Don't you just love when you see actual results on your social media? I'm talking virality on Facebook post, huge engagement on an Instagram post or countless Pins of Blog post!! Growth and engagement on a social media account make me giddy!! It is the best feeling in the world when your hard work actually pays off, especially when it's for a client. Many people think that social media marketers just play around on Facebook and scroll Instagram stories but if you are using social media for your business you know that there is soooooooo much more to it than just scrolling, liking and posting pretty pictures! Social media requires time, a thoughtful strategy, creativity and some technical skill to build an engaged following of target leads for your business.
As a freelance social media manager and digital marketer I LOVE it when my clients have big success with their marketing efforts because it means that they are growing an engaged, targeted community of raving fans which inevitably generates leads and sales which equals more growth, opportunity and money for my clients! Social media can be an amazing tool for your business but without a thoughtful, strategic and targeted plan you will likely see very little return on your investment of time, energy and even money. I don't know about you, but I like my money and I covet my time - especially because I cannot get any more of it!
This is an Instagram case study that showcases one of my coaching client's organic growth in less than 3 months with ZERO ads (no additional money spent)!!
About The Client:
Melissa, a Registered Dietitian and nutrition superhero, is passionate about educating and serving her clients. She strongly believes in preventing and treating medical conditions with healthy living education and specifically tailored diets. She believes that real health starts with real food and ensures that her clients receive the education and tools they need to live a healthier lifestyle.
Every.Single.Successful client I have has said the exact same thing to me, “I do not have time to spend on social media.” When your business is booming you simply do not have the time to post on social media and honestly, most of my clients are so busy growing a business that they do not actually have a strategy when it comes to marketing and social media. In fact, most simply post because they have been told it's important and that they need it but do not actually know what drives engagement, creates leads or generates sales. Posting random content and hoping for the best is just not an effective strategy and most definitely is not worth spending your time on.
However, a well thought out, actionable social media marketing strategy can be just thing to catapult your business to the next level and the secret is that it does not need to consume all your time and energy! Do I have your attention now?
Below are the steps I use when working with a client to plan their content:
The holiday season is here! Can you believe it? I know I can’t! While the excitement builds, and you’re busy planning on a personal end, it’s important to start getting your business into holiday marketing mode as well. It can take time to organize for such a large promotion, so getting started early will make it much simpler! Here are 5 tips to get started preparing your business for the holidays.
When getting in the spirit of the holidays, its important to do your research. Look at what happened last year in your business, that of your competitors, in your industry and in other similar industries. You need to take the time to do the proper research to ensure that you have a solid holiday marketing plan and offers. Doing this research is something that many business owners don’t prioritize, however, its going to be essential to your success during the holiday season.
During the research phase, set solid goals for your holiday marketing efforts and create a simple step by step plan to reach them.
Create Your Offers
Everyone, and I mean everyone, is looking to score a deal during the holiday season. Think about the products or services you offer. Then think about what you would be looking for at this time of the year if you were in your ideal client’s shoes. Create a list of offer ideas and take some time to stew on them. Giving yourself some time by creating your offers in advance, gives you the opportunity to determine which options are the best fit for you to offer.
Are you ready for the holidays?
Now, I don't mean is your Christmas shopping done. What I am asking is if your business is ready for the Holiday Season? Do you have a plan for your holiday marketing and social media?
Have you decided what your holiday offering is? Do you know where and how you are going to market your products and services this season? When your shipping deadlines are? No?
Don't worry, I am sharing my planning strategy that will guarantee the best Christmas season your business has ever seen!! (And who knows, maybe you'll enjoy the holidays with your friends and family a little more this year!)
I don't know about you but I CRASHED into September. The summer is over, the kids are back to school, back to activities and back to routine! And on top of what's happening in our families, our businesses also tend to get busy. Before we know it BAM it's October 1st and Black Friday is LESS THAN 2 MONTHS AWAY!!!
My goal is to get you holiday ready. Create a plan and execute it. So lets get started!!
I started my Mompreneur journey 2 years ago and it is time for me to share a little bit about how I ended up here - a virtual marketing strategist & social media expert. It has been fun, fantastic, exciting, exhausting, stressful, terrifying and overwhelming all all at once!!
Shortly after my daughter was born I was faced with a really difficult decision - return to work or stay at home full time. I realize that having the choice was/is a luxury and I do not take that lightly.
I know many moms would do anything to be home with their littles while others can't imagine not returning to their work. I was pulled in both of these directions. Fortunate to work at place I loved, with people I loved, at a job that I enjoyed and was actually quite good at so the thought of quitting, even if it was to stay home with the two people I love the most in this world, was incredibly difficult.
I was happy where I was professionally and was sacred to step out of the workforce for fear that it would take years to make-up for the time I was home. I was actually surprised by the pull I felt to stay home as I was not the little girl that dreamed of being a mom. I dreamed of a career (think SJP from Sex and the City). My dreams changed though when I met my husband. I no longer only dreamed of a career but also a family.
As a social media manager I work with multiple clients and social media accounts including my own! It can be difficult to organize, create and schedule all this content and still have to time to live my life!
One of the biggest reasons people come to me is because the simply do not have time to do all the things that they think they should be doing on social while managing a business and home. In this post I am going to share how I research, organize, create and curate content then schedule it for my social media. I’m not going to lie to you here, social media is a tonne of work, but this workflow will help you manage “ALL” the things that you need to do to grow your social with your own content.
Based on your research, put together a plan for the month. Think about a few things.
Brain dump any and everything that is relevant to your target audience based on the above research that you have done then create and curate content around those ideas and topics. Search the Internet, YouTube, Pinterest or Facebook for content to share on your social platforms that resonate with your audience. This can include viral videos, quotes and articles that you can mix in with your own content to be more diverse. This will also help you create your own content for your audience.
Types of Content that you can create for your business includes:
Create a schedule of your posts based on the content that you have created and collected. Determine what your goals are for the week/month or quarter and schedule that content in a way that makes sense with your business' timeline and over arching themes. Plan your daily posts based on what you can commit to.
Once you have your schedule created go ahead an schedule your content! Depending on your posting frequency and the platforms you are using you should consider a scheduler tool. There are multiple tools out there that you can use that can post to multiple platforms and do a variety of tasks that will make your life so much easier!! One of my favorite tools for Pinterest and Instagram is Tailwind if you'd like to try it.
