How Hashtags Work for Your Business

Hashtags are something that have been brought up a lot lately in our blogs, and we thought that maybe some business owners aren’t all that clear as to what hashtags really are. Maybe you do know what they look like, but don’t know exactly what they’re there for. I think that it’s safe to say that we all know what they look like even if it’s from seeing them on other photos: #starbucks#lovecoffee#fortheloveofcoffee… If your business uses Twitter or Instagram, then you understand how crucial hashtagging is to a successful social media effort. With hashtagging as a unique feature for Twitter, they may be facing a difficult competition in the very near future- Facebook. That’s right; this social media guru is planning to unveil hashtagging abilities on its site this year. During the same launch, Facebook will be announcing its updated News Feed interface, which could give Facebook the push it needs to remain the number one got-to platform for business owners. Since this is the case, you should probably start practicing with your hashtags so you know you’re getting the most out of this feature. And how do you make the best use of hashtagging? Do not put this symbol (#) in front of every single word in your content or image description! Talk about social media annoyances… When your hashtags are full on sentences, they’re difficult to read since there are not spaces and punctuation. For instance, your hashtags should not look like this: #starbuckswakesmeupeveryday. If it could potentially be difficult to make out, then don’t hashtag it. Here’s another big mistake: #starbucks#wakes#me#up#every#morning. Populating a Tweet or...

Using Instagram's New Web Profiles for Business Exposure

Do you use Instagram as a social network for your business? Have you even looked into creating an Instagram business profile? With the launch of Instagram’s web profiles, businesses are turning to this platform as a great way of photo sharing. Until now, the Instagram website only allowed users to edit account information via the website; but all that changed with the recent introduction of web profiles. If you’re not new to Instagram, then you will notice some differences in the web profiles right off the bat. Some things that the web profiles are missing are: No search section. On Instagram’s mobile app, you were able to search usernames and hashtags, but not on the website. Hashtags don’t display as a hyperlink, but as plain text; so you can’t bring up the photos associated with specific hashtags. You can’t see a list of followers or people you are following on the web. They do display followers/following counts, but you are unable to see who these users are. There is no popular page on web profiles. Some of you enjoy seeing which Instagram photos are trending for the day, but you cannot do that on web profiles. Photo maps aren’t available. Many users like to tag their photos with their location, but you won’t find this ability anymore. Instead, geo-tag information is shown with photos, such as the name of the location. Still, you can only edit your profile picture through the mobile app. Some things that the web profiles do offer see, to outweigh the negatives: At the top of your profile, you have a Facebook-like cover collage that...

Finding Your Social Content Strategy

There are plenty of companies in the world with amazing content on their websites; but what about the content on social media sites? If your business is one that falls short on social media content, then there won’t be as many people visiting your site. Since users view social media posts before clicking on the link to your website, don’t you think that the content on the post should contain just as great, if not, better content than your website? We think so! Not only does great content across the board dictate a reliable company, but social media users are getting better at sifting through the content that companies have posted on Facebook. Now, more than ever, users are more wary of links; not wanting to waste time reading content that is heavy on the advertising and light on the knowledge they hope to gain. In order to get users interested in what you have to say, there are ways of making your posts stand out and proving yourself as a reliable resource. We aren’t talking about using well-crafter words to trick users into visiting your website; we are talking about creating content that is consistent and dedicated toward providing a service to the target user who may be clicking on your link. One way of creating attractive content is to ask users a question. This question should be engaging and easy enough for users to answer it without having to read the entire article. Regular Facebook users are those that are there for relaxing reasons such as a way to pass the time. Therefore, most users are more...

Four Steps for Growing with Social Media

How can you keep up with social media when it is changing so often? It used to be easy knowing what your customers want by sending them a comment card to fill out or surveys to complete and send back. Today, you have to think about your own online reputation and what your customers need and think about you in social media. Social media is here to stay, so here are 4 steps to mature with it. Step 1. Listen and understand what your customers are saying. For businesses that have one location, reading reviews are a quick and easy task that leaves you with a great idea of how your customers really feel. If you have more than one location, then this task is a lot more time-consuming. Some reviews can be too lengthy and have location-specific content. The best thing about reading these reviews is that you are provided with honest insights, negative and positive thoughts and ratings that can give you a hint of where you are in the favorable eye. When reading online reviews, really take in what the customer is saying and put yourself in their shoes. Take extensive notes and try to categorize the feedback by what matters most to your business. Read everything in every review and don’t skimp on the details. It is important to understand the entirety of the review, including why or what made your customer feel a certain way. Reading all customer reviews can come with challenges, but if you can overcome them, then you will benefit greatly as you use the data to make informed and smart...

How you can Benefit from LinkedIn

Are you new social networking? Even if you aren’t new to marketing online, using LinkedIn is a great way to show potential customers what you know and an even better platform for creating new business. LinkedIn doesn’t just display your business’ information like as a resume would; this network contains more valuable information about a contact than you could imagine. With all this information displayed for your potential customers to see, pieces can be used to start interesting conversations that could turn into leads that could turn into transactions, and then be converted into loyal customers. We’ve compiled a list of 4 tips that can help your business benefit from using LinkedIn. Before creating a presence on LinkedIn, there are a few setup decisions that need to be taken care of. Decide on an overall campaign goal, and ensure all employees are on board and well-informed. Make sure your business profile is findable and presentable and your employees’ profiles are linked to the business.  All employees’ profiles need to be consistent sources of valuable content. Once you have these initial duties out of the way, commit to a schedule that will be constant enough to maintain the profile. Things that need to be done at least weekly consist of posting new content, answering questions, participating in LinkedIn groups, converse in others’ posts, networking and much more. Figure out what works for you and cut out the things that don’t so you can constantly find new ways of spending less time social networking. Engage in relevant groups. On LinkedIn, multiple exposures make an impression on potential customers. If you are...

Identifying and Engaging Your Audience

The best path to online marketing consists of identifying your target audience and getting your brand message in front of them to drive conversation and leads. The whole plan is done in one sentence; so it should be simple enough, right? Wrong! This pathway is easy to conceptualize; but is definitely more difficult and time consuming than just stating the plan. We have compiled a list of 5 steps that might make your journey of identifying and appealing to your target audience a little less bumpy. Identify and categorize your existing audience. Talk to your current customers and really get to know them. Knowing who currently loves your brand will give you an idea of who you should be reaching out to. Define your prospects that matter most using analytics. Analytics help you to determine the demographics or your audience such as identity, job position and company size. Analyze your social media followers to figure out where they are coming from. This will enhance your buyer’s profile and determine which customers are actually engaging with you. Once you have identified your actual current audience, focus on identifying target markets that you aren’t reaching successfully, or markets that you are reaching- but aren’t converting. You might find that your message and tactics aren’t going out to the right audiences. Change around your branding message to appeal to your audience. Campaigns are great for creating a buzz among audiences you haven’t touched. Campaigns also increase interest and engagement among your existing customers as well as letting others know how your business is perceived. The goal of any campaign is to get...