Using Instagram for increased engagement and social selling

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Instagram, Social Media Optimization |

Many people still think of Instagram as a cool place for sharing selfies or holiday pics, but it’s actually one of the fastest growing social media platforms, with many more times engagement than Twitter or Facebook. Instagram allows companies to tell a visual story easily viewed on a mobile phone, that is quick and easy to process. Companies already leveraging on the success of Instagram have seen huge growth in brand use. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that consumers are more likely to consider or contact a company with an image that shows up in a local search. Studies show that consumers believe that images are very important for eCommerce, in fact more important than product descriptions and reviews. Another handy thing about Instagram is the ability to post the published images on other social media platforms, from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, to Pinterest and Tmblr. Here are five tips for Instagramming: Use hashtags; visitors to Instagram use hashtags to search Post regularly and keep your followers looking forward to your next image Post timely content – use seasons, holidays or events to your advantage Run contests or giveaways, a great way to build your following Promote your Instagram on other social media platforms and your website The two engagement measurements on Instagram are likes and comments. You can also use hashtags, which allow you to track posts and shares via hashtag tracking apps. By including phone numbers or URLs in your images or post texts, you can track call to action conversion rates for particular images or campaigns. The kind of photos that build rapport with customers are varied, but here are the top five types, that see high levels of engagement: Customer-centric photos: pictures of customers using or wearing your products (which is basically free advertising). Employee-centric photos: Much like the Employee of the Week photo on the wall, people like to get a peek behind the scenes. This has the benefit of increased employee satisfaction too! Contest photos: inviting customers to Instagram a picture from an event or for a contest is a great way to keep customers excited and engaged. Product-centric photos: A grouping of products of various colours or prints is surprisingly popular, as well as pairing of clothing items and accessories. Blogger-centric photos: Popular bloggers have their own fan base, so bloggers can cross-post your Instagram posts and your products to a wider audience. Engaging on Instagram is easy for users – once in the app, they only have to like or comment, quick, easy and perfect for those with short attention spans (the majority of the population!). To harness the power of social selling for your business,...

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Easy ways to make your social media content more shareable

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Digital Media Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Optimization |

It’s no surprise that visuals are more appealing to readers than pure text. Our brains process visual images about 60 000 times faster than text, so it’s simple to understand why image rich content is shared more freely. But if you’re a small time entrepreneur without the design resources needed to make beautiful pictures, all is not lost. Here are some easy ways to make your visual social media content infectious. Firstly, use high quality stock photography. People like beautiful things, so use images that grab attention and boost the impression of your brand. There are many free and low-cost images available, so there’s no need to use a cheesy image that your readers may have seen several times before. Next, use a variety of visual content, like quote graphics or industry tips, infographics, photos and screenshots – whatever is appropriate to your content. Use online tools to create templates for your different designs, to save time the next time you post. Use pictures you’ve taken on Instagram, visuals found on Pinterest, or other great pictures you’ve seen on other sites (just remember to give credit where it’s due). Do your research to see what kind of visuals are trending and use those ideas in your posts. If it’s trending, it’s what people are liking right now, so get on the bandwagon! Pinterest will show you what types of pictures have been repinned and give you an idea of what is popular. Remember, trends don’t last that long, so your research is an on-going process. It’s a good idea to link a graphic that you’ve created back to your website – after all, that’s the point about having your content shared in the first place. Use the empty space on your visual to emphasise the title of your piece with text – this helps tremendously to get your visuals shared on social media platforms, like Twitter or Pinterest. It really helps to optimize your visuals for different social networks, too. Every platform has preferred dimensions for its posts, so keep these guidelines in mind when publishing content to different channels. For more on social media sharing, contact us. Experts in both social selling and social media marketing, we’d love to share our secrets with you. Please follow and like...

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Ways to find and engage with influencers online

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Online Reputation Management, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Optimization |

It’s getting more difficult to grow your email marketing subscriber list these days, with people being more careful about personal security and also just tired of being spammed. You can keep on with the ways that do work, like offering sign-up specials or freebies, or you could try expanding your list by engaging with influencers, who already have thousands of connections. So how do you get and engage with influencers online? Firstly, you need to identify the platforms on which to approach them. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are the preferred social media platforms for finding influencers, but it’s not going to be an overnight phenomenon – you need to put in time and dedication into engaging with your connections. Secondly, take the time to identify who you want to connect with – people in your industry obviously, but bear in mind, you will need to offer something in return. Influencers are not likely to give you their followers for nothing. A quick way to get started, is to open up your Twitter account, and type keywords into the search bar, that relate back to your industry, product or service. Then, click on “Accounts” and it will show you everyone on Twitter with those keywords in their profile. Choose who you want to follow – but the key now is to get them to notice you. To do this can be tricky, but a good start is to retweet their posts. The influencer will receive a notification when their content gets retweeted, so you are likely to get noticed. Include their names in your own posts, perhaps quoting them or crediting an idea back to them; then send them a tweet to show them what you’ve done. Make a note of what times they use social media, and reach out to them during those times. Once you have done this, you can start to engage with the influencers, by responding to emails, commenting on their blogs, inviting them to join a conversation or download something you’ve posted. Keeping at these steps will hopefully get you a guest post opportunity, or a mention in one of their posts. It’s a good idea to set a time limit on engagement – if it hasn’t worked after a month, move onto the next influencer. For more on email marketing or using social media to grow your business, contact us today! Please follow and like...

