Thinking about making TikTok part of your social media strategy?
If you know anything about social media, you know that Twitter is the place to go if you want to get something off your mind. Funny, but true! It’s the best platform for quick, relevant, newsworthy and creative information. Why? Well, for starters you only have 280 characters to get your message across. Sounds challenging but for curators, that’s a breeze. So, first, what is content curation? According to Hootsuite, curated content is content created by others that you select to share with your own audience. The definition seems simple in concept, but the execution takes a little more precision.
Dekaf Digital (DD): What’s your role at Twitter?
Chloe Barnes (CB): I’m responsible for educating the global team of people that curate moments and making sure that all of the curated work is accurately representative of the diverse places on the platform.
DD: How is Twitter evolving in the space of advertising and user experience?
CB: With a brief chuckle, she shares the only thing that is constant at Twitter is change. However, she loves that part the most!
Although Twitter is a mature company, to most people’s surprise they operate almost like a start-up in how they generate and execute new ideas.
They prioritize healthy conversations, the safety of their customers, and give global opportunities to those that want to use their platform to join in on those conversations.
This is exactly what we like!
DD: What can we expect on the horizon?
CB: Well, we’re growing! With recently acquiring Breaker, a social podcast app, we plan to introduce a lot of activities in the audio space. Additionally, we just launched Birdwatch, a community-based platform that allows customers to provide feedback in real-time, and to tag misleading information on the platform. This way issues that have been escalated will have a quicker response time which can help get a lot of the content off the platform. Talk about efficiency!
We’ve also enabled the community to be active participants in the fight against misinformation will be a huge game-changer for the health and safety of the Twitter platform.
DD: How is curation important within social media engagement?
CB: Since you’re so inundated with information on social media most find it very hard to find a community to participate in conversation with similar interests. Curation plays a part in healthy conversations on our platform by making it easy to find and understand what’s happening within the Twitter community.
For instance, anything that’s in bold on their explorer page is a trend. There’s a global team that spends all day contextualizing those trends.
In 2-3 sentences you’ll see why this is trending and then by clicking on the trend, you’ll get into a ‘Twitter moment’.
Ultimately Twitter takes the responsibility to help reduce the distortion of a lot of public conversations very seriously. As well as the diversity of the accounts they amplify in those curated moments.
DD: With all of the different social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, Instagram, etc) what trends are you seeing?
CB: Across the board, people will continue to capitalize on telling stories. In so much that with that, those conversations are starting to become more decentralized so people can participate from all over.
So, what that looks like, is we’ll start to find more opportunities to host public conversations in different mediums such as audio.
More now than ever, Twitter is becoming more than a news-only platform. The idea is to continue to amply the voices of authors, artists, creators, and entrepreneurs in a way that a lot of other platforms have yet to do.
As we close, Chloe encourages everyone to not only get a Twitter account but feel empowered to connect with others and tell your story. It’s clear that Twitter is continuing to evolve to make everyone’s voices be heard and connect communities across the globe through 280 little characters.
Let’s start first with defining what content marketing is, since it’s a term that’s often thrown around loosely. According to the Content Marketing Institute, Content marketing is 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. Sounds straight forward but, it’s much harder than it sounds. What does that really mean? As it relates to content, its social posts, blogs, videos, ebooks, webinars, podcasts and more.
Content marketing is essential to a business’s digital strategy’s success. We’ve defined the “content”. In a marketing context, it’s the aspect of marketing focused on the conceptualization, publication and distribution of content for a targeted online audience.
When combined, and done well, a content marketing strategy will attract and retain customers by providing them with engaging and valuable, usually free, information to learn more about and connect with a brand. The goal of your content marketing strategy is not singular but plural. Effective content marketing strategies will deliver sustained brand loyalty, generate online sales, increase brand awareness and credibility, and build a community of engaged customers.
So, how do you do it? Let’s dive in with these 3 ways to elevate your content marketing game.
#1. Copywriting is essential.
Copy is at the center of all things content. You’ve seen well-written Facebook posts, Tweets, and LinkedIn articles. Those don’t happen by mistake, or happenstance. Copy is an artform; it’s done to increase brand awareness, convey a message and to convince readers (existing and potential customers) to take a defined action (i.e. sign up, subscribe, buy).
Copywriting is crucial to content marketing as it conveys your business’s message in an engaging and interesting way. Copywriting forms the foundation of many content types, from a podcast or Clubhouse room script, to a Tweet, Facebook post, blog, infographic or article. This is what makes it important that your copywriting grabs attention, is relevant and topical to captivate your customers and prompt them to the desired take action.
