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Category: Content Strategy

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

Instagram Album: Share Multiple Photos and Video In One Post

What if I told you that you no longer have to choose the single best photo or video from an event, experience or moment on Instagram? Awesome, right? Well, it’s true! Now you can select up to 10 photos and videos in one post and swipe through to view them much like a carousel ad. Except it’s not an ad, it’s your very awesome Instagram album!

Here’s How The New Instagram Album Feature Works:

When you begin to select a photo to upload, you’ll see a new icon to select multiple photos and videos. You can easily determine how your post will display. You can tap and hold to change the order of the photos and videos you select, apply a filter to everything at once or edit each individual selection. As of now there is only one caption for the photo album. These photos are square only.

An “Instagram album” (not the official name) will display a small icon on your profile grid located on the first photo or video of your post indicating there is more to see. When viewing other posts in your feed, you’ll see blue dots at the bottom of photo album posts to let you know you can swipe to see more in that post. You can like and comment on them just like a regular post.

My first thought was “content overkill,” but, after seeing a few neat ways the feature has been used I realized it’s actually quite the opposite.

My early observations have shown that this new feature is clever and inspires creativity.Click To Tweet

Here are a few creative ways you can use the new feature:

  • Are you a cook? Or do you just love to cook? Either way, this feature is great for recipes.
  • Show your stuff! If you have work that you’ve created or products that you want to showcase, you can show many examples in one post.

I love what Canva did in a post showcasing one of their color combinations: Cool Meadow.

instagram album

instagram album

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Get feedback! Show a series of outfits, or design projects and ask your audience to choose their favorite.
  • Chronicle a Before and After experience like a makeover or design project.
  • You just took a fabulous trip and you want to share ten of your best photos without flooding your follower’s newsfeed.
  • Instead of posting behind the scenes photos of your business each day, take one photo every day and post a “My Week At A Glance” album at the end of the week.
  • You’re attending an event, a fancy dinner, a party or celebration and you want to share your experience from beginning to end with a combination of photos and videos.
  • Let’s face it. This is a good way to post a bunch of selfies without being incredibly obnoxious. Almost 🙂

Have you tried the Instagram album feature? What creative uses have you seen or used? Please share below in the comments.

social media

How To Tell Your Brand’s Unique Story With Social Media

Telling your brand’s story is an important to reinforcing what your brand is. Social media is a place where you can tell your brand’s story in entertaining and unique ways. But where should you tell your story exactly?

When it comes to social media, over doing it is a recipe for failure. It’s important to pinpoint those platforms where your target market is. Social Media marketing doesn’t have to mean an automatic default to Facebook and Twitter.

If your business hosts or participates in events that you want to promote, you may need to go off the beaten path. Let’s say you have an event coming up. You might post photos of your team or make a short video clip of what is happening behind the scenes. You can use Instagram videos, or a Snapchat story of the brief moments or special highlights that occur throughout the day of the event. What if you were able to capture the moments right before you went on stage to present or captured an entertainer just before they went on stage? Such images making storytelling interesting.

Let’s take a closer look at two platforms you may want to use.

INSTAGRAM

Businesses embrace Instagram because it lets them showcase their products visually. Visual marketing is powerful, so it makes Instagram an attractive platform.

To be successful on Instagram you need to find new and interesting ways to connect with your audience through visuals. By launching contests, using short video, and even running ads, you’ll build awareness, engagement and grow your community.

SNAPCHAT

If you’d like to reach a younger demographic, especially 18-34 year olds, then Snapchat is an ideal platform. Snapchat is growing fast, and the users are extremely engaged. Snapchat is on pace to grow the number of U.S. active users to a whopping 27% this year, to 58.6 million — topping Twitter and Pinterest for the first time, according to research firm eMarketer. The challenge with Snapchat marketing is figuring out how to best to engage users in a fun way that isn’t so obviously promotional. This is why live events work so well.

SHARE MOMENTS ON INSTAGRAM AND SNAPCHAT

Get people interested in your business or organization by sharing what’s going on at your events. Start from prep and share through the wrap up. Take people behind the scenes as your prepare for the event. Share snippets of each moment as they happen. Using a combination of video and photo will keep it interesting. Make sure you brand your event with geofilters.

