How to Grow Your Instagram following

Instagram has always been know as the « king of social media engagement » due to the fact that top brands are seeing a per-follower high interaction rate is 10 times higher than Facebook and 100 times higher than Twitter. Therefore Instagram is a perfect social network for African businesses looking to find potential new customers.

Here is how you can turbo-charge your brand through Instagram :

  1. Publicise your instagram account

Link your instagram account to your website, your email signature and include Instagram photos in e-newsletters and blog posts. Consider boosting your posts with paid advertising so that your potential clients can see it.

2. Find the best time to post

Observe when your posts are getting the most likes then use scheduling tools like Hootsuite to pre-prepare posts that aree automatically sent out at particular time.

3.Create high quality content and post consistently

Make sure you know the kind of content that appeals to your audience and then pick a frequency of posting and stick to it.

4.Use hashtags and captions wisely.

Hashtags and captions are your best friends on Instagram, do not over do it or confuse the message. Find and use popular hashtags when they are relevant or create your own. With Instagram, your photo captions are what really helps sell your photos to gain new followers.

5.Hold and Instagram contest

There are many ways to run an Instagram contest. One is for users to like your account and shara a selfie of them using your product. This contest can help achieve a couple of things : Firstly there is an insentive for new people to follow you becuase of what they could win, secondly it showcases your product and brand and thirdly it exposes new people to your product theough them seeing a photo of theur friends using the product in Instagram feed.

6.Respond to comments

Instagram is all about relationship and authenticity. When someone take the time to leave a comment make sure you reply. Also follow back the people who follow you and comment on their post for maximum impact.

7.Use Video

Instagram video expands the emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. Before video posts used to be limited to just 15 seconds but now, video length limits have been increased to 60 seconds. Increasing the lengths of videos means it’s ever more important to capture users’ attention within the first few seconds. Play around with different video styles to see what works best for your audience.

8.Crowdsource images

You will be surprised at the creativity of your folowers and they will be delighted to get interract with you and have their moment of fame.

9.Create a them/story for your photos

Create a sense of drama and adventure by inspiring people with photos and videos with stories or themes behind them. Also choose of what words you want to be assiciated with. Check out the following accounts for some good examples of instagrammers who are racking thems and stories in their photos and videos : woolworths_sa, Donna Okeych, Sharecongo, Arsenal.

10.Do your research

There are two things you should reseach. Firstly you should research what your audience likes. Secondly you should research the competitors in your industry and niche :

  • What are they doing well ?
  • What are they doing not so well ?
  •  What frequency are they posting ?
  • How do they engage with audience ?

How to use Animated Video To Stand Out

Did you know that the millenials comprise 25% of the world population and are expected to spend more than $2.45 Trilloin this year alone. This has made many businesses to embrace the future content marketing through video.  Furthermore with the recent lockdown from COVID-19, has been an unpresecendented focus on online shopping and marketing which targeting consumers drectly on their couches.

By the end of 2021, it is expected that 80% of all consumer internet traffic will be from videos.

An animated video is one which uses animations, screen capture, presentations etc to deliver a message about your brand or demostrate how a product works. Animated video can boost sales and brand recognition.

Here are the types of explainer videos to use

  1. Home –page explainer video

This video appears on the main page of the website and succinctly outlines what products/services the company offers.For service use it to present a short case study to viewers.Studies shows that home page videos can increase conversations by up to 300%.

2.Sales pitch video

This can be used on any landing page and is very direct form of marketing where you can ask for a sale by providing some compelling reasons of why visitors need your products or services. Showing the customer how goods or services can fix all this cahllenges then ask them ‘Buy Now’

3. Promotional video

  • t is a teaser which shows some of the best bits, behind the scenes and maybe features humour.
  • It lets the consumer know how they can purchase/ find out more but leaves the action in their hands rather than directly commanding the customer to the action.
  • The promotional video is one that is great to share on social media

4.Video Blogs

The average person retains only 10% of what they hear, but up 50% of what they see. So utilise that usual power by occasionally doing a video blog post which gives out useful information and advice.

5. A Thank You Video

  • Business recently reached a big milestone ? Is a major holiday coming up ? You can create a quickly video that lets your audience see your silly, creative side.Many businesses. Thank you videos become viral sensations as audiences really respond to the informal style. All this is great course for maintaining a positive brand image and increase customer loyalty.

