social media tips

How to be Unpopular in the Instagram World

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Instagram has become an app favourite for people around the world. It’s a great platform to use for growing your brand and/or business with a massive, captive audience, as long as you use it right! As important as it is to know what to do on Instagram and how to use it. It’s just as important to know what NOT to do, and what you can do to stay popular in the Instagram world!


Using Bad Quality Photos/Videos

No one is asking for National Geographic photography, and you also don’t always need a professional camera! Taking photos from your smartphone is a great and cost effective way to post photos and videos onto your Instagram account.

But when you are using your smartphone, making sure your photos are crisp and are high-quality images is what is most important. Instagram is all about aesthetic, if they are not pleasing to the eye, people won’t like like them or want to follow you or your business.

Spamming Inboxes

This shouldn’t be an issue anymore, but for some reason it still is! Selling your products and/or services on Instagram is totally fine. When done right, Instagram is a great way to find customers, engage with them and build your own community of followers!

Messaging prospects on Instagram has to be done carefully, and without “spamming” or bugging them.


An example we always like to use: You wouldn’t go into a bar, walk up to a girl, and say, “Hey, want to get married?” That’s just not something you do. You take them out to dinner and get to know them first (etc.).

You don’t sell to prospects like that in person, so why do it on social media? Overall point here, don’t do it. Promise?

Going Too Off Brand

Like I said earlier, Instagram’s main element is aesthetic. When you create an Instagram account for your Personal Brand or Business, you have to make sure you are sticking to your brand or business’ brand.

“How do I keep up my brand consistent on Instagram Hayley?”

Well, keeping up with brand consistency isn’t as hard as you may think. No matter what, you should be using high-quality images on your Instagram. Adding your brand colours, the same Instagram filters, themes, quality of photos, designs (etc.) is exactly how you keep consistent in your Instagram page.

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Here are some examples of local companies in Barrie, Ontario that are doing great on Instagram!

Homestead Artisan Bakery

With 2,728 followers, Homestead Bakery does an awesome job at creating an aesthetic and beautiful Instagram profile. (To the right).

They make sure their Instagram content is consistent with their delicious, bright, high-quality photos of their products. Homestead Bakery is posting content as frequently as possible, and doesn’t post anything that isn’t relative or relevant to their brand and business.

Check them out at @homesteadbread on Instagram or online at http://www.homesteadartisanbakery.com/

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The Faris Team

Local real estate team, the Faris Team, has a great Instagram with beautiful, high-quality photos of the interior of homes.

Their Instagram has 2,859 followers who are highly engaged with their content!

Another way that the Faris Team uses Instagram to engage with their followers is using Instagram Story Highlights. Instagram Highlights are great for showing people past Instagram Stories that highlight your business or brand.

Check out the Faris Team at https://www.faristeam.ca/

Forgetting to Caption Your Photos

NEVER forget to caption your photos! Adding captions to your Instagram posts attracts more engagement onto your posts and your page. Even adding small captions does more than writing nothing. Ask a question, tell a joke, share a story, create a call to action!

Whatever you do, don’t leave your post blank. It gives no incentive for people to engage with your posts, and engagement is what you want!

Ignoring Your Followers

If you’re receiving comments or messages on your Instagram posts, don’t ignore them! Become comfortable with engaging with your followers. Get to know them more, start conversation, engage!

Forgetting Hashtags

When creating your Instagram captions, don’t forget to hashtag! No, this doesn’t mean hammer out 50 hashtags into your post. Pick 1-10 relevant hashtags and add them to your caption. Using hashtags on Instagram is important, this is because it will get your posts noticed by anyone who follows the hashtag or views them. The more views, the more likes and follows on your Instagram page!

Not Using Instagram Analytics

Don’t ignore your Instagram analytics! If your Instagram account is a business account (you’ll need to link your account to a Facebook Page for this), you have access to some basic, but useful analytics.

In the Instagram Analytics, you are shown the age, demographic, sex, time they are most active and more of your followers.  You can also see the impressions and reach of each of your posts, to see which ones were most engaging with your Instagram followers. Keeping an eye on all of this will help you to more consistently choose the right kind of posts for your followers.

