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Social Media News Roundup: March ‘17 Week 2

social media news march 2017 week 2
The world of social media is pretty fast moving and news travels fast. We have rounded up some of the biggest stories of the past seven days into one handy resource…
Twitter begins hiding entire profiles that may contain sensitive content

A number of Twitter accounts are reporting that the social network has begun hiding accounts behind a sensitive content warning, sources suggest. The message reads “Caution: This profile may include potentially sensitive images or language. Do you still want to view it?”.

The feature appears to be next in a long line of new safety features intended on tackling abusive behaviour. However, many of the users affected are confused about why their profiles were ever flagged in the first place. Another cause for confusion is that the showing of these messages is currently inconsistent, with some users being able to access affected profiles without encountering it.

Some are questioning whether the decision to flag entire profiles is really a good idea. The reason for this is simple - it is hard enough to train AI to search for and flag specific posts for sensitive content, let alone analyse an entire profile and decide how it appears as a whole.

Facebook tests reactions on messages

Facebook has begun to allow users to respond to their friends’ messages in the same way that they do with news feed posts. Facebook Messenger is showing a reactions option for messages sent in chat. Users have the option to reply with thumbs-up, thumbs-down, heart-eyes, lol, wow, sad or angry emojis.

Facebook have also included a reaction counter, which can be tapped to see a list of who has reacted and with what emoji. What sets reactions on this platform apart from traditional news feed is the inclusion of the commonly requested dislike emoji.

Facebook announces 360 VR app

Facebook has announced its first app dedicated to virtual reality. Designed for use with Samsung Gear VR, Facebook 360 uses 360-degree virtual reality media on Facebook. The app can be downloaded via Oculus app on any Gear VR-compatibale Samsung device.

In a statement released by Facebook, product director Brent Ayrey and software engineer Christopher Wong said this:

“With more than 25 million 360 photos and more than 1 million 360 videos posted on Facebook to date, there’s plenty of great content to discover in Facebook 360. The app is a one-stop shop for catching up on what you may have missed from your friends and others you follow, diving into the 360 photos and videos you’ve saved, and finding something new to enjoy

LinkedIn restores some reportedly lost member search functionality

Following a petition by a recruitment manager calling for the restoration of certain services, a spokesperson for LinkedIn has confirmed that the professional network will be restoring a number of advanced free search features. This includes text search for a number of things and saved searches, but still not tags and notes in LinkedIn’s free version. The full list can be seen here on Recruiter.co.uk.

And finally, Facebook’s obligatory weekly Snapchat feature theft

Facebook has launched Messenger Day, a repackaged version of Instagram Stories, itself a complete copy of Snapchat stories. It appears above your chats on Messenger as thumbnail tiles depicting the days of friends in reverse chronological order.

Facebook are now pinching features from Snapchat left right and centred. However, Messenger Day is apparently about looking-forward to today whereas Stories was always about looking-back at today. Facebook believe that while the rival network may have invented Stories, it is actually a content medium bigger than any one company.

The Best Social Media Marketing Chrome Extensions

Best social media marketing chrome extensions
These social media marketing chrome extensions can help streamline your processes and open up your strategy to even bigger results.

If you're not already utilising social media marketing Chrome extensions to help you to get the most out of your time, I urge you to start now. The process will undoubtedly help reduce the time it takes to undertake at least a few of your commonly used actions.

Discovering worthy social media marketing Chrome extensions

Nothing frustrates me more than discovering that a Chrome extension is little more than a marketing avenue for premium services. Therefore, when it comes to deciding on whether or not a Chrome extension is worth the time of day, I have something of a haphazard approach that I call efficient but many others would likely call lazy.

Essentially, if I add one to Chrome and see and immediate benefit from clicking, I will spend more time getting to know the ins and outs of it before making a decision. Alternatively, if there is no obvious benefit, that will be the end of it.

