instagram

Instagram Stories Insights: What Metrics You Need to Know

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If you are using an Instagram business profile and want an easy way to track the data behind your Stories, a feature directly in the platform can help! Insights give users the ability to review analytics, optimize story posts, and increase your brand's visibility right in the platform! Find out how to take advantage of this valuable data below. 

View Insights from Your Instagram Stories

It's no secret that Instagram Stories have become an essential tool for brands to add authenticity to their content. With over 500 million people consuming Stories, it’s vital to know what's working and how your audience is reacting to those Stories.

First, tap the Insights icon on the top right of your Instagram business profile. Scroll down to the Stories section and you'll be able to see data for older stories or from ones that have not yet expired. Insights from your Stories will be available for up to 14 days after they're published. Next, we'll dive into each metric you can explore. 

Impressions & Reach

Impressions represent how many times your Story has been seen. Keep in mind that Instagram only counts your entire Story having received one impression even if you have multiple photos or videos added. Reach tells you how many unique users saw your Story on any given day. A good indicator that your Story is performing well is a high impressions-to-reach ratio.

Taps Forward & Taps Back

Taps Forward indicate the number of times someone taps to skip to the next piece of Stories content. This can represent that either your content (video) is too lengthy or the content isn't engaging. Taps Backward indicate the number of times your audience taps to go back to a piece of Stories content. This may be a reflection that your media was engaging enough for someone to view again or maybe they missed a CTA.

Replies

The Replies metric reflects the number of times your audience sends messages through the "Send Message" text box on your Story. These direct messages are associated with your Story and hang out in your direct message inbox, making it a great time to engage with users.

Next Story & Exits

Next Story indicates the number of times a user swipes to skip to the next account's Story, not to be confused with 'taps forward' which skips to the next piece of your content. Exits represent the number of times someone leaves the Stories section entirely to return to their feed. This means a user has decided not to make it all the way through your Story. 


Have questions about setting up a Business Page on Instagram? Shoot us an 
email! We're here to help!

3 Ways to Use Instagram Stories for Your Business

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Use Links in Stories to Increase Website Traffic

As marketers, links can provide value and context to a story that can benefit you and the viewer. Fortunately, Instagram allows users to embed links to a Stories collection (if you have a business profile with over 10,000 followers). 

If you're promoting products or services, Instagram Stories is a great place to share clickable links to capitalize on the engagement. You can send your followers to a specific landing page, product page, or even a blog post. Make sure to add a call-to-action letting people know to swipe up to drive more traffic to your website.

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Use Polls in Instagram Stories

Instagram Story Polls lets you ask a question and see results from your friends and followers as they vote. The buttons "YES" and "NO" by default, can be customized to anything under 22 to create a fun way to engage with your followers. Maybe you're introducing a new summer line and want quick feedback. With Polls, you can collect insight into what your target audience wants in a product or service prior to launch. You can see your poll results by swiping up to open the viewer's list for that part of your story. And just like Stories, your poll will dissapear after 24 hours.

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Share Live Videos on Instagram Stories

Before a recent update, live videos couldn't be replayed after you were done streaming, meaning followers had to be tuned in to your broadcast to catch it. Now, you can share the replay of your video one you've finished. 

The best part of a live video? They can be as long as they want so you can say even more to get your message across without having to explain it in 10-second clips. It's a great way to give your followers a first look at special events, promotions, or any other important information. Going live alerts your followers so that engagement and interaction are as high as possible. This is a great time to answer questions and comments about your brand, product, or services from users tuning in. 

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Optimize Your Instagram Posts With Insights

SOLAR ENERGY
SOLAR ENERGY

If you are using the new Instagram business profile, reviewing analytics can help you optimize your posts to increase your brand's visibility on user's feeds. With this quick guide, you'll get a better understanding of Insights and the metrics behind it.

The Break Down

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IMG_4289

First, tap the Insights icon on the top right of your Instagram business profile. Here, you can find out what the new tools show you and the metrics that are important for any business.

