5 Ways To Use Instagram Stories

I LOVE Instagram Stories.  It’s probably where I spend the majority of my personal time (and some business time too) when it comes to social media use.  It feels so much more real and in the moment than any other social media content.  And really helps you to get to know businesses and people too.

Instagram users are spending more of their time on stories now than looking through feed posts.  So, if you’re an Instagram user, how could you be using Instagram Stories for your business?

Instagram Stories

  1. Research

There is a poll feature on stories, allowing you to give users two options to choose from.  Which means it’s a quick and easy way of getting answers to important questions.  Such as, ‘bourbon or custard cream’ (bourbon), ‘ketchup in the fridge or cupboard (cupboard)’, ‘gin or wine’ (both!).  Obviously you can ask some serious questions too relating to your business, industry and products/services.

You are also able to see individual’s responses, so you can then strike up a conversation with them via DM relating to their response and build the relationship further.

 

2. Behind-The-Scenes

Where your grid posts might be more thought through and creative, your Instagram stories can take people straight behind-the-scenes of what goes on in your business day-to-day and give them a greater understanding of what it is you do.

 

3. Share Tips

Use your stories to impart wisdom.  You can do this with video, or by sharing an image with text over.  Think about current hot topics in your industry and create a small number of stories about that topic.  You can then create highlights on your profile to add this to so that people can come back at a later date and still so those tips.

 

4. Increase Your Post Reach

By clicking on the paper aeroplane symbol under your post, you can share it to your story.  Add a related hashtag and this will increase the reach of your story, leading more people to click through to your post.

 

5. Have Fun

Stories are fun!  You can add face filters, GIFs, do boomerangs, rewind videos, and so much more!  Have fun with it.  Show the personality of you and your brand.  This will undoubtedly help your customers and potential customers build a stronger relationship with you!  Don’t be afraid to be yourself!!

Are you using Instagram Stories?  How do you use them?

Knowing Your Target Audience

Knowing your Target Audience

Your target audience is who you want to be ‘listening’ to you on social media. So, do you know who yours is? And are you generating content that appeals to them. In this week’s vlog, I talk about the importance of understanding who your target audience is.

As I mentioned in my Vlog I have a CREATING ENGAGING CONTENT FOR SOCIAL MEDIA online course which includes 9 key modules!

Content Includes :

  • how to stand out on social media with your content
  • how to engage with your followers
  • how to build effective relationships with your customers and prospects
  • how to increase awareness of your brand
  • how to increase web traffic to your web page with fantastic content
  • plus I share 30 different content ideas for you to use!

BUY BEFORE MAY 31ST AND PAY JUST £25+VAT!

CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW AND GET IMMEDIATE ACCESS!

 

The Only Marketing Steps You Need This Year!

We all know that Marketing is something every business strives for.

To achieve the best Marketing for your business this year, follow these easy steps to Marketing heaven!

The use of Marketing has established itself as one of the most dominant ways to increase customer population in today’s market.

Here are the steps you need to incorporate into your marketing campaigns this year; how many are you already using?

Document your strategy
If you want to be more effective at content marketing, document your marketing strategy!

Having a verbal strategy is a great first step. However, as the research shows, it pays to take the time to write it down: 60% of those who have a documented strategy rate themselves highly in terms of marketing effectiveness, compared with 32% of those who have a verbal strategy.”

Time to invest in visual content

For Marketing content to be truly “creative” and successful it’s important that it’s visually arresting, not just pleasing.  Every day consumers are handed with well-designed marketing offerings, with good colour schemes, professional imagery, and nice fonts. All the pieces truley break through to the consumer as well as introducing something unexpected.

Stick with The Big Three
The Big Three of social media are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Quality content posted on these three is paying bigger dividends than ever before. Everything else on the social network is basically chump change. But, keep an eye on the up-and-coming venues like Vine and Snapchat. These upstarts are becoming more and more valuable as their audience becomes more dependent on mobile devices like smartphones.

Focus on using Information that is Informative and useful
Customers don’t want to be force fed advertising copy anymore. They are looking for information that is both informative and useful. You, as a marketer, need to find ways to locate and curate information that your clients both want and need.

Always remember, your marketing is only as good as your content — so invest in your content!

 

 

Your Social Media Story

This weeks Vlog is all about you and your social media story.  The power of your story is what sets us apart from our competitors.

Social Media is a perfect way to express your story with your customers with more than just words!

