Tagged: instagram

Tips and Tricks for Capturing Quality Video with Your Smartphone

Social Content Marketing revolves around two goals:  Getting audience attention, and Keeping it. And the most effective way to do this is through video.

This information isn’t new. With the growing popularity of social media, marketers have found that videos of original content are up to ten times more likely to be embedded or shared than similar static social posts.

And a convenient way to get this content is sitting in the palm of your hand.

Your smartphone is capable of doing more than making calls and surfing for cat videos. You can shoot short-form, highly engaging video content perfect for Social Media simply by following these five guidelines.

Blog1. Turn, turn, turn

Do. Not. Shoot. Vertical. Video.

Websites, computer screens, televisions, movie theaters — even our own eyes — are engineered to be wide screen. Vertical video is squeezed between two black bars, giving the impression that your audience is missing out on the big picture. And it just looks bad.

Shooting horizontally, or in landscape, allows your smartphone to capture more of the picture, including backgrounds often missed in vertical shots.

And shooting a landscape will actually make your picture better too. By turning your phone, the video capture loads more resolution, allowing the video to be utilized on any platform, easily edited or even incorporated into existing higher resolution video.

Switching to landscape mode may also help with stability because it nearly forces you to use two hands.

2. Check Your Audio

Smart phone microphones are built to provide good sound quality for calls, but this does not transfer well to video, particularly when shooting at a distance.

And easy fix is to use an external microphone, which can be as cheap as $10.

Not so easy to fix is distracting background noises like traffic or voices. Even quiet sounds such as air conditioning fans can muddle your sound quality. To avoid these sounds coming through on your final video, film in a quiet, carpeted room if possible, setting the external microphone as close to the action as possible.

On outdoor, live-action or loud demonstration shoots, consider utilizing post-production music additions via a smartphone app.

3. Go Slow and Steady

Shaky-Cam may have made 90s horror films unique and exciting, but that camera trick doesn’t belong anywhere near your social media.

The most effective method of ensuring steady video is to place your phone on a tripod. These range from anywhere between $8 and $50 and are specially made for smartphones.

For shots that require mobility, invest in a gimbal. These handheld stabilizers hold your phone on an axis, allowing it to remain stable while providing a more fluid moving shot.

Gimbals can run anywhere from 50 to 400 dollars, so if you’re not ready to invest just yet, try this: start filming from a sitting or kneeling position, supporting your elbows on your knees to stabilize your hands.

If you need to pan, first stabilize your elbows on a solid surface such as a chair or table. Then pivot slowly, keeping you your elbows stationary. And although most mobile phones have a zoom function, the quality is better when the camera is moved closer rather than zooming in.

4. Switch on the lights

If you have ever had your picture taken with a smartphone’s flash, you know all too well that the photo is not likely to be flattering. But capturing video in low or poor light is not an option with a smartphone. They just simply are not advanced enough to capture video without adequate light. That’s why images and videos shot in low light look so grainy.

Consider investing in a lighting kit that includes a soft box. A soft box works by producing an even and soft light that reduces shadow without over lighting a subject. These start at $75, and an inexpensive starter kit with three lights can cost about $150.

For a more portable light source, an external LED flash and video light may be the answer. These wireless lights usually charge through a USB port and are easy to set up with any smartphone or tablet. These usually start at about $30.

5. Adapttangerine002

As useful as you smartphone may be, it does have limitations. But these can be overcome with add-ons that amplify your phone’s abilities.

For instance, if your content tends to center around live events such as races, sporting events or nature videos, consider investing in a lens adaptor. The adaptors can be used as external zoom lenses, fish-eye, wide angle, macro, filters…the list goes on.

These lenses run from anywhere between $50 and $500, but are worth it if you are looking for particular shots time and time again.

An external lens filter kit can give you special effects without utilizing an app or expensive hardwear. These small adaptors can split images into twos and threes, take closer video and add color easily, all for about $40.

Looking into the Future: 7 Social Media Predictions for 2016

 

2015 was a huge year for social media innovations. Marketers once again saw changes to their algorithms, leading to a need for increased paid promotions. Facebook also continued their policy of curtailing posts that seem too promotional, making the number one social media site even more difficult to to budget for.

