-friendly? It better be, soon

Katie Ferber, Contributor

Katie Ferber, Contributor

When you don’t know something what do you do? “Google it.” What was once the name of a search engine has now transformed into the act of searching. I even “Googled” to write this Bump about Google. Information not found on Google gets lost in cyberspace, which is why it’s so important for your company to have a strong presence there.

Where a website ranks on a Google search will soon change thanks to something called an algorithm. Starting April 21, if you search from a mobile device, your results will be ranked based on whether a site is mobile-friendly.

BCA’s web developer and designer Aaron Cotton broke it all down for us and said this is the single biggest change to Google and possibly the internet in the last five years. Google has always used only one index for all sites; you were served one result no matter which device you were searching from.

“Mobile” devices are essentially everything other than a desktop or laptop like phones and tablets … what most of use on a daily basis. After April 21, adaptive sites will rank higher than separate mobile sites because they get more combined traffic. Sites that do not have either adaptive functionality or a separate alternative mobile site will be put below sites that do, on a mobile search.

You can see if your website is mobile friendly by clicking here.

So what do you do if your site is NOT already mobile-compatible or adaptive? It’s imperative you get together with your web designer to make those changes. BCA creates adaptive sites for our clients.

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Good luck, Captain – and make sure to Instagram it

Guest Contributor:  Amy Watson, BCA Intern January 27, 2015

Guest Contributor:
Amy Watson, BCA Intern
January 27, 2015

Social Media Infographic

Courtesy: AdWeek

During last week’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama spoke these words to NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, who plans to spend an entire year on board the International Space Station.

Social media was not only mentioned in this year’s State of the Union (or should we say #SOTU?), but it dramatically impacted its reception as well. It appears that marketers are on track when they report plans to spend more on social media engagement this year, according to the 2015 State of Marketing Report. For proof, just take a look at the numbers in this AdWeek infographic.

With an impressive 156.5 million users – 71% of adults on the internet – Facebook remains an outlet that cannot be ignored. And as Facebook continues to reduce the organic reach of company Pages – granted, with clearly explained reasons for doing so – paid promotion on this platform is a must heading into the New Year.

Yet this begs the question: if organic content is transitioning away from Facebook, where is it going? On January 9 of this year, the Pew Research Center released the Social Media Update 2014, revealing that these days, the fastest-growing social media platform out there is none other than Instagram. Are we surprised?

As it grows, it’s taking the cake for user engagement. In 2014, Forrester studied user interactions on social networks and reported that Instagram delivered brands 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more than Twitter. In another study, Zuum analyzed social media engagement with eight snack food brands. Facebook was still shown to be the dominant network, but Oreo – the one company with an Instagram account – showed more engagement from its 187,000 Instagram followers than its 37 million Facebook fans.

There are multiple factors driving this trend. For one thing, Instagram – at least for now – does not use algorithms to filter out posts, meaning that photos show up in the chronological order that they’re published. Secondly, its simple, uncluttered layout is easy to navigate, giving space for each individual photo to shine. And thirdly, there’s a myriad of research out there suggesting that visual content grabs the viewer and generates more engagement.

And Instagram is welcoming the corporate attention. Last month, the Instagram for Business blog announced the development of verified badges, along with a commitment to continue deactivating spammy accounts to keep brands authentic. A few months ago, they released a new suite of business tools to measure impression, reach, and engagement. The blog itself offers news, examples and advice for businesses to make the most of their Instagram accounts.

Of course – as always – the critical first step is understanding your audience. The red and yellow sections that dominate the Instagram pie chart reveal just how many of its users fall into the 18-34 age range, while more than half of Facebook users are age 35 or older. Related to this is the consideration that Instagram is primarily used on mobile devices rather than desktops. Facebook, while still skewed in favor of mobile users, is more evenly split.

The bottom line is that each social media platform offers unique advantages, and selecting the appropriate platform for your brand, your demographic and your content takes strategy and care. But if you’re still thinking through marketing strategies for 2015, the numbers are showing that it just might be worth the time and effort to pump out those consistent and compelling visuals on sites that put visual content first and foremost.

Good luck, brands – and make sure to Instagram it.

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Local Business Shows How It’s Done


Maggie Cox

Contributor: Maggie Cox
January 5, 2015


I originally thought it would be good idea to focus this month’s column on 2015 marketing trends. It’s the start of a new year and the right time to think about positioning for business success.  But then as part of my research I spoke to the manager of a new local restaurant. I was intrigued because I had observed the business enjoy out-of-the-gate-success within a month of opening and I wanted to know more about how that happened—which of the 2015 marketing trends were in play and driving success. The conversation that followed convinced me that instead of a general column on trends, I would share the very specific story of how Foremost Wine Company has sprung on to the scene.