Why January is the Best Time to Start with Social Media

What’s Your 2019 Marketing Resolution?

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January is a crucial month to plan all of your marketing efforts for the year. Start fresh with all of your Social Media Marketing strategies, and look back at what worked and didn’t work in 2018. When it comes to making the sales or building the brand you want, this is the time of year to optimize your strategies and get better results.

A great way to start is with Social Media! Social Media is what will help you grow your business or brand through the rest of the year, as well as into 2020!

Let’s bring up the elephant in the room first. It’s 2019, and you STILL haven’t jumped onto social media. If you haven’t added Social Media to your marketing plan yet, you NEED to for 2019!  Why?

Because the market is constantly changing. Making sure you are updating, adding and optimizing your marketing strategy every year will make or break your business. If you’re still in that stage of “Social media isn’t for me or my business”, you’re going to be left behind.

It’s Not As Hard As You Think

No business is “too boring” or “too difficult” to manage on social media. Check out some tutorials online, hire your nephew, create and hire a new job title, find someone internally to run your social media, call us and book a consultation. The opportunities are endless, there should be no excuses for you not to have, even a small, social media presence in 2019!

This is Your Last Chance

The month of January is what we call, the “Golden Time”. What does that mean? It’s the time to grab market share in the cheapest, easiest and most effective way possible, using social media!

Why? Thanks to the season, big brands and businesses just haven’t fully caught on yet in January.

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At the moment, big brand and businesses are running plans to use social media for 2019. But they will most likely be waiting out the Christmas and New Years promotions to start their strategies.

As a result, they are likely only re-evaluating budgets this month, so they can start social media promotions in the Spring/Summer. And when they do, they will be spending millions, if not BILLIONS, of dollars onto social media.  

So start using social media this month! Every January, you should be creating a new social media marketing plan that highlights the year’s goals or resolutions for your business or brand.

Will you be adding Social Media into yours for 2019?

Developing a Content Strategy for Your Business

It Never Hurts to To Take a Look Back at Your Strategy!

Social media is constantly evolving. There are always new tweeks to social media platform and trends in content. It never hurts to look back at your strategy and see how you can update it with the most recent trends and types of content.

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What Is A Content Strategy?

Content Strategy is managing any type of written, visual, downloadable, (etc.) media that you create. It’s a part of your marketing plan (or at least it should be) that helps you build your brand online and your business.

When creating a content strategy, you need to be managing and planning all of it with a purpose.

Why Do I Need One?

Having a Content Strategy helps your business prepare and plan for reliable and cost-effective sources of website traffic and new leads. If you can create just one blog post or post on social media that gets a steady amount of traffic, an embedded link to an ebook or free tool will continue generating leads for you as time goes on!

Who Am I Creating Content For?

What’s your target audience? Who are you really making your content for?

Don’t create content for yourself. Many people make this mistake. Always create content that will entice and give value to your audience. If you’re not sure who your audience is, a great way to find out is by asking these questions after you have created a post:

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  1. Would my ideal customer relate to this?

  2. Would my ideal customer find value or entertainment in this?

  3. Would my ideal customer likely share this with their friends?

    Creating, Managing and Publishing Great Content

Planning, creating, scheduling, and posting content can feel like a full time job. If you’re posting 3-5 times per week most people struggle to find the time. Luckily, you don’t have to create and post content minute by minute as you need it, you can actually create posts and schedule them ahead of time!

Some great sites and apps to use to create really good content is Canva, Pxture, InShot, Ripl and PhotoGrid. There are tons of apps and sites out there that are easy to use, these are just a few that we like to use! You’ll also need to focus on what format of content you will be posting. Will it be an infographic? A photo? A Video or blog? Decide which format is best to express what information you are giving to your audience.

When you have a variety of different social media platforms to post on, it makes it easier to schedule your content to be posted automatically, when you want them to be posted.

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Some great content schedulers that will help you to post your amazing finished content are Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social, Tailwind, Loomly and more. All of these are available on an app as well that you can download easily from your IPhone or Android so that you can create and schedule posts when it is convenient for you.

What Platforms Will I Use For My Content?

Posting on social media is critical to your brand's reach. Delivering your content to your customers where you know they spend their time is important. If you don’t know where they are, spend some time researching!

