Category

Social Media

Optimizing Tweets for Impressions & Engagement

By | Blogging, SEO, Social Media, Strategy | No Comments

In my opinion, Twitter is still one of the best platforms marketers can utilize for the purposes of building brand awareness. With smart content choices, clever and concise copy, and visually appealing images or videos, earning organic impressions and engagement while growing your follower base is entirely possible without the need for substantial investment in paid ad campaigns.

There are several tricks and tools one can take advantage of in order to optimize their Twitter content for maximum reach potential. These tools come in handy when developing a content strategy for Twitter, helping you decide what and when to post. And for the social media marketers out there reading this, these online tools also prove useful when trying to justify or defend certain content choices to your client, particularly with regards to (#)hashtag usage, post timing, and (@)Mention choices. Read More

Instagram: The Guide to Insta(nt) Success

By | Social Media

Here is some good news for all you Instagram lovers – Instagram can help boost your business. Just like any other social media platform, Instagram, which is usually used for leisurely photo sharing among friends, has the capability to enhance your brands online presence as well as create a more visual insight into your company.

There are many different strategic ways to incorporate Instagram into your company’s lifestyle.  The first step is to familiarize yourself with the latest updates, filters, setting, etc. in order to completely grasp how to properly use Instagram in the workplace. If a company can successfully create a well-known Instagram account, it will help generate traffic towards their other platforms as well. Through witty captions, well throughout bios and professional looking photographs, Instagram is guaranteed to bring you success…if you use it right.

There are three steps that are crucial to getting your company to the #InstaFamous level.

icon-1562136_960_720Mix it Up

It is important that you do not post solely business related pictures. It is crucial to plan out what you post to incorporate both office and business related content, as well as fun and humourous posts. This way you have content that satisfies all of your followers. People are more likely to follow a company when they can have a well-balanced Instagram page of many different topics. The best way to organize yourself is to create a content calendar to make sure all your posts vary in theme. As long as it is entertaining and well thought out, you are on your way to having a great Instagram presence.

Create a Theme

Before you even post your first picture, it is important to establish a theme that you want your Instagram feed to possess. The lighting, filter, and brightness are all necessary things to consider before creating your company’s Instagram account. Also, by creating a colour scheme, you are guaranteeing consistency, and it also allows your feed to be more aesthetically pleasing.

Link All Social Media Platforms

The smartest thing you can do on any social media platform, is find ways to link all your different social media platforms together. Companies usually achieve this by creating Instagram contests. Once a month a contest is held to show appreciation towards loyal followers and to promote the brand. Having something that followers can look forward to each month increases engagement and interaction between the company and its followers. By creating contests, you have the power to decide the contest rules. Usually, it is smart to engage followers on all social media accounts. For example, to enter the contest, they will have to share content on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as follow the company on all social media platforms. This is not only a great way to connect with loyal customers, but it is also a way to create online brand awareness.

These basics are the important factors to consider before creating an Instagram account for your company. Make sure your Instagram feed represents the culture of your company and allows customers to have more insight into what you do in the office.

Sources: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/instagram-for-business-tips/

Your Guide to Creating Your Own Content Calendar

By | Learning, Social Media

As social media continues to rise in popularity, the need to organize your posts becomes more necessary. A content calendar is an easy way to organize what you would like to post on each day. It organizes your weekly thoughts, posts, and graphics, and saves you time each week. If you designate time to put together your weekly or monthly content calendar, you no longer have to worry about scrambling for content to post. This is essential for businesses; however, you can do it throughout your every day life if you wish to be consistent with your social media content.

There is no specific way to successfully create a content calendar. As long as it is legible to you or a company that you are sending it to, then you can do no wrong. This blog post will walk you through one of the several ways to create a standard content calendar.

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Step #1: Open Microsoft Word

Using Word is perfect for creating a simple content calendar. If you wish to use Excel, that is also another great alternative.

Step #2: Create a Table

Make a table, and put the weekdays in the top horizontal cells, and put the types of social media platforms that you wish to post on in the vertical cells. At this point you can colour code, or add any other touches of creativity to organize your calendar even more!