To make your life a little simpler I have created a list of my Favorite FREE (or Cheap) Social Media Management Tools. This list of tools, programs and apps will help you to save time and money while creating a killer social media following for your business!!
This page contains affiliate links and we have advertising relationships with the stores and companies in this post.
It's almost Valentine's Day! What? Halfway through February, crazy! Time really does fly when you are having fun!
2017 was the year of lots and lots of content being thrown at us from every direction! Large amounts of content are being shared at a ridiculous rate and it has left users overwhelmed and looking for a more personal experience!! Social Media platforms like Facebook and Instagram know this and are now changing the game to give their users a better experience. Social media platforms know that the only way to make money is to keep the user happy on their platform. With so many new products and platforms at our fingertips it's too easy for people move on so the game is changing!
How we have used social media in the past will be different moving forward and we know that social media dies once it stops moving forward. As the User evolves so must the platform meaning that there WILL be changes to the algorithms. As scary as change can be I want to help you embrace the change, evolve and move forward with these social media platforms to grow your business!! We have to adapt to stay relevant!!
What this ultimately means is that to keep your audience happy on social media you need to give them more of what they want!! In 2017, curated viral content was really big. It was sort of as though the more content you shared the better. There was less focus on the quality of the content. Now I am not saying that you should stop sharing curated content that your audience would love but I am saying that if your audience won't love it DON'T SHARE IT!! Give your following the content that makes them stop scrolling. Content is and always will be KING...as long as it's the right content!
How to be successful at social media in 2018.
1. Take risks! How do you know if something works? Try it! Do not be afraid to test out different types, topics and styles of content. If it doesn't perform change it up. Give your followers exactly what they want.
2.Do your research. See what your competitors and industry influencers are doing then try it on your page. Take your own content and spin it the way the major players do. Don't copy and paste but do try out study their strategy and mimic it in your page. It has to have your own personal fare though because it feels at all inauthentic or scripted people will keep scrolling.
3. It's all in the presentation. Find your style and figure out what makes your audience react.
If your followers prefer short quotes to long posts then do that. If they react to your video vs your captions then put out more video. The way the content is presented is as important as the topic of the content.
3. Be consistent. Your followers will come to expect a certain amount and style of content. If you are not present and on your social media you will be looked over. There is so much being thrown at users on social media that if you stop or are inconsistent in your posting you will be forgotten. Things happen very fast on social media so if you are not consistent, relevant and present your following will fade away.
4. Know your audience. You should know everything about your ideal client from their household income to their internet habits to their interests and hobbies. The better you know who you are targeting the better content you will be able to create and share for them.
5. Be genuine. If you speak at your audience you will lose them. People are on social media to be social and find that community. Create that space for your ideal client and you will have a loyal, engaged following.
For more Tips and Tricks check out the my other blog posts!
Mark Zuckerberg scared the $h*t out of the online marketing world last week and sent a lot of small businesses & entrepreneurs into panic mode. I am going to shed a little light on the new Facebook algorithm and what it means for your business so you can calm down and stop panicking!!
First, relax. Take a deep breath and repeat "the world is not ending" as many times as you need to believe it!! The reality is that Facebook changes ALL the time - like seriously ALL the time - and we have survived. More importantly we have adapted, grown and changed to stay relevant on social media. Successful businesses on social media are constantly changing, adapting, exploring and failing; but most importantly they are moving FORWARD!!
The three biggest keys for success with the new algorithm are:
1. Share quality content that engages with your followers in an authentic, genuine way
2. Video - LIVE STREAMING!!!!!!!!!
3. Budget for Advertising
Facebook wants to keep YOU on their platform so they can continue to stay relevant and make more money $$$. In order to do this, Facebook itself has had to change and adapt to what the user wants. Facebook listened and now they are giving the user exactly what they want. Users want their newsfeed to remain THEIRS. They want to see more content they care about and updates from their friends and family. Currently your feed feels spammy and repetitive. The same people, same pages, same groups and lots of ads are consistently clogging up your newsfeed. People are seeing a tonne of content that they simply do not give a shit about and they are over it!! That is why the content and the way in which you engage on your page or group is so important!!
We need to talk to and converse with our followers. Do not talk at your audience. Do not just share links and videos with the hopes that it will be liked enough to grow your page. These two tactics have not worked for a while. If you look at your insights what do you see? How well does a shared article with a lame caption perform compared to a Facebook Live or an genuine personal status update?? I can tell you the answer without even looking at your stats - its terrible! You will get way more engagement and reach on a post that actually fosters sharing, caring or community.
Facebook used to reward you for the number of posts and shared content but that is no longer the case. Why? Because people do not care and they don't want to see it!! It's spammy. I strongly believe in the power of posting good content but that means your content must be relevant, engaging and interesting to YOUR audience. This is not new friends but if you have been sharing just for the sake of posting you need to switch up your strategy. In this online world, believe it or not, people still continue to crave community and connection so give it to them!!
Next if you want to stay alive on Facebook you need to do Live Video. No more excuses, it must be done!! I will admit that while video itself is good in all Live Streaming is the bomb!! 💣💣💣. Why? It keeps us on Facebook. If you share a video on YouTube that means people may leave Facebook to see it so if you want better reach on Facebook bust out of your comfort zone and do some live streaming!!
To really capitalize on your live streaming follow these three simple steps:
1. Send an email to your mailing list or post a status update letting your followers know that you will be going live.
2. Have a game plan. No, this does not mean try and follow a script but know what you are going to talk about and have an outline to follow.
3. Don't overthink it. Live Streaming works well with your audience because it is real. People want to see and get to know you! Keep It Simple!
Lastly, social media is no longer solely organic. It is a pay-to-play game so if you want to truly have success you need to plan to spend money on advertising. Don't stress too much because a little can go a long way. Especially if you target your audience effectively and use great copy and creative. The effectiveness of your ads depend on choosing the right goal for your ad, targeting for your niche audience and communicating your goal with those people accordingly. Do not be afraid to try a few things when it comes to your ads but do not put all your eggs in one basket - split test your creative/ copy or run an ad to multiple different targeted audiences. Try running the ad for 48 hours and if it isn't getting the results you want stop the ad and try something different!!
Also, make sure that you are taking advantage of conversion pixels, such as the Facebook Pixel, so you can target exactly the right people and use or a warm audience that you know is interested in your product or service.
