Using Instagram Stories In Your Marketing Strategy

If you’ve been on Instagram lately, you might have noticed the newest app update: Instagram Stories. Similar to the Stories feature on Snapchat, you can now upload photos and videos to Instagram Stories, which expire after 24 hours and do not appear on the Instagram timeline. The new feature also includes editing tools (like color filters and drawing tools) similar to Snapchat, although the Instagram edition doesn’t include “filters” like the ever-popular dog filter or face-swap.

This new feature is a great marketing tool for businesses to begin using to increase engagement and draw new customers. We’ve compiled a few reasons why you should consider incorporating this new tool into your marketing strategy.

Behind The Scenes

Instagram Stories allow you to quickly and easily upload a photo or short video to your account to build engagement and build trust with your audience. One great thing about the Stories feature is it allows you to upload extra content to your business’ Instagram without over-crowding your customers’ timeline. It’s also a fun way to include a behind-the-scenes glimpse at your business or build buzz for upcoming products or campaigns, all the while still making it feel personable to your customers.

Instagram Stories Let Your Business Reach A Larger Audience

Since the feature is so similar to Snapchat, you might ask: Why not just use Snapchat Stories to market my brand? The biggest difference between Snapchat and Instagram for business is reach. Over 500 million active monthly users use Instagram, which is much greater than Snapchat’s 150 million users. The bigger your audience, the better chance you have of making an impression and gaining new customer. Plus, if you already have a substantial presence on Instagram, why not take advantage?

Promos, Giveaways and Contests

One unique way to make the most out of the Stories feature is to include promos or giveaways for your customers. Stories allow businesses to post content that won’t be seen anywhere else! Why not give the customers that are viewing your Stories a bonus!  By uploading a promo or discount code to your Story, it’s also a great way to measure engagement and draw new followers to your Instagram page.

No matter how you decide to use Instagram Stories for your business, it’s a great way to stay relevant, increase brand awareness and keep your audience engaged.

Have questions? Contact us today and let us customize a social media plan to fit your business! Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

 

5 Tips for a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy

social media marketing strategy
 

It’s no secret that social media marketing can benefit your business. Not sure where to begin? Take a look at these 5 tips for a successful social media marketing strategy!

First, establish a target audience?

For your social media marketing efforts to be successful, you must first decide who your business is trying to target. This will establish your brand voice and messaging, which is crucial to your content strategy going forward. Research your audience thoroughly before diving in. When researching, ask yourself – What type of content does your intended audience respond to? Which platforms are most popular with who you are trying to reach? How does this audience communicate with each other? You cannot create successful content without first knowing who you are trying to communicate with.

Make a content calendar for your marketing strategy!

A big part of being successful in social media marketing is sticking to your deadlines and keeping a constant presence on platforms. This is where your content calendar comes in. A content calendar will allow you to visualize your social media strategy while keeping you on track to achieve your goals. This tool allows you to plan out your content in advance. Pro tip: use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Sendible to schedule your content to publish automatically. Make sure to keep in mind that real time content is also important to the success of your business on social, so leave places in your content calendar for present information and set a reminder for yourself!

Create engaging content.

When creating social media content for your business or brand, it is crucial that your audience feels engaged and interested to ensure that they keep coming back to your social media pages for more. How can you do this? Ask questions! Create compelling images to accompany information. Publish local content. Instead of posting 9 times a day create one quality post. Always remember quality content over quantity.

Learn from what does not work and improve it.

In order to be successful at marketing your business on social media you need to be constantly monitoring your pages to determine what is working and what is not. If a certain strategy is not working after a long enough period, adjust your content accordingly. Building your presence on social is a learning experience. See something that is working? Keep doing it! Even better, find ways to improve it to keep the movement happening.

Patience is key.

Social media marketing success does not happen overnight. Allow your brand time to create lasting relationships with your audience.

