How to do interest-targeted Ads on Facebook

Do you have confidence in ads on Facebook?

Are you getting the leads/return that you expected?

Let’s look at the right way to do interest-targeted ads on Facebook.

You don’t just hastily whip together some text, a stock photo, set a budget, and call it a day.

An ad which performs on FB must have these things:

  • Finely crafted text to get attention, text which is relevant to your product
  • An impactful, non-generic, non-stock photo, which is also relevant to your product
  • A budget of $5 a day
  • A carefully selected demographic/audience, so you are putting your product in front of the right people

 

The Text for the Headline

Above your image you will have some headline text for your ad. You have a limit of 25 characters for the headline.

When you think of the text, you need to think of the ‘national inquirer’ (minus the lies). The text has to grab their attention and suck them in. Same with the image. The viewer only has a second of his attention to give to you, so it is vital that you avoid bland and conservative ads at all cost. The text should also be truthful. It should NOT just say the name of your service or the name of your company. That will not get anyone’s attention.

The text can be:

-a heavily discounted offer, where the savings are obvious (Three bottles of wine for $19)
-a mysterious or strange statement (Nutritionists hate this weird trick…)
-the start of an emotional story (When all hope was lost for this little boy…)
-very desirable benefits (loose 21 pounds in 21 days)

Note: Below the image you can have 90 characters of text, which you can use to close viewers and give them a CTA.

 

The Image

The image cannot be conservative or bland, it can’t just blend into the background. It needs to pop and grab attention. Facebook does have guidelines on what types of images are not allowed. More data can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/policies/ads/

Keep in mind that your image does not have to be the image of whatever product or service you are selling. It just has to be close enough to be related.

For instance, if you are selling a “limited time only 50% OFF landscaping maintenance service”, you wouldn’t have your image be some nice clean grass. That is far too normal and will not get noticed. Consider something weird and shocking, like a photo of a lawn with a bomb crater in the middle. Or a lawn over-run with furry critters.

It goes without saying that your text should tie in with the image.

Additionally the image itself can have text on it, but it cannot take up more than 20% of the image.

 

The Demographic

It is not enough to choose the sex, age and income in your demographic for your FB ads. That is far too broad. You must, must also determine what your audience’s interests are, and then select those interests when making your ad. This ensures that the right people are seeing your ad. You don’t want your ad being shown to all one billion FB users, you want it shown specifically to the people who are most likely to buy your product.

For example, if you were selling internet marketing software, you would want your ad to be shown to people who are interested in not only the subject, but also the various platforms and software (because those people would be more apt to buy yours). And to sort the amateurs from the pros you’d also want your ad to be shown to people who are informed and follow marketing thought leaders. You can configure all of this in the ‘interests’ section of the FB ad dashboard.

Choose Marketing Subjects:

-internet marketing
-email marketing
-SEM

Choose Marketing Software:

-Aweber
-Mailchimp
-Kissmetrics
-Moz

Choose Marketing Thought Leaders:

-Ryan Deiss
-Frank Kern
-Neil Patel

In this case a person will only see your ad IF they are interested in at least one of the subjects, one of the software platforms, and one of the thought leaders.

By doing this you are really focusing in and putting your ad in front of the right people.

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Collecting Identities: Taking your website to the next level

Is your website collecting identities and putting them into a database?

Any master of sales will tell you that having a database of subscribers, buyers, prospects or any other type of identities is a vital resource for making continued sales.

In the case of keeping a database of buyers, this is proven by the fact that it is always easier to sell someone you have sold before. They are already familiar with your brand, they know about your product, chances are they liked your product and you stand out more in their mind than the competition since they have had an actual experience with you. Therefore, creating a list of current customers is vital to increasing revenue. Monthly mailings to them or weekly emails to them can help you maximize your profits.

Additionally, creating a list of prospects or leads (those who have not bought from you yet) is also vital, as it enables you to turn interested/curious prospects into buyers, who can then be put into your buyer database, that we mentioned above.

