With so much information to share about Instagram stories, we couldn't put all of the information in just one blog. We had to split them up! More information is always good, especially now since we all have a little more time to sit and read. Let's keep learning about Instagram!
Hello Summerville! As our quaint little town continues to get quieter, and we all start to settle into our homes, we wanted to continue our blog about the importance of Instagram stories, and how they can be beneficial to you and your company. Remember, as many of us are starting to work from home or remotely (some for the very first time!) it's easy to get overwhelmed with everything. Take this information as your daily dose of education, and see what joy it can bring to your social media campaigns! These tips are to help your followers increase, keep your engagement up and active, and to reach your audiences like you never have before. This is a wonderful time for that! We are all on our phones and computers more than ever before, why not do a little good with all this time? Sit back and relax. Have that second cup of coffee you've been craving, you've earned it. Let's get our minds off of everything and talk about Instagram!
Don't Repeat Yourself
Using the same business techniques over and over again can get a little old for both you and your followers. Why not shake up what you're doing in your marketing? Using stories or videos in your stories can be a fun opportunity for you and your team to create and work together. It can help build a fun and closer working relationship together, let an employee out of their shell or let them shine in ways you might not know they could. Think about it, this is a form of advertisement. This new type of advertisement can help keep the attention of your audience in this ever-changing world. You already have so much to work with that you don't have to spend a ton of time or effort to build a social media platform from the ground up like many companies did when they first started using Facebook or Instagram. You are just learning a new tool inside the application that is fun, exciting, and unique. There is a little extra fun in Instagram Stories than what a picture-perfect profile can offer. While your feed may be portfolio perfect, you can add fun stickers, emojis, text, drawings, music, and more to your stories and videos. While this additive might not be as professional or have the look for your feed, it has the fun and real quality people want to see!
Hashtags Me Not
Hashtags have been a controversial topic for social media for some time now. How many should you use? How many are too many? Am I using them correctly or am I going to get in trouble? Are they drawing in the attention I want? Hashtags were created and are used to bring followers of certain topics together and for that group of people to see each other's pictures. But, as hashtags have become more popular, there are some new downfalls. If you use too many, post them in the comment section of your profile post, or use a very popular hashtag, you and your company could see some harsh repercussions. Your account could be frozen for over a week and you wouldn't be able to post, comment or follow anyone back. Your posts might not be seen or could get buried in the shuffle by the app itself. Your posts could even get removed. As of now, Instagram stories are neutral ground. Along with all the fun additives you can put on top of any posts in your stories, you can add hashtags and tag others and your post won't be pushed for doing so. Doing this can bring even more attention to your account, and invite more of your dream demographic you're trying to reach to follow and see what you're all about. Also, if your account does get frozen and you're unable to post to your feed, you are still able to post on Instagram stories with no issue. This will keep you in touch with your followers and their algorithms.
Thoughts For The Road
Are you still not convinced about Instagram Stories? I think we may have a few other things to add to finally convince you!
We hope that this blog has shed a wonderful light on Instagram, Instagram Stories, and the wonderful tools that this exciting and useful app can bring you and your company. This is a great time to start brainstorming, playing with the app, and seeing what specialized things you can make and create for your company. That is the great thing about these apps - you have so much freedom to make it your own. So go out and create! Stay safe Summerville, we are here rooting for you and all of our small business friends!
Social media can be overwhelming. Each platform is starting to offer more to each of their applications. Sometimes those bells and whistles they keep adding on can add to your frustration. Thankfully, if you just take a moment to understand why these little additives are so important to you and your company, you can stay ahead of the times and right in front of your followers with no difficulty.
2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least. To keep you distracted from the news and the hours of scrolling we have all been doing this past week, we wanted to keep on chugging with business as (mostly) normal. We want to give you something to think about while you're working remotely from home or while you're focusing on the next step of what to do. So let's get right into it, and talk about one of our favorite social media platforms; Instagram!
