Fashion Forward: How Digital Media is Changing the Fashion Industry

Posted on August 24th, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Blog

By Tiffany Huynh

Constant communication is crucial in today’s world. We’re all fixated on being “plugged in” and on allowing our friends and family to know where we are, what we’re up to, and even what we’re wearing at any given moment. This has only been made easier thanks to online platforms. (more…)

Amazon Launches Amazon Video Direct to Compete with Google and YouTube

Posted on June 1st, 2016 by REFUGE Categories Amazon

By Vlad Vidaeff
 
Content creation is becoming an increasingly important part of a marketer’s toolkit.  Rather than simply sharing content, marketers are now expected to create visually appealing photos and videos on social media.  User-generated content, live streaming, and streaming services are popular with YouTube, Periscope, Facebook Live, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Vimeo being some of the major players.  This blog will discuss Amazon’s announcement to launch the company into the user-generated video market. (more…)

Instagram for Business

Posted on February 27th, 2014 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Marketing for the non-tech savvyIn blogs past, we mentioned how great Facebook and Twitter are for your business. However, there are several social media avenues we have left unexplored. Many people use Instagram for photos of their food and selfies because it’s a very easy app to use and they offer tons of fun filters. Instagram is also great for business because it allows customers to see a different side of your company.

 

Find The Balance

 

Posting photos on Instagram is all about balancing business and fun. Don’t bog your profile down in pictures of products used to hard sell. You can post photos of staff, fun things you see during the day and products to maintain a quality mix of interesting photos.

 

Connect Your Profiles

 

Facebook and Twitter are great ways to generate hashtag campaigns that direct back to your Twitter.  Dove created an entire campaign using the hashtag #beautyis. The concept is simple… Take a selfie with no makeup and no filter then post to Instagram using the #beautyis. Dove responded to all entries and posted their favorite photos to their website.

 

Taking note of Dove’s success, it would be easy to start a hashtag campaign through Instagram that you would be able to promote through Facebook and Twitter.

 

It’s Social Media

 

Brands need to remember that when using Instagram, it’s social. The same rules you follow for Facebook and Twitter apply. Follow back people who follow you, use relevant hashtags for your photo to connect you to the rest of the network and reply to consumers when they take the time to talk with you.

 

Instagram is a great resource for your business so take advantage of it!

Forming Online Relationships

Posted on November 20th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Forming Online Relationships

Making working/professional relationships can be difficult for some businesses and others it comes a little bit easier. Nowadays, companies not only need to make the connection in person, but also via the Internet through their social media outlets.

 

Social Media

 

Organizations are building strong social relationships by knowing their business from the inside out in order to be able to reach their targeted audiences. In addition to knowing your business, know your customers and the target group that you are trying to connect too.  A smart thing to do is to use the information that users are posting to get an insight on what type of topics your company should post on your social media sites.  When speaking on topics, you want to make sure to remind your audience that you’re an expert in the field so share related material.

 

Remember to engage with your followers in two-way symmetrical conversations.  It allows your audience to know that you are listening, paying attention and value their presence verses just using social media as another marketing and advertising outlet. Ask for feedback and most importantly listen to that feedback and respond.

 

Reach out to others within your industry to follow or ‘like’ and share postings or retweet their tweets. Remember to post with purpose and meaning! Sending out nonsense will eventually lose you followers and creditability. Be passionate! Users can tell if you are passionate about your industry and those it serves.

 

Blogs

 

Company’s blogs are another way to maintain strong online relationships built through social media with pre-existing and new customers and even with other businesses. Business blogs also build credibility and trust.

 

Blogs give a voice to businesses allowing them to express their thoughts on topics and issues that are important to the company. In addition companies can show that they can be humanizing while remaining true to its mission and purpose. Keep in mind once your organization starts a blog it’s crucial to maintain the blog.

 

Engage daily with your social media followers to start building relationships. Take the first step, strike up a conversation by asking a question and the connection grows from there.

Are you using Google+?

Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Are you using Google+ ?

If you haven’t heard, the latest movement hitting the social networking world is Google+. The networking service was created in 2011 but is just now gaining the title of the “next big thing” in the digital world. In early 2013, Google+ had close to 360 million active users and is projected to grow even more. If you are not on Google+, here is why you should be.

Circles

You can place people into different circles and manage who sees what. You are able to converse with each group on separate topics, making your engagement more personal. In your business you might have certain messages to relay to different target audiences, and this feature allows you to do so without posting a one-for-all message.

