Promoting your brand on social media can be tricky – especially when going after new business. Not only do you need content focused on attracting new clients or consumers, but you also need to keep your current clients engaged. Here are 3 tricks to maintaining a consistent and effective social media strategy:
Review: Facebook posts are small in size, especially on mobile. Catching the consumer’s eye is essential, but it can be hard to know what works. The slightest change to an image or copy can be the difference between someone scrolling past your post or clicking on your link. This can scare many businesses that are operating with a small budget. When your budget is tight, or this is your first experience with growing your business on Facebook, not getting it “right” the first time may seem like a waste of time and money, but it doesn’t have to be. Reviewing your strategy regularly will ensure that you are running on all cylinders. Some content will be more effective than others. Just because a post or an ad might flop the first time does not mean it was a waste. Every post provides more data for you to optimize and better run your next campaign.
Revamp: So you have run your first campaign and collected some data – what now? After the review process, you should have a decent amount of data to consider. Think critically about your posts, and ask yourself some questions – What posts got more attention than others? What was different about these posts? What time of year is it? What are my competitors doing right now that is working for them? All of these questions have an answer that can help in optimizing your strategy.
Repeat: When your campaign is running well, don’t become complacent in your posting and content creation. Far too often, businesses begin to become predictable in their content. Don’t let this happen to you. Repeat this process as often as you can, and a few more times in between. You want to keep your audience entertained. You might be enjoying your content, but to grow a profitable business that can influence the industry, you must pay attention to how your audience is reacting to your current strategy.
Gaining traction on Instagram can seem like an uphill battle–if you don’t know these helpful tips. Here are some tried and true ways to increase traffic and attention to your IG profile.
Make your account public.
This is an obvious tip, but one that cannot be emphasized enough. If you want attention from the public, your account needs to be viewable by the public. People want to see your content before deciding to follow you, and your account will not show up on the Discover page if it is private.
Use relevant hashtags.
Use hashtags so that you show up on other areas of Instagram. People follow specific hashtags to get shown content that is relevant to them, and you want to target those demographics. Instagram will also recommend pages based on hashtags you use.
Post content consistently.
Make sure to post consistently so that your followers know when to expect your content. This will also help the algorithm see you as an active account. If you go for long periods without posting, then you might not pop up to the top of the timeline when you decide to start posting again.
Engage with other users.
Instagram favors engagement. The more you interact with other users, the more they will interact with you. With this back-and-forth interaction, your posts will start to crawl to the top of your follower’s timeline.
I would be lying if I told you that social media did not have a “pay to play” aspect. Brands and accounts that spend money on advertising to grow their following will grow faster than those that don’t. It is a simple algorithm that Instagram has in place to better user experience. Don’t try to beat it or work around it. Try and work with it, and you will be better off for it.
Growing your following on Instagram can take time, effort, and planning, but what part of growing your brand doesn’t? If you follow the tips above (and don’t fall into the trap of bought engagement), you will see your account reap the benefits.
When starting a new business, Instagram is one of the best mediums to promote your brand and build awareness. A familiar feeling among new Instagram users is that they are not building fast enough. They feel their growth has gotten stagnant. You can get out of your growth slump in many ways, but the one way you need to be careful of is purchasing followers. There are many companies out there that promote growing your Instagram by getting you more followers. If you pay for these services, they 100% will get you more followers, but at a wasted cost. In my opinion, you might as well just throw your money directly into the trash for the reasons I will list below.
These vendors are found all over, and some or more “legit” than others. It is getting harder and harder for them to deliver on their promises because Instagram is cracking down on these services. What will happen when you pay for this service? Over the next few hours to a couple of days, your will start to see more followers being added to your account. In the end, this is just a number. Your engagement rarely goes up, and if it does, it isn’t for long.
Before I list the reasons as to why these services are harmful to your profile, I will walk through the different ways to buy followers.
