Instagram Stories – Grow Your Account Organically

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Instagram Stories put you and your business in front of your audience in a way that really connects with people. It’s honest, humbling, uninhibited, and a little vulnerable, but that’s really what gives it charm.

It’s super interesting and inspiring to see the people and businesses you follow and feel connected to open up and invite you in. Your Instagram Stories can do the same for you and your business, so it’s time you think about stepping up your story game.

Create Stories
Creating stories is serious fun for sure, but it’s also a way to engage in a less serious way with your audience. Instagram’s story studio is much like a kindergarten arts and crafts corner; instead of glitter, glue, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes, you have stickers, GIFs, audience polls, animations, filters, and so much more to create a story with serious pizzazz.

Try creating a “behind the scenes” story with 3-5 clips. Use your story to show your audience what your business is like on a day-to-day basis. On top of that, try throwing in a question or quiz to engage your audience and invite them into the conversation.

Engage in Stories
Watching Instagram stories can be just as fun as creating your own. I recommend my clients watch stories from all kinds of people to see how they’re using them, and what things really jump out. Look for all the different ways people try to engage with their audience, and what creative things they’re doing to spice things up.

When watching stories, if you see a question sticker, poll, or quiz, ENGAGE! Instagram allows account holders to see who’s watching their stories, and more importantly who is or is not engaging. Those who participate in the conversation stand out. Engage, engage, ENGAGE!

Use Hashtags
Yes, it’s 2019 and we haven’t seen the end of the hashtag just yet. As fast as technology and trends do move these days, the hashtag has so far secured a pretty dependable place in our social media culture, and they’re no less important today than when they were first introduced.

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post or story clip. You obviously don’t have to use them all, but why not? I don’t typically use quite that many within story clips, but I do try to use as many as possible in a simple post. If you use hashtags on stories, you can shrink them down and hide them behind other imagery or stickers so your story clips aren’t looking too cluttered.

Hashtags are still keys to the connections; when used proficient and professionally, they can unlock doors to all kinds of organic growth.

Friendly Reminders
Keep in mind, Instagram stories only last 24 hours, so for ones you really like, highlight those to keep them indefinitely.

Also, active stories will appear at the top of the Instagram app with a pink/red ring around your profile image. If you don’t see the ring, your story isn’t active. You can keep posting new clips to your story to keep the story going, and keep your audience active.

Now that you have a bit more information about stories, give them a try! And while you’re at it, feel free to tag 802Social and I’ll check out your progress.

Happy story telling,

Molly

Educate, Inspire, and Empower

After winning 102 games as head coach of the US Women’s National Soccer team, losing only seven, Coach Jill Ellis announced after her team’s second consecutive World Cup victory that she’ll be stepping down from her position as head coach,

"The timing is right to move on and the program is positioned to remain at the pinnacle of women's soccer," she said.

As I am about to step into a new, expanded coaching role myself, I’ve been, and perhaps not at all surprisingly, thinking about what it means to be a great coach – what are my goals, and where do I want to help take my clients?

Not every coach enjoys a legacy like Jill Ellis, but all successful coaches are driven by a similar desire to grow, achieve, and see their team succeed at the highest levels. I share that passion and commitment, and as I've been working with businesses to create, manage, and monitor their social media strategy and content since 2012, I’ve been consistently pushing to step up my game so that my clients can better achieve their own goals and aspirations.

I am 10 years into this work at this point – self-taught, always learning, exploring, expanding my skills and services; as I prepare to take this next step to help more clients reach the pinnacle of their game, I am also looking to position myself at the top of mine.

As I’ve been preparing to do that, I’ve been asking myself, “Why? Why am I doing the work that I do?”

“My why.” In the spirit of Simon Sinek, organizational consultant, and author of Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team, "My why" is to educate, inspire, and empower business owners to successfully manage their own social media, to grow their businesses, and to empower them to succeed.