Instagram can be a place of joy, frustration, confusion, and an amazing advertising tool. We've talked about the importance of staying on top of digital marketing trends and how they can truly benefit you and your company if you stay on top of them. One of the biggest trends happening on Instagram right now is the use of the story option. You can add pictures or videos to your story, and it's an interesting and unique tool that more and more companies are starting to take advantage of. Companies are posting pictures and videos of things at the moment and connecting to their followers in ways they never have before. What's exciting about them is that they give your audience and your followers a real behind the scenes look into the heart of your company. Stories give your followers a sense of humanity because they can see the people at the heartbeat of the company and product they care about so much. It's comforting and endearing. In a world drowned out by social media and that is taking away our human connection from one another, this incredible tool and trend are turning us into beings that crave this insight and are pushing us to be apart of it all. In this two-part blog post, we are going to be discussing why using Instagram stories can be very helpful to your online business, and why you should be using them in your Instagram account.
Ready, Set, Engage!
Are you still skeptical about using stories on Instagram? Does it make you a little uncomfortable to think about as an option for your social media, or you see no point in it? Well, the first huge benefit of this particular tool, is that it will give you page top-notch engagement, and allow that engagement to be consistent. Stories aren't something that lasts forever on your profile, they only stick around for 24 hours and then disappear. You can decide to keep them on your Instagram page as a Permanent Highlights if you so choose to (which, if it's great content - then we encourage you to place it into your permanent highlights. The key is to reuse content!) they'll be around as long as you want them to. You can use Instagram Stories to get your followers excited about your product and to stay in contact with you. It's a great storytelling tool, and a great way to add excitement to what's happening right now. You can build up the excitement for every story by mentioning in your Instagram profile that if you watch these videos or look at pictures, your followers might receive special deals, get exclusive looks at new products, and be the first customers to hear new information. Automatically, your followers get excited about being a part of this "in crowd" and will keep them coming back for more. They will check in on your actual profile more often to see when the next video will appear, and while they're visiting they will get to know you and your brand better. Even though not everyone will get a chance to see these Instagram stories, everyone who will see them will get excited.
No Point in Perfect
The great thing about going posting in your stories is that every video or picture you post to it never has to be perfect. They still need to follow proper business etiquette, but if the video quality isn't the best, if the lighting isn't perfect, or the weather didn't turn out that day to do an outside shoot, that's ok! These imperfect moments shows real humanity to the whole situation and in your company. You are just like your followers, posting videos and content that comes from the heart and is going with the flow of life. Do you know how refreshing that is in comparison to perfectly cut little videos that took hours and cost tons of money to make? You can find those everywhere! But where is the heart in those?
These videos and pictures can also be seen and will be seen as real-time moments and action shots. Plus, if this is fun or important information and it doesn't look quality perfect, that's also ok. It's the heart of the content that matters and what your customers, followers, and viewers will remember. The message will still be delivered without messing up the flow of your profile, too. Your Instagram profile can be kept picture perfect and on-brand with the consistent and professional flow you've built, all while still using the stories to show off your brand in a more personal style.
Algorithms of My Heart
Instagram has been seeing a lot of big changes in the last year or so. Now that Facebook owns Instagram, we are very confident that there will still be many more changes to come. One of the biggest changes we've seen is how posts are displayed and what determines the order that they are displayed in. They used to be shown in the order of when they were posted. Now, they are shown in order based on what the built-in algorithm believes you will enjoy the most. This is based on your interests, what you look at regularly on your Instagram page, and what you have created as your personal demographic. If your company doesn't fit into this algorithm, then your posts and account could go unseen for some time, or maybe not even at all. The great thing about using stories or going live in this situation is that they are posted in real-time and are posted in the order that the users post them in. Your followers will have a better opportunity to see you pop up on their feed without getting lost in the shuffle if you use Instagram stories. The more you post in your stories, and the more they're clicked on, the more often your posts will be seen in your follower's feed. This will help click you into their algorithms, and help to become a permanent part of what they see every time they open the app.
