Businesses can share posts

Instagram have made a change to its product so that businesses can now schedule posts on Instagram. Before this change Social Media Managers had to use a tool that would send out a push notification as a reminder to post at a given time. This was set when creating the post.

The scheduling option has not been added to Instagram itself but to its API, which means applications such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social can access this functionality and add it to their products.

Hootsuite have already rolled out the newly available feature to all their customers that operate a registered Instagram business profile. Customers are now able to schedule and post photo content directly through their Hootsuite dashboard. Now brands are able to schedule and publish across all the supported social networks in one single workflow.

 

Social Media Managers have been asking for these functions for some time as it has always been time-consuming having to go back to make a post live after it has been created.

The company has noted that this feature will not be limited to just business accounts. They are planning on rolling this out to others in 2019.

See our other post on Instagram and how Instagram Stories can Help your Business http://thecontenthub.com.au/social-media/instagram-stories-can-help-business/

Follow:

Instagram stories and how they can help your business

If you aren’t using Instagram stories to promote your business or brand, you should be. In fact, I would go as far as to say that you are missing out big time if you aren’t making use of the function. If you are using Insta, then you should be adding to your story on a regular basis, as well as posting your usual photos and videos on your feed. Instagram stories are an extra string to your business bow. You might be wondering why you would bother to use them as a business or brand, because you aren’t posting for the benefit of your mates, and no one is interested in seeing what you had for lunch are they? Well, actually, they are. So, you’ll want to carry on reading.

Instagram stories are a brilliant marketing technique, and here’s why…

They let your consumers in

Stories give the impression that you are letting people in to the life of your business or brand. So, when I say that people ARE interested in what you had for lunch, this is what I mean. Your followers love to see the ‘human’ side of your brand, and by ‘human side’, I mean the people who work for you and what they are getting up to on a daily basis. People want to see what colour the walls are being painted in your office refurb and they want to see what snacks are on offer at the breakfast meeting. It makes them feel involved, and it makes them feel like they are getting to see the side of your business that no one else sees, a ‘sneak peek’ if you will. The more you can involve a consumer in your business, the better. Instagram stories are more personal than the branded photos you upload to your feed, and people like to connect on a personal level with a business.

You’ve got unlimited content

We know that if we bombard our followers with branded content, they start to disengage. Stories don’t work like this. You might only be able to post one photo or video on your feed a day, but Instagram stories don’t have that restriction. You can keep adding to your story throughout the day and no one gets all “snooze” about it. Winner!

You can add hashtags, you can tag people, you can add your location and you can add info. You can ask for engagement, you can ask for opinion and you can call your followers to action. Fill your story up with “follow them”, “look at this”, “decide that”, “come see us here”. Where you lead, we will follow, as such… Terrible joke, sorry (not sorry).

They’ve got limited time

No marketing technique works better than telling your consumer they are running out of time. Instagram stories are only there for 24 hours. Once that 24 hours is up, they are gone forever. This feature makes an Instagram story feel exciting. It encourages people to hashtag, follow, reply and engage when they wouldn’t usually.

So, you want some tips, don’t you? Here’s how to make the most out of your Instagram story; don’t let us down!

Top tips:

  • Post at optimal time – as they only last for 24 hours, get to know when your followers are online and use this to your advantage to get the highest levels of engagement possible.
  • They don’t have to be perfect – people like seeing things looking natural, we can tell when something has been staged to death. And, because they only last for 24 hours, you don’t worry if you’ve got a bit of a shiny face in your selfie.
  • Call to action – the human race likes to be told what to do, if you don’t tell us to “click here”, we won’t. Use the features in Instagram stories to direct your followers; show them where to go and what to see.
  • Use it as a gauge – you can see how many people are viewing your story and you can see which posts and calls to action people engage with (it’s risky to do this with your one post of the day on your feed, but not so much with your story). You can then start to tailor your content to your consumers more effectively and keep giving them exactly what they want.

A blogger with a tendency to rant and a flair for the creative things in life, who doesn’t shy away from asking the difficult questions that divide the nation, like “milk first or last when you’re making a cup of tea?”.

Follow:

Changes to Facebook Advertising

In January this year, Mark Zuckerberg announced a change in Facebook’s news feed algorithm. That might not sound like a big thing, but it will change the way Facebook users view the posts on their feed and how visible Facebook advertising will be. The way content is prioritised will be changing.

