5 reasons why email marketing can be better than social media

Both email marketing and social media marketing can be powerful for any brand online.

But if you had to choose one, which is better?

In the simplest sense, even in a world of social media prevalence, more consumers use email than any social media platform, and more than half of consumers check their email before they check their social media in the morning.

But let’s dive a little deeper. The following are five reasons why email marketing can be better than social media marketing.

You own your contact list

Unlike any social media platform, you actually own the contact list of your email subscribers.

In other words, this means that if a platform shuts down (like Vine did), you lose all those followers that you worked so hard to get. They’re gone.

This is because social media platforms are third-party providers of connections. They are the ones who have control over your followers and even your account (whether you get banned or not for violating terms of service, for example).

With email, your subscribers are yours. You have access to them as long as they want to be on your list.

Email is more personal

In an overwhelmingly digital world, consumers are increasingly craving deeper connections with the brands they buy from.

Enter email.

Your message delivers directly into your recipient’s inbox. Personalization can heighten that engagement and connection as well by including his or her first name, for example. Audience segmentation allows you to break up your contacts into groups and adjust your message accordingly, whether it’s customers you haven’t seen in a while or contacts who have yet to make a purchase. The sky’s the limit when it comes to segmentation, especially when using DailyStory.

But with social media, you have to speak at large to your target audience with hope that your followers (and/or their friends) see your content in their news feeds and engage with it. This is in competition with everything else social media users see in their feeds.

Algorithms are not a factor

Many marketers have to spend a great deal of time considering (and strategizing against) social media algorithms. 

An algorithm is essentially a series of calculations that determine what content a user sees in his or her feed on that social media platform. Its intent is to show what the user will most engage with and have a desire to stay on that platform longer.

One of the most talked-about is the Facebook Algorithm since the social network is the largest in the world, and it has shifted in recent years to prioritizing other user content over that of business pages.

Of course, while email doesn’t have to contend with algorithms, you still want to use best practices in order to prevent ending up as spam.

Full control over your content

Instagram requires a properly sized image or video to post. Twitter limits your tweet to 280 characters.

Those are just two examples of how a marketer is naturally limited in what and how to post content on social media platforms.

On the flip side, email is entirely within your control. You can use whatever best conveys your message to your recipients. 

Check out our breakdown of a successful marketing email.

You’ll get a higher ROI with email

Your return on investment should always be a major factor in your digital marketing strategy decisions.

In fact, about one in five marketing emails get opened on average, with an average clickthrough rate of 3.57 percent. Compare that to Facebook, which has an average clickthrough rate of 1.11 percent.

We have dozens of additional statistics that show the value of email marketing on top of that.

In conclusion

Of course, even though email marketing can be better than social media marketing, the best overall strategy is to use both for your branding, promotions and consumer relationship-building. 

Consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 most common social media mistakes to avoid

Social media is integral to any robust digital marketing strategy, but what social media mistakes could you be making and not even realize?

More than half of the world (about 58 percent) now uses social media, and the average daily time spent using social media is 2 hours and 27 minutes.

The opportunities for reaching and engaging with your target audience are obvious on social media, but with every misstep, you risk missing your goals and even alienating your audience (depending on the severity of the mistake since social media users can be quite unforgiving).

Check out what every startup company should know about social media.

The following are the eight most common social media mistakes to avoid.

No defined target audience

Understanding who you’re trying to reach and engage with is critical. Even if you could afford to target everyone, it’s not a good idea. 

Why? Because the success of your social media is based on determining your target audience and creating a strategy focused on reaching that group of consumers. (And no small business can afford to target everyone.)

In other words, you want to spend your resources on the people who would be genuinely interested in your products or services.

Check out our seven tips to help you determine your target audience.

No social media plan

Not having a plan for your social media marketing is not only a mistake in itself, but it can lead to other unintentional mistakes along the way.

Invest the same amount of thought and attention into your social media as you would any other method of digital marketing, such as paid advertising or email campaigns.

Start by listing the specific goals you want to achieve, determine your budget and then a step-by-step action plan that includes a clear outline of what you’re wanting to achieve and how your measure your results (to determine whether you’re hitting your goals).

Keep in mind that you also don’t have to be on every single social media platform if they’re not all serving your brand’s needs. You can do more with less.

When it comes to organizing your content, consider our eight tips to create a content calendar.

Lack of engagement in social media conversations

Engagement starts with posting engaging content. But once those reactions, comments and shares happen, it’s your obligation to be part of the conversation. Lack of participation is a big social media mistake.

Even if comments are negative, don’t avoid them. Consider some of our overall tips for responding to negative reviews (which can be applied to negative comments as well).

Of course, if you’re not seeing any engagement on your social media posts, then it’s time to evaluate your content. The goal is to spark a conversation with every post. What’s working and what’s not?

In addition to public threads, you also need to stay on top of direct messages. About 42 percent of people who have reached out to a brand on social media for customer support expect a response within 60 minutes.

Too much reliance on automation

Social media automation is huge for staying on top of conversations across multiple platforms. However, if you become too dependent on automation, you risk losing your brand’s human touch.

You also risk any automation blunders when a bot doesn’t understand particular context.

Strive for a balance, where you’re leaning on your social media automation tool for the heavy lifting, but you’re still involved in the social media conversations as much as makes sense.

Check out our seven opportunities for social media automation you might not have thought of, as well as 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools.

Posting too much

There’s no magic number of posts that your should strive for each day, but if you’re finding that you’re valueing quantity over quality and not seeing any improvement with your engagmeent rate, then it’s time to take a second look at how often you actually need to post on each platform.

Especially if you notice that you’re posting “good” but not “great” content simply to fill a whole, reconsider. Posting better content, even if less frequently, could lead to better engagement. 

Overly promoting yourself

Clearly, social media is a conversation, not a one-way broadcasting medium. In that sense, you want to avoid promoting yourself too much.

A common social media mistake involves businesses almost entirely publishing promotional or “salesy” content. Doing so can turn off your target audience. The key is about finding a balanced content mix that isn’t all about you. Be socialable.

At the same time, remember that you don’t have to only post your own content. Curated content and user-generated content can benefit your audience as well.

Treating all your social media platforms the same

All social media platforms are not created equal or should be treated the same. A common mistake is using a social media management tool to schedule your content but then scheduling the same content across platforms.

Even if you can tweak the sizing accordingly per platform (the optimized image size for Twitter is not the same for Instagram, for example), that’s a start. It’s all too easy to get stuck posting horizontal images and videos across platforms, even if that’s not best for one or two of your accounts.

Of course, ideally, you understand the demographics of your following on each platform and create unique content accordingly per platform. You absolutely can run a Twitter-specific campaign, for example, that doesn’t appear anywhere else.

No performance monitoring

Social media marketing is ever evolving. Even if you have a plan, that doesn’t mean that nothing can or should change a long the way. Monitoring your social media analytics is imperative. Simply knowing what’s working can help you do more of it. On the flip side, knowing what isn’t working can help you pivot and adjust as well.

Check out our guides for understanding your metrics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

In conclusion

Every brand has made its fair share of social media mistakes over time. The key is to learn and grow from any mistakes you might happen to make.

While you’re evaluating your approach to social media, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

9 of the best social listening tools for brand marketing

Social listening offers marketers a huge opportunity to learn from and engage with customers and potential customers online.

In the simplest sense, social listening is essentially audience research. You monitor your brand’s social media channels for any customer feedback, mentions of your brand and discussions surrounding specific keywords, topics, competitors or industries that are relevant to your brand.

Learn more about social listening, as well as nine tips to leverage it to gain customer insights.

The right tool can make the social listening process more efficient. Keep in mind that many broader social media management tools include social listening capabilities. The following are nine of the best social listening tools that can help you be successful in your efforts.

Sprout Social

This comprehensive social media management platform offers powerful solutions for social listening and more. Sprout Social features include:

  • An integrated social listening tool that uncovers trends in social media conversations, teaches you about your audience and gives actionable insights.
  • The ability to monitor and engage across social media networks.
  • A single Smart Inbox for all direct messages across networks.
  • Easy-to-understand social analytics.

Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial. Paid plans start at $89 per month.

Hootsuite

Another comprehensive social media management tool, Hootsuite provides a single, customizable dashboard so that you can view and respond to all your social media messages, comments and mentions across multiple networks. Other features include:

  • The ability to share and schedule engaging content for your social media profiles within the application.
  • A single inbox where you can address incoming messages and deliver timely replies.
  • Multiple social network integrations that can be viewed within the interface.
  • Easily monitor mentions and directly respond to them.
  • The option to customize paid social media campaigns with the Boost tool.
  • Customizable analytics reporting.

Hootsuite offers a limited free plan. Paid plans start at $49 per month (but a 30-day free trial is available as well).

Falcon.io

Falcon.io is an all-in-one social media management tool and customer experience platform for medium-or-larger-sized businesses. This means that you can schedule, engage, listen, advertise and more. Other features include:

  • A single dashboard for social listening, publishing, engagement, reporting and audience data management.
  • The Engage inbox, which manages all private messaging channels, including WhatsApp.
  • Custom response templates for FAQs.
  • The ability to direct specific external messages to internal team members to collaborate on solutions.

Falcon.io offers a free 14-day trial. Paid plans start at $108 per seat per month.

Buffer

Buffer considers itself an omnichannel experience for your social media marketing. It helps you find the conversations that matter most and join in. Buffer’s other features include:

  • Smart alerts using machine learning let you know at a glance if a post has questions, negative sentiments or comments about a purchase.
  • Scheduling and publishing tools to help you plan effective social media campaigns.
  • Reports and analytics tools that help you measure engagement and audience behavior.
  • A Story-monitoring tool that records and analyzes your Stories on Facebook and Instagram.

Buffer offers a limited free plan. Paid plans start at $5 per social channel per month (but a free 14-day trial is available as well).

BuzzSumo

A tool that prioritizes deeper insights is BuzzSumo. You can more easily identify which types of social media posts generate the best results among your audience. In fact, you’ll get recommendations on when you should post and the ideal length of a post. Other BuzzSumo features include:

  • Organization of shared content in order of significance with the Curation tool.
  • The ability to discover relevant influencers for your brand.
  • A significant data analytics suite.
  • A Content Ideas Generator to help you brainstorm new content for your audience.

BuzzSumo offers a limited free plan. Paid plans start at $79 per month (but a free 30-day trial is available as well). You also can save by paying annually.

Mention

Mention can track content sources across 42 languages to monitor for brand mentions throughout the globe. Of course, you can filter for what matters most to you. Mention’s other features include:

  • A competitive analysis tool that helps you compare your brand against two or more competitors.
  • A crisis management tool that allows you to effectively manage any uproar or crisis situation on social media.
  • The ability of team members to alert each other within the interface.
  • Comprehensive analytics.

Mention offers a limited free plan. Paid plans start at €29 per month (or about $31 per month). Free trials also are available for the paid plans.

Awario

With a heightened focus on social listening, Awario tracks keywords in a number of languages. You get everything you need to monitor and respond to comments while building relationships with your target audience on social media. Other Awario features include:

  • A Social Selling feature where you can identify posts that request a product recommendation similar to yours and/or any posts about issues that users are having with products sold by your competition.
  • Tracking the growth in the number of your mentions and their collective reach and sorting mentions by positive, negative, and neutral with sentiment analysis, 
  • Identifying top influencers by social media network.

Awario offers a free trial. Paid plans begin at $24 per month when billed annually.

Agorapulse

Agorapulse is a complete social media management software intended to help you leverage social listening and get deeper audience insights. You get a single, unified inbox, as well as the ability to publish on multiple social media platforms. Other Agorapulse features include:

  • Unlimited saved searches where you can discover new feedback and customers.
  • Labeling any important posts, competitor activity and customer feedback for easy retrieval and response.
  • Managing Facebook and Instagram ad comments in chronological order.

Agorapulse offers a free 15-day trial. Paid plans start at $79 per month when billed annually.

Brandwatch

Beyond a social listening tool, Brandwatch is a consumer intelligence platform. It offers an AI analyst, which can automatically bring insights to the surface and save you time. Other Brandwatch features include:

  • Auto-segmentation.
  • The ability to analyze images.
  • Data that helps you fully understand how people aren’t just talking about your brand but how they’re displaying it in images, too.

Brandwatch offers a free demo. Paid plans begin at $800 per month, so it might not be the right fit for small businesses (depending on your budget).

In conclusion

Ultimately, deciding on the best social listening tool comes down to your goals and budget. Make sure you take advantage of any available free trials as needed, or dip your toe in with a limited free version of what seems like the best fit for you. You always can upgrade your plan later.

While you’re at it, make sure you understand the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.

As you’re exploring these social listening tools, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

9 tips to improve social listening and gain customer insights

Social media is a two-way street. Rather than just posting relevant, engaging content, you also have to listen. Enter social listening.

In the simplest sense, social listening is essentially audience research. You monitor your brand’s social media channels for any customer feedback, mentions of your brand and discussions surrounding specific keywords, topics, competitors or industries that are relevant to your brand.

Social listening is a two-part process. You have the monitoring on the front end, but then you dive deeper with analysis and actionable responses. There’s an engagement there, but also the goal to implement long-term strategy changes based on what you’re learning. 

In other words, your brand is aiming to meet the needs of your customers by listening to and engaging with them (but also tracking and analyzing all that information).

While answering a complaint on social media can increase customer advocacy by about 25 percent, only about 51 percent of brands use social monitoring or listening in any capacity. In fact, about 71 percent of social media marketers say that they are able to provide consumer insights from social media channels to other departments.

Plus, about 46 percent of consumers think that brands engaging with their audiences on social media makes them stand out above all other brands.

By implementing effective social listening into your overall digital marketing strategy, you will:

  • Engage with your customers and target audience more effectively.
  • Discover more and better leads.
  • Learn more about your customers’ needs and problems (that you can help solve).
  • Identify potential brand partners and influencers.
  • Better track your competition.

The following are nine tips to improve your brand’s social listening and gain beneficial customer insights.

Decide what you’re listening to

This sounds a bit simplistic but truly is important to figure out before you dive into social listening. Social media is vast and noisy. You have to focus.

From these ideas, determine what specifically you’ll be looking for:

  • Direct mentions of your brand. Are there any variations that could be used?
  • Your brand’s social media handle. Include any sub-accounts as well.
  • Any specific product (or even service) names.
  • Specific hashtags.
  • Relevant-to-your-brand keywords.
  • Names of key people in your company (such as your CEO or anyone public-facing).
  • Topics that relate to your brand.
  • Your competition (which should include the same breakdown as your doing for your own brand).

This will help you get started in a more efficient manner so that you can gain more consistent and relevant insights over time.

Look beyond your immediate social media presence

While we wish all conversations about our brands could happen on our posts, through direct mentions or in our incoming messages, that’s simply not the case. Think beyond all of that.

You want to keep in mind that social media users won’t always tag you, that they could misspell your brand name or even use an abbreviation or shortened version of your brand name (Coke, for example, rather than Coca-Cola).

Be strategic about keywords and topics

Definitely put time and research into the keywords and topics you ultimately track and follow. They will evolve over time, of course. But investing in picking the most relevant ones now will only give you better data and insights along the way.

Check out these 11 free keyword research tools that can help you in this process.

Use social listening to identify pain points

If you’re mostly using social listening to understand what your customers are saying about you, you’re missing a larger opportunity. That is to identify the problems and challenges that your target audience is experiencing.

This likely won’t come up because of a brand mention, but rather relevant keywords. Either way, it’s important to understand the bigger picture as far as the potential gaps in your industry or product.

Once you understand the gap, then you can work on the bridge that will make you the best brand for them.

Join in on conversations about the latest trends and news

Obviously, you want to monitor and track all the relevant conversations going on in your industry but go beyond that.

This is a great engagement opportunity that shows the relevancy of your brand. By offering a slice of your expertise where relevant, you easily can reach new users, grow brand trust and loyalty and even discover a new brand partner along the way.

Use empathy when engaging in a new conversation

Keep in mind that while engagement is key in any successful social listening strategy, users might not expect you to join in on their conversation, particularly if they didn’t tag you.

But regardless of whether you’re tagged or not (expected or not), you must empathize. Is the sentiment of the conversation positive or negative?

If it’s positive, thank them and make sure you understand the specifics surrounding their positive impression. If it’s negative, still thank them, but you’ll especially want to dig deeper into what led to the negative impression. Was it a specific feature of your product (or service)? See our 11 tips for best responding to any type of negative review.

Remember that the key to social listening is actually listening. Leave your personal feelings aside. You’re arriving at the conversation to better understand and help if possible.

Prompt responsiveness is everything

Staying on top of your social listening means that you can be proactive and get ahead of any negative sentiments before they escalate. (You’re not waiting for someone to finally reach out to you if they do at all.)

If at all possible, aim to respond within 30 minutes or at least within 24 hours. Make sure you’re responding to everyone equally (not just the positive comments, for example).

Keep an eye on your competitors

Social listening can help you better understand what’s working (and not working) for your competitors.

When you see something that’s working, what can your brand do to outperform them? Don’t just copy them. Think about how you can do something that’s better and more valuable to your target audience.

And when you see something that’s not working, determine how you can fill that gap for potential customers.

Use the right tools

The power of your social listening often comes down to using the right tools. Most major social media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) do have built-in features that include search functionality, audience insights data and trending data.

However, a third-party tool might be ideal if you’re using multiple social media platforms so that everything can be found in one place, may offer more detailed insights and can even provide some automation capabilities. Some examples include:

In conclusion

Social listening can be powerful for your brand when done right. Start simple by identifying the mentions, keywords and so on that are most important to you. Track your insights, and make sure they are communicated to the appropriate departments in your company.

In this new-ish digital-focused world, you’re often only as strong as your understanding of your customers.

Learn about the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.

As you’re diving into social listening, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 best Instagram tools to grow your followers

Instagram only continues to grow in popularity for sharing images and videos, which means it’s a great platform for your brand to reach a larger audience.

About 1.22 billion people use Instagram each month, and Instagram is the ninth most-Googled search term, which is a signal that the platform’s content is being viewed in browsers outside of the app as well.

So, what does your brand’s Instagram audience look like? Are they engaged? Do you have a strong reach? 

Using the right Instagram tools can help you be more efficient and effective on the platform and boost your followers. The following are some of the best Instagram tools we recommend you check out to see what works best for your social media marketing strategy.

Repost

Instagram doesn’t have what some would consider more traditional sharing features, so Repost is tool that not only satisfies that need but helps you automatically credit the original poster.

It’s a free app with available in-app purchases (if desired) that does not have a desktop interface.

The value of interacting with user-generated posts by sharing and providing credit at the same time shows that you as a brand value them and their input. Other features include the ability to bookmark content and search for images by hashtag or a specific user’s name.

Crowdfire

Crowdfire is part social media management tool and part content-discovery engine. While the free version only allows you to manage one platform through the app, its premium subscriptions can manage up to 50 social media profiles across multiple social media platforms.

Crowdfire also features a Chrome browser extension that helps you quickly share articles and curate content for posting. A great feature for Instagram is Crowdfire’s image curation feature, which gives recommendations of images to share on your Instagram account. The recommended images are already approved by creators, so you don’t have to worry about copyright.

In addition, you get hashtag recommendations, analytics and the ability to custom tailor posts by platform.

Combin

Complete focused on Instagram account management, Combin offers both follower-growth and scheduling features. You can test the main features with its free version, but the paid subscriptions offer more for engaging Instagram users.

Combin allows you to search through Instagram by hashtags, location and followers. This allows you to keep an eye on your competitors’ comments as well. (See more about how to conduct your first competitive analysis plus 16 recommended tools.)

Therefore, Combin helps you target specific users and get insight into what your target audience engages with most as well as how your competition is engaging with their followers. You can see various comments across multiple accounts in one place. Plus, Combin offers analytics.

Woobox

Woobox is a great tool for creating engagement opportunities for your Instagram audience. However, keep in mind that the free version only allows limited Facebook interactions. You’ll have to choose a paid subscription to access the Instagram features.

Woobox enables you to promote polls, giveaways, coupons and more. In other words, it helps you become even more social on social media. For example, you can even age-gate your contests and feedback if your brand is not geared toward a particular age group.

Truly, this tool is about bringing gamification to your Instagram presence.

Hootsuite

A powerful social media management and social listening tool, Hootsuite has a hair more options in its free version than most tools, but the most powerful features are available in its paid subscriptions.

Hootsuite gives you the opportunity to manage multiple profiles, monitor interactions and hashtags (among other conversations) and more by setting up tabs to organize your social media management.

