Category Archives: Social Media Marketing

How to use Hashtags on Instagram

How to use Hashtags on Instagram

How to use Hashtags on Instagram

Instagram is a popular social media site, where people share photos and 1 minute long videos.  It is becoming more popular with businesses, as it has more interaction and engagement than other social media sites.  However, you need to get people to see your posts for them to interact.  Using the right hashtags on Instagram is crucial to getting your pictures seen by the right people.

Watch my Facebook Live below where I talk about using Hashtags on Instagram, how to do hashtag research and how to decide which hashtags to use.

If you do a search for most popular hashtags on Google, the list will include some of these hashtags:

#love #me #cute #happy #beautiful #girl #like #summer #fun #smile #friends #fashion #food

#love is the top hashtag being used on 1,022,244,759 public posts (4/3/17), however the problem with using popular hashtags is that there are so many pictures with that hashtag and it is a mixture of pictures.  It is actually better to use hashtags that are specific for your image and your business, they may  be used on less posts but the people searching those hashtags are more likely to be your ideal clients.

Hashtag research

When you are using hashtags don’t just think of words that are relevant to your image and business, do some hashtag research.

The best way to do hashtag research is within Instagram.

  • choose a word
  • click the magnifying glass (search button)
  • type in your word into the search bar at the top
  • click on TAGS between People and Places
  • click on the suggested hashtag

Instagram Hashtag research

Underneath the search bar there will be a related hashtags, which you might want to check out to see if they would be useful to use.

Then there will be 9 of the Top posts on Instagram that use that Hashtag, below those will be Most recent post and it will also tell you the number of public posts that have used this hashtag.

Always check what images are showing up for the hashtag before you start using it.  For example if you had a business in Lincoln, you might automatically think of using #Lincoln.   However, there are lots of posts relating to the American president, Abraham Lincoln and cars. It would be better to use #LincolnUK, although it is used on a lot less public posts, the pictures are relevant to Lincoln in Lincolnshire.  Also if you search for #Lincolnshire versus #Lincs you will see more people use #Lincolnshire than #Lincs so if you want more people to see your posts it is better to use #Lincolnshire.

When you have done some hashtag research make sure you save a list of hashtags in a note on your phone, so they are easy to copy and paste into the description for your pictures on Instagram in the future.

How many hashtags should you use?

You can use 30 hashtags per picture on Instagram, however research into engagement and hashtags says that the optimum number of hashtags to use is between 5 to 11.  See how many relevant hashtags you have found for your business and test which ones gain the best interaction.  Then use those top hashtags in future posts.  You should have a list of hashtags that are relevant to your business that you use on most of your posts and then some lists that relevant to different areas of your business, which are only relevant to certain posts.

I hope this blog post and Facebook Live video have helped you understand the basics of how to use Hashtags on Instagram.  If you would like to learn more about how to use Instagram for your business then book me for a bespoke power hour or 2, where we can look at your business and products in more detail and develop a Instagram content strategy for your business. Email me at socialmedialincs@gmail.com to book a chat about working with me.

Twitter Basics for Beginners

Twitter Basics

Twitter Basics

I have written various posts about Twitter on this blog, therefore I thought it might be useful to link to them all in one post, so that you can find them easily.

My Twitter Basics include:

  • How to edit your Profile
  • How to Tweet
  • How to use lists
  • How to use Hashtags
  • How to grow your following

Twitter has significantly less monthly active users than Facebook,  313 million on Twitter versus 1.71 billion on Facebook.  However it is still a brilliant tool for business, if you know how it works and how to use it intelligently, to connect with the right people.  Twitter can be a very powerful tool in your Social Media Marketing.

Why it is important to complete your Twitter Profile

My first post about Twitter was back in October 2012 and was about why it is important to complete your profile, I have updated this with a YouTube video I did about how to edit your profile, which is the same video below.

How to Tweet

Here is video about How to Tweet

Twitter Lists

An underused function of Twitter is Lists, so here is my article about how to set up and use Twitter lists  Lists are great for organising who you follow and finding interesting content, it is never to soon to start using Twitter lists.