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A clever way to drive real sales leads from social media

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Social Media Optimization |

It’s not easy creating social content for lead generation, but one form of content that is proving to exceptionally popular is the personality quiz. People love to interact and engage with content, so what better way than to create a fun quiz? Creating a quiz that can drive real sales leads is even better. There are a few steps to take when creating a quiz (other than copying someone else’s), to ensure its success, as well as online templates to get you started. First, decide what the quiz should be about – an upcoming event or one based on the core function of your business. Then you should write the questions bearing in mind that this is a unique opportunity to build trust with the quiz takers, so they’ll be happy to opt-in at the end of your quiz. Write like a human – using personal words like I, you, me, we, gets more views than generic quiz words. Using images in your quiz also helps to make it fun and more game-like. You should aim for between six and ten questions, enough time to build some rapport, but not enough to bore them to tears. Collecting new subscribers at the end of your quiz is a great way to continue the conversation. Creating a strong lead capture form is vital – one that promises value, like a discount or give-away (not just the quiz results); one that is honest about your marketing strategy (like saying you’ll be sending them one email a week); and one that just asks for what you need (don’t create a lengthy list of personal detail if it has no relevance). If you can create a quiz with share-able results, it has more chance of going viral. If the quiz result is uplifting and positive, or downright hilarious, people will want to share it. Images in results leads to more shares, as well as keeping the results short (3-5 lines and a picture). Once you’ve designed your quiz, you’ll need to promote it on social media. Find an image that represents your quiz well, write a caption for it and then share the image and caption with a shortened link, to track results. You could also look into using paid Facebook advertising. When your new leads are in your database, follow up with a thank you message, reminding them of their opt-in. You could send another message a few days later showing them other results from the quiz they could have achieved, or content that is related. A week later you could follow up with a case study or testimonial from your business, then two weeks later, a call to action, in the form...

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A dozen things you didn’t know about Facebook

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 in Facebook, Social Media Optimization, Website Optimization |

With over 1.5 billion people regularly using Facebook, there’s pressure on the developers at Facebook to constantly come up with new features and products, so it can be hard to keep up with this social media storm. Even if you think you know it all, there’s probably a whole bunch of tips, tricks and interesting things you didn’t know you could do on your Facebook page or profile. So let’s look at a few, shall we? Did you know you can make your online video calls with Skype through your Facebook page? Add the Skype app to your account and start talking! Did you know you can edit your photos directly on your profile? Using an app like Lunapic, you can add custom animation effects, two-tone colours, make greeting cards… Did you know you can unclutter your Facebook content? With “Interest Lists”, you can organise your content into lists in a most convenient way. Did you know about “Nearby Friends”? Activating this feature will push notifications to your phone when one of your Facebook friends has checked into a location near you. Did you know you can tag friends in videos? You all know about tagging in photos, but you can do it in video too, pretty much the same way. Did you know you can create and distribute petitions? With the YouSign.org.app you can use Facebook’s powerful network of people to share petitions for a good cause. Did you know you can edit your Facebook ad preferences? The advert preferences list a range of topics that Facebook believes you may be interested in. You can remove or add to your preferences by going into your Settings, selecting Adverts, then editing in the “Ads based on my preferences” section. Did you know that images posted via Instagram get more engagement than native Facebook image posts? Up to 23% more, according to Buzzsumo’s study. Did you know you can download all of your Facebook information? Pictures, information and content, not to mention memories and conversations, can all be downloaded and stored in a safe (and private) place. Did you know posts with hashtags receive less engagement than those without? Hashtags have become the default way to search for content on Twitter and Instagram, but do not have much impact on Facebook. Did you know you can save links for later? When you don’t have time to watch a video or read a post, but want to come back to it, you can easily save the link, using the “Save Link” button on the drop-down menu in the right hand corner. Did you know you can sync your Facebook calendar with your Google one? Add events by URL from Facebook to...

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How to develop a social media sharing schedule

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Social Media Marketing, Social Media Optimization |

Everyone knows that social media is a great tool to drive traffic to your website, but it’s not as simple as posting when you feel like it and hoping for the best. Having a social media strategy can help you understand how your business can benefit from the power of social media – and a schedule is a great place to start. Having a social media sharing schedule can double your traffic, by providing your audience with targeted and valuable information that will keep them engaged, on a regular basis. It’s not quite that easy though. You need to think about what content you want to share, where to share it and when. When considering what to share, it’s a good idea to share different content with your audience. This can mean sharing relevant industry articles or podcasts, not just your own content. It needs to be varied too, not just promotional material. People share content for different reasons; it may be for entertainment, to define themselves or their business, to stay connected to their audience, or to support a cause. Bear in mind that if your content is time sensitive, it will not be long before it is out of date. Evergreen content lends itself more to a schedule of sharing and resharing a year down the line. Considering where to share your content is the next point. There are many social platforms with differing audiences using them, so you need to figure out a few that will offer you the most targeted response. For this you need to know where your audience spend their time and planning a schedule needs to take into consideration the differences; Facebook is very different from Twitter. For example, share tips on Twitter, entertaining videos on Facebook, industry specific content on LinkedIn and visual content on Pinterest. When to share or reshare content depends on your needs and your audience’s response to your content. Deciding when to share (daily, weekly, monthly) also depends on the platform. Pinterest has on average 5 posts per day, Twitter about 3 per day and Facebook twice a day. Creating a calendar helps you to look at a week at a time. Testing out your schedule will let you know of its success, so try different times, different topics, different types of updates/visuals. Once you have made the leap to creating and testing a schedule, use Analytics to examine the results. It can take a while to tweak the perfect schedule, so it’s worth keeping at it. For more on social media sharing, contact us. We spend a lot of time finding out the best places and latest trends on social media marketing for our clients –...

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