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Instagram Business Profiles

Instagram announced new business profiles, the new set of business tools were announced back in may, and I received it on @northforkmarketing a few weeks ago and now have it on all client accounts as well on mobile.

The new business profiles are inspired by Facebook’s business Pages. My favorite new feature is the ‘contact’ button, allowing customers to text, call or email a business.

 

The new business profiles also include a set of analytics with audience behaviors and demographics, as well as a ‘promote’ feature for boosting well-performing images to use as advertising to reach more customers. Businesses can choose to target a particular demographic, or let Instagram’s algorithms work their magic.

 

The one magical feature that seems to be missing is directly communicating with users via messenger, I also find it difficult to use the Stories option as it is a completely different profile option. I’m curious to see where Instagram goes next.

 

Instagram Business Profiles New

You’ll know if your Instagram account has access to the business profile by opening the app and clicking on your profile icon on the bottom right of the screen to access your profile. If you see this message on the top of the screen, you’re eligible to switch to a business profile:

 

Instagram-for-Business-Learn-More.png-900x469

Click the Learn More button to start the process and learn about the business profile features:

North Fork Marketing Instagram
Instagram Business Profiles

Coming Soon: New Instagram Business Profile Tools

Business profiles

Instagram business profiles are a free feature for accounts wanting to be recognized as a business on Instagram. With a business profile, businesses can choose how they want their customers to get in touch with them: call, text or email with a tap of the contact button as well as get directions. Business profiles also unlock access to insights and the ability to promote.

Instagram Business Profiles
Insights

Insights on Instagram give businesses actionable information about who their followers are and which posts resonate better than others—all from within the mobile app. By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.

Instagram Business Profiles
Promote

The ability to promote on Instagram lets you turn well-performing posts into ads right within the app—helping you connect with even more customers. Simply pick a post you’ve already shared on Instagram and add a button encouraging people to take action. You can select a target audience or allow Instagram to suggest targeting for you. After that, your post will be promoted as an ad for any length of time you choose.

Instagram Business Profiles
With these new Instagram business profile tools, the furniture store in San Francisco can receive emails from customers saving valuable time responding. The retailer in Austin can better understand its audience, tailor its content and refine its marketing strategy—even beyond digital. And the do-it-yourself craft shop in New York City can quickly fill a seat, move a product or get people into its store with ads on mobile.

These Instagram business tools are just some of the ways we hope to make growing a business on Instagram that much easier. Business profiles, insights and the ability to promote will be rolling out in the US, Australia, and New Zealand in the coming months, and will be available in all regions globally by the end of the year.

Instagram for Business

If You Could Express Your Business Visually, What Would You Create?

Instagram is a community built on the power of visual storytelling.
Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 4.39.53 PM

Businesses have been a part of the community since the beginning, using the platform as a way to showcase their products and services in a rich, visual context.

Content Strategy Tips

Businesses do best on Instagram when they share well-crafted content that’s on-brand and driven by a clear objective. Tell your story through captivating images, videos and captions.

 Start with a clear goal and creative concept

Compelling ads on Instagram have a strong concept tied to a clear objective. Whether you’re driving brand awareness, website clicks or app installs, create concepts that align to your campaign goal.

 
Celebrate your brand look & feel

Make your ads branded, and keep strong brand consistency across campaigns. Establish connective elements across your images and videos — like an identifiable color palette, composition or photographic style — to make your business recognizable.

 Focus on craft

Use well-crafted ads to enhance the equity of your business on Instagram. Ads do best when they’re well shot, interesting to look at and artistic. What you create should draw people in and keep them wanting more.

INSTAGRAM TIPS FOR GETTING YOU STARTED

Account name

Choose an account name that’s easily tied to your business. A company name works great.

Profile photo

Simple is best. We recommend using your brand’s logo or a graphic symbol. Keep in mind it will be cropped into a circle and appear as a 150 x 150 pixel image (that’s pretty small) on most phones.

Text

Different caption lengths work well for different audiences. Test and learn from trying out various caption lengths with your followers. Incorporate hashtags to categorize your content and make it easier for non-followers to discover you. We recommend up to three hashtags so they don’t detract from the simplicity of the post. Ask questions to engage people.

