Using Google Plus for your Business

According to recent statistics, Google+ is the second most popular social media site in the United States behind Facebook.  Google+ has 343 million active users. That’s more than Twitter’s 200 million users.

If your business is not using Google+, now is the time to start your business page.  With a Google+ business profile, you can directly tie your website to your Google+ account.  In today’s blog, we have three tips to help expand your business influence and opportunities.Google plus

 

  •  First, install a badge!

Google+ allows you to install a ‘badge’ on your website to allow readers to communicate with you through this medium while remaining on your site.  With the Google+ badge in place, an active “Follow” widget appears next to your listing in search results.

This is good for two reasons:  First, your website visitors stay on your site.   Second, the code helps establish you as a blog publisher by tying it to your Google+ page.  By connecting your website to your Google+ page, your updates show up in search results.

 

  • Use #Hashtags!

You may be familiar with hashtags on other social media sites, and Google+ uses them as well.  Hashtags are useful because they provide added exposure to users beyond your followers.  The hashtags are connected to all your updates.

To help you, Google+ will sometimes come up with suggestions for which hashtags you should use.  If you use the suggestions Google offers, make sure to choose ones that are a good match for your topic.

 

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  • Use Google+ as Your Business Page

Instead of your personal Google+ page, use your business page to increase followers and exposure for your business.  Now, instead of seeing your own profile when you connect with others on Google+ as your business, you will have your marketing message in front of more people.

Similar to “liking” or “commenting” on Facebook, you can use your Google+ account to +1 and comment on other people’s Google+ accounts.

Be sure to  use the Google+ account whenever you communicate with anyone in the Google+ network, both those who are following you and people who share public information, even if they’re not following you.

Like other social media sites, find the most active Google+ pages, public personal profiles and communities that match your business.  Then start interacting with them to gain more exposure for your Google+ page… and your business.

Post links and videos about your company on Google+. Google recognizes this effort and improves your search rankings, helping your SEO.

 

Be sure to get the most out of your business by getting the most out of Google+.

It’s Not Just the Number Sign Anymore

You have probably noticed the pound sign (#) followed by a word or short phrase on TV, in print and online.  Thanks to Twitter, the lowly “pound” or “number” symbol (#) has a new role. Regular social media users call the “#” symbol a “hashtag” (or “hash tag”).  The hashtag allows you to easily search for posts using the same keywords preceded with the # symbol in what seems like the chaotic world of Twitter.

The first hashtag symbol appeared in August 2007 as a way to define groups on Twitter.  Now, the # symbol is an integral part of social media life.  With an average of 140 million Tweets every day, it is easy to see why there needed to be a way of sorting through all the messages.   Hashtags allow searching of all public Tweets by anyone.  For example, users looking for the car repairs can search for #AutoRepair to find all Tweets and updates about car repairs.

Hashtag 2Hashtags get even better – you can use more than one within a single Tweet!   If searching for posts about the automotive repairs, users can enter #AutoRepair #California to narrow their search.  Two hashtags in the same post are acceptable, especially when one of the tags includes a location.

You can create any hashtag as long as you follow Twitter’s rules. Before creating a new hashtag, do a little research to see if a keyword is already in use.  Just search for the term.  If nothing shows up, it is probably safe to use.  If you create a new hashtag, be sure to let everyone know the term so they will use it in their posts.

Hashtags should be as brief as possible since the hashtag counts toward the 140-character limit for any Twitter post.  Use two or at most three short words for your hashtag.  You can capitalize the first letter of each word to make it easier to read.  You cannot use spaces in hashtags.

Twitter considers it “spamming” if there are numerous posts using a hashtags that are unrelated to the hashtag topic or group.  This could result in permanent suspension of the offending account, so always be relevant.

So why use hashtags?  Hashtags bring in more people and help increase website sales!  In less than ten years, the hashtag has become an indispensable tool for increasing user engagement and spreading information about products and businesses as well as industry news and trends.

A good way to launch a new hashtag is to share it on Facebook as well or tweet it.  If relevant, choose a unique photo or a catchy line to help encourage clicking on the hashtag.

Hashtag 1

Remember, content is what drives traffic to your website. Provide information about the content through blogs, videos, and links.  Be sure to include a link to your website after sharing short information on the hashtag. It will drive more people to get further information about the topic at your website.

You can further the coverage of your hashtag by inviting other industry experts to participate and answer queries. Encourage others to share and exchange their own data on the hashtag.

