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employee advocacy

Employee Advocacy: Word of Mouth Marketing

Social media is a new form of word of mouth marketing. Word of mouth marketing can be very powerful, so it makes sense to have your employees advocating on behalf of the company via social media. According to an article by Fast Company, leads through employee social networks convert seven times more often than any other leads.

People trust people more than they do brands. This is why employee advocacy makes sense.Click To Tweet

Employee advocacy also allows you to improve your reach. By asking your employees to share your messages, you can instantly boost your audience by leveraging their networks. Employee advocacy happens when employees share content on social media channels, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc;.

Before you dive in, here are a few things to consider:

Establish Guidelines

Set up company guidelines for what your team should and shouldn’t share on social media. Provide a brief training and best practices for sharing messages online.

Define Your Goals

What are you trying to accomplish? Is it brand awareness? Are you trying to direct traffic to your website? You can’t manage what you can’t measure.  Set goals and identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will show when or if you’ve reached your goals. Determine what the value of your followers and likes really means and find ways to measure those results. 

Offer Incentives

Offer incentives to encourage employees to take the time to promote your company on social media. In turn, ensure those active employees are sharing messaging that is in alignment with your marketing goals. Offer incentives for sales leads that come through employee social media accounts.

Make Workplace Culture A Priority

Strong workplace cultures attract and keep talented people, and directly improve the bottom line. People will want to advocate for the company if they feel good about being there, and believe in the product or service. Workplace culture directly effects performance. It is improved and cultivated by strong relationships.

In addition,

Establish a company culture that is social media friendlyClick To Tweet Don’t be afraid to share suggested messages from your marketing or social media teams, inspiring employees to create their own with their own voice and style.

Track Progress

Employee advocacy can be a little scary letting employees post on their own on social media accounts. However, authenticity is very effective, so you want it to truly be genuine to be effective. As long as employees have an understanding of guidelines and policy, employees should know how to represent appropriately, but monitoring will be important to make sure employees aren’t posting anything inappropriate and inflammatory. Track progress to gauge which employee posts are most successful at accomplishing goals and recognize those employees who do it well.

Social media marketing takes time, effort and strategy to see results. With patience and analyzing your efforts, you are on your way to reaching your goals.


instagram tips

Use These Instagram Tips To Grow Your Audience

The key to success with Instagram is knowing your audience and giving the people what they want. I’ve put together a list of Instagram tips and important stats to help you shine on Instagram!  Whatever your business might be, whether you have a product or service, these tips can help to maximize your success.

There are three key areas to focus with Instagram marketing: Increasing your followers, increasing your engagement and understanding Instagram users.


Connect Your Instagram Account With Facebook

Here’s what I know. It’s a lot easier to get people to follow you who already know you than those who don’t. Build your network with who you know. This is why I didn’t dive into Periscope when Facebook Live became a thing. I’ve already built an audience on Facebook that I can broadcast to. Now, if I ever want to try to reach a brand new audience? I can always go to Periscope.

You Must Have A Hashtag Strategy

Some Instagram tips are non-negotiable. Like this one. If you hate using hashtags, you better learn to love them if you want to build your Instagram following. It’s part of the culture. It’s how to find things and how to be found. If you don’t know what to use, a simple google search will do. Don’t over do it. You can use up to 30, but that’s probably not necessary. What is necessary, is using hashtags that are relevant to your post.

If you want to use a dozen hashtags but you think it looks too spammy, simply post your photo or video with a caption, and then use the first comment to add your hashtags. It just looks neater.

Be Consistent

This is a social media golden rule. Simply decide on how often you’re going to post and stick to it. You don’t have to post several times a day or even every day. But you do need to be consistent.

Don’t Just Lead, Follow!

If you want followers, you have to follow others too. Don’t but one of those people who wants to do all the broadcasting. You don’t have to follow everyone, but how will you get to know people if you don’t follow them?


Post High-Quality Photos

Instagram marketing is visual marketing. Visual marketing has to look good. REALLY good. The better it looks the more you stand out. Most smart phone cameras can do the trick. Just be sure to use good spacing and lighting. Always choose your best photos.

Make Your Photos Stand Out

Make your photos POP with image-editing apps. There are many apps that help take your photos from good to GREAT. Here are some of my favorites.

Sharing Is Caring

If you want friends, you have to be a friend. Treat others like you would want to be treated. Cliché? Well, cliché’ or not, these things apply. Liking, commenting and sharing go a long way.

Search Hashtags

Some Instagram tips are often overlooked. This is one of them. Searching hashtags is how you discover new friends and followers. Search hashtags and genuinely engage. Sometimes I like to search hashtags of apps that I use for photo editing. I love searching high quality photos and sharing my own.



If you want to be successful on Instagram, you need to understand your audience. Understanding your audience means understanding who they are.