Step #3: Create Daily Themes

It is important to create themes in order to be consistent with your content.  For example, if you are a fashion blogger, Monday could be your “Outfit of the Day,” while Tuesday could be “New Product Tuesday.” This will give viewers something to look forward to each week and helps to organize your posts.

Step #4: Fill you Calendar

Once you have set up your content calendar, it is time to fill it. Take pictures and place them with their designated post. This way everything is ready to go when it comes time for you to post your content.

Step 5: Add Comments

If you are creating a content calendar for another company, it is important to create a comments section somewhere in the calendar. This will increase communication so there is no confusion. Nevertheless, if you are creating this content calendar for yourself, adding comments can still be beneficial to mark down your ideas, what time you should post your content, or anything you need to add to your content.

These are five easy steps for any content calendar beginner. This is a great way to organize your thoughts, and it is an amazing time saver during the week! Keep your social media life organized by producing your very own content calendar!

Why Twitter is the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business

By | Social Media

Over the past couple of years, social media has climbed its way to the top of the advertising industry. In the past, companies have used print advertisements, or have created television ads to play during prime time; however, that is quickly changing. We must accept that social media has control over our society, but it is what we do with social media that will define its worth.

140 characters, that’s all it takes! When it comes to businesses, Twitter is unquestionably the best platform to use. With only a 140-character limit, you are forced to get to the point and communicate with your followers. It’s a quick and easy way to update your followers on events, new products, and any other news worthy events occurring in your company. The best thing is that you can be as consistent with your “tweets” as you please. No one is going to complain that you are spamming their feed, like on Facebook, and because the tweets are so short, it takes less than a couple seconds to read. Another advantage is that the majority of people have the Twitter App on their phone, which allows constant communication. Your business is able to reach people wherever they are, at whatever time.

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There are many upsides to signing up for Twitter, yet the best part of creating a Twitter account for your business is that you are easily and rapidly able to interact with your followers who like or re-tweet your company’s posts. Having a relationship with your followers creates a different dynamic with your clients. You are able to hear their thoughts, criticisms, and suggestions. The advantage of this is that you have the ability to improve your business by listening to your followers.

Another aspect of Twitter that is often neglected is the use of Twitter Chats. This is an active and fairly easy way to engage with your followers and discuss different types of topics. By creating a hashtag like #B&MChat, anyone who has a question during the live Twitter Chat can ask their question by using a hashtag. This doesn’t only increase brand awareness online, but this also allows your hashtag to trend. This means that it allows other people outside the Twitter chat to view your company profile, which increases your brand awareness over social media.

Twitter is an exceptional tool to use to advertise your business, and unless you select the paid advertising option, it is completely free. You no longer have to feel guilty over all the money you used to spend on print advertising. Nowadays, there are so many methods, like Twitter, that allow your business to thrive and succeed online.

Timed Advertising

By | Marketing, Social Media

Facebook advertising can be tricky. With so many targeting options and so much data to analyze, for the uninitiated it can be a difficult puzzle to solve. Luckily there are a few things to make your journey into the advertising and marketing business a little easier.

 

Facebook offers a number of preloaded and selectable behaviours to target. For example, if you’re designing a campaign for a travel company you may want to target people who have recently used a travel app. And guess what, Facebook allows you to do just that. Combine this with broader targeting and you have the potential to reach an audience you know is already interested in escaping on a jet plane, not sure of when they will return.

 

Try running your ads in specific hours of the day. It is no secret that there are peak hours of activity when it comes to Facebook. Between the hours of 4-11 PM traffic steadily increases. Now think about how you are spending your budget. Would you like to be spending money in the hours of the day that aren’t active? Not only will your carefully constructed campaigns reach fewer eyes, they are also less likely to be clicked on. Next time you are setting up the campaign length check the option to chose the hours in which your ad will run. Targeting different time zones? Don’t worry about it, Facebook accounts for that shift accordingly, only delivering your ads in the hours specified in each time zone.

 

Data. Collect all your data. Look at it, love it, break up angrily with it, and get back together. You’re going to have that sort of love-hate relationship with the piles of data that stream in off your Facebook ads. The only advantage is, if you know what you’re doing, they can be easier to read than your significant other. It isn’t a quick process, it will take time, but once you have an understanding of what the data is saying you can use it to better position future ads.