Finally, always provide links to your website.  The website link should be to a page with further information about the hashtag topic.  Remember, social media users expect good quality content.

Yes, social media has reinvented the lowly number sign – or pound sign.  Now, instead of taking up space on your phone, that icon that looks like a tic-tac-toe board can be driving customers to your business!

Get engaged on social media

In order to keep a business thriving through social media, all platforms should be used for more than posting content for the consumers to view. Social media should be used for a conversation.

A company’s trustworthiness and brand loyalty depend on the interactions it has with customers in person, yes, but online as well.

You can’t treat customers like a mass audience. Rather you should treat each customer as an individual and as if you have an established relationship with that individual. Be excited to provide customers with surprise gifts at times and solving their problems in social-media-clipartways they would never dream of.

For example, if a customer has a problem with a product every now and then, it’d be easy and sufficient to talk them through the problem and tell them what they can do next time they buy that product, but a solution that would leave a long-lasting impact would be perhaps offering the customer a replacement part or providing an extra service at no charge if you have the means to do that. It’s understood that this can’t be done with every customer. If so, the company would make no money, but every now and then, a nice surprise like this is what causes customers to tell their friends and family about the wonderful experience, thus driving more consumers to the product and the

Of course a company should answer questions in a timely manner as they are asked across social media platforms, but it should also respond to statements. Social media isn’t just a question and answer service for customers, it’s a conversation and we shouldn’t be afraid to start the conversation. Many comments on social media get overlooked because they say something along the lines of, “Outstanding service!” or “They spilled coffee on the driver’s seat!” Don’t be afraid to comment back and tell them you appreciate the comment, try to get the situation resolved if needed or even ask a follow-up question to get the ball rolling.

Make sure your account stays active. As business picks up, it’s easy to let your social media fall due to being too busy or even thinking you may not need it any more since your business is thriving. Regardless of the reason, social media should never be abandoned.

Phone clipart

Customers look online all the time to determine what product or business to use, and when they see an abandoned page, it leaves a bad taste in their mouth. They will think the business no longer cares about the customer or that it may not even exist any longer.

Give back to the customer. As stated earlier, giveaways to customers can always help with referrals. This can be in the form of a contest business.

or even just a surprise gift to valued customers or consistent contributors. They will appreciate it, tell their friends about it and keep contributing with their online content and, most importantly, their money.

Social media is crucial for companies to thrive, but it is sometimes difficult to balance when business is booming. It’s important to keep the social media pages going and to keep interacting with customers to maintain a positive image and to keep business flowing.

 

Not everyone has something nice to say

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be suspicious of any business that has only positive online reviews. In fact, most people, like me, tend to believe all those positive comments are from employees and not actual customers. No matter how good you are at what you do, someone is going to have a bad experience.

In any business, it’s inevitable that someone is going to post a negative comment online for everyone to see. Try as you may, you can’t control the opinions of your customers. However, the way you respond will make a world of difference to current and future customers.

bad-review1So how do you respond to negative online reviews? Well, not the way one New York state hotel did. The hotel took a stand against negative online review by issuing a policy that fined guests $500 for any negative review posted online on any website.

The policy even included guests of wedding parties booked at the hotel and even those attending weddings at other venues in the area – not just at the hotel! Couples booking weddings were warned in advance they would be held accountable and fined should any member of the wedding posted a negative comment.

The policy read:
“If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at {hotel}, there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of {hotel} placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event.”

The policy also stated that any fines levied would be refunded once negative reviews were removed.

Once customers started receiving fines, the news media spread the story. The hotel received a page full of one-star reviews on Yelp,

some from people who never stayed at the hotel. Shortly after, the hotel removed the policy and issued a statement on Facebook (later removed): “The policy regarding wedding fines was put on our site as a tongue-in-cheek response to a wedding many years ago. It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced.”

Too late! The damage was done. It is impossible to calculate how much business the hotel lost because of this. So how should a business handle negative online comments?

Deleting the comment won’t work. Once something is posted online, it never really goes away. You just cannot sweep negative comments under the rug and hope no one notices.

Instead, respond immediately. A quick and public response lets everyone know you care about your customers and your brand. Even if you do not have enough information to answer the negative comment properly, respond immediately and publicly.

A public response — sometimes just a simple, “Thank you for your comment, please send contact information so we can discuss further

good-news-bad-newsto resolve the situation,” — demonstrates you care about your business and that you are trying to make it right. A public response also helps quell any potential backlash.