 

How do I do this?

Making a database of buyers is pretty easy, if you have been keeping records of all your transactions. All it requires from you is to dig up your old records and start importing the names, phone numbers and emails into a spreadsheet, which can then be imported into an Email Marketing Platform such as Mail Chimp or AWeber.

Making a database of prospects/leads is a little different. In this case you want people who visit your website who are curious to give you their contact info.

But people won’t just give you their contact info for no reason. All that is needed is a name and an email. Phone, address, city all comes later, when they are a buyer. For leads we just want a name and email.

Also, you don’t want them to just give you their ‘spam’ email address which, they give to anyone. You want the email that they use regularly.

 

How do I get their email?

You need to have an offer. There has to be an exchange for the contact info. And this does not mean a ‘free consultation’ or simply a contact form.

You need to give them some kind of valuable product in exchange.

It has to be something they can download or use. It is NOT just simply a page of text on your website.

This offer is called a ‘lead magnet’.

Definition: A lead magnet (a.k.a. “opt-in bribe”) is an incentive that marketers offer to potential buyers in exchange for their email address, or other contact information. Lead magnets usually offer a piece of digital, downloadable content, such as a free PDF checklist, report, eBook, whitepaper, video, etc.

There are a myriad of different types and variations of lead magnets, here is a useful article which lists out many of them:

http://optinmonster.com/9-lead-magnets-to-increase-subscribers/

 

What’s next?

After you have taken the time to create your lead magnet (be it an e-book, quiz, etc), you then need an efficient way to:

  • Receive their download request from your website (Mailchimp has forms you can embed to do this)
  • Auto-respond with an email with a link for them to download the lead magnet (Mailchimp can do this)
  • Collect the email and name and put it in a database, to be used in future mailings (Mailchimp can do this too)
  • Do mass emailing to your database of newly captured emails (Mailchimp’s specialty)

It is recommended that you start off with Mail Chimp for this. It is free and relatively simple to configure.

Here is a guide from Mail Chimp on how to get started with them:

https://mailchimp.com/resources/guides/getting-started-with-mailchimp/html/

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Is Your Website Part of Your Sales Funnel?

If you answered no, then it is absolutely essential that you do some research on the subject and get it implemented as soon as possible.

Why?

Because, having a website made without a sales funnel clearly defined is like starting a business without a strategy to create revenue, or it would be like building a retail shop without any consideration to making actual sales or increasing revenue.

But before we begin, let’s make sure we are all on the same page on what a sales funnel is, as it applies to the WEB, and internet marketing.

 

What is a sales funnel for the web?  

A sales funnel is a strategy to make your website generate revenue. That is it in its simplicity. No further complication is required.

A strategy on the web to make sales and get revenue would have various component parts. The ‘sale’ or the ‘purchase’ is the very last part of this. There are a few steps before that, which result in a sale. If we can understand what they are, then we have a ‘formula’ for sales, which you can then follow to get more sales.

Many marketers and sales people have their own style of funnel with different ‘tiers’ and descriptive words, with their own twist on it.

We’re going to keep it is as simple as possible and strip away the complexity.

When we do this we see that the ‘sales cycle’ involves just these types people, or three stages of people:

  • Prospects
  • Leads
  • Customers

The Prospect is someone who has become aware of your products, services of company. This would be a website visitor, or someone who has viewed your ads, or someone who has heard of you. He may or may not be interested, but he has had some contact your brand.

You get prospects by paying for ads, doing social media posts, getting your website high in the search results, so people can find you when they search, and visit your site. Anything that gets the word out about your company and products. This is promotion.

The Lead is someone who has become aware of your company/brand enough that he is interested and has given his contact information and you now have him on file.

You get leads by offering free or very discounted products/services (or buying lists of names and phone numbers), and in return you get the person’s contact information, and then they can be contacted by you in the future and enlightened about your flag ship products and services.

