Social Media Marketing: Instagram Beginner Tips

Social Media Marketing - Instagram

With over 300 million active users, Instagram is a social media service that deserves the attention of any online business owner. It’s especially of interest for online marketers, as Instagram just announced that they would open their service to all advertisers, as well as start experimenting with a “Shop Now” button build right into the native Instagram app.

The simplest way to understand any social media service is to simply dig in and start using it. By spending time in the online community, you’ll naturally pick up on trends and themes. But new services can also be intimidating, so below are some beginner tips to help you on your way to building a large, engaged user base for your brand.

Post a Lot (At Least Once/Day, But Hopefully More)

Instagram is one of the only social media services that does not use an algorithm to cull the posts that are shared. That means every image you post is guaranteed to show up in the feeds of all your followers. Since there is no fall-off in engagement for posting more, as long as you can keep the quality of posts high, there is no reason not to post often.

Research has shown that the average Instagram account posts once per day, but that users with the most followers post 2-3 times per day.

Hashtags Are Powerful

Instagram allows users to include 30 hashtags per post, and a study by TrackMaven showed that including 11 hashtags per post resulted in the highest user engagement. This may seem like overkill, but Instagram users are apparently more resilient than Twitter users, who can easily be put-off by users who post with too many hashtags.

Follow + Like

One of the most effective ways of getting people to follow your brand is to follow people in your target demo and like their photos. You can search hashtags related to you brand to find likeminded users who are likely to be interested in your posts. Once you find them, follow their account and like a few of their pictures that resonate with your brand.  (This method from The Hacker’s Guide to User Acquisition saw a follow-back rate of 25%!)

Links Are Tricky

One peculiar feature of Instagram is that links included in photo descriptions and comments are not clickable. It’s not worth adding them there, as even if a user tries to click on it, nothing will happen. The mobile app doesn’t even let users highlight and copy the link to paste into a browser URL bar!

Since you are allowed to list a single URL in your profile, it has become common practice for users to frequently update the bio URL to match their latest picture and post “link in bio”. If you are running an ecommerce store, the recently announced “Shop Now” button will hopefully reduce some of the annoyance of this intended functionality soon.

Building a Social Media Strategy

These are just a few tips to help you get started. We would be happy to help you build an effective social media strategy that gives your business a competitive advantage. Contact us today for a free consultation.

 

 

This post is based on an article by asdf — 10 Tactics to Grow Followers and Engagement on Instagram

Social Media Marketing Tips: Periscope and Live Streaming

Social Media Marketing with PeriscopeIf you pay attention to the tech world at all, you may have heard that Twitter recently acquired social media startup, Periscope. Periscope is a mobile app that lets you live stream video from your mobile device to your followers. Meerkat is a similar app that is also allows you to live stream video from your mobile device.

Like Facebook acquiring Instagram, Twitter acquiring Periscope should make you sit up and pay attention!

How Does It Work?

First you will need to download the Periscope app for iOS or Android. Once you sign up, you can either start live streaming yourself, or you can search for live streams currently broadcasting from around the world. People who are watching are able to comment and interact with the broadcaster, who usually answers questions as they appear in real-time.

Periscope links with your Twitter account, and will post there any time you begin a broadcast. This means that all your Twitter followers can watch your broadcasts, even if they don’t have the Periscope app.

Why Should I Bother Using Periscope?

Live streaming is another way to interact with your audience, build your brand, and tell the story of who you are and what your company does. Just like you can use Twitter to share thoughts and links relevant to your business, you can use Periscope to share experiences relevant to your business.

Unlike YouTube, you don’t need to worry about production costs or making your live stream look slick. Every user is capturing video with their mobile device, and the raw nature of live video is part of the appeal. The bar is extremely low to get started, all you need are a few ideas to get started…

Some Broadcast Suggestions

Q+A Session

This is an incredibly easy way to get started. You can answer commonly asked questions about your product, or you can take questions from your audience that pertain to your area of expertise. Keep in mind that these broadcasts don’t need to be long. A 5-10 minute Q+A session is fine! What’s important is that you engage with the audience, and keep it personal. This is a chance for the audience to get to know you, and this will build trust in your brand as well.

Behind-the-Scenes

Give your customers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Maybe you can show them a bit of the manufacturing process of a product. Or you can show them what it’s like a convention you are attending. What’s routine for you may be interesting to your audience who aren’t familiar with your what goes on at your business. Find something novel to show and pull back the curtain a little!