You must respond in a thoughtful manner. Always stand by your brand, but show you want to help the customer. And, before you post your reply, consider any negative ramifications that might be read into your comments. It doesn’t take much for a simple situation toturn into a PR nightmare.

Honesty and transparency are critical when faced with any online negativity. Responding quickly and positively to negative comments show you care. It also helps cynics like me to see that even though not everyone may love you, you do address your customer’s concerns.

Tradeshows: A Social Media Dream

Trade shows create the perfect time for a business to enhance its image and get its name out to consumers. During these times, tons of relevant people are in attendance and will likely stop by your booth. In order to make a lasting impact to these customers, you’ll need to effectively utilize social media throughout the show.

To make the most out of your trade show experience, you’ll need to get people to see and know your business’ name, meet current and potential customers and enjoy yourself. Enjoying yourself will keep company and employee morale up while reflecting joy and enthusiasm through your social media posts. The following steps can help your company get optimal use out of social media at trade shows.

  • Get ready for the eventIMG_4186

About a month before the event begins, or earlier if you feel it’s necessary, begin posting about the show. By doing this, you can get fans and customers excited about the show and excited about what they may see at your booth.

Make sure you do your research and use the proper hashtags and mentions where they’re necessary. You don’t want to be the only company using one hashtag, while the majority are using another. To help with this, you can visit the profiles of the show’s host.

  • Keep posts clean and professional

We realize these tradeshows can be fast-paced and hectic, but that shouldn’t mean compromising the company’s image. Before each tweet, Facebook post, Instagram image or any other social media post, be sure your spelling and grammar are correct and the photo is appropriate. There’s no bigger feeling of reluctance from a customer than when it sees a business’ social media post riddled with errors.

  • Don’t over-post

Social Media Logotype BackgroundSometimes during these shows there are times when people can relax. This may cause a feeling of the need to post. Don’t simply post to post, but make sure the content has substance and causes customers to engage. This can be getting fans excited for a demo coming up or giving them a chance to ask questions about the show, products or anything else about which they may be curious.

It gets frustrating to customers to see post after post on their newsfeed, especially when those posts are meaningless. Many times this can cause a negative effect of using social media because the customer gets annoyed and will quit following you with one click of the mouse. Be sure to post wisely and sparingly.

  • Use media

Rather than just having a post full of words, give the audience something to see. This can be in the form of a picture, a video or even a link to something else if need be. Media allows the consumer to visualize what is going on at the event if they’re not there. If they are there, it gives them something to look forward to seeing and to get engaged in if they are in one of the photos or videos. It makes customers feel special to know they are involved in something you and your company are doing.

  • Keep posting afterward

Although the event may be over, there were most likely still plenty of things people missed. Follow-up photos and videos can show people what all went on at the event and allow them to reminisce about what they saw. This also gives companies the chance to stay in touch with people they met at the show and people that could prove to be valuable contacts to their business.

Trade shows provide a great chance for companies to meet new people and show off their product, and social media can greatly enhance that experience.

Get the most out of LinkedIn

Launched in May 2003, LinkedIn now has over 300 million users – 100 million here in the US as of 2014. LinkedIn has over three million business pages that showcase over one million products and services.

LinkedIn logo

The number one tip for businesses on LinkedIn, and any social media platform for that matter, is to optimize your page.  As in any marketing environment, you must highlight what your business has to offer.  To be a sharp marketer, build out your products and services page.  Those who do this tend to attract twice as many company followers than those who do not.  Use this page to tell others what you do best and give them compelling reasons to follow you.

Remember, you can link to just about anything from your products and services page, including your latest and greatest white papers, case studies or how-to content.

You canbest attract customers when you turn your products, services or anything else relevant to your business into a focal point.  An example of what to feature includes your services.  If you specialize in certain makes of automobiles, feature those.  If you offer towing or your shop has a special process for detailing repaired vehicles, feature that.  Perhaps you are the only shop that offers towing for customers.  Any service that sets you apart is something you should highlight.

You can also highlight the products you use.  Perhaps you only use OEM parts or you use a specific type of automotive paint.  Maybe you have a special source for hard-to-get body parts.  Anything like these should be on your products and services page.

Also consider listing your community involvement – do you participate in bike safety days, driver safety classes or child safety programs with your local police?  Maybe you sponsor a little league team. Put this on your products and services page to show your community involvement.

