How to Use Instagram Live

How to Use Instagram LiveYou may have noticed that Instagram is adding more and more features that will help you tell your story in different ways. Once these features is live video, which allows you to connect with your audience in real time. But, how do you use it?

 

How to Start a Live Broadcast

To start a live video, you need to tap on the “Your Story” profile photo at the top of your feed. This takes you into your Instagram Stories and gives you three options:

  1. Live – video that appears after the broadcast ends
  2. Normal – photo or video that disappears in 24 hours
  3. Boomerang – time-lapse video created from a burst of photos

Use your finder to slide over to Live to get started. Be sure you’ve checked your settings before you go live. To do this, tap on the settings gear icon at the top left of the screen. Check these settings to make sure your live video will get the most exposure.

Once you have all of that in order, it’s time to go live! Tap on “Start Live Video” to begin your broadcast. Once your video starts, your audience will be notified that you’re live.

Manage Your Broadcast

Now that you’re live, it’s time to take a look at how you’re performing. You can see the number of viewers and the users who have joined your video. You can even start conversations by starting and replying to comments. This is a great way to get and keep your audience engaged with you.

Want to see how long you’ve been broadcasting live? Tap on the “Live” button at the top left and it’ll show you the length of your broadcast. To see the number of viewers, tap on the button to the right of the “Live” button.

Ending Your Broadcast

When you’re done with your broadcast, simply tap on the end button in the top right corner of the screen. From there, Instagram will show you your analytics on that video, which is the number of viewers. Instagram doesn’t show any analytics from previous stories or live videos so be sure to screen shot this screen. This will help you see how you’re performing with your live broadcasts over time.

Uses for Instagram Live

Now that you know how to go live on Instagram, why would you? There are a number of ways to use this feature in your business, including but not limited to:

Instagram is really making progress and it’s time to take advantage of it. Video is essential to your digital marketing mix so record away. Go live about your brand and what it represents. If you would like to learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love, and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

How to Back Up Your Social Media Content

How to Back Up Your Social Media ContentIt’s wise to make back ups of everything, including your social media content. It’s valuable to your marketing efforts so don’t risk losing it. Social media is always changing and you never know when or if a network will be available. Here’s how you can back up your content.

Save Your Content

I always recommend writing blog posts in Word instead of writing them directly on your website. This accomplishes a couple of things: 1) you get to draft, proof, and edit without making changes to your website, and 2) it creates a back up of your post. Your back up can be saved locally on your machine or in the cloud. Be sure to use a consistent naming convention for these back ups so that you know the title of the piece and where it was published. For example, your filename could be LinkedIn Publisher – Title of Piece – Publish Date.

Back Up Mobile Videos

Whether the video was for Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, or YouTube, it’s important to save a copy after you publish it. Facebook Live allows you to save a copy, depending on the app you use. Instagram and Snapchat also allow you to save your stories. These videos can be used elsewhere and backing them up means you don’t have to spend time searching for them.

Capture Testimonials

This is very important for your business because testimonials can be used for a number of marketing efforts. Be sure to screenshot your testimonials/reviews placed on social media so that you have a copy and can use them in other marketing materials. Jing and Open Screenshot are great programs to use to capture your testimonials.

Download Profiles and Pages

Did you know that you can download a copy of your Facebook data? You can download your data from your personal profile and Facebook will email you when your file is ready. You can do the same thing with your Facebook business/fan page. Twitter will also allow you to download a copy of your entire Tweet history as well as LinkedIn.

Don’t let your social media content get lost, back it up today and you’ll save yourself a lot of worry in the future. Backing up your marketing materials is essential to the progress of your business. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

3 Ways to Recycle Popular Social Media Posts

3 Ways to Recycle Popular Social Media PostsSome of your social media content performs better than others and it only makes sense that you’d want to recycle it on other platforms. How can you do that across the various networks?

 

 

Find Your Popular Posts

Each network offers analytics on your content so you can see how it’s performing. To find your popular posts, you’ll need to check each network, as follows:

• Facebook: Insights and click on posts
• Twitter: Analytics dashboard to find top tweets
• Instagram: No built-in analytics but several third-party tools are available, such as Iconosquare

To determine your most popular posts, look for those that have the most engagement. Once you’ve narrowed them down, use the tips below to recycle your content.

Pin Your Top Instagram Photo

Your Instagram content can be pinned to various Pinterest boards to gain extra traffic. You can do this by uploading the popular Instagram photo to your website and pin it. It’s important to pin it directly from your website so that it links back to your page. Be sure to edit the description to make it catchy.

Repurpose Tweets as Graphics

Many popular tweets are stand-alone text quotes, which means its super easy to recycle them. You can add the quote to an appropriate image and tweet it again. Or, you can also use the text quote again and simply add a photo that goes with it. Make sure your image is the correct size for Twitter. If you need help with this, you can use Canva, Adobe Spark, or another image tool to help you choose the correct size.