Overall, a well thought out social media marketing strategy will benefit your business the most. Not sure you want to take on the responsibility? Outsourcing your social media is always an option! Contact us for more information!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

Comparing Social Media Service Plans

As a business owner in the 21st century, you know how vital social media is to your business’ overall marketing plan. However, you also realize how much time and effort is involved when it comes to keeping up with your accounts. Ultimately you decide to outsource your social media to an agency. However, while looking at social media management companies, you begin to realize that there are many different service options to manage your social media platforms. How do you know who offers the best package?  Keep thing tips in mind when comparing social media service plans!

Choose a company who includes Facebook Ads in their service plan:

It is absolutely critical to your company to utilize advertising dollars on Facebook. You must use Facebook ads if you want potential customers to see your business. With Facebook advertising, you have the opportunity to use extremely specific targeting selections by location, demographics, age, etc. to make sure the right people are seeing your ads. The best part is you don’t need a ton of money to get your message in front of people and be successful.

Choose a company who knows what they’re doing when it comes to posting:

How often should you post on social media? You want to update and engage your customers with interesting and informative content without overwhelming or annoying them. Posting every other day, or 3-5 times a week, is a fair, average amount of posts. You do not want to post multiple times every day, as it will irritate your follows as well as lower your organic reach. When comparing social media service plans, make sure you also ask the agency if also know what times are appropriate for making posts according to your business!

Choose a company who cares about your brand:

The agency you hire should put as much understanding and work into your business’ pages as you would. Look for a company who will create engaging and creative content specifically to meet your brand’s goals and needs.

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

In-House Marketing vs. Outsourcing

As more businesses shift the focus of their marketing strategy to the digital realm, business owners are faced with the decision to either hire an in-house marketing professional or outsourcing their efforts. When making this decision, a business owner must consider a number of factors–one of the driving factors being cost.

According to Payscale, an entry-level Social Media Strategist would cost a business roughly $46k per year. Considering that this is the average salary for entry-level employee, that number could go up significantly depending on their level of experience. Keep in mind this also means the extra cost of adding another employee to payroll and offering benefits.

With outsourcing, the price is notably cheaper. Depending on the marketing agency, this could cost a business owner anywhere from a few hundred to under a thousand dollars a month, determined by the size of the business, social platforms, marketing strategy, etc.

To further weigh the options, let’s consider the pros and cons between the two.

Pros of In-House Marketing:

  1. Dedicated marketer/team who are familiar with goals, objectives, ins-and-outs of business
  2. Quicker access to digital marketing strategy
  3. Could train current employees to handle the marketing efforts, saving money

Cons of In-House Marketing:

  1. Costly (could cost a business over double the amount of outsourcing)
  2. Training a marketer/team is time-consuming
  3. Limited perspective, possible learning curve/stagnant skill set

Pros of Outsourcing Your Marketing:

  1. Significantly cheaper than in-house (as much as half the cost or greater)
  2. Fresh, creative marketing perspective from a team of marketing professionals, who are familiar with the ins-and-outs of marketing a business
  3. A positive ROI, delivered results
  4. Familiar with competition, up-to-date on new marketing techniques and guidelines

Cons of Outsourcing Your Marketing:

  1. Not the only customer of your marketing agency
  2. Cannot be on-site full time, communication takes extra effort
  3. Contact with customers is not direct (from business), could appear less personalized

Hiring in-house is more expensive but gives businesses a more personalized approach. While outsourcing is clearly the cheaper option and more often than not, marketing agencies are proficient in online marketing and will execute a creative and effective marketing strategy. Either way, it’s crucial that a successful marketing strategy is developed in order to stay relevant in today’s digital world.

If you are in the midst of making this decision and would like to hear more about what our agency could offer you, feel free to contact us or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

Social Media Marketing vs. Traditional Marketing

social media marketing

In today’s day and age, you have the option of choosing from many types of marketing including traditional marketing outlets like radio, tv and postcards. You can also choose to market your business online through social media, SEO and PPC. But how do you know which one is right for your business?

