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

socialmedia_resorts.png

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

802Social_foodblog.jpg

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.

802Social_foodblog2.jpg

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

HIGHLIGHT YOUR INSTAGRAM STORIES to Tell a Story

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!

Facebook Groups: Connecting Your Community

In my blog post from last August about Growing Your Facebook Business Page, I noted with some amazement that by the first quarter of 2017, Facebook had 1.94 billion active monthly users; by the fourth quarter, that number jumped to 2.2 billion! Of those 2.2 billion individual users, one billion belong to Facebook Groups.

Facebook has long held to its original mission statement, which committed the platform to giving “people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” There is no question they still do that, but in 2017, Facebook introduced the company’s new mission statement which envisions providing, “people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

802Social Blog FBGroups.JPG


This focus on building communities and groups, is a natural evolution of the way we interact every day. Groups can galvanize new possibilities, and forge new, active, and important webs of connection.

Create Your Group
Anyone can create a group. Chances are, there’s already a group out there rallied around your particular interest. Do your research before you create your own group. Type your interest in the search bar at the top of the page and choose “Groups” from the list of possible search categories.

Groups can be small, just you and your siblings, or you and your office mates, or a much larger community of like minds in your industry. If you find groups related to your business or interests already exist, join up! Plugging into a group offers insights into trends and discussion you otherwise might be missing, allows you to keep an eye on the conversation, and provides an opportunity to present your brand’s perspective.

Set your notifications to alert you whenever there’s a new posting so you can stay on top of the conversation, at least for a little while.

Attract Like Minds
When you begin to set up your group, you'll need to decide on a name that resonates with the community you’re looking to connect with. Search for names you think work best to make sure they haven’t already been taken.

Make sure whatever name you choose clearly represents what your group is about. It's not necessary to make a single catch-all group, you may want to create smaller, more individualized groups focused on specific services or products your business offers. For example, TV networks have groups for their entire network, and separate groups for individual programs.

Invite people to join your group. Colleagues, employees, friends and family will help get things started. Spread the word by cross-promoting your new group on other platforms and reaching out specifically to active contributors to your Facebook Page or similar groups; let them know you’re creating a group that you’d love them to be a part of.

Privacy & Personality
There are three types of groups on Facebook, depending on the group's privacy settings:

· Open – Anyone can view the group, its members, and their posts.

· Closed – Anyone can view the group and its members, but only members can see group posts.

· Secret – Only members can see the group or any of its information.

Set the privacy of your group to reflect how you want the group to interact and conversations to unfold. As the group evolves, so can your privacy settings. You may start open, but want to close up a bit as your group really expands.

Finally, you’ll want to personalize your group. Go through the group settings to make sure you’ve provided all the information, photos, and images you can to customize and brand your group’s Facebook presence. Start populating your group feed with relevant content, and engage in any conversations that get started and gain traction.

Promote the conversation by asking questions, or asking specifically for input or advice. Conversations are the foundation of connections, and connections are what hold your group together.

Still unsure? Join my Facebook Group, and have a look around!  Behind the Scenes of Social Media

Be social! Join the conversation with 802Social.

Blah, Blah, Blog… What’s the Big Deal?

Why blog_.png

There’s something I really like about writing a blog about blogging. We’re always told the best leaders lead by example, so it just seems fitting I should carve out a little time to write a blog about blogging.

My clients ask me all the time if I think they should start a blog for their business. Most of the time they rattle off a litany of reasons why they can’t, or haven’t yet. The number one reason most people don’t start a blog for their business is that they simply feel like they don’t have the time, and if there’s anything I really understand about running a business on top of everything else we do in the world, it’s definitely that feeling that there’s never enough time.

Just like everything else you do for your business and personal life, finding time to write a blog is all about sensible scheduling, reasonable expectations, and responsible deadlines. But why should you even consider doing it...?

Value & Insight
I like to think about blogging as both a way for me to focus my thoughts and insights, hone my skills, and reflect intentionally on the work I do; and a way I can provide real value to my clients and community.

