5 Steps to Social Media Domination

5 Steps to Social Media Domination

When it comes to marketing on social media, some companies may not know where to begin and how to get more people involved with their sites. Having an effective social media strategy means understanding what works on certain platforms and what doesn’t.

Performing well on social media does not necessarily mean hitting it hard with a lot of aggressive marketing and posting. It means tailoring your content to reach a target audience and being consistent in your efforts to voice your brand and get people involved. Following up each campaign by studying analytics and constantly fine tuning your techniques can also make a big different in the impact you have on social media.

Here are 5 ways that you can boost your social media strategy:

  1. Focus on the Right Platforms

There are more options than ever for social media channels where marketing can work but you need to make sure that they make sense for your particular brand. Instead of setting up a profile on every social media site you can find, instead look at the demographics of who hangs out on certain channels and consider whether it would benefit you to be there. If you’re not sure you can start with the basics such as Facebook marketing and Twitter posts and then decide if you want to expand to options like Pinterest or Snapchat.

Remember that more social media profiles does not always equal better when it comes to market. Focusing your energy on just a few sites and getting high engagement rates is more useful in the long run than balancing several that aren’t performing as well.

  1. Find Your Audience

While more general social media marketing campaigns may seem like they have broad appeal, it is actually more effective to create custom campaigns that target specific groups. For each campaign you create you can think about your ideal customer based on their age, gender, occupation, interests and other traits to really narrow down the market.

Social media lends itself to this kind of focused marketing because people make this information readily available on their profiles. Tools like Facebook Ads allow you to create custom advertisements that will be shown to the type of audience you choose.

  1. Work on a Content Calendar

As important as what you post is also when and how often you post. Adding content too often can deter people from following you because they will be overwhelmed with too much information. Too little content could mean that people forget about your company and engage more with something else.

It can be helpful to schedule your posts so that you can keep track of the frequency of what you’re posting and don’t end up alienating followers in any way.

  1. Boosting Engagement

One of the crucial aspects of social media marketing is not just creating content but making sure that people interact and engage with it as much as possible. Try to take time to respond to followers and answer their questions or get them involved through tactics such as photo contests. The more you engage with them the more likely they are to remain interested in your brand.

  1. Use Analytics to Your Advantage

In order to understand what works and what doesn’t on your social media page you need to measure engagement and make use of the analytics the site offers. You should always track your social media ROI to determine if your campaigns were successful. Measuring results often allows you to constantly tailor your marketing efforts so that you know what strategies are working as you go.

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.

Using Instagram Ads to Boost Traffic

UsingInstagramAdstoBoostTraffic

Instagram offers a great opportunity for organic marketing and promoting your brand but as the app gets more popular it also becomes more competitive for businesses. More and more brands are joining Instagram to try to reach their target audience which can make it hard to stand out. It can be much easier to engage with specific groups on the app through their paid ad service called Instagram ads.

Instagram ads were launched in 2015 using the Facebook advertising system which helps businesses target certain users and place sponsored ads in their newsfeed. These sponsored ads on Instagram look almost no different from a normal post and can often entice users to click through if their interests line up with what you are offering. Users tend to see these ads as less invasive because they appear occasionally as part of their normal newsfeed and don’t interrupt their experience.

To get started using Instagram ads you can think about what type of audience you are targeting as well as the type of image and copy that you believe would appeal to them. You will also need to learn more about the technical aspects of how to make the ad and consider how it will fit into your marketing budget.

Creating Your Instagram Ad

Getting started with an Instagram ad program can be fairly simple especially if you have ever set up a Facebook Ad before. The Instagram Ad system is essentially the same as Facebook because they use the same platform. You can create the ad either through your Facebook Ads Manager page or within the Instagram app.

When using the Facebook Manager page you will need to go through several steps including:

– choosing a marketing objective

– naming your campaign

-defining your audience, placements budget and schedule

-creating the ad itself

The first step is choosing a marketing objective which includes a few different options to choose from. You can boost your posts, send people to your website, increase conversions on your site, increase installs or engagement on your app or get video views. You can click through these options and choose which objective you think will best suit this particular campaign.

Targeting to a Specific Audience

When choosing your audience you will have a lot of different options available to help narrow down exactly who you want to advertise to. If you don’t know the exact demographics yet you can play around with different options until you find the one that works the best. You can target the ad based on things like:

– location

-gender

-language

-demographics

-generation

-interests

-behaviors

-connection

In addition to these factors you can also create a custom audience to reach people who have already been engaging with your business online. After you choose your target audience the Ads manager will show you how broad your audience is and your estimated reach for the ad. You can then choose the placement of the ad whether you want it on both Facebook and Instagram or only one of the apps.

