4 Tips for Staying on Brand with your Social Media

Brand consistency is your bread and butter; it’s that carefully crafted identity that your fans, followers, customers, and clients have come to know and expect. It’s what keeps them coming back; it’s what makes them feel connected; it’s what inspires them to stay engaged.

The way you weave together all the interconnected aspects of your brand into a consistent social media presence is essential for your business to be effective in telling your brand’s unique story.

So how do you stay on brand? Whether you’re posting a photo, video, comment, or sponsored advertisement, keep these 4 simple tips in mind…

Define Your Message
Every time you go to share something on social media, ask yourself: Who am I talking to? And, what do I want to say?

It is vital that you ask yourself these questions, but even more important that you know the answers. Once you do, defining your message through your content will be that much easier.

If you haven’t asked yourself these questions in a while, take the time to sit down and do so. Brainstorming these fundamental questions will go a long way towards keeping your brand focused and consistent.

Set Your Tone and Voice
Are you an “all business, no fun” kind of person, or someone who loves to share their unique craziness with their audience? Does your audience expect you to be staid and professional at all times, or are you more interested in redefining “professional” to include fun, creative, and spontaneous?

Whatever it is, be true to yourself and make that a predictable part of your branding. People respond much more to authenticity, so be authentic, whether that be sober and serious, or silly and utterly uninhibited.

Where Are Your Customers?
Social media is a vast landscape of multiple interlaced platforms. Each one is reaching a different segment of your audience at a different intersection in their social world, but they’ve all found their way there to connect with you.

Wherever you go to reach them, keep your brand voice reliable and consistent. Remember it is the combination of all your social media engagements that define your brand’s identity and impact.

Put Processes in Place
Whether you are responsible for all your social media activities yourself, or you hire someone to do it for you, set dependable, accountable processes in place for creating, approving, publishing, monitoring, and analyzing your social media efforts.

Businesses that lose track of their social media exploits tend to start posting willy-nilly and quickly lose sight of their brand’s identity and intention. Stay on top of your outgoing social media the same way you would your incoming supply chain: policy, process, post, repeat.

Remember, you are what you tweet, so keep these tips in mind to stay focused and confident in sharing the best of your brand with the world.

Top Tips @802Social

Social Media – Top 3 Fears

SM Fears.png

Have you ever had that totally paralyzing dream that you find yourself naked in public? You’re simply walking into class, work, or the grocery store, and suddenly you’re completely mortified when you realize everyone is staring at you and you don’t have a stitch of clothes on!

Believe it or not, that same terrifying vulnerability you experience in that dream is what a lot of folks I speak with feel about social media.

You probably already know that that’s a super common dream; and it’s actually a really common fear about using social media. We all hesitate a little with exposing ourselves and letting people in, but there are ways we can work with social media to share what we want, when and how we want to, without stripping down all at once.

Baby Steps…
The #1 social media fear is over-thinking what to post. Start simple with just 1 or 2 platforms, and test the waters with some really innocent posts about what it’s like to be you, behind the scenes, making it happen.

When working with clients, I encourage them to share their personality; the same way you might express yourself when you’re redecorating your house, or marketing your business in more traditional ways. Show your audience who you are and what you're all about.

When you humanize your business or brand, people are much more likely to feel connected with you, follow you, trust you, and eventually engage with you by buying your product or seeking out your services.

For starters, you are the face of your business or brand. The best way to humanize what you do for your audience, is to show them that you’re a person, that there’s a real live human behind the fancy products and services.

Share and Share Alike
So much of what people and businesses share on social media is personal, but it’s not necessarily private. Perhaps the #2 social media fear is that fear of exposing too much; of blurring the lines between the personal and private.

You go out to eat, right? If my best friend and I go out to dinner, I may highlight and share photos of the restaurant we went to, the menu, or maybe a boomerang of us toasting a glass of wine; I wouldn't share the details of our conversations, and it’s not that I’ve shared anything at all really about 802Social and the work we do, but simply humanizing our brand with activities we enjoy.

With just a few innocuous posts highlighting me, I’m humanizing my business, sharing more than you might expect about my personality, but still very little that’s private or personal. I’m a person that enjoys a night out with friends, having a good time, sharing good food, etc. Those are important aspects of my personality, but they’re not necessarily very personal.

