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9 Tips to Ensure Social Media Marketing Success

Social media marketing is relatively new, which means we’re still trying to figure out what makes an effective campaign and what doesn’t. (However, there are some things we’ve nailed down.) Here are 9 tips to fall back on when trying to achieve success with your social media marketing:

Find Your Tribe

This means not simply marketing to everyone on Twitter or Facebook (because there are a lot of us), but instead, deciding who would like to know about you, your products and services, and your business. Who do you want to reach? Who’s most likely to want to connect with you?

Find them—they’re your tribe. And then market to them.

Be Original

Finding a unique way to brand your business on social media is imperative, because otherwise your business will look exactly like all the other guys—which really dilutes the pool of those who might be interested in your products and services.

Find out what you can do to make your business stand out and be new and exciting—then do that. Don’t copy your competition; stand apart from them.

Regularly Engage with Your Audience

Responding to comments and questions from members of your tribe is imperative to social media marketing success. If you’re not engaging with the people who want to hire you or purchase your products, you’re losing out on clients and customers.

Instead, be sure to engage your followers and develop a relationship with them on social.

Plan and Strategize

Stop posting on the fly, guys! Well, you can do that too, but the main objective is to post with mindfulness geared towards a set outcome. Be organized, be specific, and be relevant. Make a plan and figure out how to measure its success.

Be Flexible

This means being able to jump to Plan B without much of a hitch, and in today’s competitive online marketplace, having the ability to not only roll with the proverbial punches, but also know when you should is key.

Be Consistent

Consistency is important, folks. This kind of goes together with regularly engaging with your audience, but it’s more than that. Make sure you post at relevant times of day, and if you’re using Twitter or Snapchat, you need to be posting several times a day.

See our blog on how often to post to various social media platforms HERE.

Use Original Photographs

Stock photos may be an easy way out, but who ever said incredible social media marketing was easy?! If you can take in-house photos and edit them to post on social, then do it. It makes a HUGE difference.

For an example on how to do this correctly, check out Field House Brewing, and take a look at their socials.

Respond Quickly to Questions and Comments

Again, this goes back to regular engagement, but it takes it one step further—one of the easiest ways to lose a social media following (especially if you’re a start-up or small business), is to ignore your tribe.

No ignoring! These are your customers, and remember, business is more competitive now than ever before. If you can’t pay attention to your customers, they’ll find another business who will. Trust us.

Be Professional

Consciously develop a consistent brand voice and don’t make your business social media platforms a place to post personal information. No swearing (unless it’s on-brand, which it might be, but very rarely—see Thug Kitchen), no spelling mistakes, no grammatical errors, no misinformation.

Be a pro.

By following the advice we give above, your social media marketing will be much more effective than being inconsistent, flying by the seat of your pants, and copying what other brands are doing.


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

 

Social Media Strategy for Beginners

If you own a small business, you’re probably making use of social media marketing. Right? But do you have a general (or specific) plan, or do you just wing it and hope for the best?

One of things Fresh + Fit does for our clients is develop language guidelines and a corresponding social media strategy. Essentially, this includes brand-based etiquette for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There are 5 main categories we generally address when it comes to social media strategy: tone, hashtags, tags, images, and frequency of posting.

Since all three of these social media platforms are quite different, we try to create an overall symmetry between them, while staying true to each of their unique benefits:

Facebook Social Media Strategy

Tone: This will be the same for each platform, and will completely depend on your brand’s identity. If your brand is fun, spunky, and upbeat, then this is the tone you set for all your social media posts. If your business is more informative and educational, then the tone set on social media will need to match that vibe.

Hashtags: On Facebook, hashtags should not be used in the main copy. Instead, place all hashtags at the end of your post. Many businesses choose to separate their main post copy and the hashtags by using periods or spacing or both. Facebook is great, because you have no limit (or a very, very high one) to the number of characters you can use in a single post.

So hashtag away!

The reason behind not using hashtags within your main copy, is simply because it makes the copy harder to read, which can dissuade the reader from reading your whole post.

(Which would be too bad, since you took the time to write it. Right?)

Tags: Unlike using hashtags, it’s okay to directly tag people or pages within your post. Facebook tags don’t display the ‘@’ symbol in front of them, so it looks cleaner.

Don’t be afraid to tag more people or pages at the end of your post (along with hashtags), if you didn’t directly reference them within the main copy.

Images: Images are imperative on Facebook. They will come up automatically if you’re using a URL within your post, but if you’re not, add something relevant that catches the eye of your reader. Remember, a picture is worth 1000 words, so choosing the correct photo is an art in of itself.