Know When Your Followers Are Online

Want to know the best time to post content for the most engagement? Scroll down to the bottom of the Insights page, and tap See More in the Followers section. You can switch between views to show the most popular day and hours of the week that your audience is most active.

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followersinsight

Demographics

View the age and the gender of people who viewed your choice. You can separate these demographics by location (cities/countries) to find out where your audience is from.

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IMG_4291

Engagement

Business profile users can break down how many users interacted with a post by day, by week, and by month. You can choose the chart to show you Impressions, Reach, Likes, Comments, etc.

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IMG_4290

Follower Activity

At the top of the Insights page, you can swipe left to see important characteristics about the activity your followers.

  • Total Impressions - This will show you the total number of times all of your posts have been seen within a certain time frame.
  • Reach - Based on the time frame you set, you can see the number of unique accounts that have seen any of your posts.
  • Profile Views - Find out the number of times someone has viewed your profile.
  • Website Clicks - Your website is in your profile for a reason. Check to see how many people clicked your website link.

For users that are using Instagram business pages, Insights is an easy and extremely accessible way for people to view analytics and see how they can optimize their posting strategy.

Have questions about setting up a business page? Shoot us an email! We're here to help!

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Choosing The Best Social Network For Your Business

Bedtime (3)
Bedtime (3)

Is your business social-ready? We all know that social media can impact business growth, but how do we know which platform will perform best with our marketing strategy?

Not only is social media an incredibly effective tool to connect your business with potential consumers, it's cost-effective and a great way to bolster your presence online.

If you're a business owner and new to social media, here are a few things you want to ask yourself to help determine which network to choose for your marketing efforts.

What is Your Objective?

Choosing which social network to use depends on what goals you're trying to accomplish. Do you want to spread the news about your business? Are you selling a product? Promoting an event? These are some questions you want to answer to make it easier to separate each platform.

Who is Your Audience?

People hang out on various social media networks for many different reasons. It's important to know which social media channels your target audience are using. This way, you can invest your resources more wisely and possibly reach a target audience with relatively smaller platforms, which can be cheaper and less time consuming.

SMTarget
SMTarget

An effective way to do this is to research your competitor's audience and look at where they invest their resources online. What channels are they on? Which platform are they getting the most engagement? Another example is to ask them yourself. Send out an email to your customers and ask them where they spend most of their time on social media.

Which Social Media Network Makes The Most Sense For my Business?

When you've accurately answered these questions, it's on to the fun part. Here is a small guideline to a few of the most popular networks.

Facebook

The most popular network with the largest amount of active users (1.15 billion at that). If you want to reach a broad and diverse demographic, Facebook is a must. You'll need to set up a business page to begin acclimating yourself with different tools and strategies for Facebook marketing success. This will give you the ability to create ads, events, and content for your target audience.

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monthly-active-users-640x500

Image from Kissmetrics.

Twitter

People come to Twitter to discover what's happening in the world right now. It's is one of the best platforms to share content instantly and to connect with people and businesses across a broad spectrum. Twitter makes it easy to discover conversations related to your business, helping you build meaningful connections with new and existing customers.

Instagram

For a younger, trendier audience, Instagram offers a way to reach this demographic with a visually appealing design. It's best used for high-end products or services, food/lifestyle/fashion themes, and for popular personalities.

LinkedIn/Google+

These two networks are extremely useful for businesses (especially B2B service providers). Both have more of a 'professional' focus on content and design. On LinkedIn, your network of connections (employees and contacts) is the most important content. There's nowhere better for a company seeking clients and individuals seeking employment. For Google+, keywords and search engine optimization are central to its appeal to businesses. It's a bit more formal and professional than Facebook, but both share some similarities.

Conclusion

Now's the time to show off your goods online. No matter the business, social media needs to be a priority in any marketing strategy because of its multi-purpose use and ability to reach a target audience pertinent to your business. If you're having trouble deciding on which platform to use, try experimenting with all of them. It can't hurt to familiarize yourself with each network to help you choose the best option for maximum benefits.

