Instagram is the social media It girl of the moment. It’s a great way to showcase the behind-the-scenes of your business and allows your audience to experience things only YOU can share with them… but it does also have its own unique language, customs and challenges.
If social media is a party, Instagram is the hottest club of the moment. It’s where everyone wants to be and where everyone who is anyone is “seen.” It’s the Meatpacking District of the 90s.
Ok, I get that it’s popular, but what’s the best content to share?
This all depends on YOUR goals.
The best content to share on Instagram is beautiful photos from a Mobile device with filters that work for your audience.
One general tip? Mayfair is the best filter for engagement. Valencia is high up there too.
ColorStory and VSCO Cam are great ways to tap into the filter communities (yes, there are filter communities) and allow you to give your photos a little more pop.
If video is your game, then it’s all about the quick hit. Sixty seconds, no more, no less.
But the best type of content to share on Instagram?
Geo-tagged, authentic content that will engage your audience.
It should be a mix of images, memes/quote cards and videos and should accurately represent who YOU are as a brand.
All in all, it’s about creating a dialogue through images and videos, telling the story of your brand in a way that SELLS.
And when you’re ready to do that, let’s talk. My #InstaGoalsPod Mastermind might be for you, click here to learn more.
Training your audience is an essential part of building your digital brand. It’s about creating a consistent routine for them to follow, one they know and expect. From content to ads, everything you share should be consistent in look/feel, tone and voice. By doing that, you train your audience AND teach them how to do exactly what YOU want them to do, exactly WHEN you want them to do it.
Oprah spoke about the transition from the Oprah Winfrey Show to OWN and said that they audience was trained to watch her at 4pm.
That fact is great for Ellen but wasn’t so great for OWN in its early days.
What the execs forgot was that they had trained the audience to expect Oprah, all the glorious parts of her show, in a daily time slot.
And once that time slot was gone? Well, her fans had nowhere to go.
It’s not always so simple… and it took Oprah decades to get this formula right. In my opinion, as a lover of her, her brand and entertainment TV in general, they have started to figure out how to attract the audience back — by going after the audience where THEY are.
Part of training your audience is consistency, the other part is a deep understanding of your demographic and the fact that your demographic has to grow up too.
Take The Backstreet Boys for example. They’re all pushing 40 but they are active on all social platforms.
When they were popular, social media did not exist!! It wasn’t the powerhouse it is today for artists (I mean, if YouTube didn’t exist, neither would Justin Beiber which could be good, depending on your musical tastes) but that doesn’t mean that their audience isn’t on social.
In fact, their audience is currently THE MOST active demographic on social.
I often find it funny when brands ignore the 13-19 year olds or the 18-24 year olds. They are going to become your coveted 25-54 year olds soon enough — and if you haven’t trained them to know who you are and to understand how to have a conversation with them, how will they even know to look for you?
First Things First
Figure out who YOU are and what sets you apart from others in the space. When creating consistent content that converts, it’s important to consider all of your audiences AND where they hang out.
Get a Seat at the Table
Get in with the demos quickly and efficiently. Challenge them to engage and ASK for what they want. Create ways for them to connect each and every day, several times throughout the day. Make connecting with YOUR brand a must-have part of their day, week and month.
Ask For Feedback
Feedback is essential. Maybe one of your demographics wants content once a week where others want that daily interaction — the only want to know is to let THEM tell you and then create the preferences THEY request.
If you want a brand that stands the test of time, you can’t forget about the things that truly matter → and number one on that list? Your audience. Without them, you’d have nothing and it is important to always remember that.
Connecting with Entrepreneurs is an interesting experience. Everyone has a different way to run their business and each way can be successful on its own, but is it sustainable? Curating the right resources for your project and scale is the best way to create a business that can stand the test of time AND build your bank account at the same time.
A few weeks ago, I had a very interesting meeting. In the meeting, the prospective client made the comment that they wouldn’t pay someone to do video because an intern could just do video for free.
And that, my friends, is effing bullshit.
Interns are brilliant. I was managing This Old House’s Facebook groups and content syndication as an intern. Interns are very, very capable BUT they are NOT the same as hiring someone with 2, 5, 7 or 10 years of experience.
My response in the meeting? You could, but I can tell you right now it won’t be the same quality. I can tell you that because as an intern, I created good content. And now, a decade later? I create great content.
And a decade from now? It will be even better.
We are constantly evolving… we should be getting better and better at what we do, at the services we sell, at the content create (we all create content… seriously, but that’s a post for another day).