Frequency of Posting : All platforms are a little different, but 1-2 posts a day (maximum) is what we recommend for Facebook. Although the algorithms change every few months, they’re designed to recognize ‘Facebook spamming’, which is essentially posting on your business page way too frequently.

When Facebook’s algorithm picks this up, it will respond by making your page less visible, not more. It’s Facebook’s way of disciplining businesses who spam their clients.

Moral of the story? 1-2 posts per day, and stay consistent with what you choose.

social media icons

Twitter Social Media Strategy

Tone: As we wrote in regard to Facebook, the tone of your tweets should match your business’ brand model.

Hashtags: The main difference between using hashtags on Twitter as compared to Facebook, is the character limit you are obliged to follow on Twitter. Because you’re limited to 140 characters, hashtags can be used within the main copy of your tweet.

BUT: if you have room to use hashtags at the end of your tweet, then do it. As with Facebook, hashtags can be distracting, and are always better when placed at the end.

Tags: Use within the main copy of your tweet, and add to the end if you’re not directly referencing whomever you’re tagging within the main copy of your tweet.

Images: Although not necessary, images always make for better tweets. People are very visual, and a great image can catch a reader’s eye and compel him to read your tweet—and share it!

Frequency of Posting: With Twitter, feel free to tweet as much as once an hour throughout the day. With our clients, we make sure to schedule at least 3 tweets per day, and then with comments and shares, we typically end the day with around 6-7 tweets.

Here’s the bottom line for your Twitter social media strategy frequency: minimum 3; maximum 12.

Instagram Social Media Strategy

Tone: Ditto for Facebook and Twitter. (See above.)

Hashtags: As with Facebook, it’s best to leave the hashtags at the end of your post, separated by spacing or punctuation—especially because you have an unlimited character count.

Tags: Feel free to tag if relevant within the main copy of your post (and yes, you need a paragraph—don’t post images with no copy), and then you can tag more at the end.

Images: The most important part of Instagram! Images for Instagram are not only required, they need to be good. For this platform, we recommend spending more time on the image than on the actual post copy.

Visitors to your Instagram feed will see the first 6-9 images, so it’s important to make them beautiful and diverse.

It’s also important to your social media strategy that Instagram photos are original and unique.

Frequency of Posting: Instagram posts can go up 1-2 times per day—as with Facebook. If you post more, it will look like spam. (But again, try and stay consistent. Post every day!)

Creating language guidelines and a social media strategy is important for any business. Develop your own, stay true to your brand, and above all? Have some fun!

Call us to talk social media strategy, guys–we have your back on this. To find out which social media platforms might be best for marketing your business, read this article by Forbes.


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

Spring Clean Your Social

It’s about that time of year when we all get up, shake off the dust, tip our heads to the sky and breathe in sunshine and warmth and vitamin D and the smell of cherry blossoms.

(And a lot of pollen, so if you have hayfever, maybe sip a little nettle tea, first.)

Springtime means getting our lazy, winter butts in gear and putting extra emphasis on productivity. Since social media plays a huge part in any businesses’ digital marketing strategy, consider spring cleaning your social—not just your office.

(But do that, too—cleaner offices inspire increased productivity in your employees. True story.)

Here are 5 ways to spring clean your social:

Purge Those Extra Accounts

We all have them—for Fresh + Fit, it’s Pinterest. We’ll totally admit it. We are NEVER on Pinterest. Like, ever. So why do we even have a Pinterest account?

Good question.

Remember this: your business does not need to be on Pinterest and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat and Google+ and Reddit. Choose 2-3 social forums and rock them. You cannot be efficient and productive by trying to manage a million social media accounts.

For most businesses, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the biggies. Choose a couple, and let the rest go.

Create an Editorial Calendar

Are you still flying by the seat of your pants? Why? Life is easier with a plan, right? You don’t have to come up with great content and blog ideas on the spot—you’ll have already planned it all out!

A good rule of thumb is to create a new calendar each month. Keep the next 3 months or so in the background, and fill in events and other things as you go. By the end of each month, the following month will be almost done!

WAY easier, guys. Honestly.

Update Your Info + Images

When’s the last time you edited your social info and updated your profile pics and headers? If you’re using stale media, change it! In the last few months, we’ve had clients do the following:

  • Move locations
  • Add a phone number
  • Change an email address
  • Re-brand
  • Get trademarked
  • Merge with another business
  • Get new pro photos taken

These are all things that affect your profile on social! So make sure you’re up-to-date, and you’ll stay more relevant and easier to find for your clients.