Hashtags on Twitter

Hashtags are important and useful to use on Twitter, however it is important that you know how to use them on Twitter, as it isn’t the same way as they are used on Instagram.  In my article on Hashtags I explain what hashtags are and how to use them correctly on Twitter. Read my post about how to use hashtags on Twitter here.

How to use Hashtags on Twitter

How to build an engaged Following

If you are tweeting great informative and entertaining Tweets you need them to be seen by people and for those people to share your tweets, so you it is important to follow people who are active on tweet and that are chatting and retweeting other people’s tweets.  In this article I explain how to build your following but not just by increasing your numbers but by increasing the number of followers that are more likely to interact with you and your tweets. My five top tips for building a following that interact with you

If you want to learn more strategies on how to use Twitter to promote your business then take a look at my 30 days to Twitter Success course or sign up for my newsletter to keep up to date with new developments in Social Media.

Top 3 tips for getting more views on YouTube videos

3 top tips for getting more YouTube views

Top 3 tips for getting more views on YouTube videos

I see many people spending their precious time creating great video content with valuable and useful information in but they are only getting a handful of views on YouTube.  This is usually due to them not understanding how YouTube works.

YouTube is the second largest search engine and it is owned by the biggest search engine, Google.  Google generates income from the adverts shown on YouTube, this means Google will prioritise YouTube videos over other video content.  However, Google search bots can only read words, they cannot read pictures or audio on video, what they do read is the words in titles and descriptions.

Top tip 1 is make sure you give your videos descriptive titles

Uploading a video without a good descriptive title will mean the people looking for a video that covers what you are talking about won’t find you easily and will find a competitor that has described their video well, and the chances are your video has the better content but it won’t get watched.

An example of a bad title Social Media Lincs Twitter Training Video 1, a better title would be How to tweet – Twitter Tutorial 2015, with the second video people know what they are going to get and it has longtail keywords in that people are likely to be searching for.  In this example I am also wanting to reach new people that don’t already know about my business, therefore there is no point putting the name of my business in the title.

Top tip 2 make your videos short and concise

In today’s fast paced world most people want to get the information they want quickly and they don’t want to wait for 2 minutes of waffle to get to the juicy information.  Therefore at the start of your video tell your audience what they will get, then go into the information, try to keep your videos between 3 -5 minutes long and finish with a call to action. For example subscribe to my channel or click the link in the description below to get my new freebie.

Another reason to keep videos short is that YouTube rank videos on the amount of the video that people watch, most people can give up 3 to 5 minutes of their time to learn what they want to know, so the more people that watch your video to the end the higher it will rank in search.

Top tip 3 share your videos on Social Media

Once you have created your video share it on social media and ask people to share it if they like it.  If you have a blog embed the video in a blog post, pin it on to one of your boards if you are on Pinterest and tweet about it.  Sharing the link on your Facebook page is a good idea but might not get you as many click throughs, as Facebook prefer to show people Facebook Live videos or native video (video that is uploaded directly to Facebook).

Try tips 1 and 3 on your existing YouTube videos and all 3 tips on any new videos you create and see the number of views increase.

There is a lot more that you can do to increase the visibility of your YouTube videos, which I haven’t covered here and YouTube doesn’t have the most obvious navigation for finding how to do things, so if you would like an expert to help you then please do get in touch for one to one training with me.

5 Simple Steps to Create Eye Catching Images for Social Media

5-simple-steps-to-create-eye-catching-images-for-social-media

Creating your own images for social media helps you stand out from the crowd, yes it takes more time and thought than just searching for a stock image to use,  however I guarantee the images you create will get better results than using a stock image, that lots of other businesses may have used.

With so much information being shared on social media using images to catch people’s eye and tell them what they are going to get if they stop to read your post or click to read more is essential.