The idea is to use your products and services page to tell LinkedIn members what you excel at and why they should follow you.

Another reason to make this page stand out is that LinkedIn company pages are SEO-friendly.  Be sure to use powerful keywords in your description.  LinkedIn allows company searches by keyword, so be sure to include strong words and phrases that describe your business, expertise and industry focus.

Don’t forget to include your contact information as well.  Also, your primary attributes can function as keyword tags.

Now that you have your products and services page ready, you must be ready to engage with your audience.

LinkedIN

LinkedIn company pages, allow you to like and share content as a company. Previously, only individuals could do this.  It is a major change, so use it to your advantage by engaging other members!

For example, your company can ‘like’ and respond to member comments made in response to posts on your company page.  Consider sharing your customers’ and prospects’ content—from their corporate blogs, product updates and company posts—to get these kinds of interactions going.  This helps develop trust with customers while developing a more professional corporate brand identity.  Content customized to your followers’ and customers’ professional interests resonates the most on LinkedIn.

Choose the latter to send your update to a subset of followers based on geography, industry, company size or level of seniority.  Just as with any social network, LinkedIn is a community where targeted engagement is essential for success.With targeted updates, you can easily tailor your message to your audience.  For example, when you create an update, you can choose to share it with “all followers” or to a “targeted audience.”

YouTube Advanced Tips for Small Business

Youtube_logoIn this post, we look at some YouTube advanced tips for small businesses. I have some advanced tips you can use to help make your business stand out and get the most out of YouTube.

If you are already posting videos to YouTube, you should Customize Your Channel! Customizing is well worth the time it takes to set up. You can add your company’s branding, customize the colors to compliment your company’s look, and add information and links.

When you set up a channel, it offers users the option to subscribe to your content at the click of a button. YouTube visitors also have the option to search just your uploaded content on your channel. The channel structure also allows you to highlight uploads, playlists, favorites or all videos.

With your custom channel in place, it’s time to Organize Your Content. Make your content viewer-friendly rather than just offering a stream of video uploads. Create playlists to group relevant videos together, or lump older content into time-related folders if appropriate. You could have a playlist of customer testimonials. Another playlist might be tips and tricks your employees have for your customers.

Remember that YouTube offers users the option to embed entire playlists into external sites, so give the creation of them, their titles, and description some decent thought. Be sure to check out our video on captions and tags for more on this subject.

using_youtube_analytics_sourcesYouTube offers every user free analytics data via the “Insight” button on every uploaded video. Be sure to Use YouTube’s Free Analytics Tools. Do not overlook this free-to-view information. It can offer you some valuable info on not only views stats, but demographics, community, and the most useful — “discovery” data — info on how users came across the video, including the links they followed to get there. This can be helpful in deciding how and where to display YouTube videos on your website. The tools are there – be sure to use them.

My final tip is perhaps the most important. Promote Your YouTube Videos. Don’t assume viewers will come to you just because you have a YouTube channel. Someone once said, “not advertising is like winking at a beautiful person in the dark. You know what you are doing, but no one else does.” YouTube visitors will not automatically think to look you up on YouTube. After all, there are those adorable animal videos!

Every time you post a video that is relevant for general sharing, you should blog about it. Then tweet it and mention it on your Facebook Page. Twitter and Facebook are easy through YouTube’s account settings that automatically publish news of a new video if you have linked up the social services. If you haven’t linked your YouTube account to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, do it now!

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 6.03.45 PMWhile on the video in YouTube, click the “Share” button. YouTube has some of the most common social media sites listed. Just click the button for the site to which you want to add the video. For blogs and other social media sites not listed, click the box below the icons to copy the HTML code. Sharing the video on your social media sites as well as your own website will help push users towards your video content.

One last tip – don’t shy away from allowing embedding of your videos on other sites — the more views the better.  So get out there and make sure your videos are seen! Good luck!

The Quick Tip Guide for Blogging

iheartblogging-379x243It should be no surprise that blogging in today’s internet centered world is critically important for any content marketer.  However, coming up with a constant stream of content that resonates with your audience can be an overwhelming task. Lucky for you we have boiled it down to some basic pointers for fine-tuning your blogging strategy.