I’ve realized that getting out on the field and playing for you isn’t exactly coaching, and isn’t why I am inspired to do this work. That’s not to say there isn’t good reason for a lot of businesses to outsource their social media to a professional social media manager, and there’s certainly a place for that in my service portfolio, but real coaching means our work together should leave you positioned to remain at the pinnacle of your social media marketing and strategy game, inspired and poised to achieve on your own.

My why is to help educate business people, marketers, managers, and entrepreneurs in the necessity and nuances of social media; to inspire people to reach out to their communities, their customers, and clients, to share their stories, and to build bold and compelling brand identities, and to empower people with the tools they need to do all that successfully!

Build, Grow, Accelerate
In the coming weeks I will be launching a brand new website featuring a completely reimagined suite of Social Media Coaching Packages designed to do just that, to help businesses build, grow, and accelerate their social media marketing, and ultimately see them thrive and flourish.

Come take a look and enjoy the view at www.802Social.com, or reach out to me directly to discuss your business, your passion, and your why. Together we’ll build, grow, and accelerate your business so your why is the driving force behind everything you do.

My Why @802Social

Social Media Writer’s Block – What the #@&! should I post!?

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Do you struggle with what to post on social media? I mean really hair-pulling out, frustrating, paralyzing struggle?? To be honest, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t now and then! My clients certainly do, and…wait for it…I even do myself at times!

 We have so much going on in life, in business; original, creative, attention-grabbing content can seem as remote as a sunny day in January, or a full night’s sleep.

Go on, raise your hand if this happens to you!? It’s nothing new; writer’s block is as old as writing itself, and with all the eyes and ears you reach instantaneously with a single, seemingly innocuous post nowadays, is it really any wonder we sometimes struggle?

Creating Content – Brain Fog Lifted

Today, I’m going to share three ideas to help push you through the brain fog of creating new, compelling social media content.

 1.      Get your motor running… It almost seems silly saying it, but try starting your day with exercise, meditation, journaling, etc. An intentional, focused morning routine very often gets those creative juices flowing much easier.

2.      Give yourself the time and space to work. Create a sort of social media work-plan for the month, week, or even the day; setting aside a half hour in the morning or after lunch, or Friday afternoons to dedicate to dreaming up and crafting content. While you’re at it, turn off all notifications on your phone, and tune out social media while you’re working. Believe it or not, social media is a HUGE distraction, even when you’re trying to create social media content!

3.      Go BIG! When you do sit down to it, motor running, phone safely stored out of sight in the refrigerator, try creating content for more than just today or tomorrow; craft enough content for two weeks in one sitting, noting any holidays, sales, special events, and specific marketing messages you want to promote. Create all the copy at once, and then go fishing around for images, or staking out and getting good photos.

And wait, there’s more…

Now that you’ve got your mind made up for success, and you’re totally charged to get down to it but you’re still at a loss for ideas… I got you!

Here are the Top 5 Social Media Post Topics I recommend.

1.      Behind the scenes. One of the best ways to keep your audience engaged is to let them feel like they’re a part of the process. Show them how and where the magic happens!

2.      Employee spotlight. Your team is your greatest asset. Sharing employee stories motivates and inspires your staff and your followers.

3.      Quotes and/or tips that represent your industry or speak directly to your client/customer experience.

4.      New product alert! New products, services, ideas, or inspirations always make great posts.

5.      Before and after. Transformation. The subtle art of living is that we are constantly evolving, transforming, learning, and growing. Change is the only constant, and we can all relate to it, so share how you’re making old things new, better, re-imagined, and redefined.

Think about your business, your industry, your audience, your expertise, and run with it. My Top 5 is a great place to start, but there are no hard and fast rules to this, and your audience may be clamoring for a little something else. Tell me what that is, I’d love to hear about it!

Helping others with their social media strategy is what I love to do. If you are stuck and want to chat, brainstorm, or meditate on it together, send me a message, connect with me on social media, and let’s make it happen!

 

“Writing about a writer's block is better than not writing at all” 
― Charles Bukowski

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

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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!

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

#hashtagsunpacked

#briefhistorylesson

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!

#istilldontgetit

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. 

#thebasics

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.

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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

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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!

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