Introducing: Creator Studio!

There’s a new tool that just released today (8/14/19) that may change the way that creators, businesses, brands, and influencers run their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Instead of having to go between Facebook and Instagram to post your content, users can now use the Creator Studio to do it all in one platform. Prior to this new Creator Studio update, you weren’t able to post natively to Instagram anywhere except your phone. Now, similar to Hootsuite or Hubspot, you can schedule posts and plan out your entire feed in one place. You heard that right, scheduling your Instagram posts is now possible! The big difference between the other platforms is that Creator Studio is free and has a rather simple User Interface. If you have a Facebook account, you automatically have access to creator studio and you can begin customizing your feed! 

For brands that are just managing Facebook and Instagram, this will prove to be an invaluable tool. The process is very easy from start to finish! For instance, you can open up the Creator Studio and select the business that you want to manage. Then, you can look over the engagement of your previous posts to see what has performed the best lately and choose your content based on those simple analytics. 

 

Facebook has had the function of scheduling out posts for years, but Instagram specifically never had this ability. You could schedule through an outside program, but with this new update, you can now do it in Creator Studio! What that also means is, you can do it from your computer, which has been a popular complaint from users in the past that they couldn’t do that. While programs like Hootsuite can be very valuable to companies, it has been proven that the engagement isn’t quite as good when it’s not posted natively from Facebook or Instagram (Typical Facebook algorithm at work). With this new update, it should help brands reach more of their audience while still being able to schedule out their content.

 

The UI is extremely user-friendly and allows you to craft your posts all in the same window. For Instagram, you just choose the account and then decide whether you want to post on the feed, or on IGTV (Hopefully we will be able to post to Instagram Stories soon too!). Once selected, you create your post right there with the photo you want to share, content, and location. There is even a small editor section that can be very useful for cropping and angling. Once you schedule a post, you will find it in your Creator Studio Content Library, where you can view all of your posts that you have coming up. 

 

The introduction of this new tool will prove to be quite handy for brands, agencies, and social media aficionados. It doesn’t have some of the more robust features that other platforms have, but it does have simple functionality, analytics and it’s FREE! You may find that this is super handy for your business and executing some social media planning. You can plan out your posts for the entire month, and not have to pick it back up until next month. Give it a shot! 

 

Did Your Organic Ranking Tank? We know why…

This is a safe place, can we all agree on that? Great, then it’s ok to admit the word “algorithm” mystifies you — perplexes you — even scares you a little bit.

So, when you hear Google is updating its algorithm it can cause fear, panic, and the like. Google has admitted to a March 2019 update that actually LOST entire web pages from its index. Gone. Poof. And the effect on organic rankings was HUGE.

In March 2019, Google did what it called a “Broad Core update” – meaning Google is not “fixing” something directly, or even addressing specific industries or areas of need – but rather, creating and implementing more sweeping adjustments to organic searches.

As one tech blogger explained it:

Broad core updates are improvements to Google’s overall algorithm for the purpose of better understanding search queries and webpages. These improvements help Google to more accurately match search queries to webpages and improve user satisfaction.

Everybody, Stay Calm!

Did you feel that? Did your site feel the full brunt of the digital earthquake? Or maybe you just felt a little aftershock. Either way, Google’s “advancements” truly hurt many sites’ rankings about a month after the update’s release.

On April 7th, Google tweeted:

We’re aware of indexing issues that impacted some sites beginning on Friday. We believe the issues are mostly resolved and don’t require any special efforts on the part of site owners. We’ll provide another update when the issues are considered fully resolved.

We won’t bore you with the nerdy details to indexes, search impacts, etc. etc. – but basically Google admitted “Houston, we have a problem.”

Here at RPS we experienced it on our own site. One day we’re trending along, enjoying the top spot in our market for the organic keywords we’ve identified in our marketing strategy, and then the proverbial bottom dropped out. It was easy to recognize, and virtually impossible to explain.

We saw the same trend in several client websites as well. Even after efforts to optimize, the organic search metrics didn’t seem to follow a logical pattern. We weren’t rattled, but rather challenged ourselves to find out why. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good mystery, BUT not without an explanation or a resolution. (Every good mystery movie ends by solving the mystery — haven’t they ever seen an episode of Scooby Doo?!)

