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Which Type of LinkedIn Ad Campaign is Best for Your Target Audience?

LinkedIn is a powerful and under-utilized social media.

It is a gateway to company executives, business-driven people and many other influential users.

80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. Why?

Because LinkedIn’s Ad targeting strategy is so comprehensive and has so much data from users to take from.

LinkedIn is set apart from other social medias because it is made up of:

  • 500 million active users
  • 45 million decision-makers
  • 73 million senior level executives

Now that you know the impact LinkedIn Ad campaigns, it’s time to find the best targeting options for your needs!

1. Sponsored Content

Sponsored content on LinkedIn is native ads that you come across when scrolling through your feed.

The goal of sponsored content is to engage viewers quickly while simultaneously delivering the objectives of the ad.

Sponsored content builds relationships through the use of relevant content based on the LinkedIn algorithm. This has been proven to be an effective method of creating leads and engagement. In fact, 25% more consumers look at sponsored content than display ad units.

LinkedIn is great for sponsored content because of their audience targeting software. You can build you perfect audience using your own profile’s audience. You can even move beyond that target audience using LinkedIn’s Audience Network.

The best part is that you can follow the campaign performance within the LinkedIn Insight Tag.

2. Sponsored InMail

Sponsored InMail is used for your core audience.

Using LinkedIn’s messaging system, you can send custom messages to the active members. Think of this type of advertising to be similar to a newsletter.

55% of organizations give their personalization efforts a grade of C or lower, this is the perfect method to change that.

One of the best features within sponsored InMail is the call to actions. These CTAs are optimized for conversions and leads. On both mobile and desktop, the CTA is always visible while the user scrolls, giving them every opportunity to go further down the funnel.

Not only is it viewer friendly, but it’s user friendly too! Anyone can have a perfectly formatted layout without worrying about its responsiveness. InMail automatically formats the content you provide it to look good on any screen.

3. LinkedIn Text Ads

This is a perfect choice for those looking to expand their reach within LinkedIn without breaking the bank.

Text Ads are simple ads on the right side or top of your LinkedIn desktop feed. It is what it says it is: text and a small icon to accompany it.

Create a text ad using bids based on pay per click or cost per impression. You control how much you want to spend.

How can you make the most of text ads?

You will always get the best results if you have accurate audience targeting. When creating your ads, in order to tailor the ads to the desired audience consider:

  • Using creative visuals
  • Using CTAs that link to a landing page that also matches the ad
  • Continuously test and make adjustments, 3-4 ads in each campaign is best practice

When it comes to running a LinkedIn ads campaigns, there’s no set way. It’s all dependent on who you’re targeting and what you want out of the ads. LinkedIn allows you to take control of everything, even your own profile, and get the traffic you want.

4 Reasons to Include Social Media Video in Your Business Marketing Strategy

No matter what size your business or what niche you’re in, you’ll need to take social media video marketing seriously. Though it’s not the only tool in your social media toolbox, it definitely is a major one. The ability for a business to tell its story and engage its audience is a powerful sales tool, and video is helping to tell better stories.

Two men holding a laptop, editing an online video.

Video content can help businesses reach 4 specific goals:

1. Web Traffic

Social media video content is an effective way to drive traffic to your website. Video content continues to grow and drive the internet. It plays an integral part of the online social lifestyle. Demand for social media video content is continually growing on social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and especially YouTube. A successful social media video campaign will include a CTA (Call to Action), the most popular being “Visit our Website”. Other CTAs include “Learn More”, “Sign Up Now”, “Book Now”, or “Shop Now”.

Gaia.com is an online resource that streams videos about alternative health, yoga and inspirational films and documentaries. This brand knows the benefits of using video on social. Their video on Facebook had 248 shares and 6.3 M views with a clear CTA to visit their website to learn more.

2. Engagement

When social media videos showcase your brand and tell your story effectively you connect and engage with your audience. When that video content is not only worth watching but also worth sharing, you increase your audience reach.

Canadian Tire™ successfully showed its support for the Canadian Olympic team during the summer 2017 Olympics with this inspirational video that only subtly shows its product: tires. It turned out to be one of the most viral videos of 2017. It just goes to show that your businesses’ story is not just about showcasing your product. It’s also about the things your company believes in and supports.