Additional apps can be integrated (such as Asana) into your Hootsuite account to streamline your workflow.

For Instagram, Hootsuite empowers you to now only create and schedule posts but monitor popular hashtags and search terms on the platform, all in one place, where you can comment and reply as well.

Foursixty

Looking to make more sales from your Instagram audience? Consider Foursixty, which is a tool that can turn your feed into a gallery where users can view and shop through your images. You can try it with a 21-day free trial, but otherwise it is a paid tool.

A strength of Foursixty is its ability to monitor anytime anyone tags or mentions your brand or product and curate all of that and sort by performance, which can be a time-saving method for gathering user-generated content.

Check out our 10 tips to generate more user-generated content.

Other features include Digital Rights Management so that you don’t have to worry about copyright and its ability to track influencer marketing, which helps you discover new influencers through Instagram while getting a better understanding of their engagement. Partnering with high-quality influencers can definitely help you grow your Instagram following.

See our seven tips you should know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Later

Later is a social media management tool with a visual focus, perfect for Instagram. Its free version allows you to explore, but some key features are tied to its paid subscriptions.

You can use it to schedule photo and video posts while tagging locations and users. Later also includes hashtag suggestions and Instagram Story management.

Part of its analytics capabilities has hashtag monitoring. This means you can see the statistical information about tags and identify the ones that work best for your brand and/or campaign. In addition, Later shows the best times to post according to the activity of your target audience.

If you’re in the retail industry, consider Later’s Linkedin Bio landing page. This feature resembles your Instagram feed and enables users to shop easier. This integrates with Google Analytics so that your can better understand the relationship between your Instagram posts and sales.

Check out the 14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram (and how you can avoid them).

While you’re digging into the best tools to grow your Instagram following, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

10 tips to improve your brand’s online reputation

If you’re not keeping tabs on your brand’s online reputation, you could be shooting yourself (or at least your brand) in the foot.

An online reputation comprises various strategies to shape the world’s perception of your brand online. If handled correctly, you’re able to build brand trust and impact consumers’ purchasing decisions in a positive way. In other words, a good online reputation supports your bottom line.

Think of it as your brand’s first impression for potential customers. 

In fact, consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before trusting a business, while about 79 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

If you’re not on top of how your brand is perceived online, you could be losing out on customers and sales.

The following are 10 tips to improve your brand’s online reputation and put your best foot forward.

Start with an audit

Before anything else, you need to understand where your brand’s online reputation stands right now.

Thoroughly review all online reviews, and while this can feel overwhelming with so many potential places for customers to review you, keep it simple by beginning with the top four review platforms where consumers typically do their research on you:

  • Google
  • Yelp
  • TripAdvisor
  • Facebook

If you’re in a specialized industry that has an industry-specific platform for reviews, include that as well. For example, home-improvement brands will want to keep an eye on HomeAdvisor.

Of course, we encourage you to also Google your brand to see where else it might be popping up, just to cover all your bases.

Once you’ve compiled all the review platforms and reviews, double-check that all business contact details, location information and operational hours are up to date. 

Then, look at what customers are saying. What is the ratio of positive-to-negative reviews? Are there far more positive than negative? If you have multiple locations, is one location standing out in a positive or negative way? Have you responded to all reviews? 

Really assess where your brand is at perception-wise. Knowledge is power, and this information will fuel your online reputation strategies moving forward.

Keep in mind that you can set up Google Alerts to inform you of brand mentions online and more.

Decide on a review strategy and start replying

Now that you know where your customers are reviewing you and what they’re saying, it’s time to implement a review strategy for all relevant review platforms.

Perhaps you set a weekly time to regularly check for any new reviews. This would be the minimum effort we would recommend. If possible, turn on notifications wherever you can so that you can reply to all new reviews as soon as possible.

In fact, about 53 percent of customers expect businesses to respond to their online review within seven days.

You should respond to every review regardless of whether it’s positive, negative or neutral. And timeliness is a factor to be aware of. You’ll want to thank customers for positive reviews, but you definitely don’t want to leave a negative review festering without some sort of response.

Not sure what to say when it’s negative? Always view it as an opportunity to deliver amazing customer service and turn that experience for that customer around. (It’s definitely not the time or place to argue with the customer.) See our 11 tips to best respond to negative reviews.

Encourage happy customers to review you

Unfortunately, a customer is about 21 percent more likely to leave a negative review after a negative experience than a positive review after a positive review.

You must consistently work against that tendency by asking your happy and satisfied customers to share their experiences online. There are numerous ways to do this. Here are just a handful of ideas:

  • Offer incentives, discounts or cash rewards for customers who write reviews.
  • Send email follow-ups to customers requesting a review with a link to make it easy.
  • Have your employees remind happy customers to review you and explain the benefit that positive reviews have for your business.

Monitor all relevant social media platforms

Of course, you can’t properly manage your online reputation without a thorough plan involving social media.

First, consider all the platforms where your brand has a presence (an account, in other words). Then, think about any platforms that might be used by your customers, where they can post about you regardless of whether you have an account or not.

For example, if you only have accounts on Facebook and Instagram, that doesn’t mean that your customers aren’t tweeting about you (for better or worse) on Twitter.

You’ll need to embrace social listening, which is not just about monitoring what is being said about a business, brand, person or topic on social media. It’s also about acting on it. This can involve engaging with commenters or even adjusting brand strategy.

Learn more about social listening and how it’s different from social media crowdsourcing.

Prioritize your SEO tactics

Search engines can be a huge source of organic traffic to your website, but they also serve as research vehicles for consumers to learn more about businesses, products, services and so on.

So, your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy must be on point.

Ideally, you not only want to rank for the keywords that would help drive consumers to potentially purchase from you. You also want to rank for branded keywords that reflect your online reputation for consumers. In other words, you want your brand’s positive mentions ranking above any potential negative mentions.

And remember that blogging regularly showcases your expertise that will only benefit your online reputation, especially in search engine results.

Dive deeper into what you can do with our 12 SEO marketing tips for beginners. You also can level up your SEO skills with these 10 free online SEO courses.

Develop a public relations strategy

Earned media definitely can improve your online reputation, but it can take a little extra effort. 

The extra effort involves a public relations strategy, which is all about promoting your brand’s inclusion in related articles, TV segments and more in the press.

Earned media is not to be confused with paid advertising. But leveraging press releases and connecting with local media outlets and reporters could lead to your brand earning some new coverage over time.

Work with influencers who have great online reputations

In the simplest sense, an influencer is anyone with a digital following (or audience) on a social media platform (but not necessarily) whom you’d like to attract.

The purpose of influencer marketing involves increasing brand awareness, targeting new and niche audiences and increasing impressions and reach.

This makes it a great vehicle to improve your online reputation because you’re leveraging the trust consumers have for an influence to boost your brand.

Check out our seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Monitor customer service complaints

Even though online reviews can take a lot of your focus, don’t forget about the complaints that are being given to your company directly.

How these complaints are handled can often impact resulting online reviews, though.

Depending on the size of your business, you may need a tool, such as Invoca, to help you stay on top of a high volume of call center or customer service department interactions.

Understanding what complaints are coming in can help you fix anything that isn’t working as expected as well (and prevent future complaints).

Keep track of your competitors

While it’s important to understand your own online reputation, you can take the next step by understanding that of your competitors.

Are they receiving mostly positive or mostly negative reviews? Are they responding to them? How are they responding? What are their customers saying about them?

Find out more about what a competitive analysis is and how you can start yours, as well as 16 tools to make your competitive analysis easier.

Commit to resolve recurring issues

At the core of successful online reputation management is the commitment to resolve any recurring issues to improve your brand’s buyer experience.

Consider the information (positive and negative) that you receive from customers as a critical piece to this commitment. If you keep your customers happy, you’ll prevent many negative online reviews from even happening.

It’s no easy task, but your responsiveness will serve your business beyond just your online reputation. Think about it: How many potential customers simply disappear because of a less-than-ideal experience and never return, whether they made a purchase or not? It’s important to get ahead of the issues and continually innovate what your brand can do better.

As you begin exploring your brand’s online reputation, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Facebook or Instagram: Which is better for marketing your business?

It might not be an age-old question, but many small businesses often ask which is better for marketing: Facebook or Instagram?

Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer.

Sharing about 4 billion users across the two social networks, the opportunities on both are immense. Of course, they’re also both owned by the same company, Meta, so they do share some linkage and features (especially when running paid advertising campaigns).

Facebook remains the most popular social media platform, while visuals-first Instagram has the fastest-growing audience.

The following are four elements you should consider when deciding whether Facebook or Instagram is the best marketing platform for your business.

Usage statistics

Facebook

Facebook currently has about 2.9 billion monthly active users, while about 1.59 billion are mobile daily active users. Around seven out of 10 U.S. adults use Facebook.

About 56 percent of Facebook users are male.

While some think that Facebook is skewing increasingly older, the largest demographic on the social network is between 25 and 35 years old. On the flip side, Facebook’s smallest demographic are seniors 65 years old or older.

About 82 percent of college graduates are on Facebook, and about 75 percent of online users with an annual income of $75,000 or more also are on the platform.

Instagram

Instagram currently has more than 1 billion monthly active users, while more than 500 million Instagram users use the Stories feature daily.

More than 200 million businesses are on Instagram. And more than 50 percent of Instagram users are female

Instagram does skew toward a younger audience. About 71 percent of U.S. adults ages 18 to 29 use Instagram. In fact, 72 percent of teenagers in the U.S. use Instagram as well.

Functionality of the platforms

Facebook

The social network is all about information, from the about section on a profile or page (which are more robust than what’s available through an Instagram profile bio) to the types of posts you can share:

  • Text only
  • Images or GIFs
  • Videos
  • Links

In essence, because of the variety of options, it can be a distracting and noisy environment where you’re also fighting against the Facebook algorithm.

Instagram

The app is all about images and videos. Text-only posts are not an option.

But that’s because Instagram is less about the communication of information and more about capturing and sharing moments and then engaging around those moments.

Because of some of the simplicity of Instagram’s functionality, it allows brands to laser focus on how their shared moments represent them. That’s when you see such massive brand popularity blossom. (This is in comparison to the almost too many options for sharing as a business on Facebook.)

Of course, Instagram also has an algorithm that drives user experience on the app, but it doesn’t get complained about nearly as much as Facebook’s.

Content marketing

Facebook

Facebook is a great place to share curated content, where you’re sharing someone else’s content to benefit your own audience. (Check out our four tips for finding great curated content to share, as well as 12 tools to help you.) This is because you can easily share links.

This is also the best place to share any company announcements and/or updates. In fact, you can create actual events on Facebook and promote them.

Instagram

The best content for Instagram is original and authentic (not curated). Yes, you’ll see some regrams, memes and even text images. But go original if you want to be successful.

Going behind the scenes is engaging on Instagram. Real-time images also drive engagement, especially through Instagram Stories.

Instagram also is great for image-based contests that center around a hashtag. (Be sure to check out our guide on how to ensure your giveaways and contests are legal.)

Advertising campaigns

As mentioned earlier, Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Meta (formally known as Facebook). This means that you have the ability to run a single paid advertising campaign in one place that can run across both platforms.

Facebook Business Manager can make it all happen, so you don’t necessarily have to choose.

In conclusion

Ultimately, brands should have a presence on both Facebook and Instagram, but depending on your target audience, marketing goals and brand identity, you’ll likely drive a larger presence on one or the other.

As you’re evaluating your presence on Facebook and Instagram, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Twitter

Many businesses find Twitter to be an effective social media marketing channel.

It offers the opportunity to build your brand’s credibility, engage directly with customers and reach a larger audience.

Twitter, originally created as a micro-blogging platform, is an online news and social networking site, where users can communicate publicly through short posts called tweets.

The social platform boasts about 186 million daily active users and 38 million users from within the U.S.

But with the opportunities come the risk of mistakes that can poorly reflect on your brand (and cause a subsequent loss of revenue).

See our snapshot of the challenges and opportunities of Twitter for businesses.

The following are 14 of the biggest mistakes business make on Twitter.

Not optimizing your Twitter profile

Sure, there is only so much you can do to optimize your Twitter profile, but if you’re not regularly reviewing how your Twitter account looks and what first impressions it might be giving other users, you’re missing out.

Make sure you:

  • Upload your logo or another brand-representative image as your profile photo
  • Choose a relevant and eye-catching cover image
  • Fill out your bio with key information about what your business does and how it helps people. You can check out Twitter accounts you aspire to or compete with for inspiration
  • Pick a URL that is easy to remember and best for potential leads to click on to find out more

No Twitter content plan

Just like any other channel, you’ll be more effective with a plan. Think through your goals. Identify your target audience. Then, consider the mix of content that can help you achieve your goals and reach your target audience.

Check out our seven tips to help you level up your content marketing (whether it’s on Twitter or elsewhere).

Inconsistent brand voice

Your brand story, personality and voice are all critically important to how Twitter users view and understand your brand. 

If you lack consistency in your brand voice, it’s going to be very confusing for anyone you reach with your tweets. In addition, you want to ensure that you’re leaving out any industry jargon in your messagin (unless you are specifically targeting those who understand that jargon, of course).

Keep in mind, that your brand voice should make you human in your messaging and engagement with Twitter users.

See our eight tips for finding your brand voice. Once you know your brand voice, lock it in for your social media efforts and beyond with our five tips to create a brand style guide.

Tweeting too much (or not enough)

Tweet too much, and you look like spam. Tweet too infrequently, and users don’t find you to be an active or credible Twitter account to engage with or follow. It’s easy to make this Twitter mistake, for sure.

Try to keep your tweeting to fewer than four tweets per hour.

Tweeting only at set times

Twitter is a fast-moving social network. If you only tweet at the same time every time, then you’re missing an opportunity to reach more Twitter users. 

You can avoid this Twitter mistake by scheduling your tweets at different times. You can then use Twitter Analytics to gauge what works best for your audience.

Lacking any multimedia tweets

Go beyond just text-only tweets if you want to engage more with your target audience. Aim to mix up your content types:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • GIFs

Tweets with images are about 34 percent more likely to get retweeted than tweets with no images.

Talking about your business too much

Just like on any social media platform, if you talk about yourself too much, you run the risk of either losing engagement, being seen as spam or both. 

Remember the reason why most users are using Twitter. Likely, they want to be informed and/or entertained.

Some companies strive for the 80-20 rule, where they only self-promote 20 percent of the time. Others aim for a rule of thirds, where one-third is self-promotion, another third is entertainment and the last third is education. 

There’s no blatant right or wrong content mix. Take time to review your resources and what makes the most sense for your business, with the goal being to keep the self-promotion to a minimum.

As you begin to plan your Twitter content, consider using a content calendar.

Ignoring trending topics on Twitter

Twitter makes it easy to understand what topics are trending at any given time. You should keep an eye out for the topics that are relevant to your brand and that you can contribute something to the conversation.

Not all trending topics will be relevant. So, if it feels like a reach, it probably is, and you should leave it be.

Using too many hashtags

Unlike Instagram (where users technically can use up to 30 hashtags), Twitter is more restrained by total character count and best practices in hashtag usage.

Tweets with hashtags can increase engagement up to 50 percent for brands

But you want to stick to one, maybe two, at most. Once you go above that, you risk looking spammy to other Twitter users. So, be sure to do your research on the best one or two hashtags you should be using to avoid this common Twitter mistake.

Missing your opportunity to ask for retweets

While you might feel it’s a little over-the-top or salesy to ask for retweets, you’ll actually receive a boost in engagement overall. Tweets have a 12 times higher chance of being retweeted if you simply ask for it.

You’ll want to use the phrase “retweet” rather than “RT,” though.

The key is that you’re asking on content that is engaging enough for users to see the value of retweeting. That simple act of asking alone won’t get you the retweets you want if your content isn’t worthy.

Leaving your followers hanging

It’s easy to forget the social conversation side of Twitter since the platform moves so fast. And many businesses do.

But regardless of the noise that Twitter can generate at times, you must make it a priority to respond to any comments or direct messages that come your way. In addition, you want to comment and retweet others’ posts if you find them interesting and in line with your brand.

You want to build relationships with your followers and the broader Twitter community, and that won’t happen if you only broadcast content and never engage.

Ignoring negative comments

Related to not engaging with your followers, you cannot ignore any negative comments that come your way.

No business enjoys negative comments or reviews, but they are part of maintaining an online presence, which you absolutely want to do. Treat them as opportunities to turn this negative commenter into a fan, based on your excellent customer service and social media voice.

Check out our 11 tips to best respond to negative commenters.

Retweeting mentions of your business

Resist the temptation to retweet every mention of your brand. It can come across a little shallow, salesy and insincere to other Twitter users.

Instead, you can reply to the tweet and move on. Or, if it really should be shared, retweet it but with a comment on it to give it context to avoid this easy-to-make Twitter mistake.

Expecting instant success

Most social media marketing success is about the long-term strategy culminating in success over time.

This is no different for Twitter. Tweet once or even three times, and you likely will not see an immediate achievement of your goals.

Monitor your overall account performance for clues on what you can do more of and what you should do less of. Remember that Twitter Analytics can help you with this. It’s free to use and is native to the platform.

Check out our eight expert tips to help you market your business better on Twitter.

As you’re creating your author bio, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

4 tips to market your brand on Reddit

The idea of marketing on Reddit might make many businesses nervous, but rather than avoid the platform, why not embrace it as an opportunity?

Reddit has traditionally considered itself the “front page of the internet.” In other words, it’s a network of communities where users can dive into their hobbies, interests and passions. Registered users can share content on different discussion boards, referred to as subreddits.

Considering that Reddit sees about 430 million monthly active users in comparison to the roughly 444 million monthly active users on popular aspirational platform Pinterest, the potential of a sizable (yet largely untapped) audience is there.

To state it another way, Reddit is one of the world’s most popular websites. As of May 2020, the United States generated about 50 percent of all desktop traffic to the forum site.

On the flip side, Reddit is not a fan of marketing. In fact, it strongly discourages sales content and self-promotion.

But cracking the code to marketing on Reddit (so to speak) comes down to understanding the difference between marketing strategies of the past and those that we recommend today. Simply put, it’s about prioritizing authenticity and delivering value to other Reddit users.

The following are four tips to market your brand on Reddit without being spammy or “Reddit shamed” (or banned entirely).

Invest time in being a Reddit user first

This sounds obvious, but it’s more true on Reddit than on any other platform. Being an engaged natural user of the platform will only help you with your content marketing efforts.

We recommend engaging on subreddits that span your personal interests to your professional interests. Comment, ask questions, be an active participant. 

Not only will you get first-hand experience on the overall code of conduct and expectations of the platform, you also will see the nuances of different subreddits (and how they differ from each other). In addition, you’ll discover the subreddits (and relevant conversations) that your brand should target and engage with along the way. Just like how you want to get specific with your target audience, you also want to get as specific as possible with your selection of subreddits.

There’s no official amount of time that you should invest before posting your own content, but know that you shouldn’t be in a rush. The more you can invest as an engaged user first, the better. You’ll best understand any subreddit-specific rules of engagement, as well as any potential inside jokes among a subreddit’s audience.

Then, once you get going, a general rule of them is to balance your posts with a greater number of comments. For example, commit to 10 comments on others’ posts for every link you share. Think of it this way: You should contribute 80 percent of the time and only self-promote (in an authentic way) 20 percent of the time.

Create helpful content

Helpful and/or entertaining content naturally drives higher engagement. This is no different on Reddit, where users are just as open to content that can help them solve their problems or overcome an obstacle just like anyone else.

Focus on brainstorming an array of how-to content ideas that are relevant for your target audience. This entirely depends on the nature of your business and how you’re trying to reach, of course. Just think about the typical questions you hear from your customers. That’s a great place to start.

Once you have at least a dozen topics that you can create content around, check out our eight tips for developing a content calendar to stay organized. If writer’s block pops up, see our seven tips to overcome it.

As far as posting, you have numerous creative options you can explore on Reddit: 

  • GIFs instead of videos or video links (you can always link to a full video in the comments)
  • Images (just make sure they’re eye-catching)
  • Text (sometimes the preferred medium for in-depth conversations on certain subreddits)
  • Blogs (just make extra sure that your content is highly engaging and useful since Reddit users have a particular distaste for any blog spam)
  • AMAs (“Ask Me Anything” threads that are just that)
  • News (any industry or other type of update that is relevant and timely to that subreddit)

Treat everything as a conversation

This includes engaging with commenters on your own post long after you’ve even posted, just as you would on any other social media platform. 