The Customer is someone who has become aware of your company/brand by search, or ads, or referral, and then bought a product. He may or may not have had the intermediary step of becoming a lead first. He may have gone straight in and bought your product.

You get customers by getting LOTs of prospects and lots of leads. It is as mechanical as that.

Customers can be RE SOLD with additional products and services. So the funnel truly does not end with a simple purchase. You can sell again and again. Additionally, existing customers are MUCH EASIER to sell to, thus require less effort in making the sale. If you are not actively re-selling to your existing customer base you are missing out on this goldmine!

 

Using the Funnel

Just by reading the above you can see that right away you can take each component of the sales funnel (prospects, leads, customers), work towards increasing them, and by doing this you can effectively increase your revenue.

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5 Things you must be doing in 2017

Are you 100% of what you should be doing for internet marketing and promotion in 2017?

We’re going to go over a few things that you definitely should be doing so that you don’t get left behind and miss out on effective and even free promotion.

1: Using Instagram to promote your services

Whether you do lawn maintenance or hardscaping, your company’s services can be easily promoted on Instagram. It is free and effective.

What you need:

  1. A smart phone
  2. Creativity
  3. A project/work worth photographing

You can spread the word of your work far and wide with Instagram, but the distance it travels, and the amount of exposure you get is directly related to how good your photo is. And that doesn’t simply mean the quality of the photo. In order to spread wide and far, and get lots of attention, the contents of the photo must either be:

  • funny
  • unique/rare
  • very beautiful
  • surprising/shocking

In addition to being very high quality, you must also make liberal use of hashtags, as that is one way for your post to gain further reach and be seen by people following those hashtags. Of course only put relevant hashtags.

2. Start Doing Native Advertising

It has been said time and time again: Web users ignore ads. While this isn’t entirely true as ads do result in sales, ads on the web definitely don’t have the impact they used to. And it is this dwindling effectiveness which is having marketers look for new solutions, and they have one. It is called Native Ads.

What is it? Marketers greatly complicate the definition. It is simply this: you make a piece of good content (such as an article) and you place this piece of content on someone else’s site, a site which gets lots of traffic (such as a local news site). Your piece of content also clearly states that it was written by you and your company, and usually provides a link to your site. This allows you to promote your company on other website, and allows you to establish yourself as a knowledgeable thought leader. Of course you will have to pay the website to feature your article.

There are many ways of doing this. The most traditional way would be to: find a local news publication, which has its articles online. You write an article for them, discussing a topic of interest and importance. You pay them, and you get traffic and exposure.

3. Live chat on your website

Ask yourself this: how many people visit your site and slip through the cracks and never end up calling you, or filling out a contact form? For most websites this is a considerably high percentage, 95% or more. What if you could reach out to that remaining 95%? Well you can.

By having a ‘live chat’ window on all pages of your website, you are making it far easier for your visitors to reach out to you with questions. This allows you to make a great first impression and establish a good relationship with your consumer base. Since we are in the Relationship Era of marketing this is crucial. It will help you differentiate yourself in the mind of the consumer, by having excellent customer care.

There are many companies that offer this service. Some are free and some have a nominal fee of say $15 a month.

4. Content Marketing

Anyone who has taken the time to study up and get educated on the topic of marketing knows that ‘content is king’. It has been true for decades, and has proven to continue to be true, even in this year of 2017. And with the current amount of business competition it is more true than ever!

For landscapers content marketing doesn’t mean writing some bland articles about gardening or driveway paving.

Here are some ideas:

  1. A PDF consisting of all your most frequently asked questions
  2. DIY guides for your simpler or more advanced services (in PDF)
  3. DIY video guides
  4. An encyclopedia of local and native trees, shrubs, plants, flowers
  5. Guides for gardening/landscaping by season (one for each season)
  6. A guide on how to have an environmentally friendly landscape (low impact on the surrounding environment)
  7. A guide on energy conservation for your outdoor living area
  8. A catalog with a spectrum of low budget suggestions for landscaping & hardscaping, complete with good ideas and photos

5. Facebook Ads and Retargeting

Posting pictures of your recent landscaping projects on Facebook is fine, but it’s not going to get you any increase in revenue. You’d need to have tens of thousands of fans/followers to reach the number of people necessary to get sales from such posts.