"What if I mess up?!"
Social media fear #3 – messing up. I hear people say, “What if I mess up?!” all the time, to which I reply, “So what if you do!? But more importantly, what if you don't?" You won't know until you try. And honestly, it really isn’t the end of the world, it’s what humanizing your brand and business looks like.

We're all human and you'll quickly learn from your mistakes. I've seen influencers in my field make mistakes all the time, and they simply own up to it and use themselves as an example. It's a great learning tool for yourself and just part of the process.

If you’re still unsure, write out your post in your notes app on your phone or another location to proof before sharing it was the world. Share it with a partner or trusted friend to make sure you’re hitting the right notes. Or simply wait 24 hours, as the old adage goes, and think about what you want to post before just shooting from the hip.

Social media is all about creating connections with people. Connections lead to engagement, and engagement is what builds your business. Most consumers nowadays are looking to feel connected to the people behind the brands and business they engage with, so try sharing just a little beyond the generic, and a little more about you, and see how your engagement ticks up.

Engage with us at #802Social

Your hashtags confusion cleared up in 1 blog!


Tic-tac-toe. Pound sign. Number sign. Octothorpe!? The hashtag: what the heck is it really?



In the beginning… way back in 1988, the hashtag as we know it was used on a platform known as Internet Relay Chat or IRC. Ever heard of that one? They were used then in much the same way they are today, for grouping messages, images, content, and videos into categories.

Fast forward nearly 20 years, and Chris Messina proposes the use of hashtags more broadly in an otherwise innocent tweet in 2007:

“How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?“

Initially decried by Twitter as a "thing for nerds,” the use of the hashtag as a metadata tag on social networks took off like wild-fire soon after another Twitter user, Nate Ridder of San Diego, CA, started appending all his posts with the hashtag #sandiegofire, in an effort to inform people worldwide about ongoing wildfires in the area at the time.

A blogger named Steve Boyd is said to have coined the word “hashtag” in a blog post around the same time, and as these things go, it didn’t take long for the hashtag to literally “break the internet,” as they say.

These days, you couldn’t post, view, troll, or publish online without tripping over one!


In short, #hashtags allow users to apply any number of dynamic, unique, user-generated tags establishing connections or “grouping” thematically related content, making it possible for users to easily find the content they’re interested in. 

I would never say the hashtag is a “thing for nerds,” not in the slightest, but that’s not to say everyone is as familiar and comfortable with their use and usefulness.

“How many is too many in a post”

“Too many” is really just subjective, but you don’t want to lose your audience in a sea of hashtags and links. Instagram only allows for 30 hashtags on any given post, and Twitter maxes out at 240 characters, regardless of how many hashtags you’ve embedded in your tweet.

Facebook, Reddit, and other platforms may not use hashtags quite as universally, nor impose any limits on their use at all, but that doesn’t mean you want to fill your audiences feed with hashtags.

My rule of thumb for those without a direct social media marketing strategy would be no more than 12, but generally between 1-5 hashtags per post, and to make those as compelling and relevant as possible.

Important Note: The # has to be connected to the word or phrase to be considered a hashtag and be linkable. No spaces. For example: #blog #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing

“Which hashtags should I be using?”

How about a story… A new family just moves into the area and are looking for a family-friendly ski resort to check out. Browsing through their Instagram feed on a break from unpacking, they see a great photo of a family on a ski slope. Reading on, they see the hashtags #skiday #familyfun #bestskiinginvt #sugarbushvt. One click on #sugarbushvt and suddenly they’re connected to countless images, posts, and stories about Sugarbush Resort! 

The hashtags the user chose were related directly to the subject matter of the photo, the location, and they’re experience. I highly recommend using location-based hashtags if you’re looking to get discovered – #hubcity #greenmountains #northeastkingdom.

Still not sure? Next time you’re browsing through Instagram, click the “search” icon (the little magnifying glass at the bottom). Type a hashtag into the search bar at the top of the page and see what pops up. This will give you a lot of insight into how people and businesses are being discovered based simply on their hashtags.

It can also be a good idea to search hashtags when you’re considering attaching one to your post. #twoforone may not connect your posts with exactly the content you’re thinking of for your annual holiday sale. 


