Instagram Business

Instagram for Business… coming soon

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New Instagram for Business tools are on the way

We were lucky enough to attend the Facebook“Boost Your Business”,event in London last week, where amongst other things they alluded to the introduction of Instagram for Business tools.

The event was a mixture of Facebook business success stories, networking and learning zones, and a series of workshops around setting up your business on Facebook, understanding Facebook ads manager and getting to know advertising on Instagram.

While a lot of what we heard was validating a lot of what we do on a day to day basis with many of our clients, we were particularly interested in the Instagram session.

Of all the social media platforms, Instagram is the one which until recently you couldn’t advertise very easily (although Facebook insights has made this a lot easier); and without spending lots of cash on so called “tools”, understanding who your audience is on Instagram, where they are based and what their interests are, has been a thankless and sometimes almost impossible task.

To hear in our session that Instagram for business tools were on the way, and then to get the official announcement yesterday via the Instagram blog was hugely encouraging.

So what are these “tools” and what can we expect?

Well, to start with, Instagram for Business tools are being rolled out gradually, with them becoming available only in the US, Australia and New Zealand in the coming months, with promises of all regions globally by the end of 2016.

Instagram has noticed the vast number of businesses using the platform to bring their products and services to life, and listened to its customers pinpointing three key areas that needed to be addressed to help business owners; (1) stand out from the crowd, (2) understand your audience ( with insights and analytics), and (3) finding new customers.

Every business wants to achieve the afore mentioned areas and its great to see that Instagram are attempting to meet these needs head on. However, only time and testing will tell how successful this will be!

Instagram for Business accounts

 

Instagram for Business profile

source: Instagram for business blog

On every social platform the panacea for any brand is to get the blue tick, or verified account status, something which used to be used only for celebrities or big businesses. Earlier this year, Facebook began allowing small businesses to become verified (using a black tick) based on proving who you are as a business, with promises that this would push your business higher up relevant searches etc.

With the initial success of this it was highly likely they would follow suit with the ability for a business to be recognised as one on the platform.

In addition to the business profile, businesses will be able to choose how they want potential customers to connect with them via the contact button (this can be set to call, text, email or get directions). Other functions of business accounts that aren’t available to personal accounts are the ability to gain insights into your posts and also to advertise.

Analytics

instagram for business insights

source: Instagram for business blog

Many a digital marketer and social media marketer has banged their head against a wall trying to get great analytics and insights into when to post (without breaking the bank), which hashtags have the biggest impact on a particular post or most importantly where your audience is located.

Insights for Instagram promises to alleviate this pain by providing businesses with actionable data about who their audience is and which posts are really hitting home more than others (all from your mobile).

Understanding your audience and learning their behaviours can only prove beneficial to businesses and marketers because an informed marketer can create relevant, timely and impactful content.

Insights for Facebook, however questionable at times, have proved to be a huge aid to businesses of all shapes and sizes and we firmly believe that the Instagram equivalent will have a similar impact and cannot wait for this to be launched on a wider scale.

Advertising

Instagram for business advertising

source: Instagram for business blog

Advertising on Instagram is still something of a new phenomenon, particularly for smaller businesses getting to grips with pushing the advert through Facebook’s business manager and ads manager platforms.

The introduction of advertising and promotion directly via the app is a welcomed one, particularly if you can use data to dictate how best to promote the content.

It all sounds very straightforward, with businesses able to log in and select content they have previously posted to add a Call to Action button.

Businesses will be able to use manual audience targeting or let Instagram suggest targeting (much like Facebook) and the post will then run for as long as you wish at a price you determine (using the same methods as Facebook).

Should we care?

In a word, YES! If you are a business that uses Instagram (we know that many businesses do) to tell their story, promote their services and share their customer experiences then understanding more about who your Instagram audience is can only be of benefit.

A business or marketer is only as good as the data they have in terms of understanding how to better serve their clients!

 

 

 

Digital Marketing Tools

Free Digital Marketing tools – updated for 2016

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Tools we use on a daily basis that can  aid your business

A lot has changed in 12 months in the digital and social world. This time last year we created an overview of some of the FREE  Digital Marketing tools we regularly use to make us more efficient and effective.

Having revisited this list recently, we have realised that we have moved with the times and also adopted some new practices and started using different digital marketing tools.

The following list outlines digital marketing tools that we have and do use on a regular basis and some others we haven’t had a chance to use yet but here great things about!

We don’t pretend this list is complete, but it is certainly a good starting point for anyone looking to get better at their online marketing.