The dos and don’ts of using social media for your business

I came across this article a few days ago during my morning browse on the internet! If you use social media to promote your business these tips are going to be lifesaving for you and your business! A relatable situation is what we all need when changing something within our business. I hope you find these tips useful, putting them into practice is going to be easier than you think!

Social media is one of the best ways to engage with your target audience and increase your brand visibility.
One of the main reasons companies adore using social media for their business is because it’s extremely cost effective! Which business wouldn’t want to increase their brand following by using a range of affordable platforms?
DO: React to any posts
It is important to remember that social media is interactive and reactive, to gain a bigger brand following you must interact with current and potential customers. Each reaction from a customer could lead to a site visit, an enquiry and eventfully a connection.
DON’T: Ignore any interactions
You should never ignore any interactions from customers or potential customers, or even worse respond to a customer and ignore another! If a customer has directly connected you on social media they will be awaiting your response, if they see you have responded to someone else and not them, well you’ll have one very unhappy customer which may lead to one less customer.
Responding to every customer’s interactivity will promote the brands customer service and put trust in outside customers who may be viewing the conversation via their time line.

DO: Post at the right times
Scheduling is key to making your posts reach more people, you can easily find out what time customers are viewing your pages via analytics and then schedule your posts to fit in with the customers.
DON’T: Post too much
Each platform will have its own trends in terms of peak times to post, find out these times and stick to them! Don’t over post, this disengages customers and may lead to negative feedback.

DO: Think about what your audience wants to see
Your audience may not want to see what you want to see. You have to alter your posts to suit their needs! It’s all about building relationships online with your customers, this strengthens the foundation to your business relationship which eventually leads to more sales. Find out what your target audience wants to see and post it!
DON’T: Mix your personal and professional accounts
The worse thing that can happen is you posting a picture of irrelevant content to your feed. This could negatively impact the reputation of your business. Your customers won’t want to see how cute your new puppy is and they certainly won’t want to read about how much you love him.
DO: Keep thinking of ways to build your audience
One of the easiest ways to connect with a wider audience is to find out what they like and create a promotional factor which will engage them into your business. Create a customer incentive which gets the customer to “like” or “follow” your business who otherwise may not have engaged with you.
DON’T: Forget to post
The main purpose of having a range of social media platforms is to post and engage with your customers. If you’re not posting you’re not engaging! This will lead to less followers and a negative opinion towards your business. Always delete social media pages until you have time to update them daily.
DO: Maintain a loyal audience
To keep a loyal audience, all businesses need to do is keep giving the customers what they want to see! Nobody ever complained about getting what they wanted! Remember to analyse competitor’s social media, if what they’re doing is working…Do it too!

 

 

How to Make the Most of Social Selling with Instagram

Word of mouth is the most effective way of getting your brand out there.

Why? Here are 3 reasons:

  1. It’s quick
  2. Everyone does it
  3. It’s trusted.

It’s the same on social media. Brands get shared, mentioned, re-tweeted and liked all over the internet. But it’s not foolproof, this word of mouth stuff. Here’s a pretty telling statistic from BrandWatch;

Engagement with brands is 84 x higher on Instagram than on Twitter.

That’s huge. So what is it that we can take away from this fact?

Firstly, two reasons why engagement is an important insight to monitor:

  • It helps foster strong relationships with customers based on trust and value
  • It helps us to listen in to what our customers really want, so we can; solve problems before they have them, offer humour/distraction/value to their day.

According to Brandwatch, these conversations don’t stand alone; “driving the conversation means focusing on every customer touch point”, and they include in this list social media, website, POS experience, customer service and advertising.

I think we can go further than this by making sure that we’re not massing social media together as one monolithic asset to your business or brand, but as separate assets to be valued for what they bring to your social media presence.

So, on Twitter, word of beak (heh) is apparently not cutting it when it comes to social selling.

Think of this as a sign – Stop trying to sell on Twitter. They don’t like it.

Instead,  consider using Twitter to provide light relief, humour, distraction and knowledge; use it to solve customer service problems by tracking mentions and utilising the speed of the platform. Let them know it’s you, your brand, with your own brandonality by using consistent profile images and tone in your tweets.

Then STEP AWAY! And go somewhere else where your adverts and brand related signposting will be appreciated. Instagram is one place, especially in the retail market where users are willing to share and mention brands and spending habits with their followers. It’s just more acceptable. How do I know this? I use Instagram; I listen to my followers; I look at who else they follow and what they like, re-gram, and share with their audiences. It’s work! But it’s worth it!