#2. Engage & Interact with your audience.
Now that you have the crucial step of copy down, it’s time to be a part of the conversation by reaching your ideal audience. If your target audience never sees your content, it doesn’t matter how great the content it, does it? The first step is identifying your target audience. For example, a tweet only lives for 18 minutes while a blog post lives on as long as your site is up, and gives you SEO rank. You might be inclined to only blog but the real question is, which is your audience more likely to engage with? The answer is, most often, both. You want to strategically place content, of interest to your audience, leading to them taking action, which will result in achieving your goals – increased site traffic, subscribers, app downloads, conversions, sales, etc.
Engagement begins before the “action” and continues well after it. It’s critical to transforming your customers into loyalists and developing long-term relationships to move potential customers to actual customers and existing customers to ambassadors and repeat customers. When customers are engaged, you garner positive customer experiences, brand loyalty and recognition, not to mention the valuable customer feedback and insight.
#3. Relevance is key.
Remember that stat about the 18 minute tweet? That’s a great place for newsworthy, calendar-relevant content. So are other social networks as their lifespans are short. The content is there and then gone. Your audience may capture it, so make sure it’s accurate, well written and beautiful, but it has to be balanced with evergreen content. Evergreen content is the type of content, like a blog or an article, that stays relevant over an extended period of time. It’s a double win as it’s great for content marketing garnering attention, capturing a consumer action (subscribe, sign up, etc) and, if done well, pays off in SEO by sustaining high SEO ranks over time. In addition, it can be shared on social media multiple times over longer periods of time.
A good example of an evergreen piece of content is a blog that’s relevant to your industry but not tied to a specific news, or calendar, event. For example, 10 Tips on Home Remodeling, 5 Ways to Stay Fit at Home, How to Manage Analytics Mismanagement, or Grow Your Audience Using Facebook Groups. These are all evergreen topics that you can create content pieces around and keep up for longer periods of time. On the other hand, if you create content titled: Why to Refinance in 2021, Best Places to Eat in South Philly, Hottest Cars of The Year, etc. you have to maintain and update this content. Evergreen content can’t include news reports, statistical trends, or seasonal topics; otherwise, it becomes identified with a particular date and loses relevance. Incorporating evergreen content is regarded as a critical success factor for a business’s marketing strategy, especially because they drive more traffic.
Closing The Loop on Content Marketing Strategy
This might seem like a lot of work but, there are wonderful tools to manage your content called Content Management Systems. The most common, and widely known, is WordPress, which we happen to use and find very useful. There are also social media management systems to organize all your marketing components in one place, including publishing. Technology makes content marketing so much easier.
The efficiency, impact and reach of your content marketing strategy depends entirely upon the content you create and select to convey your business’ branding, message, vision, and mission. By strategically publishing quality content that is unique to your business, you can not only enhance your social media marketing, but also elevate your SEO and establish long-term relationships with your target audiences.
Using Hashtags for Business
The pound sign has been valuable from the time phones were invented, but in 2007 the familiar symbol changed forever: the pound sign transformed into a hashtag. Now, those two pairs of intersecting parallel lines make a powerful global social media tool. Use the hashtag wisely and consistently, and your social media accounts will earn an increased amount of followers and free advertising. As with any social account, an optimized use of hashtags is beneficial, but especially so when using them strategically for your business. In this article we’ll share how to use hashtags effectively for business.
Back in 2007, Chris Messina founded the hashtag, being first to suggest using the (then) pound sign on Twitter as a categorical symbol to gather discussions. The notion has spread across the web like wildfire ever since. In fact, 10 years after Chris first used the hashtag on social media, the Telegraph reported that about 125 million hashtags are used a day on Twitter. Undoubtedly, that number has grown exponentially since that data was reported in 2017.
Why You Should Use Hashtags:
A key feature of the hashtag you’ll want to take advantage of for your business is that adding hashtags to your web or social content allows you to measure its performance retroactively. Hashtags provide you with powerful information to analyze your existing content and refine it to best connect with your audiences online and drive ever-improving performance. In short, hashtags can help your content become more visible and increase its engagement.
How to Use Hashtags:
Hashtags are most commonly used on various social network such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter (where it all started). Here are the primary “rules” to follow in order to use a hashtag correctly in your posts:
They must start with # but they won’t work if you use spaces, punctuation or symbols.
Set your social media accounts to public, so users not following you can see your content.
Don’t use lengthy hashtags – generally. Typically, the shorter the better here, but gauge your audience, accounts, context because long hashtags can catch on in popularity.
Be specific and relevant with your hashtags. When your hashtag is easy to find, it’s more likely to be used by other social media users.