So what should you do with your Facebook? Simply this: Ads and Retargeting.

If you are advertising and not doing retargeting then you are losing money. It is utterly essential and greatly increases your ROI.

We have a whole article on that here, so you can learn how you can implement it.

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4 Reasons why you should ONLY use Clear Imaging to create your business websites

There are a lot of DIY website platforms on the market: Wix, WordPress, Weebly, Squarespace, Jimdo, etc.

They enable people without any programming experience to create functional websites, for personal or business use. Many offer advanced features like photo gallery slide shows, e-commerce and payment processing, etc. etc.

Although there are many benefits to such platforms they are not for everyone and do have some downsides.

Let’s look over the cons and why you should have Clear Imaging do your websites for you.

 

Reason 1 – Other sites may be invisible to Google

We’re assuming you want your website to be able to be found by Google, and thus placed in Google’s search result pages. In order for this to occur your website’s source code has to be visible to Google. In some of today’s modern website building  platforms the source code is actually invisible, and when Google visits your site to index it, it just sees empty pages with no text. Thus, such sites would have no search engine ranking to speak of.

All sites made by Clear Imaging are not only fully visible to Google but are built inherently with Search Engine Optimization best practices.

 

Reason 2 – You don’t have to learn anything

All of today’s website building platforms involve SOME form of orientation and learning. You may not have to be a programmer to setup one of their sites but you do have to be willing to sit down and confront the platform’s interface, documentation, watch video tutorials, and work at it by yourself until you have a product you’re pleased with.

When you get a website with Clear Imaging not only do we build the entire thing for you, you also get unlimited free updates. We can take care of all further maintenance, you don’t have to learn anything.

 

Reason 3 – Your site might not look the way you want it to

Your site’s design is limited to the templates which the platform has. Some may be too basic and leave you unsatisfied. Since your website is your customer’s first impression of your business you want it to be just right, and you certainly don’t want to comprise and have your first impression be anything less than excellent.

When Clear Imaging makes a website for you, we design the site exactly to your specifications and continue to work with until it is just how you want it.

 

Reason 4 – Other sites might not be mobile-friendly

We are making all websites fully compatible with desktop and mobile applications, so you don’t need to worry about how your site renders across various devices.

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One wrong way to get email subscribers

Are you currently collecting emails from visitors on your website?

Are you satisfied with how many people ‘sign up to your newsletter’?

We’re going to look at the right way which you should be doing, and the wrong way which you should definitely stop.

 

The wrong way to get emails

People won’t give you their email address simply because you ask for it. Therefore, it is important to free yourself of the false idea that simply putting up ‘subscribe to our newsletter’ will get you the subscribers you want. There is not enough incentive, pressure or reason for them to give it.

Therefore it is critical that you re-think your entire system and remove this and replace it with something more workable.

 

Better ways to collect emails

  1. Directing your visitors to fill out contact forms, as opposed to calling in. This way you can harvest their email address and begin a conversation with them via email. By doing this you’re able to give them information, articles, video, etc; something you can’t do over the phone. And you can always follow up with them afterwards.
  2. Offer some very valuable free content in exchange for the email. This does NOT mean ‘our free newsletter’. This has to be something which will enhance their lives and something they really want to have. Be willing to spend some time creating a really valuable product, and then give it away for free.
  3. In your store, at checkout, offer %15 discount for getting their email.
  4. Buying lists. This has some good point and some bad points. One advantage is it gives you a large database which you can contact right now, to get your message out, and convert the recipients into buyers, without having to wait for your email addresses to gradually trickle in organically. The down-side is you might get flagged as spam by many recipients as they are not expecting your unsolicited email.
  5. Create an online contest on your website. People can enter the contest by submitting their name and email. You then get a database of emails out of it. You should make the contest worthwhile however. Be willing to spend a few hundred dollars to give the winner an iPad Mini, etc. When the contest is over, be sure to alert all applicants via email, and then offer everyone a 15% discount of your services as a consolation prize. This way everyone wins and you foster a good relationship.
  6. Feature special offers on your website (coupons, etc.), which require the visitor to send his email in order to receive a coupon.

