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INSTAGRAM LIKES ARE A THING OF THE PAST: NOW WHAT?

Let’s face it. You probably deleted a post or two from your IG feed because it didn’t get enough “likes”. And if you are a digital marketer using social media to help increase awareness for your clients,  you’re probably sick of the question “how can we get more likes on our posts”?

To me, that metric is so 2014.

Instagram thinks so too!

Instagram likes are losing their importance in the social media world.

Believe it or not, the social giants care about your mental health and want social media to be a place of positive sharing, not a competition of who has the most likes. And while it’s important for influencers to prove their engagement and, well, influence, the social giants feel it’s time for your feed to reflect what YOU want to see and not what you SHOULD see.

 

What does this mean for you as a business or a brand trying to market on Instagram? It means that you should no longer place as much value on the “likes” count and stop focusing so much on a popularity contest and more on sharing content that your followers deem valuable. Stop pressing your marketing agencies to get more “likes and comments” and start focusing on valuable feedback about what it is you’re sharing. Instagram wants users to stop focusing on an uptick of numbers and more on the actual content itself.

“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,”

Focus on engaging with your followers.

says Instagram. “During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets.”

Does this discourage you from posting? What is your number one driving reason you post to IG in the first place? If it’s to chase the “likes high” then you might want to re-think your mission. If it’s to genuinely inspire your audience or genuinely share something relevant, ding ding ding! IG will empower you.

Those trying to sell you on “getting more likes” are now deemed the used car salesman of

social media! Stop it now. Focus on content that delivers a real message that then gets people to click or engage.

FOR BRANDS: Here is a simple 3 -step approach to beating the new algorithms:

Establish your goals and ensure each social effort ladders back to those goals: 

Make sure to think about your goals in advance of ANY posts. When you post, what is the purpose of the post? How will it help deliver on the brand promise? How will it lead to further interest in the brand and a form of sales?

Listen to your audience and experiment: 

What posts are you most proud of? Have you tried sweepstakes or anything that encourages audience participation? You got to give love to get love. We’ve seen incredible results with positive social contests by gifting those who follow and engage.

Pay to play! Paid advertising as a brand is a MUST: 

We’ve mentioned this before, we shall mention it again. You cannot expect sales and brand engagement from organic posting anymore. Create story telling advertisements on IG Story that encourage SWIPE UPS to either learn more about your business or to shop an exclusive deal. IG story ads are going further than IG feed ads.

Like it or not! Social media is here to stay.

Need to consult on social media for your business? Click here to contact us today!

WHY SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IS THE ONLY MARKETING THAT MATTERS

It’s time to face it, social media isn’t going anywhere. For those brand and business owners who are still non-believers, I urge you to evolve or get left behind. No matter how young or old your audience is, social media is simply un-ignorable and you cannot expect to spread the word about your wonderful lipstick brand or knitted sweaters without it.

I cannot tell you how many conversations I’ve had with business owners who have used the following sentences much to my surprise in the world if 2019:

“I don’t see the value.”

“Yeah… but how can we track it?”

“I can’t get as many likes and comments anymore.”

 

Allow for all millennials to gasp here. Fear not, I have answers.

1. VALUE:

One billion monthly active users on IG alone. ‘Nuff said.

2. TRACKING:

There’s no better marketing tool to track your performance than FB ads manager. Now with countless objectives and techniques made available to the savvy marketer (and not so user friendly for the average joe shmoe), tracking email sign ups, sales, website traffic, shopping cart activity and more is absolutely measurable. More so than an expensive magazine or TV ad that gives you ZERO data. Placing a FB pixel on your site means tracking is made easy from the start. No excuses. You can see what your ROI is dollar for dollar with social media marketing. No more soft metrics. Reach and impressions are not the KPI’s. Sales conversions and cold hard CHA-CHING is made possible in ways no other digital tool allows. Let the numbers and analytics do the talking.

