Appiness.io blog

05 Oct 2017
by Admin

When is the Best Time to Send an Email Marketing Campaign [Infographic]

Have you considered the relevance of timing when sending out your e-mail marketing campaigns?

With more and more people consuming information on the go, the timing of your e-mail outreach should be a key consideration – which is especially relevant as we head into the holiday season.

To help with this, SendinBlue recently conducted a survey of the six industries which most commonly use email marketing campaigns and determined when marketers should be sending emails in order to maximize customer engagement.

Their full findings are included in the infographic below, but the key takeaways include:

  • Over 85% of marketing emails are opened on weekdays
  • Overall 24% of emails were clicked between 4pm-6pm, however, 32% of emails sent by B2B companies were clicked late in the evening around 10pm
  • It’s best to send an email during the middle of the week, between Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Email engagement rates are most effective during the mid-morning at 10am, or mid-afternoon around 2pm

Check out the full infographic for more insights. 

When is the Best Time to Send an Email Marketing Campaign [Infographic] | Social Media Today 

05 Oct 2017
by Admin

Snap Inc.’s Sold 150,000 Pairs of Spectacles, Looking to Bring Snapchat to PCs

Despite Snap Inc.’s ‘Spectacles’ generating a lot of hype – due, in no small part, to their creative marketing tactics – Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has this week announced that they’ve only sold around 150,000 pairs of the camera-enabled glasses.

Snap Inc.’s Sold 150,000 Pairs of Spectacles, Looking to Bring Snapchat to PCs | Social Media TodayThat’s still a lot, of course, but when we’re talking about an app that has more than 173 million people logging on every day, it’s only a very small fraction of their potential market.

Spiegel made the announcement at the Vanity Fair Establishment Summit, where he also discussed the company’s future, and their decision to go public – which, despite seeing declines since the shares debuted, Spiegel believes was still the right move.

The company’s in an interesting place right now.

On one hand, they’re up against it, with Facebook looking to press their advantage and limit Snapchat’s growth at every turn. And for the most part, it does seem like Facebook is succeeding – Snapchat’s growth numbers have slowed significantly since the introduction of Instagram Stories, while more and more reports suggest that platform influencers are switching from Snap to Instagram, due to increased reach and opportunity.  

Snap Inc.’s Sold 150,000 Pairs of Spectacles, Looking to Bring Snapchat to PCs | Social Media Today

Image via Recode (Snap is now at 173m)

On the other, Snap does have some interesting projects in the works.

Speculation about ‘Spectacles v2.0’ has been floating around for months, with many (including myself) reporting that Snap’s likely looking to introduce an augmented reality overlay element, which would enable users to see what they can through their Snapchat camera via their Spectacles.

There are various hints towards this – back in May, Mashable located a patent which Snap had lodged for an AR-enabled device that would enable the user to overlay the real world with virtual objects – like a giant t-rex.

Snap Inc.’s Sold 150,000 Pairs of Spectacles, Looking to Bring Snapchat to PCs | Social Media TodaySnap’s also been looking to develop new ad products which would align with this AR-view approach, while they also purchased a development lab in China late last year. Having a dev lab in China, where Spectacles are made, might enable them to keep their plans more under wraps – in fact, TechCrunch reported in June that few of Snap’s 1,800 staff are aware of the details of Spectacles’ development, though they are sure a new version is coming.

AR-enabled spectacles would be a huge step – and really, when you look at Snap’s latest additions like World Lenses and their latest Snap Art project, it’s clear to see that the app’s functionality is gearing towards this next wearable phase.

Snap Inc.’s Sold 150,000 Pairs of Spectacles, Looking to Bring Snapchat to PCs | Social Media Today

Snap’s virtual art installations are now viewable in various locations

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted back in April that high-quality AR-enabled glasses were still 5-7 years away from being a reality, but maybe, Snap can move faster than that – and given they’ve already delivered a popular wearable product, they may be better placed to deliver than other providers.

Relevant note: Before consumer sentiment for Google Glass tailed off, it was projected to become an $11 billion market. With Facebook eating away their audience, that level of alternative opportunity would be tough to ignore.

In addition to this, Snap Inc. has also been working with both Apple and Google on smaller projects, which seem fairly minor, but the fact that they’re working together at all could point to something more.

Apple recently used Snapchat Lenses to showcase the power of their new iPhone X, while Google is working with Snap on both a new educational initiative, and more interestingly, on bringing Snapchat to the new Pixelbook.