Add a QR code to all your printed materials, and have it take them to a link where they can sign up to receive coupons and incentives from your company, by providing their email.

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2017 Social Media Battle Plan

As the new year begins it is time to take stock and re-evaluate one’s social media strategy, and pledge to not make the same mistakes as one did in 2016 but instead employ only those actions that actually worked or are empirically effective.

First, let’s establish what doesn’t work.

Posting Once or Twice a Week – you might as well not be posting at all if this is your frequency. You should be posting a minimum of 3 times a day. Worried that you will annoy your user-base? Worry not! Only 5% of them will see your posts anyway, so there is nothing to fear.

Ignoring User Comments – a good social media manager responds to every single message/comment that he receives from his user-base. He doesn’t consider it work or nuisance, as it is this type of engagement (interacting with people) via social media which helps to humanize businesses and establish better relationships. And ‘relationships’ is the byword for marketing in this modern age.

Not Doing Ads & Retargeting on Facebook – you cannot leverage Facebook unless you are doing paid ads and then retargeting. Simply doing organic posts is not enough to get anything done, and will not increase revenue; unless you have a hundred thousand or more fans.

Not Using ‘AddThis’ Social Media Buttons – You need to lose your boring old social media buttons and get hip with AddThis. It is free, has analytics, its customizable, and is the most user-friendly social media button service in existence. http://www.addthis.com/

Working on a Multitude of Social Media Platforms – Focus your efforts and focus on a maximum of two different social media platforms. Facebook & Pinterest, or Twitter & Instagram, or Youtube & Facebook. Whatever it is, trim the fat, focus up and just work one or two social media platforms.

 

What works, and therefore you should be doing:

Posting Non-Business Related Content – If you’ve broken out of the rut of only posting coupons and instead are posting famous quotes and cat pictures then bravo to you! It is important for businesses to keep their social media properties social and human.

Using Analytics – nearly every social media platform comes built-in with some form of analytics. Use this data to find out which of your posts are performing the best, thereby zeroing in on the right content, as well as finding the right time to post, thus receiving the most engagement.

Staying Hungry for Knowledge – a ‘know best’ attitude will prevent you from achieving success with your strategy. Those who research social media and become more knowledgeable are exponentially more likely to be successful. One has to admit that they don’t know, before they can learn.

Using BuzzSumo and Research to Find Viral Content – reposting viral/already popular content works and is highly recommended.

Dove-tailing your Social Media and Content Marketing Efforts – your campaigns should be working together and not be disjointed. There should be a precise and known result from your social media promotion activity, and it should fit in with your other marketing work.

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2017 Email Marketing Battle Plan

Make 2017 a year where you take your newsletter initiative to a whole new level!

What type of emails are you sending out to your list?

Are they getting you results?

Do you have a way of determining whether or not they are getting you results?

If you’re not satisfied with the performance of your current email marketing efforts then pay heed.

