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Executives on Social Media: Should Your Leaders Post Online?

A phone with the Twitter application on the screen

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Queen Elizabeth II recently made headlines for sharing a photo on Instagram for the first time (via the Royal Family’s official account). Though we likely won’t see frequent posts from the Queen, quite a few leaders have embraced digital platforms as a way to connect with their fans or customers. As you examine your brand’s communication strategies, evaluate if having your executives on social media makes sense.

The idea of your top leaders tweeting may seem a bit daunting. And, you’re not alone. According to a 2016 report, more than half of Fortune 500 CEOs don’t have a social media presence. It may be best for your leaders to stay offline, but ensure you’ve considered the pros and cons first.

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Is your Social Media Strategy working?

Keeping track of analytics is the best way to know if your social media strategy is working.

Above all, you need to figure out what your business needs from social media.

For some businesses, sales are important; others need to increase brand awareness.

social media strategy

One of the best way to bring success to your company, is choosing the right social media analytics tool, depending on your business goals.

Having a lot of followers and likes is great, however, tracking audience reach and engagement is even more important.

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3 Tips to UnSuck Your Video Thumbnails and Increase Views

Is Your Video Thumbnail Experience Like This Guy’s?

Are you are struggling to grow your audience on YouTube, Facebook or any other Social Media platform hosting videos? It could be your video thumbnails.

If you are on YouTube and you are using one of the three default random thumbnails they provide, then your thumbnails probably “suck”.

VIDEO THUMBNAILS = A TOP 10 CRUCIAL RANKING FACTOR

Your video’s thumbnail image is one of the 10 most critical factors in getting someone to click and view your video.

Yet, look around on YouTube and you see that it is rather underutilized, despite it’s simplicity.

That spells COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.

90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube have custom thumbnails.

Here are three proven ways to have your video’s thumbnails stand out from the crowd and get clicked on.

1. Make Them Engaging

You want to elicit an instant response, a motivation from your potential viewer. You can encourage that response in a few ways:

a) By “Telling a Story”

Your video thumbnails need to say something interesting about what the viewer might find after clicking.

It can be anything: a “teaser”; “dramatic”, say, reflecting triumph over difficulty; “funny”. It can also simulate or show action or movement.

What a Mess!

You have endless possibilities, but your objective is to create interest and curiosity.

b) By “Showing Emotion”

Your thumbnails need to show an emotion, fitting the story.

Happy Day!

Aim for positive emotions. They are usually stronger, as this will elicit a positive response in your viewer. Excitement is also good for a response.

c) By “Being Relatable”

Your viewers will react better to thumbnails they can relate to.

Fun on New Years Eve?

TIP: Put YOURSELF on the video thumbnail. Your story and emotion are best portrayed by a human (and to lesser extent an animal) vs an object. And, people are naturally drawn to other people.

What’s Happening?

BONUS TIP: Get close in on your face and eyes. Thumbnails are small, so a full body shot is less recognizable. Also, we humans find someone’s face and eyes captivating.

2. Make Them Pop

Here you focus more on the technical quality of the image, than the content of the image.

a) By Using “Photo Editing Tricks”

Increase Saturation or “Vibrance”

When you increase saturation you will see greater intensity of colors. Decrease saturation and you will see the opposite – your image will look duller, grayer – flat.

Which Do You Like Better?

TIP: In Photoshop, you have the “Vibrance” option as a better alternative for photos with people. While saturation affects all colors, vibrance is a bit smarter at avoiding skin tone colors and elevating other colors.

Up the Sharpness

Since video thumbnails are rather small, you can use a bit more sharpness to create more definition.

Which is More Interesting?

b) By Increasing Text Size

Your text must also be large enough to be readable. This one below is too small:

Too Small For Mobile

TIP: If it is large enough for your bifocal-ed grandmother to easily read on a mobile phone, then you’ve hit your mark.

Great Size for Mobile and Grandma

3. Make Them Consistent

As you grow your following, you want your viewers to instantly recognize that the video coming across their screen is yours.

You have only a fraction of a second to capture your audience’s attention and entice them to click – especially on mobile.

This one below is an example of what not to do with thumbnails.

Inconsistent and Indistinct Video Thumbnails

By “Branding”

For all the reasons why branding is good for business, you also have the opportunity to leverage the trust you’ve built with your brand via your video thumbnails.

Video Thumbnails Are Instantly Recognizable to His Fans

Here are a few things you can infuse with your brand to create consistency across your published video content.

Include The Obvious

From your existing brand, these should be consistent with your offline physical media and your online properties.

  • FONT
  • COLOR
  • LOGO

Be Creative

This is where you have some flexibility.

  • SHAPES
  • PLACEMENT

Do you want a vertical bar with your logo on the left? A horizontal bar with the title on the bottom? A thought bubble with your text?

Coil Notebook Background – Suggests Teaching Moment
Also Note Consistent Colors, Font in Video Thumbnails

Create Themes

You can use these shapes, placement and color of them to create themes.

For example, product demos, faqs, announcements. Then, on YouTube these can be organized into playlists.

All Live Shows are Themed This Way

Many Simple Ways to Up Your Video Thumbnail Game

Using these simple ideas, you will banish any default video thumbnails YouTube or Facebook provides (which “suck”) .

More importantly, you will be leveraging your thumbnails to brand your content, attract more viewers and grow your audience.

More Thumbnail Tips – Click Here

Tools and Templates for Making Thumbnails – Click Here

Go Deep on YouTube Optimization – Click Here

Developing an Effective Digital Advertising Campaign

According to an article released by eMarketer earlier this week, 2019 marks the first time digital advertising spend in the United States will likely exceed traditional advertising spend.

Two business people have a discussion about digital advertising while using a laptop, cell phone, and tablet

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

With the number of hours consumers spend online, this milestone shouldn’t surprise you. Digital marketing allows companies to deliver a much more personalized message to a hyper-targeted customer base. While you should not ignore traditional media, shifting your focus to the digital space can help your business grow.

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Boost social media engagement with giveaways

Giveaways and contests are fun ways you can reward your followers and boost social media engagement. They are also a great way to promote your product.

It can be hard to get your followers to comment, like or share your posts. Giving away a great prize from time to time could help keep your readers motivated. Your followers will be grateful and happy to engage with your brand.

To do a giveaway you could either use your company’s social media channels or partner with influencers to host or promote it.

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Do not sell, share a story

Inspire your costumers sharing something to connect them emotionally with your product, at the end they will buy.

Everyone loves a good story, or should we say gossiping?

People love to be entertained. Get their attention with a funny story, ask questions, share behind the scenes information about your business, etc.

men trying to sell by sharing a story with a woman

As George Bernard Shaw said, “The things most people want to know about are usually none of their business”.

Most of the time, as consumers we navigate the internet to look for answers, after all, we do not want people selling us anything.

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Social Media Engagement During Pop Culture’s Biggest Moments

At a basic level, your social media engagement strategy should involve responding to customer comments. But, don’t shy away from participating in other conversations taking the Internet by storm.

two women look at an ipad

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Pop culture discussions that used to happen around the water cooler now unfold in real time on platforms like Twitter. As you brainstorm content for your channels, keep tabs on external events and trends. Having a broad view not only helps you avoid insensitive or poorly timed messages, but it also allows you to recognize engagement opportunities that best align with your brand.

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how-to-use-facebook-live

Use Facebook Live to attract customers

A Facebook Live campaign can boost your brand’s exposure online and increase customer engagement.

Facebook Live is a free feature of the Facebook app that allows you to stream real-time video to your audience from your smartphone. It was released in April of 2016.

Did you know that marketers prefer Facebook to create live videos followed by Instagram?

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Promoting Experiential Gifts in Valentine’s Day Marketing Campaigns

Individuals hold paint brushes and paint mountains on a canvas.

A painting class is one of many experiences that can be given as a gift this Valentine’s Day.

Think Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns only benefit candy, flower, and jewelry companies? Think again. According to the National Retail Federation, 40 percent of individuals want to receive the gift of a special experience, such as a fun trip or concert tickets. With consumers estimated to spend more than $20 billion this holiday, you should use digital channels to illustrate how your brand delivers memorable experiences.

Explore four ways your organization can tap into this niche and improve your Valentine’s Day marketing campaign.

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Humanize Your Brand

There are many strategies on how to humanize your brand and leverage the power of Instagram as a B2B business. Instagram isn’t a space solely for millennials, bloggers, and consumer brands. Today, Instagram is also a medium for B2B organizations. Many companies wonder how they fit the platform and how they can differentiate providing valuable content to their audience. It is important to understand that a piece of content that performs well on another platform will not perform the same on Instagram.