Social Media Management

  • Buffer – Allows you to schedule photo tweets as well as full social media profile management. Also gets a shout for being easy and having a great blog full of insights.
  • TweetDeck –  Really simple site or desktop app that allows you to schedule Tweets and set your profiles into multiple columns of your choice e.g. DMs, RT, Scheduled tweets etc. Essential if working multiple campaigns, or using as a monitoring tool e.g. journalists, social media managers etc.
  • Hootsuite –  Like Tweetdeck but much more comprehensive as covers a number of social media profiles, not just Twitter, and provides analytics. Paid for options expand on all these features. Serious stuff.
  • Later – Upload and schedule your Instagram posts from your computer or mobile phone.
  • Klear – A great website that allows you to analyse Twitter accounts for a breakdown of key followers, demographic, output and engagement levels. All aspects key to any digital marketing campaign that wants to use Twitter, seed content, establish influence etc.

Content Creation

  • Pablo by Buffer – Create engaging social media posts with your own text using your own images.
  • Canva  – Basic graphic design software that anyone can use and makes design simple for anyone!
  • Pixabay –   Royalty free images and videos that can be used anywhere. More than 650,000 free stock images

Content Curation

  • Buzzsumo – Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitorFind the key influencers to promote your content
  • GoogleAlerts – Let Google do the work alerting you to key topics, themes and even news about your business
  • Reddit –  Search tool splits keyword down by relevant ‘sub-reddits’. You can then see the most popular sub-reddits and the most engaged posts within these.

Editing

  • ClipChamp –  Clipchamp lets you convert, compress and record video files. You can save processed videos or upload them straight to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook or Google Drive.
  • Landscape – by Sprout Social – Streamlined social media resizing tool (This is such a time saver!), just drop in the image and then select the network you want to use it for!

Analytics

  • Facebook Insights –  Every business that has a Facebook Page has access to insights. We find this tool invaluable to see what is and isn’t working, where our posts are reaching and the best time to post for the greatest impact
  • Twitter analytics – Twitter’s own analytics tool. Hugely helpful to anyone looking to understand how the content you share on Twitter grows your business
  • Tweetreach – A basic tool for tracking how far your hash tag or content has travelled across Twitter, showing you key influencers who have used it, how many total impressions it’s delivered and how many unique Twitter accounts reached too. Paid for version shows more detail, over a longer time.
  • Bit.ly  – Such a simple tracking tool that provides stats on clicks, demographics and social media use of links. Paid for options open up your ability to customise URLs more comprehensively.
  • Iconosquare – Offers analytics on your Instagram profile, and we all know the rise of IG especially with fashion retailers saying it’s a big driver of sales despite it’s clunky linking mechanic. Key insights are provided across things like demographic breakdown and fantastic data on your best posting times.
  • Likealyzer – LikeAlyzer helps you to measure and analyze the potential and effectiveness of your Facebook Pages. It allows you to monitor, compare and explore all the possibilities of your Facebook Page by evaluating your activity to ensure your success on the most popular social network in the world – Facebook.

Project Management

  • Google Drive – Great capacity for storage and shareability that is so simple to use. We use it extensively to file and share assets as well as contain all our planning, conversation calendars, reporting etc offering clients transparency where necessary. With the benefit of multiple admins and updates in real time, it’s essential when working digital marketing which requires you to always be flexible.
  • Producteev – Task management software for teams. There are a number of competitors to Producteev, but we have found this to be easy to use and effective for our marketing efforts.

Communication

  • WhatsApp – Essential for comms without breaking the bank. Group chat option helps bigger discussions and pretty good coverage / delivery overall.
  • WeTransfer – Quick and easy to share big files on the fly! This is a great asset when working with video!
  • Slack – Slack brings all your communication together in one place. It’s real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams.
  • Dropbox – Store, sync, and share files securely. A cloud storage solution that makes sharing content easy
  • MailChimp – Online email marketing solution to manage subscribers, send emails, and track results. Easily integrates with other programs

What Digital Marketing Tools can you not live without?

Twitter update

Twitter is changing… should we care?

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So what’s new with Twitter?

Earlier this week Twitter announced via its blog that changes are a coming, with what they are describing as the chance to simplify tweets and discounting media, links and usernames in the 140 character count.

There is not a precise date on when the changes will kick in but it is expected to be in the not too distant future.