Edit Who You’re Following

It’s a good idea to go through who you’re following once a year and make some changes. Many of us follow people or organizations or businesses that don’t make sense or have anything to do with what your business is about.

Remember, potential clients, customers, and other businesses frequently check social forums to see who you deem important enough to follow. If you’re spamming your own news feed by following accounts that don’t make sense, cut them out!

Stop it.

Be Specific + Focused

Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Why? Because you’ll be missing out on posting content that’s actually valuable to your audience. By spring cleaning your social, you’re removing what doesn’t work and focusing on what does—and being specific and focus works.

(Being random is soooo 2010.)

This month (April) is the perfect time of year to clear your social clutter, and get on track for being productive, efficient, and brilliant at what you do. What’s that old adage? Work smart, not hard?

Yeah, do that.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

 

Measuring the Success of Your Social Media Strategy

Businesses who are active on social media definitely have a leg up on those who aren’t. But posting content is just one part of the two-prong strategy: you also have to measure how well those posts are doing. In other words, posting is great, but the goal is to attract your target demographic of people and engage them long enough to make an impact.

If your ideal audience isn’t reached or engagement doesn’t happen, then what’s the point?

Measuring the success of your social media strategy is completely necessary to understand whether or not your plan is working. (We’re assuming you have a plan, but if you don’t, maybe start HERE.)

Below are 4 easy ways to measure the impact your social media posts are having on the audience you’re trying to reach:

Track your total number of followers at the beginning of each month.

This sounds completely rudimentary, but one of the easiest ways to track how fast and effectively your business’ social media is growing, is to track actual numbers. Using a program like Excel to compare and contrast days, weeks, or months is a great way to have a concrete visual of what’s going on, and more importantly, what isn’t.

Most social media platforms also have built-in metrics tracking. Making a mindful point to access and use those tools will help you, and it requires almost no effort.

We know you’re busy, and that extra effort doesn’t come easy.

Keep an eye on how engaged your visitors are.

Are people actually seeing your posts? If so, are they liking them or commenting? Are your posts being shared? These are things that are important to track. Maybe you’ll discover that your foodie posts attract more Facebook visitors than your design posts. Or maybe bullet-point lists attract more engagement than paragraphs.

You won’t ever know until you track.

Notice the conversation (or lack thereof).

Are people talking about what you’re posting? If your posts are getting people excited and prompting shares and likes, then you’re on the right track. If not, then you need to re-evaluate.

Maybe your posts have great content, but your audience would respond better to questions or polls. Or perhaps your ‘hooks’ needs to be improved or tweaked.

See what time of day your posts garner the most views.

This is a super simple, but completely valuable tidbit of info: at the end of each month, go through your posts and make note of the ones that had the highest engagement. Then do the same for the ones that had the lowest engagement. Notice what time they were posted, what the topics were, and what kind of media was associated with each.

By doing this, you’ll find out a lot about what your audience likes and doesn’t—and that is information you can use.

By keeping actively aware of what’s doing well and what’s falling flat, you can save yourself a lot of time. Measuring performance is crucial to a great social media strategy, because without measuring, you have no idea how well you’re doing.

Tracking the outcome of your social media posts can also give you great insight as to whether or not you’re using the right platforms. Maybe your business should be on Instagram instead of Facebook. How will you know unless you pay attention?

So hopefully this post helps. For additional assistance, we suggest you give this one a read: 7 Social Media Mistakes Every Company Needs to Avoid.

Good luck, and get tracking!


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

Hiring a Social Media Manager for Instagram?

Currently one of the most popular social media platforms, Instagram is quickly becoming the social media platform. These days, no one wants to read a 1000 word blog post, or even 300 words on Facebook. Twitter caught on to our trend towards laziness by limiting blurbs to 140 characters, which seems to really work for people. Even better? Show it, don’t write it.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than Instagram really nailed it, right?!

As social media managers, we take on our clients’ socials for a variety of reasons: to save them time, to lend our expertise and experience, and for a dozen more reasons. But we don’t do Instagram—arguably, the most popular platform of 2016.

Here’s why:

Core Value

At the very heart of this platform, is the desire to create and share an experience within a single photograph. If you’re an Instagram fan, you can probably tell the difference between a photograph that’s spontaneous and genuine and unique, and one that’s none of those things.

The very name of this platform, Instagram, implies that photos posted are shot and immediately thrown into the feeds of fans—fans that have decided to follow one’s account based on similar interest, hobbies, or other personal reasons.