If you are looking for a type of marketing that is able to reach the most people for the lowest cost you may want to consider using social media over traditional marketing. In addition to reaching more people, not having a strong social media presence for your business can end up costing you in the long run.

Cost Advantages

One of the biggest advantages of social media marketing is that it has the lowest cost per thousand impressions (CPM). What is CPM? It is the average cost to reach one thousand people. For example, if someone tells you the CPM of the campaign is $10 ten you are paying $10 on average per 1,000 people to see your message.

Social media marketing boasts one of the lowest CPMs, averaging $1 to $4. Other mediums, such as direct mail (average CPM of $26) and magazines (average CPM between $8 and $20), do not offer you the exceptionally accessible data that social media does.

Measurability

The results of a traditional marketing campaign are somewhat measurable, but it is much easier with social media. Not only are statistics available in real time but the detail of the information is higher as well. The ability to review these statistics on user’s demographics and interactions with your content allow you the make data-backed adjustments to your marketing content in the future and even while a campaign is running!

Not Using Social Media Could Cost You

So many people rely on social media and online reviews to make decisions on where to eat, shop and spend their hard earned money. With the universal accessibility of smartphones, a quick search might leave you in the dust if you either don’t have a profile set up or yours lacks effective branding. Between people sharing photos of products, tweeting out their experiences, and checking into businesses, a well-executed social media presence can grow your brand and bottom line exponentially.
All this being said you might wonder why someone wouldn’t want to reap the benefits of all this. For many small businesses, the greatest struggle to get a social media presence going is time. That’s where we come in. Contact us today to learn more!

How is Social Media Marketing effective?

Not only does social media marketing cost less than traditional marketing, it also is less time consuming and takes less time to plan and execute. 84% of marketers found as little as six hours a week was enough to generate increased traffic.

The other component that makes social media advertising so unique, is the ability to target specific audiences more effectively than billboards, mailers or other forms of print advertising.  Facebook gives marketers the capability of pinpointing the perfect audience to make sure that the right people are being exposed to your ad. Unlike print ads or commercials, which are generally shown to a  audience who may typically ignore them.

Another advantage to social media marketing in comparison to traditional methods, is that it allows you to engage with the audience who are interacting with your ad. Advertising through social media creates a two-way relationship. A relationship where brands can answer questions and have personal interactions with their customers.

If you’d like to learn more about the possibilities of reaching your customers through paid social advertising, Contact us today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

Social Spending: How to Determine Your Budget

determine your budget

Business owners and marketers are beginning to shovel more money into social spending. Although some claim they aren’t seeing a ROI,  social media marketing takes time and knowing how to control your social spending is crucial in order to master your social media presence.

As marketing continues to develop on digital platforms, it’s important for businesses to understand how to correctly spend on social and when it may be time to increase your budget. So which factors should you consider?

First, determine your budget

The amount of money businesses allocate towards social media marketing depends on a number of factors- your business goals, the number of platforms you’re on, time of year, products or services provided, etc.

As more companies move to social marketing, it’s also important to consider your competition. You may not know the exact amount your competitors are spending, but if you want to stay relevant with your customers, that may mean throwing more money into your budget.

According to a study done by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, businesses are expected to increase their social media spending to a 20.9 percent share of marketing budgets within the next five years.

This means that if you’re not currently on social- now is the time to start. If you do have a social presence, make sure your social score is relevant.

Realize which platforms work for your brand

Facebook plays a major role in digital marketing and most companies already have taken the steps to build and manage some sort of business page or company profile.

Google+ is also relevant for businesses and having a Google+ profile for your business set up greatly increases your SEO. It also helps customers find your location much easier- which is always important.

But what about Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.? It all depends on your brand and what type of audience you’re trying to reach.

If you want to reach more millennials, Instagram might work for your business. If you’re looking for B2B, LinkedIn could be the right way to go.

Whether you or your social media team makes that decision, developing a presence on more social platforms will mean adding more to your budget.

