5 Easy Tips For Using Facebook Live

Are you ready to show off your business in a fun, interactive and engaging way? Grasp this. Facebook generates 8 billion video views on average per day with people spending 3x longer watching video which is Live compared to video that is no longer Live. It's the best way to interact with viewers in real time and Facebook is making it easier with this tool.

Here are a few tips and practices for Facebook Live:

1. Tell people that you're going Live ahead of time

It's easy for people to get lost in all of the content that is spread across Facebook. Give people notice with a simple Facebook post to let them know when you're broadcasting and build anticipation. 

2. Write a catchy description about your broadcast

Grab people's attention with a great description. This will help your viewers understand what they are watching before you go live. 

3. Respond to comments in real-time

People love to get mentioned. And a shoutout on a live stream will make them even happier. Say hello and answer questions being thrown your way.

4. Broadcast longer to reach more people

Facebook recommends users to stream Live for at least 10 minutes. This strategy gives more people the chance to to discover and share your videos with friends on Facebook. 

5. Be creative with your videos

Experiment with different types of topics to keep your audience engaged. For example, you can go Live and have a Q&A to answer questions from fans, do an interview with an expert to spark conversation, or comment on the day's breaking news around your community. 

Video is here to stay. So, it may be time for you to show another side of your business or brand. 

Are you using Facebook Live? What has your experience been with it? Let us know in the comments! 

 

 

How to Use Brand Hashtags on Instagram

The cycle continues. New year. New practices. And more hashtags! 

Instagram hashtags give you the ability to to expose your brands to large and targeted audiences. How can hashtags help your business? Well, that will depend on how you're using the hashtag and how popular your post is. 

When you attach one (or 30) to your post, it is categorized with content that is also using those hashtags. Popular hashtags like #love, #instagood, and #fashion can get you new followers, but they probably aren't the "right" ones. That's where brand hashtags come into play. This strategy is important for a business that wants to expose the message to people looking for a specific thing. 

How brands hashtags work.

Brand hashtags are tags that are specific and unique to your business or campaign. It's common for a brand hashtag to be as simple as the company name, tagline, or line of products. You can also create one for an Instagram contest you are running.

Daniel Wellington does a great job of using their brand hashtag (#DanielWellington) along with their daily (#DWPickoftheDay) tag, for a campaign to encourage users to share high-quality photos that include their line of watches and hashtag, of course. 

Using brand hashtags is also a great way to organize and choose winners for contests since they are all placed on one hashtag page. For other marketing campaigns, creating hashtags to showcase your company culture, products, and services and is a great way to drive engagement. 

Helpful tips and practices

  • Keep your brand hashtags relatively short and easy to remember
  • Don't use too many hashtags! Using too many or irrelevant hashtags can make you look desperate for engagement. You do have a max of 30 hashtags, but keep it down to around 10-12, as long as they are consistent and relevant to your brand.
  • If you want a cleaner look to your post caption, you can "hide" your hashtags by including them in your comment section underneath a few dots and line breaks. 

We hope 2017 is as great for social media as last year was. We can't wait to share the newest trends, strategies, and tools that can help your business! 

Are you using brand hashtags? Let us know what your experience was using them in marketing campaigns and contests in the comments below! 

A Look Back at Social Media in 2016

What a great year it was for social media! As the new year approaches, we want to reflect on 2016 and how social media made its impact. 

This past year, we saw steady advancements in user-interface, security, and business implementation (just to name a few) to platform juggernauts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, & Snapchat. 

We also witnessed the power of social media, as billions of people turned to these platforms during breaking events (like the presidential campaigns, Summer Olympics, & race issues). 

There was so much happening in 2016, so we wanted to highlight some of the significant trends and launches from a few social media platforms. 

Facebook

The platform now has 1.79 billion monthly users and growing fast. In 2016, video content took the landscape to a whole new level in engaging users in a creative way. 

Releases

Marketplace: Lets you discover, buy or sell items in your community.

Instant Articles: Easy to deliver fast, interactive articles to readers in the mobile-app.

Reactions: Gives you more ways to share your reaction to a post in a quick and easy way.

Facebook Live: A fun, engaging way to connect with your followers and grow your audience.

Twitter

Twitter continues to be one of the best places to find news fast and should continue that trend in the new year.

Releases

Moments: Curated stories showcasing the very best of what's happening on Twitter.

NFL Live on Twitter: Broadcasts the NFL's Thursday Night Football games through online stream.