Commenting & liking

Play an active role with your community. Engage with comments and questions on your own posts and use hashtags, location tags and Photos of You to discover and join the conversation on other community members’ posts about your brand.

Tagging

Include the location of your photo or video when it helps tell the story of the image. Use the Add People feature to tag accounts in your image when they will help you reach a broader audience.

Image tools

Edit your images and videos with filters and other creative tools (like Hyperlapse, Layoutand Boomerang) available in the Instagram app. These effects give images that unmistakable “Instagram” look that people respond to.

Image subjects

Post photos and videos of beautiful and unexpected moments that also feel authentic and immediate. Whether your subject is a person or an object, capture it in a context that gives a sense of your brand’s identity or point of view.

Search & Explore

Use Search & Explore on mobile or desktop to discover people, locations and posts that may be relevant to your brand. You can also explore trending hashtags and top accounts.

north fork marketing instagram
How To Schedule Instagram Posts

Onlypult is the answer to your prayers!

If you are a blogger, business owner or manage multiple brands – You know the struggle!
Thankfully Instagram has finally updated and helped with managing multiple accounts (Read more here) but there’s still one more challenge and that’s scheduling Instagram posts and managing comments, hashtags and geotagging.

Onlypult is the most effective and affordable option when scheduling posts.

After spending years trying different apps and tools for scheduling – Latergramme, Schedugram and Crowdfires TakeOff — (I love Crowdfire – more on that later) some of the apps are free of charge, but you still have to manually post when you receive a post notification on your phone. The $12 a month is well worth the cost in saving time and capabilities to work with additional admins. Onlypult posts on your behalf, and you can set a pre-schedule, which I have found invaluable. There is also no white border on the images, which there is on Latergramme.schedule-instagram-jen-lew-north-fork

You have complete control managing multiple Instagram accounts and the ability to invite other administrators to post. In addition, to uploading single images you can apply filters and hashtags directly within the app. Schedule your posts months, weeks, days in advance and they are automatically sent to your Instagram profile.

From my experience there are no negative impacts to scheduling with Onlypult, there have been studies that using external apps for scheduling reduces likes and shares on other social media networks. We use Hootesuite to manage Twitter and Linkedin posts, but by far Onlypult is our most effective choice for Instagram.

What are the best Instagram scheduling apps in your opinion? What was your experience like? Share your opinions in the comment section below.

Instagram Adds Multiple Accounts Yippeeee!
Title

Instagram shines down upon us to give multiple account switching.

One of Instagram’s most-requested features could currently reside on your iOS device without you even

Instagram-Jen-Lew

Starting this week, you can quickly and easily switch between multiple accounts on Instagram!
Go to your Instagram profile settings to add an additional account. From there, tap your username at the top of your profile to switch between accounts. Once you have multiple accounts added, you’ll see your profile photo appear in places throughout the app so you can always tell which one you’re using at the moment.

How to Add Multiple Instagram Accounts on iOS

To see if you have access to this feature, navigate to your Instagram profile page and click on “Settings.” Near the bottom, you will have the option to “Add Account.”

how to add instagram account

After adding an account, you’ll easily be able to switch between multiple Instagram accounts, accessing separate photo feeds, comments, and messages without logging out of the Instagram iOS app. When you receive likes or comments, your push notifications notify you of which account you’re receiving them on.

After adding an account, you’ll easily be able to switch between multiple Instagram accounts, accessing separate photo feeds, comments, and messages without logging out of the Instagram iOS app. When you receive likes or comments, your push notifications notify you of which account you’re receiving them on.

managing multiple instagram accounts

As anyone who manages more than one Instagram account is aware of, logging in and out of Instagram accounts is a major pain point; not only for posting regularly, but also for keeping up with different communities, commenting on photos, and messaging with users.

North Fork Web
How to use Hashtags

North-Fork-Marketing-Jen-Lew-HashtagsHow hashtags work, why everyone is using them, and how to use hashtags in your posts, here are some answers for you. The focus of this post is mostly in regards to hashtag usage on Instagram.

