Instagram Shopping Tags for Business

Since last November, Instagram has been testing a new option called 'Shopping Tags,' a tool that gives Instagram marketers a new way to showcase their brand through shoppable organic posts. 

Pretty cool right? Shopping Tags enable brands to augment their photos with product information and links to buy the items on their sites. Users will see "Tap to view products" notification in the bottom left of the image, revealing tags overlaid on the post and product information. 

Now, it's being made available for more businesses. 

As explained by Instagram

“Based on encouraging early results, we’re rolling out these shopping features to thousands of businesses that sell apparel, jewelry or beauty products in the coming weeks. Instagrammers in the US will soon be able to shop and browse products from these businesses from posts in feed, on profile and in explore.”

In addition, Instagram is also introducing a self-serve tool to make putting a product up for sale as easy as tagging a friend and can be done directly from your iOS mobile phone. 

Brands that want to utilize this functionality will need to first, apply and upload their product catalog through Facebook Business Manager. Instagram also notes that businesses will soon be able to access insights around metrics, like how many people tapped to see more product details or clicked on "shop now."

With 80% of (600 million) people on Instagram following a business account, Shopping Tags has the potential to become a huge game changer for marketers. 

An Introduction to Facebook's Messenger Day

Another day. Another story. 

Snapchat can't seem to catch a break. Last week, Facebook launched Messenger Day (the newest Snapchat clone) to tap into the hundreds of millions of people already using the Messenger app. Like with Instagram and Snapchat Stories, Messenger Day allows users to share photos and videos "as they happen." Users can customize their photos and videos with thousands of effects, frames and stickers that of course, disappear in 24 hours. 

Image: TechCrunch

Image: TechCrunch

If you've used Snapchat before, the process is quite similar. Open Messenger and you can either tap the shutter circle in the bottom function bar or drag down to access the Messenger camera. Take a selfie or video and add your graphics and effects. To add art and effects, tap the smiley face icon on the top right and then tap to add to your photo or video. You can also add text by tapping the "Aa" icon and overlay a drawing by tapping the squiggly line.

Once your photo is jazzed up and ready to share, tap the arrow in the bottom right corner. Then, you'll be able to add directly to your Day, save it to your phone's camera roll or send it to a specific person or group. You can also add a photo or video to your Day story from any conversation you're having in Messenger. 

Need to take something down from your shared content? Facebook gives users complete control over who sees their Messenger Day with options to delete or share to certain people. 

The launch of Messenger Day serves as a reminder that Facebook is not letting any competitor out-do them, even if it comes with the copy-cat backlash from the Snapchat fanbase. There's not much to differentiate between the two as far as functionality, but it's only natural to think that Facebook will soon be king of the story. With a billion active monthly users and 17 billion photos privately shared monthly on Messenger, it's hard to argue. 

Social Ape welcomes Melissa Nemec to the team!

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We're SO pumped to announce that we've added a new team member, and an amazing one at that. Melissa Nemec was named Communications Specialist at Social Ape Marketing last week and we're thrilled to have her on board. Melissa will help our clients to grow by creating and executing social media marketing and public relations campaigns as well as connecting our clients to other brands to create successful partnerships. Not only is Melissa a passionate and creative marketing professional, but her upbeat and silly personality makes her an awesome addition to the Social Ape team. We hope you'll meet her soon but in the meantime, check out her bio below!

MELISSA NEMEC / Communications Specialist

Melissa holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Elon University and had every intention of being a news reporter after graduation. Yes, she’s proud of her “anchor voice” and she’ll do it on command.

Post-grad, she stumbled (willingly, of course) into the marketing world and never looked back. She’s bopped around between both Savannah and Atlanta, GA, and even Hilton Head Island, SC before making her way back to Charlotte, NC. After roughly two and half years in marketing for a tech-education startup, Melissa joined the Social Ape crew specializing in social media marketing, social strategy, and public relations.