So friends, like I said DO NOT PANIC!! If you have been using Facebook the way it's meant to be used when it comes to your Business Page or Group you will be fine. And if you haven't been doing the things mentioned above make some changes, pronto!! The biggest thing I have learned when it comes to social media is to not be rigid, always be willing to try new things and most importantly treat your followers like people!!
If you are looking for more help with your social media, the changes to the Facebook & Instagram algorithms or your advertising book a Free discovery call with me today!!
Out with the old and in with 2018!! I hope you are ready for it! If not, and you are still planning out your content for 2018 you definitely need to keep reading! 2018 will be all about giving the user what they want when it comes to social media. Keeping the users happy means that we have to grow, adapt and change our strategies - just because something worked last year it doesn't mean that you'll see the same results this year.
The types of content that we are seeing for 2018 include:
1. Video (Obviously!). More specifically, Live Streaming is not going anywhere anytime soon. If you are not posting video your organic growth will be slower than a snails pace. Video is being pushed in the Facebook and Instagram algorithm. Now you do not need a professional camera crew to do video. You can simply create on your phone or computer - just ensure good lighting and sound quality. You can edit video by using simple software on your computer or an app. I do strongly encourage your video to be authentic and real. Don't worry about putting together a perfect script simply know what you plan to talk about and write down a simple outline. Do not let overthinking your video quality stop you from doing video. You simply need to start.
2. Connection. Followers want a more authentic and real experience from their social media. Spend time connecting, engaging and conversing with your followers. When people feel a genuine connection with someone they will be loyal and that is the best kind of audience to have! Make sure that you reply to emails, comments and direct messages in a genuine manner it will make people feel heard and valued.
3. Paid Growth. Organic reach is still very much a part of the game but social media is definitely a pay-to-play game! You need to factor in advertising dollars into your 2018 marketing budget.If you want to grow your Facebook page solely organically it will be incredibly slow. You need to plan for both paid and organic growth. The upside is that Facebook, Instagram & Google have incredible audience targeting. You can ensure that your advertising dollars are well spent.
When using paid growth on social media put the same care and effort into your copy and creative as you would your posts. Do not put all your advertising dollars into one basket - try out some different strategies and find what works best for you.
4. Pick a platform and stick to it. It's really hard to focus today with the increasing number of distractions put directly in front of us. As business owners we are bombarded with all the "things" we need to be doing to be successful and no body has got time for that! I recommend that you figure out what platform your audience is most on and what type/style of content they most want to see and focus your energy there. So many of my clients try and do all the social media, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, ads, webinars, etc that they do not do one thing really well. Unless you have a huge team to support you there is simply not enough time or energy for you to do all those things well. Pick one platform and focus your energy there. Do it well and as you grow, your business grows and your team grows then your social media and marketing can grow too.
5. Chatbots. Messaging on social media platforms is becoming increasingly popular. Different chatbots like WhatsApp and ManyChats make it possible to "connect" with the user instantly giving a more personal feel. It is also a great way to lead your audience into your funnel. These chatbots are definitely not going anywhere!
6. Learn to love Live Streaming!! Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Instagram Stories and YouTube Live are making HUGE wave in social media right now and are most definitely favoured in the algorithms. The key to sales and marketing is to create know, love & trust with your audience and video accelerates this by 50%!! Live Streaming does an even better job of creating know, love & trust with your followers. The audience is changing and how they want to receive their content is also changing.
It's not only Facebook Live that is seeing huge growth from video but also platforms like SnapChat, YouTube and Instagram. Instagram Stories may be one of the biggest trends for 2018. Instagram's Stories has injected new life and huge growth into the platform this past year. In fact, users are more likely to watch their stories than scroll their IG feed. In face, since the launch of Stories the average time spent on Instagram per day has grown to 28 minutes!!!! It isn't only users that are loving Stories but also businesses, currently there is about 1 million business and brands advertising on Instagram Stories because that is where the users are!! It is important for your business to be on Instagram Stories if that is where your audience is.
If you are cruising along in your business and have started to play around with Facebook Ads you may have heard of the Facebook Business Manager & Ads Manager. Now if you are wondering, "why would I need the Business and Ads Manager when I've gotten this far without it?"- then this post is for YOU!. At first it can feel a little intimidating but don't be afraid because it is definitely worth figuring out if you and your business are ready for it!
First let's start with the basics. Facebook is broke into 4 parts:
1. Facebook (most common part) - Where you browse your Facebook feed.
2. Business Manager - Gives you control of your Facebook and allows for an external team to work with your Facebook Business Pages, Groups or Apps.
3. Ads Manager - Allows you to better control ad payment options, manage objectives, analyze outcomes & insights for your ads.
4. Power Editor - Is for larger, more advanced advertisers who want to create, edit and publish multiple ads at once and have precise control of their campaigns (Facebook).
But why do I need the Business & Ads Manager?
1. You can run and track your ads
2. Manage assets such as your Pages and Ad Accounts
3. Add an agencies or marketing partners to help manage your business. For example, you may be interested in hiring a social media manager or VA to help with your Business Page and ads.
4. It's separate for your personal profile so you don't have to worry about mixing personal and business content on your Facebook.
5. Manage multiple Ad accounts and Facebook Assets
6. More in depth report and insights into your audience and advertising outcomes.
7. It's FREE and available to everyone
8. Helps curb Facebook scrolling and lesson distraction!
As a social media manager, both the Business and Ads Manager make it possible for me to work with your Facebook Pages or Groups while you still keep the ultimate control of your account. However, I do want to warn you, that it may change the way you manage your Facebook Business Page.
When you try access your page you via Facebook.com you will see your business page listed under the "Business Manager" vs "Your Pages" (see the image below). What this means is that to access your Business page you will have to do so through the Business Manager vs Facebook.com.
In the Business Manager your Page will look exactly the same but the color is grey vs blue. (See the image below.) Everything is still the same but it has a little different look, you don't get distracted by your Facebook Feed, you can hire help and still maintain your accounts control AND you have WAY more options for ads and insights.
Where this gets inconvenient is if you post to your Business Page off of your mobile device. You no longer will have access to your Business Page via Facebook Mobile App. Now I do a lot of posting via the desktop so this isn't really a problem for me but if you use mobile it can be frustrating when you are sharing content via Facebook Mobile. I get around this by using the Facebook Pages App and my desktop. You can also share the post in a message to yourself then grab the URL and schedule it or share it from your desktop or the FB Pages Mobile App.