Obviously there are certain prerequisites that have to be met for certain Chrome extensions to offer any benefit at all. Twitshot, for example, requires you to already be on a valuable piece of content with available images in order to work. So I always make sure those prerequisites are met before passing judgement. (I may be a touch devil-may-care with my reviews, but I'm not a total maverick.)

Here are the ones that made the cut:

Twitshot

Some bold claims have been made about the inclusion of expanded images in Twitter posts. The one that the guys at Twitshot like to cite is by Belle B. Cooper of Buffer; “Tweets with expanded images get 150% more retweets”. Clearly this relies on you using the right images, but numbers like that are hard to argue with.

Twitshot is a simple but effective tool that extracts images from a link and attaches them to your Tweet. The image will then show alongside your Tweets, as opposed to an auto-generated preview.

RiteTag

RiteTag is the ultimate hashtag strategy optimisation tool. What sets it apart from its competitors is its ability to provide instant feedback on hashtag choices as you type. As far as social media marketing chrome extensions go, this one is basically an advisory tool.

The RiteTag extension has a colour-coded key to analyse the strength of your hashtag choices. Green represents good hashtags for immediate exposure, blue for hashtags that will help with exposure over-time, red for heavily-contested hashtags that will result in your posts being lost, and grey for hashtags with low-following rates.

Grammarly

When careful not with grammatical, bad can things happen. Spelling and grammar errors in posts can totally de-construct the credibility of your brand. The Grammarly Chrome extensions boasts the ability to catch over 250 different types of errors, even the uncommon ones such as comma misuse and a missing article before a plural noun.

Pocket

With Pocket you can save a variety of content to be able to view later. The Chrome extension is only part of it as you can save directly from apps like Twitter, Pulse and Flipboard too. The great thing about pocket is how it is expanding to be a content curation tool too. It will recommend content related to your niche and the sort of content that you have already engaged with.

ColorZilla

Finally, I wouldn’t be anywhere without a good colour-picker tool. If you are constantly finding yourself creating graphics in-line with your own brand colours then it is a no-brainer. Easy-access to colour codes is not to be sniffed at. For me, ColorZilla is the most user-friendly.

Got a social media marketing Chrome extension that you think should be added? Tweet us - @GiraffeSM.

Social Media News Roundup: March ’17 Week 1

Social media news roundup march 17 week 1
We’re only a few days into March and already we’ve seen some pretty hefty social media news stories. Here are some of the biggest...
Twitter partners with leading companies to live stream esports tournaments

Twitter have announced that it has partnered with leading esports companies to live stream content this year. ESL, the worlds largest esports company and industry leader, and DreamHack, both the world’s largest computer festival and a production company with a focus on gaming, will both be working with Twitter.

The first tournament to be live streamed via the social network will be the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice, kicking off this week on Saturday 4th March. Over fifteent seperate events in the ESL One, Intel® Extreme Masters (IEM) and DreamHack circuits will be live streamed across Twitter. Twitter’s COO Anthony Noto said this:

“Esports is growing at a rapid pace and we see this collaboration as a way to tap into the engaged audience of gamers that are already using Twitter as a primary source of content… We look forward to bringing the best of esports live video and conversation together on Twitter.”

Facebook’s Explore tab shows posts from pages you don’t like but might like

Facebook have began rolling our another tab for iOS and Android which shows users content from pages that they don’t necessarily follow but might be interested in. ‘Explore’ seems to be an example of Facebook experimenting with an alternative news feed, perhaps in an attempt to stem the existence of echo chambers and fake news.

According to various sources the ‘Explore’ tab, which is available on the latest beta version of the Android app and has been glimpsed on some iOS versions, displays a combination of posts that are proving to be popular based on topics and interests that are similar to pages already liked by the user. However, these posts are from pages not liked by the user - theoretically offering views from outside their own echo chamber of news.

Facebook develop AI suicide prevention tools

Facebook will begin using artificical inteligence in a bid to spot users who may be at risk of suicide or harming themselves. Although suicide prevention tools have been present on the network for over ten years, AI should theoretically be able to flag posts that show consistent patterns of suicidal thoughts or depression, based on previous known cases.

