What Instagram Features Are There to Use in 2019?
Keeping up to date with the various social media platforms and their features is a challenge even for the savviest marketers. And, one platform that is harder to track more than any other is Instagram. It has been one of the fastest growing social media networks in recent years. And, for good reason because of the number of different features and benefits that come with it if you use it correctly for your business. During this short article, we are going to outline what different features are currently available on Instagram and what benefits they bring by utilizing them. However, if you are looking to get into detail with all of these different features then we recommend reading this blog post by Revive.Digital. We found it to be very insightful and informative.
Filters are a great feature to use if you are looking for a quick but effective way of enhancing the quality of your photo before you publish them. When using filters, you need to think about what your grid is going to look like as a whole, and your Instagram account is a lot more than just your latest photo. And, a great thing about filters is that you are not just limited to using them on your grid photos. They are also available for stories too.
Hashtags are the most powerful tool that you should be using. They are a valuable way of reaching untapped audiences together with vastly increasing the engagement that your content generates. When using hashtags, it’s important to use a blend of ones that are the most relevant to your business together with ones that are popular amongst the wider Instagram community. For example, if you run a small independent coffee shop, then you use the following hashtags or something similar-
IGTV can be a great way to communicate with your Instagram community. However, don’t dive headfirst into using this feature. You will be much better off strategizing into how you can align it your business goals. Like all social media platforms and features, there should always be a purpose to your content. IGTV offers quite a few benefits when it comes to comparing it to YouTube. At this specific time, one of the biggest advantages that the feature boasts is that it is free from adverts. So, when posting content, you can be sure that your viewers will not be interrupted. Another great thing about IGTV is that it is optimized for vertical mobile device viewing, which means they are easier to consume while on the go.
If you want to sell products using Instagram, then the only way you are going to be able to drive extra traffic to your website in addition to your grid post is by using Instagram stories. If you run an Instagram account with less than 10,000 followers, then you won’t be able to put a swipe up link to your website on your stories. But, the way around this is by using shoppable tags.
Using GIFs on your Instagram story content can be a great way of injecting a bit of humor onto your Instagram account. With over 250 million stories being sent each day, using GIFS can be a great way of standing out in a crowded social media marketplace. When posting an Instagram story, select the stickers option, then click on GIFS. From there you can browse different GIFS or search precisely the type of one you are looking for. Once selected, you can make it bigger or smaller by pinching your fingers or use of your fingers to move it around your screen to find the perfect placement. You can add as many GIFS as you want but try not to go too overkill as they could take over the content completely.
Instagram polls are a great way to stop your followers from swiping past your story content. Not only do they grab your audience’s attention, but they are a great way of getting them to interact with your content directly. Instagram now has two different types of polls; the classic poll and the newer emoji slider. And, there is no better way to get feedback about your products and services by using them.
Including music can be a great way of enhancing the experience for your followers when they consume your content. And, it’s always going to been a great tool for a brand to express themselves. Before Instagram installed Spotify as a 3rd party API, including music on stories wasn’t actually possible, but since then the feature has been growing from strength to strength. And, just like the other stickers that we have spoken about during this article, selecting music is extremely easy to do.
If you already have your business set up on Facebook, then its highly likely that you will already be appearing as a location choice on Instagram as well. This is a particularly important feature that you should also be using as more and more Instagram users are using the platform as a search engine as well as a social media platform. If you are a restaurant, then you never know when a potential customer might be out and about and be in the mood for the food you sell. And, you never know whether they are going to Google places in their location or use Instagram. While there a no accurate statistics out there to prove the number of searches made on Instagram, there are loads of different success stories about businesses that have been discovered by location searches.
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May 31, 2019 at 09:55PM
How To Save Money Running Your Digital Nomad Business
These days, many people are leaving their nine to five office jobs and switching over to become digital nomads. It’s a great lifestyle, whether you’re a blogger, an online teacher, or a coder because you can live wherever you want and work when you want. But because this is a lifestyle that’s just becoming popular now, there are still a lot of lessons new digital nomads need to learn. One of these lessons in knowing how to save money, even when they’re hopping on flights to new cities or buying a coffee at every coffee shop they sit down to work at with a laptop.
Luckily, there are some great strategies you can use to save money while running your digital nomad business. To learn more about how to save while living the business life of your dreams, read on.
Save up before you go
Many digital nomads want to quit their job immediately, and head off to an exciting country with a business idea they’re sure will make money. But this is financially irresponsible. It’s best to start slow. If you’re absolutely sick of your nine to five job, take on a part-time job where you live, and spend the rest of your time slowly building your business. Once you’ve got enough money and clients you know you can keep working for no matter where your travels take you, you can buy a ticket to wherever you want to go.
