social media toolsIs your business effectively using Instagram?

Are you making the most of your community on Instagram?

Forty percent of top brands have adopted Instagram as part of their marketing strategy.

Instagram helps give your business a personal touch through visuals, so it’s important to bolster your community as best you can for continued growth and interaction from your audience.

Here are three tips on how to strengthen your community management efforts on Instagram.

#1: Use Tools to Manage Your Account

Instagram’s interface, whether on mobile or web, doesn’t offer the best options for brands to effectively engage with their community. Before the launch of the web version of Instagram, many tools were developed to fill in the gaps left by the network.

There’s Statigram, Instagrid, Webstagram, Nitrogram, Simply Measured and many other helpful tools for making the most of your Instagram community.

Let’s focus on just two, Statigram for community and giveaway management, and Nitrogram for measurement.

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social media how toDo you want more Facebook fans without running contests or advertisements?

Are you interested in increasing the engagement on your Facebook Page?

If you’re looking for some creative ways to boost your brand’s profile on Facebook, here are three ways to do it that don’t involve giveaways or advertising.

#1: Crowdsource

Crowdsourcing is a term credited to Jeff Howe, who wrote about the phenomenon for Wired magazine back in 2006. He defined the concept as a “new pool of cheap labor: everyday people using their spare cycles to create content, solve problems, even do corporate R & D.”

In friendlier language, crowdsourcing is when you ask your community of users to offer their suggestions for how you might solve a problem or address an issue.

Crowdsourcing can be a great engagement tactic. Image source: iStockPhoto.

In the years since Howe’s story, crowdsourcing has been adopted by many multinational companies and organizations, such as the mining company Goldcorp and NASA. And with the growing popularity of social media, crowdsourcing has spread to Facebook, too.

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social media book reviewsAre your customers spreading a good word about your business?

Are you happy with your volume of referral business?

If not, it could be that your “engagement marketing engine” is not revved up.

What is Engagement?

Engagement is not just about unending, feel-good conversations on your blog or Facebook page.

According to Gail Goodman, author of Engagement Marketing: How Small Business Wins in a Socially Connected Worldengagement is when people qualify themselves – when a prospect raises her hand and says, “Yes, I’m interested in your company. Help me to get to know you a little more.”

Invariably people who have engaged with you online become customers at higher rates, and they in turn tell their friends about you, revving up your marketing engine over and over again.

If you’re a small business owner who wants to strengthen engagement with existing customers, get more repeat sales and even more referrals, Engagement Marketing is exactly the book for you.

Here are a few things you should know about it.

Author’s Purpose

gail goodman

Gail Goodman, author of Engagement Marketing.

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social media how toHaving trouble engaging your Facebook audience?

If your fans are not interacting with your brand and sharing your content, what value are they?

In this article, you’ll discover how to get more likes, comments and shares. I’ll reveal five strategies for Facebook posts that get your fans buzzing.

#1: Keep Your Updates Short

Research repeatedly shows that the longer a post is, the less engagement it will receive.

Blame it on Twitter, but people don’t have the time or patience to read anything over 140 characters anymore.

Results vary, but research shows that 100 characters or fewer seems to be the sweet spot. This will also allow for easy cross-posting on Twitter.

Want even more engagement? Let a photo do the talking.

starbucks

Posts with fewer than 140 characters combined with bold, beautiful photos get the most response.

According to Facebook, posts that include a photo album, picture or video generate about 180%, 120% and 100% more engagement, respectively.

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social media how toDoes your business have a Facebook page?

Getting your posts seen by your fans should be a top priority.

But in order for your fans to see what you post on Facebook, they must first interact with your posts if you have any hope of getting a bottom-line return on investment from Facebook.

Why EdgeRank Matters on Facebook

Facebook has a news feed algorithm (often referred to as EdgeRank) that hides a significant portion of your updates from your fans, even when you’re getting good interaction. Most pages aren’t reaching a very high percentage of fans.

PageLever’s seminal research on this topic revealed that the average page only reaches 7% of its fans daily.

When some marketers see this, their knee-jerk reaction is to use ads to acquire more new fans. But if you already have a decent fan base, it makes more sense to first focus on reaching your fans before you shift your focus to growing your audience.

In this article I’m going to share with you the tips learned by examining a recent social media success story.

BrandGlue‘s client Jackson Kayak was only reaching 20.1% of their fans in January 2012, but they were able to increase that to 39.8% within 3 months. They accomplished this by using the same tips shared in this article.

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social media how toHave you used Reddit?

The popular website Reddit goes by the slogan, “The front page to the Internet.”

It has earned this name by creating a platform that allows users with similar interests to discuss and curate the best content on the web.

Let’s have a look at a few popular communities on Reddit.

reddit

Reddit is a popular social news platform where users submit and comment on content.

What Is Reddit?

Reddit is a social news platform that allows users to discuss and vote on content that other users have submitted. To help police the site and prevent spammers from bombarding readers, Reddit came up with “karma” points.

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social media book reviewsWhat makes Adele a better singer than Rebecca Black?

Is it her magical vocals or her higher Klout score?

And if Seth Godin (Klout score: 0) chooses not to interact on Twitter, does that mean he’s less influential than Uncle Pete, whose Klout score is 35?

These are some of the tricky questions that are being asked since the emergence of new systems that attempt to measure people’s online influence through social scoring.”

But the question is this: How exactly is “influence” measured? And how do those who make such personal yet inflammatory verdicts decide the scores?

seth godin twitter

Twitter would look very different if Seth Godin were on it.

You Have Become a Number

If you have a social media account, your value as an influencer is already being calculated based on how often you tweet, connect, share and comment.

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social media how toAre you looking for better engagement on Google+?

Google+ has a unique culture and set of capabilities that set it apart from other social networks.

Here are four tips that have helped me build engagement and expand business networking.

#1: Follow Active People Relevant to Your Business

Wherever you invest time online, have a target audience or connection with people who could be interested in your product or service, which will eventually lead to sales.

Now, finding these people can be a bit of a challenge, but search makes your job a lot easier.

google plus search 1

The search on Google+ has multiple options to choose from.

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social media how toDo you have social media plan?

Are you looking for an easy to follow guide to formulate a plan for your business?

Keep reading for seven tips to help your business develop a social plan…

Why Businesses Fail With Social Media

Businesses often fail in their social media efforts for the same reason New Year’s resolutions fail: It’s a good idea, but there’s no structure or commitment.

Then, when there are no immediate results, or the goal ends up being more difficult to attain than previously thought, it goes by the wayside.

Has this happened to your business’s social media presence? You aren’t alone. Very few people can simply choose to be active in social media and stick with it.

For the rest of us, we need something to keep us honest. That’s why I advocate you create a social media plan—a checklist, if you will—complete with daily maintenance, recurring tasks and milestone projects.

These seven tips will help you design a social media plan that will keep you on track, active and moving forward.

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