Don’t use too many hashtags per post. Each social channel has limits to how many hashtags are allowed, and using too many can work against you. We’ll discuss the optimal number of hashtags by network in the next section.
Optimal Amount of Hashtags, by Network:
Twitter – Use 1-2 hashtags within your post or in the comments section (Twitter recommends using no more than 2 hashtags per post).
Instagram – On average, use 1-3 hashtags in your post, but 5-10 hashtags per post is also acceptable. IG allows you to use up to 30 hashtags per post, but 11 hashtags typically yields a favorable response.
It has become popular to posting most of your hashtags within your post’s first comment, as they are less distracting from your content in that area.
By using less hashtags in your post captions, you’ll be less likely to be penalized by its algorithm.
With an Instagram Business account, you can access Instagram Insights, which inform you on which of your posts and hashtags have been more effective.
Instagram Stories – You may use up to 10 hashtags in IG Stories.
LinkedIn – Use 1-2 hashtags per post.
Remember to keep hashtags professional
Trending LinkedIn hashtags will appear in the “news and views” section on the home page.
Facebook – Use 1-2 hashtags per post.
Many users’ profiles are private on Facebook, which makes it more challenging for brands to track how users are interacting with your hashtags.
You can monitor your brand’s hashtags and see which public profiles are joining in the conversation by using the URL facebook.com/hashtag/_____. Include the keyword you want to search at the end.
Popular Types of Hashtags for your Business:
Instagram breaks hashtags down into nine types of hashtags for business.
Product or service hashtags: These are basic keywords to describe your product or service, like #iPhonecase or #yogastudio
Industry Instagram community hashtags: Instagram is comprised of communities, and these hashtags help you locate and connect with them. For example: #scubadiver or #lifestylereporter
Location hashtags: While you can geo-tag your Instagram post, it helps you stand out by using your location as a hashtag, as in #nycbrunch or #indyeats
Niche hashtags: These indicate where you fit in the context of your industry, like #illustratorsofinstagram or #graffitiofig
Special event or seasonal hashtags: you know, things like #happysweet16 or #happynewyear
Daily hashtags: You can use a hashtag for every day of the week, like #MotivationMonday straight through to #Sundaybrunch.
Relevant phrase hashtags: These hashtags combine elements of product hashtags, niche hashtags, and community hashtags. Essentially, they’re ways Instagram users connect to existing communities in a more specific way, like #longhairdontcare or styleyourself
Acronym hashtags: These are hashtags you’ve probably used numerous times and have widespread international popularity, such as #FBF for flashback Friday or #OOTD for outfit of the day or even #PSL for pumpkin spice latte.
Emoji hashtags: Many hashtags have been overused and become ineffective. Adding an emoji or emojis to your hashtag can give it new life amongst you and other users. For instance, #shoes👟 or #fallvibes🧡
Keep in Mind Hashtag Density:
Hashtags have a high or low density, which affects the amount competition and engagement potential for your post.
High Density Hashtags: Used in 500K+ posts and equate to higher competition to rank and more difficulty to reach other users.
Low Density Hashtags: Used in a lower amount of posts, with less competition to rank, making it easier to reach other users.
We recommend using a mix of both high and low density hashtags in your posts to reach a broader audience.
Other Tips for Optimal Hashtag Use:
Create branded hashtags to generate engagement using your business name or something easy to relate to your brand.
You can build your brand using custom hashtags that can gain traction over time. Encourage customers to use your branded hashtag in posts related to your business. Be sure to follow your brand’s hashtag to track the engagement around it.
Determine what hashtags are popular and trending by network
(according to your brand, industry and audience).
– We recommend studying your competitors and any relevant influencers within your brand’s niche.
– Monitor which hashtags your competitors or influencers use most often and the amount of hashtags they use in each of their posts. This will help you learn how your competitors are engaging with your shared target audience and which keywords appeal to them.
Use a hashtag tool:
Hashtagify.me is a tool that helps you find the best Twitter hashtags or Instagram hashtags for your brand.
With this tool, you can search any hashtag and see how popular it is. For example, if you search the popularity of #ThrowbackThursday, you will get results showing you this hashtag’s overall popularity, its recent popularity, and the trends for the month and week.
Use a social media listening tool:
to learn which hashtags are most relevant to your network and niche. Hootsuite has a social listening tool that enables your brand to use search streams to discover which hashtags are the best for all the social networks it uses. Simply, search streams make it easy to see which hashtags are the most popular and the most effective.
Determine which hashtags are trending.