Bots are fake accounts that are created by an automated process and are all over Instagram. You have probably run into these types of accounts before. They have a handful of photos and follow many accounts while being followed by very few. These accounts can be so deceiving that they will comment, like, and interact like regular accounts. Because of the bad follow-to-follower ratio that these accounts typically have, the engagement they produce has little impact on your account.
These accounts are real accounts either created by companies or users with the sole intent of adding more followers to their main account. These accounts might be good initially, but become a burden on your performance once they go dormant.
You can buy followers directly, but there are other services out there that will follow accounts like yours or that might be interested in your content with the hope of being followed back. The pro of this kind of service is that the accounts that follow you back will be actual accounts, so there is a higher chance of engagement with your content. The con of this kind of service is that it can be pricey with no guarantee of the accounts following you back.
What are some of the risks and downsides of purchasing followers?
Have you ever followed an account with a healthy number of followers and then saw that they were only getting a handful of likes per post? I have. It was a fellow marketing account to which made this sting a little more. The account had 7,000 followers and posted regularly, but was only getting 3-4 likes per post. This is a good sign of an account that purchased its followers. I unfollowed them because, as someone teaching others about marketing, you can’t try and cheat the system.
“as someone teaching others about marketing, you can’t try and cheat the system. “
Skewed Performance Metrics
It will be hard to get an accurate measure of your page’s performance when you have low engagement compared to your follower count because of fake followers. When you have an inflated amount of followers, your regular engagement might look bad when, in fact, it is correct for what you are putting out there. Even worse, your content is not adequate, and you are losing your real followers because you are getting the fake engagement that will not last over time.
Dropping Follower Numbers
Instagram is starting to purge fake followers and likes that were acquired through third-party apps. By buying followers, you are violating Instagram’s terms of service. This might draw the attention of moderators that will reduce the amount of engagement you will get or remove you from the app entirely if you continue to violate the terms of service.
There Is A Better Way To Grow On Instagram.
Make Your Account Public
Making your account public will open it up to be viewed by the public. People will want to see your content before following you, and you will not show up on the discover page while your account is private.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Use hashtags so that you show up in other areas of Instagram. People follow specific hashtags to get shown relevant content. Instagram will also recommend pages based on hashtags you use.
Post Content Consistently
Make sure to post consistently so that your followers know when to expect your content. This will also help the algorithm see you as an active account. If you go for long periods without posting, then you might not pop up to the top of the timeline when you start posting again.
Engage With Other Users
Instagram favors engagement. The more you interact with other users, the more they will interact with you. With all of this interaction, your posts will start to crawl to the top of your follower’s timeline.
I would be lying if I told you that social media did not have a “pay to play” aspect of it. Brands and accounts that spend money on advertising to grow their following will grow faster than those that don’t. It is a simple algorithm that Instagram has in place to better user experience. Don’t try to beat it or work around it. Try and work with it, and you will be better off for it.
There are better ways to grow your engagement and following on Instagram. It can take a lot of time and effort, but what part of growing your brand doesn’t? If you follow the steps listed above and don’t fall into the trap of bought engagement, then you will do just fine.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of working to increase both the quantity and quality of web traffic to your site.
Understanding SEO involves an understanding of people and what they are searching for on the web. Google uses a series of web crawlers that search web content and decide what content people will see first.
Organic vs. Paid Traffic
There are two types of traffic that are included in SEO:
Organic traffic: Web visitors that find your website by searching a certain keyword, brand name, or typing in your website address
Paid Traffic: This type of traffic comes from the text ads, web ads, and shopping ads that are at the very top of the page when searching for a certain piece of content
Better User Experience
Having good or bad SEO is usually a good indicator of the user experience (UX) on your website. Google will intentionally draw people away from your site if its web crawlers have a hard time navigating your website. If your traffic is low and is not increasing, this could be the issue.
If you are having a hard time figuring out why Google is having an issue crawling your site, there are a few things you can try:
Check to make sure you have a sitemap uploaded to Google.
Check your code to make sure the different elements on your site are properly defined.
Google has resources that will help you check these two steps.
SEO Is Cheap
If you build your website with SEO in mind from the very beginning, this process is a lot easier. What makes SEO so cheap is that, for a relatively low cost of $50 – $500, you can pay an expert to audit and make subtle changes to your site that will help drive in more traffic. After the initial work is done, you can continue to reap the rewards in the future.
To understand the value of search engine optimization and the organic traffic it brings, we have to compare what it would cost to bring the same traffic from advertising.
In this example, the amount of website traffic one business is getting through organic views would cost over $94,000 in advertising to replicate. This shows how expensive web traffic can be and how beneficial and cost-efficient SEO is in the long-run.
People should be able to find your website with or without advertising. In a down year or as a new brand, you may not have the funds to throw at advertising or to pay someone to advertise for you.
If you are currently are running advertising, ask yourself, “Is my current web traffic sustainable if I stop advertising?” If the answer is no, it might be time to invest in SEO.
Build your brand for free, and choose to pay for more traffic down the road if you want. Advertising should be a choice–and with SEO, it is.
Not sure how your website is performing and how it stacks up to your competitors? Contact me today for a free audit of your website. I will show you how Google sees your site through your Domain Score as well as give you the top 25 keywords that your website is ranking for in search.
When Amazon and eBay came along, people said they would never replace the traditional, in-store experience that someone can get, so don’t worry about them. A few years later, malls are closing down because stores are leaving. In this new generation of shopping, we see more and more stores on Instagram and Facebook.
Instagram is leading the charge in 2020/2021. Through Instagram’s shopping feature, brands can tag up to 5 products in a post, and when people click on them, they can see all of the product information. If you like the item, then you are easily linked to the website to complete your purchase. The ease of shopping in this way has increased revenue for large and small brands anywhere from 7%-9% so far. Pretty soon, Instagram will be rolling out a checkout feature that people can use to buy the products they want without even going to the brand’s website. This is still in beta testing with a few big brands, but should be rolling out for everyone within the next year.
Why should we use Instagram shopping?
The generations that are utilizing this aspect of social media the most is Gen Z and Millennials. These groups already go to Instagram for the latest trends in most industries, especially retail and D2C businesses. Why not make this platform a one-stop-shop for entertainment and shopping? If the consumer is already in the mood for trendy content and is wanting to match the influencers they are following, their impulse buying decisions are going to be much more frequent and likely here.
It seems silly to have to say, “customer loyalty is not a given, no matter how long they have shopped with you.” Some people need to hear this. Far too often, companies throw out the same products and sales with different marketing thinking that their customers are all of a sudden going to buy products they can’t sell.
The general consumer is not stupid, so don’t treat them like they are. Give them a reason to keep coming back. For brands that have many sales, you need to give them a reason to buy when there isn’t a sale. Putting items on sale repeatedly to mark them back up is not a way to get people to think your things are worth more than the discounted price. This will cause extreme spikes and dips in your analytics and sales. Get them to trust that the items that are marked down are not worth more, and the items that are higher in price are special when they are marked down. Either you will do it or another retailer will.
If you are a successful business, you will continuously be reviewed. Although frustrating at times, this is a good thing. Making sure you respond to every review is essential for customer retention. The majority of your customers expect to be responded to after giving a review, but 63% of people claim they have never been responded to by brands. Why is this important? 94% of consumers have not bought a product or worked with a company based on a bad review they read. How those two connect is that 7 out of 10 consumers have changed their view of a company based on the review’s response. It is proven to boost sales, keep current customers, and gain new customers when you respond to reviews online, good or bad.
These are two simple habits that, as a business, you can build, but are tough habits to break when practicing in the wrong way. Your customers want to be treated with respect and like you care what they think.
CLICK HERE for some great statistics on customer reviews.
Who would have thought that in 2019 we would still be debating over good and bad content strategies? With over 2.5 billion people on social media, a number that is projected to increase to over 3 billion in the next 2 years, finding people who will be interested in your content should be the easiest it’s ever been. But if that’s the case, then why are most accounts with 1000+ followers only getting a handful of likes per post? Why isn’t everyone’s brand taking off? Three words: Content, content, content. Your content strategy can make you or break you when it comes to separating you from your competition.
Put yourself in your followers’ shoes.
You may be thinking to yourself, But I post creative content that is relevant to my services/product/brand. And you may be right – but is it the right type of content?
I am a firm believer that posting and creating content regularly is critical to maintaining your audience, but that doesn’t mean you should be creating half-baked content just for the sake of posting. Posting content that your followers are going to interact with is the number one priority.
If you are not receiving a lot of likes on your posts, take a deep dive into your followers list. Look at what your followers like and what they are posting. Use this information to shape how you are presenting your content, or decide that you need to search and prospect different types of followers. Even content that seems off-topic or unrelated to your brand can be tailored to fit both your and your audience’s needs.
Befriend the monster under your bed.
When it comes to getting noticed on social media, the algorithms on each platform are a content creator’s boogeyman that keeps her up at night. The rules and algorithms can change overnight, and if you don’t adjust, your viewing statistics can go from TikTok to Vine faster than you can say, “Irrelevant.”
Facebook and Instagram are constantly changing their systems for posts. As of the writing of this blog, their latest update shows reserves the top of a person’s feed only for posts from accounts a person regularly engages with. While this won’t block posts from other accounts on the feed entirely, it can seriously hurt your engagement potential if your followers have to scroll way, way down to the bottom of their feeds to see your content.
How do you get the boogeyman to start working for you? Outsmart him. Post. Post. Post. Comment. Post. Constantly post content to get in front of your audience. Make sure you post new content at least once a day, and consider posting multiple times a day initially. Try putting out posts at different times of the day. Commenting on posts from your followers also lets the algorithm know that you and that account have a more personal connection, and that will start to help your visibility as well. With the top social media giants trying to create a more personal experience for their users, you want to make sure you are part of that experience and not left out.
Think of your account as a pocket-sized billboard for your followers.
A common misconception that people have about ads is that you can only run ads if you are a recognizable company with a substantial budget. This is simply not true. With the emergence of online marketing, advertising on social media is a must for a small business to stand out. Start out small, and just focus on brand recognition. Spend some time getting used to each social media’s advertising platform; the energy will be worth the payoff. With the content creation and dissemination falling to you, this can actually be incredibly affordable as well; you can do this for as little as five dollars a day. It is relatively simple to become a successful advertiser for your own brand.
Give me an L! Give me an I! Give me a K! Give me an E!
Creating content can be daunting when the accounts you admire or compete with have thousands of followers. Follower count is important, but it comes second to relevant content for your followers. When your posts are engaging your audience, your follower count will increase organically.
The number of likes you have is one of the best metrics for measuring the effectiveness of your content strategy. A high follower count doesn’t mean anything if they aren’t getting engagement. An account with 1,000 followers and a consistent amount of likes per post is a better role model for you than one with 10,000 followers and only a handful of likes per post.
In 1885, Karl Benz built the first practical working automobile. Almost 135 years later, we are still perfecting his invention, and everyone has a different opinion on which one is best. To put this in perspective, the internet has existed for less than thirty years, and social media for less than twenty; social media is still a relatively new concept that is constantly evolving.
Even so, there are a few strategies that have proven effective for gaining an attentive audience: 1. Gear your content toward your audience or start branching out to a different audience. 2. Make the algorithms work for you, not against you. 3. Advertising is not just for big companies. 4. A lot of likes tells a better story than a lot of followers.
Your content strategy is where it all begins. Staying on brand and tailoring content to fit your growing needs is the only way to stay on top of the game and turn those followers into profit.