3. Brand Awareness

More and more brands use social media videos to tell their story and give their brand personality.  It’s that personality that followers want to see, and what makes your brand stand out from the crowd. Recognition is a key element to your product’s story.

Taking a similar marketing approach as Dove™, Always™ came out with this video as part of their “Like a Girl “campaign. They used a powerful message of empowerment for women to gain attention and respect for their brand. Their campaign went on to win numerous awards including an Emmy.

4. Generate Excitement and Educate

Leveraging the power of short social media video content by creating instructional how-to videos, showing off a new product from every angle, or simply using text to tell your product’s story creates interest and excitement while getting your message across. If you create content that’s both informative and useful, you’ll create trust in your brand, and a set of loyal customers.

Today’s Parent shows off an easy Ikea™ hack using one of their products in this cheerful video with a “Back -To-School” theme so relatable to families that want to avoid the common entryway clutter.

Are you looking to optimize your digital marketing strategies using video? Contact us today and let’s get started!

7 Tired Social Media Tactics to Retire in 2019

Social media is constantly evolving, so the life expectancy of any given tactic is usually relatively short. Unfortunately, some tactics don’t seem to die when they should.

Cartoon hands holding up social media action signs.

These techniques can become a significant problem, since they’ll likely lead to a waste of resources and advertising budgets. No matter how simplistic the strategy, it still takes some level of time and effort to execute, meaning that resources spent on tired social media tactics could be re-allocated to something more effective.  

Furthermore, tactics that don’t properly reflect your brand could cause you to make unnecessary or even detrimental changes to your strategy.  

Here’s a look at 7 of the most tired social media tactics to leave behind in 2019.   

1. Gaining a Following by Following the Masses

Although this used to be one of the most popular ways to gain followers at a rapid speed, there are big problems with this technique.   

These days, consumers are increasingly selective about who they follow. You may have been able to gain followers quickly years ago by following massive amounts of people, but today, potential followers could flag you as a fake account. This will in turn hurt your brand reputation and social value 

Mass following will not work anymore. In fact, gaining followers this way will ensure that most of them don’t have any interest in your product or service, and will also lead to a feed that’s full of irrelevant posts.

2. Using Automatic, Impersonal Messages

Consumers are putting a huge value on personal contact and attachment when it comes to how they choose to spend their time and money. Obviously, no one feels attached to an automated message, especially if it’s clear that it hasn’t been modified in the slightest.  

In the past, a potential customer would hit “follow” on a brand’s social media page, and their inbox would immediately light up with an automated message to welcome them and invite them to make a purchase. However, consumers are becoming less keen on being treated like a faceless prospect.  

Instead, wait some time. Once the relationship has been fostered, and the consumer is familiar with your brand, you can then begin to send messages that may come across as promotional. Better yet, tailor your messages to each potential customer.  

3. Fluffing Posts with Backlinks

Very few people ever seek out advertisements. Most people try to avoid advertising as they scroll through their various social feeds. Quality content is important. Your content should be creative and make you stand out as a leader in your industry.  

Unfortunately, many brands tend to stuff their content full of backlinks to their products or services or fill up social posts with hashtags in hopes of attracting more attention. Both of these are drained tactics that make your content less appealing to followers. In 2019, it’s more about selling your brand by selling your authority, not your products or services.  

Offer people a genuine value in exchange for their attention, and they’ll come to you without much pushing.  

4. Publishing Duplicate Content on Multiple Platforms

Cross-posting is no longer effective. 

In past years, you may have gotten away with posting the same content across multiple platforms without any real issues. Things have changed. You can no longer cross-post without swapping out copy or content. 

Audiences are becoming more and more segmented. This year, your posts need to be optimized to each platform to maximize your engagement and customize your approach. Learn which platforms work best for your needs and how to leverage them based on your objectives.  

5. Trying Things Once and Giving Up

Advertising is an ever-evolving process. Social media campaigns take time to garner leads, and they’re not an overnight, one-time effort.  

Have you tried: 

  • Sponsored Content on LinkedIn?  
  • Video content on Facebook?  

Many people try things once, ‘fail,’ and never give them another chance. It takes time and experimenting to discover what does and doesn’t work for your brand on social media.  