Here are my top 5 tips for creating images that get you and your business noticed:

1) Make sure the image is relevant to your post

Using an image that doesn’t relate to your post will get the wrong person clicking through, while you ideal clients scroll past because they don’t slow down long enough to read the text.

using images in social media

In the image above, which picture is going to get the right people to read the article?  Having the wrong people click through to your website causes a higher bounce rate on your site, as someone clicks the link and then leaves your site quickly because the article isn’t relevant to them.

In the first image I might be trying to stand out by being different and quirky, using the picture of my son’s Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon, hoping that people will get the build connection.  However being obvious gets the right people to click through or stop to read your post.

2) Add text to your image

Adding the blog title to an image will tell people what they are going to get if they stop to read your article.

adding text to images for social media

Now with the title text added to these 2 images the Lego Star Wars one is telling people what they get, so the click through rate and bounce rate will both improve.

3) Always add your website and business logo to images

Adding your website address and business logo to images is very important, as it builds brand awareness and if someone shares your image using a screenshot, people that see it will still be able to see your logo and website.

4) Optimise the sizes of your images for different social media sites

A square image will work on Facebook and Instagram, but it won’t look very good on Twitter and for Pinterest you want to create images that are portrait rather than landscape and for a blog post landscape works better than portrait.  This is why I use Canva.com to create images, as there are perfectly sized templates for different social media posts and headers.

square image optimised for Instagram

The above image has been designed to share on Instagram and Facebook.

5) Be consistent with colours and fonts

Being consistent with the colours and fonts you use in your images, will help people relate the image to your business.  I use the colours of blue, red and white in my images as these are the colours in my logo.  Using lots of different fonts in one image doesn’t look as good as only using 2 or 3 fonts.  If you aren’t sure about this have a look at images you like and count how many fonts they use.

There are lots of other details you can go into when creating images but these basics should help you create your own images for social media, quickly and easily.  I am not a graphic designer but these 5 tips have helped me create images for social media that people interact with.  I create all my own images for social media using a combination of stock images and my own photos taken using my mobile.

Do you create your own images for social media?

If you have found this useful then please share it with your colleagues and friends.

If you live in Lincolnshire I have a Creating images for Social Media masterclass on the 13th October, 6 – 8 pm at the Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa, email socialmedialincs@gmail.com to book a place.

Top 5 reasons for using Social Media Marketing to promote your local business

Are you using Social Media Marketing to promote your local business?

  • Do you have an independent shop or business on a high street of a town or village in the UK?
  • Do you want more people to come through the door of your shop or restaurant?
  • Do you have a business that serves local businesses?
  • Do you want an affordable way to market your business?

Lots of bricks and mortar businesses don’t have a good presence on social media and are missing a great way to get people to know about their business and to buy from them.  Whether it is because they think social media is only worth doing if you have a website or maybe they are too busy in their business to get the proper training.

There are many benefits of using social media marketing to promote your business, which I cover in another blog post What is Social Media Marketing? However, here are my top 5 reasons why your local business should be using social media marketing as part of your marketing strategy:

1) Social media helps you get found online

If you haven’t got a website then having good profiles on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will help people find your business, when they search for businesses similar to yours online.  If you have a website you can use social media sites to direct traffic back to your website.  Also when people search for your business online your social media profiles will appear as well as your website.

2) Use a business Facebook Page as your main online presence

Following on from my first point, if you don’t have a website you can use a Facebook business page to provide information you might have on a website such as contact details, opening times, special events that you are hosting etc.  Although I would always advise people to have their own website as that is where you have control of what you want to achieve online.

3) Tell people what products you stock

A well thought out Facebook page with good quality images of the products you sell or services you provide will communicate to prospective clients what you do.

Recently I was going into local businesses doing a leaflet drop and telling business owners about my business.  In the village that I was doing the leaflet drop there was a small health food shop, that I often walked past thinking I must pop in there one day, when I have time.  When I popped into this health food shop to tell them about my business, I found out that they stocked products I usually bought online, because I hadn’t found any other local Health Food shops that stocked them.  If this shop had a Facebook page and had a logo in the window saying they were on Facebook, I would have followed their page and found this out a lot sooner.

