How to Create Your Instagram Aesthetic

How to Create Your Instagram Aesthetic

With a social media network like Instagram you need to keep your images interesting visually and think about design elements in order to gain more followers. The aesthetic of your Instagram can help you grow into an influencer if people like and respond to your style. It is important to stand out and consistently post images that are appealing and creative.

When creating your aesthetic, the first thing to think about is your audience. What kind of images or content do they want to see? You will want to create a design and style that resonates with them so make sure to do research and find out what your target followers are interested in.

In order to create an aesthetic it is crucial to be consistent with similar colors and themes. Come up with a color palette that you think will go well with your brand and blend the images together so that they don’t seem disconnected or jumbled. You should also be consistent with lighting and filters so that you have a visual theme that doesn’t vary too much.

Aside from color schemes you should also stick to themes of subject matter as much as possible. This might depend on your business, brand or the message you are hoping to communicate with followers. Focus on things you are passionate about and are consistent with your brand.

To maintain your Instagram aesthetic you also need to think about how your images look on the grid and not just the individual photos. That means considering the “big picture” of what your page will look like when users are viewing the whole profile. You’ll need to have a good mixture of images that still relate to one another without being too repetitive.

Once you set up your Instagram aesthetic it can be simple maintain as long as you stick with your theme, color palette and the story of your brand.

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.

How to Add Music to Instagram Videos

How to Add Music to Instagram Videos

Instagram videos can be a useful way to connect to followers with images you create and share. Videos are a great addition to any Instagram account, no matter what your page is about and what your goals are in using the platform. To give videos an extra level of appeal you can add music to go along with the images and share something people will really enjoy.

People often find that adding music to videos that have static pictures can make the images more interesting especially when they are using the ‘stories’ feature on Instagram. Videos with a slideshow of images need an audio track to make it feel more complete. Unfortunately Instagram doesn’t offer a built-in editing tool that allows you to add music to the videos you upload.

Even without a built-in feature for adding music many people find ways to include an audio track with their video. There are different options and possibilities when it comes to adding music to Instagram videos whether you are creating posts for your business or just for family and friends. Spending a little bit of extra time on audio and video can make a more dynamic post that is likely to get more feedback.

Mobile Apps for Audio

Although many professional companies working on their Instagram account might use a desktop computer to add audio with video editing software, the average person won’t spend as much time on it. Since typically most people record videos with their phone it would be an extra step to transfer the video to the desktop and then back onto their phone once they’ve added audio. Fortunately there are mobile apps available that can make it easy to add audio tracks to a video you have recorded.

A number of different apps available on smartphones are specifically designed to take video you have recorded on your phone and merge it with an audio file. Most of the apps will only allow you to use audio files that are saved to your device so as long as you have some tracks available on your phone you can easily combine them with your video. Some of them even have other useful features to enhance the video such as adding text or filters.GoPRO

Some of the mobile apps that allow you to merge audio files with your video include Vidlab which allows you to search for audio files on iTunes or Google play so you can purchase them for your video. Other apps include Videoshop which allows you to also edit video clips and combine them together, flipgram which includes content creation and social sharing as well as Quik by GoPro. Quik can automatically create stories and allow you to add audio, filters and even interesting effects such as stop motion.

Adding an Audio Track

To add music using one of these mobile apps you simply need to to download them and select your video and the audio track that you have on your phone. Some of the apps include stock audio that you can use for your video if you are concerned about copyright infringement or if you don’t have a track available to use. You can also add your own music but be aware of the necessity of crediting artists in certain cases.

You can usually use the app to adjust the starting point of the music and where it appears in the video. If you have a video editing app you can also add more video clips and filters to put together a more elaborate presentation. Once you have created the final version of the video you can simply export it where it will be saved on your phone to be uploaded to Instagram.

Most of the mobile apps are straightforward and simple to use but there are tutorials available online if there is something specific you are having issues with. Once you are familiar with the apps options it will only take a few minutes to add audio and quickly upload your video after recording it. Being able to edit and create videos on your mobile phone can save a lot of time and allow you to share more interesting posts when you are on the go.