Twitter’s growth really began to stall in 2015 after seeing its peak growth in August 2014. Marketers began to shift their focus from this platform to another emerging and popular site, Instagram. With its 400 million monthly active users, Instagram became the new hot spot for reaching an audience in 2015.

But 2015 has come to an end and the changes to the social media landscape happening more and more frequently. Here’s what to expect for 2016.

     1. More Powerful Social Media Searches

In November, Pinterest announced a new search tool allowing users to zoom in on specific objects in a Pin’s image and search for similar objects or patterns. It works like Google Image search, allowing users to find products in a new way. In 2016, expect other platforms to catch on to the idea of new and improved ways to search for content and technologies to change the way we use these sites.

     2. Live Social Broadcasts

Periscope didn’t exist in 2014, but by the end of 2015 it had become Apple’s iPhone App of the Year. With more than 10 million users, Periscope’s unique live broadcast abilities have become the new way to interact with consumers. In 2016, Periscope will continue to grow, so expect to see other sites (Facebook!) to find ways to capitalize on this new technology.

     3. Buy! Buy! Buy!

Leave it to Facebook to find a new way to take our cash. In 2014, Facebook started a trend in social media that we felt through last year. Buy Buttons have recently become part of the interface of Instagram and Pinterest, so expect to start seeing these ads more often in your feeds and your budget.

     4. Video at the Forefront

Humans are visual beings, and we like videos. It’s the easiest way for us to learn and retain knowledge. Cisco estimates that by the beginning of 2017, 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video, so marketers need to be starting a budget for video production for 2016.

     5. User Privacy Concerns

In 2015, about 32 million Ashley Madison users found out the hard way that privacy isn’t necessarily guaranteed online. With one of the largest hacks on record still fresh in their minds, social media users are now looking for assurances that their private information is, in fact, private. Expect to see major increase in protections offered from Facebook, Instagram and any other sites that store personal information like birthdates and credit card info.

     6. Incoming Messages

According to Forbes, the frequency of incoming messages are up almost one third from 2014. Consumers are catching on to a new way of connecting with companies, so expect to keep seeing an increase on incoming messages throughout the platforms. Don’t be one of the estimated 82% of brands who do not respond. Pay attention in 2016 and engage in a new way.

     7. Easier Publishing on Instagram

Instagram can be a time-consuming nightmare for social marketers simply because it must be used in real-time and is exclusive to mobile devices. If nothing else changes from last year, let’s hope Instagram has made Post Scheduling their New Year’s Resolution for 2016.

Image Size Matters

DrawingsStandardSizesDrawingSheetsWhen it comes to social media, we all know that content is king. However, content with images is like a world-leader, sitting on a throne of viral content. Images are critical to your content being seen. Why? The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than it does when decoding text.

However, when it comes to using images, it’s important to make sure you use the right size for where you’re sharing. Research shows that social media content with images is shared exponentially more than content without pictures. This blog will help you make sure you the best image sizes for your favorite social media site.

Twitter

Tweets with images are retweeted 150% more than those without an image. In fact, 89% more tweets become favorites than those tweets with just plain text. Image also see 18% more clicks.

  • The optimal image Dimensions: 1024 x 512 pixels; also acceptable: 440×220 pixels
  • File size 5 MB (3MB for animated GIFs)
  • File Type: JPEG, PNG and GIF

Facebook

Posts with images account for 87% of all interactions on Facebook, worldwide. Posts with images are shared 87% while posts with links are shared on 4% of the time. On 3% of posts with video get shared.

  • Optimal Dimensions: 2048×2048 and 1200×630 pixels (for shared links); also acceptable 720×720 pixels
  • File Size: must not exceed 15MB
  • File Type: JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF and TIFF

NOTE: PNG files larger than 1M may appear pixelated on shared links.

Open graph images may not include more than 20% text – this includes logos and slogans as a part of the image.

Google+ images

  • Optimal Dimensions: 2048×2048 and 1200×630 pixels (for shared links); also acceptable 720×720 pixels
  • File Size: must not exceed 36MB
  • File Type: JPEG, PNG, and GIF

Tumblr

  • Optimal Dimensions: 1280×1920 pixels for high-resolution images (except for super-wide panoramas); also acceptable 540×540 pixels
  • File Size: must not exceed 100MB
  • File Type: JPEG, and PNG

NOTE: The maximum width for animated GIFs is 500 pixels and may not exceed 1MB.