4) Keep loyal customers up to date

Facebook and Twitter are great tools for keeping your business in the mind of loyal customers, as long as your content is high quality and relevant to your customers they will love seeing your updates appear in their timeline.

5) Allow loyal customers to recommend you to their friends

One of the biggest advantages of social media is that happy loyal customers can easily tell their friends and family about your great business and products.

Another bonus to using social media marketing for your business is that it is highly likely that your competitors might not be using social media yet.

However, before you set up a Facebook page and Twitter profile for your business, I would advice you to get some quality training from a social media consultant like myself, as training from an expert will help you get quicker results from your social media marketing.   Also working with a social media consultant to formulate a social media marketing strategy for your business will help you save time, enable you to measure how well your social media is performing and whether it is getting the results you want for your business.

I also help my clients to think how their clients might search for what their business provides and give ideas on what content those clients might find useful and engage with.

Are you a bricks and mortar business that gets good results with social media marketing?  If you are a hotel or B and B you might find my post about using social media to promote your holiday accommodation useful.

Do you use images on Social Media and your Blog?

Using images on Social Media can help your posts be seen and help you to stand out.  Images are also crucial on your blog for both breaking up text and adding interest.

I use a selection of my own photos and stock images to create images with text on to use on Social Media and for blog post images.

Here are some of the images I have created.

It does not matter quote

The quote above was created using Pablo, using a stock image from the site.  You can also upload your own images to Pablo and add your own text.

Watch your thoughts quote

Above is a quote image I created using a stock image and Canva.com

The quote image below is a photo I took using my smart phone and then I have added the text using Canva.com

Do not go where the path leads quote

 

Learn to use Social Media graphic

This graphic was created using Canva and a stock image.

Do you create your images for your blog or do you use stock images?

What are your favourite tools for creating images?

My 5 Top Tips for Building a Twitter Following that Interact with you

My 5 top tips for building a Twitter following that interact with you

Building an engaged followers on Twitter

 

What is the difference between engaged followers on Twitter and followers on Twitter?  It can be the difference between being successful and getting results or just having an account on Twitter.  Anyone can increase the number of followers they have on Twitter easily (just go and follow other accounts) without paying money for a 1,000 followers, never ever do this as it is a waste of money and can do more harm than good.  Engaged users will interact with you either by retweeting your tweets or having a conversation with you, this will get you and your tweets seen by more people.  Also if you are seen to be chatting with people on Twitter it is more likely that other people will start conversations with you.  So here are my 5 top tips for building an engaged Twitter Following.

1) Complete your Twitter profile

Completing your Twitter profile is very important, so important that I have written a separate blog post all about it, Twitter Basics Part 1 – Profile.  Your profile should have a picture that is same as on other social media sites and the written bio which is 160 characters should include keywords that people might search for when looking for your services.  A header image that is either relevant to your business or tells people more about your business helps you stand out.  You need to give people information so they can easily decide that you are someone interesting to follow or that they already know you.

2) Follow other Twitter users that are active on Twitter

Follow other active Twitter users that you find interesting and that engage with people on Twitter.  If you only follow accounts that broadcast on Twitter, it is unlikely that they will see your tweets never mind interact with you.

3) Start a conversation

Rather than just following someone, start a conversation with them either about something they mention in their profile or something that they have tweeted about.  For example I might start a conversation with someone, who like me, mentions in their profile they like Dr Who.  If the recent Dr Who series is running I might ask what they thought to the latest episode or if not I might ask something more general like who is their favourite Dr.  This shows I have read their bio and we have something in common.

4) Get involved in a local networking hour hashtag

Find your local county networking hour hashtag and start chatting to people that are also using the hashtag or find a hashtag that is relevant to your business like #weddinghour and get involved in the conversation.  Don’t just tweet promotional tweets about what you do but have conversations with people and retweet relevant tweets.  Always check the etiquette for the hashtag, telling people in a tweet that you are new to the networking hour and asking if there is anything you need to know is a good way to start.  Then follow people from the networking hour and follow back anyone that follows you.