Hashtags are like the keys to the kingdom, when used proficient and professionally, they can unlock doors to all kinds of connections and contacts.

·         Hashtags increase the reach of each of your Instagram and Twitter posts.

·         Hashtags allow you to find others people or business with similar interests.

·         Hashtags are a great way to express your personality and the personality of your business or organization.

Start tagging! You’ll get the hang of it in no time.


Connect with us at #802Social

802Social on the Mic!

Last week I had the honor of speaking to a group of eager marketing students at the University of Vermont. We limited ourselves to social media in the hospitality industry for this discussion, but as you know, I’m a champion of social media marketing for industries and organizations across the board.

The group of about 25 students was tasked with either creating a new Facebook page or starting their own website for an imaginary business. Despite also having website guru Mike Lannen of Eternity in the house, most folks decided to go the Facebook route; an imaginary profile page seemed a little less daunting in the moment than devising a detailed website architecture, I guess…

As the group ventured down their social media rabbit hole, far beyond the bounds of Facebook or a simple website, suddenly everyone had questions and concerns. Not so easy after all, I guess…

Here’s a few questions that stood out among the many.

"How do you feel about a lot of hashtags being used in a post?"
I consider each platform a bit differently with regards to hashtags. Instagram allows as many as 30 hashtags on any single post. I generally don't recommend using all 30, but hashtags really unlock the secret of Instagram, so the more the merrier, really.

My go-to is usually about 12. Hashtags help people discover your content. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 hashtags on any given post connects you to a lot of different categories and people, without looking too spammy.

For Facebook, I prefer 1-3. Hashtags are a bit less effective on Facebook, though they still help communicate and connect. #802Social #socialmedia #networking #vtbiz

“What do you think about buying an Instagram Like?"
My simple answer... NO! Don’t do it!! Paying for “Likes” is just bad business. Concentrate on creating and sharing compelling content that will earn your posts real Likes from real people.

"What about Snapchat for businesses?"
Snapchat has muscled its way to the front of the line with anyone between the ages of 18 and 22. I use Snapchat in my personal life, but not for my business, nor have I recommended it for any of my clients. At this point, Snapchat isn't quite user-friendly or effective enough for businesses. With Facebook and Instagram still way too dominant in the field, Snapchat has some work yet to do to catch up.

As with everything in the social media world though, keep an eye one it. These spaces and services are constantly evolving. Social media professionals are out there keeping pace with all the trends and changes, so reach out and stay connected to know how the landscape looks from day to day.

“What about all the other questions we have?”
Questions continued, I could hear the hands wringing, but unfortunately our time was up for the day. It never ceases to amaze me the questions I'm asked when I speak with a group. The world of social media marketing can be truly unrelenting, and simply too much for a lot of people to keep up with.

That frustration a lot of people feel was one of the biggest reasons I got into the business; helping local business owners get a handle on their social media marketing can be instantly gratifying. I love seeing how relieved they can be to have someone else take the wheel for a while!

That’s why I’m here.

Questions answered at 802Social

The Power of Your Instagram Profile: Have you reviewed these important features lately?

Remember that day you finally set up an Instagram account… You had no idea what you were doing, but everyone else was doing it, and despite yourself, you got the account set up and have been reliably posting pictures ever since! But when was the last time you reviewed your profile?

If you haven’t noticed, Instagram offers business users like you “Insights” into how people are interacting with your photos.

Take a look at one of your photos. So long as you set yourself up with a Business Profile, you’ll see two options below the photo – “View Insights” and “Promote.” If you click “View Insights” you may be surprised to see how many people are clicking through to your profile after seeing a photo you posted. The question is: What are they finding when they get there?

Business Profile

If you’re using Instagram for your business, the first setting you’ll want to review will be whether or not your account is set as a Business Profile. Hint: if you didn’t see those “View Insights” and “Promote” options, you’re not set up as a Business Profile.

Business accounts offer a handful of must-have features for your business. Followers and visitors can get directions, call or email you with just a quick click of a button. You’re able to capture and view important data and analytics; for example, I can see the number of unique visitors that have discovered my posts, which posts are performing better than others, demographics of my followers, and much more. As a business owner promoting my work and building a community through social media, this information is absolutely essential.

To switch to a Business Profile, or to check what your setting are:

1.      Click on your profile image – the little circle on the bottom right of your screen.

2.      On the top right corner of the next screen, click the three horizontal lines.

3.      Now click “Settings” at the bottom of the screen.

4.      Scroll down just a bit and you’ll see the option “Switch to Business Profile.”

5.      Click it!

Profile Image

When you clicked on your profile image to get to your settings, did you happen to notice what your profile image is an image of? To be safe and super savvy, your profile photo should be either a photo of you or your logo. It should represent your business and be consistent across your other networks and social media accounts.

Consistent branding across your social media platforms and profiles allows your fans and followers to quickly identify you, and connect with your brand and business in the same familiar way we identify and resonate with the most successful brands out there.

Profile Description

When followers go to your profile, the first thing they see is your profile description, so the description of your business needs to be succinct and spot on. You have a few seconds of a visitor’s attention to communicate the most important and compelling aspects of your business. Your profile description should include:

·         A brief description of services offered. 

·         Stand out and sdd personality with a few choice emojis.

·         Include a hashtag. This could be for your brand, location of your business, industry, etc. #socialmediamaven

·         Provide a clickable link. Instagram only allows you to have one clickable link anywhere in your profile and account, and this is where it is. You can change this link as often as you like, and point followers to the link in your photo descriptions – “Check out our latest blog. Link in profile!” Provide a link to a specific blog post, your website home page, an event page, or anything else. You want people to engage with your brand and business as much as possible, so give them a way to do that with a clickable link, and make sure to keep your link relevant and up to date.

* SECRET PRO TIP There are now ways to get around the one link rule. I use LinkTree, which offer me the ability to house multiple links at once. They have a free option if you just want to poke around and see how it works. 

Get Posting!

Now that you’ve created a complete and compelling first impression with your Instagram bio, get posting! Don’t forget Instagram Stories and Highlights! Click the links to find out more. Oh, and you’re curious about “IGTV?” Stay tuned…. I’ll be doing a blog on that very soon!

Everyone should make sure to review your social media settings from time to time. Not only your Instagram profile and settings, but all your social media platforms. Your business evolves, and so does social media, so stay ahead of the curve and keep your profile professional and on point!


Powerful Profiles from 802Social

Social Media for the Travel Industry: Please Secure Your Safety Belts…

When I sat down to write this blog, I did what every self-respecting blogger would do, I Googled the topic to see what others had shared already. Not surprisingly, what I found was an over saturation of the topic from virtually every angle, and realized I needed to do something different.

Step two: Go directly to the source. I reached out to Jessica Slater of Dream Vacations in Acworth, GA, to talk with her about social media and marketing, as a premier travel agent in an ever-shifting industry.

Jessica’s Top Three Social Media Concerns
1. Not reaching as many people as I have followers.
This is a very common concern. The numbers seem to say one thing, but for whatever reason, that doesn’t seem to translate into actionable leads and insights.

Ask yourself a few questions:
a. Are you showing up every day? If not every day, are you at least being consistent?. My personal goal, for both myself and my clients, is to post to social media at least 5 times per week. I get it, sometimes that can seem impossible, but I recommend spending at least some time each week planning out your content, to make consistent posting that much easier. I highly recommend using a content calendar to track what you’ve shared and mapping what you plan to share. Every business needs a well-defined social media strategy. Posting on the go can get sloppy, and usually just doesn’t work.

Untitled design (23).png

b. Are you utilizing more than one platform? If not, you need to be. I would start with Facebook, then Instagram, followed by Pinterest, Twitter, and down the line. Find what platform really works for you, your industry, and reaches the eyeballs you’re looking to reach.

c. Are you creating valuable and interesting content? Vacations pics are serious eye candy, so have fun with them! Encourage your clients to send you photos of their vacation for you to share. Share tips and up to date information about hot vacation deals and destinations. Share hidden gems of places people may not think to even visit.

2. When paying to “boost” a post, the posts don’t seem to reach the people I set in my parameters with regards to demographics.

This can be tricky, but the beauty of Facebook boosted posts is that if you’re not seeing the results you want or expect, you can stop the post right away and edit it. Try posting with just one key demographic audience in mind for testing purposes, and see how that works out before broadening your reach.