In this new year, adopt a whole new strategy:

  • Start using Maichimp or Constant Contact or Aweber, if you are NOT already. You need these services so you can get analytics on your emails, and there by find out what is working and what isn’t. There is no way of tracking/measure success unless you have analytics.
  • Get INFORMED and educated on the subject of email marketing! It is in itself an entire subject. This can’t be over-stressed. Read blogs, books and take courses on this. A good book on the subject is “Email Marketing Machine” by Ryan Deiss.
  • Take what you have learned and apply it, bit by bit. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to implement something that you don’t have a firm grasp on. Just start taking action, step by step. EXAMPLE: taking your list and dividing it into small, more specific lists. A list for paying customers, a list for subscribers who have never bought anything. A list for subscribers who have never opened any of your emails. Simply by sorting your list into different groups you can then communicate to each one more in a more tailored fashion, and get better responses. You would need to have an email service like Mail Chimp in order to determine the open rate of the subscribers on your list. This is an example of something non-complicated you can learn about and apply simply to your setup, and get great results.
  • Keep statistics of your email marketing before and after your new implementations. If you notice statistics getting worse, don’t be afraid to admit the fact that it got worse, and what you did, did not work. Stay objective and be willing to admit mistakes and learn from them. When you do see improvements, make sure you figure out exactly what caused the improvement, and keep doing it.
  • Find successful actions of others and test them out. This is obvious but often gets over-looked.
  • After the pattern of learning, testing and measuring, once you finally get a working installation and are seeing measurable results with certainty, do NOT go and change or reinvent the wheel! What works, works. Don’t let some new gimmick or technique persuade you to undo something which is already working and getting you results. That would be willful suicide. At this point you should only make changes very gradually in a ‘micro’ fashion. If there is some new thing you want to implement, but it would undo certain aspects of your setup, then you should try experimenting this new thing on a smaller list first. Consider it a ‘pilot’ approach.

 

The key take-aways from this is that you update your system by using a mass email service (Mail Chimp, etc), and study, test, measure and repeat.

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Leveraging Instagram for your Business [Part Two]

How can I make viral-type content for my Instagram?

Creativity can be very tricky. Something you can always do, to help you get ideas is to see what other companies or people are posting, and see how you could make something similar or better. You are guaranteed to find some clever types of content ideas if you do this.

But let’s try an exercise right now, in creativity.

Take one of the companies we mentioned above… the landscaper. This isn’t that bad actually, it would be far more challenging if it were a bank and an insurance company. The reason it is not that bad is because landscaping is a CREATIVE industry. Things are made. And when things are made, anything can be made. Things can be altered, modified, to the creators liking. He is bound only by his budget and imagination. We can’t same the same for Tax Perpetration or Insurance… not a lot of creativity there.

Let’s take the landscape company and see what we can do:

  • Inspirational (use the same quotes everyone else does, these do NOT have to be industry specific)
  • Aesthetic and beautiful (professional photos of gardens, with macro lens, wide lens, high saturation on the colors, unusual angles, artistic, use drone cameras for high angle still shots, or to shoot a video tour)
  • Weird, silly or surprising (a landscape done a la ‘Minecraft’, or any landscaping/gardening done to replicate something from pop culture, like Disney movies, etc etc.)
  • Really cool (a functioning castle and mote, built with retaining wall pavers)
  • Funny (close up, macro photos of Lego people (or other popular toys), in perilous/odd circumstances in the garden. Like getting stuck in paver sealer, while being confronted by ants… etc)

 

As you can see, there is MUCH you can do, it just takes some digging around, persistence, looking at what people are doing, and putting your own touch on it.

Now that you have an idea of what you can post, you should make your account.

 

Making your account

Naturally the first thing you need to do is make an Instagram account, you will do this using a smart phone (Android or iPhone), and you can start by making a personal page, and once you have that you can make a business account. You can put your phone, address, and domain name, logo etc.

BEFORE you create your business account, you should first keep it as a personal account for a while, so you can then find and follow all your Facebook friends who have Instagram, And they will most likely follow you back. This will let you start your Instagram account with a decent number of followers.

If you start right off the business profile your Facebook friends won’t recognize that as you when you follow their Instagram accounts.

Note: Once you achieve 100 followers Instagram will then allow you to start direct messaging users.