RiteTag is an application that generates trending hashtag suggestions based on your content.
With a bit of time and patience, deploying these tactics in your hashtag use should give your business an ongoing boost across your social channels.
Need extra help improving your social media marketing for your business? Give us a ring!
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Social Media has not only become the norm for personal branding but also corporate branding. That said, 2021 will be a unique year where most businesses will have to learn how to kick-off new strategies, brands, and even products virtually – building on the success learned in 2020. This may be a stretch with over 3,000 small business owners listing marketing/advertising as one of the top 3 challenges in 2020, according to Guidant Financial. Nevertheless, social media as much as it has evolved is necessary yet still achievable for all businesses. Here are 3 ways to best utilize social media in Q1:
VOC – Voice of the Customer:
Any size company has the opportunity to hear from its customers; what a gift! This helps inform what your customers want, shows you where, and how, they’re engaged and identifies business efficiencies. According to socialbakers.com, “A report by Forrester projects that digital customer service interactions will increase by 40% in 2021.” An increasing number of customers will leverage sharing their voice via digital platforms, such as social media. Therefore it’s important to have eyes and ears available to capture any and all feedback.
Sets the stage for your brand:
Social media allows you to set the stage for the past, present, and future objectives of your brand. Addressing, and even readjusting, customer perceptions by highlighting improvements in products, services, and perhaps even culture. The oh-so-fun and delicious ice cream brand, Ben & Jerry’s, has mastered this concept. They highlight their organizations mission and culture through their ice cream. Their unique naming conventions, flavors and partnerships create dialogue and brand awareness on their social platforms. Furthermore, they give consumers an easy way to stay connected to up and coming trends. But, let’s be honest, do we really need a reason to eat ice cream?! Sharing your future strategy and seasonal items to show how you’re thinking ahead while also incentivizing customers to stay engaged through multiple platforms. It’s the best mix!
Highlight Your Customers:
Everyone enjoys being valued. Highlighting your customers showcases your target audience. Secondly, it shows that you care about customer satisfaction and not just sales. Lastly, it leads to brand loyalty through repeat and higher transactional customers. Smile.io confirms how “After one purchase, a customer has a 27% chance of returning to your store…[and] if you can get that customer to come back and make a second and third purchase, they have a 54% chance of making another purchase.” Highlighting your customers can be sharing them using a product, a short product review, or a customer testimonial. Plus it’s great content for your social media campaigns!
These 3 ways are best utilized in Q1 to help set the tone for the rest of the year. Creating a brand presence early helps potential customers look to your business first to meet their needs compared to competitors. Furthermore, all can be conducted on various platforms for a very low cost. Kick-off your Q1 social media strategy today. If this all sounds confusing, reach out to us to help – we’re always here for you
Benefits & Comparisons between top-rated social media management tools of 2020
Whether your business has 2 social media accounts or 25, your life will be much easier if you manage all of your accounts from one place using a social media management tool. In case you’re wondering what a social media management tool is, it’s software that allows you to manage and share posts across multiple social media accounts and includes other tools to monitor and optimize analytics on those accounts. These days, there is a multitude of social media management tools to choose from (some you can use for FREE!), so it can be overwhelming to decide which is best for your brand. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best social media management tools currently available to help you choose which will most benefit your brand. To compare these tools, we’ve divided them into categories according to business type and their unique differentiators, including cost.
Top social media management tools for small-medium businesses:
Unique product attributes: With Buffer, you have the capability to create and schedule posts for each social network, all in one place. Account subscribers can produce and share content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, “all from one simple dashboard.” As well, you have the power to analyze the content you put out into the world from in-depth insights and measure social media performance, create reports and obtain powerful information to grow reach, engagement and sales. Buffer also has an incredible library of free resources across their blog posts on topics ranging from video marketing to tech.
An important factor to account for if you’re considering Buffer is that you can choose between 2 distinctive account subscriptions that are priced separately: content creation and publishing accounts or analytics and reporting.
They also offer a Brand Building account option that includes the best of both worlds, publishing and analytics. Pricing:
Buffer for Brand Building account offers the best of both worlds – capabilities for publishing and analytics priced at $85 per month.
Buffer Publishing accounts: A dedicated content creation and coordination hub.
1. A Pro account is $15 per month (all of their accounts include a free 14-day trial) 2. A Premium account is $65 per month 3. A Business account is $99 per month
- Buffer has a FREE account option after your trial of one of their account subscriptions, but it offers dramatically less features. Check out all of their account plans here.