TELL A STORY ON SNAPCHAT

Beyond a series of pictures and video that chronicles moments at an event, literally tell a story from beginning to end.  Do you have a great story to literally tell? How an idea came about? How something was created? Map it out and then retell it in a fun interesting way that makes your audience want to follow along.

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNTS ON INSTAGRAM AND SNAPCHAT

You can offer discounts and special sales on both Instagram and Snapchat and make them unique to each platform. Because Snapchat stories expire in 24 hours it makes it the perfect place to have flash sales and discounts exclusively on the platform. Give them a reason to follow you on Snapchat for this reason.

Nowadays, younger audiences are pretty socially savvy. So, being authentic is important.Click To Tweet

It’s important to show the “human” side of your brand and let people see the real people behind the logo. Entertain your users and stand out by what makes you unique. That comes from sharing moments and telling stories.

 

social media

Social Media Spotlight: Mandy Edwards

In my first post of my new series the “Social Media Spotlight”, I am picking the brain of my dear friend and colleague, Mandy Edwards of ME Marketing Services. Mandy is currently a contributor to Steamfeed, blogging on social media advertising & etiquette.  She also contributes to Social Media Today, Business2Community, Internet Billboards, The Southern C and Millennial CEO. She is my go-to expert on social media marketing advertising and I simply enjoy chatting her up from time to time as colleagues. For our spotlight, I asked her a variety of social media marketing questions in order to get some valuable “nuggets” to share with you all.

Here’s our Q & A:

  1. How do you find relevant content for your audience?

I have a variety of sources I use to find content. I have my favorite authors I like to follow (Mark Schaefer, Jay Baer, Scott Monty – to name a few) but I also follow aggregate sites like Social Media Today and Business 2 Community to see what people are writing about. I also like to follow industry publications like Inc., Entrepreneur, Forbes and such. I have Twitter lists set up to follow all of those so it’s easy to retweet the articles I think my followers may enjoy.

 

  1. What are the two most important social media tools that you use?

The two most important are Sprout Social and TailWind. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a hopeless Sprout addict and Sprout took notice and asked me to join their new Sprout All-Star Influencer Program. Their social management tool has made managing my clients’ accounts a breeze and the customer service their provide is amazing. TailWind is the app I use to manage my clients’ Pinterest accounts since, unfortunately, that is the one platform Sprout doesn’t provide management for (yet). I love being able to schedule pins out a month in advance and re-pin older pins that maybe didn’t do as well as you would have liked.

  1. How do you find inspiration for blogging consistency?

Blogging consistency is something I struggle with all the time. When I say the struggle is real, the struggle is real. Life and business gets in the way. My goal is two articles each week but as long as I get one, I’m good. I find setting a goal to be a good inspiration – and not wanting the (local) competition to have more out than you! Blogging consistency is more of a discipline than anything else. Some people are good at publishing 3-5 articles a week, while others are good at 1-2 per month.

Inspire yourself with a realistic blogging goal and see if you can beat it each time.Click To Tweet

  1. What is your best tip for engagement?

Just be there. It’s hard to engage if you aren’t online. Be online and look for conversations to take part in or just start one yourself by asking a question.

  1. What do you think is the most important social media trend in 2016?

This seems to be the million-dollar question. I don’t know if there is one important social media trend this year. I see several – more video, more social advertising, more real-time posting, more being in the moment, more creative content. Companies are going to have to get out of the box and get creative because of content shock – be on the lookout for that!

Be sure to follow Mandy on Twitter and Facebook and check out her blog. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below.

Leap Into 2016 With These Social Media Best Practices

Leap Into 2016 With These Social Media Best Practices

It’s the first Monday of 2016. You can’t get a fresher start than that! A new year means ditching bad habits and starting good ones. That includes your social media marketing practices. Towards the end of the year, you probably knew there were things you could do better and should do better but lacked the motivation to make changes. But it’s the new year and now you’re ready. Maybe you’re not sure where to start. Here’s are some key steps to get you going on the right path in 2016.