What is a hashtag?
Hashtags are an essential tool in growing your audience online. Whether you want more likes to a social media post or page or you want to follow your business reputation hashtags are the key differentiator in expanding your reach.
They are a word or phrase at the end of a Tweet, Facebook or Instagram post that starts with the hash or pound symbol # and refers to anything relevant to your business.

How to use hashtags.

  • A hashtag must be written as a single word, without any spaces.
  • You can include numbers in a hashtag, but punctuation and special characters (like $ and %) won’t work.
  • You can search for a hashtag using the search bar at the top of any page.
  • You’ll only see posts that were shared with you.

How hashtags work. 
You can add hashtags to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest posts. They are additional words that highlight your business, profession and topics related to your business. Hashtags are relatable words you use to build interest in your content. For example: When North Fork Marketing & Design posts on Instagram common hashtags are#startup #webdesign #startuplife #market #marketing #successful #motivational #nevernotworking #entrepreneurship #hardwork #succeed #goals #businessowner #business #working #businesswoman #purpose #socialmedia #hardworkpaysoff #grind #passion

Why use hashtags?
Hashtags are simply one of the most effective ways to grow your audience. If used properly you can find your target audience and skillfully drive traffic to your website. One of the ways to do this is by hinting toward specials or new updates to products on your website and direct users to visit your website

How many hashtags should be used?
This answer varies, not only does it vary from post to post but from expert to expert and social media platform.
Instagram: My golden rule is no more than 20 …but Instagram allows you up to 30. It’s up to you but I think more than 25 is excessive. That said, if there are a lot of hashtags that fit a particular situation, then use them but keep them specific and controlled and only pertaining to your topic.
Twitter: Recommendation is to use no more than 3 at a time. This is not only because of the 140 character limit but you certainly don’t want to exceed the words you use in your tweet.
Facebook: No more than 3, and keep them very specific to your post.

How #SmallBusiness can use hashtags effectively.

  • Popular Hashtags. The easiest way to get started is by using popular hashtags.#throwbackthursday, #tbt, is a weekly theme where people and brands share things from their past. This is one of the few hashtags to gain any traction on Facebook. Check out this post for more on popular hashtags
  • Uncover the hashtags popular in your industry. Easiest way to do this is by going on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and do your own recon and research hashtags in your field.
  • Use them in each post. Instagram posts should contain hashtags, but comments, should include plenty of relevant hashtags as well.

Today, hashtags are the most effective way to grow your audience. If used properly you can find your right audience and skillfully drive traffic to your website. Many people research products, news, celebrities, foods, exercises, clothing you name it. By using  hashtags you can increase the chances of being found.

Hashtags have evolved over the years, they have gone from a Social Media Manager’s secret, to a fun way for people to express themselves. Nothing explains this better than Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake showing you what a Twitter or Instagram conversation in 2013 sounded like in real life

 

 

Social Media Tipsheets

Social media sites are continuously updating and changing. These Social Media Tips and guidelines for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram social networks are guidelines to assist in creating value, better content and loyal followers.Social Media Tips

Twitter: 5 Ways to Add Value

  1. Have a personality! Well, you have one, of course, but show it! Understanding how to communicate your personality on Twitter can be tricky, so take some time and observe your feed first, then consistently tweet with the same voice. Followers like to know who you are and what you’re about, and if your tweets are generic, they’ll soon lose interest.
  2. Speaking of consistency, be consistent. No one follows the occasional tweeter, especially the out-of-date occasional tweeter. Tweet at least once a weekday, aim for four times per weekday, and if you can’t handle more, schedule it out with HootSuite.
  3. Twitter is your place for timeliness. Follow trending topics and if you have something to say thatauthentically relates to that trending topic, tweet it. Don’t, however, jump in on a 9/11 trending topic to promote your brand.
  4. Hashtags sometimes get a bad rap, but they’re still super useful. If you want to get found on a tweetchat or you want your product or service to show up in searches, you gotta use hashtags. Just don’t go overboard with them, ok?
  5. Retweets are your friend. Retweet content that fits with your community and your voice, and your audience might just grow. Aim for a 20% retweet rate on your own tweets.

