5 Ways to Step Up Your Insta-Game

5 Ways to Step Up Your Insta-Game

Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites for all kinds of demographics and it is crucial for your brand to be as active on the platform as possible. If your company isn’t getting the kind of results you want from Instagram then it may be time to try some new strategies that will boost your engagement.

There are plenty of useful tools to help promote your brand and increase your visibility.

1. Interactive Hashtags

Hashtags are an easy and quick way to boost engagement and get people to showcase your products with their own posts. You can repost photos from users that include the hashtag which will motivated them to get more involved with your brand so they can be featured on your site.

2. Instagram Worthy Giveaways

As part of an interactive hashtag you can incorporate a giveaway to gain people’s interest and give them incentive to post about your products. You can also use the giveaway as a chance to let people test out new products and share about them to their followers.

3. Story Highlights

Instagram stories are a great way to engage followers but they disappear after a day. Story highlights allow you to keep your best stories on your profile, especially the most valuable ones to your marketing campaign.

4. IGTV

Instagram recently launched a new app that allows users and marketers alike to post long-form videos. It offers marketers a chance to create engaging ads and videos with more information so that followers can learn more about your brand.

5. Collaborate with Influencers

On Instagram, influencers can have a lot of sway over their followers and if you collaborate with them they can promote your brand and specific products.

Finding new and creative ways to market on Instagram can help you make sure you are getting more engagement and better overall results from the platform.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

GIF 101 – How to and Why?

via GIPHY

With social media marketing, creating diverse kinds of media can be a useful strategy to keep people’s attention. In addition to images and video, incorporating gifs in your posts can be a fun way to showcase your brand and company’s personality. Gifs are not only entertaining, they can also be a powerful tool to communicate with your audience.

A GIF is essentially a series of bitmap images that are linked together into a single animated image. They have lower frame rates than videos so they generally are smaller files that are easier to share online. They can also be quick and simple to make using GIF conversions sites online like GIPHY, Make a Gif or Gifs.com.  

Using these sites you can choose a video to upload that you have on your computer or find one on YouTube or Vimeo and simply paste the URL into the converter. Once you upload the video to be converted you can decide on the length that you want for the GIF and set it using time stamps. You can then add text to highlight dialogue in the video since GIFs don’t include sound.

Once you’ve completed your GIF you can download it and drag it into your web browser where it will start looping. GIFs are useful because they play instantly and will continually loop so that people browsing social media will see it immediately. They don’t require any time or commitment to watch it the way a longer video might so it can catch user attention more easily.

GIFs are simple yet appealing and engaging for social media users. They also offer variety to your posts so that you are keeping people interested with different types of media instead of only sharing photos or videos. Using GIFs occasionally in your social media posts can be an effective way to boost engagement and increase brand awareness.

 

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Yes Huge Brands are Using Tumblr and You Should Too

using tumblr brands for tumblr marketing

Tumblr marketing & tumblr brands – Most businesses marketing online focus on the traditional types of social media that everyone is expected to spend a lot of time on such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Now big brands are branching out to different platforms that can be equally effective such Tumblr. Even major businesses and corporations are incorporating Tumblr into their marketing and they are getting surprisingly great results.

Don’t Know About Tumblr Brands?

 

For those not familiar with Tumblr, it is a social blogging and sharing platform that is growing rapidly with some of the wealthiest user groups. Although fewer people use Tumblr than platforms like Facebook they do tend to spend more time consuming and sharing content on it. Tumblr users also fall into the very desirable demographic of millennials between the ages of 16-34.

Why Huge Brands Are Active On Tumblr Marketing?

 

Major brands like IBM, Glamour, Keds, Vans and even Coca-Cola have their own Tumblr sites where they share and interact with consumers. They can push new products, post content linking back to their site and reach people through interesting visual posts. One thing to keep in mind about Tumblr is that it is important to find out if your target demographic hangs out there because it is more useful for specific groups.

Why Tumblr Is Beneficial  For You?

 

Tumblr is beneficial to brands because it is an extremely visual platform and allows them to tailor their content to their audience. Bigger brands tend to use Tumblr to spread information and awareness but not oversell to their target audience. Tumblr offers the use of tagging and labeling to make content searchable and more easy to find online.

Although Tumblr may not be as popular a social media platform as Facebook or Instagram, it can be a useful addition to any advertising campaign. If your target audience hangs out on Tumblr then it can be a big boost to your business.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Battling the Bots

Battling the Bots

Internet robots or bots are used to perform repetitive jobs or send automatic interactions online. Recent studies have shown that bots now account for more activity on Twitter than humans. The majority of all tweets that share links to popular websites and articles, about 66 percent, are actually shared by bots.

The most active bots on Twitter are responsible for 22 percent of all tweeted links which means that they produce four times as many tweets as the average human user. The findings suggest that bots have taken over Twitter with the amount of link sharing tweets that they are posting online. Even more alarming is that bots account for 89 percent of the links shared to news sites like Google news.

Bots can be used to manipulate the algorithms that news sites use to determine the links to articles that people see in their newsfeed. News stories then can quickly go viral and be significantly affected by link-sharing bots that are manipulating what people see online. If the goal of certain bots is political propaganda they may be able to influence what people read and what their opinions are on certain subjects.

Studies of the 2016 elections suggested that bots generated tweets promoting certain candidates. Although most bots tend to be ideologically mixed, they can have specific political agendas and a goal in mind as far the news stories and articles they are sharing. It is even possible for foreign governments to use bots as online propaganda tools in order to cause problems within the United States.

Bots can be a serious issue of integrity on the internet if they have the power of making certain stories seem more popular than others. They may have the ability to sway people’s opinion by dictating what information is exposed to them. It is something to consider for those who are concerned about the possible negative influence of bots online.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Basic Social Media Post Checklist

The more effort, time and planning that you put into social media posts the more benefits you are going to see from them. It can be difficult to compete for attention online so you need to have certain strategies in place to get a higher engagement rate.

These are some guidelines for how to put together an effective social media post.

Use Attention Grabbing Headlines

You need to give users something that they will be immediately drawn to through your headline. You can use tricks like promising a specific benefit, asking a question to get more interaction, creating a sense of urgency and triggering curiosity or emotion.

Include Hashtags

It is important with social media posts to include hashtags because they can increase the visibility of the post based on popular topics. More people are likely to see your post if you include a clickable hashtag that they can look through and see your content.

Use Quotes to Provide Compelling Ideas

Many effective social media posts incorporate quotes that provide people with information, inspiration or knowledge. Quotes from a known expert can be especially compelling because people will want to hear their insight on certain subjects related to your brand. Including an image or graphic can make quotes stand out and catch users’ attention.

Create Highly Visual Posts

When it comes to social media, images can be critical because visual posts tend to get more engagement, shares and clicks. Even if you are posting an article it can be helpful for the featured image from the article to appear within the post. The images that you include in your posts can quickly get more of a response than simply adding text.

There are many other ways to improve your social media posts but these are some of the most essential elements to focus on as a basic checklist for your content.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Leveraging Social Media Polls

One of the key strategies that businesses online usually focus on is getting more engagement from their audience on social media. Interacting and getting people to respond to posts can help you build a more engaged fanbase that is likely to stay loyal to your brand and spread the word about what you do. One of the most effective ways to get people to engage with your posts is to create a social media poll to get feedback from your audience.

Getting consumer feedback not only gets people to react to your post, it can also provide you with valuable information that can help you improve what you do. Voting for something can drive excitement for certain products or your brand in general and it can help you understand what your audience really wants. Polls can make user interactions more immediate and intimate in a way that a normal post can’t quite accomplish.

Social media polls can often take the form of allowing followers to decide the best options for products that a company offers. They can also simply be for fun so that the audience can share their opinion on something. Polls can incorporate humor to get people to react in a way that makes them more interested in your brand.

Lettings be involved in business decisions helps them feel more involved in what you do and persuades them to care more about the outcome. Polls can be used on almost any social media site including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Even though polls can be useful they should be only posted occasionally so fans don’t bored or lose interest in them.

Mixing in some social media polls with your regular posts can boost engagement and help you build a closer relationship with your audience.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Best Graphic Design Apps for Social Media Posts

Best Graphic Design Apps for Social Media Posts

Users on social media expect unique and engaging images that will draw them in and encourage them to respond to your post. This is sometimes best accomplished by a great graphic design that will make people want to share your image. Fortunately there are plenty of apps available to help you create interesting graphics for your posts.

Canva – One of the most useful tools for visual design especially for business owners and entrepreneurs is Canva. This is an app that is easy to use for people with limited design skills who want to create a custom image. You can use the app to choose a layout, search for images, purchase stock photos, add visual effects and customize the color scheme and font to match your brand.

PiktoChart – If you are looking to make your own infographics for your social media posts then Piktochart might be the best app to choose. You can also use the app to make reports, banners and presentations in addition to infographics. There are built in templates to choose from that you can easily customize and edit in order to match your brand’s color scheme and themes.

QuotesCover- Posting quotes on your social media sites can be a great way to capture people’s attention and inspire them. QuotesCover is an app that allows users to create beautiful quote graphics so that you can add a design element to personal or famous quotes that you want to share. Within the app you can choose a layout, add your quote, add a photo or choose a plain background and customize the color and font.

Whatever type of graphics you are hoping to post on your site, there are apps that specifically cater to what you are looking for and make it easy to customize and design unique images.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Instagram Cares About Users Wellbeing

Instagram Cares About Users Wellbeing

Instagram has responded to claims that the social media platform is bad for mental health by setting up their own “Wellbeing Team”. Recently a highly publicized survey revealed that Instagram ranked number one as the worst social media network for user’s mental health and wellbeing. Instagram is hoping to combat the negative impact that it has on user’s health by coming up with ways to make it a more positive community.

The health survey showed that although Instagram can be good for self-expression and self-identity, these positive aspects were overwhelmingly outweighed by its association with anxiety, depression and negative body image. The negative elements of Instagram made it rank well below competitors in terms of mental health such as Facebook and YouTube which was actually reported to have a positive effect on wellbeing. Instagram decided to confront the problem by creating an entire team that is dedicated to improving people’s mood and wellbeing through Instagram.

The Wellbeing Team is making an effort to transform Instagram into a place where people feel good and don’t experience feelings of anxiety and depression while using it. It may be a difficult task since many users especially young women experience a lot of negative feelings on Instagram. Women in their late teens and early 20s using Instagram reported that it had a negative impact on their body image and made them feel inadequate about their work and lifestyle.

Instagram is currently changing their priorities and making positive mental health their number one goal for the platform. They have created comment filters that automatically filter out inappropriate comments to prevent bullying and set up teams to review posts by individuals who may need mental health support. If Instagram continues to take measures to improve the community it may be able to minimize the negative impact it has on user’s mental wellbeing.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

5 Snapchat Geofilter Tips

5 Snapchat Geofilter Tips

Using Snapchat filters adds a unique element to your posts and geofilters can show viewers a special overlay that is accessed in certain locations. Snapchat recently made it possible for viewers to create their own geofilters which opens up new creative possibilities for posts. Whether you use Snapchat’s existing geofilters or create your own they can add a festive design element that can be useful for marketing or simply showcasing new sticker graphics.

Initially Snapchat geofilters were somewhat limited because they were only offered through the company. Now there are community submitted geofilters that are free and available to users and you can make your own custom geofilter for a special event. Businesses can create a custom geofilter using their logo or brand to promote themselves to Snapchat users.

Here are some tips for using Snapchat geofilters to your advantage-

1. Define the Geographical Area

The way that geofilters work on Snapchat is that the user must be within a certain range to use the filter. If you purchase a custom geofilter that range is about 20,000 square feet or more. You will need to provide details about the area where you want the geofilter to appear and then Snapchat will create a “geofence” for your filter. When users are in that area your filter will appear as an option for them to add to their posts.

In order to find a geofilter the user will need to have the filters box checked under their settings and have their location available on their smartphone. As long as they are within the geofence they will be able to see your geofilter appear as one they can add to their photo or video.

2. Follow Business Guidelines

If you are choosing to create a custom geofilter in order to promote your business you will need to make sure that you follow Snapchat’s guidelines. Businesses creating a filter must have the necessary usage rights and permissions to include any brand or business names well as  logos or trademarks. It is important for anyone who creates a geofilter to know that filters must not contain any photographs of people, URLS, hashtags, phone numbers or emails.

For businesses that means that you might have to be more creative in getting people to contact you when they see your filter. Having your business name may be enough but you can also find ways to include your social media handle or website without using an @ symbol or “.com” so that Snapchat doesn’t recognize it as a URL.

4. Using Templates to Design

3. Understanding Specifications

It is important to have a good idea of the guidelines and specifications for a geofilter to avoid having your custom filter rejected by Snapchat after you submit it. If you follow all the specifications then you are more likely to have your filter approved so you can use it right away without having to make any adjustments. The files need to be 1080px by 1920px high, under 300KB in size and saved as a .PNG file with a transparent background.

4. Using Templates to Design

If you don’t have a designer to help you make a custom geofilter the good news is that Snapchat offers templates to help people create their own filters. You can edit and customize the templates if you don’t have any of your own design programs to create an overlay. These pre-made design elements can inspire you but you can also look at other people’s geofilters for ideas and inspiration.