That’s right, Snapchat’s coming to PC – as reported by Engadget:

“Snapchat for the Pixelbook will be optimized for the laptop’s 12.3-inch quad HD display, so you won’t have to squint to see a tiny rectangle on your screen. 

That could mean that there’ll be a version of Snapchat available on desktop PCs.

Will that matter? Maybe not – but it could give the app opportunities to create more immersive experiences, and broaden their market reach by connecting with users in new ways.

And again, it’s interesting to note the partnership. There’s a reason why both Google and Apple are looking to work with Speigel and Co. There may be more to those partnerships than it seems.

We’ll learn more about how the company is placed soon, when Snap announces its Q3 numbers, but it is interesting to note the various developments and projects, and to speculate what they could mean.

Facebook seems to be slowly squeezing the life out of Snap, but I wouldn’t count it out just yet. 

05 Oct 2017
by Admin

The 7-Step Guide to Creating Irresistible YouTube Video Thumbnails

It’s weird when you think of it now, but in the early days of YouTube, the option to upload a custom thumbnail didn’t exist. And even when they were introduced, implementing one was not widely seen as crucial to the success of a video. But now, with 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every single minute, an effective thumbnail can be the difference between your content’s success or failure.

In this post, I’ll explain the seven steps you need to create compelling YouTube video thumbnails, which will help deliver increased viewership, engagement, and subscribers

But before we get to that, some context:

Why Compelling YouTube Thumbnails Are So Important

The 7-Step Guide to Creating Irresistible YouTube Video Thumbnails | Social Media Today

Along with a title, your video thumbnail will usually be the first thing people see when they come across your video on YouTube, either in search or in other areas of the site (where it might be offered up for suggestion). A thumbnail acts as a miniature marketing poster, and an effective thumbnail draws a viewer’s eye to your content and compels them to click through to watch. You’ve got a split-second to do it, or they’ll move on to something else.

In Youtube’s own words, thumbnails require an “art director’s eye for branding and shouldn’t be an afterthought.” Thumbnails and titles work together as an important part of your video’s metadata, and help build anticipation of your content, while accurately representing what it’s all about.

What it boils down to is this: When your title and thumbnail encourages a viewer to click through and watch a video – especially if they watch all of it – that tells YouTube that your content is delivering on what it promises. The longer people watch your videos, the more likely YouTube will surface your content versus that of the competition. If they immediately click away – because your title and thumbnail are misleading, then you’ll see the opposite.

90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube use custom thumbnails, so designing and uploading one that will maximize the impact of your video is crucial.

Here are some tips to help you do just that:

1. Have an idea before you shoot

As obvious as it is that you’ll plan the sequence, shots, script, etc. of a video before you shoot it, make the potential thumbnail a part of that process, too.

Think about what the thumbnail might be before you hit record and, if it’s pertinent, look for and grab that shot (video screenshot or still photo) – or a few potential options – during filming.

If the content of your video isn’t naturally visually compelling (meaning that you can’t get that perfect thumbnail shot), a visually dynamic thumbnail, perhaps even posed, can be the key to getting people to click and watch.

2. Consider how your thumbnail will look at different sizes

The 7-Step Guide to Creating Irresistible YouTube Video Thumbnails | Social Media Today

Thumbnails show up in different sizes and formats all across YouTube and outside of the platform, and on different devices, so it’s important that your thumbnail looks good whether it is big or small.

One easy way to test this before you upload is to zoom in and out of your thumbnail after you’ve finished putting it together. Does it appear to pop off the page whether it’s large or small, on desktop and on mobile?

By the way, when you create your thumbnails, YouTube recommends a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The file size needs to be under 2MB.

3. Use visually compelling imagery

The 7-Step Guide to Creating Irresistible YouTube Video Thumbnails | Social Media Today

As I mentioned in the introduction, you only have a split-second to help a viewer decide whether to watch your video or not, and your thumbnail will play a big part in that decision.

Thumbnails that consist of visually compelling imagery, that are well-framed and have good competition, are always going to stand you in good stead.

In addition, think about how you’ll incorporate color and branding (hues that contrast against the white of YouTube’s background work well) and what emotion you want to illicit in people to encourage them to click (happiness, curiosity, anger, etc). Where the latter is concerned, featuring a close-up face is a good way to tease the mood of a video.