It's also important to note that if you use the ads manager you can use the FB Ads App to manage your ads. One reason I really like using these two apps and the Business Manager is the fact that I don't get distracted with scrolling when I go into them. I get right to my business and don't mess around with the millions of distractions that is Facebook!!
If you are not ready to give up your mobile access you may want to think twice about setting it up. The Facebook Mobile App access is a problem for some as they like its convenience. Admittedly, it took some getting used to but now that I've made the switch I love it. Also, I am a social media manager so I am part of many different business' Facebook Pages, Groups and Ad accounts. I definitely recommend using it if you are running a lot of ads or looking for someone to manage your accounts. For more info about the Ads Manager and how to be more efficient with your ad spending make sure you read this post.
If you are still interested in the Business and Ads Manager, ask yourself these three questions before you set-up the account:
1. Do you have more than 1 person working on your business marketing or managing your current Facebook or Instagram business presence?
2. You manage multiple Facebook or Instagram accounts - Facebook Pages. Instagram Accounts or Ad accounts?
3. You are wanting to grow your business and are considering hiring external help.
So, now that you know some of the pros and cons to using FB Business and Ads Manager you can go and set-up your own accounts!! It's not that difficult to set-up, just head on over to the two links mentioned below and Facebook will walk you through it!!
Facebook Business Manager
Facebook Ads Manager
And if you're still not convinced, don't take my word for it, check out this blog post by Buffer for a more in depth overview of the Ads Manager.
Once you have set-up these two accounts and want to Boost a post the "right" way head on over and check out my newest post that explains how to effectively boost a post on the Ads Manager!
When clients come to me for help with their Facebook strategy I hear this all the time, "Why wouldn't I just boost an existing Facebook post? It's easy, fast and convenient to do. I am too busy to create a full blown ad and I have a great post that I can just boost. AND, Facebook says that for $26 I can reach almost 5000 people close to me!" (Insert sarcasm here and a little eye roll.)
Usually a couple weeks later or after they have boosted a few posts I am told that "Facebook advertising doesn't work!" Sound familiar?! The thing is, Facebook advertising can actually be very effective - if you are doing it right.
The main reason that you should think twice about boosting an existing Facebook post is because you cannot control the outcome nor choose your goal. Facebook does allow you to choose your audience and tells us that we can reach up to XXXX number of people for just a few dollars. The problem, however, when you boost a Facebook post is that Facebook is just trying to reach those people and get a reaction in some way, shape or form. Facebook actually considers ANY kind of engagement a win even if it's not on the post you are boosting. See why this is a problem?
When you spend money on your Facebook ads YOU should have the control over not just who sees your ad but what that ad objective is. The "why" when you run a Facebook ad is HUGE. Facebook needs to know what YOU want the ad to accomplish. So while boosting a post is super easy and there is a couple occasions when it's ok to boost it is not an efficient use of your $$$. And if I am spending money on an ad I definitely need to have control over it!!
What happens when you boost a post VS create an ad?
Say you set up an ad objective for conversions, meaning you want people that see your ad to "do" something, like sign up for your newsletter, Facebook will not only put it in front of your targeted audience they will also try to put it in front of the people in your target audience that are more likely to convert because of past behaviour on Facebook. WOW! Believe it or not, Facebook actually wants your ads to be successful - so you will come back and spend more money!!
Now if this was a boost on an existing post you might get this ad in front of a tonne of people and have great reach and/or impressions as well as some likes BUT getting in front of those people that are more likely to "convert" is a gamble because you haven't TOLD Facebook that is what you want it to do. It will see the boost as successful because you have gotten some engagement and people seen your post but as we all know that doesn't mean the ad "worked" hence you are throwing money at the wall and hoping it will stick!
There are however, a couple reasons to just Boost a post. These include:
1. If you are new to ads, and do not yet use the Ads Manager
2. Are only spending a few dollars ($5-$10)
3. Want to create some social proof to an add prior to running a full blown ad campaign
4. You need to boost something quickly and from your mobile
Now fear not friends, you do not need to create a full ad campaign every time you want to just boost an existing post. There is a way to boost a post and still control your objectives BUT you need to do it through the Facebook Ads Manager.
* Please note that this is only if you are not using the Facebook Business Manager and Ads Manager. I recommend using the Business Manger but not everyone likes it because you do not have access to your Facebook Business page on Facebook Mobile. If you like to share posts to your business page via your mobile vs your desktop please note that it is a little more tricky. If you want to learn more about setting up the Business Manager and Ads Manager for your Facebook Business Page please read this blog post first!
Why would you boost through the Ads Manager then versus just creating an ad campaign? Social Proof. Social proof is when social media users assume credibility because of the popularity of a post, page or group. If a page has 10, 000 likes people give it more credit and assume credibility than a page with 200 likes. It's human nature to assume that something that is more popular or known is "better". Now these likes may have been bought or may be spam but that doesn't matter, a page, post or group with more likes, comments, followers and shares gets more "street cred" in social media. So why not use that to your advantage? If one of your posts is doing well organically and is resonating with your target market take advantage of that by "boosting" the post and make it an ad.
So now you know when to click "boost" and when to use the ads manager. The beautiful thing is that using the Ads Manager is actually quite simple as well. Just a couple extra steps but not near as detailed as creating an ad. You do not need to create the copy or creative as it's already done on the post! ( Quick Tip:make sure that when you want to boost via the Ads Manager that your post is exactly as you want it because you cannot change it.)
To get started follow these super simple instructions!! It's as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4!
1. On your Home feed, click on the Ads Manager.
2. Click on All Tools then select Page Posts.
3. Check off the post that you want to "boost" and in the Actions menu choose "Create Ad".
4. Create your ad!
That's it. Now you can use a boost a post with control of your objective and target audience. If you haven't already set-up your Ads Manager I can help you with that by reading this post.
For more help with Facebook Ads or social media support book a Free Discovery Call with me! :)
Have you been working your butt off on Instagram with very little to show for it? Taking 100s of pictures a day and scrolling through little boxes and researching hashtags! You've started to ask yourself, "What the Hell am I doing wrong? What are those accounts doing with 10X the followers, likes and engagement!" No matter how much time and effort you spend on your own Insta it just keeps falling flat. Keep reading because if you are doing these 7 things then it's time to make a shift and so you can start rocking your IG account.
