Should You Become an Instabusiness?

As Instagram continues to grow in size and importance (especially among younger generations), it’s getting harder and harder to ignore it as a marketing tool for your business. Like most other social media platforms, Instagram offers a business account option with additional features that help you create ads and monitor the metrics of who is following you and liking your posts. It may be intimidating at first, especially for small businesses and those that don’t feel they don’t belong to a particularly photogenic industry, but it’s worth it to increase your bands visibility, customer base, and community.

Should You Become an Instabusiness?

Here are some tips and best practices to make Instagram work for you:

First, you need to set up a profile, which is remarkably easy with Instagram. Make sure your user name matches that of your other social network platforms, and for your real name just use your company name. Also included in your public profile is your business’s website (a simple URL) and a 150-word bio. Keep the bio short and sweet, with a bit of pep. Include any hashtags that you plan on following and/or using a lot.

Don’t worry if your photographic skills are lacking, to get started, you don’t need anything more sophisticated than your smartphone. Some ways to make you account stand out? Try to keep a cohesive look, sticking to the same colour palette or filter for most (if not all) of your images will give your feed a distinct and easily identifiable look.

For businesses, such as restaurants or hair salons, it’s easy to find appropriate images that reflect what you offer and why people should become followers and customers. But what if your product is less visual (like, say, a marketing firm)? A good strategy is to post “lifestyle” type photos, showing what it’s like to work there, community involvement that your business may be engaged in, or even interests/hobbies that your employees share that are appealing and visual (like gardening, baking, or puppies). The last two options are especially important (and useful for all Instagram users) because they help you connect with others by liking and following similar posts to your own, which can increase your exposure.

Connect with influencers in your industry. These don’t have to be celebrities or even have massive followings; the most important factor is that they are highly trusted by the followers that they do have, this means that if you can get them to engage with you and promote your product or brand, you will have the seal of approval from someone who is respected in the community that you want to belong and sell to.

Like Twitter, Instagram utilizes hashtags to make posts searchable so it’s important to include them in your caption (and it’s important to have a caption that is engaging). There are essentially two options you can use for the best results: either using very broad and popular hashtags (like #tbt or #MotivationMonday) that are more likely to be searched by lots of people; or you can use hashtags that are more specific, and hope to attract a smaller, but more committed or involved following. Unlike Twitter, since you don’t have the same character limitations, you can use up to 30 hashtags, just be careful not to oversaturate your caption and make it difficult or boring to read.

Six Plugins That Every WordPress Website Should Have

Having the right plugins on your website can ensure it is optimized for a better user experience while increasing its functionality.

Six Plugins That Every WordPress Website Should Have

So, what exactly is a plugin? A plugin is a piece of software that acts as an add-on to a web browser, giving it additional functionality. A plugin also allows your web browser to display content it was not originally designed to display.  When you start to work with WordPress, you will learn there are hundreds of thousands of plugins.  It can be a process to figure out which ones are the best fit for your site. Some work very well, while others may not play well with your theme.

We have put together a list of tried and true basic plugins that will work with almost every theme while increasing the functionality of your site.

Yoast

Yoast SEO is one of the most popular plugins to help optimize your website. We like it because it gives the author a list of checks and balances to follow when creating content.  The plugin itself doesn’t give you higher search rankings, but it ensures you include the right information so Google can learn more about what the article is about.  For brands who want to amplify their content on social, there are custom boxes where you can add specific text, images and titles to attract more engagement.

Yoast also offers Google Analyics and Webmaster Tools integration.

Social Media Buttons/Sharing

Your website and social media channels should work seamlessly to promote your brand. Social media buttons make it easy for your audience to share your content right from your website. Best practice suggests that social media sharing buttons should be displayed along the side, top or bottom of your webpage.

XML Sitemap

A XML Sitemap helps search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing better index your website. Using a sitemap makes it easier for crawlers to see the complete structure of your sitemap and retrieve it more efficiently. Additionally, the sitemap plugin will notify search engines when new content is posted to your website.

Akismet

Akismet is an advanced anti-spam service that uses an algorithm to filter spam from comments, trackbacks and contact form messages. When someone comments on your blog, Akismet servers reviews the post and user to determine if it is spam. Spam is a huge pain to sort through and can hurt your SEO if not properly monitored.

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache helps to improve user experience and SEO of your website through caching the site’s pages and assets. Caching is the temporary storage of web documents such as HTML pages and images. The storage of these web documents helps to reduce bandwidth usage and speeds up server load, making your website faster.

While this plugin is important for optimization, it can be tricky to set up, so make sure you follow the steps on their site to ensure you are taking full advantage of the plugin’s features.

WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize automatically cleans your WordPress database so it runs at maximum efficiency. If you create a lot of content or are constantly updating your webpages, you will create a lot of bloat on the back end with post revisions. You can reduce database size by cleaning up your website regularly, which means quicker and smaller backup files.   WP-Optimize will also clear out spam comments and the site’s trash can.  Running this plugin once a month will keep your database clean and your site as light as possible.

Image: inbj

5 Reasons You Should Use An Agency For Your Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool, particularly when it comes to marketing your business. Social media marketing provides new and excellent opportunities to increase brand recognition, boosts your search engine rankings, alleviates some marketing costs, enriches the customer experience, and personalizes your brand, among many other benefits.

Why Should You Use An Agency For Your Social Media?

The major challenge for quite a few companies is to develop an effective social media strategy and work to implement it. There is, however, the option of hiring a social media marketing agency. Why should you do something like this?

On The Pulse

One of the top reasons to hire the services of an agency for your social media needs is the fact that agencies house social media experts who always have their fingers on the pulse of new trends and other developments in the realm of social media. Social media platforms are always changing and adding new features. In order to remain competitive, companies must also change with the times. An agency consumes all news related to social media, from small shifts to major changes and new trends.

Expert Knowledge

One of the biggest results of always having their finger on the pulse is the expert social media knowledge an agency possesses. This allows us to curate ideal content from around the Internet, effectively schedule this content to the optimum times, maximize audience engagement, and twist any tool or trend from social media to work best for you. This knowledge stems from years of experience and ability to adapt at the flip of a coin. Social media is an agency’s wheelhouse.

Dedication And Focus

Running a business requires you to perform a wide variety of different tasks. These tasks include dealing with finances, processing transactions, developing new products and services, training new employees, and more. Adding in-house social media can be just another item on an ever expanding to do list. The only thing an agency would have to worry about in relation to your business is your social media. This allows an agency to focus and go deeper into social media strategy and dedicate specialized resources—something that may not be possible with in-house social media, what with all the other responsibilities floating around.

Weighing The Cost

Doing social media in-house comes with a number of different costs, including base salary, employee benefits, turnover costs, and training expenses. With a social media agency, the price is simply the negotiated contract cost, based on the level of work you want them to perform as well as your desired budget. There are no hidden or indirect costs associated with working with a social media marketing agency, as there is with handling your company’s social media presence in-house.

Customer Service

Not only will you receive excellent service from a social media agency, but you will also be able to provide your customers with excellent customer service. In today’s society, the vast majority of people look for a company through social media networks like Facebook and Twitter for their questions, comments, and complaints. By having a dedicated agency—consider all the reasons previously discussed—you can be assured that the service response time will be fast as well as of a high quality. An agency will do everything necessary to ensure each individual interacting with your company receives the best service and response possible.

To wrap it up, using an agency for your social media requirement brings experts who have their finger on the pulse, are dedicated and focused, enhance the potential of customer service, and bring expert knowledge and specialized resources to the table—all for an affordable cost. Bring your social media presence to the next level today.