How to Create a Snapchat Ad

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Have you ever watched a friend’s Snapchat story that is then immediately followed by an ad that actually looks as if you’re watching another individual’s Snapchat story?  Larger brands have already been using the Snapchat platform to advertise and now local businesses have the option as well (although, it is pricey!). Register your business for the Snapchat Ads Manager and follow these steps to create your first Snapchat ad:
 
1. Create an Audience

Like Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat now offers ways to target individuals based on device, demographics, and geography. When creating your audience, try to keep in mind that most people using Snapchat are teenagers and young adults, so if your audience falls outside of these parameters, it might be wise to consider advertising on a different social media platform.

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2. Set Your Budget and Goals

Select your ad budget for the particular ad as well as the goal. This can either be “swipe-ups” or “installs”. As of now, the minimum budget for a Snapchat ad is $100 per day, which is much higher than daily ad minimums on other platforms. (Facebook and Instagram currently only require $1 per day per ad.) We’re hoping that Snapchat will lower the daily ad minimum once brands with larger budgets become more familiar with the platform. We saw this happen with Instagram and Twitter years ago.
 
3. Schedule

Select a duration for how long you want this specific ad to run. One week? One month? A year?
 
4. Select an ad type and upload your content

There are four types of ads: App Install, Long Form Video, Top Snap Only and Web View.

The App Install ad will send people directly to the Apple Store or Google Play to download the selected app. The Long Form Video ad is similar to a video trailer and these videos can be up to 10 minutes long. The Top Snap Only ad option is a 3-10 second video ad with no call to action.
 A Web View ad will send people to a website to purchase a product, make an appointment or read an article.  

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Ready to get started with Snapchat ads? Reach out to us to begin creating these type of ads for your brand!
 

4 Steps to Handling Negative Feedback on Social Media

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If you’re a business owner or marketer responsible for handling social media accounts, then you’re more than likely to receive negative feedback at some point. It can be difficult to hear negative feedback at times but it’s important to consider this as an opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive. Here are some tips on how to handle the negativity that may come your way via social media.

1. Remain calm

Even though it’s easy to respond quickly and negatively in response to a complaint, it’s nest to approach the situation calmly and professionally. Some people prefer to walk away from their computer or give themselves a designated period of time to process the situation and consider how it should be addressed. This prevents saying things that will tarnish your brand or make your company seem unprofessional. 

2.  Don’t take it personally

Many business owners take negative feedback personally simply because they have so much invested in their business. When addressing negative feedback, it’s important to remember that most customer complaints are genuine and can point to a significant problem within your company. Look at this opportunity to fine-tune certain aspects of your business operations or customer service.

3. Show compassion for the customer’s issue

Compassion goes a long way. Even if the customer is frustrated, they will be more responsive when interacting with someone who is compassionate and understanding.  If your response sounds unempathetic to the customer, there is a good chance the issue wont be resolved and it could be a catalyst for a PR disaster.

4. Learn from the feedback

Handling negative feedback can be a great learning experience. Important questions to ask yourself are: How can we improve? What can we do differently moving forward? From this point forward you can decide if a change is to a business process is required to prevent this from happening again or if you should adjust how that specific complaint is handled in the future.

Because complaints via social media are seen by the public. It is important to handle these complaints as quickly and professionally as possible But if you keep these 4 tips in mind while handling complaints, you may be able to gain new customers from the positive stories that come from them. 
 

4 Apps to Help You Stay Organized

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With a jam-packed schedule each day it’s often times hard to stay organized, so it helps to have apps to simplify our tasks. Whether it’s reminding you to pick up a gift for an employee or pay your monthly power bill, these apps are extremely helpful in keeping you organized.

1. Evernote

Evernote is the ultimate note-taking app. The app acts as a virtual file storage system with multiple notebooks comprised of even more notes. By using the app, you have quick and easy access to share notes or notebooks with your team for feedback and collaboration.  A fun feature of Evernote is the camera function that allows you to scan, digitize, and organize your paper documents, business cards, handwritten notes, and drawings. The app also has a search feature to look up information that would otherwise take a long time to find in a paper notebook. Evernote is a great option to replace note-taking with paper notebooks and also store any important data or information. 