Remember, social media in general is the compilation of conversations. 

Reddit is no different. In fact, you’ll get called out that much quicker for not engaging as expected. You have to always go above and beyond to prove that you’re human when representing your brand. But in the end, that engagement builds much-needed (and much-sought-after) trust.

No cheating

Reddit users are a skeptical crowd that has seen it all with various cheat-the-system tricks:

  • Face accounts
  • Employee (or colleague) upvoting
  • Undisclosed paid sponsors

The reaction of fellow users and Reddit itself will be very negative if you try to cheat in any way. You risk being banned from a specific subreddit as well as the website itself.

In conclusion

While Reddit can feel like an intimidating site to branch your marketing efforts into, it really is worth the effort if you have the resources (aka time) to invest in it. 

Of course, if you have an available budget, Reddit advertising might be an option for your brand as well.

Organically speaking, though, link dumping definitely won’t work no matter how you try to conceal it. As long as you aim to be human first as you represent your brand and give as much as (if not more than) you take, your business will reap the rewards of reaching a largely untapped audience that can appreciate you investing that effort and being part of the community.

Check out our seven tips to level up your overall content marketing while you’re at it.

Then, consider the possibility of optimizing your digital marketing process, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

9 tips to create engaging Instagram Stories

No longer the “new kid on the block,” Instagram Stories represent an opportunity for every brand to connect in additional ways with its target audience.

Launched in 2016, Instagram Stories allow you to multiple images and/or videos in a vertical format, where you can layer on various doodles, text and/or interactive stickers. They last 24 hours before disappearing, but they can be pinned to your Instagram profile in Highlight groupings and last longer.

(If this sounds very similar to Snapchat Stories, which were launched in 2013, then you’re right.)

About 500 million users per day use Instagram Stories, and about one-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories come from businesses.

Incorporating Stories into your Instagram publishing strategy helps you reach your audience in two different places in the app, both in the Stories section and the traditional feed section.

Check out our 16 overall Instagram marketing tips that you can try right away. Plus, see the 14 biggest mistakes companies make on Instagram (and how to avoid them).

The following are nine tips to help you create engaging Instagram Stories that best reflect your company’s brand.

Create an Instagram Story-specific style guide

Style guides are a great tool for branding consistency. (See our nine expert tips for starting a new brand from scratch.) 

They can include your font choices, preferred filters, branded colors, GIF types and so on.

While your style guide can be in any format, the key is that it can be easily shared among your team members. Your brand can then appear the same regardless of who is creating your Story content.

Use storyboards

With so many content options to explore within Instagram Stories, a great way to get started involves trying storyboards.

This helps you fully plan out your Story before diving into the design.

And planning is everything. 

Storyboards can be as simple as sketching out your ideas slide by slide. 

  • What multimedia do you want to use?
  • How will you string your slides together to create a visual narrative?
  • What call-to-action do you want to promote? How?
  • Any key brand colors to include?

What you decide in advance will make your creation process more efficient and more effective.

Stay within the lines

Instagram Stories are displayed with usernames and ways to interact with the Story along the top and bottom of the screen. So, you definitely don’t want to design your Story in such a way that your content gets covered up by buttons and other features.

Fortunately, Instagram offers grid lines as a guideline to stay within. Think lines of a coloring book. You’ll want to stay within them.

While you’ll see these grid lines appear as necessary when designing within the Instagram app, keep the following spacing in mind if you’re designing outside of the app:

  • Instagram Story dimensions are 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels.
  • But, ideally, you’ll want to center your design elements within 1080 pixels by 1420 pixels.
  • In other words, leave 250 pixels of space at the top and bottom of your Instagram Story design.

Mix up your multimedia

You have almost endless options when it comes to the types of multimedia you can use in your Stories. Don’t get stuck in a rut.

In fact, even a string of slides together can mix things up throughout your visual narration to help keep the viewer engaged.

Types include:

  • Photography, whether or original or stock images
  • Boomerangs, which are looped video clips
  • Videos
  • GIFs
  • Audio

Always be open to experimentation for the benefit of better connecting with your target audience. (Not sure who your target audience is? See our seven tips.)

Take advantage of stickers

Whether you’re looking to add humor or simply a touch of fun engagement, Instagram’s stickers are a great place to start on your Stories.

They range in functions, including frivolous angles, but some of the most useful include:

  • Polls
  • Quizzes
  • Hashtags
  • Account tags
  • Location tags

You also can create your own stickers and GIFs for users to add to their own Stories. You can do so by becoming a verified brand on Giphy.

Earn access to the ‘Swipe Up’ feature

It takes about 10,000 followers to earn the coveted “Swipe Up” feature, where viewers can access a link from within your Story simply by swiping up.

Until you get this feature, you must direct viewers to navigate to your bio to click a link. But once you can direct website traffic through Instagram Stories, you can level up your call-to-action by designing entirely around the idea of swiping up to take a particular action.

It’s a powerful feature once you can access it.

Create branded highlight covers

While Instagram Stories typically last for only 24 hours, you can add them to the highlights section at the top of your Instagram profile to save them beyond the 24 hours.

There is no limit to the number of highlights you can create, but users will only see the most recently updated five on your profile without having to scroll.

Once you begin using highlights, you can create and use cover images. You can design these to reflect your brand presence on Instagram.

Explore tools to create your best Instagram Stories

You don’t have to be a graphic designer or an Instagram native app designing expert to create engaging visuals for your Stories.

There are a number of templates that you can start with, but more importantly, we recommend checking out any of these 11 free graphic design tools for the non-designer.

Monitor your performance

Just like with any digital marketing tactic (especially on social media), you’ll want to keep an eye on the analytics behind your Instagram Stories.

That’s easy enough to do within Instagram Insights. The key is to know when to pivot your strategy.

See our guide to better understanding your metrics on Instagram.

You also can dive deeper into the opportunities and challenges of Instagram for small businesses. and our six tips to master Instagram hashtags.

Then, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

11 best practices to help you grow your social media followers

Social media is a key part of any business’s digital marketing strategy, but are you seeing enough followers and engagement on your accounts?

About 3.6 billion people worldwide were using social media in 2020, and that’s expected to grow to about 4.4 billion by 2025.

So, your target audience is definitely out there. (And if you need help determining your ideal target audience, see our seven tips.)

Of course, don’t miss what we recommend every startup company should know about social media.

The following are 11 best practices that can help you grow your social media followers over time regardless of the platform.

Build a strong brand identity

Branding is everything for successful businesses online. Of course, this means more than just including your logo on all of your multimedia assets and so on.

It ties into your predominant color scheme, graphic designs, voice, even filters. If you haven’t yet solidified your brand’s identity, it’s never too late.

See our eight tips for finding your brand’s voice. And in the fitness industry, we walk you through building an online brand from scratch (that can be applied to other industries as well).

Even personal brands count. Check out our 10 tips for building your personal brand and growing your business.

The most important thing is consistency and cohesion. Once you have your brand identity, own it.

Follow relevant accounts

Following other accounts that are relevant to your interests, industry and business is a great way to:

  • Stay in the know about topics that matter to you and your brand
  • Be inspired by what others are doing on social media
  • Have an opportunity to engage with accounts that are relevant to you
  • Get an idea of what your competition is doing on social media

Of course, there’s also the opportunity to potentially be followed back by others, but that shouldn’t be your primary reason to do it.

Actively engage with your followers

Time is always a challenge, but resist the temptation to “set it and forget it.” Once a post publishes (whether it’s scheduled or live), that’s only the beginning.

Prioritize time to engage with your followers who are commenting on your posts and/or messaging you. 

Granted, you can’t go down the wormhole on it, and the more engagement you receive, the harder it will be to respond to every user. But there are tools out there that can help.

Check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools to help you stay on top of the activity happening with your brand accounts. Plus, see additional reasons why a social media management tool can benefit your business.

And consider these seven opportunities for social media automation that you might not be aware of.

Just remember that social media is a conversation, not just a megaphone. You’ll lose your social media followers if you never engage with them. Invite those connections and conversations.

Publish content that’s worth sharing

Ask yourself honestly: 

  • Are you posting content that excites, entertains, educates? 
  • Is your content engaging? 
  • Are you thinking about your followers first?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to reevaluate your content strategy. Think about how you can add in more:

  • Opinions (just be cautious when it comes to sensitive issues)
  • Trending content (which helps you stay current on social media)
  • News developments from your industry
  • Data and statistics
  • Humorous or cute content (just make sure that it’s relevant to your brand identity)
  • Visually compelling or eye-catching (including videos)

If a majority of your content is sales-heavy, you’re definitely missing an opportunity for engagement with your social media followers (and giving others a reason to follow you).

Use a content calendar

Content calendars are great for both long-term planning and overall content organization.

It’s about striking a balance between posting enough to stay relevant and not posting too much, which looks more like spam. That balance helps you connect with social media followers.

See our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

Promote your social media elsewhere

Don’t assume that everyone knows you have a Facebook page or an Instagram account or a viral video on TikTok.

Depending on what else you’re doing online, think through the opportunities you have to promote your social media accounts elsewhere. 

This could be on your website, blog, podcast, guest blogs (or appearances), email newsletters and so on.

Be smart with your hashtags

Hashtags are all about discoverability. But it’s better to be strategic and targeted than to treat your hashtags like buckshot.

In short, the most popular hashtags (such as #love) aren’t necessarily the ones you need to use because they are, in fact, so overused. You’ll just get lost in the noise.

You can opt for more specific hashtags and/or create branded hashtags to promote user-generated content (among other reasons).

Check out our six tips to help you master hashtags on Instagram specifically.

Explore influencer marketing

Influencer marketing continues to increase in popularity, and for good reasons. It simply makes sense to partner with another brand that (or personality who) is relevant to your target audience.

Make sure you understand who you’re going to work with (whether they’re appropriate for your brand) and what the expectations are.

The result of a successful influencer marketing campaign is increased engagement and more social media followers.

Check out our seven tips you should know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Keep your customer service team in the loop

Because so many more consumers are contacting brands via social media, it’s important that everyone tasked with responding to those messages are in the loop regarding your overall social media strategy and any significant campaigns.

Maintaining that communication across your team will preserve a consistency in your customer service that should back up the brand voice you’re projecting publicly on social media.

(Of course, this also extends to how you address negative commentary and reviews online. See our 11 tips.)

Consider contests and giveaways

Contests and giveaways should never be the end all be all of your entire social media strategy. But they are a great way to engage with your social media followers and grow your following as well.

First, think about what would spur interest and excitement. Make sure it’s reflective of your brand identity.

See our 10 tips to encourage more user-generated content.

But most importantly of all, make sure you’re on the up and up and keeping every giveaway and contest legal. Check out our guide on Terms and Conditions.

Pivot your strategy based on your social media performance

Similar to what we recommend for just about any digital marketing strategy is not just to monitor your social media analytics, but to refine your strategy as needed based on that performance.

If something is working, how can you build on that?

If something isn’t working, what can you do differently?

Clearly, there are so many factors to consider:

  • Timing
  • Content itself
  • Voice
  • Visuals

And so much more. But that’s what makes social media exciting. It’s always changing, and in general, it’s a grand experiment for every brand to find ways to represent itself, be heard and reach its target audience.

Consider any of these 17 online courses to level up your social media skills.

While you’re exploring how to increase your social media followers organically, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process as well. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

5 tips to optimize your Facebook Pixel

The key to any digital marketing strategy involves testing, tracking and refining based on the data.

When it comes to Facebook and Instagram ads, you must incorporate the free-to-use Facebook Pixel to obtain the best data tied to your campaign performance.

The Facebook Pixel is essentially a piece of code that you input onto your website. Once installed, it collects data that enables you to track conversions from your Facebook or Instagram ads, optimize those ads, create target audiences and retarget those who’ve already performed an action of some kind on your website.

To accomplish this, the Facebook Pixel places and triggers cookies to track website visitors as they interact with your website.

For example, a user could add a product of yours to the shopping cart but then leave your website before purchasing. Your Facebook Pixel can then make it possible for you to serve related ads about that product to that user while they’re browsing Instagram Stories. This reflects its retargeting capabilities.

It’s a must-use tool.

In fact, about 5.3 million websites use the Facebook Pixel. And they use it not just because of its tracking features, but also because using it helps the overall return on investment (ROI) of their Facebook ad campaigns. It’s all about increased efficiency.

And you can easily install it yourself if you have access to your website’s code. If not, you can contact your website developer. If your website is powered by an eCommerce platform (such as Shopify), Facebook has partnerships that make the installation process easy, as well as the creation of a product catalog and the ability to run related ads.

You can find your Facebook Pixel (and functionality) in the Data Sources interface of your Facebook Events Manager.

The following are five tips to help you best use the Facebook Pixel for your digital marketing efforts.

Understand what the Facebook Pixel can track

The Facebook Pixel offers tracking for 17 standard “events” (aka actions that occur on your website):

  1. Lead, when a visitor submits their information in any way on your website
  2. Complete Registration, when a visitor completes a registration form on your website
  3. Start Trial, when a visitor signs up for a free trial on your website
  4. Customize Product, when a user selects a specific version of a product (by choosing a color, for example)
  5. Add To Cart, when a visitor adds a product to his or her shopping cart on your website
  6. Add Payment Information, when a visitor enters his or her payment information during the purchase process on your website
  7. Initiate Checkout, when a visitor begins the checkout process to buy something on your website
  8. Purchase, when a visitor makes a purchase of any kind on your website
  9. Schedule, when a visitor books an appointment for your business on your website
  10. Submit Application, when a visitor applies for your product, service or program (a credit card application, for example)
  11. Subscribe, when a visitor subscribes to a paid product or service on your website
  12. Donate, when a visitor makes a donation on your website
  13. Add To Wishlist, when a visitor adds a product to a wishlist on your website
  14. Search, when a visitor uses the search function on your website
  15. Find Location, when a visitor searches for your business’s physical location on your website
  16. View Content, when a visitor lands on a specific page of your website
  17. Contact, when a visitor contact your business through the website

Use parameters to add details to your tracking

You can go beyond the standard events that the Facebook Pixel can track by adding details. This can be done through extra pieces of code called parameters.

You can narrow in on such factors as:

  • Content type
  • Currency
  • How much a conversion event is worth
  • Predicted long-term value

This means that you can use the Facebook Pixel to track a specific area or category of your website. For example, a salon website can separate those interested in hair services from those interested in nail services based on which sections of the website were viewed.98\

Be aware of newer iOS tracking limits

While there’s nothing you can do about it, it is worthwhile to understand that due to third-party tracking changes beginning in iOS 14.5, some Facebook Pixel functionality is disabled in updated Apple devices.

This can feel disheartening in your targeting efforts, but know that only about 15 percent of mobile Facebook users access the platform using iOS devices.

Nonetheless, one consequence of this change is that advertisers can only set up a maximum of eight standard events and custom conversions for tracking.

Think about the full picture

Ultimately, your strategy and how you want to use the Facebook Pixel are up to you. That being said, it’s recommended to place the Pixel base code on every page of your website.

Doing so ensures that you:

  • Won’t miss any conversion events.
  • Have complete control over how and what you decide to track.

Consider the logic of what you want to track to best identify the events you choose. Think about your customer’s journey on your website and what matters most to your business. 

What are your company’s goals? What are the goals of your advertising campaign? If you’re not sure, check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals.

A few suggested strategies:

  • Retarget visitors with true interest by targeting anyone who stayed on your website for at least 45 seconds.
  • Use Advanced Matching features that help match your website visitors with their Facebook profiles when turned on. This improves conversion attribution and helps you reach more people.
  • Segment your audience by browsing behavior based on the products or website sections they engaged with. (You then could target them with specific ads containing related coupon codes, for example.)
  • Create Lookalike Audiences with your data to target users (who haven’t yet visited your website) with similar demographics and behavior as those who have visited your website.
  • Determine your audience’s intent through their URL activity as long as you have smart, clear URL structures.

Just know that you don’t have to wait to install your Facebook Pixel. Do so right away so that you can begin gathering insights as soon as possible.

Monitor the performance of your Facebook Pixel

Obviously, the Facebook Pixel offers you a wealth of information.

You can track your Facebook ad conversions across platforms and devices to better understand your customers’ journey and behavior, for example, and then use this information to refine your strategy as needed.

Just make sure to compare you’re comparing your ad clicks to actual traffic data. Not all clicks convert into a true landing page view. One reason for this is any loading speed issues your website might have.

Keeping an eye on your ad campaign performance and the insights it yields over time will help you pivot your overall strategy as needed.

See our seven tips to better target your Facebook ads.

Looking to level up your digital marketing process beyond the Facebook Pixel? Schedule your free demo of DailyStory today.

8 tips to make your event marketing better

Understandably, event marketing is a broad strategy that can be used within your digital marketing, based on the events you may or may not be hosting.

But for businesses that do host or attend any sort of event (in-person or online), it’s critical to think through your event marketing strategy. Doing so helps you optimize the natural content and engagement opportunities that exist with events.

About 61 percent of marketers believe that in-person events are the most critical marketing channel.

Event marketing ultimately involves the tools and techniques you use to promote an event, usually with the goal of getting individuals to attend (whether they must pay to do so or not). Of course, on the flip side, it’s important to capitalize and follow through with those leads once you capture them going into the event, during the event and after the event.

The following are eight tips to make the most of your events and boost your overall event marketing.

Set your event marketing goals

Goals always end up being at the center of any successful digital marketing strategy. Understanding not only what you want to achieve but putting that to specifics so that you can lay out the action steps that need to be taken to get there.

Learn more about how to set effective marketing goals.

Consider multiple ways to send invitations

Obviously, you’ll want to invite people to attend your event, but in what ways can and/or should you invite them?

Methods include:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Direct mail

Choosing any or all of the above methods depends on who you’re trying to reach, but no matter what method(s) you use, make sure you can track invitations against your database and have a streamlined way of collecting reservations.

Leverage your social media for overall event promotion

A lot can be done around events on social media. For instance, a “save the date” campaign can help raise overall awareness of an event and can even include a “countdown” component to boost excitement.

You’ll want to use all the available tools at your disposal, including live videos, infographics with facts about the event and so on.

Then, monitor social media before, during and after the event. Ideally, you’ve established a specific hashtag for your event to make this easier on most platforms.

The monitoring can help you understand what’s happening in real time and respond to any complaints or requests during the event from your attendees.

Think beyond social media

Of course, as handy as social media is, there are other channels to consider for your event marketing, especially when you’re going beyond direct invitations. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Blogging (including guest blogging on other sites)
  • Partner outreach (such as potential collaborators and media partners)
  • Email marketing
  • Early-bird discounts on any channel
  • Pre-event landing page
  • Paid advertising
  • Formal press releases
  • Attendee referral incentives
  • Influencer marketing
  • SMS text marketing

The direction(s) you go in always should touch back on your goals for the event in question. 

Manage your event registration process

Speaking of collecting reservations, your event registration process should be a priority. Obviously, this should be online (whether your event is in-person or not). But beyond that, you have options as far as the method or tools you can use.

Here’s what you should keep in mind:

  • Have a way of tracking the source of each registration, which can done through custom landing pages and/or tracking codes.
  • Include sign-up deadlines that should happen automatically.
  • Capture and store all relevant contact information for individuals.
  • Have automated confirmations and reminders sent to registered attendees.

Incorporate event confirmations and reminders

As part of your event registration process, you’ll want to ensure that you’re sending confirmations whenever an individual RSVPs, as well as reminders as the event gets closer.

In fact, if you have any digital assets to share after the event is over (such as a recording or worksheet, etc.), consider including them in a follow-up email thanking all attendees and offering those assets, especially for those who might have missed the event.

Of course, the more you can automate this process, the better.

Capitalize on lead capture

Events naturally lend themselves to significant lead-capturing opportunities. This happens not just during the promotion of the event, but also during the event itself.

It’s important to capture all contact information for use in drip campaigns later. Be sure to have a data collection process in place during the event, whether that’s a business-card scanner or an online form. This is particularly important if your business is at an event (like a trade show) where you do not have attendee registration information.

You’ll also want to input that contact data into a marketing automation platform or CRM system as soon as you can after the event (ideally, the same day).

If possible, score and prioritize the contacts you made from the event. Depending on the marketing system you’re using, you can direct warmer leads to more of a sales-driven drip campaign, while cooler leads can be directed to more of an educational drip campaign.

DailyStory does offer a lead-ranking system within our platform to help target your marketing.

Measure your performance

When it comes to event marketing, there are a number of different metrics you can use to understand the success of your event. 