Setting Your Budget and Schedule

Once you have specified your audience you can start the next step which is determining how much you will spend on the ad. You can set a daily or lifetime budget meaning that you can limit the average amount that you’ll spend on ads every day or the total amount you’ll spend over the lifetime of your ads. With the daily budget the algorithm will automatically pace your spending per day as the ad runs continuously throughout the day.

You will then need to set your schedule and figure out exactly when you want your ad to start running and when it will finish. You can set parameters so that your ad runs only during certain hours of the day or specific days of the week. You can also do an accelerated delivery of your ads to reach your audience quickly if you have time sensitive ads.

Formatting and Making an Ad

Once you have set all of these parameters you can start creating the ad itself. You will start by naming the ad set so that you can identify it later. Then you can decide on the format such as single image, carousel (multiple images), slideshow, or video. Adding multiple images comes at no extra cost and might be useful for a particular type of ad format.

Once you choose the format you can upload the media you have such as your images or video and type in a caption. Instagram typically uses a square image format so it is recommended that you use an image size of about 1080x 1080 pixels. The last step is to add in a website URL so that you can drive more traffic to your site through the ad and use a call to action button so that users will click on your ad to reach your site.

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.

8 Secrets To Instagram Marketing

8 Secrets To Instagram Markting

Instagram has slowly become one of the major social media platforms where businesses want to establish their presence and engage with people. One of the things that people tend to like about Instagram is how visual it is, especially marketers hoping to promote their products with carefully crafted and appealing images. Although the sheer amount of content on Instagram can make it hard to stand out you can still get some great results if you focus on a few strategies.

1. Use Hashtags Effectively
By now most people understand the importance of hashtags in getting more visibility for your posts and increasing engagement. If your post is marked with the right hashtags, users browsing through photos with these tags will most likely stumble on your photo and respond or even begin following you.

One thing to keep in mind is that while more general hashtags may get you more likes, they will not be as effective at getting new followers and engaged fans as more relevant tags that are specific to your product or location. If you can include a trending hashtag that happens to be relevant to your business then that will have the most impact.

2. Keep Drafts and Schedule Your Content
Social media marketing works best if you have a consistent stream of content that is posted periodically throughout the week. In order to make sure you have enough content it is a good idea to have a queue of photos ready to post. You can keep drafts of posts when you come up with an idea and publish them later.

Scheduling content is also a great way to have a store of posts that you’ve already created that will be posted at specific times. Scheduling and using drafts can help save you time and you won’t have to worry as much about what you should post on instagram every day.

3. Post User-Created Content
A good way to keep your content unique and also get fans engaged with your brand is to post photos from followers that include some of your products or are taken at your retail location. You can do this either by creating a contest or simply asking fans to post photos with a certain hashtag.

Remember that Instagram is a platform for original content and does not have a reposting feature so you will have to make sure that you have permission to use any photo that your fans publish. Most fans of your brand will be excited to be included in your official instagram.

4. Mix Videos and Photos
Although it was initially a photo app, Instagram added a video feature a few years ago that allows you to post short clips for your followers to watch. Make sure to have a good balance between some photo posts and some video so that your content does not seem to repetitive and you are taking advantage of both features. You can upload a pre-made video or use the Instagram app to record a few different shots and quickly edit it for posting.

5. Take Advantage of Sponsored Ads
Another more recent addition to Instagram has been the paid ads tool which allows you to promote a post to people who are not yet following your account. Sponsored ads are now becoming a regular occurrence on users’ timelines and they can help you reach your target audience and expand your fanbase. You can focus your advertising both to existing fans and potential customers on Instagram.

6. User Graphics that are Shareable
When creating your content you can mix in some different types of graphics so that you are not heavily focusing on products or promotion. A graphic with an inspiring quote or a practical tip can be more shareable than a photo in some cases. Quotes tend to be popular on Instagram and including a number of relevant hashtags in the caption can increase the chances that it will be shared.

7. Reach Out to Influencers
Just like YouTube, Instagram is a social media platform that creates its own internet celebrities. Influencers often are interested in industries like fashion, beauty, wellness, food or fitness and usually have a large following that trusts their opinion on these subjects. If you connect with these influencers they might partner with you to review your products or help promote your brand.

8. Post Discounts and Promotions
Brands often focus on the aesthetic of their Instagram or establishing their presence and forget about driving revenue on the platform. Occasionally posting discounts or promotional sales can quickly get people to become customers who are following your account or viewing your sponsored ad. If you post special promotions from time to time, customers are more likely to continue following you so they won’t miss out on any good deals.

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.

