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Think. image

This week we will dive into the second step in our SMZ process: Think. Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” When we solve complex client problems we aim to think differently yet creatively at SMZ. Before we generate the final advertisement, video, or radio spot, we like to consider all the options, attack the problem from unique angles, and enter each project with an open mind and clean slate. We take the time to not rush the production. We research, test, brainstorm, and repeat. Sheryl Sowa, Finance Team Member, said “Thinking is a crucial step as it lets you figure out what you have to do, how ...

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Listen. image

We are happy to present the first of three blog posts about SMZ’s process of Listen. Think. Do. Listen. Words are powerful, but decoding what those words mean is priceless. Listening plays a crucial role right here at SMZ.  We have face-to-face conversations, cell-phone-free meetings, take notes, and re-read content over and over and over again, just to make sure the details are accurate and presentable. This all demonstrates how we do more than just “hear” from our clients, but actually sit down, have a conversation, and listen. We take in strong consideration to their wants, needs, desires, and goals, and generate a plethora of ideas to accommodate their specifications. This illustrates how SMZ is an active listening company and ...

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Seven things to keep in mind as social media changes image

This is it! We have shared the general tips of how to engage with social media as a business, and how to master writing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We hope you  have enjoyed these tips and have much success because of them. But, before we end this series we want to share with you how social media is evolving. Keep these seven things in mind as you invest your time into developing your business’s social media strategy. Snapchat isn’t stopping Snapchat has really blazed the trail for in-the-moment user experiences. Snapchat’s revolution of live content has spurred on more mobile-centric app developments and has made other social platforms step up. Snapchat is even looking to develop glasses to help users experience ...

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Eight ways to engage your users on Instagram image

Instagram is all about the looks. This platform has the ability to show users who you are as a business in beautiful, simple squares. Although the picture is a huge part of being successful on Instagram, you also have to know how to build a relationship with your users to achieve viral success. Today we will talk about eight ways to engage your users on Instagram. Write several drafts first With Instagram you won’t post as frequently as Facebook and Twitter. So take your time and make sure your pictures and captions really count. Remember engagement is more important than timelines on Instagram. Front-load the important stuff With Instagram you really only have 3-4 lines before your caption cuts off. So make sure to lead ...

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Five tips to help businesses keep up with Twitter image

Twitter is built for speed and relevance. Almost more than any other social media platform, Twitter requires businesses to share with users exactly what is going on exactly when it is happening. Twitter is the platform of “now,” where businesses have to create engaging and creative tweets incredibly fast. Here are five tips to help businesses keep up with Twitter. Prepare in advance Events move fast in person but they move even faster on Twitter. Research your events before they happen, create image templates, and brainstorm copy ideas before you go. Be prepared but also be ready to tweet on the fly to stay active. Use the right hashtags Know what the official hashtags are before you tweet. This tiny execution can ...

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Seven tips to help you compose engaging Facebook posts image

Facebook played a huge role in paving the way of social media and it has stood the test of time. You can experience so many different things on Facebook from funny GIFs to serious world issues. It is one of the most important platforms for businesses to master because of its reach and variety. Here are seven tips to help you compose the most engaging Facebook posts possible. Experiment with post length Facebook allows you 63,206 characters in a single post. Please don’t use them all. Test your profile by making various posts less than 80 and less than 280. Depending on the reaction you are looking for you might use different lengths of copy. Ask questions In some cases good questions ...

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Top Nine Things to Remember Before You Post image

The importance of social media cannot be denied. Businesses, both big and small, need to figure out how to make their stamp on the social platforms to compete for the attention of the vast social media audience. The way you craft each post is crucial to the success of your business’s social media. We are excited to share a five-part series on general tips for writing a good post, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and finally our predictions of the next wave of social media advertising. Top Nine Things to Remember Before You Post Your writing matters Your writing, no matter how brief or simple, reflects your brand. Not only does your writing need to match your brand, but it needs to ...

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There is growth in retail. The lead sector may surprise you. image

It seems all I hear and read is about the death of retail and the Amazon effect. So, what’s growing in retail? As agency for the Michigan Lottery, the answer isn’t surprising. Convenience Stores or C-stores. C-store in-store sales (merchandise and food service) are the fastest growing sector of the retail industry, with an annual growth rate of around 6 percent and a dramatic 18 percent growth since 2010. C-store sales increased from $190 billion to $600 billion in that period. There are now 154,535 C-stores in the country, with Texas housing the most at 15,671 units. A major contributor to the growth is an increase in fresh and healthier food offerings at c-stores – even Millennials are rolling in ...

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The Finish Line Always Moves image

For nearly 25 years I’ve been entering runs of various distances. Now I’m trying bike riding and swimming, too. Sometimes I enter an event with a plan just to finish. Sometimes without any plan. Often, I’m bitten by the bug and it becomes about racing: trying to shave off precious seconds to cross the finish line faster. I know where that line is and I work, grind, flow, sweat – whatever to get there. Recently I’ve been contemplating how different that is from work. Sure, at work we have deadlines. But in our careers and job function, the actual finish line keeps moving. Not in a way where you see someone inching the line ahead in a teasing manner. But simply where ...

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Move Slowly and Don’t Break Anything image

Many in our industry (and all things tech) toss around the phrase “Move fast and break things.” And treat it like a new concept. But how new is the idea? Does it mean we’ve forgotten Evel Knievel? You remember: that crazy guy who rode a motorcycle fast and jumped over cars, buses, Pepsi trucks and the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He even piloted a rocket-powered cycle over Idaho’s Snake River Canyon. As a result of his career exploits, Knievel became famous for his crashes and was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as surviving the most broken bones in a lifetime. Now what in white jumpsuits does this have to do with business today? I’d ...

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