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instagram news

The Best Instagram News This Year and What It Means For You

I haven’t been this excited about Instagram news since they introduced the ability to switch between Instagram accounts without logging out. Remember that?? You used to have to log out. Fun times.

Well this Instagram news is along those lines. The next big news marketers and business owners had been waiting on. Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram has not had the ability to schedule posts. Up to this point, you could sort of schedule your content using a 3rd party app. But it wouldn’t schedule automatically, it still required a manual authorization to post.  So that meant you had to be pretty free and clear at the time you needed to post.

That has all, well mostly, changed. Instagram has updated their API to allow 3rd party applications to post for you. Cue the confetti!

Let’s look at what it means for you and your business.

You’ll need to use an application to schedule posts.

The feature is not part of the Instagram product.  You will need to use social media tools that are Instagram and Facebook Marketing partners.  You’ll need to stay tuned for when your preferred scheduling tool rolls this out.

This update is for business profiles.

Obviously, brands and businesses have a need to be able to manage and schedule content. This functionality is being allowed for that reason. Instagram says that support for non-business profiles is in the works for an early 2019 release.

Not everything can be scheduled.

This will not include ads, video, stories or multiple photo posts. Sorry.

Additional new features are being introduced.

According to Techcrunch, a new Instagram Graph API is being introduced and will include the ability to analyze metrics and insights about the business’s performance on Instagram, moderate comments and access the business’s mentions and add responses to them. It will also involve a new business discovery feature which will allow business profiles to view other business profile information and media.

A word to the wise:

Exercise patience. When new features are rolled out, there are glitches. I’m already reading some kinks with Hootsuite. The good news is, marketers and business owners have finally gotten what we’ve been asking for most to help our Instagram marketing a little bit easier. That’s definitely something to celebrate.

 

 

lead generation

Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem

GUEST POST: Brad Shorr, Director of Content Strategy at Straight North

The lead generation component of your Internet marketing efforts is the engine that drives that campaign to greater success. What’s more, like any other kind of engine, that lead generation component is built from many moving parts that all need to be working together to deliver the best results. However, too many Internet marketers today go out into the marketplace with lead generation campaigns that are missing crucial elements. This causes them to miss essential opportunities because their lead generation campaigns aren’t operating at their highest efficiency. Many times, the reason these campaigns don’t function the way they should is simple — they were constructed without knowing how all of their pieces should fit together.

Here at professional SEO agency Straight North, our team members have spent a lot of time examining successful lead generation campaigns to understand what makes them work. After putting so many of these campaigns under the microscope, we’ve identified all the elements that these campaigns need to have in order to appeal to each of the unique types of visitors websites attract. For example, including case studies is an effective way to connect with website visitors who are serious about buying and conducting research; while highly sharable social media posts help attract people who may not even be thinking about a product or service until a friend shares the content.

These and many other components are essential for a lead generation campaign. Yet because there are so many of them, it can be difficult for Internet marketers to build their lead generation campaigns without forgetting anything. Just like building any other kind of engine, having a blueprint or schematic can be very important. That’s why we at Straight North have created the infographic you see below. Using it as a type of blueprint for your lead generation campaign can help ensure that you don’t leave anything out when building or revamping your campaign.

created by Straight North a professional SEO agency

Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing company in Chicago that provides SEO, PPC and web design services. With more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience, Brad has been featured in leading online publications including Forbes, Moz and American Marketing Association

facebook

Facebook Fights Fake News

If you post links to Facebook and you modify the image, title or excerpt of the preview, that is all coming to an end. Starting Tuesday, July 18th, Facebook is no longer allowing modifications to link previews.

The official announcement from Facebook stated the following:

As part of our continuing efforts to stop the spread of misinformation and false news on our platform, earlier this year at F8 we announced an important change to our Graph API: Graph API version 2.9 includes a 90 day deprecation of the ability to edit previews attached to link posts. We’d like to share more details on the coming change.

By removing the ability to customize link metadata (i.e. headline, description, image) from all link sharing entry points on Facebook, we are eliminating a channel that has been abused to post false news. We also understand that many publishers have workflows that rely on overwriting link preview metadata to customize how their content appears to audiences on Facebook. We’re committed to a solution that supports them. Read the complete statement here.

Here’s the bottom line:
  • Beginning July 18th, any scheduled Facebook messages with a modified link preview will revert back to the original link preview. This includes: the original title, description, and photo that existed before any edits were made.
  • Beginning July 18th, any messages in a social media management tool (Buffer, Hootsuite, etc;) for Facebook with a modified link preview will revert back to the original link preview (the original title, description, and photo that existed before any edits were made).

 

Why Is this happening?

As mentioned in the quote above from Facebook’s Developer News, this update is “eliminating a channel that has been used to post false news.” This is Facebook’s attempt to stop the spread of false information.

The reaction from many small businesses have been strong. While I think everyone can appreciate making sure that content that is true and factual is a good thing, I believe the critics feel this change seems to hurt small businesses while doing nothing to actually stop the spread of false information. The guilty false news publishers, will still publish false, misleading stories to their websites.

What do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Share in the comment section below.

 

twitter analytics

Using Twitter Analytics To Improve Your Engagement

How much planning do you put into your social media marketing? For many businesses, unfortunately, a haphazard approach is all that resources and time will allow. That’s often because companies may not realize what the data is that can help them use social media more effectively.