Images wider than 300 pixels automatically scale to fit the dashboard.

Instagram

  • Optimal Dimensions: 640×640 pixels; also acceptable 612×612 pixels
  • File Type: JPEG, PNG, and GIF

NOTE: Instagram allows higher resolutions photos if they are taken with the Instagram App. Photos uploaded from another device will have a lower resolution.

Pinerest

  • Optimal dimensions: 736 pixels wide; also acceptable: 236 pixels wide.
  • Pinterest automatically scales the height for you based on the image width.
  • File Size: must not exceed 10MB
  • File Type: JPEG, PNG, and GIF

NOTE: To pin a video, you must first upload it to a video site such as YouTube or Vimeo.

LinkedIn

  • Optimal Dimension for shared images: 531×399; also acceptable: 400×400 pixels
  • For shared links: 180×110; also acceptable 165×101 pixels
  • File Size: must not exceed 100MB
  • File Type: JPEG, PNG, and GIF

NOTE: To prevent spam in the LinkedIn feed, you cannot repeatedly post the same shared content.

So, there you have it, image dimensions for most of the popular social media sites. If you want to increase your exposure, share a picture! But not just any picture, one that works best for the site. Use this ‘cheat sheet’ to make sure your image gets you noticed.

Instagram and Shopping: A Definite Correlation

According to new research, people on Instagram love to shop. This is very different from Facebook, where its users mainly use the platform to keep in touch with family and friends.

Iconosquare did a study this year, showing that of 16,000 users, 70 percent of them reported they have looked for a specific brand on the Instagram.

Of all the people following a brand, the recent study shows that 62 percent of them follow because of loyalty and love of the brand while 41 percent follow to capitalize on contests, promotions and giveaways.

Instagram-jpgAs a brand, liking your customers’ post is important. It gives them a sense of pride and a feeling of respect. The research showed that 65 percent of people on Instagram feel “flattered” when the brand likes one of their posts.

Because Instagram generates more engagement (3.31 percent of users engage compared to Twitter’s 0.07 percent according to Socialbakers reports), it is the perfect platform for generating sales while gaining more customers.

The Instagram user-base is much younger than that of Facebook and Twitter. Because the younger generation tends to be more social media savvy, this means it is used more and that causes the higher interactions with posts. For your brand, that can also mean you have those customers for quite a long time.

To further help your sales with Instagram, follow many hashtags that are being used surrounding your brand. Whether the posts are positive or negative, it can show you what you need to be doing and what you should keep doing to keep customers happy and increase revenue. It can also help you realize what promotions or giveaways you may want to consider.Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 9.16.54 AM

For example, if customers continue to show the need for your company calendar, but questions keep popping up on where to get them, you may want to do a calendar giveaway. This can be a good way of getting customers to share different content with your product while using a specific hashtag to get their calendar.

People on Instagram love to shop, it’s that easy. Be sure to give them content that will entertain them, but make them want to buy as well.

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!

Instagram for the Small Business

instagram-logoBusinesses are flocking to Instagram, but you may be wondering how exactly it can help your business.  We’ve got some more tips on how to use your images and videos to super charge your company’s presence on Instagram.

First, a major misconception about Instagram is that you have to sell something that is visually appealing.  However, selling unsexy products or being a service provider is NOT a reason to avoid Instagram.  Instead, it should be a reason for you to be creative.  The goal is to find valuable, compelling, or entertaining images to share with your audience.  If you are unable to show products, what should you put on Instagram?  The answer is “Your Culture!”

Photos of employees and their customized work areas always rank well on Instagram.  You can also post pictures of your company’s celebrations.  Things like holiday celebrations and company anniversaries show the human side of your business.  It also emphasizes your focus on employees.  If your company participates in any volunteer programs, you can share your involvement in the community with your followers.  By showing this side of your company, you make your business more attractive and instill trust in potential customers.

Now, some of you are thinking – we are a serious business.  We do not mean to distract from the serious work you do, but do not be afraid to use humor.  Everyone knows that running a business requires hard work, dedication, and sweat.  However, it should never be all work and no play.  Instagram is actually the perfect place to display the fun times in the shop or when you are out and about with coworkers.