But the bottom line is – for real brand equity, it’s time to start seeing your social media as not just ONE asset to your business strategy, but as MULTIPLE ASSETS – platforms for specific focuses of social selling.

I suppose it’s a case of not putting all of your eggs in one basket, but it’s more than that – it’s about truly assessing what it is that you get out of an asset and making it do more work for you.

Switching Up the Schedule – Catch the Vlogs Here!

Hello, Emily here! movie-918655_640

This week I will be the bearer of good news, something we aren’t bared with often enough in my opinion. Sam is really treating you at the moment, in case you missed it, a few weeks ago Sam posted her first vlog!

If you’re one of the regulars then you’ll know that there’s a blog posted weekly and that recently Sam has also started posting vlogs to her YouTube Channel. We’re changing up the schedule a little and wanted to keep you in the loop so you don’t miss out on any pearls of social media wisdom.

You can take a peek below at the vlogs that Sam has uploaded before and from now on they’ll be hosted right here on Samflynn.co.uk for your viewing convenience! So why vlogging and why now? Well, we tell you each week about something new and exciting in the world of social media and how you should be using it to get your business booming and the same goes for this business. You need to keep an eye on the trends and see how they could benefit your business and what better way to add some brandonality than really get in front of you?

We saw the rise of the blog some sixteen years ago, back in the day when we were all afraid of the Millennium bug but the blog was ever popular, going ‘mainstream’ in 2008. 41% of us Brits delved into the world of the blog during that year and continued to be popular until YouTube came on the scene. The amount of people posting online videos doubled between 2009 and 2013. So really we couldn’t ignore something that so many people enjoy, vlogging has certainly taken off, with platforms such as Vine, Video for Facebook, Instagram Video and YouTube all helping watching videos become a normal part of your day.

Here are the vlogs so far, don’t forget to check the site for them every Friday!

First Social Media Vlog from Sam Flynn

Content Strategy for Social Media

LinkedIn Advanced Search

Vlogging is a stage to share with you what you actually want to hear, rather than what we want to bombard you with. It’s our way of changing things up and giving you a snippet of social media wisdom that you can watch on your commute, your lunch break or in a content strategy meeting for some quick inspiration and insight into how you could achieve social media success.

So we hope you like what you’ve seen! There will be a new vlog posted on a Friday as well as a blog every Tuesday for you, don’t say we never give you anything!

Instagram Gets Interesting

It’s our favourite photo sharing application and it’s also the World’s most popular, Instagram isn’t going anywhere. With frequent updates that really reflect what their customers’ want, it’s not surprising that the estimated monthly visitor count is over 100 Million.

They’ve recently expanded their already plentiful array of features and are taking these for a spin, social-media-419944_640so not every user will be able to benefit from these tweaks immediately. Earlier in the month the company posted in their blog that Account Switching is now available on Instagram, which is perfect if your company has several branches for example or if you are responsible for several company’s social media accounts. All you have to do is go into the settings and add an additional account!

Don’t worry, you’ll be able to keep track of who you’re posting as, your profile picture and username will be displayed in several places (so definitely worth making sure each account you add has a distinguishable image associated with it to avoid any posting mishaps!) No more logging in and out!

Why are multiple accounts good for business? Well we’ve had a think and realised you could create an exclusivity on a separate account to your main company page by creating a gallery just for clients, setting it as private or showing the behind the scenes of your average day in the office. Helpful for very targeted marketing, just ensure it’s relevant to the audience.

Another feature that has been introduced recently is really helpful for super quick, on the go ‘analytics’. Just as Facebook have introduced a video view count, Instagram has followed suit, showing you how many times your video has been watched, registering a view each time the video has been watched for 3 seconds or more. Great for seeing what’s working in your posts and what’s not, I also find that people seek out videos on Instagram, if they watch one they’re likely to find another.

We can’t see who has viewed the video but this is a really useful tool to show how your community and following are interacting and engaging with you and your business. Instagram note that the popularity of watching videos on the platform has increased by 40% since introducing the 15 second video feature 2 years ago, along with Hyperlapse and Boomerang.

If you don’t already use Instagram to it’s full potential then it might be time to get cinematic and have a play around with their additional features. Just be sure to keep the balance! Sam’s vlogs are a perfect example of how introducing something new to the mix can create a buzz and get your customers talking!