If we didn’t, what the hell is the point of all of this?
How Do You Build the Right Team?
By actually acknowledging that the investment is needed to scale. Investment IS needed to build your business. Investment in time or money. If you don’t want to spend the money, you need to take the time to learn the skills.
Know What You Don’t Know
I taught myself to code because I wanted to be a Digital Producer. I upped my abilities in video production too. At the same time, I applied for a Digital Production Masters… and four short months later, I got the job as a Digital Producer without the Masters.
Know what you don’t know and tell the Universe you’re ready to receive opportunities in this zone of genius.
By opening yourself up to LEARNING, you open new doors to your business and future. You don’t have to be GREAT at everything, but you SHOULD know what you don’t know. You need to understand the things you’re outsourcing before you outsource them. You can, of course, ask the expert, but you should also have a general understanding so that you can make decisions for yourself.
Know What an Expert Looks Like
I love when I see people on Instagram who offer to manage Instagram accounts for $100 a month. That’s not a reasonable price for anyone, even an intern. Minimum wage is $15 an hour — you cannot effectively do EVERYTHING for an Instagram account in 6.66666 hours per month. You can’t even do it in 7.
An expert knows how to explain their services, understands the actual time it takes, and is upfront with the realistic expectations you can have for a campaign. They are also honest with you when it comes to scope — if they can do it for less, they will.
Know What You Need to Invest in Most
If you’re trying to create an online business and don’t have a website (or even just a landing page), that’s the first area to invest in. It does not have to be something fancy (in fact, our most expensive website package is $6500) and it does not have to be something you do in 24-hours but it should be something that allows you to build your business AND scale. This is where a strategy session would be the best investment you can make.
If you’re going to go it your own way, find the right resources and find several of them. Form your own conclusions about what you NEED to do, instead of allowing others to “should” you. You “should” do a lot of things but you NEED to do few things to be successful online; know the difference.
Overall, building a business that scales involves finding the right experts to do the job you need OR becoming proficient enough in the services you need to create them for yourself. It takes time, effort and energy but the investment is well worth it.
PS: Did you know I launched a Podcast? The Get is designed to give you the interviews, inspiration, connections and advice you need to get the life you want. Click here to Get Informed, Get Connected, Get Hired and Get Inspired by subscribing on iTunes.
Instagram is a powerful tool for sharing behind-the-scenes moments in your day, life and business. It’s not the only platform to spread your brand message, but using it allows you to understand your audience and figure out what types of content they’re looking for.
When you’re sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it can be quite time consuming. And, for many of you reading this, it’s not the ONLY thing you have to do for your business in a day [don’t worry, we’ve got a calendar to help you with time management!] so you can’t spend hours on it that don’t turn into clients or opportunities.
Being sloppy — and yes, sharing from Instagram to Facebook and Twitter IS sloppy — isn’t going to get you the influence you need to build a brand that converts.
You could have a million followers, and if your fans don’t purchase your programs, it’s not worth it. If your feed is not appealing to brands, it’s not worth it. And if you can’t prove traffic, engagement and sharability, it’s not worth it.
So what CAN you do to increase your influence, build your audience and create a brand that converts by building your business AND your bank account? Well, you can create unique content that can be cross-purposed without being cross-posted. And why do you want to do that? Because of these 5 cons of cross-posting that could break your brand and your bank account.
5 Cons of Cross-Posting from Instagram to Facebook and Twitter
Instagram is a Visual Platform… and You Can’t See the Images ON Twitter
Instagram is ALL about the image. The lighting, the background, the filter. It’s your one shot in the spotlight to showcase your ability to get everything jussstttt right… or to be able to filter the hell out of it to make it look just right.
On Twitter, when you share from Instagram, you can’t SEE the image! It’s a link that drives you back to Instagram and, for most mobile users, that is a broken experience that results in your audience being pissed… and no one wants that!
On Facebook, the photo uploads and is visible but, often, if you’re using a ton of hashtags, as you should be on Instagram, it brings those right through. And, the worst part? The fact that your Facebook doesn’t link out to your Instagram in an obvious way, reducing the potential of bringing one audience over to another platform.
#VixSaysNo to this because it dilutes the quality of your work.
Same Content, Multiple Places
Cross-purposing of content (or syndication) is a solid digital strategy. Cross-posting is not the same as when many people cross-post they share THE EXACT SAME THING from one network to the next. A great brand has the same users following them on multiple platforms because they are SO hungry for any piece of content.