If you tried LinkedIn ads and didn’t see results, perhaps it’s time to try them again and track your process to review later.  

6. Asking Users to Share Content

Remember the ‘Like and share’ campaigns popular in the past few years? This approach has gone out of style.  

Although these types of posts may appear to have an effect, most of the time, they’re not receiving any more engagement than a regular post. More importantly, they can make your brand come across as needy or desperate.  

Although this technique is still acceptable when running promotional giveaways, there are other ways to gain a solid following and potential leads.  

7. Relying Solely on Organic Posts to Reach Your Audience

The days of exclusively organic content has diminished rapidly. Social platforms – Facebook in particular – are constantly updating their algorithms to favour paid content.  

Your brand cannot simply set it and forget it. It’s important to incorporate a paid advertising strategy into this year’s marketing plan.  

Do your research. There are many variations of social media ads. When thinking about which social networks to use for advertising, look at which ones are performing well organically and go from there. 

Of course, we’re here to guide you through this year’s marketing trends. Contact us today to discuss your marketing goals. Let’s chat!  

Making Social Media and Content Marketing Work Together

Social media is a powerful marketing tool, helping businesses of all sizes and in all industries, reach their target audience. It’s the most effective way for a brand to connect on a more direct and personal level. While simply having a presence is good, developing a plan and tailoring your social media content to your industry and audience is the best way to optimize these platforms.  

What is Content Marketing?  

Traditional marketing tactics have become less and less relevant with the emergence of today’s digital landscape. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a “…strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”  

So, instead of traditional practices like pitching your product, content marketing allows you to provide truly relevant and useful content to your audience like video, blogs, etc. By focusing on sharing quality content on social media, a business can achieve great things.  

Building Relationships  

Posting quality content on social media can help a brand establish and build relationships with desired audiences.  

In life, the best relationships are built over time, based on mutual interests and philosophies, and grow strongest when tended to. The relationship between your brand and its audience isn’t much different.  

By doing your research, catering to your audience’s interests and producing quality content, you can build strong and long-lasting relationships.  

Amplifying Your Message  

Content marketing allows a brand to connect to its desired audience and build relationships by providing valuable information. The beauty of using social media platforms to share your content is that once it is out there, there are few limits to where it can reach.  

Brands can use social media to encourage users to share content in a variety of ways. Visual content usually gets more views, clicks, shares and likes than text-based material. So, turning that lengthy blog post into an infographic or finding the perfect image to accompany a post are two tactics that can further your content on social media.  

Quality content is meant to be shared and social media is the perfect vehicle to get your material noticed.  

Trust & Credibility  

Posting quality content on social media can help establish a brand as an industry leader and expert. 

Credibility online comes from a mixture of visibility and opinion. If your audience sees your brand out there, beyond your website, they will naturally find it more credible.  

When you take the time to educate, help and share through quality content, it reaffirms that your brand is trustworthy and credible. Using social media and content marketing in unison can significantly increase brand authority.  

Gain Valuable Customer Insights  

Brands can leverage social media to better understand consumers and gather insights to improve content. Social media has made it possible to glean information from authentic, real-time conversations that audience have with one another.  

As well, using these platforms to see what other brands are talking about lets you stay atop of industry trends. When developing quality content, it is important to develop ideas that are on trend and align with your audience’s interests – social media can help you gather these insights. 

At the end of the day, your brand should make social media and content marketing work together. By doing this you can build stronger relationships with your audience, amplify your messaging, develop credibility as a brand and gain valuable customer insights.  

 

Facebook Ads VS. Twitter Ads: A Friendly Face-off

Let’s be honest: deciding where to allocate your marketing budget is a daily struggle.

When it comes to social media, the decision is often split between Facebook and Twitter. So, how do you decide which makes more sense for your money?

In this blog, we’ll be analyzing three aspects of those platforms: reach/budget, targeting, and reporting.

Facebook Advertising

Reach/Budget

Although it’s amazing for large companies, if you’re a small business with a somewhat small budget, Facebook ads are also ideal for you.

