Monthly Archives: May 2019

Instagram Marketing Strategy: 5 Mistakes Every Business Should Avoid

As a brand, your Instagram marketing strategy needs to be on point in order to achieve success on this mega popular platform.  Instagram is one of the hottest social media marketing platforms with over one billion users.  For this reason, if you are using it as a part of your social media marketing strategy, you definitely want to take stock in what not to do.

In this article we discuss five mistakes every business should avoid making on Instagram.

1. Your feed isn’t set up for shopping

Back in the day, you couldn’t post clickable links to products within the images you were posting.  Fast forward to today and Instagram has come a long way when it comes to e-commerce.

Now they have tools like product tagging,  which allows retailers to meet their consumers where they are online.  The consumer can just click and they can be taken directly from an Instagram photo to a product page on the brand’s website.

 2. You’ve got too many steps to conversion.

In order for consumers to have a successful shopping experience with your brand, you need to make the check out process seamless and simple.  Too many steps and you will start to see potential customers begin to drop off. Furthermore, Instagram is accessed primarily on mobile devices so consumers are that much less patient.   How easy is it for your consumers to browse and buy from your Instagram page?

3. Stay away from buying fake followers

Trying to build a following on Instagram can be tough and the thought of trying to reach the 10k mark may seem far away.  With that being said, one of the biggest mistakes you can make with your Instagram marketing strategy is buying fake followers.  Not only will people be able to easily figure this out (low number of likes but 50k followers) you are not buying followers who are actually going to buy from you.  What you get are fake accounts that are not real people.  This is just bad for business all around.

Not to mention, if Instagram figures this out, they will put what is called a shadowban on your account and they will hide your hashtags from the public and only your followers can see your posts. Once this happens, good luck trying to get it lifted.  Chances are you will have to create a new account and start from scratch anyway.  Building up your follower count takes a lot of time and energy.  You need to put out great content that will promote engagement with your audience.  Over time you will see your numbers go up.  Just be patient.

4. You aren’t taking advantage of Instagram stories

[Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels]

Instagram Stories is one of the best ways to increase engagement on Instagram.  It is great for shooting live video but you can also create “stories” with stills as well.  The key thing here is to not make it about sales.  You want to show your audience your brand personality by sharing exciting and engaging content.  You can do polls, behind the scenes, fun videos etc.

5. You are not posting consistently

Regardless of what platform you are on, posting consistently is key to your Instagram marketing strategy.  Consistency will let your audience know what to expect.  Just make sure what you are posting is relevant and engaging.   You don’t want to post something just because you need to get something up on your feed.

6. You don’t have a link in your bio 

Your website is dead in the water if you are not driving traffic to it.  You must include a link or call to action in your bio in order for your Instagram account to work for your brand.

Image result for instagram bio link target

when deciding what to include as a link in your bio, think about what your primary goal is on Instagram.  Here are a few to consider.

  • Drive more traffic to your website – Provide a link to your website or blog.
  • Build up your email list – Include a link to a subscription form or landing page.
  • Sell more products – Have a link to a special offer or product catalog.

Final thoughts

Instagram is here for the long haul and continues to grow in popularity.  Do all you can to leverage its power.  Avoid the mistakes above and you will be on your way to growing followers, boosting traffic and building a loyal fan base.

Employee Advocacy Program: Five Steps To Start One For Your Business

 

If you have a business, an employee advocacy program may be the right fit for you.  If you are not aware of what employee advocacy is, you should take note.  It is when your workforce becomes a promoter for your brand.  Although this can take place across various mediums, social media is the one we want to focus on.

Just to give you an idea of its benefits, let’s look at some statistics.

  • Content that is shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than when shared by the brand itself.  It is all about brand trust on social media.
  • 79% of businesses report that they experienced more online visibility after implementing an employee advocacy program.  In addition, 65% reported increased brand recognition.

Here are five steps to creating an employee advocacy program for your business.

1. Create a great workplace culture

For so many people, work is about a paycheck.  If you want your employees to love more than the money you pay them, you need to invest in developing the right company culture.  To this end, you want to build authentic connections with your employees.  Let them know their future is important to you by providing opportunities for learning and development.  It is also important to show fairness when it comes to disputes and promotions.  Doing all this helps boost trust.

Another way to help foster a stronger bond is work at building a connection to the work they do.  Not every company is out saving the world but there are ways you can help your employees feel like their work is making a difference.  Here are a few:

  • Charity – Any initiatives towards giving back in some way.
  • Focusing on service to the community
  • Helping employees in need

2. Get employees on board

 

[Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels]

Now that you are starting to produce a positive environment, you need to get  your employees on board with becoming advocates for your brand.  Here are some ways to get them on board:

  • Explain the benefits:  Aside from building their own personal brand as a leader within their industry, they may also see more recognition at work as well as a promotion.
  • Recognize a job well done:  Employee engagement is most definitely tied to recognition of work.  There are a few different ways you can show appreciation to your employees.  Giving them a shout out during a meeting or do an “employee of the month” program. Of course if you wanted to offer up other things like bonuses or gift cards, those would be received well too.
  • Turn to your employees for ideas:  Let them come up with some ideas for incentives.
  • Pick something interesting for them to promote: This could be a new product or an upcoming event.
  • Be enthusiastic:  In order for your employees to be pumped about sharing your content, you need to show enthusiasm.  

3.  Come up with goals 

In order for your employee advocacy program to be successful, you need to set up some well defined goals.  If you are trying to boost awareness around your brand, you can request that your employees share more posts about your brand.  If you are having a product launch, you can create some content around that product for them to share.  Some additional goals can be, increasing website traffic from your social media channels, boosting organic reach etc.

4. Create social media guidelines

 

[Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels]

It is essential that you come up with posting guidelines for your employee advocacy program. By doing this, your employees will:

  • Have a clear idea of how the message should be communicated
  • What tone to use
  • When to post
  • Where to post
  • How often to post
  • How to go about responding to comments

Not to mention guidelines will help keep your brand out of trouble with respect to legality and security risks.  You also want to ask for input from your employees so that they feel more a part of the process.

 5. Come up with social media metrics to track

In order to know if your employee advocacy program is working and on the right track, you need to track certain metrics. Here are some key metrics to look out for:

  • Who are your top contributors?  Who is posting the most and who is seeing the most engagement.
  • What are the organic reach levels?  How many people are seeing the content being shared.
  • What type of engagement are they receiving?  Are people responding with clicks and comments?  If you are posting to multiple platforms, be sure to look at each platform individually.
  • What does website traffic look like?  Did you see an uptick from their posting and sharing of your content?

You don’t need a special analytics tool for this.  Whatever you use to track your other social media efforts will do.  Just be sure to track these metrics so that you can adjust your employee advocacy program efforts accordingly. Lastly, don’t forget to share the results with your employees!