Buffer Analytics accounts: A dedicated social media analytics and reporting hub to measure the output of your content creation. 1. A Pro account of this type is $30 per month 2. A Premium account is $50 per month
Unique product attributes: While Hootsuite allows you to manage a variety of social media accounts from one dashboard and create posts on those social accounts with multiple users, their accounts include both content publishing and analytics software, as opposed to Buffer. Notably, Hootsuite frequently offers new features and integrations for users to seamlessly optimize use of the platform, for example:
- Hootsuite has over 250 app integrations that account subscribers can apply as 1 complete suite of tools (such as Smart Moderation and Adobe Stock).
- As of August 2020, Hootsuite offers users a new competitor-monitoring app called Synapview, which monitors Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and blogs. Synapview is free for HS Enterprise account holders and $7 for other users.
- Hootsuite also offers a Social Selling tool called Amplify, for account holders to sell products via their social channels.
- Even if you aren’t subscribed to Hootsuite, the company offers an array of educational resources pertaining to social media marketing and industry-recognized courses and certification programs.
- A Pro account plan is $29 per month
- A Team plan is $129 per month
- A Business plan is $599 per month
- Hootsuite offers custom Enterprise options, priced upon inquiry
- Hootsuite offers a FREE 30-day trial for their Pro and Team account plans.
- There is also a “limited” FREE plan, which, like Buffer, is vastly limited in comparison to the monthly account plans, but seems like a better option than Buffer’s free option (imho). Read more about Hootsuite’s prices and capabilities here.
Unique product attributes: If you’re considering CoSchedule, a distinction to this platform is that its subscription service offers a blog calendar which integrates with WordPress to organize your blogging schedule. The more premium subscription option is the Marketing Calendar, which includes the aforementioned blogging tools. The Marketing Calendar boasts itself as a “marketing tool,” which includes task management and email marketing tools, along with the traditional content scheduling across social media channels. There are a number of software integrations included with the Marketing account subscription, including Mailchimp, Bitly, Hubspot and Dropbox. Another major distinction to account for with CoSchedule is that it does not include analytics capabilities.
In all, CoSchedule is more organizationally-oriented and a less technical, in-depth social media management tool than Buffer or Hootsuite. Lastly, I will mention that we at Dekaf Digital currently use CoSchedule and have been happy with its interface and functionality thus far.
- A Blog Calendar account costs $14 per month
- A Marketing Calendar account costs $29 per month.
- Each account option offers a FREE 14-day trial – no credit card required. Read more about their account options here.
Our recommendation: For small to medium businesses, we recommend Buffer for Brand Building.
Here’s why: The breadth of content sharing and analytical capabilities offered by Buffer for Brand Building make for a well-rounded powerhouse of tools to set your business up for success. Compared to the other tools shared in this category, Buffer has the best prices and features all-in-one – it’s a great “bang for your buck,” if you will. Get better acquainted with its benefits here.
Top social media management tools for enterprise-level companies
Unique product attributes: Sprinklr is a robust social media management platform or what the company itself refers to as being a Customer Experience Management (CXM) platform. As an overview, Sprinklr offers a multitude of content marketing features beyond social media management – from competitive AI-powered content insights to collaborative content calendar functionality, to ideation insights and analytics, to performance metrics and milestone tracking. The list of subscription offerings goes on for pages, so I would strongly advise speaking to a member of their sales team to ensure you comprehend the depth of Sprinklr’s capabilities before investing. Pricing: Sprinklr only offers pricing information based upon request. Then again, we are online sleuths, so after some online digging we estimate that it runs upwards of $50K+/year depending on features. For serious inquiries, contact them directly here.
Unique product attributes: Salesforce has a powerful, comprehensive marketing cloud that breaks into separately-priced, highly-customizable, concentrated components for your specific brand needs. The Marketing Cloud system offers a plan for B2B Marketing Automation, Email, Mobile and Journeys, Social Studio, Advertising Studio, Audience Studio, Datorama, Google Marketing Platform and an Interaction Studio. Salesforce also offers an Analytics Cloud subscription, which includes an options called Tableau or Einstein Analytics, each with individual pricing. Pricing: The Salesforce marketing’s plans are so customizable and varied that I would advise you to contact their sales team for serious price inquiries, but here’s a quick overview of one piece of their pricing structure:What Salesforce calls its Social Studio, is broken down into 4 subscription options, not including analytics, which are:
- A Basic account costs $1000 per month
- A Pro account costs $4000 per month
- A Corporate account costs $12,000 per month
- An Enterprise account costs $40,000 per month.
Dig deeper into their pricing structure here.