Facebook: 4 Steps to Better Content

  1. Facebook has evolved a lot over the years, but right now it’s really great for things that are visual. Embed videos directly into the platform, and enhance your long (think 1000-word) text with interesting visuals.
  2. Followers love the chance to win something free, so use Facebook to run contents that can amp up your exposure. Facebook contests are easy
  3. Respond to followers. Be present on Facebook at least once a day to attend to customer care in the comments. A positive, helpful response to a negative comment can go a long way on Facebook.
  4. One of the best things about marketing on Facebook is the easy targeting options, so go ahead, get local. If you’re doing an event in a city, find your followers there. If you

Blogs: 5 Ideas for Cultivating Loyal Blog Readersnorth fork web design

  1. Some might say we reached peak blog saturation, but blogs are still raking in the views, and there’s no better place for long form content and beautiful, curated images.
  2. Have at least 3 series you can drop posts into. Think “Friday roundups” like Cup of Jo’s [right] or “Monday Must-Haves,” or a behind-the-scenes, featured-employee series. That kind of regular, consistent content will have readers coming back for more.
  3. Put your FAQ here and use it as a place where your new readers can get to know your history. It can be a snapshot of what your brand is about, a mission statement relayed in a conversational way, and a way to answer questions that can put you in context for newbies.
  4. Link your blog posts with other social posts, i.e. push traffic from your Instagram or your Twitter to your blog for “more information” or “more photos.” Make your blog a place people go to find out more about an event or a product.
  5. Use your best writers for your blog. Writing is a skill, and if readers are going to spend time on your blog, you’d better meet their expectations with posts that are well-written, well-edited, and well-concepted.

LinkedIn: 3 Non-Networky Networking Tips

  1. There’s not really a right way to do LinkedIn, but there is a wrong way, and that’s being too generic and network-y in an impersonal way. The #1 tip here is to be personal. If you want to connect with someone, make sure you know who you’re connecting with, and approach them with language as you would in person.
  2. Use your company page wisely. Post any company updates there as well as job openings. This is the most public professional face your company has,and consistent and responsible use can go a long way.
  3. Consider the LinkedIn publishing platform, but also share any appropriate long-form posts from your blog here. LinkedIn users like to read content that is industry-appropriate and adds professional value.

Instagram: 5 Hacks for the Visual Platform

  1. What separates the civilian Instagram user from the professional Instagram user is theme. Think of a content theme and a color palette, and stick to it (like influencer Amanda Steele, left.)
  2. Here, too, hashtags are your friend. Don’t overload your caption with hashtags, though; instead, add them to a comment below so your post is findable.
  3. Use all the Instagram tools available. That meanstag people and geo-locate your posts.
  4. Instagram is a place for careful curation, not for photo dumps. Use Afterlight or VSCO Cam apps to thoughtfully augment your photos so they look as professional as possible, and then post. Also, whereas with Twitter, the more tweets the merrier (sometimes), here you won’t want to annoy your followers by posting a bunch of photos at once. One post per day, max.
  5. Instagram is another great platform for contests. Incentivize your followers with giveaways and ask them to share visual content that either you’ve created or they create themselves with a unique hashtag. It’s a great way to get followers involved and aid brand exposure.

YouTube: 3 Fun Ideas for Video Content

  1. Got a skill? Go to YouTube to share a tutorial. Use one of your products or services and show it off with a well-edited (consider Final Cut Pro) and short (3-4 minutes) tutorial from one of your staffers. Think like Birchbox,
  2. Speaking staffers, use YouTube to show of your employees. Viewers love that kind of behind-the-scenes access and it can really personalize your branding efforts to present your staff as valued members of the family. Augment a blog post with a video featuring an employee.
  3. Make brand trailers. Don’t feel like you have to stick to one, either. Make a new trailer every quarter, showing what you’ve done in the past and what’s coming up that might be new. Use videos to tease new products or services. Nothing racks up the views more than a well-edited, slick video offering teasers about what’s to come.
Instagram Landscape and Portrait Updates
New Instagram update 2015 – You can now post full-size landscape and portrait photos. It’s no longer hip to be square!
You are not constricted to square photos. Instagram now supports any size images.