Showcase a Product

If you run an online store or manufacture a product, do a broadcast showing your product. You can unbox it, and show your audience everything that comes with it. You can also do some demonstrations of the product. Remember, live streaming is a personal way of broadcasting. Resist the urge to sound like a salesman, and present the product the way you would to a friend.

Get Started!

Now that I’ve explained the basics, go download the app and give it a try! Periscope is still a relatively new platform, so by being an early adopter your can learn the ropes and build an established presence before your competitors even sign up!

 

This post is based on an article by Corey Ferreira — How To Use Periscope To Grow Your Ecommerce Business

Online Marketing: 4 Keys to a Better LinkedIn Company Page

Online marketing tips for using LinkedIn to create an effective Company Page. From PMI, serving Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, Bethlehem, York, Lebanon, Pennsylvania and beyond with services to develop your online marketing strategy.According to LinkedIn, more than 3 million companies have created Company Pages to connect with 225+ million professionals.  A Company Page helps LinkedIn members learn about your business, brand, products and services, and job opportunities.  Any LinkedIn member can follow a Company Page and research shows that 50% of LinkedIn members are more likely to purchase from companies when they engage with them on LinkedIn.  Plus, LinkedIn pages often perform well in company searches, thereby improving your search engine rankings, making your LinkedIn company page worthy of a role in your online marketing efforts.

See the SlideShare presentation below for some great LinkedIn company pages to inspire your efforts. You can click on the pages to see them live.

4 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Company page

An effective Company Page doesn’t just happen – it takes strategy and time.  Here are 4 tips to maximize the effectiveness of your Company Page.

#1. Tell Your Audience What You Do Best and Give Them a Reason to Follow You

  • LinkedIn offers a “products and services page” – Use it!  Marketers who build up that page tend to attract twice as many company followers.
  • Include links to your white pages, case studies, videos, and how-to content.

#2. Do Your Homework – Take Advantage of Built-In Features

  • Edit your description so that it leads with powerful, keyword-rich sentences to make it more SEO-friendly.
  • Don’t forget your company contact information, descriptions of your offerings, and your areas of expertise.
  • Encourage your customers to write a recommendation for your product and/or service on your LinkedIn Company Page.

#3. Engage your audience

  • Encouraging a two-way conversation will help convert your audience into customers.
  • Post updates about your company – news, events, new employees and products, awards and honors, etc.
  • Keep your content short and start with the most important information first. This is how journalists write.
  • Include a picture, chart, or link whenever possible.
  • Ask questions to engage your audience.
  • Communicate with the voice and brand of your company.
  • The easiest way to turn off your followers is to give them the hard-sell.  This is a big no-no.  Instead, foster an informative dialogue regularly to keep your company at the top of prospects’ minds.
  • LinkedIn’s targeted updates allow you to tailor your message to your audience.
  • Encourage your audience to engage by liking, sharing and commenting on your posts.Engage your colleagues – Employees are 70% more likely to engage with your company updates.Use a multi-channel approach – Include a link to your LinkedIn Company Page everywhere, such as your email signature,   and include a follow button on your website.

#4. Analyze & Improve

The “page insights” and “analytics” on your Company Page are awesome tools that can help you focus and refine your LinkedIn strategy.

  • Page Insights show page views and unique visitors and page clicks over the last 7 days. It also displays charts showing data on page views by tab, Products and Services page clicks, and more.
  • Analytics: Use LinkedIn Analytics to leverage metrics and to reveal trends about your company page.
  • Monitor your Engagement %.  Noting which updates have higher engagement rates will help you understand what topics or types of posts engage your audience the most, allowing you to optimize future content.
  • Review your demographics. This tool provides a snapshot of your followers and allows you to tailor your content.
  • Know how you Compare. Knowing how your page compares with your competitors’ page can help refine your LinkedIn strategy.

If you want to keep your customers and prospects informed and keep your company name top of mind, an effective LinkedIn Company Page is a great tool.

Need help developing a better online strategy for your business? Contact PMI today to arrange a free initial consultation.

This post is based on an article by Jason Miller – 5 LinkedIn Company Page Tips to Enhance Your Marketing.

3 Video Marketing Measurements to Sharpen Your Strategy

3 video marketing measurements to boost your social media marketing strategy. From PMI, serving Reading PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown and beyond with marketing services to grow your business.Video marketing is becoming a key component of a smart social media marketing strategy – with good reason.  Between 2011 and 2012 video consumption increased by 38% – wow!  Forrester Research determined that the chance of getting a page one listing on Google increases 53 times with a video. That fact alone should inspire any online marketer make video marketing a real priority.