Oh, that algorithm, it’ll get ya every time! And, just like it seemed to “get us” for a time, we’ve been digging in to deeper understand the update and its aftermath. Google is not really in the practice of explaining in depth the reasons behind updates, or the predicted effects. Sometimes they just drop an update and see if anyone notices.

We Will Rebuild

So, how do you overcome the aftershock of the Broad Core update of March 2019?

First, know that Google has since come out an assured the web community that it is reindexing sites already, and you can directly ask for Google to index your site. Not a great solution for sites with a lot of volume, but an option nonetheless.  

The dust will supposedly settle. Google is quick to assure it’s back to business as usual… but we’re a little more proactive than that. We trust the system but also believe in strategy implementation for the win.

We don’t believe major adjustments are ultimately your best move. Instead, we believe there’s value in monitoring. Organic rankings are the long-game in an often frantic, mile-a-minute digital marketplace. Craft a solid strategy, modify as needed, and remain calm.

We’ll get through this, together.

VR, AR, AI, Oh my!

Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI)… If your head is spinning, you’re not alone. It’s a lot to keep up with, and even more difficult for your business to master.

Customers crave a more transformational experience with brands, products, services, and information. And there’s power in delivering those experiences.

Augmented Reality is defined as “a type of interactive, reality-based display environment that takes the capabilities of computer generated display, sound, text and effects to enhance the user’s real-world experience.” It is predicted Augmented Reality will grow to be a $35 billion industry by 2022! Talk about opportunity knocking!

So, how are brands using AR effectively and strategically to not only increase brand awareness but to create meaningful customer experiences (and loyal fans?) How to do go beyond the gimmick and make AR work for your company? How does AR become your brand differentiator?

Here’s how industries and brands are leveraging AR to do more than simply impress and entertain.

There’s an app for that

Nike is using Augmented Reality to assist shoe buyers to not only find the right shoe for their activity, but the correct SIZE. Their research showed up to 60% of their customers were purchasing the wrong size shoe, which was leading to more returns and more unhappy customers. Their sizing app, Nike Fit, lets buyers scan their feet at home to get their correct size (within a 2mm of accuracy which, we don’t measure things with rulers much these days but we’re pretty sure that’s super close to perfect) The result – a rise in consumer confidence, more brand loyalty, and fewer returns.

How Will I know?

Companies like Ikea, Wayfair, Target, and Amazon are augmenting the purchases of items, especially larger ones like furniture, and allowing buyers to “try before they buy” — you can virtually place the item in the room to see the piece in the real world before buying and potentially assembling (and we all know the joys of assembling an IKEA piece…) The result again is consumer confidence and a higher likelihood the buyer will ultimately make that big-ticket purchase.

Not sure if you’ll love a paint color? Try it out through AR and get it right the first time — companies like Sherwin-Williams are having extreme success with their ventures into Augmented Reality paint selection and it’s reinforcing the brand’s commitment to helping customers get it right the first time.

Don’t Just Tell Me, Show Me

We all know how essential visuals are to a brand. AR is taking this fact to an elevated level (basically, it’s like a picture times a million). Gone are the days of just showing an illustration to explain how something works. Or dropping a logo onto a piece of collateral to brand it as your own. The possibilities are endless when it comes to AR showing, versus telling, about your brand.

Jack Daniels is using AR to bring customers into the whiskey manufacturing world to immerse them in the distillery and makes the brand more relatable. The bottle’s label becomes a virtual pop-up storybook to show consumers the process, the location, and the history of the company. And, frankly, it’s just cool to watch.

Make The World a Better Place

Augmented Reality is being used as assistive technology for the visually impaired. One service “connects blind and low-vision people to highly trained, remotely-located agents.” The goal of this brand is to make information available to everyone regardless of disability, making life more full and enjoyable and further enhance everyday experiences.

Social and Search

Social media platforms have been on board with the utility of AR, and are leading the charge. Snapchat and Instagram have built entire identity on filters, which brands are now monetizing into awareness, relationship building, and just plain fun. The use of AR on social communicates the organic voice that a basic post simply cannot convey.