From the Instagram Blog
Today, we’re excited to announce that — in addition to square posts — you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation on Instagram. Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to. It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren’t in the square format, and we know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end. Now, when choosing a photo or video, you can tap the format icon to adjust the orientation to portrait or landscape instead of square. Once you share the photo, the full-sized version of it will appear to all of your followers in feed in a beautiful, natural way. To keep the clean feel of your profile grid, your post will appear there as a center-cropped square.

We’re especially excited about what this update means for video on Instagram, which in widescreen can be more cinematic than ever. While we’ve historically had separate filters for photos and for videos, all filters will now work on all types of moments. You can also adjust the intensity of filters on videos, too.

We continue to be inspired by the creativity and diversity of the Instagram community, and we can’t wait to see what you create next.

More updates and new features.
Jen Lew Instagram
  1. New direct message features.
    You can now directly send images right from any post privately to other Instagram users. You can then carry on the conversation with text only similarly to a normal text message.
  2. Instagram ads release September 30th.
    We are preparing to learn, use, and teach you what you need to know.

  3. Unified photo and video filters.
    Now any filter can be applied to your Instagram post regardless of its format (photo or video).

 

How do I upload a photo as a portrait or landscape?

Once you’ve selected a photo or video from your phone or tablet’s photo library, you can choose to share it as a portrait or landscape instead of a square:

  1. Tap to switch the photo from a square to a portrait or landscape.
  2. You can touch the screen to move the photo and adjust how it fits within the frame. Use the grid to help you frame the photo.
  3. Tap Next to apply effects or a filter.

Once you share it, the photo or video will appear as a portrait or landscape in Feed. You can share photos and videos with aspect ratios between 1.91:1 and 4:5.

Note: In grid view on your profile, photos shared as a portrait or landscape will appear as a center-cropped square.

Instagram image size used to be 612px by 612px but then switched to 640px by 640pxand on July 2015 switched to 1080px by1080px to keep up with Retina and other high resolution displays available on smartphones, tablets and laptops. Current image size is1080px in width X 1080px in height.

how to use facebook hashtags

It wasn’t until last nights 3rd to last Breaking Bad episode that I realized …Facebook hashtags are definitely increasing in usefulness. We may not use them as much as twitter, and they may not have permeated in being the most powerful marketing tool… yet!

But, I posted last night from my personal facebook page about Breaking Bad and I am shocked to see how many ‘strangers’ liked my post. This has never happened before. I was also on twitter and following the hashtags and sharing in my shock and awe of the amazing writing and full blown engagement of the episode. The twitter flurry is not a surprise, but to receive a comment from a complete stranger (not a friend of a friend) on a personal facebook post – this was a first for me. Now this can all bring about a whole conversation about privacy and settings — so for the sake of this post I will suggest you refer to Social Bakers for their tips on that.

This engagement on facebook definitely gives me reason to believe that the facebook hashtag is not going anywhere and business owners with facebook pages should be utilizing them in a more strategic way. Here’s how:

[one_fourth]Be unique: Use a hashtag that is unique to your event, promotion, product, service. Breaking Bad is brilliant in their use of the hashtag, for each episode they are simple and unique – and just like a Vince Gilligan hint they sum up the emotional journey last nights #nohardfeelings[/one_fourth][one_fourth]Keep ’em short:Think of your product, service, event’s key differential. What about your promotion makes you different or unique from other businesses that provide a similar service. For example — the Greenport Maritime festival is every year – I would suggest #greenporttime as a hashtag. It combines the name of Greenport (obviously) and the festival name — and it’s an annual event so the hashtag can be reused annually. It evokes the suggestion that where else would you go at the end of September on Long Island.[/one_fourth][one_fourth]Integrate: When using your unique hashtag, combine it not only on multiple social sites like twitter, instagram and pinterest but also use the most popular hashtags in conjunction with your unique one. There are tons of sites to find popular hashtags like hashtag.org, tags for likes etc… and many others. [/one_fourth] [one_fourth_last]Howto: Now that you have a hashtag – how are you going to use it? The trick is to be consistent – as with all social endeavors you can’t just use it once and hop it sticks. Use that hashtag whenever you promote your event or product — in print, multiple social sites and on your website. Encourage customers, fans to engage with the hashtag. [/one_fourth_last]

In business marketing you want to remember to create a following and encourage your customers to use the hashtag. Great example of this appear on your tv with almost every commercial for almost every brand, movie trailer or sporting event. Or check out Vine – the app has hundreds of hashtags that users have created and consistently follow each other.