Social networks that are popular platforms businesses use:

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Twitter

  • LinkedIn

  • Pinterest

  • Snapchat

  • YouTube

    Content Strategies are just as important now as they will be in month or years from now. You should always be looking at your Strategy to see how you can be improving!

Instagram Tips For Real Estate Agents & Brokers

Not Sure How to Use Instagram for Your Real Estate Business? Here Are Some Tips!

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Creating content for your Real Estate business can be tough. A lot of people working in Real Estate often finding themselves wondering:

What do I post on my Instagram as content?

Should I make my whole Instagram listings?

Both of these answers can be easily solved with these Instagram tips and tricks for Real Estate!

 

1. Create your OWN content!

Use photos and videos that you have taken for your Instagram, don’t always just use stock photography.

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The main reasons your audience follows you is to see the newest and best listings you represent, hear your thoughts on local market conditions, and see what your clients and colleagues have to say about your business. If you’re already at a listing, take a few shots here and there, or make little video clips that you can post later. Posting content that’s actually photographed and recorded by you is essential.

Also, don’t be afraid to show your personal side every once in a while. People want to be able to connect to with you on a personal level and get to know you. If you are a Real Estate agent who also is a musician, post a photo or video of yourself playing every once in a while! People want to know you, which in return, gives you more clients.

 

2. Know What You’re Going to Say Before You Record a Video

Know exactly what you want to say in your videos BEFORE you press record and post them onto your Instagram, or any other social media!

Now with that said, it doesn't mean you need to script word for word as that would sound incredibly un-natural. But you should at least have a general idea of your mind of the dirrection you're going to take and what you'll talk about.

 

3. Leverage All of Instagram’s Features

Instagram has many features that most people don’t realize are great for Real Estate!

Some of these features to check out are:

  • Boomerang

  • Timelapse

  • Story Hashtags

  • Geo-Tagging

  • Live Video

  • IGTV

  • “Swipe-Up” in Instagram Stories (Great for Listings)

There are so many more features, but we like these ones the best!

Show off a property where you highlight fun amenities around the community. These could include parks, beaches, shops, surrounding landscape and restaurants. When used for the right purpose, it can be amusing and appealing for buyers and sellers!

 

4. Use Testimonials

Don’t forget to use those testimonials that you have gotten!

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These can be from past clients, Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews or any other way that you are getting reviews. If you have photos from past clients with their purchased or sold home, post it! With your client’s testimonial as your post’s copy. If you don’t have any photos with clients with their home, use a photo from the listing explaining the house along with the testimonial underneath!

 

5. Share to All of Your Social Media

Always share to your other social media platforms! When creating a post for Instagram, make sure that you are posting it to all of your other accounts as well.

There are two ways that you can do this.

  1. Post from each social media account separately

  2. Post on all of your accounts (except Linkedin) directly from Instagram

I bet you’re also thinking that number two is the better option, and you’re right! Posting from your Instagram directly onto your Facebook and Twitter is less time consuming, and easier than you’d think!

All you have to do is go into your settings and click “Linked Accounts”. From there, you will see a list of social media platforms that you can connect with. So when you post a photo, at the bottom before you post it there is an option to share it onto your other linked accounts as well!

For more information on linking your accounts click here.
 

6.  USE HASHTAGS!

Hashtagging your posts is critical to increasing your reach to potential sellers or buyers. Find relevant hashtags for your local market.

Search different hashtags featuring your town or city name and common real estate terms — like “homes for sale,” “listings,” and “housing market” — to see which are used most often by Instagram users. Then, start using them in your posts. Make sure that you’re using new hashtags over time, changing them up and seeing what new hashtags are being used. Every once in a while, do a little research!

Tip: When using hashtags, don’t put them in your caption. Create about 30 hashtags and make a comment on your post of them. This hides the hashtags for a more aesthetically pleasing post.

 

8. Make Sure You Respond to Your Follower’s Comments

This one is a simple one that most people miss doing. Comment and respond to your followers!