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What People are Missing From the Change to Instagram

RULE (1)
RULE (1)

Sometimes it's the little things that matter most.

That's what Instagram wants users to believe after their recent makeover of the social media platform. After years with the original camera lens, brown-cased, 'Insta' logo'd icon, Instagram finally changed it with a new color gradient and glyph-style icon. The UI colors were also tweaked to emphasize more white space; a more modern design palette for high-quality photos.

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newinsta
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newIG

All of this is nice and visually appealing (to some of us) but in this case, it's the BIGGER things under the hood that should matter most to users, especially for brands and influencers.

This past March, Instagram announced that eventually users feeds would no longer display images chronologically, but rather move towards a Facebook algorithm model. It would be a change to where people would see images that Instagram thinks they would like most according to whom they follow and their usage tendencies. So who does this effect the most?

With the old model, brands and influencers relied on posts to reach their millions of followers immediately. Instead, with the new algorithm, these images will potentially miss a huge chunk of people that these posts aren't 'boosted' or 'paid' for (like on Facebook.) While the new design and algorithm change can be justified as a coincidence, Joseph Steinberg, CEO of SecureMySocial contacted Gil Eyal, CEO of influencer database and tracking firm, HYPR. 

"Back in March, Instagram's CEO, Kevin Systrom, promised to take it slow and not make any unannounced changes. But the version released this week, along with an announcement about a new icon, diverted the attention from the real issue. As one of our team members, Connor Gallic, noticed shortly after installing the new version of the app, Instagram is testing out the feed on select users in the US".

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instagram-algorithm-response

Eyal went on to offer some advice to the new changes: "Look at your recent posts and see which have gotten the highest levels of engagement. These posts are the ones that are likely to perform best when measured by Instagram's new algorithm. You want to make sure you identify the characteristics of these successful posts, so that Instagram recognizes your content and decides to promote it".

As with any change, usually comes an upside. It's been stated that people miss on average 70 percent on their feeds because of the sheer amount of content (and clutter) being shared on the platform. Now, as the focus moves towards optimizing the order people see particular moments, it can create a cleaner, more targeted experience for users.

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seventeen

Although the changes to the current chronological order may reduce the amount of likes and engagement, brands and influencers will be forced to create and post higher quality content. We have no choice but to be out with the old, in with the new.

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Instagram and Snapchat are Fueling Video Content

TROPICAL
TROPICAL

Video content is no longer 'the next best thing'--- it's the now. Remember when search engine king, Google, bought YouTube, the most popular video-sharing website? A decade later, hundreds of millions of hours of video are being watched by users daily and by 2018, it's projected that 69% of total Internet traffic will be video.

Not only is video becoming the preferred media content by consumers, but popular social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are also prioritizing videos over the original still images. In recent updates, Instagram rolled out 60-second video capturing capabilities, 4 times longer than the original time limit. Similarly, Snapchat has affirmed their infatuation with videos when they launched a campaign aimed at brands to 'go vertical with their video.'

Moving forward, it is likely that Youtube remains the superior video content sharing platform because of the sheer mass of users, but there are advantages that give Instagram and Snapchat a dog in the fight.

Demographics

As mentioned previously, there are more popular platforms out there, but Instagram and Snapchat have cozy spots within the trend-setting, younger generation. Since these platforms are geared towards the younger demographic, changes are introduced more easily in comparison to the older Facebook demographic that dislike constant changes.

Instagram Demos
Instagram Demos
  • Snapchat continues to roll out new features that cater to their demographic. From shopping to filters, women under the age of 25 are some of their main targets. Knowing this, your content should replicate content that works for this demographic.
Snap Demo
Snap Demo

Mobile Accessibility

A college professor of mine once used to call cell phones 'crack,' because of what it was; addicting and accessible. Both Instagram and Snapchat are predominately used on mobile devices. With mobile use favored by the greater population, videos are easily created on both platforms and can be instantly uploaded and consumed.