 

How to use Instagram

You have your account, you’re ready to rock and roll. For now, you simply need to worry about three things:

  • Right photos
  • Right hashtags
  • Right time/frequency

We have already gone over photos.

Let’s talk about hashtags next, and for that let us quote our friends over at Social Media Examiner:

 

How to use hashtags:

One of the ways people find content and contributors they enjoy on Instagram is to search with hashtags.

Here’s how that works.

Each piece of Instagram content you post can be accompanied by a short message or caption and a few hashtags. The hashtags help organize and categorize images and video content, which aids the process of content discovery and optimization.

Read their full article: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/instagram-hashtags/

 

Time and Frequency

You should be posting 3 time a day, honestly. The times you will get the most engagement (meaning the times when most of your followers are online), will be lunch time, dinner time, and an hour or so before bed. This holds true on many social media platforms.

 

Conclusion

This basic guide should get you started using Instagram for your business the right way, and give you a foundation which you can build upon, and then add further complexity once you are familiar with the app.

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Leveraging Instagram for your Business

Why even use Instagram for your business?

You already have a company Facebook, Twitter, and maybe even a Pinterest. And despite your social media omnipresence you’re probably still not even getting the results you want.

The last thing you need is another social media platform to zap your energy, disperse your focus and cause you more disappointment.

Or maybe not?

 

Let’s look a little closer

Maybe your business was never suited for Facebook and Twitter to begin with, or the more likely reason it never took off is that it wasn’t used properly.

Twitter and Facebook are ‘relationship’ social media platforms, they are communication tools best used to interact with your user base, in a one-on-one fashion. This is why you will never get anywhere on your FB and your TW by just posting your daily photo and a caption, or a link to an article. Facebook is best used for ads, and Twitter is best used for directly communicating to specific users about content they are posting.

Youtube and Pinterest are ‘content’ social media platforms, they are where users go to get good free content, in the form of photos and video. They are going there to find something, not to communicate, they are there to find useful or entertaining content.

 

Where does Instagram fall?

Where does that leave Instagram? Instagram is content-based, as users go to it to find entertaining photos (content). But, Instagram also allows you to reach out and interact with other users, in the same way that Twitter does. Another element it borrows from Twitter is the use of hashtags, however with Instagram they are more versatile and you’re able to reach more people with them. We describe that further down in this article.

Before you dismiss Instagram as being too minor for your attention, I’d like to direct you to an ‘active monthly users’ survey from last year:

  • Facebook: 1.59 billion (December, 2015)
  • Instagram: 400 million (September, 2015)
  • Twitter: 320 million (March, 2016)
  • Google+: 300 million (October, 2013)
  • LinkedIn: 100 million (October, 2015)
  • Pinterest: 100 million (September 2015)

As the number 2 social media platform it definitely warrants some investigation.

Now that we have gone over very briefly what Instagram is, what it is not, and its relevance, let’s talk about how you can use it for your business.

 

Can my business even leverage a photo-based content social media platform like Instagram?

The answer is: Yes, IF you are creative! And the corollary is a resounding NO! if you are not creative.

Unfortunately, a carpet cleaner who only posts pictures of the carpets he has cleaned will not really get far on Instagram, Pinterest, or any other content-based social media platform (and he will certainly not get anywhere posting that on FB or TW). Nor will a landscaper who only posts pictures of the landscapes he has done, get any success. This is all far, far, far too banal for social media. Save these photos for your website’s project photo gallery. They have no place on social media.

The photos posted on Instagram or Pinterest must be either:

  • Inspirational (these are text-based images with excellent quotes, which uplift, or invigorate people)
  • Aesthetic and beautiful (attractive people, vistas, performances, making art out of unusual medium)
  • Weird, silly or surprising (a cat playing a piano, amazing feats)
  • Really cool (a customized AR 15)
  • Funny (any kind of meme or humorous video is at home on Instagram)

How can I make this type of content?

Stay tune for Part Two!!!

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