Communities

Imagine a place that allows you to interact and meet people whom all share the same interests; communities does just that. It connects users with others who are posting about the same topic. You can use this to benefit your business by reaching out to those who already show an interest in what you are offering. You can also plan events within this feature, making it easy to send out invites to just the right people.

Hangouts

Hangouts are where you can catch up with your followers/friends with video, voice calls or share photos. You can have up to a 10-person conference call from all around the world (for free), and share photos and emojis in your conversation. Another great thing about the video aspect is you can pre-record your videos to post to the web at a later time.

Bonus

Since Google is the creator, your business’s Google+ profile will always pop-up on the top right of the search results.

With the unique features offered, it is no wonder it has millions of users and is the next big thing! Google is creating a new way of communicating with its easy-to-use, engaging social networking site. Now is the time to join, the media buzz surrounding the site is bound to draw in many more users.

Public Relations Tactics: Old and New

Posted on September 18th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Advertising

Public Relations Tactics: Old and New

Public Relations is a strategic management function used by many businesses to accomplish their goals and follow their vision. PR professionals use many platforms to reach their target publics. Some fall under the traditional route and some are in the digital world.

 

Traditional PR

 

Traditional PR is all about the basics, press releases, email pitches and making phone calls to pitch a story.

  • A press release is a written news story sent to the media in hopes that they will run in it on air, in a newspaper or on the radio. Your press release should be news worthy and interesting to captivate your public’s attention.
  • An email pitch is an email that you write and send to a journalist or reporter pitching your story. It can include nice images to catch the journalist’s attention. Be short and to the point and write a great pitch, journalists may have hundreds of emails to read.
  • Phone calls to pitch a story are very personal. The extra attention may make a difference in your story getting picked up. Prepare what you want to say beforehand and practice out-loud.

 

Social PR

 

Social PR works in the digital world. It is all about engaging your publics through social networking and online blogging.

  • Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are great outlets that make it easy to reach your target audience. Keep your postings relevant to what your publics want to read and straight to the point.
  • Blogging is becoming a popular way for PR pro’s to stay interactive communicating with their publics. Write something useful, it will keep your readers coming back for more.

 

When deciding which outlet to use for your business, it is important to take your business’s goals into consideration. The mixture of both practices is a great way to keep your business in the loop online and maintain personal relationships with the media.

 

Intern Spotlight: Stephanie Laucho

Posted on August 14th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Stephanie Laucho has been a wonderful addition to The REFUGE Group team over the past couple of months. Consistently improving and putting forth her best effort on a daily basis, Stephanie was determined to learn as much as possible.

Social Media Super Hero

 

Stephanie Laucho

Our clients’ social media pages felt the impact of Stephanie’s superb work while at The REFUGE Group. We quickly noticed increased engagement and new fans and followers once she learned the ropes. Once she learned what is appropriate to post, what prompts engagement and the idiosyncrasies between posting on different social media sites she soared higher and higher. Engagement increased on many of our clients’ social media sites under Stephanie’s command.

 

Analyzing Reports

 

Stephanie began to appreciate the usefulness of report analysis from the start. She learned that reports should be created and analyzed on a weekly basis in order to determine what type of posts tend to increase engagement and which ones do not. It is also a way to conduct marketing research because you have an idea of who is your audience. As Stephanie analyzed these weekly and monthly reports, she altered her posts accordingly, which as noted earlier, were a great success.

 

Blogs

 

Over time, Stephanie learned how to write in the casual writing style used in a blog and support her thoughts with credible sources, often with the use of hyperlinks. The complexity of her writing also improved as she discovered words to avoid and began to treasure the thesaurus as many bloggers do, myself included.

 

We will certainly miss having Stephanie as part of the team and appreciate all the hard work she did during her summer internship. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors and hope she keeps in touch.

Marketing a Business

Posted on August 7th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Marketing has its place in every business. According to the Business Dictionary, “Marketing is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction.” Based on this, a marketer’s job is to prove how a product will satisfy their needs. Putting together a marketing strategy can be expensive and time-consuming, making the task quite challenging. There are two ways you can promote your business, traditional marketing and online marketing. Now, you will probably ask which one is more effective? There is no single answer for this question because both can help you succeed.