Turn a Popular Facebook Post into a Blog Post or Video

The Facebook posts that get the most engagement are generally longer posts about opinions, research, or inspiration. If you have a post like that, you might consider turning that post into a blog post. You can then turn your written blog post into a video, which will further increase your traffic.

It’s important to recycle your most popular social media content to gain more traffic. You’ll also increase your SEO and generate more visibility for your brand. You may just increase your leads, too! For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact me today.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

How to Create an Instagram Style for Your Brand

How to Create an Instagram Style for Your BrandInstagram is a great way to show off your brand to millions of users. How? How do you create a style for your brand to attract your target audience? It all begins with a well-planned strategy for your visuals.

 

 

1. Be Consistent

Building your brand means brand recognition and continuity. You automatically recognize Nike because of the “swoosh” logo. Your brand must be treated the same way. It represents your business, what you do, who you are. Being consistent with your brand increases recognition and continuity, making it easily visible to your target audience.

It’s important to be consistent with your brand by way of using the same fonts, color scheme and logo. You want your audience to immediately be able to identify your brand just by looking at a photo. Since Instagram is a photo-sharing network, this is the perfect avenue to create your signature branding and duplicate it on other networks.

2. Your Signature Filter

Instagram filters make the photos you share look just a bit different, and each filter creates a different effect. You want to create a cohesive look to your photos on Instagram so be sure to be consistent with the type of filter you use. For example, if you like the way the Lark filter makes your photos look, use that filter on most of your photos.

This doesn’t mean you have to always use that filter, however. But, you should use that filter for the majority of your photos. In keeping with the current aesthetic, limit yourself to only a few similar filters so that your audience doesn’t stray.

3. Photo Collages

If you have more than one image you’d like to share, create a photo collage instead of flooding Instagram with individual photos. Collages are great for how-to content or anything that involves a few simple steps. If how-to content doesn’t fit with your business, don’t worry. You can also use collages to tell a story about an event, a milestone, or anything that happens in your business.

4. Tell a Story

Instagram now allows you to record 3- to 60-second videos so that your audience can get an inside glimpse of your business and what you do. Video is a very important component of your marketing mix. In fact, 85% of people who watch videos are more likely to purchase a product. Furthermore, it’s estimated that 80% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2019. You don’t want to miss out on that!

Because Instagram is often overlooked by businesses, you have a great opportunity to get in front of your competitors. Don’t think you can do this yourself? Not a problem. Contact me today for your consultation to learn how I can help you create the Instagram strategy your brand needs.

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
Amanda Brazel

13 Ways to Supercharge Your Instagram Marketing BIG-TIME!

superchargeINI LOVE INSTAGRAM Marketing! It’s by far my favorite social network. It’s the first network I check every morning after kissing my husband, hugging my kids and making my first cup of coffee.

I’ve developed amazing friendships with people I’ve never met, I’ve forged partnerships, and have also connected with other colleagues in my niche that have helped my business.  In addition to business, I’ve found great products that I’ve bought and honestly I would never have found those products otherwise. So, simply put…I LOVE Instagram. I love Instagram as a business owner and I love Instagram as a consumer. It’s easy to use and it’s so much fun especially when you use it in a manner that really serves your followers as well as your business.

So, here are some pretty awesome tips that are going to help you super charge your Instagram marketing.

1. Create a Dynamite Bio That Grabs Attention:  I know you’ve heard it before, but still I see so many folks with out a great bio. Your bio is valuable real estate that tells folks about who you are, what you like and/or what your business is about. This is basically your message to the world, expressing why they should follow and connect with you.

Personally, I use my Instagram account for personal and business together. I post many personal photos in order to let people get to know the real me and I mix in my work with inspiration and helpful information that serves others.

Here is an image that reflects how to create a dynamite bio that really grabs attention. Again, YOUR bio should speak about what YOU want it to reflect. This is also something you can change. I’ve changed my bio many times. I enjoy changing it up and bit and find it fun, especially as my likes and new hobbies change. So, play around with it. Make sure you use the extra bolded text and note that it’s NOT a repeat of my name. It’s what I do and my profile user name is my personal name. I also use emoticans to have fun (I love to have fun) and they make, what you LOVE stand out. Remember, people will follow you based on what you love. Like attracts like.

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2. Exercise Patience & Don’t Start Inviting Followers After First Setting Up Your Account: Instagram will ask you right away to start inviting folks to follow you, but I recommend you wait and have patience. You can do it later once you are all set up and ready to go. Remember first impressions only happen once and first impressions matter.