Snapchat

Snapchat had its biggest year yet in 2016, striking deals to acquire companies Bitstrips and Vurb, all while creating the most authentic content for users to share. 

Releases

Memories: Gives users the ability to import and share photos taken outside of the app.

Spectacles: A pair of smart glasses that records the world in your point-of-view.

We're so excited for what the social media landscape has to offer us in 2017 and can't wait to help you steer your way to business success!

What trends are you looking forward to in 2017? Let us know in the comments! 

How to Customize Your Facebook Page With New Features

The latest Facebook design update is changing the way people view your page. While the changes from the previous version are somewhat minimal in style, the biggest difference is the order of your Facebook page's timeline. Here are a few ways you can adjust your page for easier navigation.

Customize Your Page's Timeline

You'll notice that sections (like Videos and Locations) which were previously on the right side column of your page are now directly in your page's Timeline, after the box where people can leave a comment. To change the order of your page's timeline, click the Manage Tabs link on the left sidebar. 

This page now includes updated features like the Edit Page section.

Here you will also be able to reorder your tabs so it aligns with how you want your timeline to look. 

After you reorder the tabs the way you want them, your Facebook timeline should match it.

Page Templates

The new update also added customizable templates in the Edit Page settings. Click the Edit button next to your current template and scroll through options that match your business the best. 

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Each template has different options to help you choose which options and call-to-action buttons you want applied to your page. 

Before you apply the new template, you will be warned that it will replace your current layout. Make sure to review what each template has to offer your business page for the most effective navigation and style for your fans! 

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4 Lessons I Learned from my Internship at Social Ape

 

Written by Sara Ellis Pearce, Fall 2016 Intern

Social Ape Marketing offers students and young professionals the opportunity to learn about social media marketing and public relations through flexible internships offered in both the fall and spring. I was lucky enough to interview for the Fall 2016 internship and was ultimately offered the position. This internship has given me so much insight about marketing, social media and client relationships and has been an invaluable experience for me. This position gave me a chance to experience first-hand what working in a smaller, hands-on agency is like and because of the tight-knit culture of Social Ape, I was able to learn so much from my experience. While there are countless lessons that I've learned through my time at Social Ape, here are a few that I know will stick with me through all of my future positions.

 

  1. It’s all in the details

    Some people are more detail oriented while others are not so inclined. While both of these traits are great in their own way, in the world of social media marketing, details couldn’t be more important. When creating a tweet, blog post or a Snapchat filter, ensuring that every detail is perfect is critical to success. Most people may not realize how much work goes into creating just a perfect tweet, but they will certainly notice a spelling error, low quality image or a link that doesn’t work. Spending the extra time to ensure that a social media post is perfect is worth it in order to create the best content. At Social Ape, we have the responsibility of maintaining social media marketing for our clients, and even a small error can make quite a difference for a company trying to grow their social media presence. The little details make all of the difference in marketing.
  2. Client relationships mean everything

    Social Ape is lucky enough to have a founder like April Smith who understands the importance of client relationships. While business relationships with clients can be maintained easily through emails and occasional meetings, April has made sure that each of Social Ape’s clients know how to reach her at any time and she takes a personal interest in their business, their employees and their success. This is one of the biggest things I have learned from my time here, is how much success can come from having caring and personal client relationships, especially in an agency where communication is everything.
  3. Planning is vital in social media (and everything else)

    Some people are just not good planners, but in social media marketing being organized and planning ahead is an absolute must. Not only does planning and scheduling posts and campaigns in advance help with time management, but it also allows the client to give valuable feedback if needed. This is a really beneficial step in working towards strong client relationships as well! Part of my responsibility as an intern was creating social media posts and I've learned how helpful it can be and also provides you with the time to check your work as well! Some people don’t realize how much planning and work go into social media marketing and this internship helped me learn the importance of that.
  4. Co-workers are the best part

    My internship at Social Ape has been a wonderful experience in every way, but has only been bettered by the relationships that I have formed with founder, April Smith, and Social Media Specialist, Jerome Simeon. They have offered me a huge amount of support, guidance and expertise that I know I will carry with me into my career in the future. Working alongside such wonderful people who are flexible, understanding and truly just wanted me to learn the ropes is exactly what I needed in this position. They have entrusted me with responsibility while still always being available for advice and support. Additionally, the creative environment has also been great because of the coworking space, Hygge, (you’ll figure out how to pronounce it eventually) and the great colleagues that work in this creative office culture.