If someone has taken the time to comment on your photo or follow you, don’t forget to thank them and respond kindly to them. Always engage in conversation with your followers. Get them thinking and ask for opinions in posts!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Emailing Customers For Your Business

Need Help Writing Emails for Your Customers? We're Here to Help!

Did you know, that the first email was sent in 1978 and resulted in $13 million in sales! It has become the most used marketing channels to this day.

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Email isn’t dead, as much as people think it is “spam” or that it doesn't work. It is still a great way to connect and keep in touch with current or potential customers, no matter what industry, and when done right, email marketing can be both a relationship-building and profit-building tool.

You should use email to build upon an existing relationships, build brand awareness, promote content, generate leads, market products, and nurture leads with your subscribers and leads by providing relevant, valuable information that will help them take action on their goals.

That’s right, email marketing isn’t just about you, or your company. It’s about your customer.

When creating emails for your customers, you need to give them valuable information that will make them look forward to opening their inbox and seeing your email there. You also need to make sure that you are creating an email that stands out from other emails that your customers are getting. This means, you need an email strategy. If you don’t take the time to develop a strategy, your emails will get lost in crowded inboxes, or worse, sent to the spam folder.
 

1. Define Your Audience

Who are you emailing?

This is the exact same as defining your target audience for any other type of marketing. You need to create emails that target this audience, because if you are not catching their attention, then they won’t open your email, or they will unsubscribe to your emails.

 

2. Establish Your Goals

What are you trying to accomplish with your email?

Search Google for some statistics in your industry and see some examples of other people who have used emails effectively in your industry.

 

3. Create a Way for People to Opt In

Is there a way for people to opt into your emails?

There are many ways to creatively grow your email lists (No, not by buying them). The best way to grow your list fast and most effectively, is through lead magnets and opt-in forms.

Lead magnets are exactly what they sound like, they are a way to attract leads!

These are usually in the form of a free offer that you are giving, where the customer needs to give a name and email to download or be sent to them, and there you go. You have their email and name to add to your list!

Some examples of great lead magnets that you can make to give your customers are:

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  • E-Books

  • Infographics

  • Reports or Studies

  • Checklists

  • Templates

  • Webinars or Courses

  • A Specific Tool

Another great way to do this, is on your business’ website. Create a clear space for people to see what your emails are going to be about, and what they can expect. We like to keep our Weekly Newsletters (Social Media Insider Club) at the bottom of each blog!

 

4. Choose an Email Campaign Type

What type of email are you sending your customers?

People can become overwhelmed trying to decide. To help think of some ideas, here are some you could do for your business:

  • New product announcements

  • Sharing a new blog

  • Newsletters about your business

  • Holiday Emails

  • Client Shout Outs

  • Fun tips

  • Tutorials

  • Deals/coupons on products

 

5. Create a Schedule for Your Emails

Decide how often you plan to contact your list.

This is important. You need to stick to a consistent time and day to build trust, and get your customers excited for when your email is sent to them, and so they don’t forget about you! Inform your audience upfront so they know what to expect.

 

6. Measure Your Results

This should no be shocking as marketers are constantly measuring results of any campaign. Including the good, the bad and how they can improve for the next time.

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You can measure through Mailchimp and see how many people opened your email or clicked on anything in the email and compare it to the email before. Which one did your customers seem to engage with more?

How to Market Your Retail Business on Facebook

Not Sure How to Run Your Retail Business On Facebook? Here Are A Few Tips!

Marketing your retail business can look complicated and full of work. But using Facebook for your business is SO much easier than it seems. 

So I've provided some useful tips to get you started using Facebook for your retail business!

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Is Your Facebook A Business Page or a Personal Profile?

If you have a retail business, you need to have a Facebook Page. This is where your customers can follow your business’ updates and photos about your products. It is important that when creating that Facebook Page, you are not using a Facebook Profile instead.

If you don’t know the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Profile, visit our blog about “Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Profiles: Why It’s Important to Know the DIfference

 

Remember Who Your Audience Is

While creating content or promoting products on Facebook for your retail business, always remember who you are speaking to.

For example, if you are a clothing brand whose target market is teenagers and sells teenage clothing styles, you want to post and promote content that is young and fun, not corporate-like and dry. Overall, you want to make sure what you are posting onto your Facebook is connecting by being relatable with your target audience.