Understanding your business goals

Take the time to realize what you’d like for your business to accomplish with social. What are your primary goals?

Are you looking to brand your company and promote your products or services? Connect with customers? Gain leads?

Whether it’s one- or all- of the above, you may find that investing more into your budget leads to a bigger payoff. This is certainly true with Facebook ads- a greater ad spend often equals a larger reach and with that comes higher brand awareness.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that this process takes time. Although you may continue to invest more into your social spending, you may not see immediate results overnight.

Social media marketing is a marathon- not a race. To learn more and to see how much you should be investing in your social spending, contact us. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

How can your business use Snapchat?

Snapchat for business

With Snapchat’s more than 100 million daily active users it is easily among one of the fastest growing social media networks. Many businesses are choosing to adopt Snapchat into their brands social media landscape. If you are considering snapchat for your business, read on to find out the ways you can engage with the fans of your brand!

A behind the scenes look

Take your fans behind the scenes with Snapchat and show them a day in the life of your brand. In doing so, you are making your audience feel like they are included in the process from beginning to end. How can you do this? Get creative! If you are a restaurant give your Snapchat friends a play by play of the chef making a delicious dessert. A clothing store? Bring them with you as you go to market to find the best clothes to bring back!

In the moment

“Live” content is what it is all about in social media these days. By snapchatting real time stories your fans get the feeling that they are there too. What’s even better is Snapchat’s My Story option. Your business can constantly update live content and your friends will be able to go back and watch the story from beginning to end for 24 hours! This is a great opportunity to engage your audience and keep them coming back for more. A creative way to connect? Your business can create a personalized geotag for you or users to use during exciting events!

Deliver a sneak peek

Snapchatting a sneak peek of what is to come for your brand is a great way to generate awareness of a new product that has not been launched yet. Because your Snapchat friends are the only one’s getting a first look before the rest of the world, you are making them feel special. It’s also a great way to reward your fans for following you. Your business can do this by snapchatting a promotion code or special that only your businesses snapchat friends get to see.

Engage with your fans

Snapchat takes your businesses customer service to a whole new level! This is an engaging way to answer questions that consumers may have about your product. Because Snapchat allows you to video, text, and take photos the answers will feel personalized as opposed to “robotic” responses from other social media platforms.

Partner up on Snapchat!

Ready to get started on Snapchat? Looking to grow your audience? Partnering with well-known influencers is a sure way to give your Snapchat following a boost! Partnering with other brands is a great way to generate word of mouth and allow people to become aware of your business.

Snapchat brilliantly combines photo, text, video and filters. Brands can take advantage of these features to give their audience the ultimate experience. It is time to get started using Snapchat to give your fans an insider’s look at your business. Download it in the app store today!

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

 

Social Media Marketing Takes Time

social media marketing

As we’ve said many times before, social media is here to stay and if you are not already using social media marketing for your business you could be missing out. Because social media marketing is still newer than other forms of traditional advertising, it can seem like you’re taking a leap of faith when you decide to make it a part of your business plan. If you’re just starting to use social media marketing for your business, it can take time before you begin to see the impact it has.

It takes time to grow the right audience

Growing an audience won’t happen overnight. You have to appeal to your target by researching and finding out what they want. Growing and keeping a following takes patience, time and determination. It all comes back to content strategy. You must put out good content to create and maintain your fan base. Quality content is defined by how closely it meets your audiences’ needs. When you engage and interest your audience, you create a following that stays loyal to your brand. Just like building a relationship with a new friend takes time, so does building customer relationships.

It takes time to build is consistency

Managing social media requires continuous effort. Social media is a constant learning process that requires tweaks and modifications. Researching and understanding your audience so that you can create a content strategy is a huge piece to the puzzle. Creating the right content is a process of trial and error, and putting in the effort to do these things takes time and adjustments.

The bottom line is, social media works and should be a part of your marketing plan. With so many people using social platforms, it gives you a huge opportunity to be noticed. But you must be patient and willing to put in the time and effort to make social media work for your brand.

Don’t have the time to build your brand on social media? We do. Contact us today to learn more!

How can a local business benefit from Google+?

google+ benefits

In the last couple of years, it seems like Google+ has become irrelevant. However, as a local business, it would be a mistake to dismiss the power of having a Google+ plus profile for your business. So how can this social media page benefit your business?

Having a Google+ page plays big into SEO.

When you take the time to set up a Google+ page for your business, you increase your chances of being found online. It also gives your business an opportunity to be ranked higher by Google in search. This is obviously important for local business.

It is vital to fill and complete your ‘about’ section. In here, you can include your address, phone number, hours of operation, high-quality photos of your business, and more. As we know, all of Google’s features work together. By having these details listed, you make your business more visible in both search and on maps. You also have the ability to list links to other social media profiles. This creates even more exposure for your business.

How to optimize your page

While having a Google+ page puts your business out there, you must keep it active by sharing strong, interesting content, and connecting with other pages and users. Having an up-to-date Google+ profile gives you the opportunity to help your content receive more exposure and web traffic. Because Google+ posts can appear in search, the more you build your page with strong content, the better the odds are for your content to be found.

Joining communities and adding other users and pages to your circles is imperative as well. You should also +1, comment, and share posts from others. Often times, people will return the favor. The more action you receive on your posts, the more recognition you will get from Google, which translates into better search results. As with any social network, engagement is vital to distinguishing yourself amongst others.

You should also encourage your customers to leave reviews about your business on Google+. Reviews increase the power of your Google+ page the probability of ranking high in local search.

By putting in a little bit of time and effort on your Google+ business page, your business can reap the benefits of improved local search visibility. Don’t know where to start? Contact No Time for Social today to learn more!

Have questions? Contact us today to learn more or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for more tips!

Why Hire No Time for Social

What separates No Time for Social from the other Social Media Agencies? That’s easy. Our dedication to providing your brand quality content. Instead of pushing out meaningless information just to maintain a presence on social media, No Time for Social assigns a Digital Content Strategist dedicated to creating a well-researched, consistent message that is custom to your audience. In other words, we value quality over quantity.

We know that a one size fits all approach does not work. You have probably heard of companies that offer a large number of platforms promising a high number of posts to be published each week. How can this hurt you? First of all, your brand may not benefit from all of the platforms being offered. Just because you are getting more on paper doesn’t mean that the platforms are offering value to your brand. For instance, say you owned your own restaurant and you bought a package deal from a digital agency offering Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp and Google+. Doesn’t it seem odd that a roofer- a completely different industry with a different target audience-  would be receiving the same platforms as a restaurant? Does the roofer (and your restaurant) really need all of these platforms? The short answer is no. Instead, No Time for Social creates a custom plan and content strategy just for your business, using the platforms that will reach your intended audience.

The Digital Content Strategists at No Time for Social use their own expertise to design a content strategy that will benefit your brand the most. How do we do this? We work with you! We dive into your needs and wants. Your company’s goals. What you like and what you don’t like. This includes in-depth research in which we go above and beyond learning the ins and outs of your company. Think of it as if you hired us to work just for you in-house. This helps us create quality content for your brand. How does this benefit your company? The audience that has chosen to follow or like your page is more likely to engage with the content being posted! When a generic message is delivered to your followers it gets lost in the shuffle. Your fans aren’t able to tell that the content is being delivered by you because there is no consistent brand message and overall it blends in with the rest of the posts on their newsfeed. The best content is recognizable to your fans – they should be able to tell your brand is delivering the message without even looking at who posted it.

At No Time for Social we are constantly analyzing what works and what doesn’t work and adapting your content to deliver the best. We will never publish meaningless content just to hit the number of posts we promised you in your contract. We only offer what we are able to deliver, and that is quality.

To learn more about No Time for Social and what we can do for your business, contact us today!