For more hashtag how to’s, tips and suggestions check out this helpful post on Social Media Examiner.

As always, I am available for [Jen Lew] coaching sessions – in just an hour we can conquer your biggest marketing challenges and get your business in the eyes of new customers.

Please comment below with questions or hashtag examples for your business.

Instagram Love Story

Instagram Love Story-Couple That Met Via Online Photos

Now, you’re going to want to break out the Kleenex, because these techie lovebirds let the cameras roll to depict their blossoming romance (and nuptials!) in this oh-so-sweet video. Watch all the lovey-dovey-ness unfold below. And, who knows, maybe that new follower that’s been casually liking your snaps will be the one you bring home to momma!

Instagram Fruity Hack
Instagram Hack photoIt’s time to Change your Passwords!!

Make them complex and make them full of letters, numbers and symbols!!
There’s a Instagram hack slowly going around with a fruit theme. It’s unclear so far how the hackers have gotten into over 130 million accounts… but they have and it’s annoying.
Om Malik posted a photo of what the spammers are posting.

This is the one (ugly as heck) photo that was posted to my Instagram, and a good friend had a at least 5 photos in her feed posted to her account.

But, in addition to the mad posting my profile details were changed, including my name, email, website and description. Immediately I deleted the erroneous information and changed my password to something more complex that includes capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. This may or may not secure my accounts but it certainly will provide against the hacker bots that try to penetrate my accounts. I suggest you do the same.

Facebook has notified users of this massive hack…but has not provided more details …yet.

Earlier today a small portion of our users experienced a spam incident where unwanted photos were posted from their accounts. Our security and spam team quickly took actions to secure the accounts involved, and the posted photos are being deleted.

In my opinion, the moral of the story is.. change your passwords to something complex, it’s your only defense at this point. Not saying it will work but it won’t hurt. 

For more information and updates check out PC Mag and Gigaom or TNW

Instagram Launched Video

★Instagram now has Video★ Facebook_Instagram Video
You now have the ability to: 
– record video up to 15 seconds long (one clip or multiple)
– remove clips you’ve recorded
– select a cover image for the video
– use 13 new filters specific to video
-It also includes Cinema – cinematic video stabilization to make your video look professional.

North Fork Web Marketing & Design
Jell-o #fml

Well I do believe this is is a great idea.

Jell-o has taken one the most popular hashtags and created the brand around it. Instead the traditional use of #fml “fuck my life” Jell-o has funned it up.
As far as the brand is concerned #fml mean “fun my life”. jello_fml

Until June 14, everyone who tweets the #FML hashtag is entered into a site, from which a certain number will win “Fun My Life” prize packs “specially created to get their life back on track.” You can follow along at jelloFML.com, which also shows how the brand is tweeting at #FML-ers.jello-fml-logo-hed-2013

10 Tips to Create Social Impact for Your Business

Digital marketing is not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all type of marketing strategy. Each business is to be approached differently according to the industry and according to the customer. These 10 tips are fool proof quick, easy ways to get you started and build your business online – no matter what type of business you have.

Read this post on North Fork Patch

 

 

 

 

1. Design a smashingly clear and distinctive logo. It should evoke emotion, beliefs, desires, and provide a sensory experience of what your business is all about, defining it’s identity. (think of a company or brand you are loyal to.. now think of that company without it’s logo – what’s there? Would you recognize that brand without it’s logo?)

2. Ask yourself 3 very important questions: 

  • What 10 questions are frequently asked about your business by customers?
  • What 10 questions do customers ask specifically about your products?
  • What 10 things do you want your customers to know about your product, that differentiate you from the competition – that you wish customers would ask?