Organic Facebook posts have an extremely low reach due to the platform’s ever-changing algorithm. So, running a Facebook ad is almost expected, but it’s worth it for growing your fan base, gaining engagement, clicks, or a larger reach than 30 people.

Targeting

On Facebook, targeting is limited to location, gender, age, demographic, interest, and behaviour. You can also exclude people from viewing your ads, which can be key depending on your campaign strategy.

One great targeting feature is Custom Audiences. This feature allows you to target audiences based on your existing connections. This means you can serve up ads to your current customers/fans rather than looking for new ones. This is done by uploading a list of customer data (e.g. purchaser email addresses), and Facebook will aim to reach them (and don’t worry, this information will be encrypted).

Another impressive feature Facebook offers (that Twitter does not), is the ability to save your audience and re-use it for other ads. This could save you and your business some valuable time if you are regularly targeting your ads to the same audience.

 Reporting

Facebook reporting is quite intuitive: it’ll give you the information you need based on your objective, and more. That said, it’s sometimes simpler to collect data right from the platform as opposed to exporting it into an Excel file, because it’s visually easier to gather.

You can also create a custom metrics dashboard so it only provides you with the numbers you care about, and not the extras.

 In conclusion, Facebook Ads are best for…

  • Video view campaigns
  • Growing your followers
  • Re-targeting for retail businesses

Twitter Advertising

Reach/Budget

Let’s not beat around the bush: Twitter is expensive. However, with Facebook’s algorithm changing regularly, it may not stay this way forever.

With a larger budget permitting more than just Facebook, your reach can be quite extensive. The benefit here is that Twitter allows you to get very specific with your targeting, and reach those who are more invested in your band.

Targeting

Twitter allows you to target more effortlessly and with more detail than Facebook. Other than the usual details (location, gender, and language), you can target based on hashtags, key words, interests, and specific accounts and their followers. This means you can directly focus on your competitors, and that’s a marketer’s dream.

Twitter is where people go for news, trends, and immediate world updates. This is a major advantage for large companies. Take Google, for example.

On October 4, 2016, Google announced their new product, Pixel. If you weren’t watching live, you probably first heard the news on Twitter. That’s because the hashtag #MadeByGoogle was immediately trending and everyone was talking about it (in 140 characters or less).

Now imagine how easy it would be to target all those people if you are a competing tech company. You could take advantage of that massive reach and serve them your own ad.

Reporting

Twitter reporting is a little more renowned because it allows you to break down the metrics by audience segment (keyword, gender, handles, language, interests, platform, location).

This lets you see which fans are the ones engaging with your posts. As takeflyte puts it, “Being able to pinpoint exactly which segments of your audience is working and which ones aren’t is a simple task that will help you improve your ROI.”

In conclusion, Twitter Ads are best for… 

  • Product launches
  • Holiday campaigns

At the end of the day, testing is key. If you have the budget, try both platforms to see where your audience is most engaging with your brand.

Top 10 Canadian Social Feeds We Love

As a Canadian business deeply entrenched in marketing and social media, we all love to add Canadian content to our social media feeds. If you are anything like us, you do as well! Here are 10 of our top Canadian social media feeds on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

Top 10 canadian social feeds we love

CBC Books


Are you a fan of books? Want to include more Canadian authors in your reading? CBC Books is the perfect Twitter feed for you. They consistently share suggested reading lists featuring a number of Canadian authors, their most recent being this list of summer reads. This Twitter feed is also home to the infamous Canada Reads competition, The Next Chapter, and other iconic Canadian events associated with books.

DavidsTea


Did you know? DavidsTea is a Canadian company! We are big fans of their stunning visuals displayed on both their Twitter and Instagram feeds. As regular customers will know, they always feature a couple of teas in their stores, with the blend rotating each day. To help boost store visits, they post well-designed promotional images once a week on their Twitter letting their followers know exactly what free samples they can try that coming week. They are also pros at interacting with customers and are just about as excited as you are when a shipment is on the way.

Legacy Greens

Are you a foodie? Do you like to garden and grow your own fruits and vegetables? Legacy Greens is a green grocer in Kitchener, Ontario and their Instagram feed is perfect for you! We love the bright colours across their pictures, seeing produce growing in the fields, and their product features. They are also great at supporting other local businesses in their area. Go Legacy Greens!

Ontario Parks

What better way to celebrate Canada 150 than spending time surrounded by the gorgeous natural landscape our country has to offer? Ontario Parks features countless images from across the provincial parks in Ontario on their Instagram, including numerous snaps from the park visitors themselves! Their feed not only showcases Canada’s natural beauty, but also serves as excellent inspiration for planning your next Canadian adventure.

Jacqueline Poirier

#tbt to chillaxin in the countryside & painting the incredible colours of Mother Nature…🍂🍃🎨 #fall #allthecolours #plart

A post shared by Jacqueline Poirier (@thecrazyplatelady) on

Are you a fan of art? Jacqueline Poirier, otherwise known as The Crazy Plate Lady, paints anything and everything onto simple white plates, and highlights her art on Instagram for the world to see. She even paints scenery on the plates and holds it up to the camera as if it were part of the photograph as well.

Stats Canada Parody


Want to make looking at statistics fun? You do not have to look any further than the Stats Canada parody Twitter account, sharing mind-boggling funny statistics and other facts related to Canada. It’s great for a laugh on a dreary day, that’s for sure!

Algonquin Provincial Park


Remember how we mentioned we love the Ontario Parks Instagram? Say hello to the Twitter account for Ontario’s oldest and most famous provincial park! Algonquin Park is home to stunning wildlife and scenery, and has been known to have gorgeous displays of the Northern Lights if you are there when the time is right. They also share a lot of content from visitors to the park, making for a down-to-earth and truly Canadian experience.

Canuck and I


Have you heard about Vancouver’s infamous crow, Canuck? He made the news when he allegedly stole a knife from a crime scene. His antics have become so normal in his neighbourhood, he even has his own Facebook page where people can share stories of their encounters with Canuck. Piece of advice if you meet him? He likes Tim Horton’s Timbits and would love if you brought him one—truly Canadian!

Red Brick Café


The Red Brick Café has become a staple in Guelph, Ontario—particularly the downtown location. This hub in Guelph has curated an excellent Facebook page featuring events for the café, such as music nights for musicians as well as monthly trivia events. They also highlight items from their delicious café menu. Believe us, looking at this social feed will make you want to run down there right away!

Aldo Shoes


Are you a fan of Canadian fashion? Aldo Shoes is a great Canadian fashion company, showing their interesting and colours designs for shoes and other accessories across their Instagram feed. Do you wear their products? If you tag them on your own Instagram, you may even be featured on theirs, as they share a lot of content from others! Definitely a lovely visual for Canadian fashion.

Image: strelov

3 ~Biggest~ Social Media Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Social media is public. This means your brand is always on watch, and a small mistake can make a big impact.

Let’s get to it – here are the top social media mistakes and how to avoid them.

 

  1. Being Tone-Deaf

Being tone-deaf in the land of social media means being out-of-touch and unaware of top trending conversations. By ignoring social tones, you could engage (or in some cases, not engage) with sensitive content, and in the process, affect your brand image.

An example of this would be the United Airlines incident. A passenger that was dragged off a flight was caught on camera, and the video got posted online. It went viral on social media almost immediately.

At first, United refused to apologize. But once they began listening to various social dialogues, they came to the realization that they indeed needed to apologize – right away and with the right tone – to save their brand. But was it too late?

The incident happened on April 9, 2017, and the apology came two days later on April 11, 2017.

 

How to avoid this mistake: Social listening! Listen to what your customers are saying about you, and make sure you follow trends so you’re aware of noteworthy news. Check out the Explore pages on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and get to know what’s happening in the world by checking out Google Trends.

 

  1. Not Posting Often Enough

Social media was invented to prevent people from being forgotten. It allows your brand to be top of mind, as your updates consistently remind users that your company is active and in the know. You can do this by sharing updates, posting photos, and staying in touch with people who you might not know personally, but are still crucial to your market. If your brand has a social media page, take advantage of this open opportunity.

Here’s how often you should post:

  • LinkedIn: 5 times a week (Monday – Friday). Avoid weekends, as they are proven to be a slow time for this primarily business-based platform.
  • Twitter: 2-3 times a day. The average lifespan of a tweet is only 18 minutes, so post at various times to make sure your users are seeing your content. Feel free to post the same content again and again throughout the week – this will allow you to gain insight on when your users are most engaged.
  • Facebook: 1-2 times a day. As Facebook’s algorithm changes, the reach of your posts may not be consistent. It takes about two hours for it to reach its capacity, so make sure you are posting on a regular schedule.
  • Instagram: 4-5 times a week. You want to build a consistent feed, but not overwhelm your followers. Over-posting can drop your engagement, and 4-5 times a week hits the sweet spot.

Not posting often means missing the opportunity to connect with your biggest fans and keep them updated on your latest product launches, brand announcements, and job opportunities.

How to avoid this mistake: If you can do it in-house, spend at least 2-3 hours a day curating and creating content you think your followers will love. Create engaging posts that follow your brand voice, and highlight your business’s best benefits.

If you’ve hired an agency, have them spend the time getting to know your brand and provide you with a content calendar laying out how often a post will be published.

 (Ps. Looking for a little help? Check out What We Do.)

  1. Untimely Humour

 Everyone has a voice on social media. Your goal should be to start conversations and engage your users without hurting your brand image. Sometimes, the easiest way of doing this is by participating in hashtag trends to “humanize” your brand. But be careful – not everything is an opportunity for humour.

In 2014, the hashtag #WhyIStayed was trending. Without context, it seemed straight forward. But with context, the hashtag was actually a discussion about domestic violence. Unfortunately for DiGiorno Pizza, they didn’t do their research:

How to avoid this mistake: Do your research! And if you’re unsure about a post, run it by at least two other people before pressing publish. This will give you insight into whether your post is appropriate or out-of-touch.

 

Sources: 

How to Take Advantage of Pinterest for Business

Should your business be on Pinterest? The answer is a resounding yes. It is one of the fastest growing social media platforms out there right now, and is especially popular among the coveted millennial generation (though older cohorts are also getting in on the act). In addition, it is an explicitly visual platform and images are a much more effective way to draw people to your brand and get them to remember you and your products.

How to Take Advantage of Pinterest for Business

Pinterest is also steadily increasing their offerings to those with business accounts, allowing you to study the analytics of who is visiting and liking your posts, which helps cultivate new followers and respond to already committed ones by providing them with content that they want to see.

Pinterest is also both making it much easier for you to sell to customers directly on the platform (in conjunction with Shopify), so that people can purchase your products as soon as they see it. Even if online sales are not a goal, or even possible for your business, Pinterest (like Instagram) is becoming an important tool for promoting your brand’s lifestyle or message in an appealing and memorable way. By posting how-to infographics or behind the scenes tutorials, you’re letting potential customers and clients into your world and making them feel more connected to your brand. Before you dive right in though, there are some tips and best practices to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your account is business and not personal, this will give you access to analytics, as well as Rich Pins and Promoted Pins. Rich Pins are an ad on to business accounts that allow your Pins to provide more context to the viewer without them having to leave Pinterest-making them more likely to absorb the information you’re providing. Pinterest offers four kinds of Rich Pins (app, product, recipe, and article) so there’s something for everyone. Promoted Pins are native ad units that can be used to boost the visibility of your Pins and make it easier for people to discover your brand (you will pay per action with these i.e. clicks, re-pins, or close-ups)
  • Longer images increase re-pins, as they take up more of the viewers feed
  • Images can have an aspect ratio of 2:3 to 1:2.8 and must be at least 600px wide
  • Make sure your images don’t have background images, images embedded in iFrames or within Flash websites as Pinterest doesn’t recognize these
  • Pinterest caters to people who are, or who want to be, creative. Therefore, your Pins will need to be creative and engaging to attract attention. Be sure to create and curate content that is not only appealing, but useful to the demographics you want to interact with your brand
  • In the same way that re-tweeting creates goodwill and engagement on Twitter, pinning your customers when they’ve used your product is a great way to not only show them you’re paying attention, but it’s also a great opportunity to showcase your brand in action
  • Encourage your employees to create and pin to their own boards, or use one as a way of showing the behind the scenes of your company. Not only does it make customers feel more involved and invested in your brand, it can also be a great way of utilizing your team’s other talents and making them feel more connected to the brand

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.

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.