Thursday, March 20, 2014

Grow Your Brand on Instagram

Over the past four years Instagram has grown from an emerging social media platform to a powerful marketing tool for top brands.  From major global companies, such as Nike and Starbucks, to small mom-and-pop businesses, brands of all kinds are using Instagram to strengthen their brand identity and reach new customers. Here we have gathered some of the best tips to market your brand on Instagram.

  1. Share noteworthy photos –Instagram allows brands to tell their story in a visual way. By posting personalized snapshots, brands can showcase their business through a more genuine approach. It is important to share not only product pictures, but also a wide range of content in order to appeal to your audience. According to Wishpond, customer-centric and employee related photos generate the most engagement.
  2. Use #hashtags – Hashtags are a great way to expand your content reach and develop your brand. Creating a unique brand hashtag is a great way to get the message out about your company or a specific campaign. A great example of this is the Giorgio Armani #framesoflife campaign. The brand encouraged followers to share photos of themselves wearing Armani sunglasses with the hashtag #framesoflife to be selected for the Giorgio Armani “Frames of Life” website. This campaign engaged thousands of followers and increased website traffic.
  3. Geotag your location – Geotagging is a way of attaching geographical information to media. Creating a geotag for your brand will not only allow you to attach your businesses location to your photos, but also allow customers to tag your location in their photos. For example, if you are a restaurant and a customer snaps a photo of their delicious lunch, they can tag themselves at your restaurant and allow their followers to see exactly where your restaurant is located.
  4. Share videos - Short videos are now a digital marketing staple. Instagram allows brands to share 15-second video, about the same length as the average television commercial. Instagram’s editing tools are user-friendly and allow users to create multi-clip videos. Videos are an excellent channel to showcase products in a creative way. Take a look at how lululemon incorporates their apparel into a appealing branded video.
  5. Share on other social media sites – Sharing your Instagram content on other sites expands your reach. Instagram allows you to share your photos and videos to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and foursquare. Not only will this increase the amount of impressions you get on your content, but also draw more awareness and followers to your brand’s Instagram account.
  6. Run contests: Contests are one of the biggest engagement drivers on social media. Incentives and rewards are a great way to gain followers and keep your followers checking in with your page. Whole Foods asks followers to upload environmentally themed photos during Earth Month with the hashtag #WFMEarth. Each week they select a winner to receive a $100 gift card. Contest such as this allows the consumers to create the content and promote the brand at the same time. It’s not only major corporations that are finding success on Instagram. Many small businesses are increasing the social influence with the use of Instagram engagement and contests. Tender Greens, a small restaurant group, hosts a photo contest where customers post photos at their establishments with a contest specific hashtag. The weekly winner is sent a Tender Greens t-shirt. The brand is up to 1,822 followers.
  7. Maintain a branded profile – Lastly, what might seem common sense, but is often overlooked, is to maintain a branded profile. A business’s Instagram profile should be consistent with all other marketing and social media. Your company logo should be used as a profile picture and the company slogan or mission statement should be used as the copy for the bio. It is also necessary to include a link to your website. Many businesses find it beneficial to include their company location in their profile.  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Strategies for Gaining Quality Facebook Fans

While many businesses are making the effort to develop a social media presence, they are struggling to grow a quality audience. The purpose of social media for businesses is to develop a solid brand identity, make connections with potential customers, and build relationships with existing customers. In fact, KissMetrics tells us that 60% of consumers who follow a brand on social media will eventually buy from that brand. However, these goals can only be achieved by gaining targeted, quality followers. There are methods to accumulating a strong audience on all forms of social media, but in this post we will focus on strategies for growing Facebook fans.

  1. Add a Facebook like box to your website: This is the quickest and easiest way to grow your audience. When someone visits your website, they are already showing interest in your brand. Providing those consumers with a like box is an easy way to connect them with your page, transforming them from a one-time viewer to someone who views you brand and content on a regular basis.
  2. Engage with other businesses: Become a key speaker in your niche industry’s conversation. By engaging with other businesses on Facebook, you will become visible their audience. Commenting on industry specific posts is a great way to establish your business as credible player in your field and draw attention to your page. 
  3. Targeted Facebook Ad Campaigns: Strategic ad campaigns are becoming increasingly important due to the recent Facebook algorithm changes of the past year. Organic posts are not achieving the same amount impressions; therefore ads are great way to increase your reach. You can use Facebook’s advertising tool to easily create an ad campaign. This tool allows you to identify the location, gender, age, and interests of the consumers you want to target with your ads. Based on your selections Facebook will provide you with an estimate of how many people your ad will reach. Ad campaigns can be as expensive or inexpensive as would like them to be because you are able to set your own daily budget for any amount of time. Page-post ads look just like a Facebook status and specifically target non-fans.
  4. Host sweepstakes and contests: Facebook sweepstakes and contests are a great way to draw traffic to your page. Offering appealing prizes to your target audience is an incentive to get consumers to interact with your page and encourage their friends to participate as well. Using a promotion that requires entrants to like your page will keep them tuned into your brand even when the contest is over. It is very important to make sure that all promotions comply with Facebook’s contest rules. A great way to avoid any regulation conflicts is to use a third part app.
  5. Promote your own content and page: Your should be promoting your Facebook page on as many platforms as possible. In addition to linking your Facebook to your website, you should also have your link displayed on your other social media sites and blog. Include your Facebook URL your email signature, as well as your marketing materials. The more opportunities you provide for people to connect to your page, the easier it will be to increase your fans.