6 Instagram Marketing Tips for Businesses

instagram

Over the past couple of years, Instagram has become a power house in the realm of social media. With over 700 million monthly active users, the platform has become a great place to share content with your audience.

Whether your strategy needs an update or you’re a newcomer to this social media network, you can use these 6 tips to help your improve your Instagram marketing. 

1. Your profile is key

As a company, don’t get too caught up in fitting all of what you do in 150 characters. Focus on your most important description or your next big thing – be it an event, promotion or product launch. Since the only clickable link is in your Bio section, make a habit of updating it frequently. Think about promoting more than your website. You can include the link to event registrations, app downloads or even purchases links.

2. Get Creative

Focus on the solution you provide to your audience, not the products you sell. On Instagram, it’s necessary to show value to your customers and look great while you do it. Never underestimate the fact that the most important asset on this social media network is visual content.

3. Stop, collaborate and listen

Instagram is one of the strongest social media channels for highlighting collaborators and sharing customer success stories. Take into account that not everyone is monitoring hashtags on social media, so tagging an account is usually a better choice if you want to get noticed.

4. Analyze your Instagram ventures

Without taking a step back and analyzing what worked and didn’t, marketing becomes a guessing game. Make sure to regularly measure your follower count, engagement, and clicks, all to refine and improve your strategy.

5. Show them the business behind the curtain

Customers have a natural curiosity about where their products/services come from, and you can use Instagram to show them the whole lifecycle.

If nothing comes to mind, you can share something that everyone has – sketches, notes, and filled whiteboards or blackboards. You may find that it’s best to try out different post types until you strike gold with the one that will engage the audience.

6. Use hashtags wisely

Use hashtags to expand your reach. These can be campaign specific or general – all that’s important is that they are relevant. This makes it easier for people to find content related to you as well as your main account. It’s best practice to use between three to five hashtags and consider how you add hashtags. Whether they’re added at the end of the post, in a comment or in the actual post.

Have any more questions about Instagram marketing or about any other social media? Contact us here!

Twitter Best Practices for Local Businesses

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As a little fish in the big pond of industry, it’s important to strategize and market yourself correctly to help your business stay afloat. Fully understanding how to communicate on Twitter is essential to fully utilize it.

Consistency is Key

Setting up a social strategy, and posting consistently is one of the best practices you can do as a business.

Twitter is about short, frequent, click-worthy or read-worthy updates.

Use Images and Videos

Visual content is king. Adding images and videos to your tweets will lead to big increases in your engagement and retweets.

#Hashtag Sparingly

Be careful with how many hashtags you insert into your tweets.

Using too many hashtags will make your tweets hard to read. Though, adding a couple will help increase the scope of your tweet and engagement.

Keep Conversations Going

It’s important to keep conversations open with your audience. Make sure to stay on top of comments, mentions or replies.

If you show that you are responsive, people will be more likely to engage with you in the future.

Promotions

As a local business, you can use Twitter to promote special promotions, deals and or coupons to your followers and audience.

There are a lot of different strategies to use for promoting deals or coupons on Twitter.

You can use it promote the daily drink special or highlight a coupon you’re running that week on pest control.

Each industry and business will use this tip in a different way.

Cross-marketing

For smaller business especially, it’s important to promote your Twitter profiles on your other social channels.

This will not only help you boost the visibility of your profile but can lead to more engagement from your audience.

Have any question about marketing on Twitter or any other Social Media? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

3 Insights to Improve Your Social Media Marketing

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In today’s market, you can’t go to any marketing blog without them telling you the importance of having social media, and using it for marketing. How do you get the most from your social media? Sure, it’s great to have it, but you’ll lose money if you’re not using it correctly.

Today we’re talking about 3 main insights on how to use social correctly.

Visual Content is Key

One major point of your social focus should be in visual content.

As humans, we are much better at remembering pictures than words. When you post a text-heavy post, your customers will only remember 10% after a couple days. But if you add in a picture, they’ll remember 65%. Your posts will have much more impact if you included a relevant image or graphic with it.

Keep it Consistent

As with most things, consistency is key with social media marketing. Having a consistent and quality strategy will keep your current customers more engaged, and help you attain new followers, leads and customers through your social media pages. People will be less likely to follow your page if you go weeks without updates, and then bombard your audience with updates. If you infrequently post on your page, it’s shown that people will likely lose enthusiasm for your page, and could even unlike it. This is the same effect that posting too frequently could have.