So, understand that there are many steps that you will need to set up before you invite followers. Again, first impressions only happen ONCE!

a. As I said above, you need to create your dynamite bio. Make sure you have your secondary name that is different from your profile name and be sure to list our what you love and what you do. There are many many ways to make your BIO stand out. Take time to look at other popular folks that have very large followings on Instagram to get ideas.

b. Then you want to take several photos in order to make sure that when folks see your profile they know immediately what they will be seeing from you if they decide to follow you. Again, first impressions only happen once!  ***One note here that is very important…as the amazing Instagram expert Jenn Herman says, “A picture says a thousand words – so what do you want your Instagram photos to say? What do you want your Instagram message to be?”  I recommend you read her blog post about creating your photos around what you want your Instagram message to be. You DO NOT just want to start taking photos and throwing them up without any thought or strategy.

3. Follow Your Competition:  It’s a great and wise move to follow your competition or the power houses in your industry or niche. This was you can connect with them, learn from them as well as praise them. Social Media can be very generous and even though it may be your competition…in many situations they may even share your content or products. So, don’t be afraid to follow and praise your competition.

4. Repost or Share Photos with Repost App: Download Repost App on your smartphone. This will allow you to easily repost other Instagram followers photos and share them with your audience. Of course this will get the attention of the person’s content you’ve shared. This can do wonders for your business. As I said earlier, Social Media can be very generous when practiced authentically and ethically. This only helps your business and brand when you recognize and celebrate others.

Download the Repost App to your smart phone and then connect it to your Instagram account. From there you can repost photos easily. It’s like sharing on Facebook or Retweeting on Twitter. This credits the person’s photo and allows their followers to learn more about their business or person you are reposting.

Here is a repost of Woof Gang Bakery here in our local community. I love dogs and I love helping local businesses grow!

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5. Manage Your Followers: Download one or both of these apps, Insta Followers or Followers. These are paid for apps and they will help you manage your followers. Many folks will start following you just to see if you will follow them back and once you do follow them, they will then quickly unfollow you. So, these apps help you unfollow those folks that are just looking to gain followers but not have a reciprocal relationship. The other purpose for this app is overall manage who you are following or not following as well as other helpful information. Have fun investigating and playing around with them.

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6.  Be Creative: Stage your photos, declutter spaces, and pretend to be a photographer (if you’re not one). People LOVE high quality photos and now with smart phones and fun Instagram filters you can make photos look amazing. I always LOVE looking at Shane Barker’s foodie photos and he’s not even a chef or a photographer. Oh, he makes them look so mouth watering.

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7. Be You: #BEYOU – Kim Garst says it best with her new book. It’s so important to be yourself, be authentic and be genuine with who you are on Instagram as well as other social media platforms. People will be attract to YOU naturally. Remember LIKE attracts LIKE and many people like to follow someone for a while before they become more invested in them. They want to see the REAL YOU before they buy a product, but once they do get to know you, they start to love you, trust you and become loyal to you.

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8: Grow Your Followers Super Fast: This is my #1 tip for growing on Instagram super fast.Typically what I do is find someone that I love to follow that also works in my niche and has a much larger following than I do and then I take a good peek at who they are following and who follows them.  I go through their fans and then pick and choose who I want to follow and connect with.

So, for example…let’s say that you have a small company that sells children’s clothing online. If I were you I would look up other very popular complimentary businesses that have huge followings like Zulily, Hanna Andersson or the like. Then look at who is following that business.  Click on their name, scroll through their photos, like several of them (be genuine) and then give them a follow too.

What happens is your Instagram profile will GET NOTICED because you gave them 3-5 likes on their photos and followed them. If they love children’s clothing and they like your style, than chances are they will start following you too. BAM!  Do this little by little everyday and you will have a massive following before you know it.

(Now, one thing you definitely DO NOT WANT TO DO…is write a comment to them plugging your clothing and telling them to check you out…that is called SPAM and feels so ICKY.) Be casual, be genuine and like what you like.  Believe me, if you have cute clothing and a great business people will want to follow you and ultimately buy from you as well. Hopefully you get my point here. If you want to learn even more than I recommend you read about my other blog post called: Grow FAST On Instagram With These 6 Tips.

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9. Tag Big Brands & Get More Fans: It’s simple. Tag BIG brands in your photos here like Dear Lillie did and get new fans when those big brands repost your photo and give you a HUGE shout out. Make sure you are following that brand or person first, then you can tag them. ***Note, don’t be obnoxious about this. Be genuine and use it on occasion, otherwise this could back fire and annoy them. For example, I tagged the famous Kim Garst in this blog post and on Instagram, but now if I did that everyday I think I would start to irritate her and begin to look like a spammer.

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10. Grow Your Email List: In my opinion, building your email list is still the best way to sell your services and products. My husband and I have been working with Internet businesses since 1998 and guess what…EMAIL is still the most effective way to bring in sales. So, take it from Sue B Zimmerman, another instafabulous Instagram expert and show off your opt in page and entice your fans to sign up to receive helpful information about your business. This is a perfect example of how to do it well.