3. ENGAGEMENT:

Alright, it’s no longer 2011 and likes don’t matter. Get over it. Likes are a passive aggressive metric anyway and our goal as social media marketers is not to turn your brands page into an influencer page. It’s to get you cold hard sales. So you have to pay to play in today’s social world which means engagement is no longer as valuable as it used to be. Now, paid ads are the most important part of a social strategy so likes and comments come far, far second. The algorithms no longer favor your organic content simply because it’s time for the social beasts to make money. They deserve it! How many other communities can boast 1M active users per month? Certainly not those dying magazines begging for donations with every website visit.

Why else is social media marketing the only form of marketing that MATTERS? Because your audience says so. It’s not a passing trend. Three billion active users around the globe PER MONTH says it all. Social media marketing helps increase traffic to your site, raise awareness on a micro and macro level and accumulate useful data and insights about your customers instantly.

When was the last time a magazine or TV ad was able to send an interested buyer directly to your shopping cart?

Remember: Organic posting is not social media marketing. At least not the main part of it. When we talk social media marketing, we are talking buying paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Story, Twitter and so on. We mean real advertising efforts and not just post and pray.

Social media not only allows you to boost overall sales and awareness but to connect with your audience and your customers on an intimate, personal level, unlike any other platform available. You can direct message (DM), reply, message and comment directly which is incredible!

I can go on forever about this, clearly.

Need more advice on how social media can help elevate your business? Contact us here.

 

 

 

If you found this blog post interesting, you might like:

5 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing Is Not For Your Intern
Why Your Paid Ads Are Getting Ignored
How to become an influencer in 2019

HOW TO BECOME A SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER IN 2019: TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Nowadays, everyone and their dog wants to become a social media influencer. So what’s the secret? At Social Exposure we work with influencers from all over the world and we’re going to spill the beans on what we look for.

The conventional concept of celebrity has been flipped on its head thanks to social media. Are we sick of the term influencer yet? Yes. Even I am. But it isn’t going anywhere so it’s time to sit back and embrace it.

First you need to answer to yourself why you want to become a social media influencer? It is because you want to make easy money on the ‘gram? Is it because you like posting beautiful photos? Perhaps you’re craving attention? While these are common desires of wannabe influencers, they rarely succeed. Marketers will seek influencers who have moral and educational value and – wait for it – INFLUENCE! Without these things you’ll struggle to grow a dedicated audience and ultimately catch the attention of social media marketing companies like us at Social Exposure.

So, how do you start?

You’ll want to provide some value or social guidance for people. You can do this by having a real story, life lesson or journey people can learn from. The idea isn’t to get followers, it’s to get advice seekers. Trust us, it’s not about being attractive. Catching the viewers’ eyes isn’t enough without a story.

Don’t fake it!

A sad but true fact is that a lot of ‘influencers’ are simply faking it.

There are now hundreds of growth services that are cheap and easy to use and offer followers, likes and comments in exchange for money. While this is old news, we need to be reminded not to be so easily fooled by the basic metrics. How can you tell this person’s account is fake? Comments vs likes, engagement ratio vs follower count and the quality of profiles following and engaging with this person’s content. Just look at WHO is engaging? Are their profiles seemingly real and active? Are there are hundreds of profiles based in Asia with no avatars? These things seem obvious but we forget to dig. Everyone is trying to monetize their social media and are doing whatever it takes but brands beware! The whole point of working with influencers is to achieve more awareness and increase sales. If their following is not even real, you’re wasting your time and money.

Know your purpose!

Now it’s back to you. Lesson learned: don’t go down the path of faking it to make it. It won’t work here. Not only will businesses spot a fake, but the backend algorithms are intelligent and are cracking down on these accounts. Now you have to know your purpose and focus on that specific demographic. You won’t appeal to everyone so find a niche, grow that niches audience. It could be fitness and transformation, coffee connoisseur, or your mental health success story, or travelling the world to explore cultures and yourself. Trust me, we have enough models and bottles. 

Lady Gaga called social media “the toilet of the internet” and while so much content on social media is indeed cr*p, you have the power to change that as a new influencer. Aim to be the trailblazer that uses social media to speak TRUTH about a hot topic or shed light on darker issues. Social audiences are currently craving authentic inspiration! And when they find something or someone authentic, the engagement and the loyalty is ten times stronger.

Here are some top influencers who are doing it right and why!