Your business is constantly jockeying for attention from loyal customers, and working to build an engaged and active audience. The more value and insight you can provide for what is basically free, the more likely you are to build and retain an enthusiastic customer base.

Blogging is a way for you to differentiate your business from all the others. It’s where you can express your own personality, share valuable insights and information with a community that is interested in what you have to offer, and distinguish yourself as knowledgeable and experienced.

· Attract and Excite Your Audience
· Express Your Personality and Share Your Expertise
· Provide Real Insight and Value

Blogs aren’t limited to simply writing. The most dynamic blogs include photos, videos, links to specific pages on your website, or other social media platforms. The more you can do to keep your audience engaged, and provide access to insights and information they’re not finding elsewhere, the more they’ll come to rely on you and share your blog with a wider audience.

Social Media Content
Blogging for your business also provides you with ready-made content for other social media platforms. Writing a blog post once or twice a month should be a key part of your overall content marketing and social media strategy, and it’s a great way to drive traffic to and from all of your online venues.

New and relevant blog posts provide content and targeted destinations for email marketing campaigns, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts. All your social media postings should include links to your various other social media outlets, websites, and related blog posts. It’s like a shell game, except that under every shell there’s more interesting and illuminating information, and it keeps people and search engines interested and engaged in your business.

SEO & Google
Sometimes you just have to the feed the beast, and this beast loves valuable, relevant content. Google and other search engines are constantly scouring the internet and your website for new and dynamic content. Static, stand-alone websites that haven’t been updated in years, fall off a proverbial cliff when it comes to search engine ranking.

Blogging is an exceptional way to keep your website and other social media platforms active and attractive to search engines. Any new strategic content, text, videos, images, links you post, all work to attract search engines back to your website where they review your site and increase your ranking.

Make the Time
Make your blog a part of your business, or more importantly, a part of your business’ marketing strategy. Blogging shouldn’t be a chore, it should be more of an opportunity once or twice a month to sit down for an hour and focus your attention on something specific and interesting about the work you’re doing.

Don’t worry about length. Short blog posts with a couple of images and links are sometimes even better than longer posts that delve deeper into a particular topic. Use your blog to answer common questions you’re hearing from your clients and customers. Highlight new trends in your industry, or offer compelling solutions to your customers’ ‘pain points;’ they’re looking for answers, you just have to provide them, and blogging is a great way to do just that.

Blog social with 802Social, we’re spreading the word!

“Hustle” – Welcome to my word for 2018!

802socialpic2.jpeg

hus·tle /ˈhəsəl/ (verb) 1. the courage, confidence, self-belief, and self-determination to go out there and work it out until you find the opportunities you want in life. (urbandictionary.com)

 The last two internet-fueled mega-decades of innovation and independence spawned what some people are calling the “side-hustle generation;” a near millennial obsession, if not an art of instinctual necessity. In this context, the “hustle” implies an almost deceptive stealth, as if the thousands stitching success together on Etsy while driving an Uber to tidy up their Airbnb were somehow pulling a fast one on everyone, but that’s not the way I see it.

A Different Kind of Year

2017 was a different kind of year for 802Social. I spent a lot more time working directly on my business, more so than ever before, slowly shifting the side-hustle to the main event, and I’ve been doing that through sheer dedication and tenacity. Even so, I've still only just started to scratch the surface of what I want to do, and what 802Social is poised to become.

·       Leaving a job after 16 years

·       Starting your own business

·       Being your own boss for the first time

·       Developing time management skills and the knowledge to successfully
run a business while raising a family

·       Pitching yourself to prospective clients

·       Closing the deals

·       Being successful with each client

Any of this sound familiar? All of it took serious hustle and determination. Not the “side-hustle” kind of hustle, the dogged, determined, confident courageous kind, the kind 2018 is made of.

The Cobbler Has No Shoes

At times, I feel very much like the cobbler in that old saying. I work so hard for my clients every day that I sometimes I forget one of the most important clients of all –  802Social!

A cobbler can’t “walk the walk” without shoes, that seems obvious enough. For 802Social to “walk the walk,” I’m starting off with committing to the conversation: 2018 will see at least one blog post per month, putting the social back in the 802.

I’m working on my list of ideas now, so if you have any questions or ideas you would like for me to explore regarding social media, send me a message.

Also, if you’re not seeing that one blog per month, feel free to call me out! :) Sometimes that hustle needs a little a kick in the pants.

I Want More!

The world of social media means surrounding yourself with inspirational people doing inspirational things all over the place, and sharing your inspiration with them. That’s a lot of inspiration! Courage, confidence, and self-determination got me where I am today, but today is not the destination.

Social media hangs its hat on the “call to action.” Laying yourself bare and putting your personal, financial, business and strategic goals out for the world to see can be downright terrifying, but it can also be the best way to rally your hustle and call yourself to action, so that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I want more, 2018! And, I’m coming to get it!

Hustle with 802Social, we’re going places!

802SocialPic.jpeg

Instagram Live – Lights. Camera. ACTION!

IMG_3005.JPG

Instagram has done it again! There is a certain intimacy to the relationships we cultivate these days with the organizations and businesses we support and follow. Social media allows us to stay informed and even peek behind the curtain in ways we never could before.

Instagram has taken that relationship to the next level. You can now connect with your Instagram audience in real time with Instagram Live.

Your patrons, followers, friends, family, and supporters are all carrying a digital tin can in their pockets all day with a string attached that connects directly to you. Anytime you want to, you can pick up the can on your end and let everyone know what you’re up to.

Show and Tell
The most important reason to “go live” is simply to invite your audience to share something that feels vital and personal. It’s the kind of connection and engagement you just couldn’t offer before.

· Launching A New Product
· Big Announcement
· Behind the Scenes
· Live Q&A
· Live Chat

You’ve done all these things before in analog; maybe you’ve sent out a press release, or an email blast to your client list, but now that you’ve worked so hard to build a dynamic Instagram following, it’s time to show them who you are and what you’re up to in ways a simple email never could.

Go Live! Let’s get started. How to launch your first Instagram Live.
· Click the camera icon on the top left from your home screen.
· You’ll see four options: Live, Normal, Boomerang, Rewind, and Hands-free.
· Select ‘Live.’ All you need to do is push the “Start Live Video” button and you’re rolling.
· You are now broadcasting live. Your Instagram followers will get a notification that you are currently live.

A few important things to remember:

1. Pin the title of your video – People are dropping in and out of live videos all the time, so a great way to encourage them to stay is to let them know what you're actually talking about. Type a short comment at the start of your video and tap to pin it. Your title will stay on the screen for all to see.

2. Who's watching? – Tap on the eye icon at the top left to see who’s watching. If you happen to see some pesky trolls watching or commenting inappropriately, tap the "x" next to their name to remove them from the live stream.

3. Use both views of your camera – Be the director. Flip between the view of yourself talking, and what it is you’re talking about. This is a great way to keep people engaged as you invite them into your world. Note: At this time, you cannot use the flash when live.

4. Analytics – Once you tap "End Broadcast," a screen will appear showing you the total number of viewers. Take a screenshot of the analytics and save it for later comparisons. You’ll also see an arrow in the top right corner, which will allow you to save your entire broadcast to watch again and again. :)

5. Turn on Notifications – Users that have their Notifications turned on will receive a message when you go live, and you’ll be able to see how many people are tuning in. Remember to turn your Notifications on, too, so that you will also get alerts when people you follow go live.

How to Get People to Show Up?
Tell them! Use all the tools you already have at your disposal to reach out to your audience and let them know you’ll be going live. Make an announcement on Facebook, FB Groups, Twitter, email, blog, Instagram, Instagram Stories, etc.

Plan it out! Know ahead of time exactly why you’re going live, what you want to show and tell, and what you want to accomplish. Make sure you’re bringing real value to your live appearance; give people a reason to not only show up, but to stick around and see what you’re up to.

Have fun! Don't worry if you feel silly or a little shy to go live, it gets easier! Many experts including myself have gone live many times with no one showing up. Just remember, your live recording stays active for 24 hours, which gives users plenty of time to find you and wonder why they missed it in the first place

GO LIVE with 802Social on IG to learn more!