First comes the ideas.  Before you write anything, you must have a creative, engaging idea for your post. If you find yourself having trouble coming up with fresh ideas, consider a couple sources for inspiration.  Check out industry news, social media and relevant message boards to see what your target audience is talking about.  Make sure you stay relevant to their current interests to ensure the highest amount of visibility.  Also use personal experiences and stories to humanize your brand.  Always keep it professional, but don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. It always helps to write down creative content ideas as they come to you, even if you don’t use them immediately.

Next is one of the most important elements of your blog post, the title.  Research shows that the average blog reader only stays 7 seconds past the title of your post.  Your title has to grab attention and keep it. Titles with numbers, especially odd, tend to perform better than those that don’t. Include the words “How – to” to show people that they will learn something useful from your post.  Another strange statistic is that people often respond more to negative tones in posts than positive ones. For example, “Why You Are Losing Money” is much more effective than “Money Saving Tips”.  Just make sure not to go overboard.

2010-12-06-blogging-is-hard1Writers block can be extremely detrimental to a content creator but it does happen from time to time. The best way to combat it is not to stare at a wall or try to force it, but to seek out ideas.  Listen to what people are saying on Google and social media platforms. Tailor your posts to fit what people are talking about. Answer questions that haven’t been asked yet. Take your own approach to a hotly debated topic in your industry. Take advantage of times you do feel creative and plan ahead for the times you might not.

The only way to become a better writer is to keep writing. Even if you don’t use all your work, write as much as you can. Try to spend at least 30 minutes everyday just writing. You’ll see an improvement as long as you keep trying to get better.  Good luck and happy blogging.

 

Shortcuts to Avoid in Social Media

042313-shortcutShortcuts are something that are used in almost every facet of life. Be it keyboard shortcuts or a quicker way to get home from work, people like to do things the easiest way possible.  We have automation tools that allow for advanced programming of Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and even Instagram.  But where do we draw the line between convenience and practicality?  Does automation of posts deserve the bad reputation it has? We personally feel that automation has it’s place, but it require supplemental monitoring to make it effective.  Here we are going to go through some social media shortcuts that you should avoid with your pages.

1) Pre-Scheduling for Events

This seems like a no brainer, but you should avoid scheduling your posts in advance of a real time event.  If, for example, you have programmed tweets talking about a specific driver in an upcoming race, it could backfire on you if something about the event changes. The driver could be injured before the race or the weather may cause a delay.  Stick to posting real time updates on events if you cover them to prevent this from happening.

2) Auto-Replies

One on one communication should never be automated. Whether it’s thanking someone for following you or answering a message, you should always do these yourself. There is no better way to turn off a new follower than to send them an automated thank you.

3) Posting the Same Message Across Multiple Networks

This is where automation gets the most flak from critics.  A lot of times when using automation tools to schedule messages in advance, you can schedule the same message across multiple networks. For example, you may send out a message as a tweet and as a Facebook update.  Unfortunately, this is pretty noticeable to followers. After all, it’s still a little weird seeing a lot of hashtags on Facebook if you are cross posting from Instagram or Twitter.  We recommend tailoring each message you send out for the network you are posting on.  What makes for a good tweet may not translate that easily to Google Plus and so on.

4) Sending Connection Invites Without Personalizing

For networks like LinkedIn, you can send a message along with your invitation to connect.  There is a standard message already in the template, but you should take the time to make it personal. People will know if you just sent them the boiler plate message, so make sure to put your own spin on it.  Explain why you want to connect or how being connected to you will be beneficial to that person. Don’t risk looking like a spammer with the standard message.

password5) Using A Simple Password

Most people use the same password for everything. Be careful of doing this, especially with an easy password. Social accounts get hacked all the time for one reason or another, so stay on top of your accounts with solidly difficult passwords.  Also be sure to change them every so often to keep your accounts as secure as possible. The process for getting your accounts back after they’ve been hacked can be difficult and sometimes not possible. Better to be safe than sorry in this case.

6) Buying Likes

Did you know that some companies offer ‘likes’ for a price? These businesses create thousands of fake accounts to generate likes for their clients. Facebook has caught onto this scheme and actually punishes pages that do this by limiting their organic reach.  Avoid buying into any scam that is supposed to bring you likes on your page, it will end up doing more harm than good.

7) Only Retweeting/Sharing

Retweeting is good for networking and spreading other’s messages if they are in line with your brand. The same goes for sharing on Facebook.  Only retweeting and sharing, however, shows your audience that you don’t have anything original or unique to offer. Use the retweet and share buttons sparingly so as not to oversaturate your followers. Otherwise why should someone follow you when they can get the message from the other source?