Have a strategy.

Hopefully you have a social media marketing strategy. If not, you absolutely need one. It’s mandatory. You should start by answering some important questions that will shape your strategy. What am I trying to accomplish? What are my goals? What are the KPIs? What key measures will be used to evaluate social media strategy effectiveness? Who is your audience?  What are the demographics of your current or ideal customers? Where are they? What sets you apart from the competition? What makes you unique? What platforms will you use and how?

You have a social media strategy, right? It's MANDATORY!Click To Tweet

Don’t be content. You need content.

Once you’ve established your strategy you need to plan your content. When it comes to creating content, go with what works! Share the type of content that gets the highest engagement. What does your audience respond to? Tailor your content for each social channel. What works on Facebook may not work on Twitter. Make sure your content stands out.

Plan your work and work your plan.

Social media marketing requires planning, otherwise it’s chaos. Having a content calendar can make your life a whole lot easier. A social media content calendar organizes how you curate and create content, and helps develop your editorial strategy. It saves your time and and helps distribute your resources wisely to ensure your brand consistently publishes qualify content. Your social media content calendar should be easy to read and not require a lot of explanation. It should include the information you have outlined in your content strategy. Break it down month to month and with activities further broken down by the day. You can include social media icons to represent which social media channel the content should be published to accompanying the post title for streamlining purposes.

Have a daily task list.

Social media marketing is a huge job. Tackling something big requires consistent small daily steps. Having a daily task list helps you take on all that social media marketing requires. Those tasks start with simply showing up, and include relevant content and engagement. I dedicated a post to daily task lists that outlines what your daily task list should consist of: Your Daily Social Media Task List. 

Be More Social.

All this planning is awesome and necessary but don’t neglect what’s most important with social media: being social! Make new connections, start conversations. Create content that is engaging and be sure to respond timely when your audience comments and asks questions. Share content from other brands. Build relationships with genuine interest in others. Be engaging.

Always be consistent and focus on your goals. Analyze your efforts and make necessary adjustments. What are you doing differently in 2016 with your social media marketing? How are you improving your efforts?

look awesome on twitter

How To Look Awesome On Twitter

If you’re not considering Twitter as a place to showcase your visual content you are missing out.

The social media world is a visual world, and Twitter is no exception.Click To Tweet If you’re trying to get noticed, you need images. The use of images on Twitter makes your feed eye-catching, encourages engagement and it just looks awesome. Twitter has become more visual, and you should be taking advantage of the opportunity to get noticed in a few ways:

  1. Use Your Header Image to Showcase Your Brand

Twitter cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twitter has a large header image that you can leverage to show your brand, tell your story and get creative. You have a lot of real estate to work with: 1500×500. You can create a cover photo that shows your staff, feature a product, or highlights a quote or slogan. Whatever the case, you have lots of possibilities. Hubspot put together a great list of some cool examples of Twitter cover photos.

2. Tweet Your Images!

The benefit of images appearing directly in the newsfeed is that your tweets stand out. If you aren’t tweeting directly from Twittter, make sure you are properly scheduling your images so that there is an image preview. Third party apps have features to make sure your images are displayed correctly. Tweets with images are simply more enagaging. They are 34% more likely to get retweeted than tweets with no images.

3. Add Some Text

When creating images for your blog posts or other content, considing using text overlay. Meaning can be conveyed at a quick glance. Buffer, Social Media Today and others do this very well:

twitter image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Use Twitter Cards

With Twitter Cards, you can attach rich photos, videos and media experience to Tweets that drive traffic to your website. By adding a few lines of HTML to your webpage, users who Tweet links to your content will have a “Card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.

There are different types of Twitter cards:

  • Summary Card: Title, description, thumbnail, and Twitter account attribution.
  • Summary Card with Large Image: Similar to a Summary Card, but with a prominently featured image.
  • App Card: A Card to detail a mobile app with direct download.
  • Player Card: A Card to provide video/audio/media.

Here’s one the White House used last year:

twitter card

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you use images on Twitter? What are some tips you can offer? Please share below: