If you’re participating in our #KG14DayChallenge on Instagram, you know that the prompt feature today is to add an @location tag. So let’s talk about why locations tags are important.
When someone is sharing a post on Instagram, they are presented with an "Add Location" option. This basically gives them the option to check-in at the location, similar to what you see on Facebook. Instagram users will be presented with nearby locations based on their GPS location, or they can type into the "Find a location" text box to search for a location. When a location is added to a post or stories on Instagram, this is what the post ends up looking like:
How does Instagram know the location? Instagram locations come from Facebook, so if you already have a Facebook page for your business, your business will likely come up as a location choice on Instagram. If you’re not seeing your business on Instagram, you can actually create a new location in the Facebook app for Android and iPhone. Once created, the location will be available on Instagram. You may find that your customers have already created a location for your business for you.
Benefits of location tagging
More and more people using Instagram to search for local businesses around them. Maybe they are out and looking for a certain kind of restaurant or store or other business. Instead of going to Google or Yelp, Instagram allows them to search to find local businesses that meet their needs.
When you post an image of one of your products or services, ALWAYS tag your business location in your post. Posts with a tagged location result in 79% higher engagement than posts without a tagged location. Instagram users love the convenience of knowing where you’re at without having to look up the information themselves. It can also bring new customers to your business. For example, if you are a Thai Fusion restaurant, and you post an image of one of your signature dishes and tag your location, your followers may share that post, or they may post a photo of their food when they visit your location and tag your location. Potential customers will see that post and may be more inclined to visit your location to try that dish if they can easily see where you’re located, rather than having to look up that information on their own.
The other cool opportunity with location tagging, is that if someone were to clicks on the location name (or searches for it) or the name of your business, they can view all posts on Instagram that have been tagged with your location. So they see not only the images you have posted but also see posts from all the Instagram users who have tagged your business.
Adding a location sticker to Instagram Stories
You can also add a location sticker to Instagram Stories. When a user taps the sticker they are redirected to the search results page to learn more about your business by viewing all posts that have been tagged with your location. This provides you with yet another opportunity to potentially convert Instagram users into new customers, so not only should you be adding location stickers to all of your Instagram Stories, but you should also be encouraging your customers to do the same.
To add a location sticker to your Instagram Story:
Congrats, you are now tagging the location of your business on Instagram!
P.S. We’ve posted a video tutorial on our own Instagram Stories today (February 5, 2019) showing you exactly how to do this.
Bottom Line, why is location tracking important?
HAVE YOU SEEN IT YET?!
Over the weekend we sat down and watched both much-talked-about Fyre Festival documentaries on Netflix and Hulu. -Both documentaries tell the crazy story about the now infamous entrepreneur turn fraudster of this decade, Billy McFarland, and his sidekick, rapper of the early 2000's, Ja Rule. Two years ago, the duo built this perplex plan to throw a luxury themed festival for millennial's on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma. In the end, Billy gets caught for fraud, arrested, charged, released, and then stupidly commits a second fraud, in which he is now serving a six-year prison sentence for.
We found both documentaries to be fascinating, yet painful to watch at times. If you haven’t had a chance to check these out yet, we highly recommend watching at least one of them. The main difference between the two being that the Netflix doc goes into more detail of what went down through the perspective of the Fyre employees, while the Hulu doc is a little lighter and includes an exclusive interview with McFarland.
There are so many marketing lessons to be learned from this story – SO. MANY. But today we’re highlighting a couple of lessons that we feel are important takeaways for you to think about and make sure you avoid as you continue to build awareness for your brand, products, and/or services.
It’s common these days to see brands, whether you are in startup mode or well established, use influencers to promote their products, services, and experiences. Social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube have pioneered a path for influencer marketing for celebrities or even ordinary enthusiasts.
In general, borrowing equity from influencers can be a great way to connect brands with consumers through paid channels like advertising and earned channels like PR placements. It was all (mostly) transparent and disclosed in the analog world and the FTC requires the same level of transparency in the digital world.
The Fyre Festival organizers paid influencers like Alessandra Ambrosia, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin and others to pose as brand ambassadors to attract gullible consumers to pay top dollar to attend this luxurious event. The influencer marketing power made it look like you would be attending an event, partying with super models, and joining in on experiences on the island that didn’t exist.