Here's a helpful hint - Next time you see an ad in your news feed, click on the three little dots on the top right hand corner of the post. Select "Why am I seeing this??” This may help to trigger some keywords and ideas for you to use in your own ads going forward, thereby reaching the audiences you’re looking to reach.

3. Figuring out how to get more engagement.

Getting people to actually engage with your social media posts is the golden goose. Ask short and sweet, easy to answer questions and action statements.

* "What vacation destination is on your bucket list for 2019?"

* "Where do you absolutely have to get back to?"

* "How many times have you been to Disney World?"

* "Do you just have to escape to the city, or to the country?”

Are you using Instagram Stories!? This is a very popular feature that will easily increase your social media engagement. You can learn more about Instagram Stories, here. Working towards increased engagement ties right back into question #1.

1. Show up.

2. Provide valuable content.

3. Be part of the conversation.

All Aboard!
Every social media platform offers a wide variety of ways to create, share, and distribute content. Whether you’re posting to your Facebook timeline or IGTV on Instagram, there is a preferred place for everyone. Take the time to research where your ideal clients are congregating in the social media sphere and go there.

Ultimately the way to master your social media marketing is to start with a solid plan, show up consistently, and provide valuable, interesting content, or contact your local social media travel agent extraordinaire.

Travel Social with 802Social

Room Service Anyone? Social Media for Hospitality


While you were going about your normal life, the internet popped up and became the world’s most prominent, committed, and qualified concierge. With just a few clicks, a veritable fount of options, opportunities, and experiences abound for the itinerant traveler, vacationing family, or curious tourist on the go.

Gone are the days of dusty travel posters on travel agency walls, and painful slogans like “When you need it bad, we’ve got it good, when you need it bad come to Florida!” Social media as a whole has become the travel agent, marketing professional, concierge, hotelier, and hospitality specialist all rolled into one.

With Airbnb, HomeAway, traditional hotels, rentals, and resorts all battling it out in the social media landscape jockeying for attention, what is it that separates the spectacular from the merely spectacle? Where would you book a room if you were looking to get away?

The Hostess with the Mostess…
Competition is fierce. You could say it always has been, but with the internet and social media literally at our fingertips 24/7, whether you’re running a restaurant, bar, hotel, or bed and breakfast, the hostess with the mostess is the one who’s going to see real results.

People are putting in hours and hours of time researching and reviewing where they want to spend their money and spend the night, so your business needs to be active and engaged to stay ahead of the curve and excite your audience.

What are they looking for?
No one ever felt connected to a travel poster or brochure, but with social media, you have a way to connect to your audience like you never had before.

1. Discovery – First they have to find you, then they have to be impressed. Go where the eyeballs are. Build a compelling and consistent social media presence and profile to increase your chances of new clientele discovering you. First impressions are critical, so keep your posts professional, interesting, and engaging.

2. Connections – Social media is a two-way street. Your hotel or Airbnb has to be committed to engaging with your audience through social media because that’s where they are. This is where conversations and connections really do matter.

Don’t ignore comments, good or bad. Respond to people honestly and graciously, participate in the conversation and start new ones. At 802Social we have seen a huge bump in folks reaching out by direct messaging us on Facebook or Instagram. Be sure to check your settings for those features so you aren't missing any important messages.

3. DEALS! – Reward your followers and visitors with great deals! If this is something you start to do on a regular basis, people will specifically search you out just to see if there is a last minute social media deal. Maybe it's not an actual lodging discount every time, but a giveaway for a logo'd item, or a pass to a local theater. Either way, your followers will love you for it and will likely spread the word. Who doesn't love a great deal!?

Showcase Your Amenities
You know what you have to do, but the question for a lot of people is how do we do it!? First answer, contact 802Social, and let us lead the charge; but for the real entrepreneurial entrepreneurs out there, here’s a few tricks of the trade.

o Photos, Photos, PHOTOS! – A hotel/resort/rental is an endless source for content through pictures. Happy guests and their stories; the employees who help to make it all happen; behind the scenes antics; sunset views from the balcony, etc. Set yourself apart from the competition by showing off every day.

o Show Up – When you call the front desk, you want someone to answer. Stay consistent with your social media, but by showing up every day. People want to know you’re there. Think of it this way, if you’re "out of sight,” you’re “out of mind." Rally your audience’s attention to you by staying in the spotlight.

o Hashtags – I am pounding my fist on the desk as I say this: use hashtags in your Instagram posts! When researching a vacation/lodging destination, searching hashtags is like a secret passage to exactly what you’re clientele is looking for, so you want to be there at the end of the tunnel. Hashtags like #petfriendlytravel or #closetodowntown for example, put your place on the maps of people looking for exactly what you’re offering.