1. Your profile is boring or incomplete!
If you can't describe what you do or want to offer people on your Instagram then you will never be able to relate to your target market. Use your profile page to showcase you, your brand, your business and/or your services in relation to the GOALS you have for your Instagram.
You want to be clear and concise but you also want to stand out. You can find out more about creating an awesome Instagram Profile here!
2. You are posting random things to your Insta and hoping something will stick!
When you have no focus or goal growing your Insta following can feel like a black hole of endless work. If you have no clue what your trying to achieve on your Instagram then you are going to have trouble achieving the success you dream of with your account. I always ask my clients what their top 2 goals are for each of their social media platforms. What type of emotions or information do you want to impress upon your followers, community and target clients. When they look at your account or profile what do you want them to instantly know about you or your business?
Here are some of the top goals that I see for an Instagram Account:
Get focused and make a plan!
3. You're using a bad, broken or irrelevant link in your bio!
Yes, really! Lots of people are not even using a link in profile or they are using a bad/broken/useless link. Many users set it and forget it. The problem with this is that customers (people in general really) are lazy so if you want people to read your blog or visit your site you need to send them directly there!!
Instagram only allows for a clickable link on your profile so I STRONGLY suggest that you use this link to your advantage! Ensure that you are always checking your link and that the link that is relevant to what your content is. Soooo, if you are promoting a sale or service then you should include a link specific to that content. Use the KISS principal - Keep It Simple Silly!! :)
4. Your Hashtags Suck!
So many people use all (or most) of the 30 hashtags to describe themselves specifically or their business/product rather than hashtags that relate to their target audience. Using a handful of these descriptive hashtags in every post is ok but other sellers and services are using them too not your ideal clients so while you may get some likes and follows (from your competition!) you are not going to get engagement or customers.
Hashtags are the way that Instagram categorizes content which is the way that people search content that they are interested in. For example, if you are selling baby clothes I'd use tags that are targeted specifically to new moms or expectant moms.
Ready for it...You want to use #tags that your target market is interested in. If you know your target audience and your niche audience hone in on them. Spend some time researching the content & #tags they are interested in and are using then use them yourself! Have a look at what your competition is doing, check out their followers and see what #tags both are using.
Hashtags can be tough but once you find the right ones you will be so excited because you will have found your people! And when you find your people big things happen!! If you struggle with finding the correct hashtags for your target market check out my HashtagH Workbook.
In addition, to not using the correct hashtags many accounts do not use hashtags to their full potential. If you are not using hashtags consistently, not using all 30 hashtags or are not really sure how or where to use hashtags read my Blog Post, How to find the right hashtags for Instagram.
5. Not consistently posting.
This is a huge buzz kill for growing an Instagram following. If you post sporadically your followers will lose interest. They want to see your content and hear from you. Engaged Instagram followers are intentional with the accounts they follow. If you are looking to build an engaged and loyal following I'd highly suggest that you set an achievable schedule for yourself. If you can post 1 x/day or you can only manage 3posts/week that's ok but when you post everyday for a week and then don't post for two weeks your followers will lose interest and you account will lose momentum.
6. You are not posting quality content.
Quite often number 5 is a direct result of not knowing what the Hell to post or posting crappy content that your ideal audience is not interested in. People do not do this intentionally generally it is a result of social overwhelm, trying to have a presence on all the platforms -Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, etc, etc. While you want to be everywhere it's a good idea to figure out what platforms your target market is on and share content that is interesting to them (NOT YOU!). The more you share content that your target market cares about the more you will feel relevant with that audience. This will help to establish know, like and trust which leads to more sales!
So spend some time planning out your content. Be purposeful when you post.
7. You are not engaging with your followers or potential followers.
Instagram is a social platform so you have to be social on it! Don't just post and hope that your hashtags will do all the work. You MUST engage with other accounts. I suggest commenting and liking people's posts that are your target market. See who is following your competition or use hashtags that your clients are using and interact and engage with new followers. Be purposeful with whom you are engaging with and set aside a few minutes everyday to comment and like posts.
*Bonus mistake! You are not taking advantage of video.
Whether you like it or not video is here to stay. With the implementation of Instagram Stories people are scrolling less and watching Stories WAY more! People love to watch video and IG has made it possible to live stream video or upload a video into your story or onto your IG feed. So get on board with video!
Now that you know what it is that you are doing wrong on Instagram go and make these changes. Implement these suggestions and watch the magic happen!!
I'd love to hear from you! Let me know how these tips and tricks have helped you in the comments.
If you are looking for a little extra help with your Instagram Profile, specifically determining your target market, finding the right hashtags & brainstorming the perfect content for your feed check out my Workbooks.
Your scrolling through Instagram and you come across a post that makes you want to learn more about the poster. So you hop on over to the account bio. The profile picture is a logo (very impersonal) and the bio is full of random emojis and the names of the account holders 2 kids and 2 fur babies. Do you care? NO. The bio doesn't say anything about the actual person, their brand or their business. What do you do? Move on. You don't click follow and you continue scrolling. Now let's replay that scenario but the account has a clear and concise bio, you know exactly what the person/brand or business is all about in just a few words and you see a nice headshot of a real person. You are 10 times more likely to click follow and scroll through the rest of the account's feed before moving on. Now which scenario would you rather? Obviously the second. It is kind of like when you walk into a room and instantly know who the person you want to be friends with is. You are attracted to their energy, you want to converse with them and you want to know more about them. This is something that I think you strive to achieve with your social media.
When running a business and using Instagram you want to grow your following and connect with your audience. Instagram is an amazing tool to do this and here are few basics steps for completing an awesome Instagram profile.
1. Use a headshot, NOT A LOGO, for your profile picture. There are a few reasons for choosing a headshot over a logo. The first reason I recommend a headshot to logo so that people see that you are a real person and not a spammy account looking for followers. When people connect with the person behind the brand they more likely to purchase your product. People like the feeling of knowing or connecting with the person they are buying from. It instills confidence and trust.
The second reason for using a headshot is for engagement. You are scrolling through your feed again and have commented and/or liked someone's photo but they see your logo pop up in their recent activity. Odds are that they don't think too much of it, assume it is a robot or spammer and move on. BUT, if they were to see someone's face that they do not recognize they may say, 'who is that, I don't recognize them.' and they head over to your Insta account to creep, I mean check out, your profile. Then hopefully they follow you in return and comment/like a few of your posts.