And of course Google is in on the frontlines of AR. Google maps are interactive with walking navigation and visual overlays. Google searches include AR immersive experiences to feel connected to the content that comes up on your next search — it’s fun to see an 18-foot great white shark floating in your backyard as you help your child research sharks for a school project.

Just Plain Fun

A Snapchat filter for a special event is a small investment to create a memorable impact. (Check out the filter we used for our recent RPS Open House event…)

But, be careful. There still has to be value to be, well, valuable to your base. Otherwise, it’s just a novelty that could hurt your brand more than help. Your AR experience has to have a strong message and clear function, and go beyond the initial “coolness” factor.

If your AR experience doesn’t drive customers to take action (buy that IKEA sofa, it’ll fit perfectly!), make an informed decision (that lipstick is totally your color!), meet a customer’s need (“What does this error message mean, oh wise AR tech support guy?), showcase your capabilities (have your smartphone out next time you’re in the RPS offices for our full AR experience), or directly align with your brand’s message and values it could end up being just a novelty (a moment of silence for QR codes…)

Bottom line: Don’t be Pokemon Go (hot one minute, obsolete the next). Using AR, and any other Experiential Marketing tools, correctly can have a lasting, positive effect on your business and brand. The key word — “correctly”.

The Backyard Team Building VIP Experience: Sponsored by Rock Paper Simple

The Backyard Team Building VIP Experience: Sponsored by RPS

What: An event for HR professionals to learn about The Backyard, and what it can offer your team

When: Wednesday, May 8th from 9am-2pm

Where: The Backyard Games and Eatery, located at 5270 N US Hwy 1
Palm Shores, FL 32940

At RPS, we’re all about doing things as a team. We work as a team, eat lunch as a team, and some of us even throw the frisbee around as a team. So when our good friends at The Backyard said they wanted to partner with us for their Team Building VIP Experience, we were thrilled!

Happening on Wednesday, May 8th, this event is designed for anyone in the human resources field to come and enjoy a free day of games, education, food, and fun! You can expect to experience a comprehensive overview of what The Backyard can offer your team, an introductory tour of the facility, and plenty of games and activities. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, and the day will conclude with a motivational presentation on success.

If you would like to register or learn more, visit backyardgamesandeatery.com/vipevent or call (321) 426-7480.

To keep up with the event on Facebook, click here.

Pre-registration is required. We hope to see you there!

 

Facebook’s Secret Weapon for Businesses

We are all about working smarter, not harder. And marketing is striking a balance between effort and time (and money, of course. But time equals money – round up to the next whole number, take the square root of pi and… sorry, we get nerdy sometimes.)

Where were we?

Oh yes, working smarter. This is why we love using a “secret weapon” within Facebook Insights for Business that is helping marketers and small business owners capitalize on powerful vicinity-specific statistics.If you run a brick-and-mortar business, the information you can glean from Facebook Local Insights can impact your ad strategy, staffing decisions, and more.

Within Business Manager there’s a tab that is often overlooked in the sea of other useful Insights. Even as super creative, right-brained people, we geek out over the metrics in this tab once we began to do a deep dive.

Here’s what we mean:

The Facebook Local Insights section provides super geographic-specific data that shows you what’s the busiest time for Facebook users to be in your set radius and date range, what the top age, gender and home location is of those passing by, and how often your ad was seen by those people (if you’re currently running campaigns.) It’s all privacy protected so it’s showing generalized stats and not specific users information, but there’s power in those summaries that you need to be using as you craft your marketing plans.

How does this help you as a business owner? For the three main categories you see in the screenshot above:

Activity and Peak Hours

Facebook Says:

Use info about when the most people are nearby to make smart decisions about store hours and more.

RPS Says:

We can’t make your operational decisions, but we do use this data to make sure content and ads are going out when you expect people to see it (your current followers AND passers-by alike).

 

Demographic Info

Facebook Says:

Get to know the general ages, genders and distance traveled by people near your business to inform your marketing and services.

RPS Says:

We use this data to get to know people who are not yet customers or clients and craft messages and ads accordingly to draw engagement. Creating custom audiences using this insight increases the likelihood of your ads do not falling victim to the mindless scroll.