2. LastPass 

LastPass is the best app for keeping up with all the passwords that you can never remember. All your account passwords are stored within the app and you can also audit your passwords to see which is stronger and create a more secure password. All you’ll need to remember is the master password and the app will autofill your passwords in your web browser and app logins.

3. Wunderlist

Wunderlist allows you to be productive from anywhere. The app is available for your phone, smartwatch, tablet, and computer. Create, assign, and share your to-dos with the Today widget. With the Wunderlist app, you can also save web pages and articles for later with the Add to Wunderlist sharing extension. The app sets due dates and reminders to ensure you never forget important deadlines (or birthday gifts) again.

4. Mint

Mint is the perfect app to stay on top of all your finances. Connect your different accounts from your phone bill, car insurance, rent, and other bills to see what you’re spending, where you can save money, and pay bills on time. The app will also set up your monthly budgets and will make you aware when you have exceeded them. Bonus! Mint will also provide you with a free Credit Score once a month, no credit card required.

Download these apps and start your October organized and ready for the world.

 

Facebook Ads Manager: Changes You Need to Know

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If you advertise on Facebook, at one point in time you've probably run into a bit of confusion over deciding on which tool to use for paid social. Do you prefer Facebook Ads? Or Power Editor? Whichever one it is, both tools had their advantages and disadvantages for your advertising purposes.

Facebook recently announced that it is rolling out an updated ad management tool that will combine features from both Ads Manager and Power Editor. The supercharged tool will now go under the Ads Manager name with the best features from both, and Power Editor will eventually be removed as an option.

Workflow Options

Before the update, designing campaigns were slightly different for both tools.

Ads Manager utilized Guided Creation, where advertisers went through the entire process of creating an ad, ad set, and ad. 

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For Power Editor users, advertisers had the option to choose either the Guided Creation or Quick Creation function. With Quick Creation, advertisers were able to generate campaigns faster, and with more basic information. 

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Now, the new and improved Ads Manager will have both options available for use. You'll be able to switch between both methods, but Facebook will automatically open the one used most often.

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Drafts and Publishing

The new Ads Manager includes an "Automatic Drafts" feature that automatically saves your work during the time campaigns, ad sets, and ads are being set up. This option should work great for your planning process. The feature may seem familiar to Power Editor users as you will now need to review and publish your changes. The new Ads Manager includes an "Automatic Drafts" feature that automatically saves your work during the time campaigns, ad sets, and ads are being set up. 

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One Stop Shop For Reporting

The update provides one unified place to access your ad reports. The new Ads Manager combines breakdowns, summary rows, charts, activity history, exported insights and more features from both of the previous versions tools. 

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Facebook says that no functionality will be lost from this change (Power Editor users won't lose everything) and that this update will provide more fluidity and a better ad experience for everyone. 

What do you think about these changes? Will you miss Power Editor? Let us know in the comments! 

5 Best Apps for Photography on Your Smartphone

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Most think in order to create jaw-dropping visuals for social media content, you need a DSLR camera, professional lighting, backdrops, etc., but that isn’t the case. Now, all you need is a smartphone to take stunning photos. Apple, Samsung, LG and Google phones are now packing a 12-megapixel camera or above.  In order to create high-quality photos, just point and shoot, then edit your content using the apps below.
 
1. Polarr allows you to create your own filters instead of having to choose from the various filters already provided on social media platforms. You can also take advantage of the advanced editing tools within the app, such as color masking and batch export with filters. The cool thing about Polarr? You can also edit your photos using the desktop version, for either Mac or PC. 

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 2. Over is a mobile app that can add text to any photo. In addition to its simple and unique design, the app has a wide variety of fonts and colors to choose from. Bonus? Over always saves your original photo, which can be helpful when testing out different versions of your image.

