How to Become an Instagram Pro

Are you looking to beef up your Insta game but just don’t know where to start? Well, we’re here to help you become an Instagram Pro. 

Instagram is a great platform for your brand to utilize because there is minimal production required and it encourages engagement with your audience.

Today you are going to learn how to be consistent in your branding, some different tools you can use to step up your processes, and how to generate content for a whole month in as little as a day. 

Sue B. Zimmerman says, “It’s the REAL, RAW, AUTHENTICITY, that connects you to others.” Zimmerman is an expert on Instagram stories. She emphasizes that Instagram is not your sales platform. What you need to do is focus on building and nurturing relationships. You can do this through your Instagram story. Zimmerman says your story needs to be “edu-tainment.”

There are 300 million active daily users on Instagram stories. Focusing on this tool for Instagram can be a great way to connect with your audience. But how do you get your stories to stand out from all of the others? Try using interactive elements to connect with your audience such as polls, geotags and hashtag stickers.

  • Polls drive engagement and provide market research feedback to business profiles. 
  • Geotags help people who aren’t following your profile discover you and help you get noticed by influencers.
  • Using hashtag stickers will show your content in search results.
  • Follow hashtags that are relevant to your brand, which allows you to connect with similar brands and business owners.

Highlights are another great way to showcase your best stories. Zimmerman says, “The best real estate on Instagram is the highlights.” Donna Moritz says Stories give you the ability to rebrand your storytelling. She suggests using www.easil.com for premade Story templates to give your brand and profile a more professional look.

Jasmine Star is big on saving time and getting the most out of your content. Your brand is the only thing that sets you apart from all the other businesses on Instagram competing for those likes and comments. Instagram has 800+ million active users. So, in order to make a splash in this big pool, you need to ask yourself, “Are you ‘on’ Instagram, or are you ‘using’ Instagram?”

If you are really utilizing Instagram you should be posting constantly, having one-to-one connections, and have a plan/strategy. Sometimes it can be really hard to find something to post every day, but Star has some tips on how to create a month’s worth of content in a day. 

  • Determine how many posts you’ll create for the month. 
  • List the types of photos you want to share. 
  • Sort into categories, about 9-12, that relate to what you’re selling (literal.emotional) and what you’re trying to attract. 

Star suggests: 

  • Books you’re reading (Self-development) 
  • Food you’re eating (Lifestyle) 
  • Your spouse or significant other (Family and connections) 
  • These categories don’t necessarily have to relate to your brand, but they give your brand an extra layer of meaning.

Take the categories and select a specific number of photos until you have covered the entire month.

For example: If you choose 10 categories for your brand, you just need to plan 3 photos for each category and you’ll be set for the month. This is a way to “publish with purpose,” and Ben Blakesley helps us understand how to stay on brand in order to be consistent and receive meaningful likes. Like Star, Blakesley says that it’s easy to be consistent when you have a plan in place. To be consistent, you need to give yourself guidelines because then the elements of your visual identity will display a clear brand. He suggests choosing three elements to be your bread and butter that you incorporate in each picture to display consistency and produce a recognizable brand.

Some examples he gives to consider are: 

  • Tonality/warmth – blue tends to receive more engagement.
  • Saturation – social loves more saturated images. 
  • Composition – rule of thirds, and colors that are consistent with your brand. 

People want to see stories from humans. You can’t connect with your followers if you’re just a faceless brand without a purpose. Having a direction, a plan and clear branding will set you apart from the crowd.

So just a few reminders: 

  • Visual identity matters 
  • Create your guidelines 
  • Be consistent

Still need help implementing these tips? MILO’s team of experts are here to help increase your brand’s awareness! Contact us.

 

Reach & Impressions: What Does it All Mean?

If you’re a social media manager, you understand how important it is for your content to be seen and engaged with.

One of your main goals for social media management is to increase the account’s audience and  brand awareness. With that in mind, it’s important to know the difference between reach and impressions. Both terms have similar meanings, but provide different results on social media.


Reach vs. Impressions
Reach is the total number of people who can see your content and Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, no matter if it was engaged with or not. For example, if a post was shown to the same person three different times, it would be 1 reach and 3 impressions.  

Clients wish that all of their followers would see and interact with every piece of content posted but it doesn’t happen. For instance, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has 7,200 followers, but the organic content doesn’t result in 7,200 likes, comments, and shares. Without a post being promoted (like the post below), the organic content only receives a small percentage of interactions.   


Why Reach & Impressions Matters (+ which is more important)
Both reach and impressions are important because they help increase brand awareness and grow the audience.  

Depending on an account’s goal, you might want to focus on just one or the other. If the main goal is to get content out to a specific number or people, then focus on reach. Shift the focus to impressions if your main goal is to increase brand awareness and you want your content shown a specific number of times.

However, Sprout Social reports reach may be less than impressions since one person can see multiple impressions. But knowing who your target audience is and what kind of content they like to see can help to increase both.

Something more important than reach and impressions is engagement. Engagement is the number of interactions people have with your content, whether it’s likes, comments, shares or retweets. According to AdWeek, it’s considered to be the most important metric for social media campaigns. If people are liking and interacting with your content, they may be likely to share it with their friends. If you’re receiving high-quality engagement on your content, reach and impressions will continue to grow.

If you think about it, engagement is the final step in this three-part process. Reach and impressions work together to drive engagement to your content. It all starts with content and what the audience likes to see.

Still don’t understand the difference between reach, impressions and how beneficial it all is? MILO’s team of experts are here to help increase your brand’s awareness! Contact us.

5 Sprout Social Tools to Take Advantage of in 2018


If you’re in the business of social media marketing, how do you manage social media marketing tasks?

At MILO, we use Facebook Business Manager and Sprout Social to help us manage our clients social media activity.

Next to Buffer & Hootsuite, Sprout Social is a social media management platform that can help streamline workflows and ensure your content reaches the right audience at the right time. We’ve identified five tools that can help you integrate with the platform to maximize its capabilities.  These tools enable users to find content efficiently, review social media analytics in real-time, and connect with the audience all within the same web environment.

Tool #1: Find Content/Content Suggestions

Looking for content quickly? Turn to the Find Content section under the Publishing tab.

Sprout Social recently announced Content Suggestions as a way to find current and engaging content. This tool aggregates shared content from various social channels to help the user find articles from trusted sources, posts from industry blogs and other brand-related media.

The content is aggregated from links shared on Twitter and based on an algorithm created by Sprout’s Data Science team, each article is matched to one of the featured content categories.

Tool #2: Reports

Getting ready to present social media updates to a client? Turn to Sprout Social for automated analytics!

Using the Group Report option, you’ll be able to see all of the analytics for the channels you have connected on the platform. The report gives you the opportunity to analyze your social strategy and compare data to understand what works well for the account. Included in the reports are: Impressions, Engagements, Audience Growth and Link Clicks.

Sprout Social also gives you the opportunity to review each profile in full depth. This is an opportunity to analyze data for individual profiles including audience growth, total engagements, top posts and impressions.

 

                                                 

 

Tool #3: Messages & Smart Inbox

Interact with your audience without leaving Sprout Social by using the Smart Inbox! Located in the Messages tab, Smart Inbox provides users the opportunity to monitor and engage with conversations across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. It also allows users to customize their inbox feed, monitor keywords and hashtags, assign tasks to other team members and keep in touch with viewers.

Tool #4: Discovery

If you are interested in seeing what others are saying about a specific topic, use Sprout Social’s Discovery tool. This tool allows you to find conversations and people to engage with based on keywords relating to your business. You can even narrow the search by adding a location to find a highly geo-targeted audience.

Along with finding new conversations, you can increase your follower count by following accounts. Additionally, clean up your account based on Sprout’s suggestions. Using the Suggestions, you can see the account’s Twitter followers and who to follow back, accounts you’ve held a conversation with and those who have mentioned you at some point.

 

Tool #5: Hashtag Analysis

Studies show that tweets with hashtags get twice as much engagement as those without hashtags. Because hashtags can help generate engagement for an account, Sprout Social provides a hashtag analytics tool to help find popular topics and hashtags.

By utilizing the Trends Report, you can see the most commonly used hashtags and topics when the account is mentioned on Twitter. Apply the hashtags listed within the report to help increase your engagement.

Take advantage of the tools on Sprout Social to maximize your efficiency and improve your social outreach skills. Maximize your time and ROI on social media by implementing these time-saving programs.  

Looking for some more in-depth help? We’re happy to consult and/or bring you into the office for a one-on-one session with our in-house expert. Let’s talk!

 

Should Your Brand Take a Stand?

Taking a stand.

With the current political and socioeconomic climate of the United States, taking a stand is something that every father, mother, brother, sister, etc. is doing. Be it through the stickers on their vehicles or what they post and share on social media, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has not taken a stand on at least one issue lately. While it may seem like a controversial move, it is also important for brands to take a stand.

No, not just important – expected.

According to a recent consumer survey from Sprout Social, “66 percent of respondents said they want brands to take a stance on difficult issues, and 58 percent are glad to see it happen on social media.” Of those consumers who participated in the survey, it was discovered that “liberals are more likely than conservatives to expect brands to take a stand,” at 78 percent to 52 percent. Sprout Social also found that 44 percent of consumers are “more likely to purchase from a brand with a clear opinion,” with 52 percent saying it would case greater brand loyalty.

Brands leading the way

Brands taking a stand is clearly not unheard of and has become a common practice in the advertising and marketing arenas. While some of these attempts at taking a stand have fallen flat, here’s looking at you Pepsi, other companies such as Airbnb, Chipotle, Oreo and Patagonia have executed successful campaigns.

This past December, Patagonia’s website took a shift away from online shopping, choosing to instead share “The President Stole Your Land” in large white letters on a black background on its landing page. This was the company’s reaction to the president’s decision to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah by a combined 2 million acres. Fellow outdoor retailers REI and North Face joined Patagonia in taking a stand on the issue.

How your brand can take a stand

When successfully executed, a brand’s ‘take a stand’ campaign can help their content have more views and higher engagement rates, such as what Yoplait saw in its “Mom On” campaign that tackled the topic of mom shaming. The campaign performed exceptionally well across all five brand lift metrics and produced a 1,461 percent lift in brand interest.

If the decision to see your brand take a stand continues to seem risky, keep these few tips in mind:

  • Be committed
  • Be relevant
  • Know your customer base

Sprout Social’s recent survey put up the data to prove that brands simply cannot ‘ride two horses with one ass’ anymore. Your customers want to know where you stand and want to see that you’re in touch with the issues they are facing daily.

Not sure where to start on your brand’s stand? MILO’s digital marketing team is ready to answer any questions you may have and work alongside your business to craft a campaign strategy that will ensure your stance on a hot topic truly shines. Let’s get the conversation started today!

Non-Profit Marketing: Going Digital is now Free

Good news for non-profits. Google Apps, the cloud based productivity suite (think Microsoft Office) from Google. What can you do with Google Apps? The list is long:

Email: Get custom email address using your domain
Calendar: Schedule meetings, share calendars, meeting reminders
Drive: Store documents online, share them, access from anywhere
Docs: Create and share documents in real-time
Sheets: Spreadsheets with real-time editing and charts
Slides: Presentations with the ability to embed videos and real-time sharing

Profit Vs. Nonprofit

For a traditional business you would be looking at $5 per user, per month or $50 for the year. If you have a large non-profit organization, getting this for free could save you hundreds per year. Plus, you no longer need to update software year after year. Google Apps are automatically updated at no charge to your non-profit.

Cut the tether
An issue with many non-profits is the ability to pivot on the fly. Google Apps allows you to do this by cutting the tether to your desk. With mobile, iPhone and Android apps, you now have the ability to work from anywhere. Changes you make on your home computer will look exactly the same when you log-in at your work computer.

Time saver
Work in real-time with your staff. Does this sound familiar? You create a Word document. You email it your boss. Your boss makes corrections then emails it back. You make the changes. Email…you get the point. With Google Docs you can edit in real-time with multiple people having the document open at the same time. In fact you can do this with spreadsheets and presentations as well.

Regardless of where you are, you can do this in real-time. Including different countries.

A change of heart
Google at one point only offered the free version of Google Apps for Nonprofits to those nonprofits with less than 3,000 users. Now, regardless of size you are eligible.


To get started visit Google for nonprofits. We’ve assisted our clients in setting up their accounts with minimal down-time. Google does an excellent job of walking you through.

Description from Google: Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps you and your team connect and get work done from anywhere on any device. It’s simple to setup, use and manage, allowing you to work smarter and focus on what really matters.