And the metrics you use largely depend on your goals for your event marketing. This can include:

  • Event attendance (especially out of those who registered)
  • Lead collection
  • Lead conversion
  • Revenue generated

DailyStory can help with event marketing automations (as well as in other types of digital marketing). And our platform offers even more than automation capabilities. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Instagram or Facebook Reels: 7 best practices for small businesses

With the increasing popularity of Reels (particularly on Instagram), small businesses should take note as part of your social media marketing strategy.

Reels is a feature where users can create and share fun, short videos using a catalog of music and other media. More specifically, they are 15-second, multi-clip videos that can have sound, music and other effects added to them. 

If you’re familiar with TikTok videos, then you’re familiar with the capabilities of Reels. 

About 61 percent of Generation Z TikTok users are leaning toward using Instagram Reels.

Find out more about Reels and three reasons why you should consider using them.

Of course, any success with Reels doesn’t just happen. The following are seven best practices for small businesses using Reels on either Instagram or Facebook.

Best practice #1: Highlight brand individuality

Reels is all about unique content with a thoughtful storyline. In other words, it’s a blank slate for out-of-the-box creativity.

However, if you’re struggling to brainstorm ideas that you can take to the next level (creatively speaking), consider:

  • Sharing company culture
  • Announcing new product launches or offers
  • Creating how-to tutorials
  • Displaying your product or service in an attention-grabbing way
  • Revealing insider tips and tricks
  • Repurposing past content that has performed well
  • Showing what happens behind the scenes
  • Highlighting before-and-after moments

Experiment with hashtags, text and captions. Research what is trending and what your competition is doing. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, whether that with the use of camera angels, audio, etc.

Just be wary of hard-selling too much. Viewers won’t have an appetite for it, and over time, you’ll struggle to build your reach and engagement on Reels.

Best practice #2: Think vertical and consider file size

Like Stories, Reels content is vertical. This might not be a big stretch for content creation if you’re already creating content for Stories, TikTok and/or Snapchat. 

But it can be an adjustment if you haven’t stepped into those other features and/or platforms yet.

As far as file size for Reels, it’s not a huge concern if you’re creating your content within the platform (either Instagram or Facebook). However, if you plan on importing any cllips for your Reels video, keep these characteristics in mind:

  • The recommended Reels size is 1080 by 1920 pixels.
  • The recomended aspect ratio for Reels is 9:16.

If the size is not accurate, you could end up with an awkwardly cropped Reels clip. 

Best practice #3: Balance authenticity with quality

Reels allows for fun, authentic content, but on the flip side, you still want to balance that with well-produced clips.

Take the time to plan, execute and edit your Reels video clips so that you can walk that line and hit that balance every time to best engage with your target audience. Choosing the right audio is a big piece, so don’t rush the creation process.

We recommend using a visual storyboard process to plan your Reels clip frame by frame. But truly, practice makes perfect. Keep experimenting and creating.

Best practice #4: Avoid watermarks

It’s probably not a surprise that since Facebook is aiming to compete with TikTok by implementing Reels, your content will not be as successful if it has another platform’s watermark on it.

For example, if you create a TikTok video on that platform and then save it to upload it to Instagram Reels, there will be a TikTok watermark in the corner of that uploaded clip.

To avoid this, you’ll want to create original content within Instagram or Facebook Reels so that it can play nice with those platforms’ algorithms.

Best practice #5: Add a custom Reels thumbnail

By creating a custom Reels cover, you are taking the power of your content into your own hands. The cover is the first image users see when they come across your Reels video clip.

Make sure that you design an image that is not only eye-catching but also true to the content users will see by watching your clip.

You can add the cover by clicking on “Cover” after creating your Reels clip. You can then add the image from your gallery.

Best practice #6: Optimize the sharing of your Reels

Once created, Instagram specifically allows you to share the video clip to the Reels tab, where your followers can then access it easily on your profile.

Be sure to share your Reels clip to your feed as well so that it’ll show on your main profile view alongside your other feed posts. You can also save it and share it at a more optimized time for your audience. While various “best time to post” articles exist online, the key is to think about your target audience’s time zone and when they’ll likely be engaging with your content.

  • When they wake up?
  • During lunch?
  • Toward the end of the traditional workday?
  • After dinner?
  • Before bed?

From there, experiment with timing to get the best sense for your brand account since every brand is unique with a different audience.

With a public Instagram business account (rather than a private personal account), your Reels clip could be picked up and suggested to users at large in Instagram’s main discovery Reels tab.

Learn more about the difference between personal, creator and business accounts on Instagram.

Best practice #7: Monitor your Reels performance

Just like with any other feature or even platform, tracking your metrics is critical to understanding what works best for your target audience and what isn’t working at all.

You’ll be able to view reach, likes, saves, shares, comments and plays. Keep in mind that the number of plays can be higher than your reach since users can watch a Reels clip more than once.

Your Reels analytics are located within Instagram Insights on the Instagram app, which is only available for business accounts.

Reels analytics for Facebook pages appear to be in the works as of 2021.

Still embracing TikTok? See our 15 tips to better market your brand on the video platform.

As you’re looking into expanding into Reels, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Reels: What it is and 3 reasons why you should use it for your business

Reels is among the new features you’ve likely noticed on either Facebook, Instagram or both.

It’s definitely how Facebook (which owns Instagram) is attempting to combat the popularity of TikTok, a newer social video app that is exploding among younger audiences.

As of 2021, Facebook has 2.9 billion monthly active users, while TikTok has reached 1 billion monthly active users.

Similar to how Facebook copied the Stories feature from Snapchat, it’s going with the same playbook for Reels from TikTok. The strategy effectively rocketed the use of Instagram Stories over Snapchat Stories. However, time will tell if this will happen against TikTok with Reels.

But what is Reels? And why should your business use them?

What is Reels?

Reels is a feature where users can create and share fun, short videos using a catalog of music and other media. More specifically, they are 15-second, multi-clip videos that can have sound, music and other effects added to them. 

If you’re familiar with TikTok videos, then you’re familiar with the capabilities of Reels.

The purpose of Reels is to entertain and inspire creativity.

Why you should try Reels

There are three reasons why you should consider incorporating Reels into your social media marketing strategy.

Improved visibility and discoverability

Because Reels is a prioritized feature on Instagram and Facebook, the platforms are giving prioritized status to all Reels-related content you post.

This expands to users’ news feeds, the “Explore” section of Instagram and a dedicated Reels section on Instagram (located in the center of the navigation bar).

In other words, prime-time visibility for your target audience.

The reason for the prioritization is because Facebook and Instagram want to encourage users to start using the feature, so now is the time to jump in and experiment.

Opportunity to make your brand more personable

Because of the nature of Reels, the feature offers your brand the opportunity to share fun and personable content that will entertain your audience and show a potentially relatable side of your brand.

Just make sure that whatever you experiment with and create on Reels is true to your brand. Being fun and using music and effects in your video clips can quickly go off track if you’re not paying attention.

Lower competition

When a social media feature is new, it can take many brands a while to adapt to it and start using it.

The sooner you can begin experimenting with Reels, the further ahead you can get on your own competition. Think of it this way: Even just experimenting now will make you the experienced brand when your competition is just starting to experiment.

In conclusion

Keep in mind that the use of Reels on Facebook or Instagram is not a substitute for your brand’s presence on TikTok. If you’re trying to reach a younger target audience, TikTok should be part of your strategy as long as it’s a relevant space for the users you’re trying to reach. 

In other words, it doesn’t matter how the battle for users between Facebook and TikTok ends up. TikTok is a relevant social media app for now and still deserves consideration.

See our 15 tips to market your brand on TikTok.

For some inspiration, check out Walmart and Sephora since they are major brands that are already using Reels.

While you’re considering how to set achievable marketing goals, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram (and how to avoid them)

With more than 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram clearly holds an appeal for brands looking to reach key target audiences.

But on the fourth-largest mobile app, it can be all too easy for brands to make very public mistakes.

The following are the 14 biggest mistakes businesses make on Instagram, as well as how you can avoid them for your own brand.

Instagram mistake #1: Purchasing likes or followers

Often, the currency of social media (and Instagram in particular) centers around authenticity. 

Buying your likes and/or Instagram followers may give you quantity, but definitely not quality. And by doing so, you risk breaking the trust of your real followers and commenters.

We also don’t recommend paying for automated outgoing comments because it definitely makes your brand look more like a robot than a personality that people want to engage with. Plus, you’re missing the opportunity to authentically engage with your target audience.

Instead, focus on a strategy where you prioritize engaging content and meaningful interactions with other users.

Instagram mistake #2: Not optimizing your Instagram bio

Too many companies don’t adequately optimize their Instagram bios. Remember that beyond your post that could reach a user who’s unfamiliar with your brand, your bio is often the first impression you can make.

Keep your bio clear, concise and relevant. You can use links, emojis and even line breaks to make your bio unique and easy to understand.

Instagram mistake #3: The use of poor-quality photos or videos

Instagram is a visual-first social media platform. While you don’t have to have the most expensive photographer shoot all your photos and videos, you do have to be thoughtful in the images that you are publishing.

Beautiful is great, but even interesting or well-composed images also work.

Think about your lighting, finding a neutral background and the composition of your images. 

Fortunately, there are many easy-to-use photo editing apps and graphic design tools to edit your images as needed.

Instagram mistake #4: Your posting frequency is off

There’s a fine line to walk on Instagram before you end up posting “too much” or “too little.” It’s such an easy mistake to make.

With too many posts, your brand can look desperate to users. With too few, your brand’s Instagram account can appear inactive and forgettable.

The “right” number is not only ever evolving but can also depend on your industry and audience. 

For example, a news outlet could post multiple times per day, and that makes sense. A retail brand, on the other hand, would be more likely to post a few times per week.

Keep an eye on your analytics, so that you can find the sweet spot for your own brand’s posting frequency.

Instagram mistake #5: Ignoring your performance analytics

A huge (but common) mistake brands can make on Instagram involves ignoring your data, or at least not using your metrics enough to inform your strategy.

But go beyond the vanity metrics. It’s not only about likes. Keep your reach, audience demographics and more in mind as you publish your content.

Seeing what works and what doesn’t will only make your Instagram strategy that much stronger.

Dive deeper with our guide on Instagram Insights.

Instagram mistake #6: Using too many hashtags

A powerful tool on Instagram, hashtags (when used correctly) can help your content organically reach more users.

However, you can use too many and shoot your brand in the foot.

While you can use up to 30 hashtags, you’ll more likely see only a handful in use on any given post. Up to 11 hashtags is generally accepted these days.

See our six tips to master hashtags on Instagram.

Instagram mistake #7: Inattention to sharing quality content

All content is not created equal.

If you allow the quality of your overall content to slide, then you risk publishing posts that are boring, spammy and/or out of touch. Big mistake.

Don’t post just to post. Always ask yourself if what you’re posting is intriguing, informative and/or fun. If it is, your target audience will more likely engage with it. What does your audience care about?

See our seven tips for leveling up your brand’s content marketing.

Instagram mistake #8: Being impersonal

Just because you’re speaking for and representing your brand, doesn’t mean that you’re not human. Many brands make the mistake of being too professional. 

Take a moment to think about your brand voice and how you should be engaging with and speaking to your target audience on Instagram.

Instagram mistake #9: Lacking an Instagram strategy

An Instagram strategy goes beyond just what you’re going to do, it drills into what your Instagram goals are and what actions should happen to help achieve those goals.

No matter what your goals are, it’s very difficult to achieve them without a plan to do so. That lack of a plan or strategy is a big Instagram mistake.

Dive deeper into what you should do with our 16 Instagram marketing tips.

Instagram mistake #10: Inconsistency with your visuals

This ties into your branding. What colors, aesthetics and tone define your brand? Inconsistencies with your overall visual presentation is a mistake.

Now, apply that to the compilation of all your Instagram images. When you look at your Instagram profile (and all your images in one place), is there a consistent look and feel?

Variations can exist, of course. But the idea is that overall, an Instagram follower should generally recognize your content when it appears in your feed.

Your consistent visual presentation can be included in your overall Instagram strategy. It could be as simple as a style guide.

Instagram mistake #11: Errors in your captions

Just like with any other piece of your digital marketing, typos put the perception of your professionalism and credibility at risk.

But even marketing writers can make mistakes. We’re all human.

So, include a proofing process into your social media publishing (not just Instagram).

Instagram mistake #12: Not embracing Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories are not as new as they used to be, and about 500 million users use this feature. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring this important feature.

Instagram Stories feature fun, authentic content in a vertical orientation that disappears after a day. Stories can be used to share behind-the-scenes moments, first-person narratives and more. The sky’s the limit as far as creativity.

Instagram mistake #13: Lack of engagement with followers

Social media is not a broadcasting platform, Instagram included. It’s about conversations.

Every time a user comments on your Instagram posts, that’s an opportunity to engage with him and her that can help build a trusting relationship.

Go beyond planning and publishing your content. Consider one of the many social media management tools that can help you not only schedule your posts but monitor all engagement actions on that content. Social media management in general can help you stay on top of all social media activity.

Instagram mistake #14: Including links in your post captions

Instagram does not allow for clickable URLs in post captions. By including “links” in your captions, not only will it look messy and not work, but you’ll look like you don’t know what you’re doing on the platform.

The best practice is to include your relevant link in your bio and refer users to click that. It’s a common practice. If you need to share more than one link at the same time, websites like Linktree and Campsite can create a “landing page” of links that can be found through a single link that you can include in your bio link.

If you have at least 10,000 followers, you can include links in your Instagram Stories as well.

In conclusion

Whether you’ve made any of these Instagram mistakes or not, it’s never too late to improve and move forward.

Check out our list of challenges and opportunities that small businesses face on Instagram.

Plus, you can think about the bigger picture with our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

As you’re looking to avoid the biggest Instagram mistakes, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 ranking factors to know about the Facebook Algorithm

Facebook is still the largest social media network today.

As of the second quarter of 2021, Facebook had about 2.89 billion monly active users.

At the core of the platform is the news feed, which is controlled by the Facebook Algorithm. The Facebook Algorithm controls what each user sees in his or her news feed, based on perceived interests, past engagement and other user data. The posts are not chronologically ordered. The goal is to provide the best user experience, but the downside impacts organic reach for brands through Facebook pages.

The Facebook Algorithm is essentially a series of calculations, but the specifics are not publicly shared in order to prevent anyone from “gaming the system.” Of course, Facebook has shared the overall logic of the algorithm.

In a nutshell, Facebook prioritized interactions with other users over brand pages years ago, which shook up Facebook marketing entirely. But understanding best practices as they relate to the Facebook Algorithm will help your content reach more people organically.

With small businesses alone comprising about 90 million Facebook pages on the platform, you’re already in a hyper-competitive environment that still will prioritize the wedding photos, for example, of a user’s friend over your content.

The following are seven key things to know about the Facebook Algorithm news feed ranking factors as of 2021. All of these factors directly impact the organic reach of any of your organic posts.

Inventory

Inventory is another word for available content on Facebook. From a user standpoint, it includes posts from users you’re connected with, posts from groups you’re part of and posts from any pages you like or follow.

The more content there is, the more competition your post has on Facebook.

Engagement

The Facebook Algorithm prioritizes meaningful interactions. This includes:

  • Comments and comment replies
  • Likes (or reactions)
  • Interaction with page content that’s shared by friends
  • Shares on Messenger

Relationships

Essentially, this ranking factor involves the user and interactions between users.

Think of it as including:

  • Who the poster of the content is and how complete his or her profile is
  • Who users interact with
  • Interactions between people (which weighs more than interactions between people and pages)

Content type

Mixing up the type of content you post is a popular approach to Facebook marketing in general. 

As far as the Facebook Algorithm is concerned, though, it’s looking at:

  • The type of post it is (whether it’s an image, link or video)
  • How informative that content is
  • The amount of time spent on that post

Dive deeper with our six Facebook marketing tips.

Timeliness

Timing is everything, right? For the Facebook Algorithm, it’s looking to show newer posts first on your news feed, but still not in a chronological order (since there are other factors in play). 

It considers the time of posting and the current time as it weighs the recency of posts.

Predictions

In the simplest terms, the Facebook Algorithm uses your actions (such as searches, for example) to predict what you might engage with in your news feed.

It’s a calculation that aims to understand your likes and dislikes so that your news feed is something you’ll want to stay on (and return to).

Relevancy score

Ultimately, with all ranking factors in play, the Facebook Algorithm assigns every piece of content a relevancy score that indicates how relevant it is for any given user. This score differs, based on the user in question.

A higher score means that your content will more likely be shown in the user’s news feed, while a lower score is far less likely.

In conclusion

While it’s important to be aware of how the Facebook Algorithm views your content, no one knows exactly how each calculation works.

Instead, focus on your overall content marketing strategy, optimize your Facebook page while you’re thinking about it and avoid these 13 biggest mistakes that many businesses make on the world’s largest social media network.

As you better understand the Facebook Algorithm, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips to create a social media policy for your small business [plus examples]

In this ever-evolving age of technology, a social media policy is critical for any small business.

However, many small businesses don’t have one.

While 74 percent of adults use social media, about 73 percent of companies don’t have an official social media policy.

This opens up your small business to inconsistent brand voice and various risks (both legal and PR-wise).

In the simplest terms, your social media policy features an official document that outlines how an organization and its employees should conduct themselves online. Even if your small business doesn’t use social media (although we highly recommend that it does in some way), your employees likely do, and their conduct online can reflect back on your business, for better or worse.

Because a social media policy applies to everyone within your company, it needs to be clear and easy to understand. Often, you would include your policy with other onboarding materials for new employees. However, you should plan to orient all existing employees as well if you’re now creating and implementing one.

It’s important to know that while a social media policy can be all-encompassing, it typically can have two goals:

  • Protect and maintain the company’s brand voice
  • Guard against social media risks

In other words, the do’s and don’ts, if you will.

While this process can feel daunting at first, the following are seven expert tips to help you create a social media policy that works for your small business. Plus, we include some examples of social media policies from large organizations to help inspire you.

Identify your goals for a social media policy

What are you hoping to achieve with a social media policy? What are your business’s biggest challenges when it comes to social media?

Take a moment to write down the biggest needs, whether that’s actual social media use during work hours, expectations of online conduct outside of the workplace, the establishment of a crisis management plan to refer to whenever it might be needed or anything else.

Of course, you’ll want to pull in any relevant stakeholders to get ideas, questions and concerns as well. The more inclusive you can make any new policy, the more reflective it will be of those it will impact and the easier it will be to implement.

There is no limit to the goals you want to achieve. Just keep in mind that each goal likely will require its own section in your social media policy for the best clarity possible.

Clearly establishing what you hope to accomplish with your policy will help set the overall tone for social media use within your small business.

Also, check in on your company’s core values. Any new policy of any kind should work in tandem with them.

Depending on your overall goals, you truly can pick and choose which of the following topics or sections you should include (or not).

Consider roles and responsibilities within your company

This is all about who can speak for your brand on social media and who can’t.

You can get a nitty gritty as you like by outlining:

  • Who owns which social media accounts
  • Who is responsible for what on a daily, weekly, monthly or as-needed basis
  • Contact information for those in key roles
  • Any social media training
  • Overall social media strategy
  • How posting and engagement are handled
  • Social media advertising
  • Customer service expectations
  • How social media listening is conducted
  • Any required approval process

But, at the same time, you also can just focus on the aspects that fit your goals and brand needs best.

Explain security protocols

While its scope expands far beyond just social media (and might ultimately require its own separate policy document), online security is only becoming increasingly important for every small business to at least think through. 

But it’s even better to communicate your security protocols to your employees and how they can identify and deal with any risks as well.

You might want to address:

  • How often account passwords should be changed
  • What devices can be used on the company network
  • Whether employees can use personal social media accounts on company devices
  • The procedure for moving access to branded social accounts when an employee leaves the company

But again, if you feel like the overall topic of online security deserves its own policy document, feel free to separate it out to provide for better focus and clarity of your social media policy.

Walk through a crisis management plan

Similar to online security, a social media crisis management plan can easily earn its own separate policy document rather than being forced into your general social media policy.

But that preference is up to you.

If you are touching on any sort of crisis management plan, be sure to consider:

  • Guidelines to help identify the scope of the crisis
  • An internal communication plan, with an up-to-date emergency contact list that includes specific roles
  • The approval process for response(s)

Even just keeping it simple and identifying the process that should happen if a crisis of any size happens, that will help your company be that much more responsive.

Identify various potential legal questions and issues

Depending on your industry and even your state or country of operations, the types of legal questions and issues can vary widely.