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11. Ask Fans to Photograph Your Product, Post it to Their Profile and Use Your Special Made Up Hashtag: For example, here I am! Glowbio chose to feature my photo after I bought their product and featured it on my Instagram profile with hashtag #GGS (short for Glowing Green Smoothie.) I LOVE their products and buy them several times a year. I actually even found them on Instagram.  I always feel so refreshed after I do a cleanse with Glow Bio.

However, that aside, this is a great way to get more exposure for your brand, bring more followers on board and even sell more products when you ask your fans to show off your product on their own profile.

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12.  Announce Your Blog Posts: Get more folks over to your blog by posting a photo of it and letting them know where to find it. People especially liked the candles in the background here, so have fun with it and be creative.

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13. Get Personal: Share behind the scenes or get personal about who you are or what your business is doing. It’s just like celebrities.  People love to see them dressed down with their Starbucks or shopping at the farmers market. So, show your personal side and let people in…even with BIG personal surprises like this one. Someone has a baby bump and her name is Jenn Herman. Jenn is an Instagram expert too, so if you are not following her I recommend you do!  She is instafantastic!

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So, start getting creative and having fun with  your Instagram marketing. Have fun, get creative and learn more!

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read this post and if you have a tip that can help other super charge their Instagram Marketing, please share it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.

#workwithamanda

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda

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7 Common Instagram Mistakes With Solid Solutions.

Instagram, Amanda BrazelThere are many ways you can use your business on Instagram. However, there are also many ways you can easily turn people off so they do not want to follow you, which means they obviously will NOT want to do business with you either. This is where some mistakes happen that you can easily avoid. 

Mistake 1. Your account is private, but you are also using it for business: Often I receive a new follower on Instagram. They interact with me, like several of my photos and they ‘may’ even have a great bio about who they are. However, their profile is private. This to me is a big and obvious mistake. I don’t want to follow someone that has a ‘private business’ unless there is some super duper cool reason to have a ‘private only business’.  The truth of the matter is, I can’t REALLY see what you are all about. Photos say 1000 words and if I can’t see any then you really have nothing to say to me at that moment and I quickly move on. Solution: So, if you have a private Instagram account and want to use it for business I recommend that you make is public.  

Mistake 2. You have way too many selfies: Oh the inundated profile with selfies. I am going to be blunt here, but you are not Kim Kardashian.  I don’t want to follow Joe Smith’s selfie show.  I mean don’t get me wrong…I love a good selfie now and again, but selfie after selfie after selfie shouts a very specific message and in my opinion it’s just not a positive one. You are saying LOOK AT ME!  I AM SO IMPORTANT!  You are important, but what you offer others is more important. So, think before you post selfie after selfie. Solution: Wait a bit before you post selfie after selfie and once you become Kim or Kanye, then you can post as many as you like and I am sure your fans will just love it!  Use selfie’s sparingly. I’d say 1 for ever 20 or 30 photos.

Mistake 3. You are only interested in selling and not relationships: Yes, I get the follower that pops over to my profile likes a bunch of my photos, follows me and then when I pop over to peek at their photos I see wrap after wrap (to of course remove my fat & cellulite), or I see how make money easy, or another networking marketing opportunity. This to me is a HUGE turn off and what you are telling me is that you are only interested in ONE THING..SELLING. You are not interested in posting quality photos, you are not interested in telling a story about who you are and what you do.  You are interested in one thing…my money and that is of no interest to me. Instagram is so much more than that. Solution: Build relationships with people and make your profile more about you and your life. Then every once in a while and I mean every one in a while wiggle in what you do for a living by talking about it’s benefits, as well as demonstrating it with short videos as well as photos.

Mistake 4. You have no or very few photos: Now this just might be naïveté, but before you start attempting to grow your followers on Instagram, It’s hard to follow someone that is brand new, barely has any followers and has only 1 or 2 photos that don’t tell me enough about who you are and what you represent. Solution: I highly recommend you post a variety of about 10-15 photos first. That at least gives any potential new followers a chance to see what you are all about. 

Mistake 5. You have no bio: This goes along with mistake number 4….please, please, please complete your bio, especially before you start inviting others to follow you or trying to grow your fans.. Please tell us about yourself…what do you love, what do you like, what do you do, and what type of photos can we expect to see. This is so important. This is basically very valuable real estate and it should be utilized to the fullest. Solution: For example, I use my Instagram account for business and personal use. I like to build relationships with people and I share photos from my entire life. So, my bio lists what I do as well as things I love, like: coffee, dobermans, my family, Hilton Head Island and it also describes my personality a bit too. This helps people get a quick glimpse into who I am and let’s face it…these days you really only have a few seconds to grab the attention of others. So, make the most of it and feel free to change it up. My likes change over time, so I update it to reflect what I am up to. It’s not written in stone and perfection is not required either. 