In our opinion, influencer marketing is best used when the influencer believes in a brand’s product or service. What we learned in the documentaries is that the super models were all paid but didn’t have a clear understanding of what they were getting involved with.
Key takeaway: Brands should always fully vet the influencers that they are about to affiliate with and the same goes for the influencers. Gotta be on the same page, people - paid or unpaid! That said, we think the failed Fyre Festival is a wake-up call for influencers to be more selective about who they work with and a stark reminder for brands to be far more transparent about who’s being paid to shill their wares.
The Fyre organizers knew very early on that the likelihood of pulling off the festival was a slim, yet they all decided to keep marching on to make it work.
There are some many things they could have done to avoid this from being a catastrophe. They could have canceled the festival or even delayed it. They didn’t. The could have been more open about the issues with investors, employees, vendors and attendees. They weren’t. They should have responded to negative social media posts. They deleted them. -Big no-no!
They assumed their well-crafted (which it was) social media marketing and PR campaign could serve as a proxy for a great event. Never make assumptions.
Key takeaway: Honesty is the best policy. Take responsibility right away. When a brand is in the wrong, they should issue a heartfelt and genuine apology right away. An apology without acknowledging responsibility is not the right tactic. If something goes awry, but you don’t know the cause of the issue, acknowledge there’s a problem and let people know you’re investigating. Don’t pretend you know why it occurred. Don’t tarnish your brand’s image because you weren’t prepared for a worst-case scenario. Unless you work at a huge corporation, you probably won’t have a full-fledged crisis communications team in place, but you should still establish best practices or guidelines to follow.
While there are many more marketing lessons to be learned from Fyre, these are just two of the major marketing blunders that had us cringing while we snacked on our popcorn and gained an understanding of what all went down. If you’d like us dive deeper, let us know in the comments below.
And as always, if you have questions, please reach out to us - we’re here to help you think like a smart marketer, so your business can succeed!
Instagram uses an ever-evolving algorithm to determine how your posts appear in someone’s feed. Relevancy, relationship, and predicted interest all help determine who sees your content and where it appears in their feed.
However, above and beyond that, the Instagram algorithm seems to really, really favor engagement. If you have good engagement, Instagram will try to show your posts to more people and give you greater organic reach. For example, a post with good engagement might appear on their Explore page and in the Top 9 posts of their Hashtag and Location pages. They might even select your posts to be shown in people’s home feeds (with the new Follow Hashtag feature).
So how can you drive more engagement? Here are 10 strategies, tips and tricks that you can use to increase your organic Instagram engagement.
1. POST QUALITY CONTENT
This is Job 1....We don’t care how many other Instagram tips and tricks you use, if you don’t post quality content to your feed, Nothing. Else. Will. Work. You have milliseconds to capture your audience’s attention as they scroll, so post something that will get their attention.
Quality content could be any of the following:
The bottom line: it needs to look good or catch their attention, or people will scroll on by.
2. USE THE RIGHT HASHTAGS
Hashtags can help people find your account, and they help you become part of a virtual community. They also let Instagram know how to categorize your post or image, so they can show them to other people who might be interested in your content.
You should use all 30 hashtags that Instagram allows you. Make sure they are relevant to your post or image, your audience, and your brand. The more hashtags you use the more you increase your chances to be seen by more people.
3. POST WHEN YOUR FOLLOWERS ARE ON INSTAGRAM
This might seem like common sense but you're likely to get the best engagement when your followers are using the platform! But how do you know the best day and time to post? If you have a business profile, you can use Insights to know your best time to post. We also recommend that you be active on Instagram for 30 minutes before you post and at least an hour after you post – when people see you online they are more likely to engage with you.
4. KNOW YOUR TOP PERFORMING CONTENT
Your best performing posts are those that get the most engagement. To understand what content is performing best for you, analyze the posts and Stories that have the best engagement. What types of posts were they - photos, videos, carousels? What photos, colors, captions and hashtags performed the best? Do more of that. Once you find your top posts, use the Archive feature to retire the top performing content from your feed after awhile, and re-purpose it again later!