So, unless you are a big brand, like Nike, you should definitely use a headshot. This simple change to your profile will go along way with potential followers. At a minimum I would suggest switching back and forth from logo to picture.
2. Write a clear and concise bio. You have a couple seconds to grab someone's attention when they are deciding whether or not to follow your Insta account. Think of 2 or 3 keywords that best describe what you do and a little personal flare. We are so bombarded with messaging today that people want to know instantly if your profile is what they are looking for. Using specific keywords and being short and sweet in your bio will help with this.
You also want to make sure to add a little personal flare to your bio to set yourself apart from every other handmade seller, fashion blogger or coach on Instagram. Emoji's can be a great way to do this but DON'T overdue it with 20 random emoji's! If the bio is too cluttered perspective followers may be confused about what it is your selling or if you are even a business account. Now in saying that, there is a time and a place for emoji's. Emoji's can add a little emotion, colour and set the tonne of your brand voice for your account. If you are speaking to Mom's a little baby emoji might really make BUT if you are trying to reach a newly engaged 20 something they may not relate to that particular emoji and therefore YOUR account may not appeal to them. It is a fine line so DON'T OVERDUE the emoji's and ensure they RELEVANT!!
3. Call-To-Action. Tell your potential (and existing) followers what you would like them to do and where you would like them to go. If you tell people to do something they twice as likely to do what you tell them to do whereas if you fail to mention your mailing list, website, blog, freebie, etc they won't click on your link. However, it is important to ensure that your call to action serves the audience not you! With your CTA you need to be client centric - people are asked all day long to 'join my mailing list', 'like/follow my page', or 'buy my course/product' and let's be real for a second how many more mailing lists do you want to join?!?! Personally my email is FULL of stuff I never read. Try phrasing the call to action in a way that suggesting clicking the link is serving them NOT you. For example you could say something like 'for more free Instagram tips' or 'want a killer Insta bio? Grab your free workbook here'.
4. Clickable Link. This is HUGELY important! In my opinion, this is the most valuable piece of real-estate available to you on Instagram. Instagram does not allow you to place a URL in your posts - at least not a clickable URL. Your profile is the only place that you have on Instagram that can direct followers to your website, a lead page, your Facebook Group, your blog, etc.
In addition to your bio, you should also be including a CTA in your posts. Tell your followers if there is a place you want them to go, a Facebook Group or Website. Research shows that people are more likely to do something when you tell/ask them to. Don't be rude or too salesy. Just let them know what you are looking for from them. It is very important though to utilize the clickable link - which can be easily changed to suit your service/product/or promo!.
When I have a freebie I am promoting I change the link to direct followers to a leadpage or if I am writing a new blog post I change the link to the blog. You just want to make sure that you change it back when the link is no longer relevant to the content you are sharing. I cannot stress this enough, this is the most valuable pieces of real estate on your Instagram account.In addition, it is the only place where you can put an email for your followers to contact you via email. Make sure you fill include a live URL!!
5. Choose A Theme. This is one of the most important things you can do for Instagram success. Instagram is a visual platform. When Instagram users check out your profile you want to impress them with an attractive visual feed. Your content is SUPER important BUT the visual aspect of Instagram is often what gets people to click "Follow" on your account.
It is important to be consistent with colours, filters, fonts as well as messaging. I'd suggest taking a look at what your favourite accounts are doing. There should be a definite cohesive feel to your thread. See what is working for them and how you can make it work for you.
Make sure that you stay on brand. Think about what you want to accomplish with your profile. Do you want to educate, inspire, entertain or make em laugh? There are so many different things that you can do with your account just make sure that it is on brand!
For more information about creating an awesome Instagram theme for your account check out my other posts, my Instagram or Facebook.
Follow these simple rules and try out a few things to see what works for your audience and your brand. Social is a lot of strategy but it is also a lot of trial and error.
I can't wait to see how you rock your Instagram Profile!
Enjoy the day!
Today we are talking Top Posts on Instagram. As a social media manager getting my posts and my client's posts into the coveted "Top Posts" spot for their hashtags is my goal every time I post to Instagram. Why? When your picture is featured as one of 9 Top Posts for that hashtag it stays at the top of the hashtag feed for about 24 hours, sometimes less and sometimes longer. This means that your post stays at the top of that hashtag feed rather than being pushed further down the feed as more posts are using that specific hashtag.
How the engagement rate works:
For example, your account size is 450 followers large. You make a post that gets 45 likes and 5 comments. This means that your engagement rate is over 11%. This is why you want to use niche hashtags that are the appropriate size for your account.
It is not about how big your following is it is about how engaged your followers are! You can be a small account and get into the Top Post if you have a super engaged following but it is important to be mindful of the size of the hashtags that you are using. Smaller hashtag will be easier to get into the Top Post spots than a large, trending hashtag. I suggest that as your account grows the size of your hashtag grows. As a general rule, do not use tags that are smaller than 5000 or larger than 500, 000 when you are a smaller account. The engagement rate will be better meaning your likelihood of getting into a Top Post is better. If you use a hashtag that is too small you may easily get into the Top Post but you may have a slower growth rate because those small hashtags are not being used as often.
On the flip side, if you have an account that is stagnant or has gotten a lot autobot followers you will plateau because those audiences are not engaged. Ensure that you are consistently posting quality content and engaging with your audience so that your existing followers do not forget about you or get bored. You also, want to make sure that you are not just using hashtags that get you quick likes/follows from accounts that do not care about what is your sharing (selling).
Top Posts are great but...
It is more important to target your ideal client. Why? so you convert more followers into customers!! Do not just use hashtags that are good for quick likes because these likes are not necessarily from your target market. Meaning that you need to be careful not to focus solely on quick growth but rather focus on growing your account with followers that are in your target market. It may not be rapid growth but if it is target market growth your going to convert more followers to customers rather than just followers. Make sense?
How can I ensure that I am targeting the right audiences?
I suggest to ensure that you are targeting the right people for your Instagram that you break your hashtags up into the following categories:
1. Description Tags - These hashtags should make-up about 20% allowed 30 hashtags. These hashtags describe the actual picture and the content of your post.
2. Community Tags - These hashtags also make up 20% or 6 hashtags of your thirty. They describe you, your business, industry or community – not your audience.