Additionally, you can expect company's to continue advertising through videos. This year, Instagram is expected to earn $1.30 billion in the US ($1.53 billion worldwide) in ad revenue. To put video consumption into perspective, on YouTube mobile, the average video viewing session is now more than 40 minutes at a time.

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IMG_3544.PNG

The Realness Factor

Videos capture and invoke immediacy and realtime moments. Consumers are watching more videos that are relevant to their lives and are in-the-moment from their favorite accounts. Instagram for example, extended their video time length from 15 seconds to 60 seconds for longer, more diverse stories from users. For Snapchat, 'stories' including live video content have become increasingly popular as users become more aware of the importance of video.

Conclusion

The great thing about Instagram and Snapchat is their tremendous growth rate and continuous efforts to change the way we use and view video. Here at Social Ape Marketing, we hope to utilize video in the near future to create unique content for our appropriate clients.

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How Brands Use Celebrity Endorsements on Social Media

HOW BRANDS USE CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS
HOW BRANDS USE CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS

Brands are taking advantage of existing fan bases and connections, using celebrities and athletes as a channel between products and consumers. Imagine a celebrity with millions of followers on Twitter and Instagram supporting your business' social media campaign. Those are huge numbers, and with simple endorsements like a tweet and a photo, brands can build its exposure and credibility almost drastically.

As digital marketing strategies continue to evolve, pairing brands with influencers through social media is becoming a lynch-pin for a potential sales boost. Products are not only targeting celebrities and athletes, but YouTube influencers with large audiences as well, using their following to connect with a specific audience that they've built.

Social Media Celebrities The first big step for this digital marketing strategy is finding the right match to endorse your brand socially. Social media provides a sense of 'realness' to celebrities, making these endorsements much more powerful. Consumers need to feel that the celebrity is an actual customer of the product and that their promotion of it is genuine.

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calvinK 2

Be-Lieber-or-Not, Calvin Klein was able to bank in on Justin Bieber's fame with their spring underwear collection. The 2014 campaign introduced several half-naked photos of Justin and model Lara Stone in CK products, including the #MyCalvins slogan. Within 48 hours the hashtag generated 1.6 million Twitter mentions. The popular hashtag spread like a wildfire, prompting Instagram 'influencers' to create their own collection of #MyCalvins selfies. In the first four months, the #MyCalvins saw more than 4.5 million fan interactions, making it Calvin Klein's most successful digital campaign ever.

In an interview with WWD, Melisa Goldie, Calvin Klein Inc. chief marketing officer said:

“The goal is always to sell product, but to be a relevant brand means that everyone needs to be talking about you and there has to be a conversation. Relevance is the driver of commerce. Sales are 100 percent as important as is driving a relevant conversation.”

This quote reiterates the importance of brand awareness and exposure through social media. Whether it's through a high-profile celebrity or self-created content, user engagement is a driver of sales.

Social Media 'Influencers'

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pewdiepie

If you haven't heard of YouTube sensation PewDiePie (pronounced pew-dee-pie,) you soon will. Felix Kjellberg is a Swedish web-based comedian and producer, best known for his vlogs and gaming entertainment.

As of February 2016, PewDiePie has 42 million YouTube subscribers and 11 billion total video views. Not only is he a huge part of YouTube's billions of monthly views, but his staggering numbers make him a prime target for brands, specifically in the gaming industry.

In 2013, PewDiePie partnered with Polaris, a gaming network that showcases popular vloggers and gaming entertainers. According to this article, he earned a CPM (cost per thousand views) of between $0.50 and $2.50 for each video, after the cut Polaris received. Although his list of endorsements and appearances are at a minimal, brands will still likely continue throwing cash at PewDiePie and YouTube to advertise commercials through his video posts and endorse their products just from the sheer popularity of his work.

The success of the YouTube star garnered enough attention that The Walt Disney Company bought out Maker Studios (who own Polaris,) for $500 million with another $450 million in possible incentives. Maker Studios distributes video game-related content from the likes of PewDiePie and other big named vloggers.