That's all for now! What do you think about Instagram stories so far? Are you already using them and this blog post made you appreciate them a little more? Are you getting excited to try out an Instagram story for the very first time? Or are you still a little confused about what it all means? Keep all of this in mind until our next blog, and please feel free to reach out and ask any questions you might about this topic. We are here to start that conversation with you. Until then, stay safe, healthy, and smart. We love you, Summerville!
Gaining online traffic to your website can be a little tricky, but the more you understand the different types of traffic and how to get them to your website, the more you can build your business online and off. Take the time to continue learning about the different types of traffic and how it can help you and your company!
February is here! We mentioned how much we love love, and we wanted to continue that with you. In our last blog we started the conversation about what online traffic to your website is and the different types there are out there. Remember, many different types of traffic can visit your website, but we are focusing on the four most popular. In our last blog, we talked about direct and referral traffic. In this blog, we are going to be finishing out with talking about organic and social traffic. These two are some of the most tangible and easiest forms of traffic you can implement into your company and very easy to add to your online advertisement goals.
TRAFFIC TYPE THREE: Organic Traffic!
This type of traffic comes from an online search. An online user isn't specifically typing in your companies name, because they don't know who you are yet. But they are searching for a specific product or service and want a recommendation for something. They type in something that relates to your business, and if you use this type of traffic properly, your company will pop up in the top three website options for them to choose from. The best way to increase this type of traffic is through SEO - (S)earch (E)ngine (O)ptimization. This will place your business at the top of a Google search, so, likely, your website will automatically be picked first by the online user. SEO labels you as being the authority and pro on the topic you're being searched under and helps increase your Google and Online ranking. It is very easy to track this kind of traffic, and the more work you put into it the higher the return you will receive. The big factor in putting work into this and making Google recognize you as an authority is having high-quality content. You need a beautiful and well-designed webpage and Social Media pages, a very safe hosting site, and written blogs posted to your website at least twice a month (AKA what we provide to our clients!). Being very present and active on your Social Media Pages will also help dramatically with this type of traffic too.
TRAFFIC TYPE FOUR: Social Traffic!
This kind of traffic is cultivated by people visiting your website by finding you on a social media platform. They are so interested and intrigued by your brand, that it causes them to visit your website through a link you've provided in a call to action or posted on your social media pages. The more followers you gain on your social media platforms, the more of this type of traffic you can gain. What helps is posting at least once a day on your platforms, being on-brand and consistent when you post, and staying connected with your followers. You need to interact, communicate, and respond to any posts and messages. It can't be a one way street of communication to be successful in this type of traffic. Don't be selfish in this form of traffic. Don't just post to gain followers and traffic. Your goal should be to create a vibrant community that you're proud to be apart of and that your brand is proud to be a part of. This is what social media was created for. If you see that a certain type of social media platform is working better than others for your company, adjust your time and budget accordingly. Post on all platforms, but be realistic in what is bringing traffic to your website and what is not. This reflects the demographics and age range of who is visiting your website, which is ok! Just be aware of these factors.
You not only need to be aware of each of these forms of traffic and understand how they work, but you also need to know how they help and how to achieve them. You need to track the success of each form of traffic that is coming to your website as well. Google My Business does track these numbers for you and you can find them in your information account under the Acquisition Tab. After you open this tab, you can find it in the Overview section. This gathered data can help you see what types of traffic you're consistently doing well with and the ones you're not doing well with. If there is a type of traffic you want more than others, then it's time to switch up your plan on how you are marketing yourself to gain the traffic you want. Have better offline marketing for the direct traffic or perfect your social media platforms to gain Social Traffic There is a trick to each of these types of traffic, and depending on what works best for you and your company, is what you need to put your focus on!