My internship at Social Ape has been a learning experience that I wouldn't trade for anything and has taught me so much about the world of marketing, social media and PR. Additionally, it's taught me lessons that I know I'll take with me even if I were to take a completely different direction with my career including working with clients, planning and working in a creative work environment. I'm so appreciative for this opportunity and know that Social Ape will continue to prosper because of the wonderful team and quality of service. 

The Rise of Podcasts

Podcasts have been available for download since the mid-2000s, but there is no doubt that there has been a rise in their popularity in the last year. People continue to discuss new podcasts, whether it be from a celebrity, coverage of the election or marketing strategies for the upcoming year. This is in part due to the popularity of podcasts such as Serial, a weekly podcast that "tells one story—a true story—over the course of a season," that gained a lot of publicity in the mainstream media. But it is undeniable that podcasts have been on the rise due to their open-ended nature and opportunity to create content and captivate users in a unique way. There is something about listening to a conversation that is captivating to individuals and it is a platform that you should be utilizing, whether by listening or hosting your own.

The world of podcasts is literally endless, and there are podcasts that appeal to everyone. One of the more interesting aspects of podcasting is that while many celebrities and news anchors host them, most of them are run by bloggers, small-business owners and predominantly amateurs, which is what makes it so exciting. There is so much to learn in podcasts, even from small businesses and entrepreneurs. Listening to podcasts about your particular industry, niche or even subjects that you are trying to become well-versed in is a tool that you should not be missing out on. You might even be able to interview some of your industry’s brightest minds! 

Social media and marketing podcasts are gaining popularity simultaneously because there is so much to learn, and so many individuals with experience to listen to. We have gathered a list of social media podcasts that you should be listening to in order to stay up-to-date and in-tune with social media marketing trends. 

 

  1. The Science of Social Media- Buffer
    Buffer is a great resource for social media in general, and it comes as no surprise that their podcasts are a great resource as well. This podcasts comes in 30 minute episodes that look into new and exciting ways to implement social media strategy through interviews with some of the top social media strategists in the game. 

    1. Inside Social Media at one of the Biggest Universities in America (and What You Can Learn) - Nikki Sunstrum

    2. Inside NASA’s Social Media Strategies - John Yembrick

    3. Inside HubSpot’s Social Team - Meghan Keaney Anderson

  2. Hashtagged by Jordan Powers
    This podcast focuses all around Instagram, both for personal use and business and examines ways to organically grow your Instagram following. Jordan Powers is an expert in the field of media and is also a photographer. This podcast is anywhere from 30-60 minute episodes and is commonly interviews as well. 

    1. Organically growing your following to over 30k people with Maury Page

    2. The science of Instagram marketing with Lauren Bath

    3. Focusing on creating content and community versus being an influencer with Dan Joyce

  3. Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Porterfield
    Amy Porterfield’s podcast focuses on educational content surrounding social media marketing and content management to help amateurs learn the ropes. She does solo podcasts as well as interviews and consistently gives useful tips that any listener can use. 

    1. How Much Money Should I Spend on Facebook Ads to Be Successful on My Webinar?

    2. How to Get Started with Facebook Live

 

In addition to listening to podcasts, recording your own can be a great way to share thoughts and reach new audiences. Again, podcasts have become increasingly popular in the past year and they are a beneficial way to get content out there. Interviews are always helpful, and publishing them as a podcast is great for both parties. Podcasting is an effective tool for social media managers and marketers looking to expand their audience and can be very simple to add to your website and share on social media. Podcasting is an extremely popular and powerful marketing medium for brands and businesses that is absolutely destined to continue growing in the coming years. It is a unique was of looking for a different way to engage with new content and absolutely should not be overlooked by those who are knowledgeable in their field. So give podcasts a try or contact us at Social Ape for help with new platforms!

4 Instagram Contests to Engage Followers

There are numerous ways to boost engagement with your followers on Instagram so it's imperative that your posts are creative and grab the attention of your followers. Hosting an Instagram contest is a great way to interact with your followers and promote your company!

There are several types of contest you can hold on Instagram to promote interaction with followers as well as promote your products. Of course, when available, a giveaway or a prize is the most compelling way to engage users with your contest, but you can definitely run successful contests on Instagram even if you don’t have the means to give things away! Here are four types of contests you can try on your IG! 

 

1. Hashtag Contests

Social media revolves around the idea of the hashtag, and Instagram is no different. All you have to do is create a fun hashtag and ask people to post pictures pertaining to your brand with the hashtag. To choose a winner, you can search the hashtag and choose your favorite. This type of contest is great for promoting your business name and brand. You gain exposure to your followers but also their followers, thus expanding your reach! Make sure to come up with a creative campaign hashtag to engage your followers and theirs too! Hashtag contests are a great way to take advantage of the viral nature of Instagram. 

2. Like-to-Win Contest

There’s no doubt that success on Instagram has a lot to do with likes. A contest like this is a very simple way to bring in the hearts. To do this, post a simple graphic explaining the contest and make sure they know that in order to win, you have to like the photo. To announce the winner, pick a random user from among the list of likes and comments, then tag their name on the post to let them know that they won (or post a new graphic). You can also amp up this strategy by having them follow the account to be eligible for the contest. Additionally, you can have users tag their friends in the comments to have their name entered in the contest again! To help  expose the contest, use lots of hashtags like #contest and #giveaway to get more people involved! This type of giveaway is a great way to gain loyal followers and grow your network.

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3. Voting Contest

A voting contest engages your current followers in a way that lets them help choose the winner! The IG account should design a graphic to explain the contest and then follow that up by posting a photo for each contestant. The best way to keep track is simple; the contestant with the most likes is the winner. This type of contest is another way to gain exposure, because those who are trying to win will share the post with their friends and other followers! The photos should be of things relevant to your business, or could also be a series of finalists from the competition. The possibilities are endless. This kind of contest encourages users to get more deeply involved with your brand, and they have a stake in pushing your wider reach!

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4. Selfie Contest

Last, but definitely not least, is a selfie contest! This is such a fun way to engage your followers and make them feel like they're part of your brand! Whether it is challenging them to post a selfie with your product in an innovative way or at a specific location, your followers will definitely feel more engaged with your brand. You can even invite users to post photos with or without your products. Make sure to announce the winner with a post on IG, since users love seeing that there was an actual winner and it encourages followers to participate in later contests! A selfie contest is a really great way to let your followers do a lot of the work! 

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Contests on Instagram can be a great way to increase your reach and improve engagement with your brand. If you need help engaging your followers on social media, contact us at Social Ape!

How to Use Sprout Social for Resizing Photos

There is no doubt that a well placed photo or video can take any social media post to the next level. People are much more likely to click on a post with an inviting graphic or photo that is sized correctly but this can cause problems for some, because every social media platform has different dimensions for photos and videos. For example, a photo in the Facebook news feed should be 1200 x 1200 pixels but a photo in the Twitter news feed should be 440 x 220 pixels.  A lot of social media marketers use the same photo for all platforms but this can result in misplaced media that is difficult to read.

Luckily, there are some easy ways to fix this problem and ensure that all of your posts look professional and are easy to see. Sprout Social is a social media dashboard that can resize images so that you don’t have to memorize the different sizing dimensions for each social media platform. This tool is quick, easy and produces beautiful posts. Sprout Social is our favorite way to resize pictures and media. See below for our guide on how to resize your images!

Sprout Social itself is a social media management software that requires a monthly membership, but offers far more than just photo resizing. In addition to this, Sprout Social can be used to create content, schedule social media posts, create in-depth analytics reports and much more. 

Sprout Social Landscape is the tool within Sprout Social that allows users to resize images in a snap. This tool is free to use (even for non members) as well as is simple and straightforward, and creates beautiful results.

 

How to resize your photos using Sprout Social Landscape

1. When you first arrive at the Landscape homepage, drag and drop or upload your files to the designated area. The images need to be in one of the following file types: jpg/jpeg, png, and gif (not animated gifs). The image can be up to 10 MB in size, but some social media sites have their own size limit.

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2. Once you drag your image to the area, it will take you to the next page, where you are able to choose which social media platforms to where you'll be posting the image. You can choose as many as you want, or just one image.

 

3. The following steps depend on how many platforms you chose for your image. There will be a page for each platform that you chose, and it will ask what kind of picture this will be. For example, if you chose Facebook, you'll have you the option of creating a profile picture, cover photo, linked photo or in-stream square. Choose the option that you need for each platform to resize your photo.

 

4. Next, you'll be asked to crop and scale the photo accordingly to the options you chose. Make sure you're getting the most important aspects of your photo that you'd like to be visible when you crop it and the best angle.

5. When you find the perfect scale for the photo, simply click Download and it will save to your file immediately so you can share it with all of your social media followers!

 

Need more help with creating professional social media content? Shoot us a quick message HERE!

Why You Should Be Repurposing Your Content

Repurposing content is a great tool for bloggers, social media users and professionals alike. Repurposing content is not to be confused with just promoting and sharing content that you have shared before. To repurpose is to update, add to or take away from, to give it more more current and relevant sharing potential. Repurposing content means creating new work in a new medium that pulls from your past work. But why should you be doing this? Repurposing content allows you to reach a new audience. While some people love reading blog posts, others would much prefer an infographic or an interesting interview video could be made into a helpful blog post. There are endless options with repurposing content and it is a great way to grow search results and show users the importance of the topic.

One of the top reasons to repurpose content is that it allows you to create new content with little effort. It's tough to come up with new information and content every week, or even daily for some. Finding a way to reinvent a piece of content that you have shared before is a great way to engage users while saving the writer time.

 

One must be careful with repurposing content because quantity does not replace quality. It's easy to get caught up in creating several graphics from one blog post, which ends up as unnecessary fluff and could be off-putting to followers. Ensure that every post provides value and is of a quality that you are proud to share.

Here are a few things to consider when preparing to repurpose your content:

  1. Choose your content carefully. 

    Choose topics that are not dated or could be used over and over to ensure you are getting the most use from them. Additionally, pick ideas that are core to your brand to reiterate their importance. It is also helpful to look at posts that were well-received in the past, because more than likely they will still be popular and interesting to your followers.
     

  2. Choose an appropriate medium. 

    Not all mediums work for all content and vice versa. It's important to choose a medium that is appropriate for what you’re sharing. Examples of some good mediums to choose from are infographics, blog posts, interviews, shareable graphics, workshops and podcasts. Just make sure the content you are repurposing is appropriate on the medium you are choosing!
     

  3. Get creative. 

    As we mentioned before, repurposing content is meant to add new and relevant information to a piece of content that you've already shared, or to share it in a new medium that will engage readers. There are different ways to repurpose your content, focusing on certain quotes or statistics, or compiling several posts that are effective in repurposing.

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5 Questions to Ask When Planning Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

We all know that a social media presence is an integral part of any marketing plan. Planning your social media strategy in advance to promote events and promotions is crucial to a successful social media marketing campaign. But it can be tough to start as there are some questions that you'll need to address to make sure that you're reaching the right audience with the best content. We've compiled a list of questions that you should ask yourself when planning your social media marketing strategy.

 

1. What are you promoting?

Whether you have a new product launch, new location opening or holiday promotion, it's important to know the content that you'll be creating for your audience. Brainstorm different types of content that you'll be creating including video, photography, graphics, etc. It's also helpful to create a list of content topics that you can refer to when creating your weekly or monthly content calendar. Some examples would be: Client testimonials, photos of staff members, company blog posts, articles from other industry leaders, behind-the-scenes videos of your company, etc.

 

2. What are your goals?

It is incredibly important to understand your goals when planning a social media campaign. No matter the type of content that you'll create, it needs to be aligned with the goals of the campaign and brand. Want to boost sales for a new product or promote event attendance? It's important to be aware of how the path to achieving these goals would be very different. Determine the goals of your brand and create the social media content with those in mind.

 

3. Who is your target audience?

Many people assume that their target audience is "everyone", but this is more than likely untrue. Knowing and understanding the demographic of your target audience is vital to a successful social media campaign. It's important to think about the needs, interests and behavior of your potential customers and then plan your social media strategy accordingly. 

 

4. Are you creating different content for each social network?

Not all social media networks are created equal. Different platforms attract audiences of different ages and interests so content for each network should be slightly different. As you determine your target audience, you'll also discover the platforms that they frequent and can then determine how and when to post. Unsure of when to post to different networks? Read our blog for more information on that topic!

 

5. What has performed well before?

Analyzing social media activity is incredibly important, and there’s a reason that so many marketers choose to do it. Analytics help to understand the content and strategies that work or don't work. Using various tools, you can determine which posts perform best, what time of day you receive the most activity and which social media platforms are best for your brand. Using the date from your analytics will ultimately help you plan your future social media content to be more effective. Most platforms have their own analytic tools and there are also plenty of apps and software out to help make this easier. It's is very helpful to understand what your brand is doing right so you can continue to create the same type of content in the future.

Need help creating your social media marketing strategy? Send us an email to tell us about your brand's goals!

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