Category Archives: Social Media

Who Wants to Hear Some (Instagram) Stories?

“Storytelling’ has been a key buzzword of the marketing world for decades (see the philosophy espoused by Don Draper in AMC’s Mad Men), but the digital realm especially has taken this concept to new heights.

Before you even introduce your product or service, your audience of potential customers want to be captivated and intrigued. Given that we see anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements per day on a variety of platforms (print, billboard, television, internet and smartphone apps), the ads that capture our attention are the ones that truly stand out and act as a natural complement to the content with which we already love to engage.

In August 2016, Instagram launched the Stories component of its photo and video-sharing app. Admittedly copied from Snapchat’s enormously popular Stories feature, Instagram Stories allow users to post full-screen vertical images/videos that disappear within 24 hours. However, while users’ normal posts can be easily lost in the timeline, the Stories feature is located at the top of the home screen, allows for a seamless scrolling with posts often appearing in chronological order and alerts users to any time a profile they follow has posted a story.

According to Instagram, over 500 million accounts use Stories every day whether posting or just scrolling through and that “one-third of the most viewed stories come from businesses, and one in five stories gets a direct message from its viewers.” If you want to truly up your company’s Instagram strategy, read on to discover FIVE ways to best use Instagram Stories.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Instagram for Business

As a business owner diving into the realm of digital and social media marketing, you may have just gotten comfortable with posting on Facebook or Twitter. However, as marketing trends evolve once again, you and your team can now add a bevy of tools to your disposal.

While you may be tempted to try everything and see what sticks, you’ll probably want to start with adding one new platform to your content strategy at a time instead, and we’ve got a great suggestion for you!

Recently alluded to and memorialized in a Taco Bell commercial involving “sunset heart hands,” Instagram provides an organic, in-the-moment approach to content creation and sharing that includes pictures, videos, hashtags and much more.

Read on to discover some Instagram basics as well as two features that can help you take your company’s marketing game to a completely new level.

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The 6 Best Free Social Media Management Tools

Despite the fact the Facebook seems to be imploding in slow-motion, social media is still as important as ever when it comes to marketing your business. However, as the number of networks we need to engage with keeps growing, managing our social media is an increasingly cumbersome and time-consuming task.

If you are still engaging with each of the networks you utilize by going to their sites individually, then there is no doubt that you are hemorrhaging time that could be spent to much better effect elsewhere. So, what’s a frazzled business owner to do?

Use a social media management tool, that’s what! While there are tons of options available out there, we’ll be focusing on platforms that offer free options here, so that you can get in on the social media management ground floor without having to make a financial commitment. If you find that you are outpacing what the free plans offer, then most of these services offer paid options that increase functionality.

So let’s get to it! Here are the six free social media management tools you should check out in this crazy ol’ year of 2018. Continue reading

5 Tips For Brands Navigating the New Facebook News Feed

About a month ago, Mark Zuckerberg made a big splash with his announcement that Facebook would be making major changes to the algorithm governing what shows up in your news feed, with the goal being to “encourage meaningful interactions between people” but an unfortunate side effect that “you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media.”

Zuckerberg says that these changes are necessary because of Facebook’s “responsibility to make sure [their] services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being.” While that’s a noble sentiment, the imminent changes sent those of us in business and media scrambling to figure out what these changes are going to mean for us, and how we are going to adapt.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, stick around and we’ll walk through some of the things you can do to make sure that your time on Facebook is still, in the words of Zuckerberg, “time well spent.” Continue reading

3 Tips For Using LinkedIn Native Video

In August LinkedIn began rolling out a new native video service for it’s users, and if you haven’t been taking advantage of it, now is probably as good a time to start as any.

Prior to the introduction of native video, unless you were one of LinkedIn’s special “Influencers”, the only way to get a video on LinkedIn was via a third-party video hosting service like Vimeo or YouTube. But since the introduction of native video, people using it have noticed a marked increase in engagement over videos they had posted using other services.

On top of that, native or not, video gives people a much better sense of who you are personally, which on a networked geared towards professionals and the workplace can be crucial in making the kinds of connections you want to make.

So let’s take a look at native LinkedIn video and how you can begin using it! Continue reading

Twitter Opens 280 Character Limit For All

140 characters is an arbitrary limit, given its archaic SMS heritage and the fact that you can’t write any sentence longer than this one is. Which is why, after a brief period of testing to a limited subset of its users, Twitter is finally increasing its character count for most users to 280.

The only ones left out of the fun are Japanese, Korean and Chinese language users. Because those languages are non-alphabetic and contain many logographic symbols, they don’t experience what Twitter calls “cramming”, and so don’t require the expanded count.

Of course, with any big change to a fundamental system comes the inevitable backlash from some part of the user-base, even if that community isn’t quite as vociferous as Twitter’s tends to be. Continue reading

5 Tips for Better Social Media Engagement

Everyone knows social media is important. That fact has been drilled into us for so long it’s become a de facto universal law of business. People are social creatures, and they have a taste for this stuff now, so ignore their new playground at your own risk. Or conversely, a social media presence can give you advantages that were previously impossible.

So we do our duty, creating content and sharing it, reaching out into new networks and new audiences. And then we pat ourselves on the back — job well done! We have checked the social media box and may now return to normal business land.

But our jobs are not finished, not by a long shot. Social media is a never-ending two-way street, and once you start the conversation, you have to participate in it. If that thought scares you, don’t be afraid!

First, if people are commenting on your content, it’s a good sign. It means people are responding to what you are doing. Provided those comments aren’t acidic, you deserve that pat on the back you gave yourself earlier.

Second, you are not alone in being wary of engaging publicly on social media. We spend a lot of time carefully crafting our messaging, making sure we present our best face forward. Commenting on social media is a fast moving, often off-the-cuff type of communication, and it can be daunting if your used to micro-managing every detail of your message.

Additionally, it can mean a lot of extra time spent on your part if the volume of comments on your content is of any significant size. You have to monitor the stream regularly, craft responses and keep up with any replies. There is a reason why Social Media Manager has become a regular position many larger businesses!

The good news is, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you are engaging on social media in a way that induces a positive response, without having to spend too much extra time worrying about the whole thing. Stay tuned, and we’ll go through a few. Continue reading