The 7-Step Guide to Creating Irresistible YouTube Video Thumbnails | Social Media Today

Thumbnails which use a text overlay are also popular. Think about how the composition of text, colors used, and font choice will engage viewers, and whether the expectation that the thumbnail generates matches what the video actually delivers.

Give viewers a sneak preview without being click-baity.

4. Ensure your thumbnail stands out against others

The 7-Step Guide to Creating Irresistible YouTube Video Thumbnails | Social Media Today

From a branding standpoint, this one’s really important – if the thumbnails of your competitors jump off the page more than yours when they’re returned in search, those videos are going to be watched more.

Here’s where a quick spy on the competition will come in handy – perform a search on YouTube for specific videos or channels similar to the topic of those that you plan to film, study the existing thumbnails, and think about how you can build yours to get noticed when yours competes directly.

The examples above, believe it not, were the first results to appear when I searched “lift weights to lose weight.” There’s a real mixed bag of thumbnails there, and I’d say none of them really hit it out of the park.

Depending on the topic and niche of your videos, there’s ample opportunity to convincingly outdo existing competitors in the thumbnail game; to make your video the must-click content in search results.

5. Consistent thumbnails can boost branding and views

The 7-Step Guide to Creating Irresistible YouTube Video Thumbnails | Social Media Today

While the main imagery of each video thumbnail should be able to stand alone, consistency can also help in building brand awareness and helping viewers viewers to identify your videos within search, recommendations, or their subscription feeds.

If necessary, go back and update old videos with new, refreshed thumbnails. As well as delivering a consistent look and feel to your channel, you may also help to boost views on older content – the new thumbnail making it a more attractive proposition, especially to uploads from an era where high-quality thumbnails weren’t an important consideration for creators.

6. Pair great thumbnails with catchy video titles

The 7-Step Guide to Creating Irresistible YouTube Video Thumbnails | Social Media Today

As much as this post is about making compelling thumbnail images, I can’t neglect to stress how important it is to pair your thumbnail with a catchy, accurate title – not misleading or clickbaity.

Like thumbnails, the best titles accurately represent the content, but they can also be creative and tease what viewers will see if they click.

YouTube recommends that you keep titles concise (60 characters), with the most important information up front, and to double-check that your titles don’t get cut off in suggested videos, search results and mobile.

7. Use YouTube Analytics to see monitor performance

The 7-Step Guide to Creating Irresistible YouTube Video Thumbnails | Social Media Today

image credit: MWP Media

The Audience Retention report within YouTube Analytics can help reveal if your thumbnails and titles are delivering on expectation, by showing you if viewers watch your videos the whole way through or click off soon after they begin playing.

High audience retention means that you’re doing a good job – your titles and thumbnails accurately represent the content and viewers are happy – whereas poor results mean that you should consider re-jigging titles and thumbnails to see if you can improve viewer retention.

If your thumbnails and titles are really way off the mark, viewers might even voice their displeasure in the video comments!

As well as A/B testing thumbnails on YouTube over time, another method to discover which thumbnails most resonate with your audience is to promote the video with Facebook ads.

Use at least two different thumbnails with an element in each changed, and see which performs best.

Over to you

How much do you think about YouTube thumbnails and the impact they’ll have on your videos’ attractiveness and the chances of it being watched? Will you be putting any of the tips above into practice?

This post was first published on Andrew Macarthy’s blog.

05 Oct 2017
by Admin

Top Influencers are Using Snapchat 33% Less, According to New Study [Infographic]

There have been various reports of how social media influencers are abandoning Snapchat in favor of Instagram. And to a large degree, that makes sense – Instagram Stories now has 250 million users, compared to Snapchat’s 173 million daily actives, while Instagram also now has more than 800 million users overall, expanding the audience potential.

Add to that the consideration that users will also soon be able to cross-post their Instagram Stories to Facebook direct (Facebook have now confirmed this is being rolled out), and it’s fairly clear to see – if you want to reach more people (which means more dollars), you use Instagram.

But more than that, Instagram also makes the influencer marketing process easier to track, with better data and reporting tools, and improved ad products. Snapchat’s never made catering to influencers a priority, and while they have shifted their approach somewhat of late, their decision to not support influencers could come back to hurt them – especially if more and more of these users re-direct their large followings across to the Facebook-owned app.