Occasionally videos can be flagged for having copyrighted content so make sure you credit the artist if you can. Overall, music can be a great way to make your videos more worthwhile to followers who want to see unique and high quality posts. Even if you aren’t interested in using any of the other editing options, simply adding an audio track can make videos more appealing.

Adding music to Instagram videos is an easy and effective way to engage followers with your posts and get more people interested in your content 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.

Do I Need to Watermark My Images Online?

Watermark Images

If you are a photographer, artist or simply are posting original images online you might be considering the pros and cons of watermarking. In certain cases watermarking can be a useful way to put your name or logo on all of your images so that you will be credited anytime someone shares or reposts your photo. In theory it is also a method to help prevent people from taking your images and passing them off as their own online.

Watermarking can benefit photographers in some ways because it acts as a way to “sign” their art so that people see their name or logo and can begin to identify them more easily if the images circulate online. If someone wants to find your work, watermarking will make it much easier for them to know who you are.

One of the downsides to watermarking is that it does not always keep people from taking images and reposting them as their own. People can often find ways to photoshop out a watermark or simply crop it out if they don’t care about being respectful of the artist. This is an unfortunate reality and can make watermarks irrelevant if the goal is to prevent image theft.

Another thing to consider is that often the appeal of an image can be diminished by the use of a watermark. It can interrupt the artistry of the photo and distract the viewer, making the image less beautiful or interesting. There is also the possibility that viewers online will be less likely to share the image if it is watermarked because of the decrease in the image’s appeal.

Deciding whether to watermark your image can depend on your own personal preferences on how you want your images to look and what your goals are for using them. Weigh the pros and cons before watermarking to determine if it is right for your work.

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.

Are Social Media Influencers Right for My Brand?

Are Social Media Influencers Right for My Brand?

One of the more recent trends in marketing that has become a staple for businesses online is the use of social media influencers to recommend and sell products. Building an audience on social media can be difficult for struggling brands that need to get the word out about what they do. Social media influencers provide an outlet for businesses to more easily reach people on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Some brands might see social media influencers and the impact they have but wonder whether it will really work for them. Do social media influencers work for every type of brand? It is in fact possible to find the right influencer for your brand as long as you know who your target audience is and where to find them.

The myth that social media influencers and the platforms they use are only for millennial audiences is not true. Older generations use social media and can also be influenced by recommendations online but you need to find the place where your demographic “hangs out”. Social media influencers can have a tremendous impact on your brand if you use them to your advantage.

Understanding Social Media Influencers

The reason businesses are so interested in social media influencers is that they often speak directly to a large audience online. Influencers have built up their own following simply by being themselves and creating interesting content that people want to see. Their followers tend to listen to what they say and trust in their taste because it always comes across as completely genuine.

Even though followers of an influencer may feel that this person recommends products based on their own positive experience, the reality is that many are paid to promote certain brands. However, people see them as an authority in their field of influence and because of their existing relationship with their audience, influencers can have an affect on people’s purchase decisions. Social media influencers have a larger than normal following, but also usually have a niche audience that they are speaking to.

A common and increasingly popular example of a social media influencer is the “beauty guru”. This is a person on YouTube or Instagram that has been recognize by their followers as having special knowledge or expertise in makeup or beauty related products. They often test out new products, create tutorials or find creative ways to review or talk about beauty items.

Social media influencers exist in all kinds of different niches and as long as they are seen as an authority on a certain topic, people will be influenced by what they say. An influencer could be a celebrity, an industry expert, a content creator or just everyday people that become well-known online. No matter what type of brand you have, there is most likely an influencer that can help you promote your products or services.

Identifying the Right Influencer

How do you find an influencer that works for your brand? The first thing to think about when looking for a social media influencer is what you consider to be your brand message. You need to know beforehand what you want to say about your brand and what you want people to know.

In addition to developing your brand message you also need to know who your target audience is and what kinds of things they are looking for. Your target audience needs to be both people you want to reach and those who are more likely to be interested in purchasing your products. You don’t want to waste effort marketing to an audience that would have no need or no interest in your brand.

Once you have a better idea of your target audience you will need to find an influencer that has many followers in that audience. This doesn’t mean looking for an influencer with the most followers but looking for someone that matches your brand the most and speaks to the right demographic. Your influencer should share a similar message to your brand and an audience that is more likely to buy from you.

A great way to start looking for effective influencers is finding people that already like and mention your brand online. When someone genuinely loves your company their message is going to feel more authentic to followers and they won’t see it as an advertisement. If they are already interested in your brand then it is more likely they are good fit as far as their message and the type of content they create.

When you find the right social media influencer you will be able to have a direct channel to communicate with your target audience. Start developing relationships with social media influencers now so that you can create more loyal fans 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.

5 Reasons a Podcast Will Help Your Business Marketing Strategy

5 Reasons a Podcast Will Help Your Business Marketing Strategy

Staying relevant in modern advertising means finding a way to reach people that doesn’t always follow traditional marketing. New options such as podcasts can give businesses the opportunity to communicate with their target audience and let them know why their product matters. Staying ahead of competition means telling a story about how your product stands apart from the others and podcasts offer a way for businesses to do that.

Podcasts usually don’t include regular commercial breaks as there are on the radio so their advertising messages often become part of the program. This can make the message about the product seem more natural and authentic in a way that listeners are more likely to respond to. In addition to your regular written and visual content, podcasts can be a great kind of audio content to include in your marketing strategy.

These are some of the reasons podcasts can help your business.

1. They are Easy for People to Consume

Audio content is one of the most accessible types of advertising content for potential customers. Instead of having to read lengthy text or keep their attention on a video, podcasts deliver the information quickly and easily. Users don’t have to shift their focus away from what they were doing to pay attention exclusively to your content.

People can easily listen to podcasts while they are driving, exercising, or working without it taking their attention away from those activities. Even though they are easy to access and consume, podcasts can also be highly engaging. Audio content can often be a welcome break from the monotony of other types of content that people are constantly bombarded with online.

2. They are Inexpensive and Simple to Create

There are not a lot of steps involved in making a podcast and the equipment required for making one is reasonably priced. All you need for a podcast is a good quality microphone and headphones and editing software that will allow you to record and produce the content. The editing software is often free online and simple to use even for people with no experience.

Making a podcast can also be much less time-consuming than other types of written or visual content. All you need to do is record yourself speaking naturally. You might prepare some talking points before hand but podcasts are typically not scripted. After recording you can do some minimal editing and your podcast is ready to be put online.

3. They Help You Stand Out from Competition

Because podcasts are a relatively new form of advertising, you can benefit from having less competition. You can create your own podcast for a niche audience and depending on the topic, you may not have to worry too much about competing for listeners. It can help you stand out from your competitors because you offer something that none of them do.

4. They Increase Traffic

One of the main reasons businesses should get involved in podcasts is that they offer a way to reach out to new audiences and build up a bigger fanbase. With a podcast there will be a wider range of audience that becomes familiar with your brand and your products. You are exposing your brand to potentially thousands of listeners for free essentially.

You can quickly start to acquire more customers through podcasts and bring more traffic to your site because at the end of each episode you can include call to action or CTA. You can tell listeners the link to your landing page, email subscriber or any other tool that you think will be the most helpful in bringing in new customers. Each time you include a CTA you will see more traffic on your site and more email subscribers from interested listeners.

5. They Help Build a Relationship with Your Audience

Not only will podcasts bring in more customers, they can help create loyal followers that care about your brand. Audio content tends to be more personal and when people hear you speak they will get to know your personality and your genuine passion about what you do. As you discuss relevant topics people will feel more of a connection than they might with other types of written or video content.

Listening to your voice makes it easier for followers to like and trust you because they feel like they know you better. That trust that you develop can improve your brand image and help people become more in tune with your company. People will naturally feel more drawn to your business and will be interested in what you are doing.

Podcasts can act as a great supplement to your existing marketing strategy to start building up an audience of listeners that learn to care about you and your brand. With simple audio equipment you can start talking to potential customers and seeing the positive results.

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.

Are Groups The New Pages For Facebook?

This January, Mark Zuckerberg dropped a bombshell for marketers on his Facebook page:

“[W]e’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other…” As a result, the company is “making a major change to how we build Facebook,” starting with the “News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.”

For most marketers, these changes weren’t necessarily a surprise. Facebook’s been doing this for years, slowly weeding out content from public pages in favor of posts from family and friends. What was notable about this announcement, however, was Facebook’s advocacy for groups, in addition to the usual suspects of family and friends.

The inclusion of groups got marketers thinking… are groups the new pages for Facebook?

Can you rely on Facebook Groups?

Even if you’re already eagerly visualizing your brand’s big debut into Facebook groups, you’re probably feeling at least a hint of trepidation along with your excitement. You’ve been beaten down over the years, with each algorithm bringing a new blow to your organic reach on Facebook. It only makes sense that you’d be wary about doubling-down on groups only for Facebook to change its tune later on.

While nothing can be guaranteed in the ever-changing social media landscape, there are some clear signs that you can trust Facebook’s making a serious investment in groups and they’re here to stay (at least for a little while).

Although it feels new, Facebook’s focus on groups has actually been brewing for a little while. In mid-2017, Facebook held its first Communities Summit for Group Admins in Chicago.

What precipitated this event? According to Zuckerberg, “We recently found that more than 100 million people on Facebook are members of what we call ‘very meaningful’ groups. These are groups that upon joining, quickly become the most important part of our social network experience and an important part of our physical support structure. For example, many new parents tell us that joining a parenting group after having a child fits this purpose.”

Then, this February, Facebook followed up with a Communities Summit in Europe that hosted over 300 group “power admins.” At the event, Facebook announced many of the initiatives they’ve launched based on feedback from the first summit, and continued gathering important feedback and ideas from the elite group for future releases.

What can you do with Facebook Groups?

If you haven’t paid attention to Facebook Groups in a while, you can do a lot more with them than you may realize. Facebook’s made strides to nurture engagement in groups and offer admins more advanced management tools on par with what you see with brand pages.

Engagement features

Last October, Facebook introduced two new features that enhance and personalize the community experience of groups.

  1. Welcome posts invite group admins to tag new members by name:Welcome Posts
  2. Clicking on a member’s name heavily emphasizes their group activity, along with the normal things they have in common with the person who clicked (as opposed to the default search on Facebook, which shows the common interests alone):Members Name

Changes like these make group members feel closer than a random stranger on Facebook, inviting more engagement.

Facebook knows that both groups and their Facebook Live video feature boast spectacularly high engagement rates – so they decided to combine the two with their new Watch Party feature. Group admins can choose a public Facebook video for their group to watch at the same time. It’s like simultaneously watching a video together and commenting on it with your friends.Facebook Live

Admin tools

The first sign a social platform is starting to care about a demographic is when you see it adding analytics features that rival the ones they offer to paying advertisers. You’ve seen this most recently with Snapchat’s recent concessions for influencers. Facebook’s new suite of tools for group admins is more sophisticated than ever, and significantly streamlines group management.

Group admins can now easily manage everything from a central administrative dashboard, including viewing insights and approving new member requests. Up to 10 group announcements can be pinned to the top of the page. Group rules, similar to what you find on Reddit, now have a dedicated section.Group Insights

Facebook also recently expanded their Group Insights tool to include “helpful personalized tips, like scheduling posts at times when members are most engaged.” If that sounds a lot like the insights available to Page owners, it’s because it is.Helpful TipsOther, small changes reveal Facebook’s recognition of the importance of group identity when it comes to engagement. For example, admins can now personalize their group pages by selecting a color scheme. This feature isn’t even available to regular profiles!Scholar Scheme

Developing your brand’s strategy for Facebook groups

If you want to have any organic reach on Facebook as a brand, groups are the way to go. Here’s how to go about it the right way.

Posting in groups

It’s no coincidence that Facebook’s groups now share many similarities with Reddit. Group admins have a lot more power. Custom color schemes put the group’s identity first, before Facebook’s own blue branding.

As such, brands should expect group members to treat their Facebook groups with the same fierce loyalty and protection you see on Reddit.

In order to succeed with groups, it is absolutely essential that brands tread lightly. Engage first before promoting (if you promote at all), and always engage authentically. If you don’t, you won’t just risk low engagement. You’ll risk very public ridicule and shaming.

Brands can post in groups as a Page. This maintains your professionalism, but it also keeps your brand faceless. To add humanity to your brand, consider leveraging the personal brands of your employees. They can work in tandem with your Page account to share official announcements, answer FAQ, and participate in discussions related to your industry.

Creating your own branded groups

You can also create your own branded Facebook group via linked Groups. These help your fans stay connected to your company through Page-branded groups featured on your profile.Branded Groups

Plenty of branded Facebook groups have enjoyed success on Facebook, but there are just as many half-hearted efforts that failed. To make your branded group one of the former, consider the following three things before you create your group.

  1. Set your goals.

Is it sales? Then you’ll want a small group for prospects that’s highly cultivated by your sales reps who answer questions and make them feel like VIPs.

Maybe you have a team of brand ambassadors, and your email newsletter isn’t proving effective. A group just for them might work.

If you want a larger public group with the potential to grow, focus on a topic related to your industry. This will be about engagement, driving brand visibility and demonstrating thought leadership – not pushing your products. But, your efforts will result in higher group engagement, improved brand perception, and indirect boosts to your customer retention and sales.

  1. Define your audience.

Depending on the topic and size of your audience, it may make sense to have several groups for different goals. For example, if you’re trying to enter a new vertical, establishing your thought leadership through a branded Facebook group is a great choice.

If your brand speaks to multiple verticals, or widely variant types of users, consider creating multiple groups. The more personal and niche you can be, the better.

  1. Plan your logistics.

Assign the team members who will be responsible for managing the group and fostering engagement. Set up the rules. Develop a content calendar like you do for all your other channels.

For your group to succeed, you need to have a plan and keep it alive. Especially in the beginning, as the onus will be on you to make it worthwhile for fans to stick around.

Using group features

If you decide a branded group is right for you, leverage the tools at your disposal. Personalize your group with a color scheme, and make it friendly with Welcome Posts. Keep it lively with regular Group Announcements. Make the rules of engagement clear with Group Rules, and enforce them so it stays a safe space.

Group Insights provide many of the same insights you rely on to optimize your engagement on your brand Page. Use them to:

  • Discover the best times to post for optimal engagement.
  • Attract more members. Fully complete your profile to increase your chances of showing up in people’s searches for related keywords.
  • Understand your audience better – both for the tone and content of your posts in the group itself, as well as broader market research applications.
  • Find new potential groups to join. Recognize demographic interests among your most engaged users. Similar people might be interested in hearing from you but just haven’t heard of you quite yet. Search for groups related to those interests.
  • Analyze your popular posts to give members more of what they like. Coordinate Watch Parties around topics your fans care about. Share exclusive content for group members..

Facebook groups: the path to meaningful interactions

In an increasingly pay-to-play social media landscape, Facebook Groups offer your brand the opportunity to interact with fans organically. Just make sure those interactions are meaningful.

Michael Quoc is the founder / CEO of Dealspotr, where brands, shoppers, and influencers can connect on the first social platform centered around today’s best promo codes. Previously, he was the Director of Product Management at Yahoo’s media lab, where he led the launch of several innovative services in the live video / mobile social networking areas. Michael has been awarded nine patents relating to mobile and social network applications and technology. Tweet him at @michaelquoc.

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.

How New Facebook Changes Could Impact Social Media Marketing

How New Facebook Changes Could Impact Social Media Marketing

Recently Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook announced that he would change the site’s algorithm to begin to promote more personal content rather than news or other types of posts. That means that the average facebook user will see more posts from family and friends in their newsfeed and less from brand posts with few comments. Facebook has stated that this algorithm change will have no direct impact on how advertising works on the site but businesses are expecting some definite changes in their organic reach.

New Facebook regulations on data could mean that Facebook users will see less material from media outlets and businesses that show up organically in their newsfeed. Brands that typically rely on their organic social media marketing practices may have to focus more on other strategies or adjust their techniques in order for followers to see their posts as often as they would like. Some are predicting that social media influencers will be more important than ever in order to get the word out about new products on Facebook.

Brands can benefit from learning more about the new algorithm, how it affects an individual Facebook user’s newsfeed and what they can do to counteract any negative effect it will have on their social media marketing. It would be a mistake to assume that the changes won’t have any impact on your marketing plan because you could begin to see a drop in organic reach. Putting your social media efforts into a variety of different strategies can help prevent the change from drastically affecting your brand.

Social Media Newsfeed Changes

Zuckerberg’s intention with changing the Facebook algorithm was to minimize that amount of fake news articles that had been circulating on the website and causing deep political rifts online. Facebook at one point had these type of news articles getting the most shares and engagement in a way that reinforced people’s existing beliefs. Zuckerberg made the algorithm change in spite of the risk of losing short term user engagement so that friends and family would interact with each other instead of sharing divisive content.

While the algorithm will be great for personal interaction, it may be problematic for businesses that are hoping to reach people organically. People on Facebook will see less posts from businesses they follow if they are not paid ads and are simply natural posts. Instagram is also starting to use an algorithm that looks similar to Facebook’s so it is likely that social media sites will show less organic content from brands and businesses and more from friends and family as the year progresses.

The good news is that influencer posts won’t be affected as much as brand posts because social media influencers are posting with their own personal account. Even though they are promoting various products, they are also normal people that Facebook and Instagram won’t recognize as a business. It will become more important than ever for brands to partner with social media influencers who can get their content seen by a bigger audience online.

New Marketing Impact

In the past, sites like Facebook and Instagram presented content in chronological order but with changes in algorithms over the past few years the sites have more control over what content is viewed by users. The algorithm Facebook introduced in 2016 as well as this new algorithm both are designed to limit the organic reach of certain pages. It means that businesses need to focus more on paid ads in order to have their content seen by a large audience.

Companies that focus more of their marketing strategies on paid ads as well as influencer marketing will not be impacted as much by the algorithm change. Businesses with an existing understanding and relationships with influencers will probably see their marketing strategies succeed. Facebook has made no changes to paid ads and will allow brands to purchase advertisements that are guaranteed to be seen in a user news feed.

It will be a good time this year for brands that have no experience with influencers to become more familiar with how the system works. It is important to figure out what your brand’s niche is and which influencer has a lot of existing followers in that niche. The influencer needs to be able to blend your brand or product narrative seamlessly with their own in order for you to see the most benefit.

Even though it might be alarming to businesses to discover that their organic reach is likely to take a big loss, it doesn’t mean that social media marketing will be much more complicated or less effective. It simply means adjusting where you focus your marketing strategies and taking the new algorithm into account. As long as you are aware of how the algorithm works you can use the right kind of marketing tools to keep boosting 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.

5 Tips for Interacting with Customers on Social Media

 

5 Tips for Interacting with Customers on Social MediaIn the marketing world today social media is bigger and more important than ever before. Brands need to have a great social media presence and a part of that is making sure that you connect and engage with customers so that they remain loyal and interested in what your company is doing. People online expect great customer service along with interesting and engaging content which means interacting with customers whenever you can.

Interacting with customers can mean responding to comments, re-posting their content or having a conversation online through direct messaging. Customers want their voice to be heard especially if they have questions, concerns or issues with your brand. Even light jokes or humor can be a great way to connect with customers so that they have a positive image of your brand.

Customer interaction on social media can be a crucial aspect of marketing. Here are 5 tips for interacting with customers online-

1. Be Prepared to Always Respond

If people online want to communicate with a brand you need to make sure that you are always available to respond to them. Make sure to have social media staff that can read comments and write an appropriate response in a short amount of time. Customers don’t like being ignored and will be more interested in a brand if they can communicate with them in a timely way.

2. Have an Official Response for Major Concerns

Even though many of your interactions with customers will be positive, at times there will be genuine issues that you need to address. When customers have complaints or major concerns about your product or service you will need to respond in an appropriate way. If you have an official response prepared for these situations you are less likely to deal with too much backlash.