Through these tools, Facebook can reach out to users and encourage them to contact a friend or a helpline in order for help. Reporting tools will also be integrated into Facebook Live, allowing viewers to report and reach out to the person directly.

Loss-making Snap shares soar 44% on first day of trading

The company behind Snapchat has gone public with stocks soaring 44% on the first day of trading, despite the fact that it is technically a loss-making enterprise. The boost valued the company at $28bn.

Shortly after co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy rang the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange with a guide share price of $17, share price rose 41% to $24. At one point it reached $26.05, with a market value of $29.1bn, but settled at $24.48 upon closing, with a market value of $28.3bn.

Instagram rolls our Ads in Stories for all businesses

The Instagram Business Team have announced that Stories Ads are now available for all businesses globally. Full-screen ads on Stories were first announced back in January at which point they were tested by around 30 global brands including Nike, Airbnb and Capital One. Now they are rolling out to all businesses and will be available globally in the “next few weeks”.

Wondering how to create ads that run in stories? Check out this page on Facebook Business Advertiser Help Center.

Social Media News Roundup: February ‘17 Week 4

social media news february 2017 week 4
Hardly an hour goes by without something happening in the world of social media. In our social media news roundup we look at the best stories from the past seven days.
Facebook continues Snapchat feature-pinching tirade with WhatsApp Status

Hardly a week goes by without Facebook repackaging one of Snapchat’s features as their own. This one was no exception. This time it is on the part of their messaging subsidiary app, WhatsApp. The major new feature is marketed as a substantial update to the originl text-only “status” feature - the one where users would have statuses along the lines of “out to lunch” or “busy” beside their profile.

WhatsApp Status is very much in the vein of Instagram Stories - which itself is an almost identical clone of Snapchat Stories. For this reason, the features will come as no suprise. WhatsApp Status lets users take photos, add stickers, text, drawings, and shares them to their contacts for 24 hours after which time they dissapear.

Twitter makes direct messaging with brands more personal

Twitter are attempting to make connecting with brands via direct messaging more personal with the addition of custom profiles. This means that when a user reaches out, businesses no longer have to respond with just their company name and can instead insert that of a customer service agent along with their photo. They believe this will help users feel more at ease knowing that they are talking to a person and not a bot.

Custom profiles are currently available through Twitter’s Direct Message API, which is currently in private beta - but verified brands can be whitelisted by filling out this form.

Instagram rolls out multiple photo uploads

Instagram have rolled out a major update in the shape of multiple photo uploads. For the first time users are able to post slideshows of up to 10 pictures. Multi-picture posts have been available to ads partners in the past and have now been rolled out to the public. Users can swipe left and right to flick between photos, however comments and likes will apply to the post as a whole.

Multiple photo uploads are available on Instagram version 10.9 for iOS and Android. Full details of how to post a slideshow are included in this article by the Telegraph.

User bags herself Instagram cruise dream job

Do you remember that incredible paid-internship that Royal Caribbean International were advertising for? In case you’ve forgotten, the chosen intern would have the opportunity to sail around the world for three weeks, snap three Instagram photos a day and get paid £3,000 for the privilege their work.

Well, after 75,000 applications the position has been filled by one Ciara Flynn, a tour guide from Dublin. She was chosen by judges after she submitted a photo of two young monks in Kathmandu. Congratulations Ciara - it’s safe to say almost every social media manager in the UK is incredibly jealous proud of you right now.

Why Instagram Inspirational Quotes Don’t Inspire Quality Engagement

Instagram inspirational quotes bad engagement
Inspiring engagement may be harder than it looks - but Instagram inspirational quotes graphics aren’t always the right way to go.

If you want to inspire more Instagram engagement (and by golly you do) you first need to revisit what engagement is and means. Firstly, Instagram engagement doesn’t just refer to big numbers under your images. It also refers to comments and how those two factors relate to impressions.