  • Maybe all of the photo content isn’t gorgeous but who cares. You want to keep scrolling because he is relatable
  • Tidbits of “inspo” might resonate with you personally
  • His personal journey and life story is one that will genuinely inspire you and his life experiences are worth sharing
  • Truly unique as in a world of vanity, here is a person who is sharing her struggle in a beautiful way
  • Created a relatable and inspiration campaign #redefinepretty
  • Inspiring skin and beauty positivity without coming off unapproachable or intimidating
  • A dark story turned positive
  • While photos and videos don’t look “professional” it’s human, raw and empowering

These are what we deem as POSITIVE INFLUENCERS you can relate to, admire and follow. Now that’s not to say that you need to have only one leg, a skin condition or be a former athlete to become an influencer. Your story can be far more simple then these examples. Just think about what it is you think people want / need to hear, start posting and gage the response!

Did you find this article interesting? Click here to read more of our articles on succeeding in the world of social media.

5 Reasons Why Social Media Is Not A Job For Your Intern

There is a shift in the world of marketing and social media is taking over!

Nowadays business owners are finally realizing social media marketing is a fundamental to success. It’s a primary marketing tool no longer an add on. Why? It’s trackable, proven to work, cheap, effective and perpetual. Something else a lot of business owners think – it’s easy. Here’s why they’re wrong.

To put your social media marketing in the hands of your intern, in-house team, PR agency that “also does social media marketing” or your sister in-law who is an influencer is the wrong move. The world of social media is constantly changing with platform changes and new algorithm updates popping up constantly. If you want to get the most out of your money you need a real agency who takes your social strategy seriously.

Perhaps you’re doing your own social media marketing because you’re a B2B and want a general presence. This article is not for you. But if you’re a business that deals directly with consumers, an e-commerce shop that sells clothing or beauty and/or hospitality- then keep reading!

The Full 5-Prong Approach

In order to get the maximum benefits of social media marketing, it takes:

  1. Organic posting
  2. Influencer marketing
  3. Paid social advertising
  4. Daily growth hacking and community management
  5. Strong content creation that entertains as well as promotes

It takes all five of these together. Just following one or two of these will not achieve social media success. In truth, adding on contests, email marketing and social incentive campaigns will also help a lot and dramatically increase your metrics all around.

So let’s return to the initial question: why isn’t social media a job for your intern? Well, implementing all five of the strategies above requires training and skills. Inexperienced social marketers have a tendency to solely focus on influencer marketing, in my experience. This is like running up a hill on a treadmill. It’s a lot of work and it’s not going to get you anywhere without the other steps. Trust me, it’s extremely difficult to track influencer marketing success directly back to your brand. Yes, you can hand them promo codes for their fans to shop and some of them have really impactful influence and game changing effects but you’ll probably spend most of your digital marketing budget on ONE post and see ONE uptick. It’s not at all well rounded or going to last forever.

So what if your intern is running ads? Well, running ads on social media is not a simple process. It’s a game for the creative genius, experienced, and backend tech science. Facebook’s ad manager has given marketers dozens of ad goals and call to action buttons with each goal effecting the performance differently. The trick here is to know your stuff. Failing at that is throwing your money at Facebook for nothing.

For Example:

You’re promoting an ad. Choosing SHOP NOW vs a LEARN MORE call to action will impact on those ads in completely different ways and affect their performance. The more direct your ad is, the stronger the creative needs to be, because Facebook/Instagram favor ads that do not look like direct marketing. Will the intern know this? Or will they most likely randomly choose one? Facebook often changes it’s rules mid-campaign and your ad will stop running. You won’t be notified of what to change and you’re in a guessing game to fix the issue. This is where experience is essential to prevent this from happening and – if it does – to get the ad back up and running straight away with what we call “backend surgery”. Inexperienced social marketers often abandon ship at this point and the ad goes into the abyss.

Social media is not a passive aggressive marketing tool anymore. Organic engagement is down and paid ads are up which means your IG feed can look as stunning as possible but if you are not running paid ads to generate website traffic, then you cannot simply expect sales from an organic post. This means your PR agency needs to know how to use ALL of social media’s tools available and not just ONE.