 

Add Photos and Videos to Your Page

So many clothing brands post a photo with “Model 4,356 from our Fall Collection.” You have to make your retail business fun, creative and most importantly, engaging! Make sure you change up the types of content you share as well. This could include a mix of photos, videos, shared photos from customers, and more. Like I said earlier, get creative!

 

Create Offers and Discounts

Everyone loves saving money. So use Facebook to promote your product with sales, coupons and discounts.

Some great ways to do this are coupons, seasonal sales on product, engaging contests, promo codes and discounts of a certain percentage off certain product. Another awesome way that retail businesses can promote these promotions through Facebook, is utilizing your Facebook Business Page and creating Facebook advertisements.

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Forever21, a clothing retail company, created this ad recently on Facebook to promote their “FREE Shipping” for that specific day only.

When using Facebook Ads Manager, you can create targeted advertisements to your customers to let them know about current or upcoming deals and offers for your products.

 

 

Product Stock Updates

Simple Facebook posts about what is left in stock can be very smart. It lures people into your store and website to shop when they are hit with scarcity. It creates an urgency that they need to product NOW or they won’t be able to buy it later, or until more come in, before someone else buys them.

Overall, make your retail business stand out on Facebook, and have fun!

The Best Times to Post on Social Media for Business

Post Your Content at the RIGHT Time

The best times to post on your social media are when the people you want to reach are on those social media platforms.  Right? That’s the easy answer, not really a useful one.

I see a lot of businesses post content on hours that they are not working. And that’s fine to do for some of the social media platforms that are most active at off-work times, but when posting content on social media, you need to make sure who you’re targeting is actually SEEING your content!

To help you get that traffic, following, likes and engagement, we have put together the best (and proven) times to post content onto social media for your business below!

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Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Profiles: Why It's Important to Know the Difference

Starting Your Business With Facebook? First, Get to Know the Difference Between A Facebook Page and a Profile!

I’m pretty sure you know what Facebook is, and that you or someone you know has a Facebook account. If you don’t, now is the time to start one for your business!

But the big question that most small business owners have trouble understanding is the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Profile. It can be just be confusing when you’re getting started.

Which one do you use for your business?

What REALLY is the difference between the two?

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This question is a simple one to answer since using a Facebook Profile for business is a violation of Facebook's Terms of Service. If you use a Facebook Profile to share content for profit or you are not using an individual’s name, Facebook can delete your account. However, you do need a personal account to create a Facebook Page for your business, or you can convert your Profile to a Page.

But for the purpose of understanding the difference, here is a quick overview of the two accounts.

Facebook Profiles

Facebook Profiles are personal accounts on Facebook. When you sign up for a Facebook account, you are signing up for a personal account for yourself. This is where you add your family, friends and can communicate by sharing photos, videos, life updates and more on a personal level. Everyone who joins Facebook gets this personal profile where you only have one name.

Facebook Pages

A Facebook Page is where you make your business account. A Page’s purpose is to represent an organization or a company where you can promote specials, contests, and updates about your business to your followers who have engaged with your page by “liking” it.

Having a business Page also allows you to use Facebook advertisements as well as having no limit to the amount of Pages that you can manage.

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Why Should I Use a Facebook Page Over a Profile?

Besides violating Facebook’s Terms of Service like I said a little about earlier, small businesses without a Facebook account is really missing out on a huge audience. Facebook gives you that communication to your customers about what is going on with the business like promotions, contests, or any other updates.

Also, not having a page can give the idea that your business is out of touch with technology and social media. This can make people wonder if you’re really progressing as a business which ultimately can lead to losing the trust of your customers. People love feeling a part  and being able to communicate with their favourite businesses!

Facebook Pages allow small businesses to build a following faster than a Facebook Profile. Profiles make you send or accept “friend requests” before you even make a connection, whereas with a Page, people can follow or “like” your business without that barrier.

Another reason to have a Facebook Page for your business over a Profile is that you receive access to insights (analytics)  that you can track every day. This lets you track the positive and negative impacts and results from your social media.

Think of your Facebook Page as a micro-site that you can use for commercial purposes and where you can directly engage with your customers!