We hope these past two blogs have helped you understand a little bit more about online traffic and the importance it can bring to your website and company. Understand that each of these types of traffic is important and necessary to grow your businesses. You need to add goals of gaining traffic to your website to your goals of online marketing, and you need to understand your audience and the demographic you are wanting to target. Once you can harness these ideas and understand what type of traffic works best for you, then you'll be unstoppable.
Keep working hard, driving forward with your goals, and staying caffeinated!
Small businesses, be warned! Two of the most important tools in your online marketing toolbox sound very similar but they are two VERY DIFFERENT tools. It's time to break down their differences and pick the right choice for you and your company.
Happy New Year Everyone! We hope you had a wonderful holiday with your loved ones, and you're just as excited as we are to jump into 2020! One of the biggest things we were focusing on before the holidays set in was the challenges, changes, and inconsistencies of online marketing across many social media platforms. If you spend as much time as we do studying and working with advertising on places like Facebook and Instagram, you are very familiar with the fact that it changes constantly. It's hard to keep up with each change and how it affects your advertisements daily. These advertisement tools can determine your business growth and popularity online, so if you don't understand the changes in trends or are unfamiliar with the tools available to you, you could be in serious trouble. One of the biggest things we have been digging into is Geofencing and Geotargeting. This behind the scenes marketing tool can make or break an advertisement campaign without even trying. The names look so familiar, they much basically be the same thing right? Wrong! Although they are connected, you need to understand their main differences. When you understand the differences, you will be able to choose which option is best for your company. The best choice will help you gain more customers, followers, and supporters. First off, let's get down to the definitions.
GEOFENCING: Geofencing is when you draw an actual virtual fence with a predetermined chosen radius. This is used to target and connect specific people in a certain area to your advertisement. It is known to be more accurate than geotargeting. It uses GPS to make sure the audience you have targeted is being tracked and followed based on the coordinates of where they are in that exact moment they're online. When this chosen group of people is online, geofencing collects data and studies how long this chosen group of customers stays within the virtual fence and if and when they come back. This tool helps improve the engagement of local customers for your company and it can help attract customers away from your competition. The disadvantage of geofencing is that it can only target audiences based on physical location. Hand-picking demographics and certain groups of people based on anything besides location have nothing to do with who sees your geofencing advertisement.
Who is the best for? If you are interested in advertising to populations of all interests and ages in your local area, then it is a perfect tool for your company.
GEOTARGETING: This tool is very similar to Geofencing at its base. It does draw the same invisible fence, BUT demographics are included in its makeup. You create your virtual fence, and then you pick who exactly (based on age, interest, gender, etc.) will see your ad. One of the main disadvantages is that you have to open up your advertisement geographic to a much larger area. You are being very specific about the type of people you want to see this add within a particular area So, to get as much of a result as you would with geofencing, the location needs to be larger to attract the same number of people in a geofencing situation.
Who is this best for? If you are interested in advertising to a very specific group of people inside a certain demographic or niche, then this is a perfect option for your company.
Spend time studying both options. I have just given you the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to using these tools, and there is a lot to dig into when choosing which to use. Understand how each could affect your company for the better or worse. Spend time understanding the consumers you have and those you're trying to attract. This might be the perfect opportunity to step back and define your company and who you want to serve. If you have the time and the means, experiment with both and see which outcome is best. But make sure to decide on one in the end, stick with it, and plan your advertising campaign accordingly. The work put into this decision could lead to a more dedicated consumer base and a fast conversion rate. All of us social media people love to see those numbers jump high and jump quick!
Here is to an exciting 2020, we can't wait to build a better business world with you one day at a time!
We've talked about how to use social media and other online tools to better your business and not to shy away from them. They are there waiting for you, so use them! Instagram has become one of the biggest platforms to build your business today. Do you know all the tools and options this budding business tool has to offer?
"Design is the silent ambassador of your brand."