Now that you’ve got the Instagram tips you need for growth and engagement, let’s examine Instagram users a little closer. Take a look at the infographic below and understand Instagrammers a little better by getting Instagram by the numbers:

(Infographic by:

Instagram by the Numbers

What Instagram tips can you add? Please share in the comments below and do connect with me on Instagram: @socialwithsara

instagram marketing

4 Instagram Marketing Tips To Get You More Reach

Instagram launched on the scene in 2010 and never looked back. The social network continues to be wildly popular with increasing growth now boasting over 500 million users.

Experience tells us that platform growth brings about change. Instagram is no different. This year, Instagram announced many changes from the ability to switch between accounts with ease to a completely new algorithm. Add to that Instagram advertising and the soon to come business accounts, and Instagram is not going to be the same.

Whether you’re a newbie to the social network or you’re already there, and want to maintain or have success, you can benefit from these Instagram marketing tips to maximize your efforts and extend your reach.


One thing I notice about successful Instagram accounts is that they’ve mastered the hashtag.Click To Tweet

On Instagram, you have a 30 hashtag limit. While that sounds ridiculous for some platforms, it’s perfectly fine here and should be a major part of your Instagram marketing strategy. Why? Because people search hashtags on Instagram. If you want your niche specific content to be seen, you need to use the hashtags associated with your content. These hashtags will help you reach your intended audience.

Content hashtags are hashtags you use in your posts. They help improve the SEO of your posts. They get your updates seen by your consumers who are searching for and/or using those hashtags

Some of the content hashtags I use are #socialmedia, #marketing or #Snapchat, #Instagram or #SMM (social media marketing.) Because I use certain groups of hashtags often according to my content, I have them saved in bundles. I keep them in my notes app to copy and paste easily.


Using Bitly or another URL shortener will allow you to be able to see how many people are clicking on the link you’re allowed in your Instagram bio and optimize it’s use. You can check the metrics on Instagram marketing with this technique. The metrics will help you determine if you’re reaching your audience and which content does it best.

If you’ve published a new blog post or you’re running a promotion or new campaign, use that link to announce it and have a call to action in your caption with a “click the link in our bio” to drive people to your link.


With Instagram marketing, your images need to stand out. Make them look their very best with the maximum resolution. Use this guide:

Square images: 2048 x 2048

Portrait images: 1638 x 2048

Landscape: images: 2048 x 1536


Maximizing success requires best practices. Sprout Social offers a solid infographic outline 7 Instagram Best Practices:

Understanding your audience and brand are essential to promoting, advertising and even engaging on Instagram. Again, you can’t walk into your strategy blindly, so first try to ask questions that define you and your audience. These questions can include:

  • What does our audience like most about our brand?
  • Who are we trying to ultimately reach?
  • Are our competitors successful on Instagram?
  • What marketing strategies have worked in the past?
  • What do customers expect with our brand? Is that good enough?

Check out the Infographic here:

7 Best Instagram Practices To Build Your Audience

instagram marketing
Photo by Sprout Social


3 Game Changing Facebook Updates You Need To Know

Facebook updates are still a big deal. The social media giant that is Facebook continues to be a force in the digital media world. According to Statista, Market leader Facebook was the first social network to surpass 1 billion registered accounts and currently sits at 1.59 billion monthly active users. Eighth-ranked photo-sharing app Instagram had over 400 million monthly active accounts.

Facebook is easy for most anyone to understand how to use, and a Facebook business page is pretty much mandatory for most businesses. Even if you do quickly realize you’ll need to get in the advertising game, you’ll want to have a presence.

I used to think Facebook wasn’t important to my web traffic, but it continues to be the #1 referral source for my website.Click To Tweet

Recently, 3 new Facebook updates were introduced that you’ll want to take note of.

Not only is Facebook a force simply because of it’s size, but also because it continues to add features to compete with other social networks. Which brings me to my first update.


Videos are a popular and engaging form of content. So it’s no wonder that tech giants are launching their own versions of automatic video. Apple has “Memories” which will debut on the iOS 10 Photos, Google already has a Movies assistant with it’s Google Photos product. And now, Facebook is rolling out Slideshow to all iOS users around the world.

Following up with the increasingly popular Facebook Live feature, Facebook is tackling another social media trend: creating stories.Click To Tweet

You may have noticed some components of Facebook testing out some of it’s features already. If you’ve taken photos recently on your phone and are about to post a status, Facebook will suggest creating a slideshow with those recent photos and videos. Each Slideshow is automatically composed with themed music and transitions. Facebook has seen a decline in personal content sharing.

I believe with the addition of Facebook Live and Facebook Slideshow, they are hoping to encourage users to share more of their personal photos and videos again. Stringing together a series of photos and videos brings to mind the concept of Snapchat stories. Much like Facebook Live vs Periscope, Facebook continues to introduce features that seem to not only address trends, but will also keep users on the Facebook site as opposed to other platforms.


Facebook announced that it is limiting the amount of content from Pages. The News Feed will feature more posts from friends and family instead of posts from brands.

According to Adam Mosseri, VP for product management at Facebook: “Maintaining a relevant and interesting Newsfeed is important to satisfying users.”

This adjustment addresses feedback from users who complained status updates from friends and family do not appear on their News Feed.