And when you do buy a ticket, use a flight aggregator such as Google Flights or Hipmunk so that you’ll save money. According to the 2018 Airfare Study, the average best time to buy is 47 days, or about 1.5 months in advance–so prepare your work calendar for that.
Create a budget
Before you start your digital nomad lifestyle, you also have to create a budget. One of these is your business budget. Figure out what your expenses will be (for example, a new laptop or portable printer), and project as far as you can into the future. Additionally, you need a lifestyle budget. Figure out what rent prices are where you’re going to, and how much you’ll expect to spend on anything from weekly groceries to your monthly coworking space fee. Allocate some money for savings and emergencies, too.
50 percent of the workforce will be remote by 2020, which means that you can find a lot of sample digital nomad business budgets online to work from. Take a look, for example, at these business plan tips from Digital Nomad Europe.
Be smart about taxes
Americans, even when they’re living abroad, have to report taxes back to the US. It’s annoying, but on the bright side, you have to be making a lot of money if you’re going to end up paying them. According to the Incfile blog,
“Just because you may not live in the U.S. for the bulk of the year, that does not mean you are necessarily exempt from having to pay U.S. taxes. If you hold more than $10,000 in a non-U.S. bank or investment account, then there may be extra filing requirements too…You should research what types of items can be written off by owning a digital nomad business. For example, foreign housing may be deductible in certain circumstances. And if you are out of the U.S. for 330 days a year, you may be able to get tax relief on some or all of your earnings. This includes the ‘Foreign Earned Income Exclusion,’ which lets Americans who live abroad exclude the first $100,000 or so that they earn from U.S. tax liability.”
By being as knowledgeable as possible about your taxes, you’ll save money. Considering that the average monthly housing expenses for digital nomads surveyed averaged only $660, understanding your financial obligations will save you a lot of money.
Connect with other digital nomads
Finally, don’t forget about the importance of personal connections. Especially in the digital nomad community, people want to support each other. For example, if you write a blog article about what constitutes a podcast and interview a digital nomad podcaster, they might let you stay for free in Bali when you fly over for a visit. Even if you’ve only met online, that’s considered a friendship in many digital nomad circles. Join Facebook and Instagram travel groups, and make connections at digital nomad cafes and conferences, too.
Considering that loneliness and difficulties of collaborating and communicating were ranked highest (21 percent) for digital nomad woes in a survey, plenty of them will want to connect with you and meet with you in person.
These are some of the best ways to save money while running your digital nomad business. What other strategies do you think would be useful?
The post How To Save Money Running Your Digital Nomad Business appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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May 31, 2019 at 11:30AM
6 Inexpensive Yet Unique Ways to Promote Your Business
The business landscape is saturated with advertisements. People have learned to block these things online and tune them out in real life. If you want to draw attention to your business, you’ll have to be creative—and people notice creativity. However, you do not have to stage an expensive publicity stunt or produce a humorous yet costly commercial that airs on TV. It’s possible to leverage unorthodox marketing on a budget, so here are a few ideas you can consider:
Capture people’s attention outside
If you have a brick and mortar location, try to capture people’s attention as they pass by. One of the most common ways of doing so is with air-powered “tube dancers” or custom feather flags. Motion and color will draw in people’s eyes, increasing the likelihood that they will look to see who the hubbub is for and possibly pay a visit inside.
You can also paint murals on your external walls, use chalk art on the sidewalk, put feather flags around your neighborhood, and take advantage of other visual media to catch the attention of passers-by. Many people love to window shop, but they cannot enter every business they see, so using flashy but not obnoxious marketing should encourage them to prioritize you.
Get involved with your community
One of the best things you can do is get involved with your community or a nonprofit organization. Not only will you benefit someone in need—which is the right thing to do—you will spread awareness about your business and bolster your reputation as an enterprise that isn’t entirely focused on profit. People want to feel good about their purchases, so they appreciate knowing that their money does a little something extra.
How great would it be if you sponsored a booth at your local craft fair, or had your name displayed on a banner at a nearby charity run? Participants will make a note of businesses that care—especially if you are small—and keep you in mind for the next time that they need your products or services.
Post live social media updates
Posting live social media updates does not mean live-Tweet everything that goes on behind-the-scenes at your business. One way to incentivize people to follow one of your channels, though, is to provide them with real-time benefits. If you are a bar, for instance, you can post on Instagram at 3:35 that happy hour starts at 4 to get people in early. If you are a retailer, post on Facebook on Friday that you are having a last-minute sale on Saturday. It never hurts to market such things ahead of time, of course, but your followers will probably mostly consist of people local to your area if you are a small brick-and-mortar business, so you can give them a reason to follow your channel and enable notifications for updates.
Host online contests
Want to generate buzz about your business online? One way to do so is by hosting a contest. Maybe you could ask people to submit photos on Instagram and tag them with a hashtag of your own creation, have them tweet stories about a topic you bring up, ask them to create short videos, or have people vote in polls. Contests do not need to be elaborate—people might not participate if you request too much of them, so content like photos are excellent because they are easy to create—and they are an inexpensive way to get people excited about your brand.