Take Twitter, for example:

Twitter is a great way to get potential new customers to discover your company’s products or servicesClick To Tweet

But unless you understand how to use the Analytics Dashboard, you won’t be able to gauge your reach or your engagement.

Of course, before you even measure and analyze metrics, you have to figure out how Twitter fits in to your overall company marketing strategy. Do you care if you have more followers, or do you want the people already connected with you to become more active? All those goal-oriented questions are important to consider first.

Let’s back up a bit and take a look at some Twitter stats according to Hootsuite:

Twitter has 317 million monthly active users.

Twitter users are likely to be millennials with thirty-six percent of users aged 18 to 29 years oldClick To Tweet
  • Twenty-nine percent of online Americans with a college degree use Twitter.
  • Most have an above average income. Thirty percent of online Americans who earn $75,000 or more use Twitter.
  • Gender is evenly split: 24 percent of American online men use the service, and 25 percent of women.

There’s a saying that goes, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” This is also true with social media marketing. To use Twitter effectively, you must be familiar with your metrics. The Twitter Analytics Dashboard is accessible for all users to use from their desktops at analytics.twitter.com.

Your Twitter Analytics dashboard shows your reach, engagement, and other important statistics. These metrics can help you to learn more about your followers, how to have better interactions with them, and help you to determine the best times to tweet in order to increase engagement, and discover what content works best for your audience.

Make your Twitter marketing worth your time. Improve your engagement by monitoring your Twitter analytics: watch your metrics, adjust your activity, and watch your Twitter results improve!

Want to dive deeper into Twitter insights? This graphic can help.


Simple Twitter Analytics Tips

By SurePayroll

engage

How To Best Engage With Your Social Media Audience

Social media marketing is an opportunity to publish relevant content, grow your follower base, generate thought leadership and to engage with your audience. Engaging with your online community is a key part of your social media strategy. An audience who is engaged, likes and trusts you. Engagement builds relationships, relationships ultimately lead to sales.

Engagement is a key part of growing your online community.Click To Tweet

Here are some suggestions on how you can engage your audience:

Make Connecting Easy.

For years we’ve seen social media buttons popping up everywhere.  These buttons can be used strategically. Use them to draw attention to platforms beyond Facebook and Twitter. Do you have a presence on Instagram that you want to direct a particular audience to? Or a platform where they can get customer service? Be sure to always provide a valuable reason they should connect with you. Don’t just tell them to follow you, tell them what’s in it for them.

Humanize the brand.

No matter what you do, you’re marketing to a person. People are much more comfortable talking and connecting with people rather than entities. They are more comfortable talking to a face as opposed to a logo.  Show you’re “human” in these ways:

  • Show the faces and names of people behind the brand.
  • Sharing behind-the-scenes moments.
  • Use less jargon and more conversational language
  • Use your sense of humor!

Don’t worry about the numbers.

Having a huge following is great, but you want to do it the right way. The tried and true method of sharing consistent and valuable content, responding timely, and being authentic, is what works best. There’s no point in having a huge number of followers who don’t engage you. Building relationships online is no different than offline – it takes time.

Help make your audience a more informed one.

You know a lot about your industry. And your audience is probably following you to gain some of that knowledge and insight. Share with your community and help them become more informed and educated. Pay attention to questions your audience asks and answer them in a blog post or on your website in a FAQ section and provide resources they can use to learn more.

Listen.

There are conversations happening on the internet all the time among your target audience that relates to your brand. To engage this audience, you have to know where to find these conversations, and figure out how to engage with them. This is called social listening. If you can find relevant discussions within your industry, adding thoughtful information and value without selling is a great way to engage. You can find those conversations through keyword searches and listening tools.

Create a schedule.

Creating a content calendar and posting schedule will help you maintain consistency. These days, we all have a lot on our plates.  Your audience will appreciate consistent, clear, concise communication.

Think about some of your favorite brands on social media. What keeps you engaged? Please share in the comments below.

 

periscope

How To Use Periscope For Your Business

Every business is looking for more ways to get its message out there: to connect with more customers and build a stronger network of new and repeat customers. That goes for the one-person shop who is selling handmade goods to the global enterprise that ships orders to a multitude of countries. One of the easiest ways to strengthen that reach is to strategically use social media platforms, and one of the newest platforms to try is Periscope.

What is it?

Periscope is a live-video streaming service that is owned by Twitter. But, it’s completely different from Twitter in the way information is shared. While Twitter is all about short, 140-character length posts with photos or videos on various topics.
Periscope enables users to share live videos. Like other social media platforms, the key is 'shareability.' Click To Tweet

Make Connections

Using Periscope to connect with your audience allows your community to ask questions, make insightful comments, as well as share the content you’ve created. It allows you to connect with your viewing audience in a personal way.  Humanize your brand by offering your community an up close look at your business and what you have to offer. Doing this helps you establish a “human” emotional connection.

Live Events

You have probably considered hosting some sort of live event at some point. Live streaming has become such a useful marketing tool that most brands think of ways they can stream an event, announcement or demonstration.

Getting Started

So what exactly is this live video sharing platform? How do you use it and how do you participate? What are some strategies and ideas on how to use it to market your business? I have a simple way for you to learn the basics and get some content ideas of your own. Learn more about Periscope and live video sharing by using the tips in this graphic:

Click to Enlarge Image

Peer into Periscope: How Periscope Can Help Your Business