To provide some additional context on this, MediaKix has been tracking the Snapchat and Instagram Stories usage of some of the top influencers. Their findings show that influencers are now using Snapchat 33% less – the infographic below provides an overview of their latest research update.

Top Influencers Using Snapchat 33% Less, According to New Study [Infographic] | Social Media Today

05 Oct 2017
by Admin

LinkedIn Adds New ‘Talent Insights’ to Help Employers Improve Hiring and Recruitment Efforts

Following Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn, one of the key areas where you can expect to see LinkedIn improve is in data utilization.

LinkedIn, which now has more than 500 million members, has an unmatched database – they have the professional and educational histories of (almost) all of those members. That sets LinkedIn apart from other networks – while Facebook’s also trying to muscle in on LinkedIn’s turf by introducing job listings on Pages, LinkedIn’s data gives them a big advantage.

The latest development on this front is LinkedIn’s new ‘Talent Insights‘, which, as described by TechCrunch, is:

“…a self-service, big data analytics product that will let recruiters make deeper queries into statistics for hiring and employment, based on LinkedIn data.”

There are two elements to the new offering, which is being launched in beta today.

The first will enable recruiters to get more data on positions they’re looking to fill – as you can see here, when you search for a job title (along with qualifying parameters for the specific skills you need), Talent Insights will provide you with a range of stats, including where people fitting this description live, which schools are producing these employees and how such candidates are engaging with your company on LinkedIn, helping to improve focus.

The information will enable recruiters to hone in their search and refine their targeting approach, helping to boost appeal to the right people for the required position.

The second element of Talent Insights looks at similar insights for your own company, highlighting rising skills requirements, role breakdowns, growth charts and more.

Both will help enhance and improve the recruitment process, utilizing LinkedIn’s ever-expanding dataset to enable smarter hiring decisions and strategies.

LinkedIn’s been moving in this direction for some time. Back in 2015, LinkedIn launched improvements to their Recruiter tool which enable recruiters to find candidates by using their existing employee profiles as templates.

By utilizing their available data, LinkedIn’s been working to develop recruitment systems which work on more than gut feel, enabling employers to make smarter decisions based on statistical evidence – which LinkedIn is able to do because, as noted, they have such data available.

There are some questions, of course, over the validity of LinkedIn’s data – there’s no restrictions on what you can put on your LinkedIn profile (you could say you’re an astronaut and no one will stop you). But still, given the rising prevalence of companies using LinkedIn as a reference point in the hiring process, there’s an increased onus on users to be honest in their profile and provide accurate data.

With tools like these, and the added backing of Microsoft to get such initiatives off the ground, LinkedIn could become the essential platform for recruitment, the key destination which both employers and job seekers need to turn to in their process.

And given recruitment is still LinkedIn’s largest source of revenue, with some 11 million job listings on the site at any given time, it makes sense for LinkedIn to boost t

05 Oct 2017
by Admin

7 Tips for Using Emojis in Social Media Marketing

With 92% of the online population using emojis, it makes sense for marketers to get in on the action.

Emojis enable you to speak the same language as your customer base, and can make your social media posts much more noticeable. They also add a bit of fun to your marketing message and your brand.

And while you don’t have to go as wild as Chevrolet did with its emoji-only press release, you can find some fun and unique ways to communicate with emojis.

Here are some tips to help you get started with emojis.

1. Make Sure the Emoji Makes Sense

Emojis are meant to complement a message. That won’t happen if the emoji doesn’t make any sense.

Take this emoji campaign by Tampico, for instance.

No one really understood what Tampico meant – while they were trying to tap into the emoji trend, the messaging simply didn’t make sense.

Don’t make the same mistake with your campaign. You don’t want your fans and followers to be left scratching their heads, not sure what to think.

2. Don’t Make Light of Serious Situations

Emojis are fun, cool, and trendy – all things that student loans aren’t.

Student loans are potentially debilitating, and they’re anything but fun. That’s why it was such an epic fail when Hillary Clinton tweeted this:

Seriously?

Her followers didn’t take kindly to the tweet – many felt that she oversimplified the issue and was condescending.

Emojis should never be used to make light of something that’s extremely serious. Keep this in mind the next time you send out a message with an emoji.

3. Don’t Force It

Emojis should be an extension of your normal expressions, and as such, they should never feel forced.

Think of how you use emojis in regular text and social media conversations. You might wink when you’re teasing and smile when you’re happy about something. Then, of course, you have the emoji with the heart when you love someone or something.