Depending on how they are viewed, each of these factors can say different things about how your Instagram audience view your posts, page and brand as a whole.

I'll use luxury accessories brands as an example. Do users express a desire for these products in their comments as a result of the images? Or are they more infatuated by the aspirational situations that models are in? This simple example could show that a product may not feature prominently enough and assist with the decision on what should be posted next.

Engagement on Instagram insights

Instagram’s in-app insights are very basic, showing one single number for impressions, reach and engagement. The engagement metric is an amalgamation of all likes and comments on your post - a number that video views doesn’t seem at the moment to play into.

Its important to note that this metric can absolutely be useful as a tool for you to compare and contrast the success of each of your posts at-a-glance. But to use Instagram engagement rates as a defining factor for future strategy you will have to go deeper and look at what users are saying and why they are saying it

Reading Instagram engagement as a metric and using it as a signifier for future content is an art in itself. But when it comes to Instagram inspirational quotes and motivational business advice, that gets even harder.

Why Instagram inspirational quotes don’t always mean quality engagement

It’s true that a load of businesses have built up a fairly strong strategy with Instagram inspirational quotes graphics, coffee wisdom and motivational quotes. But that number is now an awfully big one. Like, seriously big.

I want to be totally clear here; what works for somebody else doesn’t have to work for you.

If you have been posting Instagram inspirational quotes and change your strategy it may seem at the beginning that this results in a drop in engagement. Often this is because the hashtags that you were using before had been hijacked by automation services and bots. Or, as I like to call it, noisy marketers marketing noisily to other noisy marketers.

And when you think about it, the people you were marketing to with motivational quotes were the kind of people who already engage with that kind of content - namely your competitors.

Remember the brand-building potential of Instagram

Individuality is the key here. Many businesses have harnessed the might of Instagram to build their brand image. In any other case, posting what your competitors post would at best look like an attempt to piggyback their engagement. At worst, it would look like they were trying to totaly steal their brand image.

But with motivational quotes and inspirational business advice, we have something else entirely. So many businesses do it that users have seen it all before. Even if you log onto canva and throw your own fonts and colours on it, you still inadvertently fashion your pages into the shape of “generic business Instagram”. You don’t want that.

Here’s what you want…

You want to stand out. Instagram was created for individual lives to shine - so don’t feel you have to post what your competitors are posting. If you can create a strategy that focusses on frequently posting actual, original photos on a theme that suits you, do!

I believe in you.
If you can think it, you can do it.
#inspiration #monday #mightnotbemonday

Why You Should Never, Under Any Circumstances, Buy Followers

why you should never buy followers
If there is one thing you should never do when building a social media strategy it is buy followers. Of all cowboy social media tactics, it is the worst.

Listen carefully; in the world of social media marketing, there are no shortcuts to quality results. In fact, you could be right in saying that there are no shortcuts at all. You may be able to reach your goals quicker, but the only way to do that is to revisit your social media strategy and either increase or shift your investment to a different focus.

It’s natural to want to expect immediate results, especially when immediacy is almost expected. Sadly social media marketing can often work out as something of a slog. Certain quick-fix techniques have been heralded as cheap and easy ways to smash your goals. But that is far from the truth.

Buying followers may be a way to see bigger numbers, but I’ll say it again; the only thing that will speed up your path to your actual goals is increased investment in an already expert strategy. In most cases, these numbers are empty, meaningless and potentially harmful. So you definetely shouldn’t buy followers. Here’s why:

Fake followers can’t interact properly because they aren’t real people

If you buy followers you aren’t buying followers at all. You are just buying numbers. What follows you is a collection of fake or innactive accounts that offer absolutely nothing to your brand. You can’t expect them to interact or engage with your content. And if they do, it will just be incredibly spammy auto-comments that actual, real people can spot a mile off.

Their inactivity can result in a reduced organic reach

Social networks use intricate algorithms to determine the strength of your content and ensure it gets in front of the right amount of users. Engagement is a key signifier for the quality of your content. If tonnes of people engage with your posts then the social networks will consider your content quality and serve it and similar posts to more and more people. When you buy followers who simply don’t engage the opposite happens, resulting in a reduced organic reach.

They can destroy the credibility of your pages and your business

As I mentioned earlier, real users know when you buy followers. An account with big numbers should have content that supports and upholds those numbers. Also, auto-comments by fake accounts are quite clearly just that. Users know and will lose trust and respect for you brand as a result. Nobody wants that.

They totally fluff up your metrics

If you buy followers you have no way of differentiating between real and fake followers. This will really mess with your metrics. You have absolutely no way of working out genuine audience behaviour from that of robots. You are no longer able to work out what aspects of your strategy are getting you the biggest return and invest in them. It’s just not worth it.

You can end up being marked as spam

When you buy followers all of these things - decreased organic reach, high-rate of auto-comments, disinterest by genuine users - work to systematically sabotage your page. Because of how social media algorithms work, your posts will eventually begin to look like spam - and spam just attracts spam. Which means you will just end up being a can of spam. Spammy spam spam. You might even have your accounts suspended as a result… which at that point could actually be a blessing in disguise.

In conclusion, don’t buy followers.

Just don’t do it. If you were thinking about it, take the money and invest it into a different aspect of your strategy. Promote a post. Even if it amounts to nothing, at least you won’t have inadvertenly sabotaged your social pages.

Social Media News Roundup: February ’17 Week 3

Social media news roundup february 2017 week 3
Week three of February has been a busy week for social media news. We’ve compiled the biggest news stories of the past seven days into one handy summary article.
Mark Zuckerberg posts 6,500 word manifesto

Mark Zuckerberg has posted a 6,500 word statement on his page reminiscent of a state of the union address. It reads as a riposte to recent criticisms of the social network and growing anti-globalization sentiment. It also makes a number of statements about the measures that Facebook can take in addressing and tackling a wide range of global issues including terrorism and inequality, with a view to building global community.

“Facebook stands for bringing us closer together and building a global community. When we began, this idea was not controversial. Yet now, across the world there are peple left behind by globalization, and movements for withdrawing from global connection.”

Zuckerberg recently denied that he would be running for President of the United States. His statement does not make any direct references to current devisive policies, rather focuses on vague references to empowering global connection and decreasing polarization. Read it here.

Facebook announces the introduction of job postings

Facebook is now muscling into the territory of LinkedIn with the introduction of features that enable job postings and applications from within the social network. The new feature was announced this week on the official blog and began rolling out to businesses in the USA and Canada. Simplicity seems to be the aim of the game here, as Facebook look to make the process of filling vacant roles as simple as possible.

“It's easy for Page admins to create a job post, track applications and communicate directly with applicants. After posting a job, Page admins will be able to review applications and contact applicants on Messenger, all on mobile and all in one place… The experience is simple for applicants, too. Job posts may appear in their News Feed, in the new bookmark for jobs, and alongside other posts on business Pages. ”

Facebook continue to make no secret of the fact that they intend to develop a multi-faceted service that limits the amount of time users have to spend on other networks/webpages.

Twitter begins temporarily restricting tweet reach for abusive users

Twitter has begun temporarily restricting the reach of tweets by users who have been flagged as potentially abusive. The new anti-abuse measure restricts tweets so that they can only be viewed by their direct followers. The change was spotted by BuzzFeed and has been described as being reminiscent of a “time out”. Flagged users are greeted with the same message, as shown below.

Twitter restricted tweet reach message

Recruiters complain about LinkedIn’s “confusing” redesign

A number of recruitment professionals have spoken up against LinkedIn’s new redesign, complaining that it has had an adverse effect on the way that members use free and premium service search functions. One user has even decided to start a petition urging the the company to restore perceived lost features, including the ability to tag connections on free accounts, radius area search for premium accounts and the ability to use ‘AND’ and ‘NOT’ in Boolean searches.

