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Category: Content Marketing

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.

HAVE A HASHTAG STRATEGY

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.

TRACK YOUR LINK

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.

BE CRYSTAL CLEAR

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

ALWAYS PRACTICE BEST PRACTICES

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

 

events

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

PRE-EVENT STEPS

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 hashtracking.com or keyhole.co 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.

event

EVENT DAY ACTIVITIES

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

POST EVENT ACTIVITIES

FACEBOOK:

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.

TWITTER:

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.

SNAPCHAT:

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.

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.

twitter advanced search

Content Curation Made Simple: Twitter Advanced Search

Social media marketing has become a way of life for savvy business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals trying to build a personal brand. Truth be told, social media marketing is a lot of work in building a community and sharing great content.  One of the best ways to engage with your audience outside of creating engaging, valuable and relevant content is to curate interesting content to share.

Using the right tools and resources to find the right content and easily share it with your audience will allow you to be able to save time and find content your audience will appreciate.

TWITTER ADVANCED SEARCH

Finding the right content is about using the right tools and knowing what and how to search.Click To TweetTwitter Advanced Search is a powerful resource. On Twitter’s search results page, you’ll have menu options allowing you to filter by media type, (photos, videos) profiles, and more. But what’s also great is the ability to curate content on any topic.

In the search fields, add your topic to the ‘All of these words’ field and then add ‘http’ to ‘This Exact phrase’. So, for example, if you want to find blog posts related to estate planning, your search will pull up results  as seen below where you can select to see the top tweets, the “live” or most recent ones, photos, videos and more.

twitter advanced search

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another time saving aspect of Twitter Advanced Search is the ability to save searches. Twitter allows you to save up to 25 searches per account. To save a search, click More options at the top of your results page and then click “Save this search.” Saved searches are also a great way to track keywords that are relevant to your business.

MAKING LISTS

When you’re using Twitter Advanced Search you’ll no doubt come across Twitter profiles who share awesome content or whose content is ideal for your audience. Those profiles you’ll want to be able to come back to for fresh new content on a regular basis so that you can in turn share that content with your audience. A great way to do that is with Twitter lists. You’ll want to create a list of profiles that will filter out just their tweets so that when they tweet our their latest blog posts you’ll be able to see it quickly and easily. I have a list of Social Media Marketing resources that include companies who share amazing content such as Buffer, SocialTimes and Copyblogger.

ALWAYS BE SOCIAL

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in social media is “firehosing.” Make sure that in addition to creating and sharing awesome content, that you’re having converations and sharing your thoughts. Tell your audience why the post you’re sharing is valuable or your favorite takeaway. Ask your audience what they think in return. Don’t just set it and forget it. Be sure to engage as you get replies and shares.  Always begin and look for the conversation.

instagram marketing

Simple Tools To Improve Your Instagram Marketing

My current favorite social media platform is Instagram. Apparently I’m not the only one, it’s extremely popular. It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and with the new account switching feature, it’s easier to use than ever. There are many tools that social media marketers use to help them do their jobs more efficiently. With so many tools and apps available to solve many of the same problems, sometimes it can be hard to choose.

Here are a few of the tools I use to make my Instagram Marketing simpler and more efficient.Click To Tweet

LAYOUT

Layout is a photo collage app from Instagram. It accesses your camera photos to allow an easy way to select and create a photo collage. It has a built-in Photo Booth to take spur-of-the-moment shots. Layout gives you a choice of various laid out combinations for you to choose from. Just pick one and edit.

RELIGHT

The Relight app addresses a common photo editing problem: lighting. Relight Instantly correct slighting and exposure to make your photos look exceptional. Relight is realtime HDR with eight modes that correct lighting and exposure issues, add artistic HDR effects and enhance details. In short, Relight lets your camera see closer to what you see. Finally!

ADOBE POST

Adobe Post is a simple and easy way to create Instagram posts from pre-designed templates. You can “remix” these handcrafted templates into the color scheme and text layout of your choice.

REPOST APP

Sometimes on Instagram, you see something great that you just want to share. Sharing is simple with Repost App. You can reshare photos and videos in 3 steps while still giving credit to the original Instagramer. The original caption will also be copied to your clipboard to include.

CROWDFIREAPP

Here’s a tool you can use for both Twitter and Instagram. It helps you manage your followers on either platform. You can manage your Twitter and Instagram accounts far more effectively by:

  • Finding inactive users and your unfollowers – unfollow them if you wish to
  • Finding relevant users to follow using the “Copy Followers” feature
  • Keeping track of how your social media updates affect your follower/unfollower stats
  • Checking the relationship between any two Twitter/Instagram
  • When you’re trying to manage your follower/following ratio

Apps are always evolving, new tools are always emerging. As social platforms change, our needs change. What tools have you discovered that work great for Instagram? Let’s discuss in the comments below.