Your emojis need to be just as natural when you use them for business purposes – if you can’t think of what emoji you need for a certain post, it doesn’t need one.

You shouldn’t have to put a lot of thought in it. It should be natural and automatic.

If emojis don’t feel natural to you, you need to start practicing. Start using them in your personal conversations and then let it spill over to your business posts.

4. Stick with Your Brand Messaging

Using emojis is a fun way to step out of the stuffy corporate box – but you don’t want to step so far outside of it that you can’t get back in when someone needs their taxes done or a new computer set up.

The emojis you choose should never cause you to depart from your brand’s messaging – that means if you run a financial services company, you should probably avoid the blowing kisses emoji. Stick with smiley faces, thumbs up, clapping, and emojis like that.

On the other hand, if you work in a more lighthearted setting, that type of emoji would be just fine.

Before you send out anything, think about your brand’s message and ask yourself if the emoji would detract from it or offend anyone in your target audience. If it works for your brand, go ahead and hit “Submit.”

5. Don’t Go Crazy

Using emojis is fun. In fact, it’s so much fun that some brands go crazy with it.

As a rule, you don’t want to use more than four emojis at a time. Otherwise, your audience could get a serious case of emoji overload.

6. Know What the Emojis Mean

There are so many emojis out there, so it’s normal to get a little confused – but you don’t want to accidentally send out the wrong type of emoji from your corporate account.

Do a little research before you hit “Send.” Emojipedia will give you the details on all of the emojis – just type the name of the emoji into the dictionary and learn the meaning.

Taking a moment to ensure you understand the context can save you from embarrassing emoji mishaps.

7. Create Your Own Emojis

Emojis make brands more fun and relatable, and you can take that fun to the next level by creating your own emojis.

There are lots of emoji makers out there, including Moji Maker.

Use a tool to create emojis that best represent your brand.

You can also use a tool to create emojis that are relevant to whatever is going on in the world – for example, imagine if you could have created your own custom emoji about the solar eclipse. That would have gotten some attention for sure.

How Will You Use Emojis in Your Social Media Campaigns?

Now that you have some tips, it’s time to hit the ground running. Think about the ways you will use emojis in your social media campaign, and then get started. You’ll be surprised by how fun and effective using emojis for social media marketing can be.

05 Oct 2017
by Admin

20 Effective Ways to Stop Boring Your Readers [Infographic]

Does your blog struggle to keep readers interested and coming back for more? Are you looking for ways to be a little less boring?

MyTasker shares 20 effective ways to stop boring your blog readers in the infographic below.

They emphasize the importance of readability – keep words, sentences and paragraphs short and free of fluff.

They also highlight the importance of images – our brains process visual information quicker than text giving you a better chance of engaging your readers.

Check out the full infographic for more info.

20 Effective Ways to Stop Boring Your Readers [Infographic] | Social Media Today

This post was first published on the Red Website Design Blog.

04 Oct 2017
by Admin

Instagram Adds Polls in Stories, New Creative Tools

Instagram’s adding a new method for conducting polls, with a sticker option that lets you pose a question within your Instagram Story and see the results from your followers as they participate.

Instagram Adds Polls in Stories, New Creative Tools | Social Media Today As explained by Instagram:

Whether you’re trying to plan tomorrow’s outfit, choosing which class to take or figuring out where to go for dinner, now it’s easy to share a two-option poll right in your story. After you’ve taken a photo or video for your story, select the “poll” sticker and place it anywhere you’d like — you can write out your own question and even customize the poll choices.”

Polls have proven a popular option on other platforms – Twitter introduced their native polls tool back in 2015, while on Facebook, you can create polls in Groups, events pages and on Messenger.

But more relevant for Facebook might be the recent use of polls within Facebook Live streams. As you’ve no doubt seen, many Pages have been creating polls in streams which use Reactions as a voting mechanism – something Facebook advises against.

Instagram Adds Polls in Stories, New Creative Tools | Social Media TodayBut those Live polls perform very well, so much so that Facebook has sought to add in new Live tools which enable publishers to create Live polls which don’t rely on Reactions as a voting tool. The addition of a similar option in Instagram is something of an acknowledgment of their popularity, adding in another interactive option to boost Stories engagement.

When you’re ready to view the results of your poll, you swipe up to open the viewers list for that part of your story.