Establish yourself as a thought leader
This method is not precisely unorthodox because it’s something almost all businesses attempt to do, but there are creative ways of going about it: establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field. When you prove that you are knowledgeable about your industry, people are more likely to turn to you for your authority and supposed trustworthiness. So, write articles and publish them online (such as on your own blog or through guest-writing on other outlets), create infographics and post them on social media, host question-and-answer sessions with your followers and customers, attend industry events, and find different ways to cement your place in your field.
The federal government mandates that 25 percent of all government contracts go to businesses owned by women, minorities, and service-disabled veterans. If you are such a person, you can get your company certified by federal, state, or private organizations so that purchasing agents know you exist.
You need to promote your business, but it’s essential that you find ways to stand out from the crowd. What other ways can you think of to market yourself creatively without spending high amounts of money on advertising?
The post 6 Inexpensive Yet Unique Ways to Promote Your Business appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
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May 31, 2019 at 10:59AM
How Social Media Can Help You Advance Your Career
Social media is an incredible tool for those people that want to advance their careers. These platforms can help grow businesses as well or can hurt the reputation of a business if the account is managed poorly. For those people thinking that surfing Facebook at work is going to help them get a huge promotion is most likely wrong. Taking a proactive approach about using social media as a tool to improve your career prospects is imperative. The following are different ways that social media can help improve your career when utilized appropriately.
Tools That Can Help
Doing something like scheduling out tweets for a month can be a great way to save time using a tool like that of Hootsuite as not everyone has time to write social media content daily. Using something like a LinkedIn automation tool can be a huge help so can cross posting content between social media platforms. Being able to track the engagement of your posts will allow you to gain insight on things like time of day you should be posting as well as what hashtags drive the most relevant engagement. Small things like this can help a person drive engagement and possibly get offers for jobs from those that appreciate their quality social media content.
Become a Thought Leader
The best thing that can happen in certain industries is to turn yourself into a thought leader on a relevant subject to your career. This will help you immensely as professionals that have millions of followers can be a great asset to any company. Driving revenue this way is also very common as online influencers with large amounts of followers can generate thousands of dollars for a single post. This will take engaging with others in your industry as sparking conversation is important when establishing yourself as a thought leader.
Keep Track Of Job Openings
LinkedIn is the perfect place to keep track of job openings as you can use a variety of tactics to do this. Simply searching does work with many companies posting jobs that can be automatically applied to makes this quite easy. Recruiters reach out to professionals with specific skills when they need to fill a position for one of their clients. Looking at your connections is important as well as you can get your application in before the job is even listed anywhere. Asking for a recommendation from a connection to fill their previous job is the perfect example of leveraging relationships you have garnered throughout your career.
Reaching Out To Companies
Social media is a perfect place to interact with companies that you might be interested in working for. These companies might not have any openings at the moment but it is good to build rapport regardless. Following up on social media when you have not heard back after an interview is a great tactic to show a company that you are proactive rather than reactive which all companies want in an employee. This does not mean to hound them 5 hours afterwards but rather thank them in a public way for their time. The follow ups can be done days after you thought that you would hear back.
Social media is a vast world that can be used to improve your career and much more. Take a look at the tactics above to start being proactive in improving your career as the perfect job is not going to wait for you! Comment below with tips that you have for using social media to impact your career positively.
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May 31, 2019 at 08:55AM
How to Create Content That Attracts Customers
Do you need a better content marketing plan? Wondering how to improve your content strategy?
To explore creative ways to regularly create content, I interview Melanie Deziel. Melanie is a former journalist, storytelling expert, and founder of StoryFuel, a company that helps marketers become better storytellers.
Discover different ways to create content both on and off of social media. You’ll also get tips on what type of content to create and more.
Read a summary of the interview below. To listen to the interview, scroll to the end of this article.
Getting Into Content Marketing
Melanie began her career by studying investigative reporting and arts and cultural criticism. She dreamed of being a journalist who reports hard-hitting stuff and uncovers injustice. But she quickly discovered that her two interests, arts and investigative journalism, are the first cut when downsizing in the digital age.
Melanie’s talent for deep storytelling and interviewing people led her to the role of building the brand storytelling team for Huffington Post, which became HuffPost Partner Studio. Her team created the branded content that lives on Huffington Post. This entailed ghost-writing or co-authoring blog posts with companies like Goldman Sachs for the HuffPost Business section or crafting recipes that featured brands like Betty Crocker for HuffPost Food.
Melanie left Huffington Post after a year to pursue the chance to be the first editor of brand content for the New York Times. The position was a golden opportunity to return to journalism and create native content for a highly respected publication.