As with any type of marketing, it’s important to measure your results so as to get the most out of your campaign and to discover what works best. Typical measurements for a video campaign include the number of views, the number of thumbs up (or thumbs down) a video gets, and how many times a video is shared.  But are these the most useful metrics?

If you’re really interested in using video marketing to grow your business, there are three additional metrics to monitor: re-watches, engagement rate, and play rate.

Re-watches: The number of times a person re-watches part or all of your video

You can use this information to find your “hottest” leads.  This information can help you nurture leads with more highly targeted email lists and help you determine which potential customers a salesperson should call on first.

The number of video re-watches also provides valuable information about a customer that can be leveraged prior to a sales call.  By measuring which section(s) of the video a potential customer re-watched the most, you can determine what they found most interesting or relevant, and then adjust your sales presentation to address the specific pain points, features, or objections likely to be most important to that customer.

Engagement Rate – The percentage of the video watched.

This tells you how interested someone is in your company or message and how compelling your video is. Again, you can use this information to determine which leads are most interested and therefore most likely to buy, allowing you to focus on warmer leads.  An average video engagement rate can determine whether a particular video is holding the viewer’s attention or not, thereby allowing you to create more engaging and profitable videos in the future.

Play Rate – the percentage of people who play your video vs. land on your video link page

This measurement helps you determine if your title, thumbnail image, and description are enticing enough to get people to actually hit play.  The play rate can also help you determine which topics are most appealing to your audience.

Do You Have the Tools Needed to Properly Monitor Your Video Metrics?

Watching the right metrics from your video marketing campaign is the best way to keep your customers engaged, your marketing and sales teams successful, and your company growing. HubSpot’s online marketing technology provides an excellent system for monitoring and analyzing all your online metrics.

3 video marketing measurements to boost your social media marketing strategy. From PMI, serving Reading PA, Philadelphia, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Allentown and beyond with marketing services to grow your business.If you’d like help in developing a smart online or social media strategy complete with robust tracking and monitoring, then please contact us.

This post is based on an article by Kristen Craft – Get Beyond Views: 3 Metrics That’ll Help You Prove Video ROI. http://blog.hubspot.com/video-marketing-metrics-wistia-integration-hspr

 


Facebook Marketing: 5 Ways to use Facebook’s Embedding Tool

How to use Facebook's embed tool to improve your social media marketing resultsFacebook has a great new feature that allows you to embed posts from most Facebook pages or profiles onto your website or blog.  It can be a great tool for your social media marketing strategy, and it’s very simple to use. 

Here are five ways you can use this new feature to boost your social media marketing strategy:

1.      Demonstrate Social Proof

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that has been used by marketers for many years. Facebook’s new feature allows you to demonstrate social proof on your website/blog by embedding positive posts made on your Facebook page onto your website/ blog.

2.      Quote Reference Sources

Create interactive material on your website/blog by sharing posts with interesting statistics or quotes onto your website/blog.  You can also use this opportunity to share your post with the person quoted.  Once your post goes live, share the link with the person you quoted, letting him or her know that you shared the post.

3.      Extend the Reach of your Social Media

If you have a video you would like to post, consider posting it on your Facebook page first; then sharing the embedded post with the video on your website.  This way, people can either like it from the embedded post or through your Facebook post.

4.      Boost Social Media Engagement

Consider embedding your discussion post within your blog content for more exposure.  This added exposure will most likely get more discussion on your Facebook post, which can be a great way to boost your EdgeRank on Facebook AND turn your website visitors and blog readers into engaged members of your page.

5.      Show off your Best Facebook Content

Many bloggers like to show off their best content by adding posts such as “Best Posts of 2013.”  Why not highlight your most popular Facebook posts as well?  Create a post with your best Facebook content to show your website visitors and blog readers how engaging your Facebook page is, which could lead to more likes and more engaged Facebook fans. 

The mechanics of Facebook Embedded Posts

To embed a Facebook post onto your website or blog, simply click on the drop-down arrow at the top right corner of the post.  Click on “Embed Post.”  A box will popup showing how the post will appear, along with the code to use.  Copy this code and paste it where you want it on your website or blog.

A few things to keep in mind when embedding Facebook posts:

  • The privacy settings used by the person who created the post will determine whether or not you can embed that post.
  •  You cannot embed public posts from within groups or comments on a Facebook post.
  •  Any embedded post from a Facebook page includes a Like button, so embedding posts onto your website or blog could help boost your number of fans.
  • If you use embedded posts from someone else’s profile or page, your website visitors and blog readers could click through to them.

This article is based on a post by Kristi Hines entitled 6 Creative Ways to Use Embedded Facebook Posts.  http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/embedded-facebook-posts/#more-46266