“There you’ll see everything you need to get the best answer for your question. Not only will you see how many votes each option received, but you’ll also see who voted and what option they chose. That way, you’ll be able to compare votes from the friends and followers whose opinions you trust most. And just like your story, your poll and its results will disappear after 24 hours.”

From a marketing perspective, polls could be great for brands trying to make the most of Stories, giving them another way to gather audience feedback and generate response. The ability to narrow down your audience responses could also help businesses segment their audience and get a better understanding of specific preferences.

In addition polls, Instagram’s also adding in two new creative options for Stories.

The first is a new color picker tool which enables you to select any color from your image or video and use it in your text or drawing tools.

Instagram Adds Polls in Stories, New Creative Tools | Social Media TodayHow it works is, when you go to choose a color, you’ll see a new eyedropper icon at the far left (as shown at the bottom of screen above). Tap on the eyedropper and you’ll be able to select any part of the image to duplicate its tone, which Instagram will then apply in your own drawing/text.  

The other new tool (on iOS) is an alignment guide, which overlays your images with lines to help you center your content and/or avoid placing it anywhere that might get covered up when someone watches your story.

Instagram Adds Polls in Stories, New Creative Tools | Social Media Today

‘And when you rotate text or a sticker, new guides will also help you snap your sticker back to horizontal.’

Both are small updates, for sure, but they further add to the options available, making it easier to create more personalized, and better composed, Stories content – which could also prove especially helpful for brands (particularly if you have trouble matching your corporate colors).

Stories is now up to 250 million users, while Instagram more broadly is up to 800 million, and rising fast. If you’ve not considered how you might be able to use the platform to better connect with your audience, it may be worth investigating as you plan for 2018. 

Polls and the new creative tools are available as part of Instagram version 17 and above in Apple’s App Store and Google Play.

04 Oct 2017
by Admin

Instagram's Adding New Shopify Tags to Enable In-Stream Purchases

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything more on Instagram’s shopping tags, their coming eCommerce addition which would enable businesses to add information and price tags to products featured in their posts.

Instagram's Adding New Shopify Tags to Enable In-Stream Purchases | Social Media TodayThe tags themselves are still in development, but more businesses will soon have access to a version of the tool via an expanded integration with Shopify, which is being rolled out ahead of the holiday season.

Instagram's Adding New Shopify Tags to Enable In-Stream Purchases | Social Media TodayAs explained by Shopify:

“In this new rollout, merchants selected by Instagram and Shopify will be able to start tagging their posts with products in Instagram’s apps to showcase to their over 800 million monthly active users. With Shopify’s 500,000+ merchants in categories like fashion, jewelry, beauty, furniture, and home decor, it’s a perfect match to Instagram’s inspired community.”

The Shopify tags will enable users to make purchases from any Instagram post, within the app, which is essentially the same process as Instagram’s Shopping Tags, though it’ll only be available to selected Shopify merchants at this stage (Shopify plans to expand this to more of their users in the future).

While it’s not the full rollout of Shopping Tags, it’s another step toward the greater expansion of Instagram as an online shopping hub. This is the direction Pinterest has been headed, with additions like Buyable Pins, but for Instagram, with its noted 800 million users, this could be a massive change, a huge shift in the online shopping landscape.

Indeed, Facebook more broadly is looking to integrate various new in-stream payment options – it’ll take time to perfect, particularly considering regional regulations and providers, but it won’t be long till you’ll be able to make one-tap purchases in Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, even WhatsApp. That could be the next major shift for social business, and in particular, Messenger Bots. Right now, you can summon a range of processes via bots, but you still need to go through a separate payment flow to confirm.

The time is coming when such methods will all be integrated.

For Instagram, partnering with Shopify is an easy way for them to move in this direction, lessening the burden on their systems to establish the full payments protocol. And given so many people are already using Shopify for such purpose, it’ll not only give Instagram more data about the potential popularity of tags and purchase options, but it’ll also introduce users to the process, making it easier for them to fully integrate Shopping Tags for all businesses in future.

04 Oct 2017
by Admin

The Value of Getting Personal on Social Media

It’s wonderful that we live in a world where technology enables us to conduct transactions online with people across the globe – it would be unfathomable to previous generations that you could open a Shopify store, start running Facebook ads and create a profitable business without interacting with a single human in real life.

But while this kind of business model is paradise for the introverts among us, humans still have an inherent desire to purchase from other humans, instead of anonymous companies.