#VixSaysNo: To sharing the same content, at the same time, in different places — variety IS the spice of life and in the oversaturated world of social media and content, variety is the life jacket your audience is searching for [click to tweet].
A/B Testing is a Must — EVEN on Organic Content
Let me break this down for you in super simple terms — A/B testing is creating two posts with different copy or images, driving to the same link/place on your website to determine what makes your audience convert. For the technical definition and some examples of exactly how to do this, check out this article in Social Media Examiner.
By posting the same content at the exact same time on multiple networks, you’re not getting a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t.
#VixSaysNo: To limiting the amount of DATA you have so that you can LISTEN and Guess, Test and Review post types, content and times with your ideal audience.
Lazy People Very Rarely Get Ahead
If you want to become an Influencer, you’re looking for someone — a brand, person, start-up or colleague — to pay you to create content. That could be anywhere from $50-5000 and, depending on the person/brand, it could be a lot of money for them or a very small amount. Or, in most cases with start-ups, a small amount of money that has a great impact on their overall success.
You want to be able to showcase that you understand what you’re doing for the brand and that you are someone who can be trusted as a brand ambassador. You don’t want to be lazy, you want to be seen as someone who understands their audience and does their best to provide them with the content they’re looking for.
#VixSaysNo: To “phoning” it in when it comes to your social – be strategic and intentional about everything you do.
Reach and Engagement Will Suffer
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are constantly making updates to their algorithm. To chase the algorithm is futile — you’ll never be able to figure out EXACTLY when they’re making the change and, in most cases, if you try to, it will only hurt you in the long-run.
If you share the same content across all platforms, the platforms’ algorithms will start to suppress your content and “label” you as a bad publisher. This is not pretty or pleasant but there is plenty of research on why/how this is done (Instagram Shadowbanning, anyone?) but even diving too far down that rabbit hole can be detrimental to your overall success.
You cannot game the system — the only way to increase your reach is to understand your audience and deliver the type of content they have come to know you for ON A CONSISTENT BASIS!
#VixSaysNo: because you will never beat the system and it is foolish to try. Instead, spend those valuable billable hours on networking and building AMAZING content that will wow your audience.
So there you have it, the 5 cons of cross-posting. Cross-purposing and syndicating your content is a great strategy and one that should not be ignored. My Editorial Calendar Template will give you the steps you need to do this and you can download your free copy here!
For more tips, tricks and weekly updates, sign-up for your #WeeklyVix, the newsletter that breaks it down to make sure you get the content and tools you need to DIY your digital empire.
Facebook offers different types of organic content and you should be experimenting with at least these 3 in order to Guess, Test and Review what makes your audience convert and engage.
Facebook is the best way to reach an engaged audience (1.86 BILLION active monthly users) that is primed to convert. According to a Fortune magazine, 51% of people make purchases online and if you’re not marketing to them on Facebook, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
If you’re not ready to pay for Facebook ads to increase your reach (which is definitely something you should consider in 2017), you need to vary your organic content to continue to be seen as a good publisher by Facebook.
These are your standard Facebook posts. They pull in the image or images from your blog article or website page and also pull in the title and description you set on the backend. The best part about these posts is that, if you’re sharing to a business page, you CAN edit the title, description and image. Why would you do this? To recycle content without making it so obvious. This is a great way to also encourage clicks because once your audience clicks on the image, it takes them right to your website. Great for traffic and great for engagement.
Link with a Photo
It is important to vary the types of posts you’re doing on Facebook to increase your reach and engagement and a link with a photo is a great way to do that. This can be one or more photos and all should be related to the blog post or topic of what you’re sharing. You don’t have to include the same photos from the page or blog, but they should be relevant so your audience isn’t confused when they reach the page by clicking on the link. This is a great place for quotes as well, because the images will be large in people’s newsfeeds on every device.
Plain Text Posts
Plain text posts were popular for a bit when Facebook decided to push for more realistic and authentic content from all users. Many of you have probably seen the colored-backgrounds (only available for Facebook profiles, not brand pages at the moment!!) which are plain text posts with a little flair. These are good for businesses trying to ask users questions and increase engagement. It can also be helpful when you’re trying to decide what types of blogs to write or what users to feature.
Overall, varying your Facebook content is the best way to reach Facebook’s 1.86 billion monthly active users to increase your engagement and ultimately, the amount of cash in your bank account.