 

Ad Performance

Facebook Says:

See if your ads reached people who are near your business.

RPS Says:

Spending money is an important decision for any business owner or decision maker. How powerful to be able to verify your ads are being seen by the people around you.

Now, like any data, it’s only useful if it’s actionable. And to be actionable, you have to understand it. A marketing partner like RPS can analyze the data in your business’ Facebook Local Insights and craft a plan to attract the people most likely to walk in your door, drive by your business, or be online when your ad is running.

We’d love to review Local Insights with you in a Discovery Session. Contact us through our site or give us a call – we promise not to be too nerdy when you come in.

2019: First Quarter

2019: First Quarter

The beginning of the year has come and gone quickly, and it’s been a busy 2019 at RPS! We’d like to take this opportunity to catch you up on what we’ve been up to in the first quarter.

Featured Blog Post

Logo vs Icon: Understanding the Difference

In an update of one of our most popular blog posts, we break down the difference between an icon and a logo, as well as defining these terms and more! To read this blog post, click here.

Client Spotlight

Family Promise of Brevard

RPS partnered with Family Promise of Brevard on their recent annual campaign to raise awareness and money to support homeless families in our county. Using direct mail letters to past supporters, as well as email blasts, press releases, and social media posting, the campaign was able to replace an entire annual fundraiser, providing $10,000 more to families in need as a result of generous giving by our community.

It’s always rewarding when we work with groups that directly impact our area. We also created a new website for the organization which, we must say, sparkles. We’re not kidding, it actually sparkles. If you’d like to visit their website, click here.

10 Wins for RPS at the ADDYs!

We had a wonderful time at the recent ADDY award ceremony and are proud to have been recognized for 10 awards, including two of the three Judges Choice awards. You can read more about it in one of our recent blog posts, here!

New Team Member Spotlight

Mackenzie Bills

Mackenzie joined our team in January as our Administrative Assistant, which basically means she does a little bit of everything, including answering phones, working on websites, fighting bad guys, and making a great pot of coffee.  If you’d like to learn more about Mackenzie, click here!

We’re looking for Interns!

We are looking for a few awesome individuals who are interested in learning the ropes and gaining some experience at the same time. If you’re interested in website building, digital marketing, graphic design, or content strategy, we’d love to hear from you! You can apply here!

The Backyard HR Team Building VIP Experience!

We are excited to announce that our sponsorship of the HR Team Building VIP Experience at the Backyard! Anyone in the human resources field is welcome to come for a FREE day of games and team building activities! Breakfast and lunch are included. Register to join us here!

Icon Vs Logo : Understanding the Difference

Sometimes there’s a bit of confusion about the difference between an icon, emblem, wordmark, and logo, and why it’s so important you not use them interchangeably. Each serve a specific purpose, and while they may sometimes look alike, the intention behind each is very different….so today we’re breaking it down for you!

This blog post, one of our most popular, was updated on March 29th, 2019 to include even more info and examples of icons, logos, and wordmarks (oh my!)

Logo

Logos establish relations, and help viewers create a connection between a company and its product- it is essentially a simplified ad! Logos are the symbol, or face, of the organization. They should inspire an immediate recognition of the company’s brand, core values, products and services. They can even provoke emotions regarding the quality of customer service, the cultural significance of the brand, etc. A logo is a powerful representation of your business. It conveys a much larger message than you may have thought!

A logo can be just an emblem, just a wordmark, or it can encompass both – often the formula for a strong visual brand identity is emblem + wordmark = logo. When both a wordmark and emblem are used to create a logo either element can be used individually, but are not the brand’s logo (unless great success has happened and the brand can drop the wordmark, like Starbucks).

Here are some examples:

                           

 

Emblem

For many brands, Rock Paper Simple included, an emblem is created to further identify the company and it becomes the mark of that organization. For us, it’s our “pointer” which appears in our full logo or stands alone in usage on social media, stickers, and collateral. The emblem signifies a specific characteristic or quality about the company and can be used to identify the company on its own.

Emblems are more significant of brand identity, so they tend to have more detail in them than icons in order to distinguish branded content from action buttons in an app or on a website. Since most profile photos on platforms like Facebook are square or circular, it is common practice for emblems to be designed for use on social media.