Mistake 6. You’re selling fake Instagram followers:  This is just so obvious to me. First of all, do not sell fake followers EVER. These are HORRIBLE practices on Instagram and if you are doing this, you will be quickly reported as spam and your account will be removed. The other mistakes is that you might be tempted to buy or have bought fake Instagram followers. Solution: If you are doing this, find a better way to make money. Part two of this solution is  NEVER buy fake followers. It says so much about you and is completely obvious when you barely have any comments or double taps on your posts. Grow yourself organically and if you want to learn how then please check out my blog post that has been shared more than 2000 times. It will help you grow super fast. Lastly, please report any spam to Instagram. They are very diligent about keeping Instagram a wholesome social network that sticks to it’s routes. 

Mistake 7. You come across as glib by only writing one word comments: I notice lately that when I get a slew of new followers they double tap many of my photos and then they write one glib comment like cool, nice or amazing on one photo. Of course this gets my attention and I am curious as to who they are, but I am now feeling like they are this rote robot…just trolling for new fans to follow them and it no longer feels authentic or my best interest to follow them back 

So, let’s think about this in a different way…let’s say you want to make more friends. Your friend tells you something about their life like a new kitten they just brought home or they share a very insightful bit of advice (in this case they are telling you in a photograph on Instagram) and you just respond with nice, or cool and walk away.  Now my question becomes, how strong do you think that relationship with be? Do you think they will feel ‘REALLY’ important to you or that you are ‘REALLY’ interested in them? Probably not. It just makes you sound glib and it makes it obvious that you are just looking for a new follower based on a strategy you were taught. So, instead of writing the short blurb…write something more meaningful and substantial.  It’s better to be more expressive, genuine and conversational as well as, double tap photos you REALLY like.

The truth is the cream in business always rises to the top and wins the day.  Use best practices when it comes to Instagram and your business will sore. Be genuine, be authentic, have integrity and you will build a wonderful loyal community. It is a fabulous platform for sure!!!

Do you need help with your Instagram marketing? Feel free to reach out with questions below and I am happy to answer them for you.

#learnfromamanda #becomeyourbest

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda
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Improve Your Social Media Marketing by Answering These 11 Uncommon Questions.

Amanda Brazel, Social Media MarketingSocial Media Marketing is a remarkable tool that has radially changed the way we do business and marketing. However, I find after talking to business owners on a daily basis there is still a great deal of confusion. So, I’ve put a list of 11 questions I recommend you honestly ask yourself and seriously consider the answers as you either tweak your social media strategy or clearly define your strategy before you dive in.

So, here we go!

1. Do you have a clear concise message that can be easily understood in a matter of seconds? In today’s world things are moving at a very fast pace and you only seconds to communicate your message to your potential clients on your website as well as your social media channels. Before you embark on your social media marketing make sure you are clear about what your message is or ask your social media manager to help you create one. This might be your tagline, or a quick and fast description that speaks from the customer’s perspective. For example, ‘A Modern Psychiatry and Psychotherapy Practice for Adolescents and Adults That Focuses on Exceptional Patient Care.’

2. Is your website easy to navigate and user friendly? Your website’s overall appearance and presence is essential to your success for your SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING. It’s like building a restaurant. Your website is like the restaurant and your potential customers are expecting a certain look, feel, and of course quality food and service. Make sure your website conveys the right image for your business and brand before you invest in social media marketing.  Social Media Marketing does many things for your business. One aspect that your website helps with is by driving traffic to your website and if your website is out-dated, hard to navigate or if folks can’t even understand what you offer…folks will leave quickly and all that time and energy into your social media marketing goes to waste.

3. Is your product or service in demand? Here is a little story to illustrate this point. I was helping a woman that was selling beaded jewelry. Unfortunately, she could not understand that the quality of her jewelry was not in high demand, nor were they priced in such a way that she could ever make significant money from her time and efforts. So, it is really important to take a good look at what you are selling and make sure it’s it’s in demand and meets the needs of your potential client or customer base.

4. Is your product or service highly competitive and if so, what makes your service or product stand out? There are many markets out there that are just saturated and this makes it hard to compete. For example, Mortgage Brokers, Real Estate Agents, Therapists, Insurance Agents, Avon Representatives, Mary Kay Representatives, Essential Oil Representatives, Health Coaches etc. This means your service, brand personality or product will REALLY need to stand out from your competition otherwise your social media presence will just be added to the noise and overlooked.  It’s VITAL and CRUCIAL that you use your creativity, think outside the box and utilize the many tools at your exposure to promote yourself and your personality. The ideas for using social media to grow your business and expand are endless, when you get creative and strategize.