If you are an “average” Facebook user, then this might well be a good thing for you. When I say “average”, I don’t mean you are an uninteresting social media user, I just mean you are using Facebook to look at what your mates are up to and to post photos, not market your business or your brand. The big change will come for those who are using Facebook to market their business and brand. If that’s you, this recent change might make your life a little bit harder, but don’t worry, I’ve got a few tips to help you out. 

What’s changing?

Mark himself said that we’ll be seeing “less public content like posts from businesses, brands and media”. He’s also said that the public content we will be seeing should encourage more meaningful interactions and will be held to the same standard. This is all very well but what does that actually mean for us? 

What does it mean for the average user?

You’ll be seeing less content from brands and businesses and more from your family, friends and the groups you follow. More of what you want, and less of what you don’t want. So, you should be seeing less badly written quizzes and ads about hair care and more pics of your colleagues’ kitten (cute) and your neighbour’s new shed (not so cute).

This is meant to make your experience more “meaningful” and to make sure your time on Facebook is well spent. When I say “well spent” I mean not having to waste as much time scrolling through tonnes of ads trying to encourage you to buy things. No one got Facebook for the ads did they? They got Facebook to keep in contact with their friends and family all over the world, and so they could see what they were getting up to. This change is allowing the average user like you and me, to spend more time looking at the things that are really relevant to us. 

What does it mean for businesses and brands?

If you are a business or a brand, you are going to have to work harder to make sure you are getting customers attention.

Zuckerberg has warned that the change may result in users spending less time on Facebook, therefore reducing the amount of time you as a business or brand have to reach out to your consumers. In short, you are going to have to make sure your content is pretty epic to stand out from the crowd.

So, you are wondering how you stand out from the crowd, aren’t you? Well, luckily for you, I’ve got a few tips and tricks up my sleeve to help you maintain your reach.

  1. Keep it relevant! Don’t post unnecessary content. If it’s irrelevant to them, your consumers aren’t going to go out of their way to view it.
  2. Quality, not quantity! We all know we need to keep posting to keep people engaged, but don’t post ill-thought out content just for the sake of posting it. Make sure all your content is top quality, just like your brand is.
  3. Spark conversation! Meaningful interactions mean comments and shares. The best way to generate these is to raise a question and spark conversation. You want your consumers to want to let their friends know about your post. If people’s friends and family are talking about your post, it’s more likely to get seen by more people.
  4. Boost Facebook followers! Keep encouraging customers to follow your Facebook page. Users can still choose to see posts from their favourite pages first, so make sure you are one of their favourite pages.
  5. Up your ad budget! Spend more time and more money on making good quality content. High-quality content will make sure you stand out from the crowd, and mostly, that means you need to spend more money.
  6. Keep it lively! We love a live video these days and they can get you a lot more interaction than standard video content.

So, how are you going to change it up to stay relevant with these changes? Would love to hear your thoughts below.

Also, if you need to learn more about Facebook The Content Hub is running their popular Facebook for Business course next month. So if you would love to learn about Facebook face to face and be surrounded by like-minded people in a lovely environment, consider coming to Bundeena for the day.

A blogger with a tendency to rant and a flair for the creative things in life, who doesn’t shy away from asking the difficult questions that divide the nation, like “milk first or last when you’re making a cup of tea?”.

Follow:

The tools I use for managing multiple social media accounts

In this post, I am going to share with you the workflow and tools I use to manage multiple social media accounts.

With social media, you can feel that you are constantly chasing your tail and are never organised.

The key is to set up a workflow process so that you don’t waste time jumping between different programs and apps so that the process is as streamlined as possible.

Below are examples of the different workflows and tools I use to manage social media.

Posting to Instagram

  1. I take all my photos on my iPhone 7. I use square mode so that the picture is the right size.
  2. If the photo is a selfie, I will send it to Beauty Cam. In Beauty Cam, you can smooth out your complexion automatically and remove shine.
  3. The photo is then sent to VSCO where I apply the A5 filter. I use the A5 filter on all my photos for Instagram and my blog so that I always have a consistent look.
  4. Photos are then sent back to my camera roll.
  5. If the photo is being posted immediately, I then upload it to Instagram.
  6. If the photo is to be used at a later time, I add it to Planoly and schedule it.