5. Choose the Right Date for Your Filter

Custom Snapchat geofilters are only allowed to be active for 30 days and then they can no longer be run. You will also need to schedule the exact dates that it will run but not any more than 30 days ahead of the day you submit. That means you need to time your submission accordingly and have an idea of the specific time period where your filter will be most effective.

Geofilters can be effective if you are using them to help promote a special event or let people know that your business recently opened in the area. You can choose the exact start and end dates for the filter so that it falls prior and during your event or opening. If you want to create another geofilter after the 30 days are over you can simply submit a new design and choose new dates.

Snapchat geofilters are a great way for users to show their followers where they are and what they are doing. Custom filters can be a useful way to promote a business, a specific occasion or just be more creative with Snapchat. As long as you understand and follow Snapchat’s rules and guidelines about designing geofilters they can be a fun and effective addition to your online presence.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What Does this Facebook Drama Mean for My Ads?

What Does this Facebook Drama Mean for My Ads?

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has been through a rough time recently with the scandal involving the social media platform. The market cap for Facebook plummeted by $50 billion after the public discovered the truth about how their data was shared with third parties. Zuckerberg was forced to speak at a congressional hearing and asserted that he would make some much needed changes to Facebook to protect user privacy.

If Facebook gets an overhaul as a result of this scandal then people might be worried about its impact on users, especially businesses who rely on social media as part of their advertising tactics. Any changes to Facebook could also impact Instagram which is owned by the same company that might feel compelled to follow the same guidelines regarding personal data. Protecting user data is an important goal for Facebook but how will it affect businesses running ads on the social media platform?

Social media experts are predicting that data changes may not have as dramatic an effect on the way people use Facebook and Instagram as you might think. Advertising may not be hindered if Facebook allows businesses to continue promoting themselves through the platform and using the information they need to target ads. Many industry experts believe that advertising on Facebook and Instagram actually won’t change much, at least in the short term.

Protecting Data and Maintaining Business

Protecting Data and Maintaining Business

When the news broke that Facebook allowed user data to be accessed by a company called cambridge analytica, it caused many people to question the integrity of the social media platform. Cambridge analytica is a political data firm that was hired by the Trump administration in order to gain access to user data on Facebook. The company was able to access private information on more than 50 million Facebook users and used tools to help influence their behavior during the 2016 election.

The data that was accessed by the company included users’ identities, location likes and friend networks which was used to map personality traits and then target audiences with digital ads. Users that took a personality survey and downloaded an app, consented to have their information taken and used by the third party although they were told it was for academic use only. Facebook allows researchers to gather data for academic purposes but Cambridge analytica violated the social media platform’s rules by allowing the data to be sold and transferred.

Although Cambridge analytica is mostly to blame for its violation of user privacy, Facebook has responded to the incident by removing the app that gathered data. The company also asked for this private data to be deleted so that it would not be used again in the future. However, it is likely that users will be more wary in the future of sharing their data online.

People using Facebook and Instagram may be more cautious about providing private information but it does not necessarily mean people will steer clear of these platforms. Instagram is less politically themed and more focused on design and visuals so it not likely that advertising on that platform will be affected in the near future. Ultimately when Facebook figures out how to resolve issues with data it will eventually transfer to Instagram.

Third Party Access to Data

One possible consequence of the Cambridge analytica scandal is that Facebook may scale back access to third party data. Legislators are beginning to understand that the platform leaves private data vulnerable and they may attempt to intervene. More government oversight may lead to attempts to break up the company which has control over a large portion of the social media world.

If there is any further backlash to Facebook following the scandal it could lead to more advertising potential on Amazon as another option for businesses. Amazon is currently struggling to keep up in the marketing world because it has a smaller number of advertisers and accounts can be more difficult to set up than Facebook. However, if Facebook becomes too problematic for users, Amazon may be a useful alternative for advertising online.

In the short term, it doesn’t appear that Facebook and Instagram’s advertising services will be affected much by any new changes. It will take some time for Facebook to resolve its data issues and enact significant shifts in the way that it handles things. For the time being most businesses will be able to carry on with their usual advertising tactics and not see too many negative changes.

It is difficult to tell how Facebook will handle data in the future and how it will adjust in order to prevent privacy violations. Businesses can maintain their advertising campaigns on the site but will also benefit by exploring other options. It will likely be some time before any real significant changes occur that will strongly impact Facebook Ads.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.