A-Train Goes Mobile

feature_bkgMeet our new website — a nod to our favorite design eras, rendered in sleek and responsive code for a modern audience.

Over the last year we’ve learned first hand how audiences search, browse and engage with content across multiple devices. Mobile devices now account for 15% of all internet traffic and 30% of eCommerce conversions. That’s why we’re dedicated to building strategies that address our increasingly mobile world with design that captivates on every platform.

Please take a look around, test out all the pages, give the site a go on your mobile browser and let us know what you think in the comments below!

A-Train Marketing hires Andrew Schneider as Digital Media Specialist

A-Train Marketing is proud to announce the addition of Andrew Schneider as our newest team member. As digital media specialist, Andrew will lead all social media and content marketing projects, helping clients extend their reach in an increasingly digital age. In addition to social media, mobile media, SEO, and website development expertise, Andrew will provide strategic and creative input on a wide variety of marketing initiatives, as well as contributing to copywriting for client projects.

Andrew joins A-Train by way of KRFC 88.9FM, where he was Digital Media Lead and Web Integration Specialist. Although his background is primarily in film, television and theatrical production, Andrew has over 9 years of experience managing digital media and brand marketing projects as a freelancer. Currently, Andrew sits on the board of directors at FC-PAN (Comcast Channel 97) where he volunteers developing community media projects. Andrew, through his company NoCoast Artists, is a producer of the locally-made feature film “Whensday.”

“I’m thrilled to have found the A-Train team, whose core values line up so well with my commitment to new media projects that drive the greater good,” Andrew says.

“Andrew has established an admirable reputation as a trusted guide through the rapidly evolving digital media landscape.” explains Ryan Keiffer, CEO of A-Train Marketing Communications. “Adding him to our team was one of the easiest decisions in A-Train’s fifteen years.”

*****

About A-Train Marketing: A-Train Marketing Communications, Inc. is a full-service marketing firm that specializes in graphic design; strategic planning; message definition; print and web communications; public relations; identity, positions and branding; and non-profit marketing. For more information on A-Train Marketing, please contact Emily Martin at 970-419-3218.

Get Social

Since coming on the scene less then ten years ago, social media has been pushing the boundaries of communication, changing the way families share information, how high school reunions are planned, and how photos are stored. The big three – Facebook, YouTube and Twitter – monopolize most of the media’s attention, but niche social networks for specialized groups are on the rise and gaining more market share every day.

 

If Facebook was a country, it would be the THIRD largest country in the world, larger than the United States, Indonesia and Japan combined. In the seven years since Facebook was launched as a college only website, it has become the top visited website in the United States, outranking Google and consuming nearly 16 hours of time per month for the average user.

 

The typical social media user can be categorized into one of three types. Content Creators, those who write reviews, share photos, run blogs; Curators, those who find the most relevant/interesting information and distribute it to their friends group; and Listeners, those who read posts from friends, click links that have been shared, etc. Content Creators are the smallest percentage of those interacting online, while the Curators are the largest.

 

What does this mean for your organization? Customers who are Content Creators are sharing reviews and discussing your business online. A global advertising survey conducted by Nielson  revealed that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, versus only 14% that trust traditional advertising. The breakdown between Content Creators and Curators creates a digital culture where one or two reviews can make or break new customer growth.

 

Several years ago Comcast changed social media history when they launched @ComcastCares, a Twitter profile that actively sought and responded to issues customers were discussing via Twitter. Customers grew to expect immediate assistance with their technical support difficulties and Comcast delivered. By providing outstanding customer service, subscriber retention improved, resulting in a higher profit margin for Comcast.

 

It’s easy for you to get your feet wet in the world of social media and to learn how social media can make a difference for your organization.

  1. Sign up for profiles on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Youtube.
  2. Start listening to what people are saying. Create Google alerts using your company name, products, etc. Each time someone blogs about your company you will get a notification letting you know what they are saying.
  3. Search Facebook, Linkedin and Youtube to see if anyone is already talking about your business. When Chick-fil-a launched their social media presence they worked with an existing fan base providing instant growth and recognition online – if brand evangelists are already singing your praises, ask them for help!
  4. Become a Content Creator. Start a blog discussing what your company knows and does best. The blog should not sell anything specifically, but provide valuable information that people will want to pass on.
  5. Do a Google search to see if there are any niche social networks your customers might be involved in. For instance: If you are a bridal shop – you may want to start using The Knot. If you sell art supplies – you may want to become a member of DeviantArt.

 

As you venture into the world of social media, remember that these tools are evolving as consumers use them, and features disappear and appear at will. We’ll be watching, tracking and keeping you updated and in the know. Check out A-Train on Facebook or Twitter for the latest and greatest tools and tricks to keep your social efforts up to date. Like our quote of the month implies, social media is like climbing a mountain and it’s easy to know which way to climb: up! But if you’re ready to take your social media to the next level with speed, efficiency and focus, we’re ready to be your Social Media Sherpas!

You’re Invited

What would you do with 2,000 new potential connections? Identify prospects, generate supporters and introduce your organization to 2,000 individuals who have never heard of you before? How many of those individuals could you convert to newsletter subscribers, customers or donors?

 

By now, you’ve most likely heard about the Facebook event listing that resulted in over 2,000 attendees at an area apartment complex. While the infamous details of the party will live on in history, the dynamics of how the attendance list grew is evidence of how much potential social media has for helping you expand your network and grow your sphere of influence.

 

In addition to reaching out to an existing contact list, social media provides an outlet for building a new network of supporters by pushing ‘viral’ content to the friends, families and connections of the initial audience base.

 

A new audience of event attendees can be reached using Twitter Hashtags. Hashtags, designated by the “#“ symbol, are a search function that provides a link for Twitter users to view all items with a specific keyword (or Hashtag) that is associated with an event. When a significant number of users are posting to Twitter with the same Hashtag, the listing will appear as a trending topic and as a highlighted item on the left hand side of the screen for all Twitter users.

 

Creating a Hashtag for your event is easy. Any phrase on Twitter with a # or pound sign before it will function as a Hashtag. These search keywords can be as simple as the initials of your event (e.g. #SXSW) [link: http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23SXSW ] or the name of your organization (e.g. #colostate)]. Pay attention to what Twitter followers are saying about the event before you select a Hashtag; this may give you ideas for what phrase to use throughout the event planning process.

 

Sharing the selected Hashtag both online and offline helps build virtual buzz. Include the #Hashtag on invitations, posters, fliers and most importantly, when discussing the event online on your Facebook page or in your blog. The more individuals using your Hashtag, the more virtual currency it will gain.

 

Integrating social media into the event itself is an interactive way to start conversations and connect with those who may not have been able to attend physically. Encourage attendees to share questions on Twitter during the event or run a live stream of those tweeting on a projector. People love to see their name in lights and the opportunity to have a tweet broadcast is a motivator for many to join the virtual conversation. Live-stream social media is a great forum to run a contest for those tweeting or offer a door-prize for someone who answers a question correctly.

 

A-Train can supply you with individualized social media solutions to overcome the complexities of event planning. We can provide the planning assistance you need to simplify your next event or provide the support you need develop an engaged online audience of event participants – without overwhelming your event staff. Testing the waters is the best way to see how social media can improve your event attendance. If you’d like to add social media to your event plan – without adding to your to do list – we have the skills and tools to help you take your next event viral.