6. So, here are some of the top reasons your business needs an explainer video :

  • Explained videos increase conversion rates, by as much as 300% according to some studies.
  • Explainer videos communicate your massage more effectively. Consumers typically remember more information theorem video rather than text. Videos are also less ambiguous than text. With the text you can often read between the lines and come away with a different meaning to that which was intended.
  • Show real life customers. Bring reviews and testimonials to life by showing people behind the reviews on camera. This is a sure –fire way to become a more trusted brand.
  • Increase web traffic. As videos are easy to share across social media you can expect your website traffic to climb.
  • Improve google search rankings, Google algorithms favor sites that use some video content over just images and text.
  • Keeps your website clean and uncluttered. Having an explainer videos that outlines a lot of your message means reducing text, flashy animation and colour fonts.is will create a clearer message for potential customers and will improve the load time of your webpage.

5 things Every social media strategy needs to Succeed.

Social media can be a powerful tool and has the potential to connect a business with customers and infliencers across the globe. Creating an accoiunt on a social media channel is relatively simple, however gaining the followers and maintaining a presence can be a challenge. Before signing up to every social media channel available, it is a good idea to create a social media strategy.

A Social media strategy needs to have the following elements to be successful.

  1. Plan
  • Map out your business aims and goals and how social media channels can help.
  • Does your business wants to promote products, create brand awareness, be seen as a thought leader, support sales, or engage with customers ?
  • Plan ahead and decide what it is you want to achieve, This will determine how you engage with your audience.

2. Research

  • Determine who your target audience is, that is who you want to engage with on social media. By researching the target auidience you can identify their characteristics, interetsts abd priorities which can be used to help determone the social media channel/s to use. Not all social media channels are the same in how they engage users. Facebook and LinkedIn have different purposes so how you interract with your target audeince and wht you post should be adjusted to suit the channel.

3. Content strategy

  • Content needs to be consistent for your business to succeed on social media. To create engagement, identify the main 3-5 topics that relate to your business and your area of expertise that will be appealing to your target audience.
  • Use these topics to create content that you want to be recognised for.
  • When it comes to engaging audiences, images are just as importnat as the story.

4. Measure Success

  • The only way to know if your strategy is working is to review the results.
  • Analysticas is a great tool to assist with the understading how many people saw, liked, shared, commented and clicked on your posts.
  • Utilise tools such as Hootsuite, which let you know which content was popular.

5. Review and assess

  • Once you have obtained the analytics, it is important to review how you engage with your audience.

A good social media strategy is fluid. What works today may not work in a month’s time. Stay on top of online trends and researching the competition will also provide added insights and help to understand what is engaging to your audience.  With the right strategy , a social media presence can hel[p you meet your goals.

Why You Need A Great Landing Page

Headings

Ideally your landing page should have a heading followed by a subheading in small font.  The heading should signal to the user that they are on a relavant page and draw them in. Use a question for a heading as it makes people want to read on to find the answer.

Content and copy

Let see more when it comes to text. If your product needs lots of explanation, sonsider using sn explainer video on your landing page.Your content should clearly steate your unique selling proposition and provide the list of the product/service benefits.

Forms

Long forms are a common reason for high bounces from the landing pages. Think about each elemeny you are asking for on your form and re-evaluate to see if you really need to know that information.

The hero shot

Whatever you are selling you need to be able to show a picture that visually represents what the product or service has achieved. Customers always wanst to see what they are buying and online that can be see through herp shot.

Social Proof

Social proof is the concept of usuing social signals to demostrate your credibility. It provides « envidence » of other people having bought or consumed your product and bieing happy with it. Written statement and mini video update can provide social proos of your product/service to people .Mention the number of followers you have on social media ( If you have impressive numbers) or awards won.

Written testimonial need to have the customer’s full name, location, website adrress or photo for added believability.

Call – To-Action

Your call to action should prompt customers to take one clear focused action.

What you want you want your customers to do and how they would benefit should be clearly spelled out in one short and succinct line on a clickable button. The button should link through to form or shipping cart to complete the transaction. ‘Click here’ or ‘submit’ are bad examples of a CTA as they are very generic and unevocative . A better example would be ‘Get your free gift here’.

Five Tips for Better Social Media Optimisation

Social Search Optimisation or Social Media Optimisation is the concept of using social media channels to optimise awareness of a brand or service. Unlike search engine optimisation, the goal is engagement and producing content that users will want to share, instead of working how to use algorithms to rank higher.

  1. Be Visual

Studies of visual content on Facebook shows that videos are shared 12 times more than long form blog posts and links, and photos are liked at double the rate of text updates.

  •  Make it easy to share your content

Your website should feature social media sharing buttons embedded under each post. Choose social media platforms you and your audience are more active on and allow your audience to pass on posts they like to their friends.