The four areas in which this will affect Tweets are as follows:

  • Replies – When the new changes are live you will no longer have to include the @ username in your tweet count, which should make conversations easier to have and points easier to get across without worrying about the length of a username
  • Media attachments – Back in 2006 when Twitter was founded, YouTube was barely in existence and smartphones weren’t what they are today. As smartphones and tech has developed,  the introduction of GIFs, videos, images, polls and quote tweets heavily impacted on your character count.  This is no longer the case with all of the above now not included in your character count.
  • Retweet and Quote Yourself Tweet – Soon you will be able to retweet your own tweets (as self involved as that may sound!), enabling you to retweet or quote a tweet that may have been missed
  • Goodbye, .@ – Since the dawn of time (ok the dawn of Twitter) to have your reply included to a broader audience than your own you were required to add . before your @ username reply. This will soon be a thing of the past; if you want a reply to be seen by all your followers, you will be able to retweet it to signal that you want it to be more broadly viewed

So in a nutshell, Twitter is allowing its users to include images, videos and GIFs which we know are the most eye catching and engaging, without having to sacrifice any witty prose.

Why should we care?

Anyone that has used Twitter will have struggled with the character limit at some point, if you haven’t you’re lying or a Twitter Jedi.

Many people get caught out when adding in photos and videos, or find themselves struggling to get a thought across in a limited character count reply.

It may not be as revolutionary as some had alluded too earlier this year , but its a big step forward in making Twitter easier to use, share content and engage with your audience or community.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing

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Your biggest influencers are closer than you think

Influencer Marketing or Social Media Influencers are considered by many to be the latest panacea for businesses looking to get a foot hold in their respective industry, or so we are told. Becoming a Social Media Influencer is slowly becoming a career path.

Here at SMTM we are huge advocates of using influencers and have done so successfully with a number of clients and projects and believe that we are seeing a shift away from traditional advertising methods towards the influencer model… in fact, some companies have grown solely off using Influencer Marketing (this is particularly prevalent in the beauty, health & fitness industries).

Start from within

We meet lots of companies and brands that want to look for the biggest or most famous influencer that they think will elevate their brand to the next level. While this in theory is what we are all looking for, you can find success in starting much closer to home, looking at your existing customers (we have found some huge social influencers right under our noses on a few projects).

Also consider your own sphere of influence  – we often discover major influencers just based on the relationships the business or business owners have.

There can be a tendency to go away from traditional marketing methods in the social world, but the Pareto Principle is as true in social media as it is in any other form of marketing, your biggest wins will come from 20% of your audience which is why you can’t ignore your existing audience or its influence.

The Benefits  of Influencer Marketing- Numbers are everything

So what are the benefits of utilising influencers?  They have large (engaged – THIS IS CRITICAL) audiences that are also your end users or the customers that you want to know about your product. They have done the hard work and built their own tribes (across multiple platforms usually) who trust them, want to be like them and aspire to be them.  By association you can gain credibility in their world and build awareness of your product.

The Pitfalls – Numbers aren’t everything

We’ve mentioned Gary Vee before but feel its necessary to do so again. We firmly believe that numbers (likes, followers, subscribers) aren’t worth the platform they are created on if they don’t go hand in hand with engagement and this is a sentiment that is echoed in a fairly recent post by Gary.

While its clearly more impactful to work with an influencer with a large following, this is only the case when alongside their followers they have good engagement. Its of no benefit for a business to work with an influencer with 1 million followers if they only get a few hundred likes on a post; you would be better served looking for a smaller influencer (in the thousands) who is getting big engagement on their content.

If the shoe fits

Another critical element to Influencer Marketing is making sure the influencer is relevant to your brand, product or audience. There is no point in trying to fit a square peg into a round hole just because of the size of their audience, it won’t benefit you in the long term and could even hinder your reputation.  Its also important to ensure that any influencer campaigns or output fits within that influencers world,  for example getting a football influencer to promote alcohol will only confuse their followers.

Money can buy followers, not influence

One worrying trend we see more and more is an increasing number of brands/individuals and businesses buying fans on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. While no one wants to start with zero followers, the benefits of buying audiences are hard to justify, aesthetics aside.

Having 100 fans that engage in your output, share it and follow your every move is far more impactful than having 10,000 that don’t even exist. In addition, your ability to co-collaborate and become and influencer for other brands is diminished with fake fans because your true level of influence (and engagement level) is masked by an inactive audience.

Influencer marketing can be your biggest asset IF done in the right way and as part of a wider marketing campaign. Just don’t get caught out by chasing numbers instead of influence.

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