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3. Facetune can be used to fix skin blemishes in photos. This app can even alter facial features like decreasing the size of your eyes or changing the face shape. Just a heads up… Facetune will make you a master in the selfie world but for a price of $3.99.

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 4. Color Story is a mobile app that will give your image a distinct color or hue by making it either more vibrant or subdued. This app also allows you to stack filters for the perfect look or add filters to your Boomerangs. 

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5. VSCO is a well-known photo editing app that uses awesome photo filters to create a distinct mood for your photography. You can also snap your photos through the app and use the advanced editing tools to change things like the exposure and depth of field. Additionally, you can find photography inspiration through VSCO’s Discover tab within the app where photos are selected by the VSCO team to be featured.

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Using any of these apps will help you to create stunning, professional quality photos for social media content as well as your website and other marketing materials. 

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Social Media Ads Budget

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One of the questions that I get asked the most as a social media marketer is, “How do I decide on a budget for my social media ads?” For most people, this questions seems much more daunting than it actually is.

There are 5 factors that will go into deciding on your ads budget.

1. What is your annual ads budget?

It is important to understand what your ads budget is each month. If you have allotted a specific amount for your social media ads for the year, divide that number by 12 to determine your monthly ads budget. This sounds simple enough but I’ve discovered that many business owners or entrepreneurs have never taken the time to determine an annual or monthly marketing budget.

2. How many people do you want to reach?

To give you a better idea of how far your money will go when using Facebook or Instagram ads, for every $5 that you spend to advertise locally (within one city), you should be reaching about 800-1,000 people. If you’re advertising nationally, you’ll be able to reach even more people.

Therefore, if you choose a monthly budget of $100 for your Facebook and Instagram ads, you should reach about 15,000-20,000 people each month. This does not guarantee that those people will be engaging with or clicking on your links. This number only includes the people who actually see your ads. 

3. What types of ads will you be creating?

Some ads cost more than others so it’s important to factor this in when determining your monthly budget. The most expensive type of ad is a Link Click ad. Sometimes, these ads will charge $3 or more per click-through. If the service or product that you are selling is a high-ticket item, then that rate might be affordable considering the conversion rate. Engagement ads are less expensive than Link Click ads and Reach ads are even cheaper.

So, if you don’t necessarily need to send a lot of traffic to your website each month, then you might be able to spend less each month by using Engagement and Reach ads. 

4. How many ads will you be running?

If you will be running several ads at the same time each month, you may want to have a larger budget to ensure that each ad will have enough reach, engagement or click-throughs. If you’re only running a few ad campaigns each month, then it will be possible to spend less money on these ads if you’re on a tighter budget.

5. Will you run your ads on a daily budget or a lifetime budget?

When creating social media ads, you’ll have two budget options for each ad: Daily Budget and Lifetime Budget. If you choose a daily budget for one ad, that ad will spend the amount allotted for each day. For example, if you choose a daily budget of $5 for one ad, that ad will spend $5 each day until the ad stops running. You can also run this type of ad indefinitely. Another example: Let’s say you want to increase the number of your Facebook fans using a Facebook ad. You could spend $2 per day indefinitely to continuously increase the amount of Facebook fans for your page without having to constantly create new ads.

If you choose a Lifetime Budget for an ad, that ad will spend the allotted amount by the end date of that ad. For example, let’s say that you’re hosting a Grand Opening event for your business in 3 weeks. To advertise this event, you would want to create an ad with a Lifetime Budget for the entire 3 weeks leading up to your event. 
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By asking yourself these 5 questions, you’ll have a better idea of what you should be spending on your social media ads each year and month. 

Still need help with your social media advertising? Shoot us an email below to chat with us about our social media advertising services and learn more about how we can help your business grow by attracting the right customers!

5 of the Best Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

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Entrepreneurs are always looking for resources to help spark their next great idea, and increasingly, podcasts have become a great source for that. Podcast consumption is now reaching 46 million Americans weekly. Whether the focus is on tech or startups, the volume of educational podcasts has increased in the past few years as business owners search for actionable advice on the go. Here is a list of the best podcasts available to help improve yourself in many aspects of your business journey. 