  • Comment and connect

The best way to get the most out of social media is to form a relationship with your followers and also other people in your industry. Respond to customers’ comments and interact with them, and network with fellow experts by commenting, liking and retweeting their contents. If you show an interest in other’s content, they likely to return the favour.

  • Avoid excessive link dropping

Link dropping is something you should show restraint in. Excessive link result in you being considered a spammer, removed from groups and unfollowed. So before you post links take the time to build relationships and, when you do share consider whether it be useful to the reader or whether you are sharing to serve your own agenda.

  • Useful social media tools

Time to invest a little bit of time, money and creativity into social media strategy.

Hootsuite- Social media analytic and campaign managements

Hootsuite is an online dashboard that lets you manage all your social media accounts from one place. It lets you post contents to multiple networks, scheduling tweets and posts for posting during peak hours and it analyse traffic and tracks conversations.

Hootsuite supports virtually all the major social media networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Social media marketing increases your business profile but it does take work, however the results speak for themselves. Most importantly social media gives you a platform to expose your target audience to your products and services on a regular basis, which is important, as an overage customer need to be exposed to a product 6-8 times before their persuaded to buy.

How to Use Twitter to Increase Your Expert Status?

Twitter can be an incredibly effective tool for positioning your business as a market leading company and expert source of information. Creating that position as an expert requires time and patience.

The key methods to do so on twitter include creating a personality, becoming involved conversation and interacting within and (below) your industry.

The steps for using Twitter to ensure people see you as an expert.

  1. Have a strategy

Engaging on Twitter should be an element of your overall communications plan. Industry experts’ strategy should encompass the type content you will share, your tone and type of audience you want to connect with and influence.

  • Real-time auto-biographies

Telling your own and company’s story, in your own words, creates a sense that there’s a real person behind the keyboard. Twitter allows you to develop a personality which, in turn, helps build that trust.

  • Learn to listen

Many of our conversations now occur online but the art of conversation is older that the internet. Interact with your followers, follow them back and respond to their comments. Engagement is a two- way process in both the on and offline worlds.

  • Interact with influencers

Search out others in the same or similar, fields and follow and interact with them. Comment on relevant issues, stories or new topics. This approach helps to place you as a leader or expert in your own field and it can even create some surprising and possibly lucrative partnership opportunities.

  • Connect with media.

Many journalists use Twitter and the platform offers a great way to connect and engage with them. Follow them, comment on and share their stories and also message them from time to time with relevant information. Leads to possible media opportunities, it may also help you reach new audience that’ relevant to your industry and who are following the journalists you’re interacting with.

  • Manage your reputation

Monitor your mentions on Twitter and deal with any negative issues relating to your brand.

Twitter can be a powerful tool for positioning yourself as recognised expert and there are many things you can do to get noticed, convey a particular message about yourself and build strong and beneficial business relationship.

8 Creative Tactics to Promote Your Blog

Do you have a small business blog or do you want to start one?

It’s important to know that when you click the ‘publish’ button, your work has just started. If you want to be a good blogger then you need to know how to promote your content on social media to grow your traffic. Here are eight easy steps to success.

  1. Use ‘Click to tweet’ options.

Consider incorporating a click to tweet option for short, snappy and witty quotes. Often users won’t want to share your whole post but they will happily share one key hem of knowledge.

  • Create video previews

A fun way to convince users to read your content- heavy blog post is to create a video preview using TikTok. A teasing video is likely to engage a wider audience. Tweet with TikTok videos are four times more likely to be shared than other videos formats.

  • Use lesser Known, hipper networks to capture new audiences

Facebook, twitter and Instagram are the big players in the social media market, don’t be limited to just them. There are some smaller niche sites such as Quora and Tumblr which have smaller, but very loyal populations of users.

  • Re-post popular older blog posts for newer readers.

Don’t just post your new content.New readers might have not already seen some of your popular post from the past.

  • Social bookmark your blog posts

There are a number of high profile sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit that you can social bookmark your blog posts.

  • Create blog graphics

Big bold and colourful is what is currently on trend in the online world. Use free tools such as Canvas to create blog graphics or infographics (images which contain content)

  • Cross post across social media accounts

Post links on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. You can do this consistently using Hootsuite to make post go live at optimum and regular posting times.

  • Create relationship with other bloggers.

Building relationship with other bloggers and thought leaders in your industry should be a priority. Take a genuine interest in them and their work, read and share the blog posts, and give shout out to them on twitter using their @twittername.

Understand Online Marketing

Remarketing and retargeting: which one is better?