The most important thing is letting customers know that their concerns are being heard when they have questions, a complaint or are alerting the company about a particular issue. You should have a response that directs the customers to more information so that they can have a better understanding of the issue and how to deal with it. Having a prepared response can make it easier to respond quickly and efficiently to each customer so that they aren’t waiting too long for an answer.

3. Post User-Generated Content

Aside from responding directly to comments, there are other more creative ways to interact with customers that will keep them engaged and boost the positive opinion of their brand. Posting content that users have created can get people more involved in your social media site and excited about your company. When your content is created by customers it makes them feel that they are part of the topic and add value to your brand.

An easy way to find user-generated content is to hold a contest asking followers to post photos with your product and provide a prize for the best photo. This not only gets people to know your brand better but it also gives them incentive to share photos of your products and spread the word about the company. Followers will have more of a reason to love your brand and connect with you.

4. Avoid too Much Promotional Content

In order to get users to engage and interact more with your brand it is helpful to avoid making every post about self-promotion. Obviously the goal of social media is to promote new products and market your brand but followers will get bored and lose interest in your page if it is too heavily promotional. You will need to be more creative and conversational to get people to respond positively to the content that you post.

You can create posts that simply ask questions, talk about life matters, or discuss current events so that content is not always focused on selling something. Sparking a conversation is the best way to get people to interact with you and remember your brand. As you attract more people through engaging content you can add in the occasional promotional post to push your products as well.

5. Track Your Interactions and Look for Patterns

An important part of social media is making sure to analyze the results of everything you do to see what works and what doesn’t. Take the time to track the kinds of interactions you have with customers to see what gets the best response. Keeping track can also help you ensure that you are always responding to customer concerns and don’t leave any question unanswered.

Analyzing which posts performed the best and which comments got the most positive response can help you tailor your social media presence. You will be able to learn how to adjust your technique and get the most out of your interactions 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.

Top Three Social Media Sites for your Business- Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

Top Three Social Media Sites for your Business- Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn

Social media has been a huge game changer when it comes to marketing online and it is crucial that every business has some involvement with social platforms. Social media has made it easier than ever to target customers and communicate directly to them so that you can achieve immediate results. You can tailor each marketing campaign using social media and personalize your ads to cater toward unique customer needs.

When it comes to social media it is easy to get overwhelmed by how many options there are as far as platforms. The most essential sites for a business to get involved in are Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Using these sites for marketing can help narrow your focus so that you are not spending too much energy on several different social media campaigns.

These three sites are the most popular, with the largest demographics and the best options for creating effective ad campaigns that target specific customers. In order to have a good marketing plan for your business you need to be familiar with how these sites work and use them regularly to build up your fan base. Creating interactive marketing campaigns on each of these websites will help you start to see your business grow and expand its influence over time.

The Benefits of Facebook

Even though it has been around a long time Facebook is still considered the top driver of return on investment when it comes to marketing. Many people consider Facebook to be the most effective social media marketing platform on the internet. This is because it remains the most popular social media site that also offers affordable and highly targeted advertising.

Facebook has over 1.4 billions users with over 900 million of those users visiting the site every single day. That popularity provides businesses with the biggest opportunity to reach new people online in a wide variety of different demographics. With the wide reach that Facebook has, most businesses understand how important it is to have a presence on the site.

Facebook encompasses all demographics and people tend to spend a lot of time on the site, usually an average of 40 minutes a day. Their advertising services make it easy to target your campaigns based on location, age, gender, interests, and many other factors. Facebook also offers analytics to help you monitor the success of your ad campaigns and make adjustments whenever necessary.

Staying Connected with Instagram

Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012 and its popularity has skyrocketed since then. It is a social media platform that the modern generation has embraced because it is very mobile-friendly, highly visual and allows users to easily generate a mass following. For marketing, Instagram can be the perfect way to connect with users in a way that allows you to showcase your products and appeal to your target audience.

The preferred method of using Instagram is on the smartphone, although there is a desktop version as well. The mobility of Instagram makes it easier for users to see your posts anywhere and be engaged with your company at any point in the day. Visual posts are also a great way to market yourself in a new way that can translate easily over a smartphone.