5. POST CONSISTENTLY
Consistency is key on Instagram. You need to post on a regular basis because:
6. ASK A QUESTION IN YOUR CAPTION
One strategy to drive engagement with your posts and also get to know your followers better is to ask a question in your caption. You can ask questions about:
7. REPLY TO COMMENTS
If someone comments on your post, make an effort to reply with a thoughtful response, not just an emoji or a "thanks". Not only is it polite - after all, they made an effort to engage with you - but Instagram also rewards your reply in its engagement calculations! If you have a heavily commented post or a lot of followers, try to reply to as many comments as possible. If appropriate, look at your followers' posts and comment on them as well. (And remember, Instagram won't count comments or replies with fewer than 4 word - and, no, emojis don't count - in engagement calculations.)
8. MAKE FRIENDS, NOT FOLLOWERS
Take your time to find and cultivate an authentic following. You can do this by finding people who have the same interests as you and would be genuinely interested in your business or brand. Support each other whenever one person is posting (turn on your post notifications to know when they post), and engage with them to continue to increase your circle of friends and followers on Instagram. You can also use the Follow Hashtag feature for hashtags that align to your brand and connect with an ever-growing audience.
9. LOOK AT WHO IS FOLLOWING YOU
Look at your Instagram Activity page to see who likes and follows you. Chances are, they follow you because they like you’re sharing – and you might like what they’re sharing too. Take a look at their account, and if you like what they’re doing, follow them back. Start an authentic conversation by leaving a comment or sending them a DM telling them you’re glad you found their account and to thank them for following you.
10. ASK PEOPLE TO TAG THEIR FRIENDS
To gain visibility to a new audience, ask people to tag their:
11. USE INSTA STORIES TO PROMOTE YOUR POST AS SOON AS YOU SHARE IT
A lot of people do this and there’s a good reason for it. By posting on Stories, you can increase the engagement with your post immediately. When you have good engagement with your post on Instagram (within the first hour) it signals to Instagram that your content is good. And if it is good, Instagram will try to show it to even more people.
Your followers are watching your Insta Stories, so let them know when you have a new post. Use your Insta Story to give them a sneak peek, or ask a question related to your new post to drive engagement:
BONUS OFFER: Join us for our FREE 14-day IG challenge!
Want to give these a whirl and see what they do for you? Starting on Feb 5, 2019, we'll be sharing all the best IG tips and tricks to help you build your following, drive engagement, and get to know some of the latest IG features that you may not be taking advantage of to help boost your reach organically.
Sign up HERE now for all the details direct to your inbox, with the link to the Facebook Group and everything you need to know to get started!
And as always, if you have questions, please reach out to us - we’re here to help you think like a smart marketer, so your business can succeed!
We were recently asked this question by one of our clients and thought we’d share our findings and thinking behind this with you too - because sharing is caring!
But first, we want to take a quick moment to make sure you understand how posting frequency affects follower growth and engagement rate. In 2017, Tailwind conducted a study of over 100,000 Instagram posts and found that the more often you post, the more likes and followers you get.
Here’s the impact of posting more:
You can almost double your follower growth rate by moving from less than one post per week to 1-6 posts a week. You can more than double your follower growth rate again by moving from posting 1-6 times per week to once or more per day.
Social media is a terrific way to promote your brand and what makes it even more terrific is that it’s $FREE.99! Increasing your followers should always be a part of your overall goal when managing your social media accounts. -Having a larger audience leads to increased brand recognition, improved customer loyalty, more opportunities to convert your following into paying customers. Cha-ching!
Few other marketing mediums can make such claims but as any social media expert will tell you, there’s no point wasting time and energy sending out content if you don’t have an audience. That said, let’s get back to the question that is top of mind here.
So, you want to know often should you post on Instagram?
You probably already heard about the infamous Instagram algorithm and how it has changed all user’s organic reach a ton in recent years. Because of this change, freshness and genuine engagement with your followers more important than ever. If you are wanting to grow your following, it’s important to put yourself out there frequently and consistently. You won’t gain new followers if you only show up here and there. Posting frequently and consistently with valuable content will keep your loyal audience yearning for more and keep your brand on the forefront.
Studies have shown that major brands post on average of 1.5 times per day. Therefore, it’s recommended that you should aim to post on Instagram between one to three times per day. -But, we will warn you - while this is a general rule of thumb, before you start posting like crazy, posting multiple times a day may not be the best plan for you.