8) Inviting Every Friend to Like Your Pages

Annoying your friends with constant invites to like pages they aren’t the targeted market for will actually hurt your reach. You want to make sure you are reaching the right audience for your brand with your ad campaigns.  Stick to trying to gain a following of appropriate customers.

tagging-on-facebook9) Tagging Irrelevant People

This is probably one of the worst things you could do with your social pages. Under no circumstances should you tag people in an update that have nothing to do with your message. Get permission from anyone you want to tag before you associate them with your company and only then tag them if they are relevant.  You will get more exposure by tagging, but it will backfire if it doesn’t make sense.

These are just a few things you should avoid with your pages. Social media management isn’t easy, but if you make sure you aren’t taking the wrong shortcuts, you will do just fine. Good luck and happy posting.

 

Big Brand Facebook Tactics that Work for Any Business

Well-Known World Brand LogotypesThe most challenging part of social media management is staying active and engaging. Big brands like Oreo, Nike and Target have dedicated marketing departments that spend all their time coming up with great fresh content. Following the cues of these brands is something any business, no matter how small, can do.  We are going to go over some of the ways these companies keep their fan base coming back, so that you may be able to make your pages more engaging.

1) Holidays and Events

Heineken held a Instagram scavenger hunt content ahead of the U.S. Open Men’s final for a chance to win tickets. Fans had to search for clues in a mosaic of Instagram photos that would ultimately lead them to nine pairs of tennis tickets. In order to prove they had found the next clue, users had to comment on the correct photo with the codeword “#SHHH.” You can host promotions or games through your own social media channels the same way while capitalizing on an upcoming event or holiday.  Reward your fans for participation and they will continue to engage with you.

2) Crowdsourcing

Facebook and Instagram are great places to ask people for content. By asking your fans for their input, you can easily generate new content that is centered around your customers. Again, reward your fans for their input by acknowledging them and showing appreciation.  Someone take a picture of using your product? Feature their photo on your own pages as a shout out. People really appreciate being noticed by brands or companies that they use, so share the love with your fan base.

3) Fun

Humor is a great way to humanize your brand. It shows that your company can have fun and wants to share that with others.  Skittles and Old Spice do a very good job of engaging fans with nonsensical humor. If you can make your fans laugh they are much more likely to share your content and possibly let it go viral.

70-20-104) 70/20/10

Almost all the major brands that have successful social pages follow the rule of 70/20/10. That means the 70% of their content is information that is valuable to their followers in some way. This can be tips, tricks, contests, Q&A chats or anything else that does more for your customer than it does for you.  20% of your content should be shared from other sources to show that you acknowledge other companies, brands or even your fans. Share articles written by industry publications, or user submitted photos and videos. The last 10% of your content should be self-promotional. This is where you show off your products and services.  Apply this rule to your content and see it take off.

5) Customer Service

Daily upkeep of your social pages mostly includes responding to fans. Liking or encouraging good comments, answering questions and handling complaints is something that should be done often. This humanizes your brand and shows that you are active and involved with your followers. Take the time to respond to everything you get and make sure to tag the relevant people.

6) Consistancy

Quite simply, you should make sure that there is at least one post every few days on all of your social networks.  If you focus on just a few, it’s ok to post every day.  The most important thing is that you are consistently making posts so your fans know your page isn’t dead.  Take care not to over post or you’ll risk driving away your audience.

7) Storytelling

Video is a great way to tell your brand’s story. Oreo is definitely a brand who has utilized video to it’s fullest extent. They generally keep their videos simple using stop motion and viewer submitted content to engage their fans.  Your videos don’t have to be long or big productions thanks to Vine and Instagram Video.  These networks are free to use and are easy to navigate.  You can also use hashtags to categorize your posts and get your message out to a wider audience.

Four-seasons8) Capture the Seasons

As the seasons change, capture the feel of each one.  Fans know you are current and thinking about something other than your business if you play into the seasons of the year. Tie your brand or company into your messages. Change your profile picture or cover photos to keep with the changing times.

There are many ways to keep your audience engaged like the big guys do if you are willing to get a little creative. Play around with your posts to see what resonates most with your fans.  It’s all trial and error. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. There really is no wrong answer on how to best connect with your followers.  Take risks and you may see them pay off in the long run.  Good luck and happy posting!