3. Audience Tags - These tags make up the bulk of your 30 hashtags at 60% or 18 tags. They will be used to target your ideal client. (These are the most important!)
For more information check out my How To Find The "Right" Hashtags For Instagram blog post.
If you break-up your hashtags this way you will ensure a balance of some quick like tags and your target market tags which will help you to not just grow your account but create a community of engaged and interested followers - and isn't that the ultimate goal!!
Let me know about your hashtag success and if you are getting into those Top Post posts!!
Hashtags are one of the most under-utilized and misused tools on Instagram. Does that mean that you should not use them? NO!! You most definitely should be using Hathstags with every single post - unless you are not trying to grow your Insta but let's be real - when are we not trying to grow our followings?!?!?!
When I say that hashtags are under-utilized and misused on Instragram I know that you know what I am talking about! You have heard a million times that you need to use hashtags on Instragram but do you know HOW to properly use them and utilize their full potential? Honestly, most people don't so please do not embarrassed if this is you as I am sure we have all been there!! The important thing is to figure out HOW to best use hashtags for YOUR business and What hashtags are best for your business. If you are want to be the best at hashtags keep reading!
Hashtags are how Instagram categorizes content and it is how people find you! Users not only follow accounts but they also like to "follow" hashtags as these are generally things that are trending or most important to them! This is why you want to know what hashtags your audience is using so you stay relevant, don't get lost in millions of posts and to attract your ideal client.
1. Use 30 hashtags! It is a fact that posts with hashtags get way more engagement and perform better in the Instagram algorithm better than tags that do not have hashtags. Now if you are a personal, private account your posts will still be hidden from the people that are not your approved followers on Instagram but you probably do not want strangers to follow you if you are not a business or someone who is hoping to monetize their Insta account.
2. Use Hashtags that have more that 5000 posts and less than 50,000 posts to start. You can build your way up to larger hashtag feeds but start small so that you can get into the Top Posts for your hashtags. Using a super popular tag like #coffeelover is pointless unless you have thousands of followers already as you will just get lost in the feed because millions of people are also using that tag.
3. Put your hashtags in the first comment ASAP. No need to clutter your caption with 30 hashtags (and it looks a little spammy) as you can place them in your first comment. *Remember though, if doing the first comment it is essential to post your tags ASAP. Even waiting a few minutes could lessen your chance of getting into the Top Posts for your hashtags. Adding tags to your post either in the comment or caption later does not boost your post. It goes into the algorithm as soon as posted and it ranks immediately so it is SUPER IMPORTANT to put your hashtags in immediately so people find you ASAP, like/comment on your post and you move in to the top spot!
4. Hashtag Breakdown:
Description Tags - 6 Hashtags: Should be pertinent to what the actual post/picture is about. If you are doing a post about National Coffee Day that should be what 6 of those tags are about - #coffeelover, #nationalcoffeeday, #butfirstcoffee, etc.
Community Tags - 6 Hashtags: These tags should be about you, your service/business or your community. These are the most overused tags I see and are great for quick likes but they result in followers that are similar to you or are your competition rather than your target audience. These followers are great to build your online community or support system but they do not target your ideal clients meaning, they generally do not turn into sales. An example of these tags if you are a handmade seller may include - #handmadeseller, #supportlocal, #madewithlove, etc.
Audience Tags - 18 Hashtags: These are your audience centric tags. These should be tags that your audience would use are NOT necessarily tags that describe your service or product. This is different for everyone because we all have a different service or product and target market. Spend the bulk of your time focusing on tags that your target market are using. Think of it as a hangout spot - you want to find out where your customers are hanging out and join them.
How do I find my Audience centric tags?
What I would suggest doing is checking out your competition or industry influencers and see who is following them. Choose an account with the same or similar target audience or niche as yours.
1. Check out their tags and the content they are sharing.
2. See what their followers are using. This will help you get to know your audience a bit better. While you are doing that I'd also suggest that you try to engage with them. Comment or like their posts.
Hashtags require some research and patience on your end. As badly as we all want overnight success it is just not the reality for most of us BUT you can grow your account organically and targeted to your ideal client with the help of some great hashtags!!
Instagram and hashtags are a lot of work. If you need a little more help with your #hahstags you can grab my Hashtag Research Workbook for only $9.99. The workbook along with a bonus training video is designed to walk you through the steps required to find your perfect hashtags and grow your loyal Instagram following.
Have a great day!
As a social media manager one of the top things that I am asked on an almost daily basis is how to win at Instagram. Instagram for your personal use is very different from business use. When it comes to using social media for business people feel overwhelmed and confused. What are hashtags? How do I use them? Where do I find the right hashtags? What are Instagram stories? Why am I not gaining any followers? How often should I post? The list goes on!
Today I am going to share with you a few simple, yet effective ways to win at Instagam.
1. Complete your Instagram bio. This is crucial because it is your one chance at a good first impression. Our attention span is incredibly short, only a few seconds long, so if you don't grab your audience here odds are that they will move on and not follow you.
Make sure all the fields are completed, especially the bio and your link. The bio is important because this is your chance to tell potential followers what you do (why they should follow you). A big proponent of using Instagram for your business is engagement which includes following other accounts (I'll get into this more) but if I land on your account and don't know what the heck you do or sell I am moving on. Be clear on what it is you do/sell. While I love to know about your kids or wine drinking habits that is not why I would follow a business account. You can trickle these things into your feed but your bio should be clear and concise about your business/brand.
FILL IN THE WEBSITE SPACE!!! This is (in my opinion) the most valuable piece of real-estate available to you on Instagram. It is the ONLY place you can include a clickable link in your account, This is so important because this is where you will funnel your followers to your website, Facebook page/group, your sales lead page, your Etsy shop, etc. If I am shopping on Instagram or checking out someone's services and there is no link in their bio I move on, most people will not search any further for that information.
2. Hashtags. Instagram uses hashtags to categorize content and this is how your posts/account/information is found on Insta - this is why hashtags are soooooo important on Instagram. My research has shown that not using hashtags in a post is detrimental to growing your following. Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags PER post. It makes me sad when I see accounts using only 1 or 2 hashtags because they are not taking advantage of Instagram's' hashtags search/find capabilities for your business!!