Creating a digital presence for your business online has become more critical than ever. Fortunately, it’s also never been easier to create an accessible website or online storefront and get your business noticed. Many new technologies are available for advertising on the website and to open up a world of opportunity for your business.

Remarketing Vs Retargeting

Retargeting refers to online placement ads and display ads generated through tracking site visitors’ cookies.

Remarketing refers to email campaigns e.g. sending a personalised message to a prospective target via email after they abandoned an online shopping cart or neglected to complete a registration form fully.It also can refer to remarketing to a customer who’s already purchased from (case a point: Amazon emails which features personalised recommendations of other books or products you might enjoy similar to those you have already purchased.)

Google Remarketing is in essence actually a retargeting campaign based on the definitions above.

Google Remarketing

Google Remarketing is a simple tool for users who are still gaining confidence with remarketing /Retargeting.

The service can be set up from inside your existing Google AdWords account and involves three steps:

  • Add remarketing tags to each page of your website.
  • Create remarketing lists and build ads specific to each list.
  • Set up your campaign.

Google Remarketing takes place through the Google Display Network you are restricted to being able to reach only 10% of the internet through their platform.

  • 10% equates to around 2 million websites

Google Remarketing has recently introduced another feature which remarketing list for search ads which allows advertisers to put together campaigns for people who have searched for a particular keyword on Google, irrespective of whether they have visited your site or not.

AdRoll Retargeting

Adroll is a provider of host of online advertising tools and services.They are almost well known for their targeting options and with good reason.The major advantages of using AdRoll is that because they partner with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, they have an enormous reach: Up to 98% of the web in fact.

AdRoll allows you to create Facebook newsfeed ads to recapture these valuable prospective customers.You can set up a newsfeed campaign quite simply, all you need to do is choose a schedule, targeted locations and a weekly budget.The ads will then be displayed to anyone who has previously visited your site, even if they are not a current Facebook fan of yours.

What’s the verdict? Google or AdRoll

Google should work nicely for what you have in mind with limited financial outlay- Limited budget.If you need advance features, or want to market on Facebook you will want to work with AdRoll.

AdRoll is the clear front runner in the retargeting market, their service is quite pricey.They are renowned for having excellent service and great easy–to-read analytics so you can track what is going on.

When Should You Be Posting On Social Media?

Time is money

It is important to find ‘Prime time’ for social media amongst your industry and for the different social media that you post on.Peak time for automotive posts and interests is anywhere between 8am and 11pm at night.Food related posts peak between 4pm and 6pm.

How to find your optimum posting time?  

There are many online tools that can help you find your optimum posting time one is Hootsuite’s social media monitoring tool. Other tools that do the same thing include SocialMentions, TrendyBuzz, and Engagor.

The variances between different social media sites

  • Tumblr, on the other hand is a hip youth and artistic hangout. Active 11pm and after.
  • Instagram, The best days to post on Instagram is Wednesday throughout the day, but particularly around 11 AM and Friday from 10 AM to 11 AM.
  • LinkedIn is for business and as salary earners tend to clock out early on Friday afternoons making the most of their glide time, little happens on LinkedIn past noon on Friday. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to make the most of LinkedIn.
  • Pinterest on the other hand is all about the weekend. Retail and fashion trends spike around 3pm on a Friday, and continue all throughout the weekend.
  • Facebook experiences the highest clicks through rates between 1pm and 4 pm weekdays. Twitter follow suit. However, avoid Facebook on weekends between 8pm in the evening and 8am in the morning.

How to use this information?

Using scheduling tools like Hootsuite to write your post in advance then automate them to be posted at the most socially lucrative time across various social media.Observe and monitor the times when you competitors are posting and see whether there are moments that can be capitalised on.

Understand better the customer decision making process. What times of the day are they looking at products, what time are they looking for company reviews, what times are they visiting websites? Comparing times across different social media platforms relevant to your product and industry.

How to Turn Social Media into Money and Tips for Business Success.

One of the easiest way to grow your business is via social media.

All progressive companies are using social media to engage with existing and prospective customers for a more dynamic experience and increase loyalty.

Don’t spread yourself too thin

Spend some time understanding your potential customers and clients spend some time on social media and then make sure you go there.

Be consistent

You must make a habit of posting every day.This way they feel that they are special to you and it is proven that when people like you, they are more likely to do business with you.

Add value

Post relevant information that will make your audiences lives better.Solve their problem through your expertise and share stories or case studies that backs up your information.

Follow Up

If someone connect with you make sure you have a follow up system in place.Build relationship with them my thanking them and highlighting to them how important they are.

Be the positive authority figure

Be the expert and authority figure that leads by example and show the best side of you all of the time.