Here are some examples:

                           

Wordmark

A wordmark is exactly what it sounds like – the brand’s words, usually the company name, in an immediately-recognizable, distinct typeface that, even without images can be used to identify the brand. The wordmark tells directly what the related content is associated with, in case visual familiarity with the emblem fails.

Here are some examples:

Icon

Icons are meant to convey abstract thought and they artistically summarize an action or operation-  they represent what is being offered. When people see it, the icon should create an immediate understanding of what the creator/business/website means to express. It helps the viewer to simplify thought and make fast connections.

In the instance of mobile apps, most organizations choose the emblem part of their logo, or often a defining feature of their brand or service they provide, to be the icon. This way they remain instantly recognizable. However, they are made based on the branding and should not stand on their own to identify the brand itself, with exceptions from massively popular products and services like the Facebook “Like” icon.

Icons are almost always designed quadratically and are designed to scale within specific dimensions. This way they fit square App icon dimensions, and/ or help provide consistency when designing actions on a website. They generally remain very small.

For example:

                                               

On our website, our menu for internal pages has identifying icons, to help better direct visitors to the information they need. On our services hub page there are even more icons next to our offerings. These can help a client further differentiate what they want to know more about. Here are examples of other icon we see every day:

Facebook’s “Like” icon                  Star Wars Rebel Alliance Icon                iPhone FaceTime Icon

                                                                                 

The one thing all brand elements have in common — they should always be designed as vectors, so that they never lose quality when resized for various needs!

Still confused? Need help designing a true brand identity package? We’ve got your back.
Call us or send a quick message!

 

RPS Open House


RPS is getting bigger! Last year was a great one for us as a team, full of change and growth. Altogether, we hired 6 new team members in 2018, and each one has already become a big part of our family! As a result, space has been getting a little tight. Don’t get us wrong, we love working with each other, but we also don’t mind a little room to stretch from time to time.

Seeing this growth, and planning on a few more additions still before 2019 is over, our leadership team realized the apparent need for more room. So we kicked down a wall and moved into the suite next door! We’re very excited about the new expansion, and each team member is all settled in.

Our content department, marketing department, Operations Director and Head Dealmaster have moved over to what we like to call the “east wing,” and they are loving it! Now, it’s time for you to see our new digs!

On March 14 at 5pm, we will be hosting an Open House to showcase our newly expanded office space. The event will feature catering by Bearded Chef, complimentary drinks, and giveaway raffles. This is also a great chance to meet our wonderful team and check out our creative space. So invite your friends and join us in celebrating a new chapter in our story!

See the Facebook Event here!

Chips Ahoy! Spreading Positivity on Twitter

Chips Ahoy! are no strangers to making people smile. The crunchy cookies sure bring us a fair amount of joy at RPS! But yesterday, their brand found another way to spread happiness, through the combined powers of Twitter and kindness:

And they did. Hundreds and hundreds of compliments, each one personalized to the recipient. Some were based on recent tweets, others surmised from profile pictures.

This impressive display of commitment on social media reveals just what can happen when a brand puts the direct advertising of the product on hold for the sake of keeping it real. The only immediate benefit for Chips Ahoy! is a touch of brand awareness. In the meantime, we all received some extra good vibes for the end of the week! Even Wendy’s, which is already legendary for its authentic, sassy attitude on Twitter, received a little love:

Whether or not retweets actually start customers on the road to purchasing more cookies is unmeasured, but the activity certainly generated healthy conversation around Chips Ahoy!

Some of the best social media marketing can happen by simply having something relevant to say. In our recent blog post on “Keeping it Real in 2019,” we discussed how brands can grow their awareness by putting calls-to-action (CTAs) on hold to engage with comments, users, and existing conversations without necessarily needing to mention the product.

However, Chips Ahoy! has managed to use a CTA to create massive engagement while still being personable, with a recognizable sense of brand authenticity. It shows that, if today’s brands can carry themselves with real human personality, the response can be awesome!

Edit: Chips Ahoy! was so nice they even tossed us a shoutout for the blog post you’re reading right now.

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