Sharing your fun images with followers speaks volumes about you and your business.  It suggests that you must be a happy and successful business.  All work and no play will make your brand seem dull.  Integrate images that show your human side to create stronger connections with your followers.

Have you considered how Instagram can work with Facebook to leverage photo contests?  Your business can host a photo contest on Instagram using hashtags to organize submissions and an RSS feed to follow along as new photos are added.

Instagram has tips on hosting a photo campaign as well as other business ideas in their help section.  Go to “help – dot – Instagram – dot – com.  Then choose “Instagram Basics” and then “Instagram for Businesses.”

You may be aware that Facebook purchased Instagram in early 2012.  Since then, Instagram has doubled its user base.  Even more impressive is that the app now has more smartphone users than Twitter!  You can leverage that to help your business.  Together Instagram and Facebook offer some unique promotional opportunities, so take advantage of that.

gty_instagram_video_nt_130624_wgTo reach a wider audience, create an Instagram video and share it on your Facebook page.  Then boost the video into paid media that hits the Facebook news feed.  It’s what you would do to boost any text or photo post on Facebook.  This enables you to reach Facebook’s 818 million monthly active mobile users.  Basically, you are profiting from Instagram without having to advertise on Instagram.  It’s all about capturing and sharing the world’s moments—and paying to distribute them on the world’s largest social network.

Also, you should use industry-related hashtags.  If you are at an event or location that is designated by a hashtag – something like #autorama – be sure to add it to your photos so event coordinators and other attendees can find them.

You can track your hashtags with several services.  One fee-based service – Nitrogram – specifically tracks Instagram hashtags and provides key metrics on hashtags including contributors, content, engagement and context.

Widen your exposure by following related brands on Instagram.  Statigram is a free tool for finding brands and hashtags that relate to your brand.  Simply enter the brand name or hashtag into the search box and click Search.  As an example, we found 50 hashtags for “Autorama.” You can use Statigram to search for businesses and industry-related keywords.  Use this free tool to find, follow and research your competitors on Instagram.  Spend five minutes on the site and you’ll find at least one idea to help spread the word about your business.

Instagram can work wonders for your brand if you know how to use it, so take our advice and start posting today.

Choosing the Right Network for Your Business

Hand holding a Social Media 3d SphereWe spend quite a bit of time explaining what to do and what not to do when it comes to your social media strategy.  From what times to post, how to use certain networks and how to maximize your pages engagement, we like to cover our bases in social media.  We haven’t, however, really talked about choosing the social networks that best fit your business.  We strongly advise against joining every social network with your business because you will end up spreading yourself too thin. Instead, focus on the networks that are most active for your industry and will suit your business best. I’m going to break down each of the most popular networks by what they can do for you.

Facebook: The most popular social network across the board, so it would be very advantageous to have a page here if you already don’t.  Facebook offers the ability to post various multi-media like photos and videos with ease. Another perk is that Facebook has it’s own metrics built in for easy monitoring, not to mention you can schedule your posts in advance. Having an active presence on Facebook is essential for small and large businesses alike.

Twitter: Has a large population as well, but more for updates and news. If you are interested in branching out, Twitter can help you reach a less targeted audience than Facebook. This is also the birthplace of the hashtag, so utilize them if you are going to tweet.

Instagram: Very popular with millennials due to heavy visuals. Recently introduced 15 second video capability to much success. Great for businesses that have tangible products or services. Also uses hashtags to reach a broader audience.

LinkedIn: Professional networking site. Profiles of users are based around careers and exchanging information.  Establish yourself as an expert in your industry here by getting involved in groups.

google-plus-1Google+: Not as many active users as other sites but great for the technical crowd.  LOTS of SEO benefits by Google automatically indexing any content posted to Google+. The interface is similar to Facebook for multi-media postings, so be sure to link your website with lots of images.

Pinterest: Like Instagram, a good tool for brand exposure with visual elements of products, services, etc. Followers can repin your pins, so great for putting on contests. Can be used to drive traffic to your website.

Youtube: The second largest search engine after Google, Youtube is a powerful social networking tool using video. Showing off your work, doing a product demo, or highlighting customer testimonials all make for great video and are a worthwhile investment for your brand.