If you happen to catch Melissa without her phone in her hand, she’s more than likely feasting on macaroni and cheese, taking a stroll in Freedom Park, binge-watching Parks and Recreation, or savoring the last few months with her rescue mutt Remy and husband before their baby boy arrives this May!

Facebook Changes: Reactions Over Likes

Facebook is updating their Facebook Newsfeed algorithm again, this time to prioritize "reactions" over "likes." 

The "reactions" feature was introduced last year — including love, haha, wow, sad, & angry — to help people express their feelings toward a post. The feature turned out to be a popular addition to the Facebook platform as reactions have been used over 300 billion times, with "love" being the most popular. 

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According to Facebook, a reaction is a stronger indicator of how much important a post is to you, rather than a like. So, next time you open Facebook, posts that have a heavy amount of reactions may be higher in your News Feed. Here's a few reasons why the platform giant decided to make these changes:

  • It takes longer for someone to leave a reaction than it does for a like on a post. For mobile, users need to hold down the like button to access the other five reactions, or hover over it on desktop. This process is an "even stronger indicator" that you have more interest and care more about these types of posts. 
  • As I stated before, reactions were a huge hit after they were introduced. While the "love" reaction was most popular, all 5 reactions are weighed the same when being used for a post. In this case, Facebook won't overload a News Feed based on one emotional response, but a more broad one. 
  • In the future, advertisers may be able to cash in on these emotions with reaction-based targeting from deeper insights into a user's emotional response. This in turn, has some privacy advocates expressing their concern that the feature could be used to gather data on users. 

In conclusion, the update serves as a good reminder that just about any action can influence what you see on your News Feed and would be wise for anyone to take a bit more time when choosing between a like or a reaction. 

5 Ways to Improve Your Organic Reach on Instagram

As Instagram grows, it's become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. The platform is so popular that it's estimated that people miss 70 percent of their feeds.

So, to help users see more, an algorithm was implemented to display posts "based on the likelihood you'll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post." Now, like Facebook, Instagram is seeing a dip in organic reach since the introduction of the algorithm. Here are 5 ways to improve your organic reach on Instagram:

1. Post high-quality content

Quality interactions begin with quality content. Instagram's ability to capture people, places and products has changed the way we look and interact with these visual experiences. Think about your subject and ask yourself "what makes this photo interesting to me," these questions can help you improve your photography in general and help convey the emotions you want to show through it. 

2. Post videos

It doesn't look like video content is slowing down anytime soon. It's estimated that more than 60% of marketers and small business owners said they planned to increase investment in video marketing in 2017. Video on Instagram is no different, as video watch time continues to increase. The platform also offers the number of views to better capture video engagement.

3. Use hashtags

Hashtags help Instagram users discover content and accounts to follow. With the right hashtags, you have a better chance of attracting new followers, getting more likes and increase engagement. According to Simply Measured, posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6 percent more engagement. 

4. Cross-promote

This may be something you are doing already, but it's important factor to help drive traffic to your Instagram page. Instagram is the perfect place to "share the love." By tagging others and promoting other companies and products, you raise the recognition for everyone involved. 

5. Invest in social ads

With advertising now available for Instagram, this presents a lucrative opportunity to reach a broad, targeted audience who are interested in your content as well as your products and services. Instagram advertising can be set up just like you would a Facebook ad and can be displayed on both platforms. 

New Job Posting Option for Facebook Business Pages

Move over LinkedIn. There's a new way to find potential employees.

Facebook has confirmed that a job posting function is rolling out to all business pages that will allow employers to post listings on their companies' Facebook pages. Job seekers can now easily search and apply for them, without even leaving the app. 

When you're ready to advertise an open position, click "Create a job post" in the page options section — the same place you'd post a status — and enter in the details of the available position.

The greatest thing about the new option is that users can like, comment, share and click 'apply now' which leads them directly to an application form that is submitted through Facebook Messenger. Initial information is "pre-populated with information from their public profile on Facebook," but can be edited to your desire. This is also a move to encourage users to 'professionalize' their profiles. 