1. How to Start a Startup

How to Start a Startup is a collection of free podcasts that can help you succeed in starting a company. Initially, a class taught at Stanford, these videos include ideas from 9 experts on how to do sales and marketing, how to hire, how to raise money, company culture, operations and management, business strategy, and more!

2. How I Built This

How I Built This is a podcast where the host, Guy Raz, talks to innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, about the stories behind the movements they built. These stories are told by the founders of some of the world's best-known companies and brands. Listen on NPR or iTunes.

3.  Entrepreneurs on Fire

EOFire was created for entrepreneurs like you. If you're looking for actionable advice during your daily routine, this is a great place to start. The award-winning podcast chats with today's most successful entrepreneurs who share their best and worst entrepreneurial moments and lessons learned.

4. Mixergy

Mixergy is a place where successful people teach ambitious upstarts. The speakers are business people who take time out of their schedules to help teach others what they learned from their own experiences. These interviews introduce you to doers and thinkers whose ideas and stories are so powerful that just hearing them will change you. Mixergy offers podcasts and free courses that encourage you to have a mission, not just a startup. 

5. The Tim Feriss Show

The Tim Feriss Show is the first business/interview podcast to pass 100 million downloads, and it has been selected as "Best of iTunes" for three years running. Each episode, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, business, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use. 

Is there a go-to podcast you listen to frequently? What's the best tip you've received from it? Let us know the in comments below!

The Path to Social Media Success [Infographic]

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How do you determine the best social media strategy for your business?

As we know, the social media landscape is constantly changing, and it's difficult to keep up with the latest best practices. One thing that won't change? People expect quality content. That means every action you take on social media should all be guided by a plan that's driving towards your social media strategy.

Social media is packed full of opportunity, but to be effective you need to plan a complete strategy (that includes attainable goals) and implement it in a careful and measured way. 

A new infographic from Carousel 30 is a great guide to keep you on track with your approach and strategy for leading social media campaigns so you can successfully connect with the people that matter to you.

How do you measure social media success? Let us know in the comments! 

5 of the Best Free Stock Photo Websites

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Do you find it challenging to find high-quality, license-free images at no cost? Thankfully, there is a wide range of websites popping up that offer just that and many of these photographs are licensed under the Creative Commons domain, which allows you to copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

Discover great images for your next piece of content on these websites:

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1. Pixabay

Pixabay offers a large collection of images and videos that are copyright free and safe to use without asking for permission. Looking for a specific photo to represent your brand or business? The website allows you to search over a million stock images in various categories or topics. 

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2. Unsplash

The Unsplash team helps you find inspiration with photos that they hand-select every day. You can also search a huge library of high-resolution images for your next project from a community of photographers that upload them. 

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3. Freerange Stock

Freerange Stock was formed with the goal to provide quality stock photos for commercial and non-commercial use. For free. Their photos either come directly from their in-house photographers and archives or they are contributed by a growing community of creative and talented photographers.

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4. Death to the Stock Photo

Death to the Stock Photo sends you free monthly photos to your email inbox for all your creative needs. These ' photopacks' are carefully crafted stories accompanied with 12+ photos from the perspective of the artist. The photos are even touched up and edited before they are delivered!

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5. Pexels

All photos on Pexels are free for any personal and commercial purpose. Every month at least 3,000 new high-resolution images are added that are handpicked from photos uploaded by their users or sourced from free image websites. 

Do you have a favorite website for free stock photos or videos? Let us know in the comments below! 

New Report: The Best Times to Post on Social Media [Infographic]

The best times to post to social media varies by industry, channel and target audience. While there is still value in using generic 'best times' as part of your marketing strategies, the only true way to know this is by conducting your own research on similar brands and studying your own analytics.

With that said, the team at CoSchedule collected results from 20 of 'the best times to post' guides to formulate this infographic that proves that posting at the best times will help you get more traffic, more engagement, and more followers.