5) Share great relevant content in your tweets

Sharing great relevant content will get people following you, as we all like to follow people that share great content especially if it is relevant to what we are interested in.  Share a mixture of your own content along with retweeting other “expert’s” content and business’s content that you think your followers will be interested in.

What makes you engage with other Twitter users?

If you found this post useful or want to know more about how I get great results with Twitter check out my 30 days to Twitter Success.

The Basics of an All-Star LinkedIn Profile

The basics of an All Star LinkedIn Profile

Basics of an All-Star LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is a great social media site for business people, especially if your ideal clients are business owners.  Some people think of LinkedIn as just an online CV but it is far more powerful than that, it can be used to connect and have conversations with the decision makers in businesses.  I use LinkedIn to connect with people I have met at networking events and stay in contact between networking events.  Also if you are an employee it can be a great way to find a new job.

To get LinkedIn to work for your business you need to have a great profile and have all the basics in place, so that when you send connection invitations and people look at your profile they see you as a professional and expert in your field, not someone who is just on LinkedIn.  You also need to use LinkedIn in the correct way, LinkedIn isn’t Facebook for business, the content you share on LinkedIn should be high quality and relevant to the field you work in.

Basics of a LinkedIn Profile

1) Photograph

This should be a recent professional head and shoulders photograph, not a selfie taken in the bathroom.  The photo should be an accurate representation of you now, so that when someone meets you they recognise you.  If you can’t afford a professional headshot then ask friends to see if any of them are good at taking pictures or ask at a local college to see if any of the students would be able to help.

Jackie Elton LinkedIn Profile

My profile with a recent professional head and shoulders picture and a Headline using keywords

2) Headline

The headline is very important and is 110 characters, this should tell people what you do and how you help your clients, owner/director at my business name is not the best use of those 110 characters.  Ensure you use keywords that your ideal clients will be searching for when looking for the services you offer.

3) Summary

The summary should expand on what you put in your headline and be used to tell people how you help your clients and what key skills and experience you have.  You can add images and video to your profile in the summary section to give more information and break up the text.

4) Experience

In the experience section list relevant positions and jobs starting out with your current business and then following on with previous jobs and companies that you have worked for. Under each position list key skills and achievements for that job, you can add images and video for each job as well.

Experience section on LinkedIn

5) Skills and endorsements

In this area you can list your main skills and your connections can then leave an endorsement for those skills they have experience of.  Some people leave endorsements for people in the hope that people will return the favour.  Although I think there is more significance in people giving you a recommendation, it still looks good if you have a number of endorsements from people, also by giving endorsements your picture will be seen as an endorsement on the profile of the person you endorsed.

Getting these 5 basic elements of your profile looking good will mean your profile will look professional when people visit it and people should want to connect with you.  If you want help developing your LinkedIn profile and creating a strategy to get leads from LinkedIn, please get in touch.

How to use Lists on Twitter

How to use Lists on Twitter

Twitter Lists are a great way to be more strategic on Twitter and have lots of different uses, however most people don’t know about them or how to use them.  It is never too early to start using Twitter lists, in fact the sooner you start using lists the better.

On Twitter I try to keep my following/follower ratio as close to 1:1 as I can, when you have been on Twitter for a while and are following lots of accounts, your Twitter feed can become quite cluttered with all the different tweets, so wouldn’t it be good if there was a way to filter that Twitter feed.  Well there is and that is where Twitter lists come in.

There are 2 types of lists, public and private:

  • Public lists can be seen by anyone, when you add an account to a list, that account will get a notification to tell them you have added them to a list and what the list is called.  Anyone can also subscribe to your public lists.
  • Private lists can only be seen by you and when you add an account to a private list, they will not get a notification saying they have been added to a private list.

Lists can be used to organise who you follow so you may have lists for different local areas or subjects or lists of experts that tweet great content.  Having a look at other people’s list can help find people to follow either local to you or that have similar interests to you.

