The Biggest Mistake Made On Social Media

social media, social media marketing, social media statistics, Uncatergorized

One of the biggest mistakes I see almost every company making on social media, especially Instagram and Facebook, is treating these networking platforms like they are a place to showcase their work without interacting with potential customers and clients.

Most brand managers and business owners will spend too much time worrying about what to post and too little time liking, commenting and sharing on other people’s posts. They treat social media like it’s a one way street and a platform to show off, rather than a place to genuinely connect with new clients and customers.

Think of it this way. If you were going to go to a cocktail party (think of Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. like a cocktail party), and you were going to talk about yourself the entire time (only posting), people would get completely turned off.

You must spend equal amounts of time posting and interacting with your followers and those that don’t follow you yet.   Spend an hour or so a day discovering new content and teach out to customers and clients that are like yours and start liking, commenting (in real full sentences) and sharing their posts. Then watch how fast you build a following.

How does this work? Everyone loves to see a new notification with a comment on their post. What is the first thing you do when you see that comment? You read it and find out who did the posting.  This act of “discovery” is a surefire way to building a real, true and authentic account.

Need help with your social media strategy? Reach out via email at and follow me @madelinemariejohnson on Instagram.

Best Practices for Consumer Engagement 2015

2015 trends, Brand Awareness, brand management, customer loyalty, Engaging Customer Service, Experiential Marketing, future of marketing


7 Things to Know Before Engaging with Your Customers

1. Customers are smart and they have a wealth of Google-able knowledge at their finger tips.

When engaging with them, give them crystal clear, honest and transparent feedback. 

2. Consumers are cynical, skeptical and have no fear posting or sharing their dissatisfaction.

Aim to educate, enlighten and inspire without spamming or turning them off with too much “marketing”. Try a tone that is humble, friendly yet confident about your unique value proposition.

3. They want answers quickly. In a fast-information world, we must respond quickly and swiftly to avoid a crisis, because information can be shared at the click of a mouse or press of a button.

In a 24/7 world of communication answer customer emails and Facebook questions everyday. Don’t make them wait.

4. Customers go to friends, family and other customers for information. It’s not easy to “interrupt” that conversation, especially when what they are sharing is misinformation.

According to Shoutlet, a social listening research firm claims 95% of millennials say that their friends are the most credible source of product information.

Do your best to gently bring them sources of information that they can trust. Building trust is the best thing you can do when connecting with your consumers. 

5. Consumers don’t trust branded content. Especially advertised branded content. Especially blatant “spammy” content.

As a brand you have to be very careful how you speak to consumers or you will turn them off. Review copy and messaging to make sure you aren’t just “selling” product but sparking a conversation and answering their questions.  

6. Consumers want to keep it simple. Your messages must be simple and easier to understand and important to them.

7. You also need to be exactly where they are, when they want you. On their phones, tablets and at every point-of-purchase. Preferably with a great offer. Convenience is everything. If you haven’t seen Dash from Amazon, check it out now.

device-amazon-dashAmazon Dash. Just brilliant.

20 Ways to Find Out What’s Trending on the Web Right Now

2015 trends, digital content strategy, Viral content, viral photos

20 Ways to Find Out What's Trending Right Now

Whether you have five minutes of downtime to watch what’s hot, or you are looking to learn more about what (content) gets shared the most, here are some of the best sites and tools that rank the videos, photos and hashtags that are trending right now.

  1. Oublio  Photos are updated hourly and videos are updated daily on Oublio. The site monitor’s what’s popular on Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, Imgur and Pinterest.
  2. Imgur shares what’s fresh, interesting and popular on the web.
  3. You can find out what’s trending on YouTube with Google’s hot video watch list.
  4. Watch interviews with YouTube sensations with VH1’s Huge on the Tube channel. There are some teachable moments here on how to create videos that go “viral”.
  5. Video ad tech company Unruly has a site dedicated to charting viral videos on the web.
  6. YouTube’s Trend Dashboard allows you to filter video trends by city and country.
  7. #PopularonYouTube has over 29 million subscribers.
  8. You can find out what pins have the most likes, comments and shares at Popular on Pinterest.
  9.  answers the question “How do you find the events and people that are changing the world right now?
  10. Find the most liked photos ever, hashtag cloud and popular filter usage and more at Instagram’s blog. and check out your own key metrics about your Instagram account.
  11. Your source for all that is trending on Twitter. Trendsmap shows you the latest trends on Twitter from anywhere in the world.
  12. Google Top Charts will tell you want’s most searched and what’s trending by any category you can imagine.
  13. Good old Buzzfeed has their own interpretation of what’s trending.
  14. What’s Trending serves as a 24/7 news hub, covering and curating the most viral and shareable content across the social web.
  15. What the Trend from Hootesuite gives their users the ability to weigh in on trends.
  16. Unruly’s blog curates and helps us understand why things trend in the first place.
  17. helps to identify what the next big thing will be on the web.
  18. gives us a look at some of the weirdest trends on the web.
  19. gives you the option to search by topic (many of the sites above also have this feature).
  20. and @BBCTrending shares a world view of what’s trending