If you start by posting multiple times a day, and then slowly trail off to just a couple of posts per week, you will likely see your rate of user engagement decline. So, while it is best to post often, it is also important to be able to keep up with a consistent amount of posts. If you cannot commit to being able to multiple postings in a day, then it is better to do less and stay consistent. In other words, the best amount of posts for your account is the number that you can actually keep up with consistently.
Another rule of thumb that we think is super important to follow is that of “quality over quantity.” It is always, always, always better to post less often and have high quality content and photos than to post low quality content and photos frequently.
We recommend you upgrade your Instagram account to a business profile. Instagram will provide you with insights such as which posts were most popular, how many people you reached, impressions, where your followers are located and what times they view Instagram. All this information can be factored into your decision as to how often to post.
For us, our current strategy is to post 1.5 times a day 6 days a week. 1 post followed by a few Instagram Stories to help give our post of the day a boost in reach. (We’ll discuss this strategy further in a future post).
We determined this strategy by looking at our business insights and noticed that our lowest day of engagement based on our current number of followers Sunday. We also have done a little digging and found that Sunday is general is a low day of engagement on Instagram, so have opted to give ourselves a break for the day and save all our juicy content for the days that matter.
Managing your social media channels can be time-consuming and it certainly can be hard to compete with larger brands who have teams of people supporting them with large budgets to invest and play with. Find the frequency rhythm that works best for you and commit to it for even just one week and we guarantee you will see the benefits.
As always, if you have questions, please reach out to us - we’re here to help you think like a smart marketer, so your business can succeed!
2019 IS HERE AND THE ONLY CONSTANT IS CHANGE!
We fully expect to see of more of it in 2019 as social platforms innovate and evolve. This is good news: social platforms will continue to focus on ways to differentiate themselves from the competition and make their products better, making it easier and more effective for you to reach your target audience online. Here are some of the trends coming to social media in 2019 that we’re really excited about:
1. Authentic, in-the-moment content will win out over highly-produced content
Social platforms are making big investments in ephemeral, time-capped content sharing, like Stories. It’s predicted that stories will become the primary way to share content, overtaking the News Feed. In just the past year, we’ve seen 1x to 3x growth in Stories usage across Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. What's driving this change in how users consume content:
What this means for you:
2. Video content will continue to grow
Video content usage will continue to grow and dominate the market in 2019. In fact, some analysts predict that 80% of what we consume online will soon be video content. Videos have become increasingly popular because it’s getting easier to film with a digital camera or smart phone with rather good production quality.
Live videos will continue to emerge as a preferred form of vcontent. YouTube, Facebook and Instagram all offer notifications when someone is going live, and live videos have an authentic and ephemeral nature that makes them especially attractive to today’s social media users.
What this means for you:
In the past couple of years, social media influencers have become a major trend. With millions of followers, the top Instagram stars, Twitter influencers, and YouTube millionaires command top dollar to work with big brands.
However, more and more businesses are looking at micro-influencers as a way to connect to very specific audiences. While major influencers have millions of followers, micro-influencers have followings of fewer than 10,000 people, but most of their followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say. And they're very engaged - micro-influencers are often considered experts in their niche.
These smaller names are not massively targeted by advertisers, so they are trustworthy and down-to-earth. The marketing potential is very high and even big brands are beginning to recognize this in 2019.
What this means for you:
Given the vast amount of information being uploaded by people each day, it's become very easy to get insights into all kinds of information about the people sitting behind the screen. Big brands collect and analyze customer data to deliver personalized content, products, and offers based on a customer’s purchase history, clicked links, social media posts, and other behavior.
But our social media platforms also collect immense amounts of data from all of us and apply AI and machine learning to that data to deliver personalized content feeds on their platforms. This presents businesses of all sizes with an amazing opportunity to use these powerful customer insights to deliver personalized content on their social feeds to engage with their audiences in more meaningful ways.
What this means for you:
Real-time communication is a social media trend that has been growing, and you'll continue to see an increase in 24/7 customer support, real-time social selling, and chatbots in 2019.