Happy November friends! How excited are you that Thanksgiving is almost here? The turkey is on its way, but it's not quite time to relax just yet. The holidays are an incredibly busy time for any company, ours included. Don't get overwhelmed with this, instead ride the wave of the good it can do for your company. I discovered this quote while working on our first blog of the month, and I thought it was the perfect food for thought before we settle into our big Thanksgiving plates. We are so focused on creating a brand, that it's so easy to forget about the powerful tools that are at our fingertips waiting to be taken advantage of. They are there to make your company and brand stronger than you could ever imagine. What is even crazier to think about, a lot of these tools are free! That's right - FREE! There is something to be said about the adage that you do need to spend money to make money. But when there are moments to save money and still help your company grow - take them! This is why our next two blogs will be focused on tips on how to use Instagram to build your business into a powerful platform one day at a time! This is a holiday gift from us to you, and we are happy to share what we know!
Are you getting as excited as we are about Instagram? It's easy to have a love-hate relationship with apps that you use as part of your advertising goals, but if you spend the time getting to know them, it'll be worth it. Enjoy these tips for now, but don't worry, there are more coming. Until next time friends, stay safe, caffeinated and excited about your company!
Are you using all of the social media tools that are waiting at your fingertips? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, and the like might be frustrating. But once you dedicate time to any of them, you'll find a plethora of amazing advertising tools that you can use for free. You just have to keep looking and find what works for you.
Hello friends! We've made it to fall, and we can't surround ourselves more with pumpkin spice and everything spooky. This week's blog will be focusing on the benefits of using Facebook groups for your small business. I can feel the perpetual eye roll, I understand that Facebook can be a beast to use and an even bigger beast to advertise on. But it's a fact of life that you need it, and if you give it enough time this tool can help you and your company grow in new and exciting ways. But you can't just create something and not nourish it. Creating a Facebook group and just letting it sit there is not the end all be all that will allow your company to grow and flourish without putting a little effort into it. You have to put work into it like you would any other part of your business. I'm sure that you know, that any business no matter the size, needs to have a strong presence on social media. This can all be rooted, cultivated, in a well-loved and well designed Facebook group.
A Facebook group gives you a human connection and removes that big box store feeling and disconnect from your customers. It is a reminder that there is a living breathing human working behind the computer screen. As a business owner, you need to constantly have a presence that's engaging, real, and driven towards your target audience. Thankfully, even though there are some elements of business when running a Facebook group, it can take away the pressure Facebook can put on a business and help create an engaging platform without pushing too hard.
We hope you walk away from this blog with a better opinion of Facebook and how to use the tools it offers. Don't be afraid to use them, your following and target audience is there waiting for you. Don't lose out on a wonderful way of communicating, connecting, and promoting who you are as a person and a business!
We know it might seem a little early to already be prepping for the holidays, but it's always best to get a head start on planning. From prepping your decorations to your ad campaign, take the time to make this year the best year yet!
Hello everyone! We hope you had a wonderful September, and that you are so excited for October and the fall season to take over. For everyone in the small business world, stepping closer into fall also means starting to prepare for all of your holiday sales, offers, decorations, ads, images, and products. It's A LOT to plan for. Believe me we can relate. We have already started to plan for our fourth quarter, which also happens to be the busiest part of the year. If there is one thing we can recommend right away, it's to start early. That is a huge headache saved, believe me! No matter the size of your small business, you deserve a strong plan and marketing agenda for the holidays. Smart planning for the holidays isn't just for the big box stores or giant corporations. If you employ 1 or 1000, it's time to get started.
We are so excited to share these few tips of the trade with you. Each of these tips can be used for any holiday, but with everything from Halloween to the New Year approaching, we will be focusing on those holidays and each in between. These tips span everything from social media to your digital footprint on Google. You won't want to miss out on these!
Like we mentioned - there is A LOT to think about when it comes to successfully running a business during the holiday season. But we hope these tips help ease some of your stress and kick off the best quarter of the year for you and your small business! We will see you next time!