It was 2014 and pioneering this new role meant creating an entirely new set of guidelines for developing native content for brands. What do you do with brands? Where do you draw the lines around branded content? What’s allowed with brand content?
To answer these questions, Melanie examined the quality, reporting, and accountability that audiences already liked and expected from the New York Times editorial content. Then she adopted these standards for this new type of storytelling. The result was a set of content products the publication could offer brands.
Within a year, Melanie had grown the brand content team from 5 people to more than 40. She then moved to Time Incorporated to grow their branded content program in the same way, but at the corporate level and across 35 different magazines in the U.S. These included big names like Time, People, Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, and more.
While managing content for a variety of publications was a significant professional leap for Melanie, she discovered that her real value and passion wasn’t necessarily in content creation. Instead, it’s in setting up an infrastructure and training teams for consistently developing brand content.
At each role at these companies, Melanie succeeded in setting up newsrooms, re-educating sales teams on how to talk about content, and establishing processes for creating high volumes of quality content.
In early 2016, Melanie decided to go out on her own, so she founded StoryFuel. She now uses speaking engagements, workshops, and consulting to help brands, marketers, and publishers set up their own content teams, generate ideas, and learn how to create content.
Why Content Still Matters
Storytelling is the way we communicate no matter what platform we’re on. Whether through a conversation in person or in an email, on another social media platform, onstage, or on a podcast, creating good content still matters. It’s only through producing content that people will understand your values, care about your origin story, or know anything about your products.
The Message Matters More Than the Medium
With Facebook actively repressing content from reaching intended audiences, many marketers and publishers are understandably questioning the value of producing content. While this might be frustrating, Melanie reminds us that Facebook isn’t the only game in town.
Not only are there other social media platforms, but there are also many ways to convey ideas about your brand and keep your name top-of-mind. We discuss several of them in this interview. Ultimately, the message matters more than the medium.
Consumers Prefer Content to Ads
On an instinctive level, people don’t particularly like ads. Ads either interrupt or interfere with the things people actually want to see or hear. Studies show that two-thirds of consumers trust brand content more than traditional advertising.
Ninety percent of people polled say that they actually prefer brands to engage them with content rather than ads.
Reaching any sort of audience with your marketing message means creating content that people truly trust and believe.
A 2017 study by Time Inc. reveals that 92% of those surveyed believe that “brands have expertise on topics and add value to content.” In other words, people believe brands are knowledgeable about certain topics and want to learn more through content, not ads.
The Four Fundamental Questions of Content Creation
There are four fundamental questions at the core of any messaging strategy: What to say? How to say it? To whom are you saying it and why?
Melanie cautions that content isn’t a silver bullet that solves all of your marketing problems. Nor is it a fit for every campaign or product. Content in any format should be a smart, strategic part of a larger marketing mix. Then, it should be combined with wise advertising spending and placements.
Content can take the form of blog posts, white papers, eBooks, videos, or just about anything else. Figure out where your audience is gathering and what kind of content formats resonate with them. Once you do, continue to produce content that highlights your products and the things you care about in a way that makes consumers care about them too.
Listen to the show to hear me describe the variety of content we produce at Social Media Examiner and how it allows us to reach a multimillion-person audience.
What: Generate Content Ideas
Coming up with content ideas and knowing what to say are the two biggest challenges people face when it comes to creating content. They’re the primary things Melanie hears when working with brands on developing a content strategy. She reveals that the process actually isn’t some big mystery or a stroke of genius that happens in the shower.
Consistently generating content ideas comes down to two basic things: focus and format.
The focus asks, “What am I talking about?” and the format is simply, “How am I bringing it to life?” Every piece of content you’ve ever consumed in your life—films, books, podcasts, or articles—has a focus. It’s about something. And it’s presented to you in some way. That’s the format.
StoryFuel has synthesized this concept into the Content Idea Matrix, a framework for finding the intersections between content focuses and content formats. Along the top of the matrix are 10 examples of focuses met with 10 examples of formats down the left of the chart. Put them together and you have 100 content ideas based on things you already know and with which you are already familiar.
Combining all of the possible intersections and structuring them in this format shows that you probably already have the ingredients to create the content ideas in your head. The beauty of the Content Idea Matrix is that it’s an organized way to approach the development process.
Listen to the show to hear how to go beyond the one focus, one format approach to content creation and explore how to tell a story about your brand through multiple combinations.
How: Explore Content Formats
You may find that you have what Melanie calls a “first content language,” a format that most naturally suits you. Lean into it, especially if you’re just getting started developing content. Develop multiple topics through this one format.
Once you feel more comfortable and confident with creating content, allow yourself to branch out and try something different. It could be a new format that you hadn’t previously considered like plotting your content on a map or using a quiz.
In my conversation with Melanie, we examine how to leverage three unique content formats mentioned in her matrix: research, opinion pieces, and history.