We’ve just scratched the surface of what social networks can do for you, so be sure to look for more in-depth breakdowns of social media marketing on our Youtube channel or here on our blog.  Good luck and happy networking!

Reasons Your Content Isn’t Working

Hand holding a Social Media 3d SphereSo you think you’ve tried everything with your social media marketing plan but you still can’t get your pages to take off? Well worry not.

Plenty of people have found their social media falling flat in the last year, mostly due to the many changes that effected the social media landscape.

Facebook and Google changed the way their algorithms work, Instagram added video and Twitter… is still Twitter. You are should be thinking about “farming” customers instead of “hunting” them. Even if you are creative and thoughtful with your content, there are still reasons why your current strategy might not work.

1. You Aren’t Being a Problem Solver

In this day and age anyone with a question immediately goes to the internet (read Google) for an answer. Blogs are a great way to solve peoples problems before they even know they had them.  That’s why list blogs are so popular, because they often walk people through their problem with step by step solutions. Problem solving shows your audience that you know what they want, thusly more engagement always surrounds posts of this type. Establish yourself as the go to source for answers by putting answers out there while you wait for the questions.

2. You Don’t Use Images

We cannot stress this point enough, but IMAGES increase ENGAGEMENT substantially.  Audiences would much rather read an article that has more pictures than words because it communicates faster.  Hardly anyone has the time to read a 2000 word blog post, but people will check out a 500 word post that has 20 pictures as examples.  People want to be visually stimulated, not sucked into a word jungle, so with everything you post, make sure the pictures are good and present.

3. Your Community Doesn’t Care Social-Media-Listening-Image-two

Is the content you are producing for your community or is it what you think it wants? Knowing who your audience is and what they care about is the cornerstone to any marketing strategy. If you are giving your audience what they want, your content should be successful.  Use the analytics tools that most social networks have to learn more about your target demographic and which of your posts gets the most engagement.  This should allow you to understand where your audience is coming from and where to give them what they want.  Remember, not all content is good for every channel.  If your community is most active on certain networks, save your best content for that without neglecting the other platforms you use.

Social media management is a full time job because content creation is no joke.

However, the best content in the world goes no where without a good strategy to reach your audience and deliver what they want. Always listen to your feedback and don’t forget the pictures.  Good luck!

 

Social Media Myths Busted

MythbustingIt’s now 2014 and social media is easily one of the most talked about topics in the last decade. Thousands of people are now “experts” on the subject and will offer you conflicting reports on what you should and shouldn’t do on social media channels.  What isn’t talked about much are the myths associated with social media use and how you can bust them.  Here are the most talked about myths in social media and how you can break them.

1) Social media marketing has no ROI

With so many users online, how could social media not increase your ROI if you are using the channels effectively? Reaching as many customers and potential new ones as possible with relevant information that will interest your audience will definitely bring in ROI. Make sure you are putting your best content out there for the benefit of the customer, not to make them buy something.

2) The More you Join the Better

The wonderful thing about social media is the number of choices and options to use for platforms.  Your instinct is to join as many of the different networks as possible to increase your visibility, but unless you have a lot of free time to keep these channels active, it’s best to stick to a few that you really understand. Pick the channels that are best suited for your content and focus on making them great.

3) You need more posts to be successful

Number of posts does not automatically equal success. In all actuality, there is a fine line between posting too little and too much.  Stick to relevant, quality posts every so often without spamming your customers or it will negatively impact your page.

4) Monitoring your social pages is not important

We cannot stress this enough. It is VERY important to monitor the growth and status of all the social channels that you manage. How can you tell what content is successful without checking on your metrics at least once a week? You can’t, which is why monitoring your content is so vital to the growth of your pages.

cash_cowright15) Social Media is a cash cow

The point of having social media pages for your business is to connect your with people, not to make direct sales or fundraise.  This simple concept escapes many businesses because they want to see direct results from their efforts.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work this way because it goes against the first tenant of social media, which is to be SOCIAL.  You should see an increase in indirect sales and customer satisfaction with your product if you are managing your pages correctly, but direct sales from social media will be rare.

Social media can be scary and daunting, but don’t get caught up in misinformation on how to best manage your pages.

If you keep it simple, monitor your content and listen to your audience it should be a breeze.