 

Traditional Marketing

 

Traditional MarketingTraditional marketing involves using direct mail, print advertising, broadcasting, and referrals and has been around for many years. Print advertising is the oldest of traditional marketing. Its goal is to create awareness through displays on magazines, newspapers or billboards. This type of marketing is usually expensive and targeted towards large businesses. This is also the case for broadcasting which includes radio and television. According to the Houston Chronicle, TV and radio can reach a large audience in a short time period. However, it has a shorter lifetime compared to print advertising. Direct mail creates awareness through catalogs, letters, brochures, etc. If you have a small business you can start with direct mail and referrals, which are less expensive and less time consuming.

  

Online Marketing

 

Online MarketingOnline marketing works through the Internet and mobile devices and its success began around the 2000’s. For small businesses new in the market, online marketing is a great way to increase sales, while quickly gaining exposure. One form of online marketing is social media. Social media sites like, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest are all great ways to communicate your brand message at no cost to the company or you individually. Email marketing is another form of online marketing, but in order for it to be successful, it must be appealing and well planned.

 

The majority of businesses utilize a combination of traditional and online marketing. According to Econsultancy, using these channels together will help you develop a solid plan that draws a desired behavior from the consumer towards your product. Each business is different and should develop the best combination of marketing methods according to what they have to offer and what they think their customers need.

 

Lead Generation

Posted on July 10th, 2013 by Skye-Lynn Ferch Categories Blog

Finding leads is manageable, but peaking their interest and maintaining it in regard to your brand proves to be a challenge. Today, buyers have the ability to do their own research before deciding what they want to purchase. With the popularity of the Internet, their resources are unlimited. A new generation of consumers means that businesses need to be increasingly innovative and unique through their online presence in order to find customers that will see the value in your products and/or services.

 

The new era of educated consumers can actually benefit your business given the right exposure. The question becomes, how do you make your business stand out with a sea of competitors?

 

Make the Customer Aware

 

Building and maintaining an easy-to-use website that spurs consumer interaction should be priority number one. Consumers decide whether they want to invest in your business by browsing a web page, meaning this is an opportunity to convert casual Internet browsers to leads. Excite the audience by offering coupons, appealing information, and creative layout. Remember, the purpose is for the target market to become a customer, and a repeat customer at that.

 

Strategically Advertise

 

It is important that you place advertisements where maximum exposure is guaranteed. Websites related to your product, or pages that you think potential leads would spend time on are ideal for ad placement. Social media and blogs will also allow you attract the right audience. Selecting the right medium for advertising is crucial when building brand awareness.

 

Events Expand Exposure

 

Hosting events is an important part of acquiring leads. They afford you the opportunity to establish personal connections with potential customers that might have been overlooked through website and advertising. Compelling people to attend an event can be done via social media or local media websites like houstonpress.com

 

Moving  leads through the sales cycle can be achieved by effectively managing those possible clients.  Using websites, strategically advertising and hosting events are other tools to attract and retain potential customers. To learn more about this click here.

 

What makes Twitter #important?

Posted on May 23rd, 2013 by admin Categories Blog

 

Twitter Logo

Twitter is an entirely different form of social media compared to the other social media platforms out there today. Although Twitter users often use the social media platform as a way to share their basic day-to-day thoughts, Twitter can also be used by businesses to target desirable clientele. In fact, many Twitter users are highly educated, with over thirty percent of users holding four-year degrees. People are increasingly turning their attention to Twitter as an up-to-date source of news and information. Click here to read about one example where Twitter had a huge impact on the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq.

Get Personal

Twitter has become a worthy customer service tool because it allows brands to engage with consumers in conversation. Aside from that it also makes it easier for companies to go viral and link to consumers.

Twitter is all about connecting with customers and engaging them in conversation. If you are not going to be interactive and attentive to your Twitter account, then your Twitter campaign will be unsuccessful. Consumers are drawn to relationships that feel personal, which relies heavily on the assurance that you will see and respond to their tweets almost instantly.

Go Viral

Becoming viral is always a goal when engaging in a social media campaign. While Twitter does not guarantee that this will happen, it does make it simpler with the use of the retweet button.

Learning how to get people to retweet your posts is a crucial part of using Twitter.

#Hashtags
Hashtags provide multiple services. They connect users with the same interests, permit brands and companies to target a specific audience, and allow for conversations to be started between companies and clients.Hashtags are important because they are central to having your updates connect and searchable by other users. Twitter also cuts through the “noise” of social media. You can easily search a keyword with a hashtag in front of it, and it will produce posts with your specific interests.

These hashtag campaigns were extremely successful.

Twitter, in conjunction with other social media outlets, will help you build your brand and gain loyal customers.

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