5. Why should consumers work with you or buy your product as opposed to your competitor? It’s important to be crystal clear why people should work with you over others. This should be obvious and evident on your website as well as your social media marketing.  How can this be obvious; your social media marketing is highly active and engaging, you respond to your fans/audience promptly, you have 5 or 5 star reviews on multiple social media websites, the language on your website uses benefit language and again comes from their perspective and not yours.

6. Do you have a marketing budget? Every business should have a marketing budget?  You MUST market your business in order to bring in new business. If you don’t have a marketing budget then you have to get what I like to call your hustle on. I’ve done it before and I’ve created a very successful business from nothing, so I know it can be done and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Once you get your hustle on, grow and have revenue coming in a portion of that revenue must go to your marketing budget. Now, if you have a marketing budget already, that is great! It’s said that your marketing budget should be 20% or more of your revenue. Now, if you know me…one of my mottos is that “Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it must be effective.” You can market for a $1.00 a day on Facebook. That might not be much, but for that little a day you can still increase your reach and grow your fan base. So, learn how to market effectively and invest in your business. It’s vital to your increased success.

7. What other forms of marketing have you implemented besides social media? Social Media Marketing is a must in today’s day, however it is definitely recommended that you have 6-10 different marketing channels feeding your sales funnel at all times. Don’t ever put all of your marketing energy and money into one basket. Many business owners did that with Facebook and then once Facebook started their pay to play policy folks found their main funnel for marketing plummeted and they found there revenue dropped by half or more. So, diversify your marketing and don’t put all of your eggs into social media marketing.

8. What are your goals for social media marketing and how will you measure your success? The key here is to define what you consider to be success FOR YOU! It’s different for everyone. Some people expect an immediate ROI.  Some people want a HUGE following.  Some want both etc. If you do not define what success means to you and your business it can drive you crazy. So, define what success means to you and be realistic. There is a lot more to social media then just making immediate sales in my professional opinion. It’s developing a loyal following through the right branding, strategies and offerings. It’s driving traffic to your website. It’s improving your SEO. It’s establishing yourself as an authority in your niche and so much more.

9. Do you know what a social media marketing manager’s role is? Many business owners don’t quite understand the role of a social media manager and they expect this person to be responsible for SALES and so much more. For example, I had a recent potential client reach out to me about Instagram marketing. I had to explain to them that as their social media Instagram Marketing Manager I am responsible for managing their Instagram Marketing, engaging with their fans, growing their fan base, creating dynamite giveaways and contest campaigns as well as using tried and true strategies that generate more interest as well as leads to their website. However, the part a social media manager can not control is what your website looks like, how fast or long it takes your customers to receive the products they order, and your social media manager definitely has no control over the quality of the products or customer service on your end. So, as you can see there are MANY aspects of business that make it successful or not and your social media manager only has so much control. They have to do their job/part when it comes to knowing what strategies work and how to market, but you as the business owner also have to do your part.

10. Are you looking to use social media ONLY as a way to receive an immediate ROI or do you understand the long term benefits of a social media presence? The truth is that social media marketing definitely serves as a way to drive more traffic to your website as I mentioned earlier. It’s just like Google Ad Words, however social media marketing can do so much more that Ad Words or Print Ads can not do. It’s about developing strong and loyal relationships with your followers and fans. Showing your fans how you handle problems or obstacles (which do happen) and the better you handle it, the the more loyal they’ll be. I like to look at social media in this way for smaller businesses. In many cases it is just like as if your business was a small celebrity or music band. They have a following and that should always be in the back of your mind as you are creating strategies and running campaigns as well as posting content on your social media profiles. Your fans are what drive sales and your business success.

11.  Do you understand each social media platform and which one your business should be present on? Again, I love talking to business owners and I also get a giggle about what they say to me. Often times their friends have told them something or the business owner has made their own conclusions about social media based on barely using it personally. Sometimes they are partially right, but usually they have a lot to learn. So, before you dive in yourself…think about hiring a consultant, have them examine your business and speak to you about your goals before you embark on diving in. This can save you a great deal of wasted time, money and energy. It’s vital to understand your resources as well as what platforms will give you the most for your time, money and effort.

Please feel free to ask me any questions or reach out to me via email for a one-on-one consultation if you feel that will serve your best interest.  You can reach me at clientcare@amandabrazel.com

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda
Amanda Brazel, Digital Marketing, Social Media

 

3 Killer Secrets That Drive Crazy Traffic to Your Website!

154081787I love Twitter for so many reasons and one big reason I love Twitter is that it is a great resource for driving traffic to your website.  Here are my 3 killer secrets that work like magic and will drive crazy traffic to your website.

Killer Secret #1. Post 12-14 times per day. I know that might make your hair stand on end, but it’s the truth. Facebook is like the suburbs and Twitter is like the city. It moves super fast and if you are only posting a few times a day you are not going to get noticed at all.  With that said, those tweets do not have to always be your own content, but at least 80% of it should be. My tweets consist of blog articles I write, blog articles from others as well as inspiration for my audience.  Mix it up, plan it out and you will have much better success.