“Stories in News Feed are ranked — so that people can see what they care about first, and don’t miss important stuff from their friends”, he added. “One of our most important jobs is getting this ranking right”

What does this mean for brands? “We anticipate that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages,” Lars Backstrom, engineering director at Facebook, wrote in a separate post about the change.

The takeaway?

Since you don’t own these platforms, you are at their mercy. This is why your own website and blog are important. As far as what to do on Facebook, I think the change simply means discovering and creating the type of content that users will want to see and engage with in addition to investing in Facebook advertising.


I first heard about a change to the Pages layout from Heidi Osburn Garland of Guild West Agency when she posted a screenshot of her Page with the new layout:


facebook updates

When I commented, she posted a screenshot of my page:

facebook update






Now, while I’m still not seeing this change,  clearly it is being rolled out.

What I notice first of all is that the avatar is no longer taking up space on the cover photo. Neither is the business name. Also, a change that I had already begun seeing on Facebook, instead of the category of your business, say for example, “Wills and Estates” it shows the name of your “handle” or username such as @tgqlaw. This is also no longer on the cover photo, but beneath your avatar which is situated on the top left corner of the page.

Heidi does a great job of discussing what’s new with the latest Facebook update to Pages. Some of the noted changes:

  • Profile picture no longer takes up valuable real estate covering the cover image.
  • Page Name under the profile picture.
  • Page name and the profile picture no longer take up valuable space on the cover photo.
  • The CTA is much larger than before and it’s on the right-hand side.
  • Tabs are back on the left side of the page, under the profile picture.

Read more about what’s new in her post, “New Facebook Page Layout – Is it a Flashback, But Better?”

What do you think about the look of the new layout?

Share your thoughts on the new layout and other Facebook updates in the comments below. I’m curious to know what you think.


How To Promote Your Events With Social Media

Social media has many great uses. Promoting events is one great way to use social media. My experience with social media includes many non-profit organizations, and often with that comes events. Social media marketing is a very effective way to inform people of your event, your cause and to help meet your goals for those events.

As with any marketing effort, you need a plan.

Marketing your event with social media requires some important steps to ensure optimal success.Click To Tweet


Set Your Goal.

What are you trying to accomplish? Are you looking to build awareness, increase attendees or sell tickets? Whatever that goal may be, define it and create a strategy around accomplishing that goal.

Be Social Friendly.

Create a hashtag that is brief and easy to remember. Include it in all your promotions so that your audience can follow the conversation online easily. You should also use tools like or to track the metrics of your hashtag to gauge the performance of your marketing efforts.  Prepare for event day engagement by creating a Snapchat geofilter for attendees to use at the event.

Optimize Your Messaging and Images.

Creating the right content is key with social media marketing. Create copy that will tell people what they need to know about the event with key details and builds excitement. Educate, inform, excite and create calls to action. You’ll want to create images consistent with your brand that are eye-catching, memorable and shareable.

Host An Instagram Contest.

Contests are an easy way to get content for your Instagram account and generate buzz around your event. Have a giveaway where attendees take photos to post on Instagram, use the event hashtag and tag your account. Here’s a great contest that Ford used for it’s annual Ford Freedom Fireworks event.event

Drive Your Visitors.

Make sure that your social profiles are updated with the link that drives them to information about the event and/or where they can purchase tickets or RSVP. It is a good practice to use a customized link shortener so that you can use metrics to track your performance.

Leverage Influencers.

A sure way to help amplify your message is to leverage the audiences of people and organizations who are involved or have a personal interest in your event. That would include guest speakers, special guests, honorees and sponsors. Using Twitter mentions and tags on Facebook and Instagram of people and organizations alerts them to your online social media promotion efforts and in turn prompts them to share that message with their respective audiences.

Pre-Event Events.

Showcase your upcoming event by hosting a Twitter chat or Facebook Live event. Twitter chat’s give you an opportunity to allow your audience to interact with one of your special guests before the event, ask questions directly and learn more about what to expect at the event. Facebook Live events broadcast to audiences who are already engaged currently online. This will give them a chance to hear from your or your guest about why they should attend. You can use these events to also give a call to action.



Your event promotion doesn’t stop the day before your event.Click To Tweet You’ll want to showcase what’s going on at your event to create buzz for your brand and interest in your upcoming events.

  • Make sure you make announcements at your events encouraging people to use the hashtag and geofilters on social media and share their own stories.
  • Engage with your attendees! Follow the hashtag at your event and retweet, comment and reply to what your audience is sharing



Wrap up your event by sharing photos albums to Facebook. Attendees will look for photos they were a part of or their favorite highlights to share.


A great tool to use post event is Storify. It allows you to highlight and arrange tweets from your events that is shareable. It will event notify people mentioned in the tweets when you post it.


Download your Snapchat story and include it in a blog post to share with your readers. You can also download individual snaps to post on other social media sites. This will help build your Snapchat audience as well.









Social media is an incredible tool to help spread your message, reach your audience and attract new followers. Create buzz for your event with the features that make social media marketing the powerful tool it is.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.