By way of background:  I saw Petit Soleil owner John Conner at a meeting and he was raving about a new restaurant in The Creamery in downtown SLO where he had
eaten the night before. John couldn’t say enough good things about the place, the meal, the atmosphere. Two days later I heard restaurant reviewer Terry Bayus on the radio giving Foremost glowing reviews.  I asked a friend about the place and she added her nods of “yes yes yes.”  The buzz was buzzing and I had to see this place for myself.


I went with several friends to Foremost after a City Council meeting on a Tuesday night.  I was stunned to walk in – remember, this is Tuesday night about 8p– and find the place jammed with patrons.  We enjoyed fabulous service, an amazing meal and the fun of seeing other people we knew.  Patrons ranged in age from their mid-20’s to 70’s.  We saw two other local restaurant owners enjoying the place. We were witnessing a living example of what happens when a good product meets the power of word of mouth…especially when word of mouth has social media to help it along. This real life case study had my attention.


I followed up the evening by calling the restaurant the next day, indicating I had some questions about the Foremost back story. When I was told someone would call me back, I frankly dismissed the response and figured I would not hear back. To my surprise, the phone rang five minutes later and General Manager Johnny Kenny introduced himself to me.  I realized I knew the SLO native—his family owns and operates See Canyon Fruit Ranch. I told him how impressed I was with the restaurant and how as a marketer I was intrigued by what propelled so much initial buzz. Johnny took time to explain it to me.


First, he talked about the team: owner Rob Murray, who has 1,000 acres of grapes in cultivation in SLO County and Santa Maria and who recently took over the Eagle Castle winery facility in Paso Robles for his Robert Murray Wines. Four labels are included under the Robert Murray umbrella.  Then there’s Chef Julie Simon, formerly of Thomas Hill Organics and a culinary artist who has a following of her own.  The Foremost executive team is rounded out by on-site sommelier and Wine Director Robin Puricelli and Johnny, whose See Canyon property includes three acres of organic farm and a flock of 100 chickens – and is the exclusive provider of Foremost’s vegetables and eggs.


Farm to table in action.


So I get that the group put together an A Team, but how did people find out?  That was the real information I was seeking.  And what lessons can other businesses learn from Foremost’s success?  Just how did they make it happen?


Johnny explained that prior to opening to the public, Foremost hosted a private party for local winemakers, distributors and other wine industry people.  The party went well. A happy group started talking about the new place in town. A Facebook page was launched, and the chef’s personal followers learned what was underway.  Foremost opened its doors quietly on November 1, and saw steady traffic the first week – traffic that has continued to build. And with that traffic came more happy customers, whose blog sites and personal conversations praised the restaurant. And so it goes.

Foremost Wine Company

The take away is this:  Start with a great product.  Work out the bugs.  Know your customer and market to him or her. Use the free tools that are available and deputize customers to help tell your story. Make sure your product is as good as you say it is. And remember no matter how much new technology is available, there is still a place in the winner’s circle for service, human connection and one-to-one conversation.  More than the food, the fun atmosphere or the enthusiastic servers, what impressed me most about Foremost was this:  when Johnny called me back at 5 pm (the witching hour in the restaurant business) and I commented on being surprised to get a same-day call back, he answered without missing a beat:  “we call everybody back.”  Old school still counts!


And with that, we are off and running into 2015 with high hopes for a successful year all around. And remember, I love hearing stories of your own winning strategies.

This Eye on Business column first appeared in the January 2015 issue of Journal Plus Magazine. 

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Where to reach your customers (hint: you’re probably already there)

Guest Contributor: Alicia Yonan, BCA Intern November 25, 2014

Guest Contributor:
Alicia Yonan, BCA Intern
November 25, 2014

Businesses thrive on customer engagement and interaction, and many jump to the conclusion that they must participate in social media to keep in touch with those customers. Yet, in a study done by Forrester, it has been found that Youtube, Twitter, and the all-powerful Facebook were the top three go-to ways of interacting with customers. But does this mean they are the best three?

While these sites have proven successful in the past, their effectiveness has seen a decrease due to the changes emerging on Facebook. Studies have shown that, despite the large number of ‘likes,’ only about two percent of the Facebook fan base for many large companies actually see the posts being made by them, and this number will continue to decrease in 2015.

Many of us depend on social media – it has become both an entertainment and communications necessity – but before going into a panic over the decreasing views of your company posts, it is important to realize where the loyal customers might rather engage with the company.
In the study conducted by Forrester, survey results show the following:



Ta da! We told you not to panic. Yes it’s true that social media has become an important part in customer outreach, but does that mean we should put all of our eggs into that one basket? Out of almost 5000 adults, 45 percent said they would rather visit the website to stay in touch with companies. And why wouldn’t that make the most sense? A company’s website says the most about them. So rather than worrying about the next witty status you will be posting on the company’s Facebook or what hashtag you’ll start trending on Twitter, make sure to pay an equal amount of attention, if not more, to your own website. You’ll still find many of your customers there, and you can’t ask for a more captive or qualified audience.

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