Now do not just throw in 30 random hashtags, spend some time and research the hashtags that are relevant to your audience. A few key things to note about hashtags:
3. What to post??? This is probably the are m clients (and everyone else!) struggle with the most! This is also one of the most difficult to answer because it is so dependant on your target audience. Everyone's is different! Besides promotional posts you should be posting content that is relevant to your target audience. It is really important to know your ideal client for this reason!! If you are posting content that doesn't connect with or serve your ideal client then you will have trouble gaining engaged & loyal followers which translates into potential sales. SO whether you are posting an inspirational quote, a question, a meme or a picture make sure it is relevant. Always ask yourself, "how does this post serve my audience".
4. A Call To Action. This is where your get to tell your followers what to do! Research shows that if you tell your audience what you want them to do that they are more likely to do so. A call to action does not need to be an aggressive sales pitch or even a sales pitch at all but it does help to spark engagement with your followers. Remember how I mentioned that valuable piece of real-estate in your bio, the only clickable link available to you in IG? Direct your followers to click the link in bio for more information. Another example of a call to action would be to encourage your followers to comment or like your post. This is a great way to engage your followers and start a conversation.
5. Engagement. Engagement is probably the number one key to rocking Instagram! It does not matter if you are doing absolutely everything right on Instagram if you are not engaging your followers and other accounts you will not grow on Instagram.
Always reply/respond to comments on your posts - do not ignore engagement. The more engagement on a post the better so thank and respond to commenters! Make sure that you are using more than 3 words and NOT just a handful of emoji's. This often look like a robot commenting not only to humans but also to the Instagram algorithm.
Engage with posts that are using the hashtags you use. If they are using audience centric hashtags then the accounts using those tags will include your target audience. I suggest trying to like/comment on about 40-50 posts per day.
A good way to find your target audience is to see what hashtags your competitors are using and WHO is following your competition. Simply click on the accounts that are following them then go through and comment/like on posts that make sense for your audience.
Now get out there and implement these tips. Share your success or questions in the comments below!
For more Free Insta tips make sure to follow me on Instagram & subscribe to my newsletter!
Enjoy the day!
TIme. Time is one of the most precious and expensive commodities in my home. As a mom, wife, sister, aunt, friend AND communications manager Calgary I am busy. I juggle a lot of different schedules in my family just to make sure that everyone else's needs are met. Being a mom is my first priority but why do I always put myself last on this giant list?
What I have come to realize since having my first child 5 years ago is that Moms, in general, put everyone else's needs and wants ahead of their own. When I decided to start my business I knew that I wanted to work with other Mompreneurs. I knew that like myself, TIME would be a very high priority to my ideal client. The problem however, is the recognition and justification of hiring help for many Mompreneurs.
My suggestion is to write down a list of what makes you the most money, takes the most time and is the the most important then go through list and see what you are comfortable delegating. Sometimes the hardest part about delegation or accepting help is not knowing EXACTLY what you need help with. By writing it down it becomes so much clearer where your priorities lie. If it does not make you the most money, if someone else can do the task and if it is not something you love then you should consider outsourcing it!
Before Stoppler Virtual Communications I didn't ask for help and I didn't accept offers of help. I felt like I could not hire a babysitter because this was MY job. I was not bringing in any money therefore I could not justify spending any money, especially not on myself. #momguilt As a result, I started to drown a little and really started to question my choice to stay home with my kids. I liked my job and I received a lot of satisfaction and fulfilment from my career so I started to wonder if I had made the right choice. A grouchy, frustrated, overwhelmed mom was not very much fun for my children to be around.What I have realized is that if I take some time for myself and ask for help when I need it I, as a result, am a better wife and mom.
As a virtual consultant I knew I wanted to work with other Moms. I wanted Moms to outsource their marketing and social media to me yet I was not willing to outsource and delegate in my own life!! A little hypocritical don't you think! Since this Ah Ha moment I have found two babysitters I trust with my children, a dayhome my kids love for 1 day/week, and I have asked my family for help so that I can take care of myself and focus on my business. It wasn't that I didn't have support it was that I didn't feel I could accept that support. Now everyone is happier because my cup is full (usually with wine or coffee)!
So if you are a busy mom, whether you are a working mom, a stay-at-home mom or a work-from-home-mom, think about your priorities and what causes you the most stress in your life. Hire out those things in your life that you can delegate because as a result you will be happier, healthier and have a little more extra in your cup for your family.
I love coffee, pumpkin pie, fall colours, warm scarves, comfy sweaters and boots. Basically I love all things FALL. When I can have those thing together - especially coffee and pumpkin spice - I am one happy mamma! I know, I definitely am the stereotype and I don't care!! I am a mom, I live in leggings and I can't survive without my coffee!! Nor am I offended by all the funny memes floating around the Internet making fun of my demographic.
I am here to tell you though how to make a perfect pumpkin spice latte without leaving the comfort of your own home. It is inexpensive, simple and delicious. There has been a lot of controversy about the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes (which I most definitely enjoy). I read that Starbucks was petitioned to change their recipe and add actual pumpkin to the latte. Is this true? Is there actually pumpkin floating around in my delicious coffee? I honestly did not/do not care if there is no real pumpkin in my coffee! Can we not just enjoy a treat once in a while and not worry about it? I guess if I drank these lattes three times a day year round we would have a definite cause for concern but a seasonal treat?
The argument that a pumpkin spice latte is terrible for us is surely true, though I do not have any quantified scientific proof to support my claim. I feel I can safely say that a latte full of artificial sugary pumpkin spice goodness and covered in whip cream is probably not the best thing for my body!! But I didn't think we were fooling anyone! I mean, if it is too good to be true... If you do not enjoy the pumpkin spice goodness then move on or go enjoy something somewhere else but please leave my pumpkin spice latte alone!!
Is moderation a thing of the past? We are so bombarded with content on social media that we no longer know which way is up or down or left or right! We are constantly sharing and telling conflicting information. I cannot keep up and I am done trying. I do know, however, that I am most likely doing it all wrong and screwing up my children along the way but I can't worry about that right now, as I have not yet had my coffee today and in this house not a lot happens until mamma has some caffeine pulsing through her veins.
Homemade Know-Off Delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte:
Much love and strong coffee,
p.s. I have no idea what the fat or calorie content is or how bad it is for me but I'm sure it's bad!
My name is Melanie Stoppler and I am a mompreneur! I am passionate about many things in my life including being a wife, mother, coffee connoisseur, wine lover & a social media marketing strategist.