More than anything, you should consult with legal counsel to ensure that you’re covering all your bases.

But, in general, you’ll want to think about:

  • Copyright law on social media (particularly with the use of any third-party content)
  • The handling of customer information and other private data
  • How internal company information is handled
  • Restrictions and/or disclaimers surrounding testimonials or marketing claims

Share expectations for employees’ personal social media accounts

There is a delicate line to walk here since we are talking about personal (and not professional) social media accounts. In addition, you’ll want to keep in mind that some personal accounts can be linked back to your company, while others would not be by the casual social media user.

All that being said, some aspects that you might want to address include:

  • Whether it’s permitted to mention the company in profile bios (and if so, what disclaimers about content representing personal rather than corporate opinions are required)
  • Guidelines about any post content that shows the workplace or work uniform (if applicable)
  • Whether it’s required to identify as an employee when discussing the company or its competitors on social media

The trickiness here is that employees are perceived as representatives of your brand in general (and that perception spreads so much further online), so balance that with the obvious right employees have to share their personal opinions on their personal social media accounts. It’s a gray zone, for sure. But the conversation is worth having up front so that you can better address sticky situations as they might arise.

Some key aspects you might want to at least consider:

  • Inappropriate jokes
  • Inflammatory comments or obscenity
  • Offensive images
  • Discriminatory remarks

Specify what employee advocacy can look like

While your social media team and any spokespeople understand your brand’s voice and how to answer tough questions posed by customers and others, it’s likely that your other employees do not.

See this as an opportunity to guide your employees who are excited about their work to be some of your best brand advocates online.

Some questions you can address include:

  • Can regular employees engage with people mentioning the brand on social media platforms? Or, should that be directed to the social media team to handle? What’s the process for that?
  • How should regular employees handle negative comments about the brand on social media, or should the social media team be notified instead? What does that process look like?
  • Is there an approved content library that regular employees can access and use? If so, how?
  • How and when should an employee share company news or information about a new product?

The key is to keep this guidance as clear and straightforward as possible. Remember, you’re speaking to the employees who do not live and breathe your social media, but for those who do want to advocate for you, it’s important to give them a path to do so that works for the brand, not against it.

Social media policy examples

For inspiration, here are a handful of publicly available social media policies and other company conduct guidelines from large organizations:

In conclusion

Once you’ve launched (or relaunched) your social media policy, you’ll want to make sure that it’s readily accessible for all employees to refer to anytime they need. Also, commit to regular updates (whether that’s quarterly or annually) since social media is rapidly evolving.

And, of course, you must make the commitment to enforce your policy. Otherwise, it’s just a pretty document that doesn’t really mean anything. For overall clarity and accountability, it might be helpful to include how you will enforce the social media policy.

Remember that while this is an official policy that you’re creating (or revamping) for your small business, the more input and buy-in you can get along the way, the better. It’s easy to miss some of the key questions when we’re only looking through our own perspective. Granted, you don’t have to ask every single employee what they think at each step of creating your policy, but gathering a group of key stakeholders for their input will help you create a social media policy that is truly reflective not only of your goals but of your team as well.

As you’re working through your social media policy, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Plus, check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

6 biggest mistakes businesses make on LinkedIn

LinkedIn remains a popular social media network for professionals and B2B marketing in particular.

The platform offers the ability to create a free personal profile, as well as a Company Page to represent your larger brand,

LinkedIn currently has 722 million users, which doesn’t make it the largest platform when compared to Facebook and Instagram. However, on the flip side, LinkedIn is the most trusted social network in the U.S.

In addition, three people are hired through LinkedIn every minute.

So, whether your goals for your brand’s LinkedIn presence revolve around establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, generating more sales leads or hiring more qualified candidates (or all three), it’s important to avoid the following six biggest mistakes that businesses make with their Company Pages on the professional social media platform.

LinkedIn Mistake #1: Not publishing content

Often viewed as an online resume by many, some brands don’t take full advantage of content publishing like they would for Facebook or another social media platform.

Relevant content is critical to building your online presence, sharing your expertise and building a relationship with your audience. The best content helps your brand become the thought leader in your industry.

Company Pages that post weekly experience twice as much engagement with their content. Ideally, you’re sharing a mix of custom and curated content.

See our seven tips to help level up your content marketing.

LinkedIn Mistake #2: Not engaging with others on LinkedIn

Just because LinkedIn is geared toward professionals, it’s still a social media platform. Social media is a two-way street. 

Do more than broadcast at your following. Go beyond that by engaging with others on LinkedIn.

Comment on other posts, respond to comments on your posts and maintain responsiveness on LinkedIn. Commit to investing the time to building and nurturing your relationships because doing so not only helps your platform reach but improves the overall perception of your Company Page.

LinkedIn Mistake #3: Not optimizing your LinkedIn Company Page

Optimizing your Company Page on LinkedIn requires more than making sure that all fields are filled out, although that is a piece of it.

It’s really about taking a fresh look at your page as if you’re a potential customer or job candidate and determining whether you’re seizing every opportunity to tell your brand’s story to them.

Dive deeper into how to optimize your page and other LinkedIn marketing tips.

LinkedIn Mistake #4: Not having a company-wide LinkedIn policy

To be fair, every company should have some form of a social media policy that sets the expectations of at least public-facing employees and how they conduct themselves on social media that makes sense for both your company and your employees.

But when it comes to LinkedIn, it’s especially important to communicate expectations with your company’s employees because a majority of professionals will look each other up on LinkedIn before deciding to do business with each other. 

An inadequate presence and/or any detrimental messages is like the equivalent of passing out homemade business cards. It impacts how prospects perceive you and your company.

LinkedIn Mistake #5: Prioritizing the sale above all else

Just like with any social media platform, users largely ignore any brand that focuses entirely on sales (and sales only).

Take a look at your content mix and how you’re engaging with your followers. Is it all about the sale? Can you take a step back and evaluate what content would best serve the needs and interests of your target audience?

Be sure that you’re offering value, not just promotions about a free trial or discount on a service or product. While there is a place for selling in general, you must dilute that among a content strategy that aims to educate, entertain and inform.

LinkedIn Mistake #6: Disregarding the value of LinkedIn groups

More and more, social media is about building online communities around common interests. LinkedIn groups can help you connect with prospective customers and others.

If you’re creating a group, think about focusing it on a topic that your target audience is interested in. Think similarly when looking for LinkedIn groups to join. That way, you’re able to leverage your expertise in a place where you’re hitting people at the right time and place.

Go further than LinkedIn by learning about these 11 digital marketing mistakes that could be costing you money.

As you’re evaluating how you can avoid making common mistakes on LinkedIn, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Personal, Creator or Business: Which Instagram account is right for your brand?

Instagram is a vital marketing platform for many brands. Are you using the right account type?

The visual-first social media app boasts more than 1 billion users worldwide. More women use Instagram than men, and the majority of users are between 25 and 34 years old.

If your brand is targeting a younger, female audience, Instagram likely is already part of your digital marketing strategy.

Dive deeper with our breakdown of Instagram’s challenges and opportunities for small businesses.

When using the platform, you have the option to use a personal, Creator or Business account. Two of these are considered professional, while one is considered personal for obvious reasons.

Depending on your brand and needs on Instagram, it’s important to understand what’s involved with each type of Instagram account and whether you’re using the right one.

Personal Instagram accounts

About 80 percent of all Instagram accounts are personal, so it’s the most commonly used type.

On a personal account, there are no analytics or API access, which means that you can’t schedule posts, use Facebook Creator Studio to manage your Instagram presence or get third-party access to performance analytics.

In addition, personal accounts do not have contact buttons on the profile, gift card delivery stickers or the “swipe-up” function in Stories (that can send viewers to a website).

While all of those down sides likely are a no-go for your business, keep in mind that personal Instagram accounts have access to all music options in Instagram Reels and Stories and are the only account type that can be private.

Business vs. Creator Instagram accounts

Considering the likelihood (and best practice) that your brand is not going to use a personal Instagram account, then the question remains: Should your brand use Business or Creator instead?

Similarities

Business and Creator Instagram accounts do have a lot of similar features, including: 

  • Access to Instagram Insights
  • Two-tab inbox (Primary and General) to best manage a potentially high number of direct messages
  • Saved replies
  • Shoppable posts
  • Contact buttons on your profile
  • Gift card delivery stickers
  • Access to branded content features that enable collaboration with other accounts

Differences

Of course, on the flip side, there are a couple of key differences between the two types of Instagram accounts.

Instagram Business accounts are intended for brands that are making money or selling something. They do have API access, which means that posts can be scheduled, access to Facebook Creator Studio (which allows you to manage your Instagram from a desktop computer if you wish) and the option to use third-party analytics tools.

Instagram Creator accounts are intended for influencers, who are individuals who have a sizeable, engaged following. (Find out more about influencer marketing.)

Instagram Creator accounts do not have API access, but they do have access to the full music library on the platform.

Business accounts only have the royalty-free music library, which is limited (and not tied into relevant pop culture).

Business and Creator accounts also have different profile categories. For example, a public figure using a Creator account could choose from “chef,” “writer” and so on, but a brand using a Business account could choose from categories, such as “bakery” or “advertising agency.”

While both account types offer the ability to show contact information on your profile, only the Instagram Business account can include a physical location address.

In addition, the call-to-actions available for the profile button differ between Business and Creator accounts. Creator accounts only have “book now” and “reserve” options, while Business accounts have more.

Therefore, the decision between using a Business or Creator account is typically a straightforward one. Most businesses opt for the Business account.

How to change your Instagram account type

Need to change your Instagram account type or not sure what type you currently have?

Open your Instagram app, go to your profile and tap on the three-line “hamburger” menu button in the top right. Go to Settings, and select the Account option.

At the bottom of the Account selection, you’ll see the option to switch your account type. The options available will be what you aren’t using currently. For example, if you have a Creator account, you’ll only see the options to change to a Business or personal account type.

Be wary of making frequent switches between account types. Doing so delays your access to certain features. Instagram does this to help prevent the abuse of bouncing between account types to get the best features of both. Frequent switches can ultimately lead to your account being flagged as spam by Instagram as well.

Looking to get a jump on your Instagram marketing? See our 16 tips.

While you’re considering your Instagram account type, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

10 tips to encourage more user-generated content

User-generated content should be part of your overall digital marketing strategy.

Why? About 85 percent of consumers think that visual user-generated content (UGC) is more persuasive than branded photos or videos.

UGC is unpaid or unsponsored social media posts that consumers share about a product or service.

Of course, the amount of user-generated content out there is almost limitless. Smartphone owners take an average of 150 new photos per month (or about five photos per day).

Because social media thrives on authenticity, UGC is a great way to connect with your audience and build brand loyalty.

The following are 10 tips to help you encourage more user-generated content related to your own brand.

See what’s already out there

Whether you have an official UGC strategy or not, it’s entirely possible that user content about your brand (or showing your product) is already being posted on various social networks. 

You can search by location, hashtag and/or keyword depending on the social media platform. 

Doing so can help shed light on what’s already out there and what you can start with as you shape your UGC strategy and related campaigns.

Understand current consumer trends

This is somewhat related to seeing what UGC already exists for your brand but on a larger scale. The key is to focus on the habits and behaviors of your target audience. 

See our seven tips for determining your target audience.

Ask yourself:

  • What types of photos and videos are my target audience posting?
  • Is there a particular style or product dominating the conversation?
  • When is your target audience typically posting?
  • Are they geotagging their photos and videos?

Once you have a better understanding of how your target audience shares content on social media, you can use that to help develop your own UGC-related campaigns.

Adopt a selfless, community-driven hashtag

Even if you already have a branded hashtag that you use on your branded content (and some customers might or might not also use), it’s a good idea to create and adopt a customer-focused hashtag that’s about them, not so much about you.

One example is Urban Outfitters promoting #UOonyou that’s related to apparel and beauty posts from their customers and #UOaroundyou that’s related to their music and apartment departments. These are actionable hashtags that put the focus on your fans and customers.

Remember, user-generated content might be related to you, but it’s not about you. The more you can put the spotlight on your online community, the better.

Include call-to-actions across your online presence

Just because you create a community-driven hashtag doesn’t mean that it will go viral (or even be used) immediately.

Beyond regular promotional posts talking about your community hashtag and how to share content, be sure to include wherever you can across platforms, whether that’s in your bio, cover image, website or elsewhere.

The more it appears across channels in different ways, the more fans you’ll reach. Just be specific about what the hashtag means and what type of content you’re looking for.

Display signage in your physical locations

While an analog method, displaying signage in your physical location(s) can be very effective.

Think about where you interact with your customers. Displaying signage about how they can share on social media and be part of your online community of fans can be very effective at checkout, for example.

Be clear about the type of content that’s relevant to your community hashtag and even which social media platform you prefer (if applicable).

Host an event

By hosting an event, you can create your own buzz for your fans and customers to post about.

Of course, the type of event you host depends on your brand. But in general, your event enables you to control the environment, the lighting, the availability of your products (perhaps in a goodie bag, for example) and more that can make a splash online. 

No matter the event, promote your hashtag to attendees so that they can all see each other’s posts.

Embrace influencers

Working with influencers can help spread awareness about your brand across social media and the internet at large (depending on the influencer, course).

In a nutshell, an influencer is viewed as a leader among his or her networks, with large and engaged followings.

Obviously, working with an influencer can lead to a great kickstart to any user-generated content campaign.

But influencer marketing can take many different forms, depending on your goal and who you choose to work with.

See our seven tips before diving into influencer marketing. We also break down how to determine which social media platform is best for your brand’s influencer marketing.

Plan a giveaway tied to user-generated content

UGC is organic and authentic, but one way to spur more of it is through a giveaway where entries are tied to posting user-generated content.

Granted, no brand should just launch a giveaway without a confirmed plan of execution and legal considerations. But in general, by asking your following to submit images to be entered into your giveaway, you’re offering an incentive to share more great content.

Just be sure the theme of your giveaway aligns with what your fans already enjoy doing and that your prize encourages enough engagement to be worthwhile.

Consider alternative incentives for user-generated content

Beyond hosting an official giveaway, some brands have experimented with giving other types of incentives for UGC, such as discounts, free samples and so on.

Of course, you’ll want to plan accordingly, but anything you can incentivize for your following to share will naturally help them do so.

Feature user content elsewhere online

A popular choice here is your website. The idea that a fan’s photo could appear on your brand’s website or re-shared on other branded social accounts could be enough to keep sharing.

While this acts as a free type of incentive, it’s also just a great way to celebrate your fans and share your growing online community with others.

Many brands have a hashtag feed that populates on their website to show the latest related UGC being published.

In conclusion

Ultimately, your goals around user-generated content will naturally direct your path with this digital marketing tactic. Take the time to determine what it is that you want to accomplish, whether that’s increasing engagement, saving time on creating your own branded content or something else entirely.

Also, keep in mind that it’s always important to not only engage with the users sharing content about your brand but to ask permission if you plan on using his or her content in any way beyond an in-platform share.

Check out our seven tips to help improve your overall content marketing.

While you’re evaluating how to increase UGC around your brand, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

16 Instagram marketing tips that you should know

Marketing on Instagram is a non-negotiable aspect of digital marketing for many brands.

The visuals-first social media platform boasts more than 1.16 billion users, and about 90 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business.

While the success of any brand on Instagram involves high-quality images and videos in the feed and authentic visual content in Stories, don’t be intimidated if your business doesn’t lend itself to obvious visuals. Just check out what Staples is doing on Instagram based on office supplies.

If you are trying to reach a younger audience, see our guide on evaluating the value of marketing on Instagram versus Snapchat versus TikTok.

Also dive into the challenges and opportunities of Instagram for small businesses.

The following are 16 Instagram marketing tips you should know about to boost the impact your brand can make on the platform.

Marketing with an Instagram business account

It’s important to use an Instagram Business account when marketing on the platform.

You can check that you are (and switch if necessary) by going into your Instagram profile and tapping on the menu icon at the top right. Then, tap on “Settings,” “Account,” and then opt to switch to a professional account.

By using a business account, you’ll have access to Instagram Insights, ads, Instagram Shop, primary and secondary messaging inboxes, contact information on your profile and a call-to-action button on your profile.

In other words, this type of Instagram account gives you more tools in your marketing toolbox.

Determine your Instagram goals

Just with any marketing tactic, you must set your goals to best define your approach and strategy.

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish by marketing on Instagram. Some examples include:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Get new leads
  • Establish your brand as an industry leader
  • Create an alternative selling method

Or, of course, you could have a combined goal, but the simpler the goal, the better. That makes it easier to set a timeframe and stay focused on a limited number of metrics that tie into your goal.

To keep it simple and help prioritize, consider what you’d like to accomplish first above all else.

Dive deeper with our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

Understand your target audience

First, the following you have (or can grow) on Instagram is going to be different than any other social media platform. Second, you must determine whether this syncs up with your target audience, or if there is some work you must do to better align your Instagram content to the wants, needs and interests of your target audience.

While Instagram users tend to skew younger, that doesn’t mean the overall users of the app aren’t diverse.

Dive deeper with our seven tips to help determine your target audience

Optimize your Instagram profile

No detail is too small when it comes to your Instagram profile. Other than your posts, this is your first impression for countless users who come across your content for one reason or another. This is where users purposefully go to find out more about you. Don’t leave them disappointed or confused.

Some points to consider:

  • Be personable and as detailed as possible in your 150-character Instagram bio.
  • Be clear in your name, where you are allowed 30 characters
  • Your username (or handle) should also make sense.
  • Include your website link in the URL field (but know that you can change that out as often as you like).
  • Choose a category for your business.
  • Maintain up-to-date contact information.
  • Take advantage of available call-to-action buttons.
  • Choose the right profile photo that bests represents your business (often your logo).

Create and post visually engaging content

Because Instagram is a visual-first platform, your posts and Stories have to be eye-catching to say the least.

While professional photography equipment (and skills) may not be available to you, that’s OK. Focus on photos and videos that are in focus and well-lit. Any infographics (or other illustrations) should be easy-to-read and crisp.

Of course, it’s not enough to have well-composed photos. There needs to be a story that you’re conveying in every post to encourage engagement. Compelling posts can include:

  • Behind-the-scenes content
  • Regrams of user-generated content
  • How-to explainers

Ideally, you’re striving to publish Instagram content that’s worthy of sharing and commenting, not just liking.

Keep in mind that your content doesn’t just have to come from you. It can be sourced from your fans, customers and/or other users as well.

Consistent Instagram look and feel

More than any other social media platform, brands must consider what the look and feel of their overall Instagram presence.

We mentioned Staples earlier. You’ll notice their branded red throughout their posts in addition to the same branded fonts and other bright, bold colors. Their images are all very clean and clear.

Your look and feel should reflect your brand overall and be recognizable in your followers’ news feeds, but give yourself a little latitude to play. It’s all about being consistent.

Don’t underestimate the power of your captions

Because Instagram is a visual medium, it’s easy to overlook the opportunity you have with your captions. Your brand’s voice is just as important as your brand’s look. Again, you want to be consistent here.

There is a lot of flexibility in what you can say since you have up to 2,200 characters available to you. Just keep in mind that only the first two lines of text will automatically show in a news feed, without tapping the More button.

In other words, while you can say as much as you like, you’ll want to lead with the most important information in those first couple of lines.

As far as ideal caption length on Instagram, strive for between 138 and 150 characters on organic posts and 125 characters on ads. You can go longer. Just make sure it adds value to your content.

Be smart about your Instagram hashtags

Hashtags are a viable way to increase your discoverability on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags in a single Instagram post, but to be fair, it’s not recommended to use all 30.

Instead, identify about a half dozen relevant hashtags to include with your post. 

Dive deeper with our six tips on mastering Instagram hashtags.

Don’t just broadcast, engage

Just like with any social media platform, success is not based on only publishing the best content. It’s a mix of factors, one of the biggest being your brand engaging with other users and accounts.

Definitely respond to comments on your own posts and direct messages sent to your account. But you also should invest time liking and commenting on other posts that are relevant to your brand for whatever reason. 

It’s those small actions that add up to building a true online community, not just a one-way broadcasting platform.

Check out these 10 tips to get more likes and engagement on your Instagram posts.

Embrace Instagram Stories

While only half of businesses on Instagram use the Stories feature, about a third of the most viewed Stories are posted by businesses.

In other words, you have a great opportunity to engage with your audience through Instagram Stories.

Because Stories content disappears after 24 hours, followers expect Stories to be less polished and more authentic than your Instagram feed.