Facebook page pays homage to the boyfriends of Instagram

A hilarious Facebook page is paying homage to the boyfriends and partners on whose shoulders falls the responsibility to take those so-called ‘candid’ Instagram photos. Boyfriends of Instagram currently stands at nearly 31.5k likes and popularity is growing at a substantial rate.

The Best Free Social Media Tools For Small Businesses

Best free small business social media tools
By leveraging the right small business social media tools you can ensure awesome results from your strategy - and these are the best tools around.

You could say that a social media strategy was only as good as its best social media tools. It’s not true; a social media strategy is ultimately only as good as the marketer who devises and employs it - but you could say that all the same.

Why? Well, every social media marketer makes use of social media tools to help streamline their processes and maximise the amount that they can achieve. For small businesses, this process can save heaps of precious time and energy that can be much better invested elsewhere.

This index of free small business social media tools is an updated version of a previous list that I combiled back at the beginning of 2016. Each of these small business social media tools I have tried and consider worthy of mentioning.

1. Coschedule’ Headline Analyzer

Nothing boosts a social media marketing strategy quite like the addition of an awesome content marketing strategy. That’s our jam here at Giraffe. Seriously, if you want to get more from social media, start writing awesome web content that your audience will value before posting and promoting it. You can thank us for the results later.

Coschedule’ Headline Analyzer provides quality scores on the strength of article titles and headlines in relation to social media engagement, particularly the likelihood of shares. It also helps to determine the likelihood that a blog title will be beneficial to your SEO.

2. Yoast WordPress Plugin

Yoast is the number one search engine optimisation plugin for wordpress. Users set their chosen keyword for each article they post and are given simple tips to increase the likelihood that they will rank well for that keyword. These include increasing the frequency of the keyword throughout different parts of the content such as headlines and alt text for images. It also gives you little coloured dots which signify the strength of each aspect of your article - and nothing compares to the feeling of turning all those tiny specks green.

Technically it is an SEO tool… Come to think of it, both of the first two examples weren’t really small business social media tools… However, articles put through Yoast commonly experience more click throughs from social due to the optimisation. So certainly worth using. Plus the extra benefits are definetely not to be sniffed at.

3. Socialrank

Socialrank is a simple to use platform that allows you to identify, organise and manage both Twitter and Instagram followers. As small business social media tools go, this is one that will help give you genuine insight into the strengths of your following such as who your best followers are and what they are about. With the use of filters you can see, amongst other things, who your most engaged and influential followers are.

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is the preferred social media management tool of millions that allows you to schedule, engage with and grow your audience across all of your social networks from one place. It also offers social analytics. Free features are limited but there is a selection of affordable pro plans available.

Although I have used Hootsuite in the past, it isn’t currently in our arsenal of in-house social media marketing tools. This is mostly down to the pricing structure which can escalate quickly once you start to add extra accounts and services. However, as small business social media tools go, the free version can certainly be useful if you only have a few channels to manage.

5. Tweetdeck

If Hootsuite isn’t for you, that’s completely fine. There are plenty of other social media scheduling tools out there of varying quality. While scheduling for Instagram may be a serious task (there are ways, but they are difficult), Facebook’s in-built scheduling tool is perfectly adequate. It may hiccup every now and then, but with that many users you can be sure that it will be fixed soon enough.

For Twitter, Tweetdeck is a great tool that allows users to create and schedule Tweets, alongside a bunch of other features like creating custom feeds. These can come in really useful for spotting opportunities for interaction. While it may not have as many advanced analytics as Hootsuite’s paid version, that doesn’t stop it being the preferred choice of many social media marketers.

6. RiteTag

Hashtag strategy - what is it? Well, it’s using hashtags. Sounds simple, right! It’s not. Shame. What makes RiteTag one of the best small business social media tools is that it gives instant feedback on your chosen hashtags to help you decide which to use as part of your strategy.