Marketers on Instagram can also benefit greatly from using hashtags to make their posts and their brand more visible to the platform’s audience. Hashtags are more powerful and used more often on Instagram than any other social media site. They can help you promote your business and make it much easier for customers to find you.

Using LinkedIn for Business Marketing

Although it is geared specifically toward professionals and businesses, LinkedIn can still be a powerful tool for making new connections and marketing toward a target audience. It can be especially useful for business to business marketing because you can find easily find people in certain industries who are interested in what you offer. When it comes to B2B marketing, LinkedIn can be an even more important tool than Facebook.

Statistics suggest that LinkedIn is the most effective platform for marketing product launches and distributing news and information about new products. It is also very effective for lead generation with referral traffic that is higher than many other social media sites. LinkedIn can help businesses reach other businesses and get the word out about new products quickly and effectively.

No matter what audience you are trying to reach, focusing your marketing efforts on a few major social media sites will positively benefit your business. Sites like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can offer you a way to connect with people and create loyal customers. Being visible on the web means taking the time to have a presence on these sites so that you can reach as many people as possible.

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.

Did You Get Reported on Instagram for Music Copyright?

The rules of copyrighted material on the internet can be confusing at times and people might not expect their content to get taken down when it just posted for fun on their personal profile. However, Instagram has started using a new technology that allows them to recognize and automatically take down any video that contains copyrighted music. The algorithm Instagram uses is similar to the one YouTube has employed to tag users that have copyrighted music in the background of their videos.

Did You Get Reported on Instagram for Music Copyright?

When YouTube flags a video they might take measures such as muting the audio track but Instagram will simply remove the video and send the user a notice. You might have received a notice saying “your video has been removed because it included the following content” with a list of the song or songs in the video. The good news is that you can still post the video later by appealing the removal if you have permission or plan to get permission to use the music.

Avoiding Copyright Problems

Unfortunately, if you do not give credit the owner of the music or do not receive their permission to post it then you will not be able to repost your content. It is important to remember that you must always be careful to give credit to musicians or writers whenever you add a soundtrack to your video. This is true of any photos as well because posting someone else’s photography also qualifies as copyright infringement.

If you are re-posting someone’s video or photo, always give them credit for their content and even ask permission if you can. With music you can credit the artist but in some cases this will not be enough to avoid the problems that can occur with Instagram. If the app still detects copyright infringement then you can attempt to appeal in order to get your video posted.

Appealing can be relatively simple as the notice you receive regarding your video being removed will typically contain a button to click that reads “appeal”. If you have not already done so you can try to contact the owner of the music. If it is amainstream music local band or artist then it may be possible to negotiate payment and get their permission in writing which will help you successfully appeal.

When it comes to very popular mainstream music it can be more difficult to get the rights to post the owner’s content. You will need to prove to Instagram that you have permission to use the music in order to re-post your video. Without permission you will have to find different music or re-post without audio.

Other Options for Posting Music

Sometimes you can get around the copyright algorithm by making slight changes to the music so that it is not detected and flagged. With an altered version of the song you may still get the effect you want in your video without having to worry about getting in trouble with Instagram. You can use video editors to help you put together your background music with the images.

Another option preferred by many people who create their own content is to look for copyright free music online. There are libraries of stock music that you can use in any project you want without worrying about your video getting removed. Some artists willingly put their songs into the public domain and people are free to use this music for their own content.Music Copyright

There is also the option of purchasing music that is “royalty free” meaning that you pay a one time fee for the rights to the song and can use it as often as you’d like without paying again. Instead of paying licensing fees for each use you pay one fee initially and have the ability to continue using the song. This can simplify copyright issues and make it easy to prove that you have permission for the music to Instagram.

If you or anyone you know has their own original music this can also make a great addition to your video and help you support local artists. Make sure you give them credit and pay them any fee that they feel is fair for the use of their song.

Although you might feel disappointed if your video was reported, you can still create content and add great music without creating any copyright issues. Take the time to learn more about how copyrights work and be cautious whenever you are adding background music. Instagram can still be a fun place to post original videos with a soundtrack you are happy with.

If you want to learn more about copyright issues you can read more in the Instagram help center and research the best ways to post videos with music.

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.