Posting to Twitter

  1. I look through Twitter several times per day to find relevant content to share with my audience. This takes me about 10 minutes per day.
  2. I either just retweet content or retweet with my own message. The key here is to make sure that you share other people’s content each day as well as your own.
  3. Every Sunday I schedule 3 tweets per day for the coming week using Coschedule. These tweets are sharing my blog content.

Posting to Pinterest

  1. I look through Pinterest several times throughout the day to find pins relevant to my boards and pin them. I try to pin five pieces of content from other users every day.
  2. Every Sunday I schedule three pins per day for the coming week using Coschedule. These pins are my blog posts, and I pin them to multiple relevant boards.

Posting to Facebook

  1. I look through Facebook several times throughout the day to find posts relevant to share to both my Facebook business page and private Facebook group. My private Facebook group is for other small business owners that are my clients or who have attended my training. This group is also available to those that subscribe to my newsletter. I try to post at least one piece of content from other users every day.
  2. Every Sunday I schedule two Facebook posts per day for the coming week using Coschedule. These posts are my blog posts, and I pin them to my business page only. I only post new blogs posts to the Facebook group as you don’t want to bombard them with the same content every week.

Engagement

I also make sure that I respond to all questions and comments on all my social media channels within the day. This shows my followers that I am listening and engaged.

Have any other ideas to improve managing multiple accounts? Please share them in the comments below.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

Follow:

ATTACHMENT DETAILS 5-Instagram-tips-to-improve-your-feed.png August 10, 2017 1 MB 735 × 1102 Edit Image Delete Permanently URLI often see the same mistakes being made on Instagram time and time again. Here are 5 Instagram tips to improve your Instagram Feed

  1. Be consistent – When using filters, before uploading through Instagram one common mistake people make is using a different filter each up. The photo may look great with that photo but your feed will overall look messy. Try finding one filter that you think looks great on most of your photos and use that one. This will ensure that your feed looks clean and please to the eye. It will make it easier for client to browse through your feed.
  2. Always crop your images the same way – Make sure you are always consistent when cropping your images. Keep it simple and always use square photos. If you want to use a border, ensure you always use the same border.
  3. Natural light is always better – It is so important to take your photos with natural light. Your images will be of a higher quality and be more detailed. Photos taken with natural light also look better with filters applied. If possible, try and take your photos near an open window.
  4. Choose a theme – Decide on the mood you would like for your feed. This may be moody, tropical, colourful, minimalistic or black and white. Sticking to a consistent style will keep your theme consistent.
  5. High quality photos are best – A high quality photo is one that looks sharp and makes us want to double tap. A blurry image will stand out for all the wrong reasons. If the blurry photo is the only one you have, don’t post. Shoot again 🙂
Follow:

Social media and productivity

Let’s face it; social media can be a total time waster. It is so easy to get caught up in the posts that are flooding your social media feed instead of working.

Many of us waste time by watching insights into the world of other people who appear to be having a much more exciting life than way are. I’ll save that topic for another post.

We also waste time by commenting and liking posts that are not related to our business.

There are ways, however, to use some tools and tactics to make sure that you don’t waste time on social media and use time allocated to this task to be more productive and drive the appropriate traffic and engagement to your business.

Through my training experience, I have found many people are so overwhelmed with the different social media channels and how to use them. Social media moves quite fast, and there is a lot of noise to filter through on so many channels which make keeping on top of things challenging.

So how much time should you be spending on managing your social media channels? Also, what channels should you be focussing on? These are the questions you need to ask yourself, and depending on your business the answer to this might be different to other businesses.

Following are my five steps to help you keep on top of your social media efforts so that you spend this time more productively.

1. Define exactly what your purpose is with social media. Think about why you are there and what exactly you plan to get out of each social media channel that you are using.

2. Set up some automated systems between the different social media channels that you use. For example, with Instagram, with each post, you can instantly push it out to Twitter as well as Facebook. This is great for general posts but if you have the time it is always best to tailor your message on each social media channel to the audience.

3. Write a monthly, weekly and daily checklist of your social media channels and posts. I write a monthly plan around a particular theme. I then break it down into weekly sub-themes and plan out the posts for each channel.