Strategy and Analysis

One of the most important tasks to do on your social media is to always have a strategy, set goals and analyze your pages to see if you’ve hit those goals. One the best things about developing a strategy are that it gives you direction. It’ll help you define your goals and objectives you want to achieve using your social presence.

You should set SMART goals in your strategy. These are goals that are:  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based. Setting goals will help you intelligently use your social media to its full potential.

If you’d like more insights or need help developing a strategy for your social media, don’t hesitate to contact us.

3 Common Myths About Social Media Marketing

social media marketing

If we look back 20 or 30 years ago, marketing was pretty simplistic. One would mail out millions of flyers, design an eye-catching billboard, and develop a memorable television advertisement. Today, your customers have moved to the digital world. Unfortunately, many companies try to apply old-school marketing techniques to social media. The results are marketing campaigns that fall far short of expectation.

Much of what companies believe about social media is just plain wrong. There are many misconceptions about how marketing can drive sales. However, these are myths that even some marketers have held onto. This is because marketing is an ever-changing landscape, and staying up to date is extremely difficult. Nonetheless, we are here to tackle some of the most common myths about it.

Common Myths About Social Media Marketing

1. My customers don’t use it

This is unlikely. Statista, a leading statistics company, reports that 72 percent of all U.S. internet users are on Facebook. Moreover, Facebook users share 684,478 pieces of content every minute. This doesn’t even touch Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Tumblr, and a whole host of other platforms.

2. If a post doesn’t go viral, it is a waste of time and money.

Untrue. Going viral tends to be the exception, not the rule. Social media is about the long game. Therefore, not everything is going to be a home run. Social media marketing is about growing your audience and building relationships. The question you should always ask yourself is, “Would I share this on my personal social media account?”

3. It’s only for attracting new customers.

Wrong. Finally, social media is also about nurturing customer relationships and building brand loyalty. Actually, One study found that 74 percent of customers providing feedback expect a response within 30 to 60 minutes. Therefore, your customers need to know the conversation is not one-sided.

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk more about the common myths about social media marketing, or need more information, please contact us.

Social Media Management by Killer Spots Creates Time

Social Media Like

What does your social media audience want? How do you get them to tell you what they want? These used to be hard questions for businesses to get reliable real-time answers to. That just isn’t the case anymore. In fact, they will tell you more than you ever wanted to know if you let them. Too Much Information or TMI is a thing, after all. Today the question is how do you get the information you want and skip the pictures of what they burned for dinner last night? The answer is social media management.

Social Media Management

It is about what you share and how they respond. Whether they are your friends, your customers. Or hopefully both, they need to see your best face. If they are going to buy your products or believe the things you tell them. Therefore, they need to see you have standards and that you aim for reliability and good business practices.

They also need to know you care. That means reading their comments and responding to their posts appropriately, even the negative ones. If you are running a business or have your own content to produce this can take a chunk of time from your day you may not have to give, as much as we all want to hang out on social media hitting the like button for new ideas and defending our own positions from the occasional troll.

Social media management can take the reins of your online presence while you get some work done, building relationships with your customers and your industry as a whole. The people at Killer Spots have the time and the technical prowess to handle all of that for you, and to improve your position on top of that. Contact Killer Spots to learn more about social media management.

Design for the Non-Graphic Designer

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Social Media is all about the images. No one has time to stop and read about your day or what’s hot and exciting in the world. They just want to see it. So how can you keep up if you aren’t a graphic designer and can’t afford to hire one? Here’s our list of 5 simple and easy-to-learn online programs that you can use to create stunning graphics without the need for an art degree. Don’t worry, Adobe won’t be involved in this relationship so you can put away your wallet.

#1. PicMonkey

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PicMonkey is photo-editing made easy. But they’ve also added features for design and touch-up as well. Their site is primarily free to use with a minimal upgrade fee for certain “Royale” features. With PicMonkey you can crop, add effects, touch up, add text, make collages or even add fun shapes, stickers and themed details to your photos. If you don’t have a photo you want to start from, no worries. Just click the “Design” button on the homepage and create something totally from scratch.

Everything is very easy to find and set up to be completely user-friendly. But you will want to play around with it a bit at first, just to get used to all the features. This site is great for editing your photos before posting them to social media. Or adding a quick block of text to a flyer. Creating a great graphic for your next blog post.

#2 Pixabay

pixabay

Perhaps you’re thinking…. but I don’t have any photos that I need to edit. I just need to access free, non-copyright photos to use for my business. Pixabay is perfect for just that. They have a staggering collection of over 420,000 quality images that won’t come back to bite you in the legal ass.  

They of course also have the option of upgrading to some paid royalty-free photos. But almost always you can find what you’re looking for without needing to do that. They rely heavily on donations so after downloading multiple quality images; you might feel inclined to “buy them coffee”—but it’s never required.

#3 Canva

canva

Canva is a newer platform that was beautifully designed to create stunning graphics with minimal effort. They have hundreds of “templates” organized into various categories such as, “Social Media, Documents, Marketing Materials, Email Headers, Blogging and Books” and more. Each template is sized properly for the platform is was created so no worrying about sizing issues. There are usually about 3 free templates per category that you can use or pay an upgrade fee to use all the features.

Canva is similar to PicMonkey in that they have many of the same editing features but Canva’s templates are a time-saver for sure and also highly beneficial if you aren’t “layout-inclined”. You can also save your pieces publicly or privately if you choose. Publicly allows you to share your work with others in the community and also see what else is being created. It’s a great place for inspiration, or just to ask questions if you aren’t sure how to improve your work.

#4 Dropbox

dropbox

While Dropbox might not seem like a graphically-inclined site to choose, it’s actually invaluable if you take a great deal of photos using your phone or want to quickly exchange graphics between desktop and mobile. The app and desktop icon interact with each other. So if you set your photos taken on mobile to auto-upload to Dropbox, the next time you open your desktop, they’ll all be there—ready to use.

The same applies for editing. If you use one of the great platforms listed above to say, create a stunning graphic for your next Instagram post, the only way to upload it to Instagram is on your mobile device. No problem! Just save that graphic to Dropbox, and it will also be on your phone. Then you can easily open it, save it to your phone, and share to your heart’s content. Plus Dropbox gives you 2GB for free. If you find you need more than that, upgrading to 1TB of space will cost you just $9.99/mo. Incredibly simple, not to mention a great back up system in case you deleted something from your phone or desktop you weren’t quite finished with. And you can access all your photos/files anywhere you are.

#5 Afterlight

After-Light

What if you just want an amazing app for mobile use for those on-the-fly times when you can’t sit down at your desktop and create the perfect image and take lots of time doing it? Afterlight is the app for just that! It has 74 of the most beautiful filters. 78 natural textures and 128 frames for you to create just the right look.

It’s awesome if you hate the “perfect square” shape of Instagram photos and want to add more character to those images. Afterlight is very easy to use and once you’ve created the perfect look— sharing is simple with the “save & share ” feature. Here are some shots edited with Afterlight.

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Contact Killerspots Creative Team for any design needs you may have. http://killerspots.com/

Facebook Canvas Is Changing How We Do Advertising

Facebook Canvas advertising is no joke. I sincerely and somewhat aggressively recommend to all of my clients. That they use some form of their service as part of their marketing strategy because it’s game is THAT strong. And how could it not be? With approximately 1.5 billion monthly active users that spend 20+ minutes a day using the platform (DMR); it’s definitely an open audience that cannot be ignored.

But how best to reach that audience if everyone else is using the same ad service? Well first of all, it’s ALWAYS important to utilize Facebook’s very comprehensive audience targeting options. Pinpoint your exact customer, as specifically as possible. And then not only are sales more likely, but you’ll be presenting yourself right to them. Without competition from other less specific ads.

It’s obviously still also very important to make sure that your ad graphic (whether it be a static image or a short video) is engaging and interesting. This just means whatever form of image plus copy you use; should be well branded but also something you yourself would want to know more about.

Once you are running consistent engaging Facebook ads, you’re already going to see awesome results in your page engagement and also your product sales. But what’s next?

Facebook Canvas

Canvas 2
Image Credit: https://canvas.facebook.com/

Enter Canvas.

Facebook’s all new mobile ad unit that now takes your ad from a sponsored post pushing to an external site to a totally Facebook-hosted full page experience where you can scroll and explore all original content. Facebook Canvas is designed to be a way to break through all other ads, telling a fuller story of your brand, through an interactive fresh environment.

When using Canvas, customers will click on the ad, and then see a “fast-loading, full-screen experience where they can browse through a variety of products, before going to the retailer’s website to purchase”. The pro to this type of ad is that the customer doesn’t have to worry about waiting for a website to load. Having a mobile experience that isn’t optimized and having everything they want in a shopping experience using only one app on their phone.

Canvas 1

So how do you start using Facebook Canvas NOW?

Well, you join the waitlist. That’s right. Anything worth wanting always involves a waitlist right? But something tells this Marketing Director, this one is worth waiting for.

Contact Killerspots Creative Team for any media/marketing needs you may have. http://killerspots.com

Tips for Fascinating an overstimulated media market [part ii]

Person reading Digital Marketing book.
To read the first half of this post please visit here.

[TIP THREE]

A third tip to gain the attention of the social user is to understand the difference between personal online content and business content. I know I just mentioned that you need to post more than just information about your business. and you absolutely do. But say you are a health care facility and you want to share a post about migraine headaches. An inappropriate business page post would be a meme or GIF. With poorly composed graphics about the “horror of migraine headaches”. Sure it might be funny, but it doesn’t look professional. And is best saved for sharing on a personal account.

A more appropriate post for this topic would be an infographic detailing the signs and symptoms of a migraine headache. And a CTA (call-to-action) on how to find relief in your care facility. This type of content post is also appropriate because it not only gives the follower something useful in what to look for with their migraines. But also a way to solve their issue and that benefits you as a business. If they choose to share this content, that CTA will bring their friends or others in their circle back to your business as well. Which has just brought you new followers and in turn customers.

[TIP FOUR]

The next tip is simple and yet challenging. Keep your posts short and non-generic. It is recommended that Social Media posts stay around 80 characters or less for up to 66% more engagement. And being that engagement is what you are looking for, this is important to follow. However, just 80 characters is tough. As it is 60 characters less than the 140 you are restricted to already on Twitter posts. If you are able to succeed though, you will be posting your very BEST content. Because you will have thought it through enough to figure out how to get to those 80 characters in the first place.

And of course this doesn’t include your graphic– that you are absolutely posting along with those characters; as we know are necessary for grabbing attention of users today as well. And with a great graphic, you won’t need a great deal of words.

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[TIP FIVE]

The final tip for gaining attention in a busy world is to not overextend yourself as a business owner. Whether you are a public speaker and one-man show or a corporation with hundreds of employees (or most likely someone in between), know when best to hire outside help and leave the online media marketing to the pros. Your business will do best if you aren’t overextending yourself trying to wear too many hats at once. Social Media is happening 24/7 and is most definitely a full time job when done effectively. As an owner, you already don’t have time for that.

But it’s also something you cannot afford to ignore as in this present society it is now the bulk of your marketing without the cost. Using Facebook is free, so spend some money to make sure it’s done right, and save yourself the added stress. If you need help with Social Media Strategy or Management please don’t hesitate to check out what we offer here at Killerspots.

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Contact Killerspots Creative Team for any media/marketing needs you may have. http://killerspots.com

Fascinating an Overstimulated Media Market [part I]

media
[AS FEATURED in ULTIMATE MAGAZINE]

Have you had this experience? Search for an answer on Google, click on a webpage and before you can even complete reading a sentence of information; you are bombarded with an ad or a window to “sign up now”. You haven’t even decided how you feel about this information, page, media or site and already are being told what to do. It’s threatening almost.

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The same used to be true for television. Sit down to relax after a long day and within the first three minutes of your selected entertainment, you now find yourself being told exactly how to spend all your hard-earned cash. Except now we have the option to fast-forward through those advertisements. Or bypass them entirely with paid services such as Netflix.

Introduce: mobile device. According to the digital analytics firm Flurry, people spend two hours and fifty-seven minutes per day on average on their mobile devices. Which is ahead of time spent watching television. Obviously, businesses, marketers and advertising agencies cannot ignore that statistic. They must find a way to reach those customers. Enter in, Social Media.

Social Media

Social Media began as something teens were doing in AOL chat rooms. With friends, in their basements as yet another venue to box their parents out of “what was cool”.  It was the texting of this generation.  But then in February of 2004, Mark Zuckerberg took online networking to a whole new approach. What if people could connect together to build a networked community? Share their thoughts, feelings, updates, photos and even opinions beyond just one-on-one. But within an entire network of friends/family. The possibilities were endless. And now in 2015, as the social networking platforms have expanded, that online community is something a business cannot be without in order to succeed.

Social Media Icon

The question becomes, how do we gain the attention of that audience? In the near three hour window of time they are spending in Social Media communities. How do we sell to them? These five tips will change the way your business interacts socially. While also giving you that rare moment of attentiveness from your customer.

[TIP ONE]

You do not need to use every social platform available. You might feel being on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Pinterest is best in order to reach every possible audience. In actuality what ends up happening is that you spread yourself thin trying to keep up. on each of these vastly different platforms that you aren’t posting quality content to. The audiences that do engage and therefore missing opportunities for your business.

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It’s best practice to figure out your customer base. (who they are, where they shop, what they do and what are their needs). And then pick 2-3 social platforms that best suit that customer. You do not want to start a Pinterest page as a law firm because posting the best recipes for crockpot cooking isn’t going to bring you closer to your target customer. You are going to want a Twitter account so you can talk about the latest updates to the law and interesting articles regarding the type of cases you take on.

[TIP TWO]

Along with that idea, the next tip is to focus on which platforms people are using regularly. Posting your very best content on those platforms. In 2014, there were a reported 1.28 billion users on Facebook with those users on average spending 21 minutes per day on the site (Digital Marketing Statistics). That number is five times higher than the number of active users on Twitter; which is still remarkably high at 232 million.

What this means is that businesses are no longer in a place to ignore the use of Social Media if they want to gain any kind of attention from their customers. However, you also cannot just create a Facebook page, fill it with ads and posts about your business and expect users to follow excitedly. You must build a community online. Engage with your fan base. Give them content they are excited to read and comment on and then occasionally remind them about your latest and greatest products and/or services.

—Continued in the next post! 

Contact Killerspots Creative Team for any media/marketing needs you may have. http://killerspots.com/

Facebook has done it again. What the heck is a Beacon?

Recently I was looking over notifications for one of the Facebook pages I manage when I stumbled into this message alert atop the page about a beacon:

special invitation
Figure 1 Screenshot of beacon invitation

Facebook is certainly one for new innovations that usually aren’t introduced. But rather implemented. Therefore, I was less than shocked to see yet another “Facebook update” that I hadn’t heard of. Even working day-to-day in the Marketing and Social Media world doesn’t necessarily grant you awareness of current trends. But being that I like to have know-how of such events. I thought I’d investigate these new Facebook “beacons” and find out if indeed this was a special invitation.

Basically what I’ve found is such:

facebook beacon
Figure 2 Photo c/o Facebook Help Pages

A Beacon is a Bluetooth device.

Facebook plans to send these devices to businesses with great activity on Facebook within their local area for early access trial runs.

The beacon will interact with your customers’ Facebook apps while visiting your business. To let them know inside “tips” about your business. These tips are based off of comments your friends have made on Facebook, reviews of the business, photos that have been posted and more of that liking.

Beacon
Figure 3 Screenshot explaining the beacon further

According to an article posted in Facebook’s Help Center: “Your location is determined using cellular networks, Wi-Fi, GPS and Facebook Bluetooth® beacons. Viewing place tips doesn’t post on Facebook or show people where you are.”

When I clicked “Get Free Beacon” I was taken to a form to fill out name, address and business name. There’s also an option to send the device to a different address. Than that of the business page you were on. If you are like me and managing a page for another company.

Is this the future?

So far as I see it, this new addition to Facebook technology could either be a fantastic advantage for businesses and their customers. Or it could be taken as yet another creepy invasion of technology that we now need to block in our privacy settings. As a Social Media Maven and voice for many businesses soon to receive these beacons. I’m obviously pushing for the former to be true.

At this time we have not yet received the device or put it into action so only time will tell how people react. We will update once we have more information for you and try these little Bluetooth gems for ourselves.

Have you heard about Beacons? Were you invited to use one? What are your thoughts on this technology and Facebook introducing it to their platform?