Killer Secret #2. Get Noticed. In order to get noticed on Twitter you have to stand out and that means using photos in your tweets (not all the time), but make sure you use Twitter sized photos throughout your day in order to get your blog articles noticed, clicked on, read and then retweeted. Photos work like a charm because ultimately visuals rule in social media. Humans like eye candy and it grabs our attention especially in the busy city of Twitter.

Killer Secret #3. Build Relationships. The only way to really make it in business is by building win-win relationships and that is also true of social media marketing. Find other folks that you love to follow in your niche and share their work. More than likely they will reciprocate and you will get a lot more retweets. Strong relationships are key.

Now in order to drive more traffic to your website you must create your own content that is actually on your website. You obviously don’t want to only share content that other people create all thetime, so if you do not have a blog start creating them. You also want to create content that people really want and need. So, think like your fans and create content that will help improve their life. You will be glad you did!

Have any other questions about the big city Twitter? Please feel free to ask below and I am happy to answer them for you.

Cheers, Love & Success,
Amanda Brazel

Amanda Brazel

 

4 Ways to Humanize Your Social Media Marketing Approach!

177002246There is nothing better than relating to other humans in a genuine, kind, and honest way on and off line.

So, here are 4 ways to humanize your social media marketing approach that will help set you apart from your competition as well as create a more loyal following.

1. Be Real: It’s important to be yourself and show the real you on Social Media. This is far more powerful than trying to be someone else. So, be authentic, don’t lie and show your audience the real you.

2. Be Honest: Don’t hold back or be afraid to share some personal stories that make you look vulnerable. It’s okay to share your struggles and challenges with your audience. This significantly humanizes you and draws your fans in. People want to work with people that are real human beings. You don’t have to tell your deepest darkest secrets if you don’t want to, but take a page from Oprah’s book on this one. She is pretty honest about her life and that creates strong loyalty among her fans.

3. Be an Inspiration: There is a saying, either your life is a cautionary tale or an story of inspiration. Be an inspiration to others. Show people that you can still be happy amidst challenging times, inspire others to live a healthier, happier and more meaningful life by leading the way through example.

4. Be Consistent: Get clear about what your mission is and be consistent. This will help you brand your business and be more recognizable. For example, I offer social media and web design services but I am also known for uplifting and encouraging business owners. This is something I do consistently. So, no matter what your brand identity is…be consistent with what you share. This makes you even more believable and when you have something to share that pertains to your business more people will listen.

When you humanize your brand on social media you stand out and you create a loyal following.  Your following will be like your friends and family.  You can do this by sharing photos, personal blog posts, status updates, video and more. Be creative and let people in. You will be glad you did.

What other ways do you suggest humanizing your approach on social media marketing?

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda Brazel
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7 Common Mistakes Businesses Make On Social Media…Plus Solid Solutions!

7mistakesWhile this article points out some mistakes, the purpose is not to make you feel inadequate, but rather to help you avoid these very common mistakes so that you can improve your social marketing strategies and generate MORE SUCCESS!

Mistake #1: You have linked several of your social media profiles together. So for example, when you post to Facebook it also posts to Twitter or vice versa.  The honest truth is that every social network is COMPLETELY different and they should be treated that way. Linking your profiles together is like mixing wine, vodka and really good beer all together and then drinking it. YUCK! So, seriously…please STOP doing this. You really aren’t saving yourself any time. You are actually hurting your progress.

Solution: Create a plan or strategy for each network you are 462333211on, preferably with an expert that can help you craft a solid plan.  You will want to have a schedule of what gets posted, the bests times for each type of post, and you MUST plan this in advance. Your strategy should include a variety of content for your audiences. Photos, questions, links, promotions, candid photos of you and your staff and so on. If you are overwhelmed by all the various networks just start with one or two in the beginning. You are better off mastering one or two then mastering none.

Mistake #2: You do not understand how to use hashtags properly or at all.  Here are several common mistakes folks make with hashtags: You don’t know your top 5-10 hashtags for your niche, you are not using them properly, you are using too many each time you post, or you are not using hashtags at all.  ***Okay newbies, here is what a hashtag is and what it does for you: hashtags are like little links that take you to a thread of folks talking about that specific topic.  For example, let’s say the hashtag is #skincare. Well after you click on the #skincare (hashtag) link you will see all sorts of conversations and information about skin care.  Using hashtags appropriately allows you to expand your audience, connect with your peers, potential clients/patients, attract more people to your website or blog, and draw more people in to find you and follow you. They are very valuable to your social success. P.S. Don’t use Hashtags on networks that don’t have Hashtags, i.e. LinkedIn.