When Instagram is not used for what it was originally intended—if photographs are copied from another’s account, or when the text that accompanies the images are clearly lacking in specific detail, or when the pictures just don’t make sense—it defeats the purpose of the platform.

And users notice.

Images should come from in-house, in real time, from the people that took the photos in the first place. When this doesn’t happen, the images don’t have the same merit.

Feasibility

When managing another’s social media—especially when managing many others’ social media—it’s impossible to coordinate your efforts and be effective without using a variety of tools meant for this purpose.

For example, one of the ways we manage our clients’ social media is through Hootsuite. We got really excited in 2015, when Hootsuite announced they were adding Instagram to the list of social platforms users could choose to manage.

As it turns out, it just doesn’t work.

Since Instagram was created for mobile (again, to promote spontaneous, in-the-moment, original image uploads), it means that the social media manager has to log in and out of each clients’ Instagram account to allow for post unloads.

You can schedule them, but they won’t auto-post without you actually signing into Instagram. On mobile. On dozens of different Instagram accounts.

Other programs used to schedule Instagram posts include Latergramme, ScheduGram, and Postso.com, but each of these scheduling services have issues. So Instagram automation is just not possible in a clean, plan-ahead, no hiccups kind-of-way, which defeats the purpose of scheduling posts and planning ahead.

Bottom Line

Instagram is an amazing platform that has millions of users—but we don’t like to use it when managing socials. Save the Instagram posts for organic uploads coming straight from the best source—your business. Allow your employees to post, making sure they remain on-brand. Post yourself! Integrate Instagram into your daily routine, and get people excited about it!

This is a DYI job, friends–but it’s better that way.

Check out our Instagram account HERE.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

*Gorgeous cover photo from Tamira Jarrel and taken from HERE.

5 Rules for Social Media Automation

Our lives are insane. Glorious, but insane. We are living in a generation of bigger, better, faster, stronger. (Thank you, Daft Punk.) So we cut corners when we can and try and we stretch our hours to make it seem as though our days are 30 hours, not 24.

(Even though they actually feel like 6.)

Automating your social media posts sounds genius, and it is, until it isn’t. What do we mean? Well, there are rules to follow regarding social automation, and that’s what this post is about. Check ‘em out:

DO Use Hootsuite to Schedule Your Week in Advance

I know, we’re plugging HootSuite, but honestly? It deserves to be talked about. HootSuite Scheduler is an amazing tool that allows you to fill your socials calendar and post on a consistent basis. Use it!

DON’T Forget to Measure How Well Those Posts Did

Because otherwise, there’s no point. If you’re posting irrelevant information that your audience doesn’t connect with or care about, there’s no point to posting. Period. The whole idea is to be providing interesting content that your readers will enjoy, which makes them want to connect with you, which makes them want to do business with you.

So no blind posts—watch the reactions, and measure their success. If you’re noticing a buzz, great! Keep doing it. If not, it’s time to change your content. You won’t know this unless you measure.

Content

DO Make Your Posts Relevant to Your Audience

There’s that ‘r’ word, again. Relevance is to social media what ketchup is to a hot dog—you gotta have it.

By creating and posting and re-posting content that your readers will enjoy and connect with, you are doing them a service. You’re helping them. You’re making a difference, and they won’t forget it—they’ll come back for more.

If your content is not relevant to the audience who sees it, you need to either change your audience, or change your content.

DON’T Forget to Read the Articles You’re Promoting

This one seems like a no-brainer, but we have ALL been there when a message pops up that reads “What about this article is appealing to you? Have you read it?”

And the answer? Uhh…nope.

Don’t put yourself in the position where you’re sharing content that you don’t even like or agree with, because you didn’t take the time to make sure it reflected you or your online persona. Open up those links, and read, baby, read.

DO Change the Way Your Posts Look Depending on the Platform

This is also important, because while Twitter requires 140 characters or less minus an image file (which is totally clutch because we’re a lazy society who loves to look at pictures instead of read) and/or link, Facebook is much more chatty, and Instagram’s pics need to be high-quality—not the same kind of pics you can get away with on Twitter.

We’re not saying you have to completely post different things, but what you post on Twitter and Facebook may not be right for Instagram. And what you post on Instagram is using much too short and concise for Facebook.

Bottom line? Make sure your posts make sense.

There are many more rules to learn, but we feel these are the basics. Once you’ve got these down, you’re good to roll up your sleeves and learn more. Because that’s what social media is all about: learning. It’s about sharing content, connecting with people, and measuring your impact.

And you ROCK, so we want to hear from you. Connect with us @freshfitvan.


 

*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.