A Mint on the Pillow
It’s the little things that make all the difference. Set yourself and your business apart by showing up on social media, showcasing your services, highlighting deals, sharing and engaging with your audience, and staying ahead of the competition. Be creative, be consistent, or call us here at 802Social to hand over the reins to the professionals!

Book Now with 802Social

Facebook & Instagram for Restaurateurs – An Essential Pairing


It could be that I get my passion for being social from having worked 20 years in the hospitality industry before taking my social graces online. Social media wasn’t on the menu 20 years ago, but marketing and promotion have been a staple of the restaurant industry as long as there have been restaurants.

I've watched the value and allure of social media marketing for restaurants increase exponentially year after year. In fact, assisting restaurants with their social media recipes is what ultimately got me to where I am today with 802Social, and a big part of what keeps me going!

Social Media Served Piping Hot!
There are as many social media platforms out there as there are sauce pans and skillets, but there are only a few you’ll use every day, that define how you connect with your community, and what you’re cooking up.

Your restaurant’s Facebook page is veritable smorgasbord of opportunity and information. Menus, reviews, photos, videos, special events, farm to table connections, etc. Your patrons are looking for you on Facebook. It’s where they go to find out when you’re open, what you’re serving, if you accept reservations, what other people are saying about you, and they take so much away from the visit that you need to treat your online community as attentively as you treat the clientele in your dining room.

Give the people a taste of what you’re all about, and help them connect with you.

1. Add a “Book Now” button if you accept reservations.

2. Showcase an exceptional food photo on the cover image. Get a professional to take a few shots.

3. Upload your menu. Highlight changes, and make sure not to let outdated menus linger without updating them.

4. Add cuisine type. People are searching by cuisine as much as anything else.

5. Describe your restaurant. Are you “kid friendly,” vegetarian, fine-dining, take-out, local beers on draft, etc.

6. Facebook reviews. Allow people to post reviews and remember to respond to them. A personal response to a reviewer's comments shows you’re engaged and that you care.

Now that you’ve set the table, serve your most delectable dishes and daily specials. Create a consistent voice and engage with your audience with relevant and interesting posts that get them excited, showcase your passion, and highlight your commitment to what your sharing.

1. Incredible food photos. Most people can take a decent photo with a smart phone these days, but if your photos are coming out bland, think about hiring a professional, or tap someone on your staff with that special eye to take great pictures of your finest food creations.


2. Daily specials. Highlight what’s new and what’s special. Local asparagus for just a few weeks a year, or a seafood dish that will knock their socks off.

3. Behind the scenes. If you’re having fun, they’re having fun. Let your patrons take a peek behind the scenes; show them how much fun you’re having doing what you do.

4. Highlight your team. Let them get to know you. Your kitchen and waitstaff define how your customers experience your brand, so let them see who they are and how much they care.

5. Up to date news. "Due to a private event, we will be closed tonight, but are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!” No one wants to show up and find your closed. Keep your customers in the know with news, updates, etc.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
I’ve already talked about photos twice with regards to Facebook, but with Instagram your photos are seriously next level marketing. Being a platform that specifically deals in images only, and as a picture is worth a thousand words, Instagram is a no-brainer for restaurants, and kitchen artistes.

I don’t know about you, but I'm a sucker for seeing something delicious online and either wanting to make it myself, or much more likely, going out to get it. Instagram is not a condiment in a restaurant’s social media milieu, it is the main course.