Unique product attributes: Hubspot, much like Salesforce and Sprinklr, offers an array of heavy-duty digital marketing and analytics tools. The presentation and description of the many Hubspot tools offered between each subscription plan are especially very user friendly, compared to its aforementioned competitors – less industry jargon that could potentially be confused while speaking to a sales person. A user-friendly user experience is key for every company, so I feel that serves as an asset to Hubspot because it is probable that the quality UX will translate across the application and use of the platform. Additionally, Hubspot offers dedicated CMS subscriptions; a completely unique and powerful feature, not offered by Salesforce or Sprinklr. With a custom CMS and the other subscription tools offered by Hubspot, your company can be holistically in control, with cohesive integrations to facilitate collaboration across teams. Pricing: While most other social media management platforms that offer a FREE option tend to hide it in tiny print at the very bottom of the page, Hubspot promotes both its suite of subscription-based software as well as its FREE CRM and marketing tools all in one place; very transparent of the Hubspot folks. Another unique and gracious quality of Hubspot is that it guarantees its FREE features forever, with unlimited users and the ability to save as many as 1 million contacts and companies in your account. Now, a clever company knows humans don’t usually “buy the cow, if you can get the milk for free.” So ultimately, if your company has a serious need for digital marketing growth and analytics, a paid subscription is likely the better call here.The subscription plans are separated into 4 different categories:1. Marketing: 1. The Starter account priced starting at $50 per month 2. The Professional account priced started at $800 per month 3. The Enterprise account priced started at $3,200 per month2. CRM & Sales: 1. The Starter priced started at $50 per month 2. The Professional account starts at $500 per month 3. The Enterprise account priced starting at $1,200 per month3. Customer Service: 1. The Starter priced started at $50 per month 2. The Professional account starts at $400 per month 3. The Enterprise account priced starting at $1,200 per month4. CMS: This is a new option, as of August 2020: 1. The Professional account starts at $300 per month 2. The Enterprise account starts at $900 per month
- If you need more than 1 of these subscriptions, Hubspot also offers “bundle” subscriptions, which include multiple abbreviated versions of each account type, all in one cohesive account. Read more about Hubspot here.
Our recommendation:A tough choice, indeed – for enterprise-level companies, we recommend using Hubspot’s Enterprise Growth Suite (Bundle).Here’s why:The range of features included in this bundle (and the others) provide a powerful depth of control and insights for your business. When you do the math, the prices are comparable, but we feel the capabilities are particularly exceptional with Hubspot (did we mention it includes a Service Hub?). And again, the UX on their website was most appealing to us, after combing through details between each of these platforms. Create the best Enterprise Bundle for your enterprise company here. Remember, this is a guide and overview of each of these platforms. It’s important to do your homework while keeping your marketing and analytics needs and budgets at the forefront while deciphering which, if any, of these platforms is best for your brand.
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How To Use Instagram Stories and Instagram TV In Your Business
“Am I leveraging social media to the best of my ability?” is a question that many business owners ask themselves. According to Digital Media in Business, “88% of consumers expect businesses to integrate digital assistants as part of the shopping experience, to help them make better decisions.” As businesses use technology as the ultimate digital assistance to reach existing and new customers, social media has become a low-cost channel at optimizing business marketing and one of the newest channels is Instagram.
What’s the difference between Instagram Stories and IGTV?
Reaching up to 112.5 million U.S. users in 2020, Instagram is undoubtably one of the best social media platforms to market your business.
- Instagram stories are images or short videos that disappear after 24-hours of posting.
- Instagram TV (IGTV) resemble that of YouTube videos. These videos can be as short as one-minute and as long as 60 minutes. 60-minute videos must be uploaded from a computer but videos with up to 15 minutes of content can be uploaded from your mobile device. IGTV videos remain available for your followers as long as you have an active account.
Although different both options provide value to the users and account owners. Here are tips on how to best use each in growing your business.
- Flash Promotions and limited time information are ideal for marketing on your stories. These are communications that you want to share for a short time but desire an immediate response. Individuals who take an active interest in staying connected to your brand can be marked for more targeted messaging
- Use the ‘Ask me a question” feature to communicate with followers. By encouraging your followers to ask questions you can get testimonials, feedback, and even suggestions that you can incorporate into your product or service.
- Use IGTV to conduct demonstrations of your product or service to create an increased trust for your business. It also allows followers see the ins and outs of what you’re offering, while building content for future. Edit the demo for short videos that can be used for a future commercial, campaigns and even webinar!
- People want to feel connected to your brand. Giving followers access to things such as live interviews and events help create a sense of connection at the convenience of your follower.
IGTV and Instagram Stories In Action
When it comes to putting these tips into action, here are a few companies that have done it well mixing product promotion with their corporate philosophies.
With 25.8 million followers across the globe, Adidas’s Instagram account has leveraged marketing new product releases, brand ambassadors, campaign’s, and sponsored events. They’ve tracked anywhere from 135,000 to 1.1million views along with follower engagement such as comments and shares.
Honda Motor Company utilizes Instagram to drive their 4.2million followers to exclusive tours of one of the largest private Honda collections in the U.S. and even test drive a car.
Even Proctor & Gamble has built a following of 145K to tackle everything from social justice, to product sustainability tips, and even intimate Q&A sessions with employees and celebrities.
There are two key benefits to both features offered through this platform:
One, it’s an easy 1-step process for followers to repost your content, becoming free marketers for your business, and who doesn’t love free marketing?
Secondly, Instagram notifies the account owner how the activity was received by followers which can be used to drive your next marketing tactics. Hello, free feedback and focus group!
All-in-all, Instagram stories and IGTV create a simple way to do a lot in one platform for your business.
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Generating a buzz around your brand that appeals to your target audience isn’t for the faint of heart; it takes sound strategy, patience and determination. Of the various ways to rally excitement about your brand, a popular method that savvy marketers have adopted into their arsenal of tactics is hosting a social media giveaway.
You may have your fair share of experience with social media giveaways – whether being a hopeful participant, the host – or even, the winner. Giveaways can be a fun, creative way to build excitement around your brand and products using social media to connect with new potential customers. As with any type of investment, giveaways also involve a fair share of risk – but you know what they say: “no risk; no reward.”
Here are some pro tips to successfully guide you into a successful social media giveaway plan and execution:
Create Goals for Social Media Giveaways
Before you go any further, begin by defining the goals of your giveaway. Having clear key performance indicators (KPIs) is key to focus this effort specifically on achieving your particular goal(s). Without the right goal connected to your brand, your efforts could easily go awry.
Provide an Appealing Customer Prize
Winning a free prize is usually exciting, but a prize also needs to be worth the effort of entering your contest. Make sure the prize you are giving away is relevant and exciting to your target audience, otherwise, you’re wasting your time and energy – or even worse, deterring people from your brand. A truly grand prize should win you over new leads and followers.
Here are some prize examples to get you started:
- A limited-edition product
- Products from influencers in the market
- A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
- Gift cards
Time Your Giveaway Right
When do you want to launch your giveaway? When will you end the giveaway? You’ll want to make those decisions early on in your planning process to optimize your efforts and avoid potential conflicts.
- Look at the calendar. You might use popular events or seasons as an asset to your giveaway strategy. What time of year will it be during the giveaway? Are there any big events that may distract your audience from it?
- E.g.: Consumers are more receptive to making purchases around Thanksgiving than they are on January 31st.
- Ensure the type of prize you are giving and the timing of your giveaway align with the time of year, and will cut through the noise of your strongest competitors.
- E.g.: Giving special Valentine’s Day discounts or prize(s) for your restaurant could add value before the popular holiday, but conversely, giving away a set of lipsticks when a big beauty industry competitor is launching a new product line could render your brand irrelevant and get lost in the shadow of your competitor.
Partner with an Influencer or a Celeb
Industry partnerships can be a powerful way to appeal to your target audience for participation in your giveaway. Think about who your demographic is excited about – is it a celebrity or an influencer? You’ll draw attention and build rapport with your target audience if you can partner with an established pro in your industry.
Encourage Participation in Your Giveaway
Make sure the steps for entering your contest are as simple and straightforward as possible to avoid confusion or worse – abandonment. Believe it or not, many digital marketers over-complicate the sign-up process by adding too many steps to contest entries. Simply put: the easier it is to enter your contest, the more entries and engagements you’ll have.
Several related considerations:
Don’t require an email sign-up for entries. Giveaways are meant to be a fun, introductory way to connect with new users. Many people are turned off by the commitment of signing up with their email, especially if they don’t know your brand very well.
Promote your giveaway to your email list. You might even add an extra incentive to your pre-existing email recipients to enter the contest by sharing a link to your blog or website on their social feed(s) – like on Facebook or Twitter.
Make it easy to enter using the same platform it’s posted on. For example, if you post the contest on Facebook, allow contestants to enter on Facebook. If you post it on LinkedIn, allow them to enter on LinkedIn. Making it easy to enter is essential.
Make sure the steps for entering your contest are as simple and straightforward as possible to avoid confusion or worse – abandonment.