Social media never sleeps - customers continue to use your products, talk about them online, and buy new items at all times of the day. In addition, when people have a problem, they want it solved, right now. Technology has made it easier for brands to keep up – you can use tools to look for mentions of your brand in real time, schedule content posts at any time, and use chatbots to offer customers immediate help – but real-time messaging is going to continue to flourish as a way for customers to connect with brands, especially when they have a question or problem.
What this means for you:
As marketers, we are both looking forward to seeing the impact of these trends, for ourselves and our customers. We expect 2019 to be challenging as businesses try to adapt to the big and incremental changes we’ll continue to see on every platform. But we’re confident that by understanding the innovative tools and options developing across social media, you’ll have new and exciting ways to connect to your customers. As always, if you have questions, reach out to us - we’re here to help! Here’s to a prosperous and innovative 2019!
2018 – it was crazy!
It’s the second week of January, but to be honest, we’re still reeling from some of the big changes that happened across the social media industry in 2018. We all know that social media will constantly change as platforms grow and evolve, bringing new trends, ideas, and rules to learn each year. In most cases, the changes aren’t sudden or unexpected (who was really surprised to see Google+ shut down?), but we want to recap the big changes that occurred in 2018 to help you understand what’s changed and what’s coming, to allow you to adapt your social media strategies accordingly. Here are our thoughts:
#1: Consumers lost confidence in Facebook
The Cambridge Analytica scandal and multiple data breaches resulted in non-stop negative press. Even Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony to Congress, didn’t do much to reassure users that Facebook was taking data privacy seriously, prompting a lot of people to find new places to hang out online.
#2: Twitter cracked down on automation
Twitter cracked down on bots and fake followers, announcing changes to its API that will effectively end automation services that let those controlling large numbers of accounts to batch tweet, follow users, retweet or like tweets. If this has been part of your plan, that's a strategy that's no longer working as Twitter cleaned up its user experience.
#3: Facebook reduced the reach of all content essentially halting most organic reach
In an effort to focus delivering meaningful conversations to users, FB made an update to its News Feed, serving up less content from Pages and more from a user’s friends and families. While this update to Facebook's News Feed algorithm doesn't completely eliminate Page content from your audience’s News Feed, it does establish different priorities for which content gets prime News Feed real estate. According to a private Facebook webinar hosted in January 2018, those priorities are: (1) content that is shared over Facebook Messenger; (2) content that is Liked or commented on; (3) content receiving multiple replies; and (4) “meaningful interactions" between users (i.e., shares and comments). PS: if you’re still not sure how to optimize your Facebook content to appear on your users’ News Feeds, stay tuned for a Kalyx Group webinar to help you figure it out coming in February!
#4: Instagram launched IGTV
Instagram went all-in on a new long-form vertical video platform to compete head-on with YouTube. IG users can now upload videos up to 1 hour in length, up from the previous 1-minute limit. IGTV is accessible from a button inside the Instagram homescreen, as well as a standalone app. Initially, IGTV was home for popular videos from big Instagram celebrities, but was quickly adopted by users/content creators of all sizes to grow and engage their audience.
#5: YouTube rolled out Stories
Stories is YouTube’s answer to rival social apps like Snapchat and Instagram — except that YouTube Stories disappear after 7 days, not 24 hours. YouTube Stories was initially available only to select YouTube creators, but in November, YouTube expanded Stories to all creators with more than 10,000 subscribers, and gave them access to the new creation tools that include the ability to decorate the videos with text, stickers, filters and more.
#6: Facebook overhauled Groups
Facebook added Watch Parties, better analytics, and badges for active users to their Groups product. Of course, because 2018 was Facebook’s annus horribilis, that was quickly followed with additional bad press around Groups and a quick roll out of policy changes allowing only administrators of groups with more than 100 members to change their group names once every 28 days. The rule is designed to prevent deception and provide transparency as it was discovered that some group owners were attracting large groups of followers on a particular issue, then changing the group name and focus to something else. In response, Facebook has begun displaying name changes to its groups, going back 2 years.
#7: LinkedIn relaunched Groups
The Microsoft-owned platform decided to overhaul its Groups product in an attempt appeal to more users. With over 500 million users, LinkedIn needed to make significant changes to revive Groups, which had seen a steady decline in use. Big changes included rolling Groups into the main LinkedIn app, after pulling the standalone app earlier in 2018. It also streamlined the service by cutting out several features, including an ability for Group administrators to pre-moderate comments; and a way to email send Group posts as emails to the whole group, while also adding in new features like threaded replies and the ability to post video and other media.