Tactics can generate immediate profits, but relationships are essential if you want to build a long-term brand.

For example – Facebook advertising is one of the most lucrative marketing tactics around right now, but I’m fully aware that it won’t last forever. What will pass the test of time, however, is the relationships that you build with your customers.

Social business strategist and author, Bryan Kramer, implores business owners to stop thinking in terms of B2B or B2C and instead, take a H2H (human-to-human) approach to communications.

In one of his blog posts, Kramer states:

“Businesses do not have emotion. People do. People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. People want to feel something. People want to be included. People want to understand. But people are also humans, and with that comes mistakes. Missteps. Failures.”

Not everything has to be sugarcoated. Oftentimes, being transparent about failures and mistakes can build more trust than dismissing them.

Social media is one of the most powerful tools available for demonstrating the humanity behind your brand, and consequently, developing real relationships with consumers in your niche.

To help you build a long-term brand, here are some of the best ways to get personal on social media.

Tone of Voice

I highly recommend creating a style guide for social media, so everyone who posts on your official accounts can maintain a consistent tone of voice.

The style guide should contain advice on emoticons, hashtags, terminology, language and general tone. In addition to posts, this tone should be kept when engaging in discussions with other social media users.

People want to feel as if they’re interacting with a real human one-on-one, rather than yet another generic brand.

While Dell Computers and Taco Bell aren’t going to have a similar tone of voice for social media, I’d always favor a friendly, conversational tone – so long as it’s appropriate for your niche.

The Value of Getting Personal on Social Media | Social Media Today

The Value of Getting Personal on Social Media | Social Media Today

Customer Service

As a consumer, the businesses that earn my money aren’t always the ones with the best products – they’re usually the ones that are the most helpful.

I’m not alone in this regard.

Marketing expert and best-selling author, David Meerman Scott, was planning a trip to Antarctica, and eventually booked with the company that had the best educational content and was the most communicative on Twitter – instead of competitors that were cheaper or that had higher ranking websites.

These days, people expect to have customer service queries answered by a brand’s social media account. Instead of relentlessly self-promoting like a lot of companies, taking the time to respond to questions and provide useful answers is invaluable.

When you communicate like a real human, and deliver value to people on social media without seeking financial remuneration, this builds trust, which eventually leads to sales.

It’s important to note that 71% of consumers who’ve had a good experience with a business on social media are more inclined to recommend it to others.

Being helpful to someone on social media can create a positive ripple which travels far beyond that individual. In fact, you can look at this as a referral marketing tactic.

Transparency

One of the best ways to make your business more transparent is to showcase your employees. Pictures of real workers beat stock photos, hands down.

Again, people like doing business with other people. Being able to see the workers who helped create a wonderful product or services goes a long way in building trust.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, clearly understands this – Cook constantly publishes photos of his employees and shows his appreciation for their hard work. His Twitter timeline is full of this type of great content, which builds camaraderie within the Apple organization as well as outside of it.

The Value of Getting Personal on Social Media | Social Media Today

Cook also posts about women’s rights, LGBT rights and a range of other social issues, which helps to convey Apple as a brand where inclusivity is celebrated.

The Value of Getting Personal on Social Media | Social Media Today

Don’t Forget Video

Video content is surging right now – 87% of marketers use video content and social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

You can really showcase the human element of your business by publishing behind-the-scenes video tours of your workplace.

Since Facebook users spend 3X more time watching live videos compared to traditional video content – I recommend using Facebook Live to showcase your facilities and host Q&A sessions with employees.

In 2016, Dunkin’ Donuts streamed an awesome tour of its facilities using Facebook Live. Fans of the brand got a glimpse into the process for devising and manufacturing new products, and got to meet some of the people responsible for their favorite edible delights.

If you really want to get ahead of the competition and create an immersive experience for your fans, consider looking into 360-degree videos.

While you’ll have to invest in some equipment and spend time learning how to shoot good footage, 360-degree videos allow for a very intimate glimpse into your business.

Check out Facebook’s Live 360 page for more information on hosting 360-degree live streams.

Can you think of any other ways to be more personable on social media and showcase the human element of your brand? Please let me know in the comments below.

Image Credits

Featured image: https://pixabay.com/en/mobile-phone-smartphone-keyboard-2398292/

https://pixabay.com/en/users/geralt-9301/

© 2017