The job posting will also be synced into a new 'Jobs' tab in your business Page where admins can review applications and contact applicants. A new jobs page on Facebook will also include a range of filters, where users can search by industry, full/part-time and other criteria. 

Job posting is free, but posts can also be boosted to reach a much wider and targeted audience that frequently visit the app. 

This move makes having a Page that much more valuable for small businesses. As opposed to LinkedIn, a marketplace ruled by larger companies, SMB's now have a better chance of being noticed by potential candidates, just by the sheer masses of active Facebook users. 

 

15 Useful Social Media Marketing Stats for 2017

WARNING! Statistics are likely to change before I finish this post. 

The dynamic world of social media makes it nearly impossible for marketers and entrepreneurs to be complacent in their marketing strategies. You want to stay ahead of the game? Keep up with the statistics that make social media a major component of online business and advertising.  

Demographics

1. 1.79% of adult internet users are on Facebook
2. 22% of the world's total population uses Facebook
3. 81% of millennials check Twitter at least once per day
4. 32% of teenagers consider Instagram the most important platform
5. 41% of 18 to 34-year-olds in the U.S. are on Snapchat

Source: Social Media Today

Facebook Usage

6. Photo uploads total 300 million a day. (Zephoria)

This goes to show the engagement levels of Facebook and how much content there is to compete against.

7. There are 40 million active small businesses on Facebook and 4 million of them pay for social media advertising. (Forbes)

Small businesses should consider paying for Facebook ads to gain attention and visibility.

8. 76% of Facebook users visited the site daily during 2016, with over 1.6 billion daily visitors. (Social Media Today)

Facebook continues to be the most popular platform, making it a great place to find a consistent audience to target. 

9. There were over 4.4 million videos uploaded to Facebook in February 2016, generating over 199 billion views. (ReelSEO)

That's a whopping view count people. Video continues to raise the bar on social media engagement and Facebook is where people are watching them. 

10. There are 1.15 billion mobile active users on Facebook, as of December 2016. (Zephoria)

Twitter Usage

11. Link click account for 92% of all user interaction with tweets. (Hubspot)

Include links in your tweets to gain visibility on busy timelines and have more people share them.

12. Twitter has 1.3 billion accounts, but only 320 million are active. (Business Insider)

That's a rather large disparity. The good news for marketers is ads are becoming more prominent, so it may be time to start paying to reach the active users. 

Instagram Usage

13. 51% of Instagram users access the platform daily. (Social Media Today

Instagram is a major channel for engaging with millennials and most of them are checking their feeds multiple times a day. Create visual content that is aesthetically pleasing and caters to your audience behavior. 

14. Posts tagged with another user (56%) or location (79%) have higher engagement rates. (Simply Measured)

Tagging other users gives your post a much higher chance to get re-shared or engaged with. Tagging your location can also store your posts into a category for people to see later.

Snapchat Usage

15. Only 5% of global marketers reported that their brands are using the platform. (Social Media Examiner)

Snapchat has the potential to be a special place to reach an untapped audience, especially as live video content continues to be the benchmark for engaging content. 

 

How to Create "Snapcodes" to Promote Your Business

Need a fun way to share your online content on Snapchat?

In a recent update for iOS users, Snapchat now allows users to create "Snapcodes" for any link, which will open inside the app when it is scanned. This is a powerful way for businesses and online influencers to promote themselves with a exciting image, not just a URL. Follow these easy steps to setup your "Snapcode."

1. Select "Snapcodes" in your Settings

While in camera view, scroll down on your screen and press the 'wheel' symbol at the top right to access your Settings tab. Scroll down and select "Snapcodes."

2. Press "Create Snapcode" and enter a URL

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3. Add an image from the website or your phone

Resize your image to fit into the Snapchat ghost logo. You can also edit "Snapcodes" through their web editor. When you've added your image, save it to your camera roll.

4. Voila! Time to take action.

That was easy enough, right? Now that you have your sweet new "Snapcode," it's time to send them off to the Snapchat world. You can easily send the image it via text or capture it through the app. The best part is, users don't even have to leave the app to view your content. 