When considering what to publish in Stories, remember that this is a visual storytelling opportunity, where several Stories can work together to tell a story. So, you want to:

  • Have a message you’d like to convey in mind.
  • Use multiple “scenes” (image or video) to string together.
  • Include a call-to-action that is very clear to viewers
  • Keep your brand identity (look and feel) consistent

You can also reshare others’ Stories that tag you into your own Stories. Just act fast because the opportunity to reshare disappears after 24 hours.

Stories can also be saved longer than 24 hours and categorized into Highlights on your Instagram profile. Cover images are recommended for your Story Highlights as well to maintain brand identity.

Go live on Instagram

To connect with your audience in real time, you’ll want to go live. Of course, even though the expectation on Instagram Live is raw, authentic content, you can still go in with a plan. Some options: 

  • Go behind the scenes at a product launch or an event.
  • Host a Q&A.
  • Lead a workshop or tutorial.
  • Go live with an expert, employee, customer or influencer by using the “Add A Guest” feature.

Consider Instagram Shop in your strategy

About 130 million Instagram users tap on shopping posts every month.

With a professional account on Instagram, you can create your own online store inside of Instagram. Doing so makes a “View Shop” button appear on your Instagram profile.

In addition, with a “Shop” tab on the Explore page of Instagram, having an Instagram Shop will make you more discoverable.

Instagram Reels worth experimenting with

Another content feature on the visual-first platform is Instagram Reels, which are multi-cuut videos (similar to TikTok).

Just as you would play with content on Instagram Stories, the same should happen with Reels. Not sure where to start? Watch some Reels, whether they’re from within your industry or not, to get a feel for different approaches.

Check out our seven best practices for Facebook or Instagram Reels.

Explore an influencer partnership

Influencer marketing is only growing, and Instagram is one of the best platforms for it.

Of course, a partnership doesn’t just happen. You’ll want to do your research and analyze the value of working with possible influencers. Often, a simple Instagram takeover is a common tactic to start with.

Dig deeper with our seven tips to know before starting your first influencer marketing campaign.

Go beyond organic reach with Instagram ads

Based on your target audience, you can better reach them by running Instagram ads, which can be created through Instagram but also by using the Facebook Ad Manager (since Facebook owns Instagram).

You can target by location, demographics, interests and behaviors to best reach the people who will most likely be interested in your business and what you offer.

See our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

Monitor performance with Instagram Insights

Tracking your metrics is an important aspect of any digital marketing campaign, whether it’s on Instagram or not.

Regularly checking on your performance in Instagram Insights will show you what is working and what’s not. Then, you can pivot your strategy quickly to do more of what performs and less of what doesn’t.

See our guide on Instagram metrics.

Not sure if Instagram is the right social media platform for your brand, check out our breakdown of how to determine which one is.

As you’re working through your Instagram marketing strategy, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 tips to help you determine your target audience

Even if you could afford to target everyone, it’s not a good idea. 

Why? Because the success of our digital marketing (and business) happens based on determining our target audience and creating a strategy focused on reaching that group of consumers.

And no small business can afford to target everyone.

The way small businesses can compete is by identifying and targeting a niche market that makes sense for the products and services that are offered.

Even if you’re opting to say that you target “stay-at-home moms” or “homeowners” rather than “anyone interested,” that’s still too general.

But keep in mind that specific targeting is not intended to officially exclude people who don’t fall within your target. Rather, it’s about reaching the right group (who is more likely to buy from you than other groups) with the right message for them at that moment.

About 40.5 percent of consumers say they prefer seeing online ads for products targeted to their interests rather than random ads.

Of course, the importance of a target audience goes beyond marketing and actually plays a key role in your business plan that can be used to secure financing as well, as explained by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The following are seven tips to help you determine the target audience for your business.

Examine your customer base

It’s important to start by digging deeper into your customer database. Ask yourself:

  • Who are your current customers?
  • Why do your current customers buy from you?
  • Which customers bring in the most business (i.e. are the most loyal)?

Be sure to take note of all common characteristics and interests among your best customers. It’s very likely that similar consumers would also benefit from your products and/or services as you’re looking at getting specific with your target audience.

A customer survey can help supplement some of the more detailed information about your customers. In addition, consider examining your social media following. Most platforms have various tools to better understand your audience, including:

Conduct a competitive analysis

Understanding who your competitors are targeting and who their current customers are can help give you insight into targeting opportunities. 

This is not because you should similar target the same group. You definitely should not.

Instead, understanding who’s being targeted by your competitors can help you find a niche they might be missing (and that you can hone in on).

Dive deeper into what a competitive analysis entails, as well as 16 tools to help you conduct one as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Doing so will help you gain insights into the audiences your competitors are after.

Analyze your products and/or services

Take the time to review everything you offer as a business. You can do this in a structured way by creating a list of features for each product or service you offer.

Then, break this down further by documenting the benefits each feature offers. Once you have a detailed list of benefits, you can brainstorm the people whose needs would be fulfilled by those benefits.

While this may still be too broad of a grouping to officially identify as your target audience, it can definitely get you going in the right direction.

Use social listening for deeper insights

Social listening is an excellent way to discover online conversations about your business, industry and/or products or services.

This tactic involves monitoring relevant keywords and hashtags that show what people are saying about your and even your competitors online (whether or not you’re tagged). Of course, the flip side of social listening goes beyond monitoring where you should actually be engaging with those consumers.

In the end, not only can social listening help you generate leads, it can also deepen your social media research that can feed into determining your target audience.

Find out more about social listening, as well as the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.

Identify specific demographics

Now is the time to get into the nitty gritty of your target audience. Based on the characteristics of your best customers and those who would most benefit from your products or services, determine the following demographics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Education level
  • Income level
  • Marital or family status
  • Ethnic background

Evaluate what demographics are the most crucial for the growth of your business.

Go beyond the demographics

Once you’ve solidified the demographics of your target audience, take it one step further. Consider their psychographics, which are the personal characteristics of people.

This includes:

  • Personality
  • Values
  • Attitudes
  • Lifestyles
  • Behavior
  • Interests or hobbies

Of course, psychographics go deeper than the surface demographics you’ve already determined.

Start by thinking through how your product or service fits into your ideal customer’s lifestyle. Ask such questions as:

  • How will your ideal customer use your product or service?
  • When will your ideal customer use it?
  • What features of your product or service are most appealing to your ideal customer?
  • How does your ideal customer consume media? Does he or she read the newspaper, attend particular events or search online?
  • What social media channels does your ideal customer use?

Your questions don’t have to end there, of course, the better you build and understand the persona of your ideal customer (i.e. target audience), the more specific you can target.

Confirm your target audience

Once you feel confident that you have identified your target audience, it doesn’t hurt to evaluate and confirm your decision-making result.

It’s key to consider whether your target is large enough, or has it swung from being too broad to being too niche? Will your target audience actually benefit from your products or services? Do you fully understand what drives your target audience to make purchase decisions?

Of course, simpler considerations include whether your target audience can actually afford your product or service and whether you can actually reach them with your message (or are they not easily accessible)?

In conclusion

It’s entirely possible that you’ve identified more than just one target audience. This is absolutely fine as long as you differentiate your messaging between niches. For example, you wouldn’t address stay-at-home mothers the same as about-to-graduate college students.

Just know that while defining your target audience can be difficult, it’s worth the effort. You can then be that much more successful in your digital marketing efforts, which can lead to more sales.

Check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners to get a better understanding about everything digital marketing can do. Plus, see our 18 low-cost marketing ideas for small businesses.

As you’re defining your target audience, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

6 Facebook marketing tips you should know

It’s hard to imagine a business that doesn’t at least have a presence on Facebook. But is your brand taking advantage of all the marketing opportunities that exist on the platform?

With more than 2.8 million monthly users, Facebook still holds the title of being the biggest social media network. And while a primary use for users is to connect with friends and family, two-thirds of Facebook users visit a local business Facebook Page at least once per week.

See our 12 tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

The following are six Facebook marketing tips that you should know to better reach and engage with your target audience.

Set your Facebook goals

While obvious, determining your goals for Facebook is critical to moving forward with any marketing strategy.

For instance, you might want to generate sales leads, increase your website traffic or improve customer service.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong goal here. Just be sure to evaluate what’s most important to your brand. Then, get specific and set a timeline to achieve it.

Define your target audience on Facebook

Understanding who you want to reach should be at the core of any digital marketing strategy. 

If you’re an existing business, auditing your customer database is a great place to start. Who are your best customers?

If you’re new, part of your overall business plan should already have identified your target audience.

Either way, you want to answer the following questions:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live or are they traveling? If traveling, where from?
  • What are their needs or problems that you can solve?
  • How often and when are they using Facebook?

Of course, the more demographic information you can determine, the better. Marketing too broadly is less successful than finding your niche.

On the flip side, if you have an existing Facebook page, take note of your follower demographics. You can find this in the Insights section of your page and then click on Followers.

It helps to understand both who you want to reach and who is already following you. This will help shape your messaging and even specific campaigns you might want to run.

Plan your mix of Facebook content

When it comes to the content you publish on Facebook, there are several factors to keep in mind.

First, your goals, which should already be set. Second, your target audience. Who are you talking to?

Then, variety is imperative. However, to simply advise “variety” is a disservice. There’s more to it than that. 

One general rule of thumb is to strive for the 80-20 Rule, where about 80 percent of your posts inform, educate and/or entertain. And the other 20 percent is used to promote your brand and/or services and products.

Another approach is the Rule of Thirds, where one-third of your Facebook content is intended to share ideas and stories, another third strives for personal interactions with your followers and the last third promotes your business.

The key is to not go too hard on the sales posts. Not only will you struggle to reach and engage your target audience, but Facebook’s algorithm does not like overpromoting pages.

So, while you’re striving to break up your promotions among other content that’s intended to purely reach and engage with your target audience, you also must consider mixing up the actual content types:

  • Text-only posts
  • Link-preview posts
  • Image posts
  • Videos
  • Facebook Lives
  • Facebook Stories

A content calendar can help you plan and stay organized. In addition, refer to our tips for curated content so that you’re not having to spin your wheels creating every piece of content from scratch.

And it never hurts to approach your Facebook publishing with an overall content marketing strategy.

Explore other Facebook tools

Facebook is a more robust platform than just what you can do with a business page. And, of course, because every business is different, it’s worth experimenting to see what additional options could work for your brand and audience to attain your goals.

Other Facebook tools include:

Experiment with Facebook ads and pixel

Organic reach is not what it used to be, largely due to changes in the Facebook algorithm, which controls what is shown to users in their news feeds based on a number of engagement and other factors.

While the actual formula of the Facebook algorithm is always shifting (and always a secret), posts from friends and family take priority. This puts pressure on brands to stand out in order to reach their target audience. 

And even if your brand is creating and publishing great, engaging content, you may still need to consider paying for the boost you need to reach your target audience.

The Facebook Pixel is a simple piece of code that you can embed in your website to track conversions from Facebook, retarget those who’ve already visited your website and build custom audiences for future ads.

See our seven tips to better target your Facebook ads.

Measure your Facebook performance

Facebook is a living, breathing social media platform, and your marketing not only has to rise to the occasion but be monitored and tracked as well. 

You must understand what’s working and what’s not so that you can pivot your Facebook strategy as needed.

Fortunately, Facebook Insights is a section on your business page that can help you for free. It can help you monitor:

  • Post reach
  • Post engagement
  • Which posts result in followers unliking your page
  • Overall audience and follower demographics

Check out our snapshot of Facebook Insights to help you better understand all the metrics available to you.

Of course, Facebook metrics also can be tracked through various social media management tools. So, you can choose the best approach and methodology for your business.

As you’re working through your Facebook marketing strategy, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Snapshot: The challenges and opportunities of Snapchat for businesses

Businesses typically can be hesitant to use Snapchat in their digital marketing strategy.

And there is no right or wrong with that position because every business (and its goals and resources) is different.

Created in 2011, Snapchat features image and video messaging between users.

More than 280 million people use Snapchat daily, and the overall audience skews younger, with about 69 percent of teenagers saying they use the app.

In addition, more than 5 billion (image or video) snaps are created each day.

At the very least, it’s important for every brand to understand both the challenges and opportunities of Snapchat from your perspective.

Opportunity #1: You can reach a younger audience

If your brand is targeting a younger audience, then Snapchat needs to be included in some way in your overall strategy.

Snapchat is the most popular social media network among teenagers, with Instagram and TikTok following closely behind it. Considering the direct messaging capabilities, ephemeral content (that expires after 24 hours) and the fun filters and stickers available in snaps, this fact makes sense.

Challenge #1: Lack of ROI measurement

Snapchat has had notoriously lackluster analytics options available for brand marketers.

So much so that many brands have had to get creative to see if their Snapchat efforts are making an impact. Examples include:

  • Snapchat-only promo codes so that you can track usage in another system
  • Requesting direct messages in a promotion

On the micro-level, the app does not have a way to track clicks and views inside of Snapchat stories and posts.

But on the macro-level, you can get a feel of overall growth and engagement.

That being said, when analytics are such a critical part to successful digital marketing strategies, it’s hard for many businesses to invest time and resources into a platform where the ROI can be vague at best.

Opportunity #2: One-on-one engagement

While one-on-one engagement might sound like a challenge at first (sounds like limited reach, right?), it really is an opportunity for your brand to build better, more trusting relationships with your audience.

Trust is a huge contributor to converting your audience into paying (and even loyal) customers. 

And in a world where conversational marketing is becoming increasingly important, Snapchat can fill that role.

Because snaps are delivered to the individual, the app boasts a more personal experience by default. In addition, the app really embraces behind-the-scenes and day-in-the-life content, which can make the engagement you generate even more impactful.

Challenge #2: Time limitations

Time impacts two different aspects of Snapchat. 

First, video clips have a 10-second limit, so if you need to show more than that, you must string together a series of clips to convey your message.

Second, media content disappears after 24 hours, so your Snaps have a limited window to reach and engage your audience. This constraint also typically increases the need to post more content more frequently.

Of course, some would argue that this is the draw of Snapchat—bite-sized content that’s always fresh.

Either way, you must plan accordingly when expanding your brand presence to Snapchat.

Opportunity #3: Snapchat now includes discoverability

Not part of the original app, the Discover feature allows users to explore premium content from publishing partners.

Sharing content on Snapchat Discover can increase brand awareness and reach, but becoming a Snapchat publishing partner is not a straightforward process. It involves an official agreement with Snapchat to post content on Discover that will engage audiences.

Your brand might try the Snap Map feature instead. This is where nearby users using available location services can discover your geotagged content.

Previously, many brands had to share their Snapcodes on other platforms to help anyone (who also was on Snapchat) find them.

Challenge #3: Lack of typical engagement actions

If you’re looking for engagement actions (like shares and likes), you won’t find them on Snapchat.

The app just doesn’t operate that way. For example, a user can only re-share content by taking a screenshot and uploading it to other platforms.

This clearly puts a damper on the overall reach of your Snapchat content when others’ actions don’t necessarily lead to a boost.

Ultimately, Snapchat may or may not work for your brand. Examine the potential ROI and determine whether you have the resources to achieve your goals for the app.

While you’re considering whether to dive into Snapchat, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

LinkedIn marketing: 6 tips to be more effective

Known as the largest professional social network, marketing on LinkedIn can be effective when done right.

LinkedIn now has more than 660 million registered professionals.

LinkedIn has assisted about 45 percent of marketers with customer acquisition, while the platform accounts for about 80 percent of B2B (business to business) leads.

If you’re not already on LinkedIn or might not be using the platform to its full potential, you’re missing out on marketing opportunities for you as a professional and your brand.

The following are six tips for better marketing on LinkedIn.

Optimize your profile and page

While it’s a simple step, creating and optimizing your LinkedIn profile and/or page is a key first step when marketing yourself or your brand.

The best part of this step is that it’s completely free to do. 

It matters because you want to showcase what you’re all about for everyone who comes across your presence.

The actions you should take to optimize your LinkedIn profile include (but are not limited to):

  • Using a high-quality profile image that’s professional and is close up on your face
  • Including your current job position
  • Add at least a half dozen relevant skills
  • Fill out any past professional experience
  • Connect with relevant colleagues

The actions you should take to optimize your LinkedIn page include (but are not limited to):

  • Using a high-quality brand logo image
  • Choosing a high-quality cover image that represents your brand
  • Filling out all available fields, such as About, Life, Jobs, etc.
  • Consistent posts that include a mix of content

Strategize your content

Avoid the mistake of creating and optimizing your LinkedIn profile and/or page—and then neglecting it.

Content is like the marketing currency of the internet, especially on social media. You’ll want to create, share and publish content on LinkedIn that educates, informs, guides, inspires and/or entertains your following. A content calendar can help you stay organized.

Be sure to mix your content up to be as engaging as possible. This includes:

  • Custom images
  • Native video posted directly to the platform
  • Native articles that look like blogs but created within LinkedIn itself
  • Links to not just your own articles but those of others as well

Just remember that LinkedIn is not a text-only platform, so break out of text-only posts. Think through the goal of your LinkedIn presence. Is it brand awareness? To establish yourself or your brand as a thought leader in your industry? 

Whatever the goal, your content should support and project that. You want your content to be actionable. Then, be sure to engage with others’ content and any comments on your own content. Social media (including LinkedIn) is a two-way conversation, not just a broadcast.

Involve your colleagues, employees

More than possibly any other social media platform, LinkedIn is all about the connections you make. 

And in that sense, your colleagues and/or employees can be some of your biggest advocates.

You can encourage colleagues to engage with your content and endorse your listed skills.

Employees can add your company to their personal profiles, engage with company posts and share them with their networks. They also can share any news or articles that your company is featured in on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Groups are also a great place for you, your colleagues or your employees to get involved with. They’re designated pages that enable people from within the same industry or with shared interests to interact with each other.

Personalize your direct messages

Direct messaging on LinkedIn is a popular tactic on LinkedIn, especially for sales representatives and job recruiters. 

But these messages are often generic, templated and not very effective.

The more you can do to engage with your recipient’s content and review his or her profile for key points that you can use to connect with, the better.

You also can consider using personalized InMail, which is a feature that’s available to individual Premium accounts (not through LinkedIn Company Pages). This is a great way to reach out to influential individuals on the platform to build a relationship. LinkedIn InMail gets three times more responses than regular emails.

Consider LinkedIn ads

LinkedIn offers advertising opportunities on its platform. In fact, its Matched Audiences feature allows you to target the most relevant users by retargeting people who have visited your website as well as people who are on your existing account or your email contacts.

This is an effective tactic because these individuals you’re targeting have some familiarity with you or your company already. So, there’s an increased possibility that you’ll convert them into customers.

Monitor your performance

Whether you’re tracking how your profile is doing (though a LinkedIn Premium account) or how your page is doing, understanding your performance on LinkedIn is important so that you can make adjustments to your strategy as you go along.

It all comes down to seeing what’s working and what’s not. 

Remember, there’s no such thing as a failed post. Everything is a learning opportunity.

If you’re looking to make the management of your LinkedIn presence a little easier, consider one of these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools.

For more on how to market well using LinkedIn, see what LinkedIn itself advises.

While you’re considering how to improve your LinkedIn marketing strategy, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 reasons why your business should use a social media management tool

Social media management can be complex for many businesses. Tools are the solution.

The more accounts you have, the more you have to stay on top of your posting, engagement and monitoring.

It’s worth the effort, though. About 44.8 percent of global internet users used social media to search for brand information in 2020.

Fortunately, finding the right tool for you can make all the difference in your social media presence. The following are seven reasons why you should use a social media management tool to make sense of your online presence.

Then, check out our 11 suggested free (or almost free) social media management tools.

Social media efficiency

With so many accounts to manage across multiple platforms, it’s very time-consuming to hop from one to the other to manually post (whether you’re scheduling or posting in real-time), converse with followers and engage with related content.

You’ve heard it before, time is money. But the efficiency of having access to all your social media accounts in one management tool goes beyond saving time and helps you be more effective with your posts and engagements.

In addition, the ability to schedule all your posts in one place across platforms saves even more time.

Improved social listening

It’s critical to treat social media as an avenue for conversations and learning, not just as a broadcast mechanism.

Social listening is a huge benefit of using a social media management tool. You’ll be able to easily monitor your competition, as well as what others are saying about you on social media. In addition, social media trends that are relevant to your business and brand are quicker to spot.

Learn more about the difference between social listening and crowdsourcing.

Avoid hashtag mistakes

While the typical “mistake” that happens with hashtags is that it isn’t the right one to generate more reach and engagement on your post, it is possible to go way off the mark. Use the wrong hashtag in an inappropriate way, and social media users with eat your brand alive.