Use Giveaway Tools
One effective method of hosting a contest is by using a giveaway tool to create and manage your contest. Giveaway tools offer an out-of-the-box, cohesive, streamlined system for running your entire contest from start to finish. There are a variety of powerful, user-friendly giveaway tools available – here are some popular options you might explore:
While there are some great benefits to using giveaway tools, the caveat to that option is the range of actions restricted from use on social channels.
Announce your giveaway on all of your social channels
and include one or all of the following actions to organically promote it:
- Follow your profile(s) – and any collaborating partner’s profile
- Like the photo promoting your contest
- Leave a comment or caption under your photo
- Tag-a-friend (or 3) under your photo promoting the giveaway
- Repost your photo promoting the contest
Try to incorporate a viral loop built into your giveaway – another benefit of using a giveaway tool like the ones mentioned above. A giveaway loop is a powerful way to allow your contest entrants to share a custom link to your contest with family and friends. Many giveaway tools have the viral loop functionality, which will encourage participation and attract more unique visitors to your brand. Remember to read up on any restrictions associated with using giveaway tool instead of implementing an organic process.
When your giveaway is over, be sure to celebrate your winner(s)
– it will show your appreciation of their support and could further increase rapport with consumers. You could even post a photo of the winner with the prize – another way to boost awareness, reach new followers and drive authentic user engagement around your brand.
Follow the Giveaway Rules in Your State
There are certain legalities regarding contests and giveaways, so we recommend doing your homework or speaking to a professional to help you determine which rules and regulations pertain to your local and state laws.
We hope this giveaway guide helps you feel confident to use this creative digital marketing method of increasing your brand awareness and reach.
You don’t have to go at it alone.
Dekaf Digital specializes in social media marketing and would be happy to connect with you to determine what type of strategy is best suited to your brand.
Contact us today to learn more!
why a social media strategy is a smart investment
When evaluating your social media, think about who, what, why and how. Specifically:
WHO you’re engaging – your audience
WHY you’re interacting with them – what are your goals
WHAT your content is telling them – are you promoting products/services, etc.
HOW you connect with the audience – is it all one-way or do you like, comment, follow and share
When you build a social media strategy you also need to evaluate WHICH networks are right for your brand. For example, Facebook is a great network for B2C brands but not as good for B2B brands. Likewise, LinkedIn is excellent for B2B and personal branding but not the best place to promote a B2C product. There are, of course, exceptions to these “rules of thumb”.
Oftentimes, developing a social media strategy takes upwards of 80 hours dedicated time for an expert that has been in the social media field for at least 10 years. What you end up with is a strategy that’s specific to your company, an analysis of at least 2-3 social media networks, content ideation, and feedback on your editorial calendar. A customized social media strategy can cost anywhere from $3,500-$15,500. Sound like a wide range? It is and there’s a reason for it.
If your company wants a basic strategy it’s likely in the $3,500 range. If you want a more customized plan with editorial content review and content ideation it’s going to cost more. An average social media consultant will charge you $150, putting in 80 hours on your strategy, you’re at $12,000. If you find someone willing to do it for less, run with it!
Leveraging Social media interns
You’ve invested in a new social media strategy, don’t let it sit on the shelf and collect dust. Put it into action and social media interns are a great way to make that happen! We love interns here at Dekaf Digital because they learn fast, think quick and often are up-to-date on the latest and greatest social media apps and tools.
Here are 3 ways to leverage social media interns:
- Hand over the social media strategy deck, including content ideation and sample editorial calendar, and let them plan out 2 weeks of posts/content. Assign a manager to can edit/add/revise after they’ve done the initial work.
- Put one intern in charge of “social media monitoring” and have him/her engage regularly liking/sharing/commenting on social media activity across the networks you’re active on
- Have them brainstorm new social media marketing campaigns (i.e. giveaways, polls, etc.) to increase your overall engagement scores
We’re continually amazed by the work our client’s interns produce and have found that interns can take social media strategy decks and deliver quality results. Don’t have an intern? Contact your local University or College and they’ll be able to help you find one or you can join Handshake, which is a portal that connects students and employers. FYI, be sure to check the Federal Guidelines on internships.
10 Social Media Content Ideas and Prompts
We always want to leave you with ideas to enhance your social media activity so today we’re giving you 10 social media content ideas and prompts.
- 5 Tips to Use our Products
- Top 3 Products and Why
- My Favorite Products (from other brands) and Why
- #AMA (Ask Me Anything)
- What to Exect From Our Client Service
- Why People Love My Best Seller
- If You Love This Product, You’ll Love X Product
- Behind The Scenes of Our Team
- Perfect Gift for X Holiday/Season/Person
- Live Q&A