#8: Facebook launched Facebook Watch
In August, Facebook rolled out its on-demand video service worldwide following a trial run in the US. Watch is intended to compete with YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime for viewership, and Facebook will spend up to $2 billion this year to produce a wide range of original content for Watch. Watch is available on mobile, on desktop and laptop (pictured), and via Facebook’s TV apps.
#9: And then there was GDPR…
The year 2018 saw some big changes – most of them driven by customer demands around content and privacy.
so what's next?
If you're still trying to adapt your social media strategies and practices, you're not alone. Many marketers have had to adjust and reinvent their social media strategies to adapt to all the big changes that landed in 2018. And because social media is constantly evolving, more changes are on the horizon for 2019. We'll share what we see as upcoming trends for social media and what that means for you on Thursday.
Until then, have a great week and let us know what you think about the latest 2018 social media changes in the comments below.
Whether you have an established business or are in the process of building something new this year, enhancing your branding is probably at or near the top of your to-do list. Brands are not built overnight, and good brands are constantly evolving. Additionally, we’re all dealing with managing our brand across an ever-growing number of channels and trying to stand out from the noise. That’s why we’re excited to share 3 tips to help you improve your brand—steps you can start to take today that will have a big impact on how your business shows up—in person and online.
Let’s get to it!
#1. Get personal
Chances are, you have built – or are looking to build – a business around something you absolutely love to do. Does your branding capture that passion in an authentic way? People are drawn to brands they know, like, and trust. Is your brand truly reflective of who you are, what you do, and why you do it? Brand authenticity can only happen when a brand knows what it stands for, why it exists, where it came from, and where it is going. You know your story, now let people get to know you.
Write down three words you’d like people to use to describe your brand. Do a quick audit by looking at your website, social media feeds, business cards and print collateral. Are those three words reflected in your current branding? And, just as importantly, does your branding feel genuine – like someone your customers would want to know and connect with in real life? If the answer is no, take some quiet time to reflect and capture (write it down!) the authentic essence or spirit of your brand. If you are having a hard time, ask others... friends, family, and (most importantly!) your favorite customers may have valuable insights to share!
#2. Be consistent
How you show up online and in person should be consistent and aligned with the brand you have created. Think about well-known brands like Starbucks, Apple, and Target. Their branding is the same in their stores as it is on their website, across social channels, on merchandise, and every other place you’ll find them. The consistency creates credibility and also helps you remember them. The same is true for your brand.
It's important that your brand is consistent across every part of your customer experience, whether it’s at your store, on your website or in your personal interactions. A brand book or style guide can help you establish consistent brand guidelines for print and digital branding. And once you've established your brand, resist the urge to constantly tweak the design elements unless you have a compelling reason to rebrand. Any significant change or deviation from your visual branding or brand messaging—especially if it occurs without warning—can seriously damage your brand’s authenticity and shake your customers’ trust.
Again, do a quick audit of your website, social media feeds, as well as your physical storefronts and print marketing. Do you use the same brand name in your URL and social handles? Do you use the same logo in each place? Are your colors and font consistent?
Make sure your brand appears consistently at every level and across every platform. It’s important to maintain a consistent visual identity in your branding, since that’s how people will recognize your brand. You can use free design tools like Canva to produce marketing materials that are consistently on brand. It’s also important that your brand sound consistent. We’ll provide some tips for finding your brand voice in a future post.
#3. Have a conversation
Authentic brands don’t just talk about themselves, and they don’t just post promotional messages and offers. Take the time to listen and engage with your customers– online and in person. Ask for input, share interesting and useful information, respond to comments and questions, and be personal. It is worth noting that 83% of consumers say they like it when a brand responds to them on social media. Do your part to engage and keep the conversation going. (And remember, a sales pitch is not a conversation.)
Find and follow 5 Instagram accounts or Facebook pages that you believe your target customers would engage with. Spend time reading through the comments and discussions. Make note of what questions and concerns are being raised. Make a list of relevant hashtags. This will help you understand what your customers are talking about, what they need and how you can be of service in the best way possible. Now, use what you've learned to start a conversation on your own social channels.