Leverage Original Data and Research
What data do you have as a company? What data could you send out as a survey and collect that tells a story about your brand or industry? Original research requires a bit of an investment in time and resources, but it offers endless possibilities for generating multiple types of content.
How-to articles for marketers is our main focus at Social Media Examiner. But once a year, we publish the Social Media Marketing Industry Report, an almost 50-page analysis of how marketers are using social media which features 70 charts and graphs. With this one piece of research, we generate podcast episodes, special articles with key takeaways, and much more.
Melanie suggests creating guides or eBooks, gathering lists and roundups, and curating reactions from different experts about your reports. You can discuss your findings on other people’s podcasts or spin the data into a video series with a combination of recorded and live video, webinars, or courses.
Gating the content allows your research to generate leads and emails. To give perspective on this, Social Media Examiner collects more than 200,000 emails each year from our annual report. It’s also referenced by every major publication on the planet. So not only is it the main opt-in that we use on all of our websites, it’s also a huge source of inbound traffic and SEO value.
For long-running studies like ours, you can show your observations within the context of changes and adaptations over time. Timelines are an underutilized format.
How to Make Better “Data-Driven” Marketing Decisions in Less Time— Without the Guesswork!
Share Opinion Content as Curation
Opinion content as a business or brand can be tricky, but only because it’s often misunderstood as taking a stance in a heated debate. Having an opinion simply means putting some sort of value on an idea or object and applying a curator’s mindset to it.
This can take the form of surfacing the most relevant things for your audience. For example, provide recommendations on the top five books. Be sure to qualify them as being your brand’s recommendations. Then present them in a way that shows you’ve specifically put thought and value into selecting each title, rather than throwing together some random links.
Product reviews, awards, and rankings are another way to handle opinion content. On some level, this content is another way to express preference or opinion but in a way that can elevate your brand as being trustworthy and relevant.
Craft Your Origin Story and History
Whether your company has been around for 200, 20, or just 5 years, it’s always tied to a larger story of the past. The past can be as intimate as the career path that led you to where you are today, where you come from, or why you have the perspective that you do. Perhaps your company has an interesting background or founder’s journey.
While all of these things can be fascinating, these stories can only be told in so many ways. Researching and creating content around the past doesn’t always have to be a history of you or your business. Melanie suggests looking to the history of others or the local community around you for content inspiration.
If you own a small business, you can talk about your building and the other companies that have previously occupied your storefront. Tell the history of your town. Give people a glimpse into the history of your industry: What have been the key trends? Who were the pioneers? Where are they now? Share elements of their history that reflect your own values as a company or an individual.
Who: Understand the Audience
Once you’ve used the Content Idea Matrix to determine what to say and how to say it, the next step in the content creation process is to ask “to whom” you’re speaking. This means identifying your intended audience, which in turn determines how you tell your story.
Melanie illustrates this point by asking, “Do you tell your friends about your weekend in the same way you tell your boss and your grandmother?” The information might be the same, but it’s probably presented differently based on who’s listening. The same concept applies to the content you create for your business.
There are a number of ways to learn about your audience. There are experts at creating customer profiles and segmenting audiences on social media. However, Melanie has always found that the best way to get to know your audience is to talk to them. Not everyone is a local business owner who could strike up face-to-face conversations with their customers. So if this isn’t possible, Melanie suggests having office hours in your Facebook group or hosting a live broadcast on Instagram.
Your biggest source of audience data can be found in your social media insights and analytics. Pay attention to who’s engaging with you on social media and find common ground within their profiles.
I add that conducting a simple survey among your customer base or readers can get at this data. Ask questions about their demographic or employment details, which of your products or content they consume, how they heard about you, and what else they would like to learn from you.
It might surprise you to discover that your audience isn’t who you expected or that it reaches several very different demographics. This means that one piece of content won’t fit all. But there’s no reason you can’t create multiple versions of a piece of content and strategically use each to target different parts of your audience.
Listen to the show to hear us brainstorm more questions to ask your audiences.
After establishing the what, how, and who of content creation, the last and most important piece is asking why you’re creating this content. What’s the goal and intent of what you’re saying? How does a particular video, blog post, or any other material you’ve produced bring the story to life?
It’s common to fall into a rut of doing what you’ve always done because it suits a routine or a schedule. Perhaps you’re only doing a blog post because you always do blog posts on Wednesdays, but this type of format may no longer suit your audience. It serves no purpose to force a format.
What we most often end up with is content that isn’t going to do what we want because we’re shoehorning some sort of story that could shine so brightly in one format into some other format that just isn’t the right fit. Always gut-check yourself and ask if your efforts are serving anyone from a business standpoint.
Content Creation Tools and Resources
Lack of time and lack of resources are two legitimate barriers and objections to creating content on a consistent basis. Melanie offers tips, tools, and tricks for overcoming these concerns.