Following these steps will help significantly, but it also requires time to gain the intuitive experience necessary to succeed. If you don’t have the time to develop this, don’t hand the job to your intern. Hire an agency that handles social media solely and understands the nuances, the algorithms, the content trends and “dos” and “don’ts” better than anyone else.

If you found this article helpful and you’re interested in talking to us about taking your social media marketing game to the next level. Please contact us here.

 

WHY YOUR PAID ADS ARE GETTING IGNORED

Do you ever wonder why your social media ads are getting ignored?

As the CEO of a social media marketing company, I can’t stress this enough! CONTENT IS KING AND THE CAPTION IS THE QUEEN! Let’s face reality: your social audience has the attention span of a gnat. Scroll, scroll, scroll – bam! Something catches their eye (usually a fluffy kitty sitting on a robot). Stop, read the caption, maybe read more, then MAYBE like it, maybe follow – or maybe none of the above and move on.

So, in the social media world, you’re not just competing with your competitors – but with cute fluffy kitties and everything else. What makes you think a bland, stuffy ‘buy me, drink me’ ad is going to get any love? Truth is, I see this time and time again, good products getting lost in the social media spiral due to poor social media marketing. Simply offering 10 per cent off is not enough to gain traction – trust me, I live and breathe this stuff.

Now, where does this leave your business? It’s time to get creative. Get funny! Get sad! Emotional! Even angry! Capture your audience with a damn story. Fail at this and you’ll get ignored, no matter how much you spend.

Social Media Breakdown

Facebook

Facebook is a great source for sharing educational related content like this blog post (you found it somehow, right?), news, important happenings and events. The platform is great for showing off things like press success and accolades.

Instagram

Instagram is strong visual social platform for vanity related posts like beauty and fashion and inspiring content like transformations of any kind and viral content that provokes engagement.

Twitter

Twitter has developed into a news, television/Hollywood platform. This isn’t ideal for branding and reaching potential customers.

YouTube

Youtube is a good way for businesses to dive deeper with video content that goes behind the scenes for your brand. The possibilities are endless with Youtube and offers the chance to give thought provoking content that can go viral.

Pinterest

Pinterest is all about photo inspiration and idea inducing. Not within the normal social media scope, but still provides opportunity to be discovered.

Once you understand the type of content to produce and for what social media channel, you can then create the RIGHT content that will inevitably reach your target audience.

So, what exactly do I mean if I say make your ad NOT look like an ad? That doesn’t make sense, right? Remember, the focus should be on story with emotion rather than your end game: selling a product. Ads are still seen as a faux pas on social media (have no fear, they’re increasing in popularity and are not going anywhere) so trick your audience into engaging your ad by looking like an organic post.

Good and Bad Examples of Engagement Posts

Bad Example

Why it’s bad:

• Photo content is unappealing and looks like a sponsored post

• Not enough content to engage with and caption is too short and should have taken advantage of a photo scroll option to keep the audience engaged on the ad longer

Good Example

Why it’s good:

  • Looks like an organic post
  • Appears as someone you know posted this article
  • Caption is immediately intriguing and makes you want to know more
  • While photo content could be better, the caption is the real winner

Now it’s time to consider: does your brand have a story? What inspires your business? Are you changing the world one t-shirt at a time? Perhaps you’re a woman-owned start up? What sets you apart from the rest of the businesses out there? Your ads need to show this off as much as possible. Your message is your brand’s identity and without it your audience has no reason to be interested.

Now to play devil’s advocate, sprinkling some direct paid ads here and there to attract click conversions, sales or reach can be very beneficial. But in my marketing experience you don’t want to overdo this. Mixing it up works best.

  • Instagram ads need to be incredibly engaging, bold 15 second videos that leave the viewer wanting more.
  • IG feed ads are great for showing HOW a product or service works and for showing some sort of before and after effect.
  • Facebook ads are ideal for generating and tracking conversions and encouraging shopping. More studies continue to show online consumers are purchasing from their smart phones which could mean Instagram holds the power over Facebook for shopping ads.

Remember, always test, track and compare!

Don’t have the time to implement the above social media marketing strategies yourself? Contact us today to discuss your needs and see if our expertise is what your business needs.