Using the right hashtags is integral to seriously expanding your reach, but left to our own devices we are all guilty of having a few that we always use. We do so mistakenly thinking that they are powerful when they are actually just a waste of characters. If that’s you, I can’t recommend RiteTag highly enough.

7. DrumUp

Depending on how important external content (that is, content from other websites) is to your social media strategy (and the likelihood is that it will be to some extent), DrumUp can be a great tool. It has multiple functions which recommend content for you to share or curate based on your keywords, direct to your dashboard.

The dream is that your content marketing strategy would eventally become so good and so frequent that you would never need to go looking for content to curate - you would always have a steady stream coming from your blog. But until then, DrumUp is a great tool.

8. Canva

I’m pretty sure we are sponsored by Canva at Giraffe… If we aren’t and you are from Canva, get in touch. We are always raving about it. Absolutely everyone in the office makes use of it to create professional looking graphics for social media posts. It’s simple, easy to use and comes with a whole host of graphics, layouts, fonts and images. Power users - hit up either of the two below resources to get more out of it…

9. Pixabay & 10. Pexels

If Canva is the sword of Giraffe Social Media, Pixabay and Pexels are the shield and… force-field? Something like that. Anyway, these two sites are perfect for finding images under Creative Commons CC0. In laymans terms, this means you can do absolutely anything you like with them. Seriously, anything. And you won’t have to thank anybody.

There are a few things to consider when making use of stock images though. Ideally you only want to make use of them as one-off graphics - don’t make them key to your brand such as a permanent placeholder for the homepage on your website. The reason is that many consumers have seen the majority of them before and can spot them a mile off. But one-off use is ideal.

11. Websta

For my sins, I have only just started using Websta and I must say it is fabulous. It provides everything you would expect from a social media management tool - key analytics and insights, custom feeds and the ability to explore content - while allowing you to view and interact with other users’ posts. Instagram’s in-app analytics are currently basic at best - Websta takes those one-step further.

12. Later

Marketed as “The simpler way to plan your visual content marketing”, Later is a scheduling tool for Instagram that allows users to schedule and manage their posts ahead of time. Is it that? Well, it is true that Later allows you to spread out and create a steady stream of content - but it does take some investment. That said, if you use Instagram a lot then these kind of small business social media tools can be a God-send.

13. Website Grader

Hubspot’s Website Grader gives a full report on the strength of your marketing efforts across all of your digital channels. This includes, you guessed it, social media, but also content and SEO. Certain information can seem a little iffy from time to time but it is still really useful if you are strapped for time and looking for immediate direction.

14. Uprank

Uprank is an advanced research tool that analyses and provides data on the strength of your brand’s digital marketing, including website architecture, SEO and social media. It then generates and delivers a digital marketing strategy tailored to your site in the form of comprehensive tasks. Great as a starting point - but lacks the creative and innovative aspects needed to develop an awesome social media posting strategy.

15. AdParlor

AdParlor lets you create free mockups of ads for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. This can give you a much better idea of what your finished campaigns will look like to users on these networks. The brand new interface is sleek and easy to use. As small business social media tools go, this is one that can be perfect to help develop your social media advertising strategy, with scalable and downloadable mockups, instant previews and in-line character limits.

Social Media News Roundup: February ‘17 Week 2

Social Media News Roundup Week 2 February 2017
Hardly a day goes by without something happening in the world of social media. Every week we take a look back at some of the biggest social media news stories of the past seven days.
Facebook introduces new weather forecast feature

Facebook hab announced the roll-out of a new feature that puts a full local weather forecast directly within it’s mobile app and desktop site. The social network have confirmed the new feature has launced to around 95 percent of its global user base this week. The new feature is described as an expansion of its earlier “weather greetings”, short informational weather updates that appeared at the top of your feed in the morning.

The new Facebook Weather section is powered by data from Weather.com. It is available via the “more” menu on the mobile app and direct from News Feed on the desktop site. It offers exactly the kind of data that you would expect from a weather app; a full week’s weather forecast. It also features a cartoon-style header that is reactive to the current forecast.

Investors mistake little-known startup for Snapchat

Shares in a little-known video chat and online dating service provider have almost doubled in the past few days because investors mistook it for Snap Inc - the creator of popular social network Snapchat. The amount of daily Snapchat users grew to an average of 158 million at the end of December 2016.

The name of the little-known startup is Snap Interactive. It seems that investors were incredibly eager to invest in the first public offering of Snap Inc, who last week said it had filed for an initial public offering of $3bn. This resulted in shares of Snap Interactive growing by 164 percent.

Twitter announces new measures to tackle harassment and abuse

On Tuesday Twitter announced expansions to it’s efforts to protect users form abuse and harrassment. These include the prioritising of safer search results and the collapsing of potentially abusive, low-quality search results. Twitter have also outlined intentions to identify, suspend and stop the creation of new accounts by those who have been permanently suspended.

Simple Instagram Tricks Beyond Better Content That Actually Work

Instagram tricks beyond better content that actually work
Instagram is about way more than sharing photos. Start using these Instagram tricks and soon you will see more users engaging with your brand.

Social media marketers are insight-obesessive. For this reason, nothing delights me more than when a friend of mine who isn’t a devoted full-time social media marketer helpfully informs me which social networks are big business.

No really, I mean it.

Okay, I will admit that this is due in part to the fact that I take great pride in pointing out when people are incorrect… which is probably an aspect of my personality that could do with revisiting. But it’s mostly because this passion gives me great insight into how each network is currently viewed by users. Most recently it was this line…

Mate, it’s all about Instagram now. All about IG. IG is 🔥 right now.

Just how my friend managed to express the fire emoji verbally I’ll let you decide, but it definetely happened. Normally I would have taken the opportunity to start a discussion about the positives and negatives of single-network social media strategies, but instead I found I had to agree with him. Instagram is, for the mean time at least, most certainly 🔥.

Instagram tricks that work

It’s all well and good to say that one particular social network has the edge over others for inspiring engagement (ten times the average engagement of Facebook to be precise), so long as you explain how that engagement can be unlocked. Luckily there are some simple Instagram tricks that can give you an edge over your competitors and ensure that you are getting the most out of your activity.

Be super specific with your goals

If there is one of our Instagram tricks that casual marketers could do better with its being super specific with their goals, because many don’t really have any beyond “post something great, get likes”. Instagram can be great for keeping your audience aware of the inner-workings of your organisation, but it has much more potential than that - potential that deserves to be stretched! If you want to see more purchases of a particular product, be bold and make that your goal. Create a marketing plan focussed around constantly promoting and bringing awareness to that product including partnering with influencers, and you will hit that goal.

Initiate active following

The best way to grow your following in Instagram is to unashamedly steal your competitors followers. Unfortunately there aren’t any Instagram tricks for engagement in the traditional sense; you want an engaged following, the only way to grow it is through engaging. Utilise hashtag research to identify large accounts within your industry or niche and then begin to engage with their following - like and comment on users posts and follow them, give them a few days to respond before unfollowing any that haven’t followed back and repeating the process.

Attempt to influence the influencers who influence your influencers

This may be a mouthful, but at it’s centre is a strategy that is surprisingly easy to swallow. Influencer marketing is big business, especially on Instagram. Paid shoutouts can be great for certain users, especially e-commerce and bespoke products. However, by taking time to identify not just the influencers you want to potentially reach, but those that influence those influencers, you can substantially cut your budget as your products are likely to be picked up by those other users.

Use Facebook Insights to decide on partners for Instagram

If you’re considering about utilising influencer marketing on Instagram, one of the best Instagram tricks is to check out Facebook’s Audience Insights in order to discover the best users to partner with. The best way to do this is to create a custom audience and upload your customer email list, then click on Page likes. This will give you the best insight into what your audience is interested in.

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