Consider what happened to DiGiorno Pizza in 2014. They jumped in on the trending domestic violence conversation happening on Twitter with the hashtag #WhyIStayed. They tweeted: “You had pizza.” Needless to say, DiGiorno was skewered online. 

While also a lesson on when humor may or may not be appropriate, this could have been avoided with the appropriate hashtag research. And hashtag research is much easier on a social media management tool.

Streamlined analytics

It’s important to prove the return on investment in all your social media endeavors. But it can be a pain to platform hop to gather your metrics and then compile them to tell the story of how your efforts are performing.

Enter a social media management tool, where many can streamline your analytics reporting across multiple platforms. Data can then be exported in a number of formats.

The better you can understand your performance and what’s working or not, then the better you can pivot your social media strategy moving forward.

Scalability

Most businesses have to keep an eye on the scalability of their efforts, even beyond social media.

While one person succeeding at managing one social media platform can be great, that success could diminish once that person is manually jumping around to five social accounts for your brand.

Not only are multiple social media platforms a challenge in quantity, you have to keep in mind that the content and style of posting has to cater to each platform individually.

A social media management tool can make these efforts entirely scalable.

Organization and consistency

Chaos with your content is very easy to fall into when you’re spread then across social media platforms.

Using a management tool helps you view your presence across platforms in one space and stay organized in the process.

Most tools include a visual content calendar scheduling tool, so not only can you see the types of content you’re scheduling, but the overall frequency as well.

Never miss anything

Whether it’s comments, direct messages or other types of engagements or activity, social media management tools ensure you stay focused an on top of everything that’s happening in regard to your brand on social media.

Having your notifications in one place will help prevent you from missing both the little and the big stuff.

As you’re considering all the reasons why you should be using a social media management tool, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

13 biggest mistakes businesses make on Facebook (and how to avoid them)

An obvious tool in many digital marketing strategies, Facebook gives your business the ability to share content, engage with your followers and target potential customers. But it’s also an easy space to make any number of mistakes.

The good news is that done right, Facebook can contribute to the success of your business.

About two-thirds of Facebook users visit a local business Page at least once a week.

Dig deeper into the challenges and opportunities of the world’s largest social network.

The following are 13 of the biggest mistakes businesses make on Facebook, as well as tips to avoid making them in the first place.

Not defining your Facebook goals

When you haven’t defined your goals for your Facebook presence, your page is going to reflect that indirection. 

Possibilities for goals include (but are not limited to):

  • Driving sales
  • Generating traffic to your website
  • Building awareness of your brand

It’s easy to think that Facebook isn’t working for your business when you don’t have a set goal. Take the time to determine what you want to achieve. Then, it’s easier for you to build a strategy to support that goal.

Using a Facebook profile rather than a Facebook page

It’s very important for you to use a Facebook business page to represent your business. Not only does it appear unprofessional, but it also:

  • Does not offer any analytics tools, so you won’t fully understand what is working and what isn’t at a glance
  • Makes it impossible for you to run any paid Facebook ads (either boosted posts or full ad campaigns)
  • Could violate Facebook’s Terms of Service, which could end up in a deletion of your profile without warning

To avoid any other issues in addition to those, be sure to create a Facebook business page for your business. It’s free and simple to do.

Failing to show a personal side of your business

Because most users join Facebook to connect with their friends and family, you’re missing an opportunity by hiding behind your brand.

Impersonal (robotic-like) posts will unfortunately never gain traction with your target audience.

Instead, think about communicating like a real human when posting. Get personal. There is a human side of your business. This is a great place to showcase that.

You can share employee stories, upload photos or videos of your workplace and/or customers and even host Facebook Live videos, where you can really share your personality as you discuss common questions, talk about new products and more.

Making everything about you

If you’re thinking that social media is merely another place to broadcast about your business, you’ll never see the engagement you’re aiming for.

And, of course, Facebook (like all social media) is intended to be a platform of connection and conversation. Your target audience is only going to follow you or share (or engage with) your posts if your content is relevant, informative or empowering to them in some way.

For example, instead of boasting about how great your business is because of a milestone you hit in follower or sales, use the opportunity to thank your audience for their support in a personalized post.

Whenever you have the opportunity to make your content about your customers and potential customers rather than yourself or your business, do so. That will always be the most engaging approach.

Using only one content type in your posts

It’s important to perform a quick audit of your posts. Are you using only one content type?

For example, is every post a link? Or, are they all generic stock images? 

Understandably, a mix of content will perform better on Facebook. In particular, you’ll want to incorporate videos into your posting strategy.

The average engagement rate for Facebook video posts is 0.26 percent, while the average engagement rate overall is just 0.18 percent.

Ideally, you’re also incorporating some element of humor, attention-grabbing visuals, event announcements and so on.

Creating weekly or monthly themes can help boost the execution of a thoroughly executed mix of content. A content calendar, in particular, can help you organize your planning.

Posting without a plan

A relaxed demeanor on your Facebook page has engagement perks, for sure. You’ll appear more human, relatable and engaging.

But operating without any sort of plan or strategy is a problem for many businesses on Facebook.

It’s very difficult to be consistent and hit your goals if your posts are more “shooting from the hip” than “sniping a specific target.”

Again, themes and a content calendar can help you overcome this.

Never measuring your performance

This sounds obvious, but it’s easy for businesses to neglect monitoring the performance of their Facebook pages.

Fortunately, it’s easy enough to stay on top of. See our guide for exploring Facebook Insights.

Knowing what works and doesn’t work for your target audience helps you pivot as needed and adjust your strategy so that you’re content can continually improve and be that much more engaging.

Not knowing what is happening on your page is a big mistake and a lost opportunity.

Inconsistent posting

It’s more common than you think. A business posts several posts a day for several days and then, boom. Disappears. Possibly even for weeks.

This isn’t just a problem from the perspective of your followers and potential customers, it impacts the consideration of your Facebook page in the platform’s news feed algorithm. 

Facebook’s algorithm works in the back end of the social platform with the goal of showing content in each user’s news feed that the user will most likely engage with. 

Inconsistent posting on your part is a red flag to the algorithm. Posting fresh content consistently is a good signal to the algorithm.

Don’t stress over the quantity. Once a day or even once every other day should be fine as long as you’re consistent with your overall schedule.

Unbalanced sales posts

There is a difficult balance you must strike when it comes to mixing in your sale posts amid other content you’re sharing.

Some businesses post too many and appear pushy.

Some businesses post too few and lose the opportunity to drive any sales from Facebook.

Mix in your sale and discount posts among your other content. Peppering in is not an exact science, but strive for one in five posts at most.

Lacking an optimized Facebook page

First impressions are everything, whether that’s your website or Facebook page.

If your page is vague or unclear in any way, especially with the key information most users are seeking (such as address, contact information and description of products or services), then you lose the potential customer.

See our 12 tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

Improper use of Facebook groups

Don’t get us wrong, there is potential for Facebook groups to be a useful tool for your business, when done right.

See our 12 tips to help grow your business using Facebook groups.

When businesses create Facebook groups for the sole intention of selling to members, the success can be hit and miss (and often miss). Just remember that Facebook created the groups feature for users to connect with each other over common interests. The more you can leverage that desire from participating group members and the more you can leverage multiple voices and viewpoints, the more engaging your group will be.

Not investing in at least some paid advertising

Gone are the days where a business can often see great organic reach and growth on social media platforms.

But living in denial is not going to get your business anywhere.

Whether you’re boosting a Facebook post or creating a specific Facebook ad campaign, it’s wise to consider investing at least some of your marketing budget into the platform.

See our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

The benefits of at least some advertising include:

  • Targeting the demographic of your best potential customers
  • Reaching beyond your Facebook following
  • Controlling your daily or lifetime budget so that you’re only spending what you want

Check out our seven tips to get more out of your Facebook ads.

Ignoring comments

This can easily be a deathblow to any brand on social media if comments are left entirely unmonitored.

First, remember that users are making the effort to comment on your post. They want you to know that they’re listening. If they are not responded to in some way, they’re less likely to engage again.

Pages that engage with their commenters are typically more successful than pages that don’t.

In addition, a negative comment thread can easily spiral out of control and impact your brand in long-lasting ways.

As you’re working to avoid the most common mistakes that businesses make on Facebook, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Level up your social media skills with these 17 free online courses

With more than 3.6 billion people using social media worldwide, this form of digital marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Social media is one of several major ways to reach your target audience online. In particular, social media is great for building brand awareness, creating an engaged community and generating leads.

Of course, there are a few things every company should know about social media.

But what you don’t know can hurt you, or at least hold your business back.

The following are 17 free online courses to help you boost your social media skills. Depending on your specific goals and needs, you’ll likely want to sign up for one or two.

‘What is Social?’ from Coursera

“What is Social?” is an introductory course about social media marketing that is offered by Northwestern University through Coursera. In it, you’ll learn:

  • An introduction to social media marketing
  • Social media trends
  • The changing dynamics of social media
  • The importance of big data
  • How to use social media for business

Course materials include a mix of videos, reading materials, assignments and quizzes. Overall, it is a nine-hour course, with a recommendation to spend three to four weeks to complete it.

Completion delivers a certificate to participants that you can share on LinkedIn or highlight on your resume.

‘Introduction to Social Media Strategy’ from Skillshare

A beginner-level course, “Introduction to Social Media Strategy” is offered by Buffer through Skillshare. The goal is to understand how to better form an effective social media strategy. In addition, you’ll learn how to:

  • Select the right social media platforms
  • Use the right tools
  • Find a unique voice
  • Create and curate engaging content
  • Advertise on Facebook

You can complete the video tutorial in 43 minutes, but it’s recommended to do your own research and study at different points in the course for better overall understanding.

‘Social Media 101’ from Constant Contact

Intended for beginners, “Social Media 101” is offered by Social Media Quickstarter through Constant Contact. It offers a step-by-step process to build your social media presence on different platforms.

Broken into several modules based on social media platform, you learn how to create and optimize your profile and engage with your audience on that platform. You’ll also better understand the do’s and don’ts for each platform, with suggested strategies as well.

‘Social Media Marketing’ from Oxford Home Study Centre

The “Social Media Marketing” course, offered through Oxford Home Study Centre, provides a basic introduction to all things social media marketing across platforms. In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand what successful social media marketing looks like and why it’s so powerful
  • Craft a social media marketing strategy plan
  • Implement the “Five Ps” of social media
  • Expand your social presence and attract new followers

The self-paced course provides a certification upon completion.

‘Social Media Analytics Course’ from Quintly

The beginner-level “Social Media Analytics Course” from Quintly introduces participants to the basics of social media analytics, but it can also serve as a refresher course on the topic. It includes analyzing your own social media and automating analytics reports. In it, you’ll learn:

  • Situation analysis
  • Understanding analytics reports and metrics
  • Choosing the audience for different types of reports
  • Competitor benchmarking
  • Collecting data from different platforms
  • Identifying KPIs to measure your goals
  • Report automation

Course materials include videos, reading materials and quizzes.

‘Social Media’ from HubSpot

“Social Media” is a certification course offered through HubSpot that can help you create your social media strategy and strengthen your social presence. In it, you’ll learn:

  • How to create a social media marketing strategy
  • Social media monitoring
  • Social content strategy 
  • Expanding your social media reach
  • How to advertise on social media
  • Measuring your social media marketing ROI (return on investment)

This is considered an all-in-one course that can give you a well-rounded understanding of all components of social media marketing with a mix of learning materials. It is estimated to take almost five hours to complete, but it’s recommended to spread it out over a few weeks and take any extra time needed to fully understand each topic.

‘Social Media Marketing Certification’ from eMarketing Institute

The “Social Media Marketing Certification” course through the eMarketing Institute is actually a 165-page ebook that covers the key points of social media marketing, followed by a test that you can take. In it, you’ll learn:

  • The basics of social media marketing
  • What’s involved in a social media strategy
  • How to identify your target audience
  • About different social media platforms
  • About sharing content on social media
  • How to engage with your target audience
  • The do’s and don’ts of social media marketing

The completion time is entirely self-paced with your reading of this ebook. There is no deadline for the test. If you pass the test, then you receive a certification that you can include in your resume.

‘The Business of Social’ from Coursera

In addition to “What is Social?”, “The Business of Social” is another free course offered by Northwestern University through Coursera. It is more advanced, where you can track your social media performance and link that to sales and more. In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use different social media metrics to drive revenue
  • Weigh the legal considerations of your social media strategy
  • Create a performance funnel
  • Design a pilot program (and justify its viability)

This course uses a very practical approach and takes about five hours to complete. However, it’s recommended to spend about three to four weeks doing so. Upon completion, you’ll earn a certification for your resume.

‘Build Your Personal Brand and Sell Your Expertise Using Social Media’ from Social Creators

The “Build Your Personal Brand and Sell Your Expertise Using Social Media” course focuses on personal branding, helping you build a unique social media identity and a strong social presence. 

This is particularly useful for influencers (or anyone looking to become a successful influencer).

Divided into four parts, this video-based course includes additional course materials, such as a 21-page personal branding guide.

‘Writing for Social Media’ from edX

This “Writing for Social Media” course is offered by the University of California, Berley, through edX. It offers a broad framework for writing content for social media publishing that can adapted to any platform. In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand your target audience
  • Write content for that audience with the relevant social media platform in mind
  • Use effective writing strategies to optimize your content
  • Connect with your audience through communication

The course takes about four weeks to complete (with about three to five hours spent per week) and is instructor-led, not self-paced. While it is free to take, you will have to pay if you want the certification.

‘Social Media Ethics’ from Udemy

This free “Social Media Ethics” course, offered by Udemy, covers social media ethics and the responsibility that exists when posting content on social media platforms. In it, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand what ethical social media behavior is
  • Use good judgment when using and publishing on social media
  • Avoid posting content that can get you fired or sued

While the course is free and short (little more than half an hour), you’ll have to pay to receive the certification.

‘Content, Advertising & Social IMC’ from Coursera

The “Content, Advertising & Social IMC” course also is provided by Northwestern University through Coursera. It’s a specialty course that teaches how to create engaging content that has the capacity to go viral. In addition, you’ll learn:

  • Social media advertising
  • Content strategy for social media
  • Socially integrated marketing communications
  • How to measure the ROI of social media campaigns

This course takes about eight hours to complete, but you should spend about four weeks doing so to increase your retention. Upon completion, you’ll receive a shareable LinkedIn certificate.

‘Social Media Monitoring’ from Udemy

“Social Media Monitoring,” offered through Udemy, will guide you through different aspects of social media monitoring. In it, you’ll learn:

  • Social media monitoring strategies for different platforms
  • Finding the right keywords to monitor
  • Curating content
  • Finding influencers and building influencer lists
  • Techniques for keyword phrase filtering
  • The drawback of rich text analysis

This course offers a mix of video and reading materials to learn from, which you can complete in about seven and a half hours. While you can access the video content for free, you’ll have to pay to receive the certificate and additional resources.

“Introduction to Social Media Advertising” from Skillshare

If social media advertising overwhelms you, consider “Introduction to Social Media Advertising” that’s offered by Buffer through Skillshare. The introductory social media advertising course is ideal for anyone looking to take control of his or her paid advertising on social media. In it, you’ll learn:

  • Key terms and vocabulary
  • How to set and evaluate campaign goals
  • What makes graphics and copy attention-grabbing
  • Audience targeting

Because this course helps participants understand what matters in your advertising efforts and how to advertise successfully (and measure that success).

‘Advanced Social Media Marketing for Picking Up Clients’ from Udemy

If you’re already familiar with the basics of social media marketing and advertising, “Advanced Social Media Marketing for Picking Up Clients” (offered through Udemy) is worth your consideration. In it, you’ll learn:

  • The most common myths and mistakes that are commonly taught as social media best practices
  • How not to appear as a spammer but rather the “problem solver”
  • A four-step system that allows you to demonstrate your expertise and invite pursuit from potential clients
  • How to present your service in private Facebook groups that aren’t pushy or annoying

The course can take less than 48 hours to complete.

‘Facebook Blueprint’ from Facebook

Facebook offers its own free course breaking down what every small business should know about both Facebook and some aspects of Instagram. “Facebook Blueprint” has something for everyone, from beginners to advanced marketers. In it, you’ll learn:

  • Facebook terminology
  • How to curate a quality Facebook page and experience for followers
  • Best practices for Facebook and Instagram posting
  • How to optimize your Facebook and Instagram advertising

This is a self-paced course to complete at your convenience.

“TikTok Marketing Masterclass” from Influencer Marketing Hub

If understanding TikTok and its opportunities for your business is on your to-do list, consider this “TikTok Marketing Masterclass” that’s offered by Influencer Marketing Hub. In it, you’ll learn:

  • The basics of TikTok
  • Crafting a profitable brand persona that’s still authentic
  • How to grow your audience
  • Increasing engagement on TikTok
  • How to work with other brands
  • Making money as an influencer on TikTok

The course includes such resources as brand collaboration outreach templates, influencer case studies, video planning and storyboard templates, camera shot list, budget templates, cue sheets and other tools.

In conclusion

Truly, the best online course for you depends on the type of skills you want and need to boost your social media marketing. These courses are free, so it’s easy to let go of whatever isn’t working for you and try something else that might.

You also can explore our eight suggested email marketing courses that you can take online.

While you’re considering what social media courses you want to register for, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing

Mobile has revolutionized the way we do business. 

And the strength of our mobile marketing can make or break a company. 

Mobile marketing is the adaptation of your marketing efforts to reach users through their mobile devices.

This matters because about half of consumers shop on their smartphones, and ecommerce sales from smartphone devices will rise from $128.4 billion in 2019 to $418.9 billion in 2024. In addition, the average smartphone user spends more than three hours on his or her device each day.

In many ways, mobile marketing isn’t an entirely separate digital marketing strategy. Most mobile best practices work in tandem with your overall digital marketing efforts. For example, a faster-loading website is going to get a boost in its search engine ranking no matter what device an internet user is searching from.

On the flip side, mobile marketing is a must. It’s not optional.

Mobile use will only continue to grow, and it’s up to you to make your brand relevant in a mobile world. See these six reasons why mobile optimization matters to your business.

The following are 14 expert tips to improve your mobile marketing and grow your revenue.

Make your website as mobile-friendly as possible

The first step to improve your mobile marketing is to focus on the overall structure and embedded assets of your website.

Think of it this way: What’s the point of attracting mobile users to your site if you’re just going to turn them off as soon as they get there?

Simplicity is often the key when optimizing for mobile, but check out our 16 tips to make your website mobile-friendly. Keep in mind that this effort should also apply to your website pop-ups and any separate landing pages.

In addition, consider your content. Is it concise and skimmable? Wherever you can streamline or condense your copy will not just positively impact your mobile visitors but all your visitors. “Short and sweet” wins the day every time.

Ensure that digital ads are mobile-friendly

Not only should your website be mobile-friendly, but your ads as well. 

Mobile optimization goes beyond just the resizing of digital ads, it involves the right combination of text, imagery, video and so on that resonates and engages on small screens.

Google itself has a guide for creating mobile-friendly ads that you can dig into.

Use Google Search Console

A great (and free) tool that you can use to measure your website’s performance, Google Search Console tracks both mobile and desktop traffic.

Specifically, you can run its Mobile Usability report, where you’ll see any problems with the mobile-version pages of your website and get advice on how to fix those problems.

Using the Google Search Console ensures the functionality of the mobile version of your website.

Test your page-loading speed

About 57 percent of online shoppers will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds for a page to load.

You can’t afford to lose that many potential customers to a competitor.

Not sure what your website’s loading speed is? Start with Google’s Page Speed Insights. You’ll not only find out the loading speed of your pages on mobile but also get some diagnostic advice on how to fix any of the slower pages.

Ensure all emails are responsive

More than 70 percent of people open emails on their mobile device.

Therefore, if you’re not considering responsiveness in your email design, you’re missing an opportunity to better engage with your recipients on whatever device they’re using.

This means that the email will scale (images and all) to the size of the screen viewing it. No scrolling side to side.

Many email marketing platforms (like DailyStory) offer mobile-optimization features. Just be sure to test your emails across devices to confirm you’re sending what you think you’re sending.

Find out what AMP emails are and whether you should use them.

Get local with Google My Business

If your business has a relevant physical location, then you must consider using Google My Business.

Doing so will help optimize your business as a result in local search queries on Google specifically. With Google My Business, you can create a business profile that sets you apart through what you write and the images you use.