Start Small and Repurpose
As Melanie previously advised, start by creating the content format that’s most comfortable for you. Then expand your efforts over time or simply repurpose what you already have into different formats.
It’s very easy to generate show notes, such as this article, from a podcast interview using Rev or a similar audio transcription tool. You can then post dialogue or highlights to a website as a blog post. Another way to repurpose audio content is to take key soundbites or quotes and reformat them as social media graphics.
Hire Writers and Designers
If you’re looking for writers in particular, check out Contently. This service provides writers and editors on demand for one-off and long-term projects. Contently provides a system for managing editorial services, which removes the hassle of communicating back and forth with whomever you’ve contracted.
Similarly, companies like Fiverr offer freelance services for businesses.
You post a project or job listing that explains what you need and who you’re looking to hire, and then you can select one of the Fiverr’s who respond. Melanie recommends focusing on the specific skill set you need to supplement rather than a job title when you put up a job listing. This will help you find someone uniquely qualified for what you need.
Seek Personal Recommendations
For outsourcing any other content creation, there isn’t a better pool for talent than the personal recommendations of your own network. Reach out to fellow business owners and marketers for names of who they like and trust.
If you like their logo, don’t be bashful about asking who designed it for them. Ask if that person can make yours!
Discovery of the Week
Speechify is a tool that allows you to use your phone to scan physical text from the web, saved to your phone, and anywhere else in the world using optical character recognition. Then Speechify will read it to you in high-quality, natural-sounding voices using AI-based text to speech.
Speechify was created by a college student who was struggling with school because of his dyslexia. While reading was challenging, he found that consuming the content through audio was easier, faster, and more accurate for him. Perhaps it is for you too.
With Speechify, you can speed up playback or slow it down, select different voices, and much more. Each word is highlighted as it’s read and shown on the screen. This tool is available as both a desktop app and a mobile app, which allows you to sync files among all of your devices for great flexibility and mobility.
Listen to the show to hear more about Speechify.
Key Takeaways in This Episode
Listen to the Interview Now
The Social Media Marketing podcast is designed to help busy marketers, business owners, and creators discover what works with social media marketing.Where to subscribe
What do you think? What are your thoughts on the StoryFuel Content Idea Matrix? Please share your comments below.
How to Make Better “Data-Driven” Marketing Decisions in Less Time— Without the Guesswork!
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May 31, 2019 at 05:05AM
How to Create Content That Attracts Customers - 356
Do you need a better content marketing plan? Wondering how to improve your content strategy?
To explore creative ways to regularly create content, I interview Melanie Deziel, a former journalist, and a storytelling expert.
Show notes: http://bit.ly/2WfKXIG
via Social Media Marketing Podcast http://bit.ly/1LtH18p
May 31, 2019 at 04:57AM
5 Social Media Tricks for Hotel Brands
Hotel business requires a lot of recognition on the local, national, and international level, while the global level of recognition depends upon the owner. Mostly the guests come from different cities and states, and if the hotel is famous on a social media platform or locally chances of more guest coming to stay increases.
Social media is the best tool to attract customers in many ways. Posting pictures, videos, and updates of the hotel activities on social media can attract people who love to travel. It also creates brand awareness among the audience.
Managing social media handles is not a hectic task; it can be quickly done while relaxing or sitting at the reception idle. We have compiled a list of 5 social media tricks for hotel brands that will boost up the hotel’s social media presence quickly.
Five social media tricks for hotel brands
It is essential for a business to get their social media handles verified. The bluetick besides the brand name gives the viewer an idea about the brand being authentic and real. One can apply for verification through page settings and upload the required documents. Verification takes time, and the details provided must be accurate and should adhere to the rules of the social media platform.
Interact with the audience
It is essential to reply to the messages of reviewers, whether it is positive or negative. Responding to reviews may sound boring, but it is one of the most critical factors for the brand of hotel. One of the best way is put up a messenger bot through which customers can look out for hotels near me or hotels in Delhi.
.Apologizing to the customers who had a bad experience and taking their feedbacks will create a positive image of the hotel in front of the audience.
Social media platform, like Facebook, has an option to review the page which can be used as a guestbook. The owner can ask the guest to review their services before checkout, which will let Facebook suggest the hotel to a larger group of people.
It is good to periodically post on a social media platform and provide the updates to the followers about the on-going schemes, activities, and changes made in the hotel services and infrastructure.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to post on different social media at once. Facebook and Instagram can be linked together so that the post made on Instagram would be posted on Facebook at the same time.
There is also an option to schedule a post if the environment of the hotel gets busy during the evening time; schedule posts will post the drafted picture, video, or status on its own.
Advertisement is beneficial to boost up the audience of social media accounts. One can boost at least one post a week and target audience according to their requirement. For hoteliers a budget of 30 dollars for ads in enough for a week.