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disneymaker

By all means, social media endorsements by celebrities and influencers isn't a new strategy in the digital era, but pairing a popular figure with a product is a no-brainer. Celebrities and influencers come pre-loaded with millions of followers and connections to use at a brands expense. That is what I call a recipe for success. Beliebe me. 

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5 Ways to Gain Instagram Followers

5 ways to gain instagram followers (1)
5 ways to gain instagram followers (1)

Social media is widespread and we all know how much we love gaining followers and getting likes on that photo we just posted. But how do we attract the massive community of real 'Instagrammers' that can actually help your business or brand grow?

Here are a few tips to help grow your audience and following by utilizing Instagram as a promotional tool for your brand.

1. Have A Specific Appeal If you're not already a major player in the business world, it may be difficult to gain that first initial following. Well known brands don't need that 'niche' because they are already a recognized icon, which in turn automatically sets a trend of followers. Consumers value visuals and Instagram is a great way to market your brand. Users browsing Instagram in their leisure time want to see unique accounts that are clean and visually enticing. Although 'likes' may not always bring them back to your page, it's still good to know that your post was alluring enough for any type of engagement.

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Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 12.15.18 PM

2. Comment and Engage With Other Users Expose your name and handle with a simple comment on other IG user pages. This strategy can create increased engagement on your page, and show people that you actually care about theirs.

3. Use The Right Hashtags Hashtags are an important factor in gaining Instagram views, but doesn't guarantee users to come back to your page. Try to avoid overused hashtags when posting your photo unless you want to challenge the millions of others using it for exposure. Instead create unique, fun hashtags that stick with users and may even influence them to use as well.

4. Tag a Friend A fun, quick way to create exposure is to post a photo and ask your followers to tag a friend. This is an instant attention grabber and also a tool to increase your followers. Post an enjoyable photo that you think friends can relate to like this page did.

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Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 8.23.20 AM

5. Be a Good Shot A well taken photo may speak a thousand words, but a bad shot may keep users away from your page. Be sure to take your time when taking photos, even if it's with your mobile device. Edit your shots to fit the Instagram size parameters(1080px) for the smoothest outcome. Use filters and the other editing tools to be creative in your theme. 

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IMG_3166

I hope these tips can help your already blooming Instagram following reach the next level. Don't forget that your engagement in other user's pages, even a simple comment, can greatly help expose your own Instagram page. Be wise in your hashtag use to be as unique as possible. Have fun with your posts but diligent with the quality. #'TilNextTime

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6 Inspiring Brands on Social Media

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 2.27.18 PM

Finding your company's place in the realm of social media can sometimes seem impossible. With technology advancing within the time it takes to blink your eye, the key to staying up with the cool trends is to be inspired by the other successful brands trying new things and helping fun tidbits you find to create something unique to your brand! This week we decided it would be a cool to show you a few different brands to keep an eye on when that moment comes and you need a little inspirational push.

1) LOFT

Loft uses creative ways of using stop motion animation when advertising their adorable and affordable clothing. We've had our eye on their social media when we need inspiration for stop motion animation. There are plenty go free apps you can use to create these stop motion videos and all you'll need is your product, props, and decent lighting to make it happen. We use Stop Motion available in the Apple app store to make our stop motion videos.

loft 2
loft 2

2) WENDY'S

We have to be honest when I say we're normally McDonald's people, but on social media Wendy's has stolen our hearts with their witty humor. They've recently created and successfully executed a campaign called #AskEileen that has taken the Twitter world by storm. The backstory behind #AskEileen consists of a grandson asking Wendy's if his grandmother, being a die hard lover of Wendy's, could take over the Wendy's Twitter account for her 99th birthday. When Wendy's said Yes to this comical endeavor, it went viral and #AskEileen became a slogan that Wendy's lovers won't forget! The whole day of 1/10 was documented on Twitter via Periscope and photos of Eileen's birthday surrounded around Wendy's. With this long winded story in mind, think outside the box when coming up with campaigns to promote your business. This doesn't have to mean executing a  Twitter takeover from a 99 year old woman, but it could be something different that would encourage other followers to follow along.  (To read more about #AskEileen, click HERE)