1. Post your best photos. Pictures of your finest dishes, of your kitchen in action, your new sign, your staff party, your latest menu. Take sharp, interesting photos and showcase the energy and excitement your business thrives on, and the incredible food you’re serving.
2. Tell your story. String your photos together, add context and comments, and post stories that engage and inspire.
3. Highlights. Highlight specific stories that prominently promote and celebrate your brand.
4. Live feed. Let them eat cake! Or at least let them see you eating cake. Instagram Live lets your community come along for the ride. They’ll be coming to visit in person before you know it.
5. Geo-location. Tagging your photos and stories with geotags allows users to search and locate you from wherever you are.
6. IGTV. This is a brand new feature similar to YouTube. Up to 10 minutes of video can be loaded onto your own Instagram channel. This is a stellar idea for a cooking demo, dinner service views, and more.
7. Hashtags. Hashtags follow you everywhere. They’re like crumbs you leave behind on every plate you’ve ever enjoyed. Hashtags connect you to searches, and are a great way to highlight specifics about your establishment, #socialmediamaven, as well as your location, and other features.

Social Media is the Special Sauce
You’re seeing it happen all around you, it’s where your clientele is looking for ideas, posting reviews, sharing experiences, and getting to know you.

Read my Blog to dig deeper into ways businesses are using Facebook and Instagram to stay connected and tell their story, and how your restaurant can benefit from getting into the game, and cooking up something special.

Eat, Drink, and Be Social with 802Social

Why Your Business Should Use Social Media

Day in and day out I hear grumbling from business owners about their social media woes. Probably the most common questions, complaints, or concerns I hear aren’t even about the success of their social media efforts, but apprehensions about getting in the social media game in the first place.

We in the biz call these “pain points.” Generally, pain points refer to specific problems prospective customers of your business are experiencing, problems that you can then work to solve, thus creating value for your customers, and customers for your business. But pain points can also refer to problems you as a business owner are experiencing, like trying to wrap your head around social media. It would be my job then to create solutions to these problems.

The Top 3 Pain Points I Hear Most Often:

o   “I just don’t get it. Why do I need to use it?”

o   “I don’t have time.”

o   “What would I even post?”


I just don’t get it. How it will help my business?

So, you have a website, right? Most likely you do. At the time, you probably weren’t sure why you needed that either, besides the obvious fact that everyone else seemed to be doing it. I mean, what’s wrong with a simple ad in the phone book!

You knew to run a successful business you needed a place for people to learn more about you, contact you, shop your services or products, etc. But how are people discovering new businesses and seeking the products they need these days? How would they find you if you didn’t have a website, and once you did jump on the digital bandwagon, how would they know to look for your there?

Word of mouth has been the most fundamental and essential social media tool we’ve ever known, and that’s not changing any time soon. Your personal email signature, business cards, are radio/tv spots are a few of the other most common ways businesses have always spread the word.

And then there was social media… Imagine if you could use social media in all of its interconnected glory to connect with your community, engage them in your business, and drive people directly to your website where your community becomes your customers.

Easy peasy, right…? Actually, there’s a sophisticated methodology, in fact an entire industry behind that simple redirect. Social media is about connecting people & building relationships. When we build relationships, we build trust, and as we all know, trust is critical for successful businesses.

This is what we like to call the “know, like, trust” factor. When people get to know you, and they like you, they are more willing to do business and exchange money with you because they trust you.

See, it’s not like we’ve been telling you about social media for no reason, there is a method to the madness, I promise!


What in the world would I post about!?!

Your phone book ad, your business card, your billboard, they’re all static; they’re two-dimensional information only promotions. They’re basically just all business cards of different sizes. The only problem a business card ever solved was a wobbly table.

Your social media posts can deliver so much more! Depending on your audience and your industry, with social media, you can engage with and invite people to see inside and understand your business and the solutions you offer in ways a business card could never do.

  1. Behind the scenes. People love to get a sneak behind the curtains. You may think what’s going on back there is boring, but to the folks that aren’t toiling away there every day, it can be quite fascinating. Taking your customers behind the scenes is also a great way to build a tangible relationship between your business and your customers, it helps people connect, and connections are what people put their trust in and where they spend their money.  
  2. Entertain your audience with a fun fact about products, your services, and your industry. Be creative. Present your content in popular “hashtag days” like #motivationalmonday, #hottiptuesday, or #thirstythursday. (Speaking of hashtags...well, let’s save that for another blog!)
  3. Ask for feedback! Social media is all about engaging. Asking for feedback is a great way to get your community involved and have them feel invested in what you’re doing, and being a part of something. If you’re a blogger, ask for suggestions on what people would like to read about next. If you’re looking to make changes in the products you sell, ask your audience to weigh in on what they would like. Or it could be as simple as, “Which is your favorite season and why?” The important part here, is that if you do ask a question, be sure to acknowledge the answers and keep the conversation going.