 

These are only a few ideas for how to optimize your Facebook campaigns, there are many more, and much more detailed outlines you can find elsewhere online as well, but these should get you thinking. Here’s to better ads!

Finding Love in an Ad-Free Place: Ad-Blockers & Your Brand

By | Blogging, culture, Marketing, News, SEO, Social Media, Web Development

Ever since the internet was young and innocent, advertisements have cropped up as a way for brands and marketers to get access to the huge amount of people logging on every day. The pop-up has served as the bane of many an internet user’s existence, popping up in more and more frustrating situations and in greater quantities. Nonetheless, users have revolted and used ad-blocking softwares to dispel the efficacy of “traditional” internet marketing — namely, the pop-up window.

The era of the pop-up advertisement is all but dead,

and it has everything to do with ad-blockers.

What is ad-blocking?

photocred: bookstores.nyu.edu

photocred: bookstores.nyu.edu

Simply put, ad-blocking is the process of eliminating any and all advertisements on a webpage — especially those that show up as third-party plug-ins (think “pop ups” or banner ads). This results in pages loading faster, because ad-blockers essentially refuse to load advertisements on a given webpage.

Why are people attracted to it?

It appeals to common sense that users would want the fastest, most distraction-free browsing experience. Using ad-blockers reduces the “white noise” of traditional advertisements encroaching upon the content users want to access. If users are this adamant about not wanting to see advertisements, it speaks to a collective lag on the part of brands to provide compelling and engaging content to get people to listen and engage with their online ads.

When done well, advertisements don’t have to be “white noise.”

What can brands do to counteract the rise of ad-blockers?

The rise of ad-blockers for traditional users, with Apple recently releasing ad-blocking as part of their overall software package, has petitioned companies to market in more profound ways; Companies are now tasked with creating compelling, engaging, and user-centric content. Users are playing a greater role in advertising, rejecting ads that don’t reach them in a way that asks them to participate and be involved in a brand’s “process.” Therefore, companies need to re-focus their marketing strategies on co-creation, user involvement, and overall engagement.

Besides creating more compelling content, what else can be done?

Creating great content is one thing, but there also needs to be a well thought out and executed distribution

photo cred: tech.co

photo cred: tech.co

strategy for your brand’s content. If you simply create it, it is not a guarantee that consumers will flock to your brand. Developing a robust digital strategy is imperative for any company’s success in an ad-blocking online culture. This means utilizing mediums, strategies (SEO), and resources to reach people where they reside online.

Ad-blockers are making traditional forms of advertisement more difficult, but it hasn’t rendered the entire practice of advertising online as dead. Companies are now being asked to be more creative, to create content which exceeds expectations, and taking residence in places that users wouldn’t normally find them — but are using anyways. There are places to advertise, if your company is doing the right job in seeking them out.

Avoiding Screen Fatigue with F.lux

By | Blogging, Learning, Life, Other, Resources, Social Media, Time Management

It’s a tale as old as time, one where you’ve been plugging away at your computer for hours without looking away. All of a sudden you turn to look out the window, and it’s as though your whole life is flashing before your eyes. You’ve successfully entered the mid-afternoon computer screen fatigue panic! Your eyes may feel like the surface of the sun, but you must persevere.

Luckily, screen fatigue doesn’t have to be the rest of your life; F.lux is here to change this daily struggle.

F.lux is a completely (yes, completely) free application which you can access online that will alter thephoto cred: www.justgetflux.com“temperature” of your screen depending on the time of day. Particularly when you work in an office environment with lots of natural light, F.lux alters your computer screen’s warmth to accommodate outside changes as the day progresses. This is especially important after the sun goes down, where your screen will adopt a yellow-orange hue that might throw you off at first. Don’t worry though, as this is supposed to help facilitate pre-sleep. This is especially helpful if you’re a fan of watching Netflix, working, or canvassing eBay for collectible action figures right before bed.