Use a call to action buttons
Facebook pages provide an option to place a website, application, or a video in the call to action button. Hotels which offers room booking on their website or app can use this button and link it to their website or application. It can also be promoted through ads, and the audience will be redirected to the site.
Social media presence plays a significant role in business and will continue to play a vital role in the upcoming years. Promoting social media accounts in the right way and taking advantage of social media marketing tools can grow business value much faster. In this article, we discussed five social media tricks for hotel brands.
via Social Media Explorer http://bit.ly/2onGYog
May 31, 2019 at 02:37AM
How to Get Your Instagram Stories Featured on the Explore Tab
Instagram’s purchase by Facebook has made the platform even stronger. Right now, Instagram has more than one billion active users monthly, which makes it one of the biggest social media networks in the world.
When Instagram moved to longer form content, through the Instagram Stories feature, the social media network went from a simple image-based social network to something more.
But if you want to get an even higher level of visibility, you should be thinking about how you can get your Instagram Stories on the Explore tab. And you don’t need to be a major brand or a celebrity to do it.
How Does the Explore Page Work?
First, you need to understand how Instagram Explore works. It might already be a goal of yours to make it onto that page, but you need to grasp the fact that it isn’t a static page.
Click on your Explore page and then click on a friend or family member’s Explore page. You’ll notice the results are completely different. That’s because your Explore page is tailored to your activity.
It’s based on content from brands you don’t already follow, which is why getting onto that page is so powerful.
If you buy Instagram followers and build an organic following from the start, you’ll find following these tips to be much easier because you’re not starting from zero.
Use Instagram Analytics
The reason why getting Instagram Stories on the Explore page is so difficult is because it’s so new. Only recently did Instagram Stories start to appear on the Explore tab, and the chances are some of your content is already appearing there.
To figure out if you’re already featured on the Explore page, go to Instagram Insights. From here, you can look into your post metrics. There’s also an option called ‘From Explore’ where you can find out how much traffic and engagement, you’re getting from the Explore page.
The Explore page is compiled based on user activity, so you should be regularly analyzing your Instagram Analytics to figure out whether you’re hitting the right niche.
Time Your Posts Correctly
When blogging, the time that you publish each day isn’t that important if you keep your publishing days consistent. However, Instagram works differently. The best performing posts (in the eyes of Instagram) are those that get an instant, viral reaction. Therefore, the best time to post on Instagram matters.
Studies say that the best time to post is 5 pm since people are getting off from work. Ideally, you should post around 5 pm based on Eastern and Central time zones in the US, as these zones contain around 75 percent of the total US population.
The higher your engagement rates, the more likely Instagram is to take notice. Instant engagement says to the algorithm that this post provides value.
Furthermore, if your audience responds well, it means the people who are not yet part of your audience is also more likely to respond well.
Make Your Brand Aesthetic Consistent
Did you know that TechCrunch reported that if a post appears on Explore it’s more likely to resemble the creator’s primary feed?
In other words, make your brand consistent, regardless of what you post. Focus on color, tone, feel, and style to increase your chances of overall Instagram success.
Use Video Content to Stand Out
Instagram reported that by 2021, 78 percent of all mobile data will be video. Video content should be high on your list of priorities. In the Explore tab, video content has the advantage of playing automatically when scrolled over. It doesn’t require any input. The chances of forcing a user to stop and view your content is a powerful factor when it comes to gaining a new follower.
Why is this relevant to getting on the Explore page?
Instagram doesn’t prioritize different formats on its Explore tab. What they do instead is look at engagement, as mentioned above.
Videos are much more likely to receive an interaction from a fellow user than a static post. The higher your engagement, the more likely you are to find yourself on the Explore tab.
Getting on the Shopping Tab
In the last year, Instagram added a Shopping tab to the Explore page, with the idea of splitting off products from conventional posts.
The way to get on the Shopping tab, and sell your products, is to add the shoppable product tags. It tends to work in the same way as the conventional Explore page, but you’ll have less competition.
Last Word – Hacking Instagram’s Explore Page
You’ll see lots of posts that talk about ‘hacking’ the Explore page. There’s no way to fool the algorithms or to trick Instagram.
It’s good old-fashioned hard work involving pinpointing your audience and maintaining high engagement rates. Producing quality content that’s targeted at a specific niche is the key.
Have you made it onto Instagram’s Explore page yet?
The post How to Get Your Instagram Stories Featured on the Explore Tab appeared first on Social Media Explorer.
via Social Media Explorer http://bit.ly/2onGYog
May 30, 2019 at 07:18PM
Does Kylie Jenner even know how to wash her face?
Kylie Jenner's skincare line, Kylie Skin, is nearly sold out online despite some pretty substantial Twitter backlash. But a new video of Kylie washing her face is making people question her skincare knowledge once more.