Integrating Instagram Ads into Social Media Marketing

KIEV UKRAINE - APRIL 30 2015: Hand holds Instagram logoIn terms of social media networks, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing and widely used platforms around the world. It has experienced a meteoric rise since its $1 billion purchase by Facebook three years ago and the network now has 400 million active users making it a high ranking industry giant. Instagram can help maximize your impact with social media marketing and increase your search rank along with high quality content. With a new ad format that was recently introduced to advertisers, Instagram now offers us the chance to more frequently integrate the platform into a social media strategy. With a relatively young audience of 53 percent under the age of 29 it represents a premier opportunity for brands to expand their reach to millennials. Currently 32.5 percent of U.S. companies now use Instagram for marketing purposes and that number is expected to reach over 70 percent by 2017, eventually passing Twitter.

Increasing Your Presence

For companies already using Instagram as a marketing tool, they may know how to use the platform as a kind of digital photo album to increase brand awareness through images and hashtags. High quality images that look natural and less like an advertisement usually get the best response especially for more visual brands. Hashtags can also increase engagement with the photos, allowing you the chance to utilize popular and trending hashtags which can increase your search rank. While this approach is valuable, using the new ad format can add much more to a marketing strategy and help expand awareness of your company. There are now three types of Instagram ads available to marketers- image ads, video ads and carousel ads. These types of ads are closely related to their Facebook counterparts being that the platform is now owned by Facebook.

Using the Ad Format

Image ads are similar to Facebook link ads but have a heavier emphasis on the visual. These provide the ability to add a call-to-action button to an ad to help drive web visits and while still raising brand awareness. Carousel ads allow you to add multiple images within the same ad to showcase more pictures and calls to action with a single targeting option. With video ads you can add up to 30 seconds of moving images; however call-to-action buttons are not yet available for that type of ad. With the new ad format Instagram can be seamlessly integrated with Facebook so that marketers can take advantage of numerous advanced targeting methods. Integrating both platforms with the new Power editor can ensure that you can reach your target audience through a variety of channels. Utilizing Instagram and especially the new ad capabilities can be a huge boost to your social media marketing strategy. If you are looking to enhance your presence and spread awareness of your brand these new ads could be the right choice.

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.

Tag You’re It! Instagram’s New Feature

Yesterday, Instagram introduced “Photos of You” – a feature where users can tag other users (and brands) in their photos. Read about it here:

There will now be a Photos of You section on your profile. When someone adds you to a photo, you’ll receive a notification and the photo will appear in your Photos of You. Want to make sure you like the photo first? No problem: you can easily adjust your settings so nothing appears on your profile until you approve it. Before your Photos of You section is visible to other people, you’ll have until May 16th to play around and get used to the feature. You can find more information about how Photos of You works and how to control your visibility at help.instagram.com.

Worried about spam, your privacy or unflattering pictures in general? Selecting the option above allows you to review your tags before they appear in your profile. You can also block users to prevent them from tagging or following your account and also report inappropriate pictures.

While “Photos of You” is new to Instagram, it works much like the photo tagging feature on Facebook.

Here are some ways that it can be beneficial for businesses:

Hashtags: Tags can be used in conjunction with hashtags, which will give your business more exposure to other customers who are mentioning/tagging your brand.

Location: Tagging is also helpful when users add your business location to their photo. Talk about a brand booster!

Advertisements via endorsements in the future? This isn’t just a possibility for big brands or celebrities. For example, if your business runs a contest where Followers are tagged, they can allow that picture to be posted directly into their photostream where it can be seen by their followers.

Encourage more fan engagement by curating the content. Brand engagement on Pinterest was recently considered to be a “fail” because 70% of brand engagement is found to be user-generated. Take that as a lesson to grow your brand by communicating and reciprocating.

Let us know what you think about Instagram’s new tagging feature on Facebook.

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 You Ready For Instagram Web Profile Pages?

How much does a hipster weigh? An instagram.

Now that that’s out of my system, let’s talk about Instagram’s new web profiles. As if Facebook and Pinterest weren’t enough… the world is now ready for a web version of Instagram. This move isn’t a surprise as Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion earlier this year.

instagram web profile

What does this mean for brands?
– Another platform to increase brand awareness and encourage relevant engagement (using #hashtags etc.)
– More flexibility in managing your profile because you’re not confined to editing everything on a smartphone screen
– Easily view content on mobile and desktop devices
– Potential for monetization in the future
– Showcase your brand’s content curation skills – especially helpful in creative fields like design and fashion/e-commerce

This is nothing but good news for businesses but it’s another story for consumers – it will take time to see how they react and engage. If you didn’t remember, iPhone fans cried afoul when Instagram was made available to Android devices earlier this year. Now, it’s safe to say that there will also be some people who aren’t happy that the once mobile-exclusive app is available to view on a regular desktop computer.

So, what do you think about this move for Instagram? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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.