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Social Media Events in Dallas

Dallas skyline reflecting in water

Katy Trail Ice House, Happiest Hour, Uptown, Deep Ellum. These are the places we know and love to unwind at in Dallas. But does there exist such a place where a digital marketer can unwind AND become a student of their craft? Here are 3 fun social media events in Dallas worth attending.

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Get More Comments on your Social Media!

Want to get more comments on your social media? Lucky for you, engagement is a strong force in the world of social media and there are plenty of ways to get more comments on your social platforms. For the sake of time, we will assume that you’re already putting engaging content out there. Now we just need to figure out how to get more comments. This blog will go over four clever ways to get more comments on your social posts. Continue reading

Ready to upgrade your map app? Check out this Emoji-based app 🗺👌

Do you remember the days when you used an actual map to get around?  Yes, a paper map – the one you purchased from a local gas station and stored in your glovebox.  If you’re a millennial, then probably not.  Nowadays we all have our favorite go-to map app but sometimes typing an address can be a lot of work.  Now there’s a new iOS map app that’s accelerating the way you use maps on your phone in a visually compelling way.  Emoji-based map app WYD, short for “what you doing”, uses emojis rather than a text keyboard to search for nearby places to explore and share with friends. Continue reading

What’s your hashtag strategy for Instagram? #whyitsimportant

Have your Instagram posts plateaued?  Did you know that Instagram posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag?  The quality of a hashtag is extremely important but yet so often overlooked.  Yes, hashtags are #everywhere.  And in most cases, they are thrown into the content and not utilizing their true potential.  Once known as a simple pound sign, the hashtag is a powerful tool that goes beyond aesthetics.  Continue reading

3 Ways to Keep Up with Social Media Trends

Woman fearful of overwhelming social media icons

If you’re like pretty much everyone on the planet, keeping up with the latest social media trends can be a daunting task. As soon as you’ve learned a new feature or believe you’ve figured out the ever-elusive algorithm, new features are released and past tricks are obsolete. So how is a digital marketer to stay on top of the latest and greatest? Here are 3 ways to keep up with social media trends.

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Haters

Adversity

Haters are the early warning detection system for your business.

Discerning brands strategically use social media as an extension of customer service, with skillfully prepared teams in place for unexpected online situations. Nobody likes loud, verbal haters. While it might be easier to not deal with online negativity, these situations need to be addressed in a timely manner.

While It is certainly easier to avoid them at all costs, the dark cloud haters cast might actually offer a silver lining. Continue reading

Captivate Your Audience

Having a difficult time getting the attention of consumers? Captivate your audience by providing them with engaging content. In a world of instant gratification, you have to provide content that will capture someone’s attention within seconds. Take a look at what you’ve been posting. What has been working? What hasn’t? Sit back, do some research and then captive your audience with these three steps. Continue reading

Unlock the difference between Snapchat lenses and filters

Do you know the difference between Snapchat lenses and filters? If not, you’re not the only one. To unlock the difference between Snapchat lenses and filters, you have to be able to differentiate between them. It’s confusing because Snapchat introduced lenses after the filters, and users are not sure how to differentiate them.  There are similarities between the lenses and filters, but they are also differences. The main difference is that the lens is animated and the filter is stationary.  

This blog will unlock the difference between Snapchat lenses and filters. Continue reading

How To Curate Your Own Cohesive Instagram Feed

How often do you open Instagram and stumble upon a stranger’s beautiful feed? You then find yourself scrolling for entirely to long. This is not by accident, this curated and cohesive Instagram feed is by design. When you think of your favorite influencers, many have a common theme. They utilize the same filters, have high quality images, and have an overall mood throughout their feed. Visualize in your mind what you would like to be known for and what makes your personal brand unique.  Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Instagram Pods

Instagram Pod Clip Art

To pod or not to pod? That is the question. 

Unless you’re someone who is deep in the trenches of all things Instagram, you may not even know what an Instagram Pod is, so let’s review.

An Instagram pod is when a group of people that have similar IG accounts (e.g. photographers, makeup artists, lifestyle bloggers, etc.) get together and agree to Like and comment on each other’s photos to increase engagement and activity. Since Instagram’s ever-changing algorithm is so elusive, this has become a popular way for accounts to be deemed more relevant. This method increases the chance of current followers seeing your content in their feed and new followers seeing it in the Discovery feed. But does it actually work? Here are  pros and cons of Instagram Pods.

 

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Identify Your STAMP

digital footprintIdentify your digital STAMP in five key steps for continued success in today’s social world. This is your STAMP! Simple-True-Act-Map-People. Hone in on two STAMP objectives. Here’s a breakdown of the five steps to identify your stamp.  Continue reading
No Bullshit Social Media, review

No Bullshit Social Media

No Bullshit Social Media, reviewAnyone with a grasp of the big picture begins to realize that PR, marketing, sales, and even customer service are not four distinct silos that compete for dollars and face time with senior executives. They are four sides of the same square. What one does affects the other side and each one of these facets is a part of social media. In the book No Bullshit Social Media; The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing, Jason Falls and Erik Deckers remind us that social media is where our customers are. No Bullshit Social Media offers direct insights about precisely what social media should do for a brand:

-Enhance brand awareness
-Protect brand reputation
-Enhance public relations
-Build community
-Enhance customer service
-Facilitate research and development
-Drive leads and sales
Not just that, but these two take a deep dive into how to properly use social media and who should be at the helm. This last point is particularly interesting.

Social Media is for Senior Staff, Not Interns…

Social Media is NOT an entry level position- it requires Continue reading

Keeping Up With Instagram’s Algorithm Changes

Keeping up with Instagram’s algorithm changes in a world where likes, comments, and followers are everything is a constant uphill battle. In simpler times, users were blessed with a chronological feed and all made sense in the world. Times have changed and Instagram is notoriously known for switching up the algorithm just when a user thinks they’ve nailed a high number of likes and comments per post, and new followers. While no one has been able to successfully identify and share Instagram’s secret algorithm, there are several ways to keep up and ensure your content shows up on the right feeds:

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Spending too much time on Instagram?

Spending too much time on InstagramDo you ever find yourself on Instagram just to kill a few minutes?  Before you know it you’ve wasted almost an hour mindlessly scrolling.  If you have an Instagram account, it’s probably a habit of yours that you don’t realize that you do.  Today with all the social media platform options, we are shifting more from text-based communication to visual communication.  With Instagram’s endless photo and video feed, it’s easy to become an #instaaddict.  Soon though we may know if we are spending too much time on Instagram. Continue reading

Using Instagram to Help Launch Your Business

Picture this: A long line of eager fans wait patiently outside the doors of your small business. Everyone is talking about the grand opening and are excited to use your product or service. Months leading up to this very day, they have been following your social media and already feel a sense of community with your brand. Why? Because you are leveraging the power of the ‘Gram. Sound too good to be true? Here are 4 tips on successfully using Instagram to help launch your business.

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Understand Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience is important when looking to improve your market outreach.

If you’re missing the mark with your audience, ask yourself if you truly understand them. Here are 4 factors to consider when understanding your audience.

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Use Instagram Story Highlights to Promote Brand

Instagram released their new Story Highlights feature in December 2017. While some have been using the Highlight reel to showcase more of their brand/profile, many haven’t tapped into this great new feature! Instagram Stories let’s the user capture a moment in time without making it permanent, the way Snapchat has done. However, with Instagram Story Highlights, the 24 hour rule no longer applies! The user can now add the Story to their Highlight reel! This is especially useful for brands and influencers that want to continue to promote a specific event or product after the 24 hour timestamp is up. Here’s a step by step process on how to use Instagram Story Highlights to promote your brand: Continue reading

Three Ways to Keep Your Content “Alive” on Social Media

Social Media People Jumping

Photo by Jared Sluyter

What’s worse than stale potato chips? Stale content on your social media channels. Whether you are a leader, business owner, or entrepreneur, it’s advantageous for you to keep your content “alive” on social media. In fact, make this a non-negotiable priority. And, it’s actually easier than you may think.

So, without further ado, here are three awesome ways to keep your content from going stale across your social media channels.  Continue reading

Maximize Your Brand Awareness on Social Media Like Adidas

Social Media Like Adidas... Red Adidas Shoe

Photo by Matthew Hamilton

Today, one of the most iconic brands in athletic apparel is transforming the social media game. Adidas is chiefly synonymous with athletic shoes. While you may recognize the brand for their quality and style, you might also want to explore how to maximize your brand awareness on social media like Adidas.

The brand produces more than 850 million product units annually. So it’s no surprise that Adidas is cultivating an undeniable influence on social media, specifically Instagram. If you want to maximize your brand awareness on social media like Adidas, get ready to incorporate some of the brand’s tactics in your own strategic efforts.

“Change the game, run the world.”  – Adidas

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Will New Social Media Platform Vero Catch On?

The new social media platform Vero is changing the game – but the jury is still out on whether or not audiences will take to it. Continue reading