If you have websites to add to the list, please comment or send us at tweet @marketcouncil

The Customer is #1

brand reputation, building brand trust, PR Agency, social media marketing, Star Powered PR


When building a brand, it’s vital to reflect what is in the best interest of your core existence; the customer. They are the fuel to your fire and without them let’s face it, you wouldn’t be here. The question often surfaces, how do you leverage your social media to have customer influence and therefore, maximize retention and purchases?

A good place to start is knowing your customer inside and out. Discover their likes, dislikes, behavior and why they chose to be loyal to you rather than others. Answer customer FAQs via Facebook and Twitter. Stimulate them with riveting visuals on Instagram and Pinterest. Avoid trying to use your social media platforms solely to push your product. Be an interactive exchange, champion their interests and cravings by discovering their outside wanderings independent of your brand.

With such an overwhelming presence of digital and physical advertising tailored in emails and creeping in every breathable space, customers are seeking authentic, conscious and engaging brands. At MJMPR, we place our client’s customers needs at the forefront of our initiatives. For our client Surya Brasil, we understand our customers are environmentally conscious, anti-animal cruelty with a need for natural, all-organic lifestyle products. In inspiring them, we share the best all-vegan restaurants in local cities and DIY at-home projects using renewable and recycle materials. Customers are like friends, act like one and you could be friends forever.  

Marketing, Customer Service and The Love Metric

brand reputation, building brand trust, customer loyalty, Engaging Customer Service, marketing muscle, Uncatergorized

After asking ourselves – what really moved and excited us about marketing today? –  we agreed it had to be this HBR interview with Fred Reichheld and Rob Markey, authors of The Ultimate Question 2.0.

Why? Because it speaks the truth about everything we are currently working on as marketing and PR pros

The customers’ voice is everywhere

  • From the expert bloggers that we are writing and talking to every day. Those we are targeting about our clients’ new products, and who know just as much about the health, beauty, fitness and spa industries as any trade or consumer magazine editor.
  • To the opinionated customers we are now sharing conversations with on Twitter for our clients.
  • To those checking in to the Facebook Place pages that we are uploading local news and photos to on a daily basis for the franchises we represent.
  • To the conversations we are having with Yelp representatives about correcting negative customer reviews.

We can see our roles evolving daily as the customers’ voice becomes amplified by the internet. We find ourselves explaining to our clients how important great customer service really is and how they  must understand that we can’t afford to have an angered customer tell their followers and friends how bad it is to do business with them  (or any company for that matter). It’s important for us to listen to these customers, because they are forming the perception about what others (including future potential customers) think about those we represent. And they are doing it in an internet instant.

So where do you start? How do you keep your reputation pristine? With the basic commandments of good customer service and by building a company with customer centric DNA. Check out Net Promoter for more.

The Future is Now

future of marketing, infiltration marketing & PR, marketing muscle, marketing rituals, online marketing, PR Agency, Real Time Marketing, Uncatergorized

Rapid Response Marketing

Everyone on The Market Council team carries a series of iPhones and Androids ready to “grow it on the go” for our clients. We scan emails; post to Facebook;  capture and create client Instagrams; shoot and share YouTube videos; send larger graphic files via YouSendit and receive messages on Twitter . . .

This is how we roll.  Our ever-expanding roles as designers, marketing pros and PR liaisons is now about more customer contact, sharing important information with the public and being as transparent and honest as possible with our client’s fans and strategic partners. Welcome to the party.

Yesterday, we put those phones down on the conference room table for what felt like a five-hour face-to-face meeting with one of our fastest growing clients. Our hearts began to beat faster when we realized there wasn’t really any service on the lower level of the building.

Constantly connected? Half day in-person meetings? Wonder what Tim Ferris would say about that?

The entire time, we were pretty concerned about –

  • The sweet customer from Gainesville, Florida we were DM-ing on Twitter about the complaint she had for client X.
  • The new artwork we had to upload to the digital billboard in Orlando, Florida for client Y.
  • The broadcast email we were getting approved that had to be sent to over 30 franchisees for client Z
  • The promotion we had to switch out on our client’s owned media platforms (their website and blog).
  • The blogger who needed a fact sheet and high res photos for her review of our client’s new launch.  . . .

And to think we thought we were already proactive promotional pros? Real-time marketing. The future is now.