Screen fatigue (and eye strain) from staring at your screen is only going to become more and more of a

photo cred: www.improveeyesighthq.com

photo cred: www.improveeyesighthq.com

problem as the work we do becomes more and more computer-centric. While we have discussed taking breaks away from your screen in previous blogs, it doesn’t change the fact that the majority of your day will be spent in front of your screen’s warm glow. Simple changes, like the one F.lux is providing, are monumental in their day-to-day effect on user’s lives. While it is important to ensure that you aren’t (literally and proverbially) glued to your screen, F.lux is a useful way to successfully complete your work and avoid the piercing pain of the 2 o’ clock screen assault.

F.lux is another example of applications making minor adjustments to our everyday lives, with life-changing results. 

Why Are Snapchat Geofilters so Addictive?

By | Blogging, Learning, Life, Marketing, Social Media, Strategy

Chances are if you’ve been on Snapchat in the past year, that you might have noticed the opportunity to scroll (left or right) on your ‘snap’ and add filters — images which lay atop of the image you’ve just taken, often designating where you are, events in your area, or general advertisements.

What are geofilters?

Snapchat geofilters were originally released in July 2014, and since then they have gained a significant amount of popularity. Snapchat actually crowdsources the submissions for prospective geofilters, allowing users the opportunity to ‘rep’ their neck of the woods. This approach emphasizes the ability to design, contribute, and witness your work in action (should it receive approval). 

Why use geofilters?

First and foremost, geofilters are a great marketing strategy for companies. Millennials are flocking to

photo cred: therelacape.com

photo cred: therelacape.com

Snapchat in droves, and they represent an attractive demographic for marketers and companies alike. Simply put, it pays to be where the young people are most active. In addition to this, there are multiple locations which provide geofilters — with more being added every day. Miami, Oakville, and even Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood have their own unique geofilters. Geofilters are popular because they are unique to specific locations, that they are “exclusive” to certain areas makes them attractive to users. 

Why are geofilters so popular?

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From a big-picture perspective, geofilters allows users to identify with their current location. Users have the opportunity to share with their family and friends where they are, what they are doing, and what is going on in the world. Consider it one large social experiment in the ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO), where people share what they are doing so that everyone they know can acknowledge it and share back what they are doing. Companies are even able to create time-sensitive geofilters to market events, holidays, or social events. 

The next time you’re on Snapchat, no matter where you are in the world, swipe right or left to find out if your location has a geofilter. Soon enough you might be embarking on your own personal scavenger hunt to discover as many unique filters as possible. Happy hunting! 

Influencer Marketing and Your Brand On Vine

By | Learning, Marketing, News, Social Media, Uncategorized

The concept of influencer marketing isn’t necessarily new; brands have been using celebrity endorsements for years to convince people to buy their products (think Stephen Curry on a box of Wheaties, or Matthew McConaughey driving a Lincoln). The recent twist in this landscape is the rise of various social media channels, and the influence they have on a company’s brand strategy. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and recently Vine are being used to target consumers and promote products and services through more nuanced influencers.

photo cred: mashable.com

photo cred: mashable.com

A site like Vine is the perfect example for a more complex influencer landscape. The nature of the medium (looped six-second video clips) and its rising popularity — specifically with millennials, is attractive for brands and consumers alike. Taking advantage of Vine is understanding the unique relationship between influencers and consumers, based on the following:

Seamless Integration

photo cred: scribblelive.com

photo cred: scribblelive.com

Consumers are often frustrated when being “forced” to sit through advertisements to get to the content they desire (it’s often painful that a 30 second YouTube commercial can feel like an eternity). Vine’s strategy is developing content involving the product itself, and recruiting influencers to develop and brand that content as their own. The influencer and the product are often one and the same.

The “Average Joe” Advantage

Vine is often seen as an equal opportunity app, where anyone can become popular and influential online. Seeing everyday people using products, and promoting their advantages, is extremely attractive to the average user. Not only do they relate to the “regular” people on the screen, but they trust them more than a “paid” advertisement.

Co-Creation

Creativity is at a premium on Vine, where there is only a short amount of time to communicate an idea. When companies are able to partner with influential users, they are also gaining advantage of those users’ unique perspective and ideas. It’s a win-win for interesting concepts, and for product placement.

Based on these ideas, Vine is being used more and more as a tool for company’s in their marketing strategies. Vine is implementing a strategy based on trust and relation — seeing yourself with and relating to the people you see on your screen. This form of trust is priceless for many companies.