 

How to use Facebook Messenger for Your Business

Want to build personal connections with the people that are interested in your business?

Messaging apps are not just for chatting with friends and family anymore, they're a way for people to get in touch with products, services, and customer service questions. 

In fact, out of nine modes of communication, messaging is the 2nd ranked option for engaging with businesses. Make it clear that your business is available for people to contact you, and they're more likely to engage. 

Turn on messaging for your Page

Messaging a business directly is a fast and convenient way for people to get in touch with a business. So, if you're ready to start answering questions, here's how you set it up for your Page.

  1. Click Settings at the top of your Page 
  2. From General, click Messaging
  3. Check or uncheck the box next to Allow people to contact my Page privately by showing the Message button
  4. Click Save Changes

Set a response time and greeting

Response times tells customers when they will get a response from you. Faster response times helps to build a rapport with customers and gives them the assurance that you are being as responsive as possible. Page admins can choose to show that they can respond wither "within minutes, "within the hour" or "within a day." 

Messenger Greetings are customizable notes that appear as soon as a customer initiates a conversation with your business. You can use a greeting to proactively set a friendly tone and expectations about your products and services. 

Use Away Messages anytime you can't respond

If you're away from your phone or computer and can't immediately respond to a message, you can set your status to "away" to let them know that you will respond soon. Messages that you receive when your "away" does not effect your responsiveness rating. 

Messenger Codes

This unique code is a scannable image from your business Page that will automatically open a new message thread. Similar to Snapchat codes, its a fast and fun way to engage with your business. To find your messenger code:

  1. Click on the Messages tab on your Facebook Page
  2. At the bottom of your inbox, find the information icon and download your image

Want to receive information like this in your inbox every week? Sign up for the Social Ape Weekly, a weekly newsletter chock full of social media tips, best practices and productivity tools to help you become a better marketer!

5 Instagram Tips & Tricks You Should Know

With 600 million active daily users and growing, Instagram continues to be a force in the world of social media. A lot has changed, but the community remains consistent. People still want to see awesome content. Here are a few tips & tricks that can take your Instagram game to the next level:

1. Save posts that you love

See an inspiring post or photo that you really like? Instagram has a great feature that lets you save posts to an area that only you can see. To do this:

  • Go to the post that you want to save
  • Tap the bookmark icon underneath the post 
  • Head to your profile and tap the bookmark icon to see your saved posts

2. Add a Boomerang to your Story

Boomerang in Instagram gives users a way to snap a handful of photos in quick succession, creating a GIF-like loop. Boomerangs can be entertaining and a breath of fresh air for your Instagram stories. To add a Boomerang to your Story:

  • On your news feed page, click "Your Story" button at the top left of the screen
  • Swipe over to the Boomerang setting and shoot the quick action

3. You can hide photos you've been tagged in

There are times when your brand or business may be tagged in posts that you'd rather not be associated with. To remove these photos:

  • Tap your profile 
  • Tap the person icon under your bio to access the "Photos of You" page
  • Tap the three dots at the top right of the page and choose "Hide Photos"
  • Select the photos you would like to hide from your profile

4. Switch to business profile to run ads and get access to analytics

Want more people to see your brand's content? Then you'll want to make the switch to business profile. This can help your business better understand your followers by giving you access to profile CTA, insights, and user activity. It also gives you the ability to run ads to your targeted audience through Facebook. 

  • Head over to your profile page
  • Tap the gear icon for iOS or the three dots for Android to go to "Options"
  • Select "Switch to Business Profile"
  • You'll be asked to connect your Facebook account in order to to set it up
  • Fill in the info to connect and tap "Done" to save your settings

5. Share videos without sound

A wide majority of video views on Facebook are happening in silence. So, it's not a surprise that uploading a video content on Instagram without sound, has become a common practice that doesn't really effect the viewers experience.

  • Tap the + to upload the video you'd like to share and tap "Next"
  • Tap the volume control icon at the top of the screen to mute the video 

Want to learn more tips and tricks from other platforms like Facebook and Snapchat? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!