“Customers report spending 20% – 40% more money on brands that have interacted with them on social media. Some people may consider social media followers a vanity metric that does not relate to more profits, but this statistic proves that simply isn’t true!”

- Lyfe Marketing


I just don’t have the time!

Ready to take the plunge, but can’t find a minute to do so? Create a social media editorial calendar, or consider a scheduling app to help you coordinate your efforts. You don’t have to be online all the time, you just have to find a time to check in and engage with your audience. Maybe over coffee in the morning, or as your settling down for a few minutes at night.

There are of course strategies upon strategies and best practices to help guide your social media efforts, but simply getting in the game should be your first priority; you can figure out the rest as you get comfortable and start seeing the results of your efforts.

Truth is, you most likely hired someone to build your website, because your website should look cool, and work, and you had no idea how to build it, what it should say, or what it should do. The same can be done for your social media marketing.

At 802Social, we strive to help businesses not only to succeed in their social media marketing efforts, but to understand the power and importance behind the investment. We have the time, and we know how to use it. Give us a call and we’ll help get you started!


Go Social with 802Social


Untitled design (12).png

Last August I published a blog titled, Have you Created Your Story Yet. The post took a deep dive into Instagram Stories, what they are and how to use them to promote your brand. At the time, your Instagram Story could only be live on your Instagram profile for 24-hours before disappearing into the ether…that is, until now!

Instagram recently released “Highlights." This new feature allows a user to curate and highlight specific stories on your profile that are easily accessible, featured prominently with customizable text and thumbnail images, and stay there for more than a meager 24-hours, as in, like… forever!

Tell Your Story, Front and Center
You may have posted hundreds of stories on Instagram, and while they’re each super special in their own right, not every one is worthy of a Highlight.

Your Highlights should highlight only the most valuable content from your stories; content that not only makes sense to save, but tells your story, and encourages people to return and feel engaged such as handy tips, frequently asked questions, and sneak peeks behind the scenes.

Highlights give you the opportunity to showcase what is exceptional about your brand and business, front and center. New people will be able to get to know you right at that outset, and your trusted community of friends can see what you’re really about.

Months ago, it was a real bummer that you couldn't save stories that were really resonating with your audience, but with Story Highlights, you can resonate indefinitely!

Stratagize, Don’t Agonize
What do targeted advertising, promotional campaigns, content creation, and social media all have in common; besides being our bread & butter here at 802Social? They’re all a vital part of your marketing strategy, and your marketing strategy is all about telling your brand story.

Instagram Story Highlights are a great way for you to show off what sets your brand and business apart from all the others. It’s the same thing you try to do across the board with your marketing strategy, only here, you’re able to really choreograph how your audience experiences your brand, by stratagizing how you tell your story.

Plan ahead: Don’t just highlight every story you’ve ever posted, curate your highlights so you’re telling the most compelling and captivating stories possible, or record brand new ones that highlight your brand, your products, your team, and your story. Maybe those are your top tier Highlight categories, chock full of links to blogs and resources that engage and really entice visitors to hang out with you for a while.

Marquee Production
Instagram allows you to customize your Story Highlights by personalizing and branding your cover photos and thumbnails (think bright neon lights!), creating unique category names, and ringing all the bells and whistles like text and animation, that set your Instagram profile apart from the still images on your website or (gulp!) your paper brochures.

If you’re doing it right, new Instagram followers will flock to your profile and feel connected and informed by your highlighted stories. Take a look around and see who else is doing it, how they’re doing it, and what really speaks to you. This will give you an idea of where to start.

So you want to know how to actually create Instagram Story Highlights!?
Join my Facebook Group to get the inside scoop on how the pros plot Instagram Highlights, how to WOW your audience with customized content, and highlight the best of your brand and business to keep your visitors coming back.

See just how high our Highlights get at 802Social!