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 9.57.46 AM

3) CHARMIN

Although their slogan is Charmin Ultra, Less is More  (We all know you sang that in your head), their Twitter account has more laughs and ironic humor than most. Charming is sure to use relevant topics in the news to promote their business in a humorous way. By using puns and relevant material related to toilet paper, they incorporate the trending hashtags into their daily content. Create a fun graphic or comical Twitter poll to get users involved with your brand during a time when everyone has an opinion.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.19.22 AM
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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.19.30 AM

4) DOVE

If there's one brand that knows how to effectively tap into their audience, it's Dove. Although they sell products to men AND women, they're conscious to use a feminine voice when delivering their message via social media. Dove is aware that the majority of their consumer base is women; therefore, their social media presence is heavily geared towards women. Take a tip from Dove's rule book and get to know your audience. Post with them in mind rather than posting to just acquire likes.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.46.19 AM

5) CHOBANI

You know your brand more than anyone else does. Think outside the box on how consumers view and use your brand. This is what Chobani did by posting different ways to use their yogurt products beyond just eating it with a spoon and granola. This approach inspires their consumers to try their product in a new way. (We even tried greek yogurt on chili the other night... and it was delicious). Don't miss out on the opportunity to reinvent your brand on social media by showing it in a new way that your followers may not be used to.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.12.09 AM
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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.12.25 AM

6) NIKELAB

If you love the clean look that is so popular right now on social media, we suggest being inspired by the NikeLab account on Instagram. They deliver their branding in a clean way while still being bada**. Perhaps you could attempt to create your own version of this look by using color blocking with your brand colors and specific product placement or even using only black and white products.

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.28.38 AM

We hope that this blogpost has inspired you to innovate your social media accounts using unique content! Share your inspiration with us by tagging us at @SocialApeMKTG on Twitter!

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WeLoveCLT Takeover

Blog 11:4
Blog 11:4

Social Ape had the awesome opportunity to “take over” the WeLoveCLT Instagram account this past Monday. @WeLoveCLT is solely a takeover account that allows local businesses in Charlotte to showcase their company culture as well as show what it’s like behind-the-scenes on a daily basis at their company. It was such a blast showing the 12K followers of the @WeLoveCLT account what we do at Social Ape Marketing!

Our day started off in a meeting with SHARE Charlotte and Google Fiber to discuss the upcoming #GivingTuesdayCLT campaign. Google Fiber is a Presenting Sponsor of this year’s campaign and we’re thrilled to have them on board!

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 1.44.09 PM

After the #GivingTuesdayCLT meeting, we ventured back to the office and were very excited to share the adorable North Carolina state cutting boards we received in the mail. These boards will be put in referral baskets to show special thanks to our friends that send us business!

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 1.49.53 PM

Next, we made our way to Rhino Market, a local favorite of ours (and super close to the office) for a grilled cheese and vegetable soup. If you were wondering, that is pumpernickel toast, not burnt bread! It was super delicious. :)

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 1.52.45 PM

After lunch we made a pit stop on the way back to work to take a few photos of the Panthers Bank of America stadium for our client Dick Stevens Jerky Mix. Even though it was raining, we were able to get a great shot and hosted a fun Facebook contest that evening on the Dick Stevens Facebook page.

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 1.55.21 PM

Along with taking photos for our clients, we also worked on a Stop Animation video for Dick Stevens as well. It was hard to not eat all of the moving parts consisting of jerky, nuts, and berries but we were actually able to record the video afterall.  ;)

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 1.57.00 PM

What better way to end the day than at the Panthers game? We were pretty excited to see 383 likes on our gameday photo. Rain or shine, we love our Carolina Panthers!

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 1.59.26 PM

It was such a fun experience showing everyone how much fun we have on a daily basis at Social Ape! If you are interested in taking over the WeLoveCLT Instagram account, follow @WeLoveCLT and the instructions to take over are in the bio!

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