3. Take 100’s of photos & videos of your products, customers, location, staff – make them funny, interesting, compelling, sad, hilarious, powerful, beautiful, impactful.

4. Compile a list of 10 “Calls to Action” that you want your customer/clients/guests to do at your business. Ask them to “Like” your facebook page, “Follow” you on twitter, share your content, come in for a special, buy this stuff, etc…

5. Build & Create content rich profiles with your business information on multiple social networks. Starting with the top 5: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, then assess what other networks apply to your business (Yelp, Instagram, Urbanspoon, DeviantArt, Cafemom, Meetup, etc…)

6. Develop a contact management system. Obtain email lists from your customers; at the register, on your website, on social networks, in person, at check out, wherever appropriate – make this a daily priority. Upload these email lists monthly (or more often) to all Social Networks and Email Marketing data base and keep a back up on your computer not just on the sites.

7. Blog. Create a blog and write content about your business with frequent posts that ‘talk’ to your customers as if they are in the room with you..not ‘at’ them. Offer information, share your opinions and ask questions… try hard not to use this as a selling tool. Link the blog to your website and post to social networks.

8. Create an email marketing system. There are plenty of options from free to monthly cost effective solutions. (Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, Aweber, Mad Mimi, plus many others..)  Broadcast your messages effectively and clearly. Keep ’em short and without a lot of images. Design one or two templates that you can re-use. Do not add images or content that will distract or make it heavy to download or view on all devices. Set up an email delivery schedule you can achieve.

9.  Update your website. I know you paid “a fortune” three years a go for that website… but just like the everything in this day and age, technology has changed and probably so have your specials, offerings and products. Update your website with relevant up to the minute content and be sure to include social networks and email capture.

10. Use the answers and content from tips 1 -5 above to post, tweet, pin, and listen on all social networks. Send email marketing messages monthly (or more), Update your website consistently. Engage with customers personally and effectively online – don’t ‘sell’ to them. Repeat.

 

post with pictures!

In the time it takes for you to be reading this post, you could have glanced at a photo understood what it was all about and gone back to work, and thinking about how you should have posted a video to promote your product.Jen Lew Sweet Tweets

Here are 21 awesome reasons why you should be posting visual content on behalf of your business across a varied number of social sites. 

  1. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.
  2. Out of 100 people, 40% will respond better to visual information than plain text.
  3. a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company say’s a whopping 46.1% of people.
  4. Publishers who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t.
  5. Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts.
  6. Visual content drives engagement. In fact, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content — photos and videos — saw a 65% increase in engagement.
  7. On Facebook, photos perform best for likes, comments, and shares as compared to text, video, and links.
  8. 37% of Pinterest account holders log in a few times every week; Pinterest is an all visual site, that has rapidly become the third largest social media site, based on its number of site visits March 2012.
  9. 98% of people surveyed with a Pinterest account said they also have a Facebook and/or Twitter account. side note: those accounts should be linked.
  10. Pinterest generated more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined.
  11. Pinterest drives sales directly from its website — of people with Pinterest accounts, 21% have purchased an item after seeing it on Pinterest.
  12. 85% of the US internet audience watches videos online. The 25-34 age group watches the most online videos, and adult males spend 40% more time watching videos on the internet than females.
  13. “I’d rather watch a video, than read” – that’s what he said. Over 60 hours of videos are uploaded each minute on YouTube.com.
  14. 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter every minute.
  15. Viewers spend 100% more time on pages with videos on them.
  16. Mobile video viewing increased 35% from 2010 to 2011.
  17. 25 million smartphone users stream 4 hours of mobile video per month. 75% of smartphone users watch videos on their phones, 26% of whom use video at least once a day.
  18. Mobile video subscription is expected to hit $16 billion in revenue by 2014, with over 500 million subscribers.
  19. Viewers are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video. 
  20. Mobile photo sharing sites like Instagram are now a part of our future and is one of the fastest growing social media trends of the last few years.
  21. Instagram has accumulated 15 million users who have uploaded more than 400 million photos in less than two years.

 

list adapted from: Hub Spot, Forbes, Price Grabber, SEOMoz and more…