How to Create Lists

How to Create Twitter Lists

Click on your Twitter picture next to the blue tweet button and then click lists.

Twitter Lists

If you click “Member of” you will see the lists that people have added you to.  The first 2 lists in the image below are Private lists as they have a padlock next to them.

How to use twitter lists

 

Now click Create new list.  A list can either be public so anyone can see who is on the list or private (it has a padlock next to it)

Create new list

Give your list a name and decide whether to make the list public or private, then save the list. To add accounts to your list, go to the profile of the account you want to add and click the cog next to the following button, then select Add or remove from lists and choose the list you want to add them to.

Adding an account to a list

If an account has any public lists you will see lists next to likes on their profile.  When using lists   you can either view the members of a list or the tweets by the people on the list.

It is useful once you have set up your lists, to get in the habit of adding accounts to specific lists when you follow them.

Unfortunately it is not possible to send a Direct Message or Tweet to all the people on a list, although I think this would be a very useful function.

Starting to use Lists on Twitter can help you save time and get more strategic, if you would like to find out how I can help you get better results with Twitter or other Social Media sites please get in touch.  Or you might be interested in my 30 days to Twitter Success course which you can find out more about in my Social Media Services section.

What is Social Media Marketing ?

What is Social Media Marketing

What is Social Media Marketing?

When I searched for “What is Social Media Marketing?” in Google the first result I got was this definition from Wikipedia.org, which is a simple description of Social Media Marketing.  In this article I will tell you what I think Social Media Marketing is, the benefits of Social Media Marketing for your business, some common mistakes that some businesses make and how to avoid them.

What is Social Media Marketing?

I think this definition is part of the reason why more businesses don’t use social media marketing, as it seems to be saying that it is for businesses that have a website and are based online, I believe all businesses can use social media to increase awareness of their business from small independent shops in villages and towns to large businesses.

Social media marketing should be part of every business’s marketing strategy.  Social media should be a part of your marketing whether you have a website or not,  and for those businesses that don’t have a website, it is essential to have a good presence on social media so that people can find your business if they search online.

Social media marketing uses various different social media sites to promote your business and services to other businesses, existing clients and prospective customers via two way communication.  Social media marketing should not be used to just broadcast your promotional updates, special offers and buy now messages.  You need to be sharing quality content and information that is so useful or entertaining to your customers and ideal clients, that they share it on their favourite social media networks recommending your business or products to their friends, family and followers, thereby amplifying your marketing for you.

Benefits of Social Media Marketing

Here are some of the benefits to social media marketing:

  • You are in control of what content you share and in what format that goes out.  For example if you share some marketing content and the results for that content aren’t good, then you can change it and try something different, without having to wait till you can change an advert in a magazine or on the radio.
  • Social media marketing is one of the most affordable ways to market your business and products, if you learn how it works and how to do it well.
  • You can use social media marketing even if you don’t have a website.  In fact a well thought out Facebook business page can be used to provide some of the information you would have on a website such as opening times, contact details, address, products and services you provide etc.
  • Social media marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness and connect with other businesses and ideal clients.

Is your Social Media Marketing on track

Common mistakes businesses make with social media marketing:

  • They assume that just because their business isn’t on social media that nobody will be talking about their business on social media, big mistake.  People could be talking about your business, you just don’t know what they are saying, whether it is good or bad.
  • Businesses do not have a social media strategy, they don’t know what their goals are or what to measure to see if they are meeting those goals.
  • Being on the wrong social media site for their business
  • Being on lots of social media sites but not doing any of them well or strategically
  • Broadcasting their business message rather than having two way conversations with their followers
  • Automating everything and not ever being on social media
  • Sharing mediocre content rather than original top quality content that stands out
  • Having a social media strategy but not integrating it with the business’s main marketing plan

There are many other mistakes businesses make on social media but most mistakes can be avoided by getting appropriate training and having a social media marketing strategy in place.

If you would like to work with me to create a social media strategy for your business or you would like training on a certain social media site please get in touch via my contacts page.