When Jenner released the collection earlier this month, critics went after her for selling a walnut face scrub, which much of the skincare community has deemed far too harsh a physical exfoliant. To make matters worse, Kylie recommended using the scrub two to three times per week in a promotional video. Kylie, no!
On Thursday morning, the Twitter account for Kylie Skin posted a video of Jenner washing her face. She's not using the walnut scrub in the video, thank god — she's using a foaming face wash — but her cleansing method leaves a lot to be desired.
Kylie washes her face for about eight seconds. She barely puts cleanser on her forehead. And when she towels her face dry, streaks of what appears to be makeup are visible on the towel. Her face isn't even totally clean.
Now, Skincare Twitter is roasting her all over again. It might seem petty, but a skincare influencer's demonstrated expertise in her field matters, especially because these products aren't cheap. (The foaming face wash in the video costs $24.) If Jenner can't comfortably use her own product, it seems like she doesn't trust what she's selling — at least not enough to take off her own makeup with it.
We don't actually get to see what Jenner's face looks like after she's used the cleanser. The video literally has a filter on it. In contrast, think of Rihanna, whose Tutorial Tuesday videos at least give the appearance of off-the-cuff authenticity. This is ... not that.
There's always the chance that Jenner and her team knew about the foundation-streaked towel and counted on people's eagle eyes for publicity. It's a weird move, to be sure, but it's definitely a possibility.
Even if that's true, how can prospective customers trust a brand with a public face who won't publicly use her own products? Skincare, for all its status symbols and capitalist exaggerations, is an industry that can have real medical implications for people who buy in — whether it's creating tears in their faces with walnut powder or facilitating painful acne because an "expert" made them think splashing water over a dabbed-on layer of soap is the same thing as washing their face.
So, how do you wash your face correctly? Here's a nice, sort of unnerving tutorial from the American Academy of Dermatology. And if you're wearing makeup, you might want to remove it beforehand with micellar water. Kylie might have unlimited towels on hand, but you don't, so don't ruin them with unwanted streaks.
And if you do have unlimited towels? Wow. Sincere congratulations.
via Mashable http://bit.ly/2DCFv97
May 30, 2019 at 03:34PM
The Influence Of Technology On Social Media
Social media has been an enormously disruptive influence on traditional media and the way we communicate with others each day. But have you ever thought about the influence of technology on social media? With each new emerging technology – everything from smartphones to virtual reality – we are seeing a transformation of social media itself.
New conceptions of “social” created by technology
What does it mean, for example, to be “social” in a virtual world? For that matter, is it even possible to be “social” without a true face-to-face or one-to-one interaction? And, yet, most people think nothing of the fact that new technologies coming soon – such as full-immersion VR experienceswhere you can choose your own avatar to represent you – are going to make it possible to communicate with people around the world using fictional identities.
New ways of thinking about time
Technology has also fundamentally changed notions of time in social media. For example, faster Internet connections and nearly ubiquitous mobile connectivity means that there is absolutely no reason why you can’t respond to any message, sent from anywhere in the world, within a matter of minutes. In fact, in today’s world, it’s considered rude if you don’t respond to a text message immediately. Now contrast that to the norm just a generation ago, when clunky Internet connections (anyone remember dial-up?) and desktop computers made it impractical to communicate with anyone when you weren’t at home or in the office.
Now, however, the divide between personal and professional life is no more. Going on vacation? Expect to bring along some work with you. Just because you are away from the office doesn’t mean that clients, co-workers and bosses can’t barrage you with messages and emails. No wonder so many people now dream of going “off the grid” – there seems to be almost no place left where you can plausibly deny that you received a message.
New ways of thinking about geography
Moreover, technology is breaking down our notions of geography. At one time, the only way that you could have a “social conversation” with another person is if the two of you were in the exact same geographic location. But no longer. First came Skype and all the video teleconferencing tools. Then came Slack and Facetime. Now just about every social media platform has a way of going “live” with a video feed. There’s absolutely no reason why a person in Bangalore, Maine and a person in Bangalore, India can’t have a nice mid-morning chat – and not even think twice about the type of incredible technology required to make this happen. It all happens instantaneously, almost as if the two of you were co-located side-by-side.
Remember what Arthur C. Clarke once said about technology? His brilliant observation was that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And that is where we are today – it’s almost as if every piece of hardware or software that we use is imbued with magic. You can now wave your mobile phone and make a payment for an item in a store. With a few clicks, you can get the answer to any question you might have. And, every single time you open up an app like Facebook, you are able to peer into the deepest and most personal moments of your best friends (some of whom you’ve probably never met in real life!). Make no mistake about it, technology continues to have a profound impact on social media.
via Social Media Explorer http://bit.ly/2onGYog
May 30, 2019 at 12:57PM