The average business gets about 59 actions from their Google My Business listing every month.

Dig deeper into optimizing your local SEO with our 11 tips.

Optimize your social media presence across platforms

Mobile traffic drives social media, so be consistent about your social presence and social media marketing efforts because they will benefit your mobile marketing. 

In fact, at least 55 percent of social media use comes from mobile devices.

Of course, there are many social media platforms out there. Not sure where to focus your efforts? See our guide.

Then, to be more efficient with your social media marketing, look into using a social media management tool. Here are 11 free (or almost free) tools to consider.

An effective social media strategy could go well beyond the creation and publishing of engaging content. The features on different platforms are constantly evolving. For example, if you’re an ecommerce company, you’ll want to look into Instagram Checkout, which can make purchasing your products directly through Instagram easy for users.

Seize social proof opportunities

Social proof refers to potential customers assuming that what others are doing is correct based on how often they see those actions. In other words, social proof is about looking to others to figure out the right way to interact in any given situation.

Businesses can leverage positive social proof to influence consumer behavior and generate more sales.

While social proof isn’t restricted to social media only, social media does play a big role.

Encouraging such actions as customers “checking-into” your business page on Facebook is an example of encouraging customers to do some of your marketing for you in an organic way. And it all plays into social proof. 

Learn more about social proof and how you can leverage it in your marketing, as well as some tools that can help.

Use SMS texts to help promote

About 90 percent of consumers say that texting is the primary activity they do on their phones, while about 75 percent indicate that they’re fine with receiving texts from their favorite brands.

Therefore, any mobile marketing efforts should include an aspect of texting, which DailyStory can help you implement. 

Check out our eight tips for writing a text message that won’t get ignored. And review what carrier violations are so that your business can stay in compliance when text marketing.

Create more video content

More than 70 percent of YouTube video consumption happens on mobile devices, so videos are an undeniable piece of any successful mobile marketing efforts.

In fact, we dive into 10 types of videos you can create as part of your branding and marketing. But in general, the more shareable the video, the better.

As far as the best platform to publish videos on, see our recommendations.

Consider a podcast

Because about 77 percent of podcast listeners listen on their mobile devices, publishing a podcast could be a viable mobile marketing tactic if it’s right for your brand and your resources.

Just make sure that you have the planning and resources to commit to a consistent podcast publishing schedule.

If you don’t already have a podcast, see our nine tips for starting one.

Optimize for voice search

Voice search, at this time, is still considered the “next big thing” in digital marketing, but truly, the time to optimize your content for voice search is now.

In a nutshell, this means that you have to consider using more long-tail keywords in your content because of the nature of how a consumer will search using voice.

Check out our seven tips to optimize your website and content for voice search.

Embrace QR codes

What’s “old” is “new” again. QR codes are essentially barcodes that are scannable with your smartphone, and they’ve recently been increasing in popularity.

You can use them to easily direct consumers to your website, email and more.

See these nine ways you can use QR codes in your marketing, and watch our webinar.

Create an app

Depending on the nature of your business and industry, an app can be a great way to engage with your customers and potential customers.

Apps are typically faster than in-browser web pages and can be personalized to the user. In addition, you can send custom push notifications to your app users.

Of course, a planned strategy for your push notifications will better ensure engagement over potential opt-outs. Check out our seven tips to write effective push notifications as well.

If you already have a branded app, conduct regular audits to determine what is working for users and what’s not so that you can update as needed.

As you’re embracing opportunities to improve your mobile marketing, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 ways social media can influence your SEO

Unsure how your social media presence can improve your search engine rankings?

Content is king in the world of SEO (search engine optimization), and the content you share on your social media accounts can have an impact on your SEO. To be clear, the amount of impact has long been debated although most can agree that there is at least an indirect impact.

About 68 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine, so it’s worth striving for social media best practices since they do impact the factors that directly affect your search rankings. 

(Find out how you can check your Google search ranking for free.)

The following are seven ways that social media can (indirectly) influence your SEO.

Social media profiles rank in search engines

To start, social media profiles are not contained to the platforms they exist on. They do appear in branded search results. And often, they are prominently visible (i.e. high up in the list and usually on the first page).

You’ll want to capitalize on this search engine visibility by creating (if you haven’t already) and optimizing your social media profiles in every way possible.

Not sure where to start? Check out our expert tips to optimize your Facebook business page.

The key is to put yourself in the user’s shoes. He or she is searching for you and then clicks on your social media profile result. Be sure that the information you provide and the content you’re sharing represents your brand and gives them an idea of what you’re about.

Social media posts can drive traffic

With website traffic considered a major search engine ranking factor, you’ll want to grow that traffic every way possible.

And one obvious method is through social media posts. When a lot of people share your content (directly from your website) or your posts (directly on the social media platform itself) to their own networks of friends and followers, they’re potentially boosting your rankings. The more who see your content, the more who might click and visit your website.

Of course, remember that any random content won’t suffice. Strive for value and make the content as visual and engaging as possible.

Social media is a great way to promote your content to audiences who may never have even heard of you before. Whether it’s an organic content strategy or paid social media campaigns, social media has an undeniable power. This is because while SEO is about reaching those who need you, social media is about reaching those who didn’t even realize they needed you. 

Great quality content can generate various engagement actions, including shares, which again can lead to greater website traffic that can boost your SEO.

Of course, you can expand your reach even further through influencers. Check out our seven tips before you dive into influencer marketing.

Social media platforms are search engines themselves

The search function on various social media platforms is far more robust than we sometimes realize. It serves as a valuable search engine itself, where people can discover your profile, page, content or even events (depending on the platform).

Make sure you are optimizing your social media profiles and content with your relevant keywords to boost your visibility in these searches. 

Check out these 11 free SEO keyword research tools to help if you’re unsure what keywords to use.

Social media affects local SEO

The name, address and phone number of your business already plays an important role in local search rankings.

Google will consider your business more credible if this key information is consistent across your social media profiles. That credibility naturally boosts your local search rankings.

Whenever you can geotag your posts and/or Stories, all the better. This also will help your local visibility.

In addition, social media reviews can help you attract local potential customers. About 86 percent of consumers read reviews about local businesses.

Check out our 11 local SEO tips to help you beat your competition.

The YouTube effect on SEO

Because YouTube videos get prominent rankings in search engine results, they get a special mention. The more popular and relevant your YouTube videos are to a search query on Google, the more likely they’ll rank high.

Part of this is due to Google owning YouTube. And YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (after Google, of course).

That means that you must optimize your YouTube channel and videos for SEO.

Check out our 20 tips that can help you grow your followers (and presence) on YouTube.

Beyond YouTube, video, in general, holds a higher value in search engine rankings. If you need, here are five reasons why your business should create more videos.

What Google says now versus what can happen in the future

There has been a back and forth over the years of whether Google directly considers social signals for search rank. But just because the latest word from Google is that social media isn’t a direct influence on your SEO, that doesn’t mean that can’t change in the future.

The idea here is that your best practices should be happening always. You never know how search engine algorithms will evolve in the future. And in the meantime, your efforts are a rising tide that will benefit your business in both direct and indirect ways.

SEO does not just mean Google

While Google is saying social signals aren’t a factor in its search algorithm, other search engines (like Bing) actually do use social signals.

Just because Google carries a majority of searches, Bing still has a fair share.

Remember that great SEO impacts your ranking on various search engines, not just Google.

While you’re considering your social media’s impact on your SEO, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

15+ of the best free productivity tools you should know about

Need more time in a day? We all do.

Consider the potential of some of the latest and greatest productivity tools that can help you be more efficient, focused and/or organized.

About 55 percent of retailers believe better technology can positively impact productivity. At the same time, once distracted, it takes 23 minutes for productive workers to get back on track and complete the task they started working on.

Therefore, online tools can potentially help us get more done. The following are at least 15 of the best free productivity tools you should know about.

(And if you’re working from home, check out our 11 tips to be more productive.)

Time-management productivity tools

RescueTime

RescueTime operates in the background of your device, quietly logging your activity without serving as a distraction. You’ll be able to see how much time you spend doing various things, such as visiting a particular website or using certain apps.

This tool also allows you to set targets and alerts to help you curtail poor productivity habits. In other words, it helps you limit wasted time on your devices, especially since it’s cross-platform.

The free version of RescueTime offers up to three months of data for analysis. Any paid subscription has no limits on data and also includes additional features.

Todoist

Got a small team in need of time management? Todoist might be for you. The easy-to-use tool bridges time management with traditional to-do lists and a light amount of project management.

Todoist gives you a daily and weekly overview of what work you have to do, appointments scheduled and anything else you’re tracking. You can also delegate tasks to others as desired.

It integrates with dozens of apps and services to help you automate your trackable workflow. The free version limits you to five people and 80 active projects at any given time, but paid subscriptions are available for more functionality.

Clockify

Clockify is brilliant in its simplicity and is absolutely unlimited and free to all users. Consider it similar to a stopwatch where you can easily record how long you spend working on different projects.

When you start a timer, you can add labels, descriptions and project details. Then, just hit “stop” when you’re finished. This tool allows you to configure timers to start as soon as you open your internet browser (so you don’t have to remember to start a timer), so be sure to dig around in those settings to find what works best for you and your work style.

Clockify also integrates with other applications, such as Trello, Asana, Jira and Todoist, among others. If you prefer, you can use it as a browser extension rather than the full application or in its mobile app form instead of the full desktop web application.

Beeminder

Would a bit of gamification help you hit your productivity goals? Or, some other goal? Consider trying Beeminder

You actually can track almost anything using this tool, whether it’s how many contracts you get customers to sign per week, how many hours you work per day or how often you go to the gym. Anything.

Beeminder is considerably flexible and will log your progress once you set your goal. You then aim to stick to the “yellow brick road,” which is the progress graph that is supposed to keep you on point with your targets to ultimately reach your goal.

You can even take things up a notch and add your credit card to the tool so that you can be fined when/if you fail to stay on track.

Toggl

Known for its simple time tracking at its core, Toggl works on multiple platforms and synchronizes so that you can move between devices and still track your work.

Features include:

  • The availability of manual and automated tracking
  • A Pomodoro timer, which is a time management method of working in intervals for 25 minutes at a time
  • Automatic detection of idle time
  • Reminders
  • Integrations with other apps and services
  • Highly flexible customizations

While Toggl offers detailed reports, there is no invoicing option within the tool itself.

StayFocused

A free Chrome extension that restricts the amount of time you are allowed to spend on “time-wasting websites” like Facebook (for example), StayFocused offers a ton of customizing options, such as which websites to block, how long to block them and so on.

It is only available on Chrome right now.

Project-management productivity tools

Asana

Asana aims to help everyone stay on-task and organized together. The team-productivity tool helps you keep all projects and tasks in one spot, where you can assign different users to specific jobs.

Features include:

  • Ability to build a visual Gantt chart quickly
  • See and track work on Kanban boards
  • Calendar functionality
  • Integrates with other apps
  • Goal-setting mechanisms
  • Real-time reporting
  • Automation capability
  • View distribution of workload across team members

While free to start, Asana has paid subscriptions if you have a team of half a dozen workers or more.

Freedcamp

A central spot for project planning and organization, Freedcamp allows you to add project to-dos, share files and join discussions with team members.

A bonus with Freedcamp is that much of the functionality is included in its free version. Any advance features (like integrating invoices) can be pay-per-add-on, allowing you to pay for only what you need.

It’s cross-platform and integrates with many other applications and services.

Trello

Trello is a project-management tool that at first glance resembles a Pinterest board except without all the photos. Instead, it’s a visual presentation of lists, labels, tasks and so on that you can easily drag and drop as you like.

Its features are all geared toward productivity and teamwork, where your team can collaborate. Trello integrates with other apps and services and also offers no-coding automation. 

The free version is likely enough for small teams, but paid subscriptions are available if you need more.

Save-for-later productivity tools

Google Drive

Granted, we can’t talk about Google Drive without at least mentioning the slate of other tools within the Google universe. But Google Drive still stands on its own as a cross-platform cloud storage and organization tool.

This makes it easy to share (and even edit with Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets) all types of files.

Team-wise, Google Drive offers the ability to chat and share notes within a document, and it’s completely free.

Evernote

Evernote enables you to save notes (both audio and text), organize photos, set reminders and upload attachments across all your devices in one place.

One of the common uses of Evernote involves its bookmarklet, where you can easily “clip” web articles and store them to read later on any device.

It also integrates with other apps and services. The free version allows you to sync two devices. If you need to sync more (or simply want more storage space), you might consider one of the paid subscriptions.

Pocket

Need a place to save the great content that you don’t have time to read (or watch) in that moment? Pocket can help.

Saved content formats include articles, images, videos and so on).

Social media productivity tools

Efficiently managing your social media accounts definitely requires the right tool. Fortunately, there are several free options out there that can work, depending on the platforms you’re on and the needs that you have.

Check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools that can help you be more effective with your social media presence.

Miscellaneous productivity tools

Slack

Slack organizes how your team communicates with each other. You can break up conversations into channels so that each channel provides a focus.

In addition, you can connect your team to another collaborating team if desired. Direct messaging and voice/video calls also are available.

Slack integrates with other applications and is cross-platform. The free version is very robust, but if you find yourself needing more than the messaging archive or app-integration limit, consider one of the paid subscriptions.

LastPass

The password struggle is real and can be a real time suck. LastPass remembers all your passwords and can be used across several devices.

Not only will this tool store your passwords in its secured vault, it also will audit your passwords to help you create better, more secure ones.

The free version has plenty of features and is still very secure, but if you’re looking to be able to add employees to certain password folders, for example, consider a paid subscription.

Right Inbox

A Chrome extension, Right Inbox allows you to set up multiple signatures, email sequences, delayed sends and more.

The idea is to stay on top of the chaos that might be your email inbox.

A bonus feature is built-in email tracking.

While you’re looking at boosting your productivity, think about how you can improve your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips for a successful social media takeover

Looking to shake up your brand’s online presence? Consider a social media takeover.

A social media takeover is a form of influencer marketing where you grant posting privileges to a person of interest for a predetermined period of time. This can be an influencer, expert or other professional. The length of the takeover could be a day, a week, etc. While Instagram and Snapchat host a significant percentage of takeovers, any social media platform can work.

It’s a great way to dip your toes into the world of influencer marketing. From $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing is estimated to grow to have a market size of $13.8 billion in 2021.

See our seven tips to think about before diving into influencer marketing.

Of course, a social media takeover has its own nuances. And it doesn’t just happen in a vacuum on its own. There is a lot of planning and strategy required, especially for the most successful instances. But the benefits are there, including more brand awareness and potentially an increase in your brand’s following.

The following are eight tips to run a successful social media takeover on your first attempt.

Choose who’s taking over

This is a huge factor in the success of your social media takeover. Not only do you want to find someone with a significant-enough following to help grow your own, but this person should also be:

  • Noteworthy within your industry
  • Known or at least respected by your audience (meaning that not all industry experts, for example, hold celebrity status with your following, but their title and expertise do capture attention and interest)
  • Publishing content that complements your own branding

Granted, the possibilities are almost endless, but check in on your goals with this social media takeover, and let those goals help guide you in your influencer research and outreach.

Check out these 18 influencer-discovery tools to help.

Once you’ve identified a few options of individuals you’d like to work with, you should reach out directly but also start (if you haven’t already) engaging with their content. Not everyone you’d like to partner with will say yes (or say yes without requesting pay, depending), so keep looking until you find the perfect partner. Just be aware that while paying an influencer isn’t always needed, it is in your best interest to formulate your pitch to include what’s in it for them to work with you, no matter what that might be.

Sync up your goals

Obviously, your brand has goals when it comes to running a social media takeover, but it’s important that you align these goals with the goals of your influencer.

As part of your initial pitch in starting this takeover, you likely already mentioned (or officially presented) the perks for this individual to participate.

Even if the benefit to the influencer is only increased exposure to your following (or beyond), that’s fine. Just make sure that the relationship is balanced as far as benefits happening for both your brand and the influencer.

Select your social media platform

We already noted that a lot of social media takeovers happen on Instagram and Snapchat. But you can definitely choose whatever platform best suits your brand, your goals and your influencer.

(Of course, not all influencers are strong on all social media platforms, so keep that in mind while choosing who’d you like to work with.)

If there is a platform you’d like to make more of a wave on, that could be a great place to start. Facebook, for example, could feature takeover posts and Facebook Live videos on your business page. 

See our guide on the best social media platforms for influencer marketing.

Plan out your framework

First things first, do not assume that any influencer can read your mind. He or she cannot automatically (and magically) know what you would like to see happen or even what he or she should be doing in general during a social media takeover.

The best thing to do is to put it all down in writing:

  • When will it start, and when will it end?
  • How many posts are expected?
  • What post types are expected? Photos? Videos? Live-streams? Something else?
  • What’s the desired frequency of posts?
  • Any other expectations of the influencer?

You’ll also want to consider providing a list of brand do’s and don’ts, which could include profanity usage, sizing ratio of images and so on.

Just be sure to not arrange too many limitations. The idea of a social media takeover is to let the person taking over be themselves. If the content he or she is posting looks and feels exactly as it would coming from your brand itself, then what’s the point?

Set up platform permissions

This is admittedly the most complex component of a social media takeover. Not all companies want to hand over all their passwords to an influencer, no matter what agreement and/or contract might be in place.

Fortunately, you have a number of options on this front, depending on your level of comfort and the platform(s) being used.

Provide all passwords and total access

This should only be done if absolutely necessary and it’s with an individual you trust. Of course, there are some features on Snapchat and Instagram Stories (like account tags on Instagram) that must happen at the time of posting, and if the influencer needs to design those in a particular way, there might be no way around handing over the password to an account. But you’ll want to change that password as soon as the social media takeover has ended.

Limit posting permissions

The paths here can vary depending on the social media platform(s) being taken over. Facebook, for example, has different permission levels for Page Roles on its business pages, including “Live Contributor” in which the influencer can only go live on your page. To get around giving out your password in order for an influencer to go live on Instagram, you can consider hosting a joint Live session. You also can consider assigning the influencer a role with limited access from within your social media management application. This depends on what management tool you’re using, of course, but it’s easy enough to do if your tool offers customizable user permissions or even team-level access capabilities. Check out these 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools.

Have all content delivered for you to post

This is the most hands-off option possible in which the influencer is given no access or permissions to your social media accounts at all. Instead, he or she delivers to you assets, captions and so on for you to post from your brand accounts. Just be extra vigilant that what posts aren’t too scripted or too similar to what your accounts already share. The overall goal of a social media takeover is to shake up your content at least a little.

Of course, if the influencer delivers content to you and does not post organically at all, this gives you a built-in approval process. Nothing posts without your approval first. 

But even if you offer some or total access, you can still incorporate a content approval process as desired.

Promote your social media takeover in advance

The best takeovers don’t just happen out of thin air. Not from a planning standpoint. And not even from a follower’s perspective. 

As your planning out your upcoming social media takeover, you’ll want to do a separate campaign to hype up the scheduled “event.” Yes, treat your takeover like an event or product launch. Aim to generate excitement around it.

Advanced promotion increases the interest (and your results). It also will help circumvent any confusion from your following when an influencer does step in with his or her own content.

Social media takeovers are far more common these days, but it never hurts to always communicate what’s about to happen. You also could include a note or relevant hashtag on takeover posts to help communicate the nature of the posts during the takeover itself. 

Measure your results

If a tree falls in a forest without anyone around, did it make a noise? Well, if a campaign happens without analysis, did it even happen?

Yes and no.

The point is that you have goals. Otherwise, you wouldn’t bother with a social media takeover in the first place. Be sure to tie those goals to specific metrics you’d like to see boosted. You can even set individual goals for those metrics as desired.

Then, see what happens. Dig into your data during and after the takeover to understand what worked and what didn’t. Doing so will help you improve your approach the next time around. And you’ll continue to improve the overall impact of your hosted takeovers.

Test all these tips out internally

You’re definitely welcome to jump into your first social media takeover with your most desirable influencer. However, you also have the option to test out your plan (and execution) with an employee first.

Doing so allows you to: 

  • Work out any technology kinks
  • Identify any holes in your planning
  • Confirm the most desired metrics for tracking

Of course, when it comes to content, an employee can focus on behind-the-scenes opportunities. But otherwise, your strategy, plan and execution should mirror what you would want to do with an outside influencer.

Running a real test internally with an employee minimizes the risk of something going wrong. It also increases your confidence when you do move on to a non-internal social media takeover.

While you’re planning your first social media takeover, consider the strength of your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation capabilities, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.