It takes a few hours to come up with the overall plan and then you can sit down and schedule the weekly posts at the beginning of the week in about an hour. This way you have a plan in advance and are not just putting up posts just because you need to post something that day.

4. For each channel, create a daily checklist of how many times you plan to post to each and then check this list off as you create each post. I have a weekly checklist which contains the types and amount of posts for each channel that you can download for free from my website.

5. Review your analytics at the end of the week to gauge engagement and see which posts were more popular. Then adjust your content and posting schedule as required.

Social media is an incredibly valuable business asset and when it is used consistently and in the right way you will see results.

Have any other tips you would like to share? Post them in the comments below.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

Follow:

Important elements of a social media message

There are 4 important elements of a social media message.

Two-way communication

Listening to what others are saying is the single most important aspect of engaging in social media. This will help you find out:
•what customers are interested in
•what customers are saying about your brand
•what customers are saying about your competition

Without this information, it is far more difficult to create a message that will engage your customers.

Successful messages take communication the other way too by encouraging your followers to do something when they read your message. This might be that they read your blog post, share it with others, or like your Facebook page or Instagram post.

Your goal is to engage with your audience, build a relationship and then when they need your product or service; it is you that they will contact.

Storytelling

Nothing engages people more than a story. Stories will tell people about your brand and how it can make their lives better.

Social media storytelling isn’t telling some stories about a brand. It’s unearthing the core story at the heart of your brand and telling it in meaningful ways that people enjoy, appreciate and share.

For further information on using storytelling in social media, check out Buffer’s post on 11 storytelling formulas to supercharge your social media.

Transparency, Honesty and Authenticity

Make sure that your brand’s message is genuine. Social media is all about interaction.

If your messages sound automated or programmed, your customers will be turned off and won’t engage with your brand. Make sure your messages are crafted individually with those you want to engage with.

There are programs out there that you can use to post messages automatically. Don’t be tempted to do this. These messages are easy to spot and are so transparent in an attempt to gain more followers without actually engaging with them.

Do what you can to make your messages feel real.

Consistency

Another big element of building trust is consistency. Your message should be consistent across all of your social media channels.

You may approach each channel differently due to the demographics of the audience, however your messages need to be consistent.

To build brand awareness make sure each social media channel has consistent handles. This will help with identifying your brand and with search engine rankings.

Now I would recommend spending some time looking at all your social media channels to ensure consistency and try to follow the four best practices with each channel and every time you post.

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

Follow:

 

Daily social media plan

One of the main questions I get asked at my social media management workshops is how often you should post in each social media channel. I think it depends on your business and what message you need to send to your audience, however I am going to share with you my best practices for social media posting and how I plan my social media posts for the week.

I spend each Sunday evening planning out my social media posts for the coming week. I first work out my Instagram posts and add them to a tool called Planoly. I am then able to see the weeks feed altogether and make sure it is cohesive and I have a mixture of personal and business related posts. I then look at these messages and see which ones would be suited to also share out on Twitter. Since I have Twitter and Instagram linked, I am able to post to Instagram and have the same message posted out on Twitter.

With Twitter, I post from Instagram but also post specific messages as well about my business. The same for Facebook. The same message can be shared across all three, however you should tailor your message to the audience for each social media channel.

Following is the daily schedule I use for each of the four social media channels that I use:

Instagram
•One to two posts per day as per my weekly schedule
•Respond to all comments each day
•Like and comment on at least 10 other Instagram accounts to help build engagement

Twitter
•Tweet links to three old blog posts
•Retweet three other bloggers tweets
•Reply to three other bloggers tweets
•Respond to all tweets and direct messages

Pinterest
•Pin most recent blog post to three boards
•Pin three old blog posts to various shared boards
•Repin ten other bloggers pictures

Facebook
•Post daily either a personal post or share a new blog post
•Share another post from my audience
•Ask a question or some other call to action

I do try to stick to the above schedule but of course things can change throughout the week.

Do you have a weekly schedule that you stick to in regards to social media? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts on how you manage social media for your business

Liza is the content manager and founder of The Content Hub. As a technology specialist she loves passing on her knowledge about the latest technology and best practices to her readers.

Follow: