The 3 Biggest Social Media Lessons of 2013

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A lot has shifted in the world of Social Media in 2013. Software is getting smarter, revenue models are actually working and fans are interacting at a higher rate than ever before. If you feel your small business is not up to par on social media platforms, check out these three big social media lessons from 2013.

Tweets have become GLOBAL

AP S&P chartThe overall acceptance of social media is continually growing and is showing no signs of slowing down. Twitter’s IPO in April has already created serious mass-market movement in the financial sector as well as with personal investors. Twitter has the reach now to make the Dow Jones drop 150 points (I.E. when AP’s twitter was hacked).

 Takeaway: Start Tweeting! There’s an audience out there for whatever your business is and they are waiting for interaction. Use hashtags and follow more people!

If you aren’t VISUAL, you are MISSING OUT

 The latest trends all point towards brands using more and more visual tactics to reach their audience. Video has become the new way to reach high traffic audiences with YouTube (and YouTube live), Vine, Snapchat and Instagram. Not to mention Snapchat was offered $3 Billion and turned it down this year…

 Takeaway: Take more pictures! Take more videos! Use your smart phone to create other types of content that your audience might be more apt to listen to. Don’t be afraid to get super close with some of those shots!

Are Instagram Ads Right For Your Business?

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Instagram, the photo and video sharing platform used by more than 150 million members, recently announced they will be incorporating sponsored posts within users’ feeds. The company will begin serving these ads to users based on their interests, who they follow, as well as the activities they perform on Instagram and its parent company, Facebook. Since Instagram aims to be a place where people can connect and get inspired, the goal is to showcase high-quality, aesthetically appealing ads that fit naturally into the platform’s visual landscape.

Michael Kors Promoted PostThe opportunity to advertise has only been presented to a few select brands who have established their presence on Instagram through significant followers and account interaction. These include: adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, and General Electric. Fashion brand Michael Kors was the first brand to try out the new sponsored posts. While the ad was met with some backlash from users who don’t want to see one of their favorite platforms tarnished with an abundance of advertisements, the results the brand experienced were impressive.  The sponsored post received four times as many likes as their average post and resulted in an increase of nearly 34,000 followers in the 18 hours following its launch. This is nearly 16 times the follower growth the brand experiences on their average non sponsored post.

While these results are promising for brands, there are a few things to consider before deciding to sponsor posts on the platform.

1. Are you active on Instagram? Do you have an established account where you regularly post according to content calendar and interact with consumers? If not, the first step would be creating an account for your brand. It is important to take the time to listen and observe what is happening within the platform. Search your brand as well as related hashtags to see how consumers are interacting with your products on a daily basis. These insights will be helpful when deciding what content to post moving forward.

2. Can you display your products or services in a way that translates naturally on the platform? Users look to Instagram for visually appealing content, so if  you choose to use it as a platform for your business it’s important to keep aesthetics in mind. A few suggestions Instagram shares  for posting include sneak peeks of exclusive content, behind-the-scenes looks and lifestyle photos related to your brand. With time you’ll be able to determine which content your followers find most engaging and adjust your strategy accordingly.

3. What are your goals? Are you looking to gain followers and increase awareness or to drive sales? Since Instagram doesn’t currently allow linking outside of the platform, driving sales (or at least creating a direct correlation) is a bit of a challenge, but if you are looking to increase brand awareness Instagram may be a great fit.

If after reading the above qualifying questions you feel like Instagram makes sense for your business, then experimenting with sponsored posts may be worth a try. Pricing structure is still unclear, but we will keep you updated as more details emerge. Don’t know if ads on Instagram make the most sense for your brand? There are always alternate methods to engaging and growing your fanbase using Instagram without sponsored posts. Be sure to check back to learn more!

Efficiently and Effectively Handling Industry Changes

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Big and Fast Industry Changes

The digital world is evolving every single day. New social media tools, technologies, algorithms, updates and platforms are being introduced at a rapid pace. In the past month alone Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all updated their algorithm and/or released a new method of advertising.

So how can you keep up with all of these game changing updates in a timely, efficient and effective manner?

Prepare: Read Up

Learn to predict what’s coming next in the industry by reading up on the latest industry news. Build up a collection of important news sources and blogs that clearly and concisely describe the new changes. Even better, find authors that go a step further and summarize what these changes mean for similar businesses and industries.

How To Deal With Negative Interactions On Social Media

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Every small business is going to have to deal with the occasional negative comment or review. It’s nothing to panic about; it’s just the nature of social media. Your gut reaction may be to delete the comment or ignore it altogether. Often times this is the worse possible strategy. Think of these comments the same way you would any other customer service interaction. Below are a couple tips to help you turn a possible problem into a positive consumer experience.

Respond in a timely manner.

Just like any customer service issue that you are dealing with in the physical world, it’s important that your customers know that you are listening. Make sure that you are responding in a timely manner. Often times people just want to know that there issue has been heard. By responding quickly, you are proving to customers that your company cares about their concerns and wants to rectify the situation.

Think of negative comments as an opportunity to interact one-on-one with your consumer base. There is nothing unusual about a negative review turning into positive review if customers feel like the issue was handled in a positive fashion.

Have a sense of humor/ be a good sport

Netflix Customer ServiceNothing defuses a heated situation like a sense of humor. So don’t be afraid to make fun of yourself. Being a good sport is a great way to make yourself the good guy in the situation. Check out how this Netflix rep proved that by having a little fun you can turn a potential problem into a positive customer experience.

Make it a team effort

Empower your team to deal with customer complaints the same way they would in your physical space. Trust your team’s judgment when reaching out to people via social media. Every situation is going to have a variety of unique variables that must be worked around. Empower your team to make the appropriate decisions to quickly diffuse potential problems.

Take big conversations offline.

It’s totally reasonable to reach out to people by asking for an email address, phone number, or taking your conversation into a private chat session. Just because an issue was first addressed on social media doesn’t mean it needs to be resolved there.

Don’t feed the trolls.

What’s a troll? According to Wikipedia : “a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

If you feel that you are dealing with someone who is not willing to contribute in a worthwhile conversation, than this is the one time the best strategy is to just leave him or her alone. “Trolls” are just trying to get a reaction out of you. They’re not trying to actually resolve any issue or voice any concern.

Have any tips or tricks on how to handle negative reviews or comments? We would love to hear what you’re doing. Feel free to share your strategies in the comments area below.

 

Is iScream Social Right For My Small Business or Non-Profit?

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Social Media PlannerIf your business or non-profit has trouble keeping up with the day-to-day of social media, growing your fan base or creating content, there’s good news. A taste-tastic new app has just launched to help relieve your social media woes.

 Tell Me More!

iScream Social breaks down actions on each of your social platforms day-by-day. It’s essentially a social media planner custom made for you! iScream even helps generate content using keywords specific to your business or non-profit.

 I’m Intrigued. Go On.

Some of our iScream Beta testers were socially savvy, but limited on resources (i.e. staff, time, marketing budget). iScream was the perfect tool because you can assign tasks to interns and co-workers, get the daily breakdown for your platforms and maximize budget with exclusive tips for promotions and more. iScream will even send you an “Oops, You Dropped Your iScream” email when you miss tasks.

 But Social Media is Like a Foreign Language to Me…

No Habla Hashtags? No problem! iScream is a friendly, introductory guide to social media for businesses and non-profits. No matter your age or experience, iScream is approachable and educational. We don’t speak over your head with analytics. We simplify strategy, uniting all your platforms and campaigns on one user-friendly dashboard.

 Social media editorial calendarHow Do I Get Started?

To enjoy iScream, simply sign up. Start a campaign. Sync any social media platform you are currently active on or would like to be active on, including your blog. Use Google AdWords to create a list of keywords for your custom social strategy. Now, you’re ready to start making an impact in the social stratosphere.

 More Questions?

The iScream team is ready to chat! Add your comments below or email us at support@iscreamsocialapp.com.