Solution: First learn what your top 5-10 hashtags are for your specific niche. Follow the other social media experts and watch and learn. You can always reach out to us for a consultation and we can help you quickly understand what your top hashtags are as well as how to use them appropriately.

186673747Mistake #3: You do not thank folks that give you a raving review on your Facebook business page or other profiles.  I have to say this kind of drives me a little nuts. If you were face to face with one of your clients and they genuinely thanked you for your work or services, would you just give them a thumbs up and then walk away? Or even worse, would you completely ignore them and turn your back to them?  Hell no you wouldn’t!  You would smile and you would graciously say “thank you so much and I appreciate your feedback.”  Social Media is no different. Think about it. Just because you are not necessarily interacting with your fan, client or patient in real time you are still interacting with them, and smart business owners understand those interactions need to be positive experiences.

Solution: Check your profiles regularly for comments, questions, messages and reviews. Immediately answer them and respond.  This is so crucial. Again, if you don’t have the time either assign this task to a trusted assistant in your office or hire a social media agency to do it for you. We manage all of our clients profiles in one software program and everyday (multiple times per day) our team is staying current with their fans. And, if there is something we just can’t answer we ping you a message with a direct link to that message so you and your staff can respond. Engagement and connection is a huge part of social success.

Mistake #4: You’ve hired a young college student to manage your social media because you think they are young and hip therefore they must ‘get it’ because you are old and crotchety and don’t know how to operate all of this technology :-).  Yes, in most cases younger people get how to USE social media and they know how to maneuver the various platforms.  However that does NOT mean they understand how to market your business effectively on social media.  It also doesn’t mean they understand business either. In order for your social media and digital marketing to be successful you need someone that understands business, marketing, and better yet social media marketing. Social Media Marketing is very different compared to other forms of marketing. This is a new business world we are in and there will be a learning curve for many.  So, rethink this strategy if you want success.

Solution: Make sure your social media marketing assistant has access to education and training from top professionals in social and digital marketing industries or hire a reputable agency that has proven results to manage this all for you.

Mistake #5: You only market, sell or post links to your website trying to sell your products/services. HUGE MISTAKE!!!  And, if you are doing this I guarantee you are one of those business owners saying “Facebook hasn’t done a thing for my business.” Well, I hate to break it to you, but it’s not Facebook…it’s YOUR APPROACH. People DO NOT want to be sold to all day long. They want a RELATIONSHIP with you! They want to CONNECT with you!  They want to LEARN about what you offer. They WANT to see behind the scenes in your business and they want a VARIETY of information from you. So, please STOP just posting or pimping your products all day long.  This really makes you look bad.

Solution: The solution here is the exact same as for mistake #1. Create a plan or strategy for each network you are on, preferably with an expert that can help you craft a solid plan.  You will want to have a schedule of what gets posted when and you will want to plan in advance. Your strategy should include a variety of content for your audiences. Photos, questions, links, promotions, candid photos of you and your staff and so on. If you are overwhelmed by all the various networks just start with one or two in the beginning. You are better off mastering one or two then mastering none.

Mistake #6: You don’t understand social media, so you just decide that your business doesn’t need it. Oh dear, oh 167083000dear, oh dear….yes I hear this too.  Maybe you’ve heard rumors that it doesn’t work, or it is a fad. Please listen in closely, the world wide web is becoming the world wide social web.  Social Media is not going way.  Human beings LOVE connection and that is what social media does in a big way. It connects us to new people, friends, family, brands, businesses, information and more.

Now with that said, I will be the first person to tell you that you do not need to be on every social network and not all businesses should be on Facebook either. However, I can almost GUARANTEE there is a social network out there that you most definitely should be active on and you should be active on the ones where your clients and potential clients are active.  That makes perfectly good sense, right? All networks are different and all cater to different people with different needs. So, figure out which ones those are and get on board fast.

Solution: Learn or hire a consultant. Sit down with a consultant and ask them to talk about the various network differences, ask them what networks they recommend you market on or if you can’t afford to hire a consultant then hop on Google and start asking Google for answers.  I guarantee Google will hook you up with some good answers.

Mistake #7: You are a procrastinator.  You wait and wait and wait.  It’s too overwhelming, I don’t have the time, I am not sure where to start and on and on it goes. STOP!  If you wait, your competition is getting a HUGE leg up here. So, don’t shoot yourself in the foot and get going.

Solution: Jump in. You will start learning faster by getting in, learning your way around and yes even making some mistakes. You can sign up for online classes and learn as quickly as you can or if you don’t have the time for that the other option is to hire a reputable agency that can do it for you.

Do you have specific questions or need help with your social media? Feel free to ask in the comment below or hop over to my Facebook page and ask a question there.  I am always happy to help you GROW!

Cheers, Love and Success,
Amanda

Amanda Brazel | Digital Media Marketing Done For You
clientcare@amandabrazel.com